Recent Posts

Who Pays for Mold Damage?

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on wall with  the words CALL YOUR AGENT Who pays for mold coverage?

When homeowners get mold damage, they may have protection under specific policies from their insurance providers. If you live in an apartment in Mount Prospect, IL, however, you may be concerned about whether or not mold is covered by your rental insurance. Understanding your renters policy is key to knowing if a specific situation is covered.

Typical Coverage

Most rental policies cover a few basic claims:

  • Damage repair for personal belongings
  • Replacement for items that cannot be salvaged
  • Temporary relocation costs

Mold removal is likely to be covered under a rental policy only if it the underlying peril that led to it was covered. For example, if a pipe bursts and the books in your library were waterlogged and then grew moldy, the work that mold remediation specialists do to save your books or replace the ones that can't be saved will probably be covered by your rental insurance. If the initial damage isn't covered, however, the claim for the resulting mold growth may be denied.

Typical Exclusions

There are several situations that can contribute to mold damage that are probably not going to be covered by your renters insurance policy. Flood damage from a storm or other natural disaster usually requires a separate flood policy. Unless you have such a policy, mold growth that occurs as a result of this type of flooding is unlikely to be covered by your insurance provider. Your rental policy also may not cover mold that results from a sewage backup. Finally, your policy probably won't cover mold growth that happens because you neglected to report a water leak or other maintenance issue.
Having rental insurance is important for apartment dwellers. It covers a lot of the damage that can happen to your personal property while you are renting your space. Mold mitigation doesn't always get covered under this policy, though. Knowing what your provider covers and doesn't cover can help you plan better for possible problems.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Hand with glove spraying cleaner We offer disinfecting services

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – [SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines, (847) 956-1880

Effective Ways to Prepare for a Flood

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Sandbags for flood defense Sandbagging can be a good way to block water from coming into your building

In your organization, you will hopefully have some emergency preparedness procedures in place. These efforts can protect you and your co-workers from hard. Proper planning can also minimize the amount of damage your building suffers. Flooding is not uncommon in North Des Plaines, IL, so your company should be ready in case a disaster occurs. There are some steps you should follow to keep the problems at a minimum.

Know the Problem Areas

Flooding can occur at any time and in just about any place in your office. If you can identify common culprits, you can cut down on the chances of this incident from occurring. Here are areas where a flood is likely to start.

  • Leaky or broken pipes in walls or under sinks
  • Leaky appliances such as water heaters or refrigerators
  • Backed-up sewers or a broken main water line
  • Poor drainage or ineffective rain gutters and downspouts

Move Them on Up
Flood damage often starts on the lower levels of a building. As soon as any water starts to invade your office (or before, if possible), move items such as furniture, electronics, and documents to higher levels. If your workplace is all on one floor, get these materials off the ground.

Fill Those Sandbags
Sandbagging can be a good way to block water from coming into your building. This method can also reduce storm damage. If you don't currently have any sandbags, make sure you get some. It's best to place them around windows and doors.

Check Your Roof
A well-built roof should last for 30 years or more. You should still inspect it regularly to make sure there are no weak spots or damage. Floods often start from water coming in through leaky roofs. Inspect yours and repair it promptly if you find problems.
If you keep these tips in mind and use them, you can save your building from a catastrophe. If you have flooding, implement these ideas quickly and call a professional disaster relief company.

6 Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Sealant gun crack covers the crack in the floor of the wall tile concrete It is also crucial to seal all cracks and gaps along your foundation

Use The Following To Prevent That Big Freeze

With the winter months well underway, it is necessary to talk about home maintenance and pipe freeze prevention. One of the biggest threats to a house during the cold season is a frozen or burst pipe. Therefore, use the following six tools and tips to prevent that big freeze.

  • Insulation
  • Heat
  • Heat Tape
  • Sealant
  • Drips
  • Cabinet doors

Insulation

The first method to avoid frozen pipes is to use additional insulation around the supply lines. You want to pay particular attention to plumbing that runs along the exterior of the building, or that is exposed in basements and crawlspaces because these are most at risk to temperature fluctuations.

Heat

Next, for the supply lines inside the home, consider using space heaters aimed directly at the pipes. For example, if you know there are water lines inside of an external wall, try pointing a heater at that wall.

Heat Tape

The next line of defense in pipe freeze prevention is heat tape. There are several varieties of this type of tape, but it all works the same way, by using an electric current to keep the pipe from freezing.

Sealant

It is also crucial to seal all cracks and gaps along your foundation or supply line entry points. While some crack may seem insignificant, they may just be wide enough to cause temperature shifts and create problems for your plumbing.

Drips

When pipes freeze, they build pressure, which eventually leads to a burst pipe. An excellent way to prevent that buildup of pressure is to allow your faucets to drip. You don't have to let your faucets drip all winter, but when Mount Prospect, IL, is going to experience especially frigid temperatures, then it is a good idea.

