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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

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.

How to Remove Odor Caused By Contaminated Water

5/2/2020 (Permalink)

Worker scrubbing the floor with a brush, wet floor surface Hard surfaces are easier to clean but can still contribute to a bad odor if it was not scrubbed properly

How to Remove Odor Caused By Contaminated Water

Contaminated water can damage your North Des Plaines, IL, home in a variety of ways, from mold growth to ruined building materials. One thing that you may not necessarily expect is a lingering odor. If this has become a problem for you and the smell is lasting longer than you anticipated, some of the following may help.

1. Wash or Removed Affected Belongings
Sewage loss and flooding both involve highly contaminated water that can fill your home. This water can easily be absorbed by porous materials, like upholstered furniture, stuffed toys, clothing, and carpeting. If these are not cleaned, the odor will remain. Some items may need to be thrown out if you are unable to clean them thoroughly.
2. Clean Surfaces
Hard surfaces are easier to clean but can still contribute to a bad odor if it was not scrubbed properly after coming into contact with floodwater. With these items, a cloth and antibacterial cleaner should be able to get the job done.
3. Check For Mold
If you have had water damage in your house, then it is possible that you have some mold growth as well. This fungus can grow and spread in as little as a day when provided with the right conditions, which include plenty of moisture. A mold remediation specialist can inspect your home for growth and perform removal if necessary.
4. Use an Air Filter
Sometimes, you may still be noticing a bad odor even after thoroughly cleaning your home. If this happens, then the smell might be lingering in the air. Using an air filter or cleaner can help in this case. This equipment removes bacteria and other contaminants from the air, eliminating the source of the odor.
Bad smells after flooding or plumbing backups are often caused by mold growth and contaminants carried by the water. If you remove these from the building, then the odor will most likely go with it. Make sure to thoroughly clean your home to reduce the chances of further damage.

How To Treat injuries From a Fire

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

First Aid Training - Burn injury. First aid course. A burn is a special type of wound and requires a specific treatment protocol

How To Treat injuries From a Fire

A business fire is a scary event even when only property is involved. Fires often happen with surprising swiftness and the fire damage can easily cost thousands of dollars. In the best of outcomes, no injuries occur, but this is not always the case. Open flames, high temperatures, smoke inhalation, and falling materials create a dangerous atmosphere for people. As soon as possible, all people should vacate the property quickly. Any major injuries should be treated by healthcare professionals. if you are pressed into service to treat a burn injury, make sure to stay within your level of training.

Tips for Burn First Aid
A burn is a special type of wound and requires a specific treatment protocol. It is important to understand the difference between a major burn and a minor burn. A burn is considered major if it is deep, large, covers the hands, feet, face or groin area or involves gross discoloration of the skin. Until advanced medical personnel arrives, the treatment options for a serious burn include the following actions:

  • Protect the person from further harm
  • Remove tight items such as jewelry
  • Elevate the burned area
  • Monitor the person for signs of stress
  • Cover the burn with a cool, moist bandage

A building with fire damage might also cause minor burns in employees or customers. These wounds can often be treated with basic first aid such as pain relievers, cold water, bandages, and lotions that contain aloe vera.

Tips for Fire Restoration
When fire damage happens to a company in Mount Prospect, IL, a fire mitigation franchise can be called to address the situation. An experienced company will perform an inspection and assessment and then develop a plan of action for recovery. Removal of any water, as well as soot and smoke damage help, return the building to good shape again. The final steps involve a complete restoration of damaged areas of the building.

Tips for Keeping Your Roof in Good Shape

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Leaves and sticks piling up in a valley of a roof. There may be some leaves, sticks or other debris caught on your roof

Tips for Keeping Your Roof in Good Shape

When it comes to storm damage North Des Plaines, IL, one of the main areas most vulnerable to damage is your roof. A roof can be expensive to repair, and when it has been damaged, it can take a while for storm cleanup specialists to clean up the debris. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help keep the roof in good shape. Performing some routine maintenance from time to time can increase the lifespan of your roof, and can help prevent a roof leak or storm damage.