Cabinet Doors

Last, on unusually cold nights, open the cabinet doors under sinks to allow the heat to circulate. You can also place a heater aimed under the sink to keep the space warm.
All of the above pipe freeze prevention tips are helpful, but a water mitigation expert might be able to offer more specific advice. In any case, do what you can to stay warm and prevent disaster.

3 Common Causes of House Fires and How to Prevent Them

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Four burning candles Unattended candles remain to be one of the leading causes of house fires

The Leading Fire Causes

Nobody ever wants to think about the possibility of a home fire, but it remains to be one of the biggest threats to human life. With your family and prized possessions at risk, it’s important to know what causes these disasters and how to prevent them.
The leading fire causes in North Des Plaines, IL include:

  • Cooking fires
  • Careless smoking
  • Unattended candles

1. Cooking Fires

Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires, accounting for half of the total fires in the state. This news comes as no surprise considering the open flames and intensive heating that happens in this room. If left unsupervised, cooking food could burn, resulting in a big fire and an expensive fire cleaning process. Therefore, stay in the kitchen until the meal is ready or leave someone else in charge.

2.Careless Smoking

Smoking poses a danger to your health in many ways, including the risk of igniting your house. While cigarette smoking accounts for only 5 percent of house fires in the entire country, the death rate sits at a whopping 23 percent. In most of these cases, the residents smoke while in the bedroom, and something accidentally catches fire after they fall asleep. It is safer to avoid smoking altogether, but if you must, do it outside the house where there’s little risk of starting an inferno.

3.Unattended Candles

There’s something about candles that makes people buy more of them despite the fire hazard they present. Maybe it’s because of the warm, cozy feeling they bring, or it’s the delicious scents they produce. Whatever the reason, unattended candles remain to be one of the leading causes of house fires. To avoid this, consider using safer alternatives such as flameless candles and wax warmers.
Home fires will always remain to be a massive threat, even though you might not think about it much. That’s why you need to be extra cautious in the kitchen and when using traditional candles.

Fires are Preventable

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Fire in a warehouse with boxes Don't let a fire get you down!

When it comes to your property, certain safety precautions can be taken to help prevent fires. Below are some tips that can help you to prevent a fire.

Electrical and Appliances Safety

  • Replace frayed and old worn electrical cords on appliances. Also make sure all extension cords are in good working condition and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three prong plug, use it only in a three slot outlet. Never force it into a two slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker and have replaced by a trained professional.

Fireplaces and Wood stoves

  • Inspect and clean wood stove pipes and chimneys annually and check for damage or obstructions monthly.
  • Always use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop a burning log from rolling out and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying embers.
  • Make sure that the fire is completely out before leaving your home or going to bed.

For more fire safety tips, visit ready.org and if a fire should occur call SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines at 847-956-1880 and our trained professionals will make it "Like it never even happened."

The Cost Difference Between Mitigation and Restoration During a Flood

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Flood waters outside with sandbags setup to prevent flood from spreading Flood are the most expensive natural disaster in the United States

Floods continue to be the most prevalent and expensive natural disaster in America. While preventative measures provide quicker and less expensive alternatives to the cost of hiring a flood cleanup company, many property owners do not mitigate against flood damage. This results in high costs and a lengthy restoration process.

Flood Prevention

One of the best preventative recommendations for flood damage is flood insurance, which property owners may purchase through the National Flood Insurance Program, managed by the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA), for an average of $700 per year.

Some other preventative methods include the following:

• Sealing basement walls with compounds that are waterproof
• Installing reflux valves to prevent drains from backing up
• Moving heat and electrical sources to higher levels
• Backing up data to the cloud
• Making a flood plan, including work-from-home opportunities

Once in place, these measures offer protection, year after year. Even better, property owners can usually have the cost partially or fully covered by FIMA.

Flood Cleanup

In contrast, property owners who did not take preventative measures must hire a flood cleanup company out of pocket. Every day the business is closed is a day of income lost, while the company may have salaried staff to pay.

Drying out the business may take the restoration company a few days, and this can only begin after the flood waters recede. Restoration to pre-flood conditions may only require an additional few days, but in worst case scenarios, it may take a business a while to completely rebuild. Not surprisingly, FEMA estimates that 40 percent of small businesses, many of which do not invest in preventative measures, fail to recover from natural disasters.

When it comes to flood damage, prevention is always better than a cure. Sure, a reputable flood cleanup company may restore your place of business in a matter of days, but investing in proactive measures is the best approach to natural disasters in Mount Prospect, IL.

Maintaining Your Business's Fire Sprinkler System

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Red sprinkler head Sprinkler maintenance is important for preventing unnecessary damage

Safeguarding your business in North Des Plaines,IL, by installing fire sprinklers has the potential to stop a fire in its track, saving lives and preventing extensive damage to your building. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sprinkler systems reduce the chance of fire deaths occurring by 50 to 75 percent, and there is a 50 to 66 percent cut in the average property loss. However, neglecting regular sprinkler maintenance can lead to accidental activation, which can cause unnecessary water damage. It is essential that you know how to properly maintain your sprinkler system and know what to do if it goes off when no fire is present.

Fire Sprinkler Maintenance Tips

Your business’s sprinkler system should be inspected and tested by a professional at least every five years. During this inspection, the fire service professional should perform the following sprinkler maintenance tasks:

  • Test control valves
  • Remove dirt and grime from sprinkler heads
  • Check water pressure
  • Ensure no tall objects are blocking the sprinklers
  • Look for signs of corrosion or rusting
  • Ensure proper calibration
  • Check pipes and plumbing connections

What To Do If the Sprinkler System Goes Off

There are several reasons a fire sprinkler goes off when it shouldn’t including neglecting maintenance, vandalism, and human error. If a contractor is working close to a sprinkler, accidental damage can cause it to spray. If this situation ever does occur, you can attempt to turn off the system if possible. It is a good idea to know where the shut-off valve to sprinklers are beforehand so you can turn it off if necessary. As soon a the sprinklers are shut off or turn off on their own, get in contact with a water restoration company that can address any damage that occurred.
Sprinkler maintenance is important for preventing unnecessary damage and ensuring the system works if a fire ever does occur. Always be cautious when working near sprinklers and call a professional if you suspect any damage has occurred.

How To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Rental Unit

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall Mold damage in a Mount Prospect, IL apartment

How To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Rental Unit

While owning a rental home in Mount Prospect, IL, may provide you with an additional source of income, it can also mean additional responsibilities. You will need to engage in all sorts of building maintenance, which also includes mold prevention. While the assistance of mold cleanup specialists can be helpful, you can prevent the extra expense by enacting the following practices.

Control Water and Humidity

Water damage and high humidity in general are the key instigators of most mold contamination cases, since mold spores are everywhere and need water to feed. Reduce excessive water by ensuring the plumbing system functions well and looking for signs of malfunction.

  • Puddles by toilets and sinks
  • Water shortages
  • Irregular water activity
  • Stained or soft drywall

If you or a tenant see any signs of plumbing issues, call a professional. The sooner the problem is resolved, the more you can mitigate potential damage and prevent mold growth.

Regulate the HVAC System

The HVAC system provides valuable heating and cooling throughout the building. However, it can also thwart your mold prevention plans. Even though proper ventilation stops moisture from leading to mold development, it can also distribute mold spores everywhere, resulting in massive spread and damage throughout the entire building. Control the temperature to decrease ventilation cycles, thus preventing additional spore travel.

Mind the Tenants' Plants

Another major source of mold is any plant life maintained by the tenants. The moisture and soil inherent in small gardens and even potted plants can invite mold in the rental unit. You have the authority to forbid plants inside the apartment and avoid the risk. If you are not that strict, you can recommend anti-mold measures such as combining Taheebo tea with regular plant water, which can discourage mold.
The upkeep of the rental units is one of your major responsibilities as a property owner or manager. Mold prevention tactics are important to keep your property intact and your tenants happy.

The Benefits of a Full-Service Restoration Company

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Three team member in front of a green mini van and air movers After a loss in North Des Plaines, IL, SERVPRO can assist

The Benefits of a Full-Service Restoration Company

Suffering any sort of disaster in North Des Plaines, IL, can be very stressful for a property owner. From salvaging important documents to meeting with the insurance adjuster, the list of tasks to complete can seem never-ending. However, finding the right restoration company can make the process easier for all involved.

Full-Service Restoration

Finding a different contractor for different jobs can increase the stress related to recovering from a disaster. Fortunately, SERVPRO, a full-service restoration company can streamline the process. The company provides a wide range of disaster-recovery services, including solutions for the following situations:

  • Mold growth
  • Storm damage
  • Flooding
  • Fire damage

Specialized services, including document restoration and odor removal, are also provided. Different locations may offer unique services, such as crime scene cleanup, so be sure to check with your local Franchise to see the full range of available services.

Effective Communication With Insurance Companies

The company can also help with compiling information to file an insurance claim and sharing that information with the insurance adjuster. The company can provide you with a loss inventory. The inventory is an Excel spreadsheet listing all the damaged items. When necessary, pictures are also included in the inventory. Adjusters have access to the online claims center which contains important information, including estimates, loss notices, photographs and other necessary documents.

Quality Service

Although SERVPRO helps clients through every step of the restoration process, the company does not let the breadth of services provided negatively affect the quality. Every Franchise receives training that meets the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification’s rigorous standards. Additionally, the Franchises are provided with high-quality equipment and a wealth of continuing education opportunities, so they can provide you with exceptional disaster recovery service.
After a loss in North Des Plaines, IL, SERVPRO can assist both the property owner and insurance adjuster to make the restoration process as smooth as possible. Visit the easy-to-navigate website for more information.