Clean the Gutters

Cleaning the gutters is one of the most important things to do when it comes to roof maintenance. Gutters often become clogged with debris, including:

  • Fallen leaves
  • Sticks and branches
  • Bird nests
  • Pieces of the roof
  • Plants

These items can easily clog your gutters, preventing them from eliminating water like they are supposed to. It isn't the most pleasant task, but cleaning the gutters will help water flow through the gutters smoothly.

Remove Branches That May Fall

Falling branches can be devastating to a roof, and often will destroy it completely. Pay attention to branches that could fall on your roof. A storm large enough to cause wind damage can cause a branch to fall. This is particularly important for the fall and winter months. As snow moves in, it can put extra weight on the branches, causing them to snap. Consider hiring someone to remove branches that are threatening your roof.

Remove Debris on Roof

There may be some leaves, sticks, or other debris caught on your roof. Over time, this can weigh the roof down, causing a roof leak. Prevent this by eliminating debris that may have fallen onto your roof. After a snowstorm, try to remove some of the snow from the roof to prevent a cave-in.
These steps should help you with preventing a roof leak or any other roofing problems. Do this maintenance to help keep your roof in good condition.

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.

What Are Landlord Responsibilities Following an Apartment Fire?

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

High rise condominium or apartment fire with flames coming out the windows Apartment fire in North Des Plaines, IL

What Are Landlord Responsibilities Following an Apartment Fire?

If you're in the business of maintaining rental properties, you need to understand your responsibilities if one of your properties is affected by an apartment fire.

Responsibilities Toward Tenants

One of the inherent rights of tenants is that the property is habitable. This is a blanket statement that covers the quality of the living space and the ability to live in the apartments. Some of the duties involved in this include

  • Providing reliable hot water
  • Maintaining heating systems
  • Repairing broken structural components
  • Protecting against pest infestations


Of course, there are many other concerns outlined by federal and local safety codes. When an apartment fire breaks out, you are still responsible in all of these areas, and you have additional responsibilities.

Call Your Insurance Agent

There are several things you need to do immediately after the fire and in the days following the event. As soon as you can, begin by contacting your insurance agent to begin the claims process. Your agent may recommend fire damage cleanup and repair professionals; the sooner you call, the sooner they can get the apartment back into a habitable condition.

Talk to Your Tenants

Next, talk to your tenants about their well-being. If they were responsible for the fire (such as by leaving a candle unattended,) keep a record of the specifics of the conversation. Encourage tenants to contact their insurance provider to arrange for temporary housing. If they don't have insurance, the American Red Cross may be a valuable resource.

Leave Cleanup and Repairs to Professionals

Don't attempt cleanup and repairs on your own. It's easy to make mistakes that could cause further structural damage or invalidate your claim. Instead, follow instructions provided by your insurance agent and the fire and smoke damage professionals responsible for cleaning up and rebuilding the property. You may take steps to add security while the property is vulnerable.

When an apartment fire breaks out and damages your North Des Plaines, IL, property. You need to take quick action to protect yourself and your tenants. Make sure you understand your legal responsibilities before disaster strikes.

How to Protect Your Commercial Building this Flood Season

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Sandbags protecting a neighborhood Barricade the perimeter with sandbags

How to Protect Your Commercial Building this Flood Season

While not tied to any season, most flooding occurs during the spring and fall months in Mount Prospect, IL. As a commercial property owner operating in this area, it is necessary to keep those seasons in mind and to prepare a plan for how you are going to handle any potential crisis. Thankfully, flood mitigation experts are available to help you design a plan specific to your facility's needs. Any plan you come up with, however, will likely use at least three steps or parts.

  • Barricade the perimeter
  • Secure exterior furniture and art
  • Protect integral equipment

Barricade the Perimeter
The essential element used to defend against possible flood damage is a barricade. However, as you are dealing with water, you need to use a source material that is heavy and somewhat absorbent, which means that sand is typically the best choice. While you may not be able to afford to stack sandbags all the way around your property, it is essential that you create walls to protect entryways and vulnerable points, like doors and windows. Also, make sure that the bags are stacked higher than the expected water levels.

Secure Exterior Furniture and Art
Next, flooding does not just create a concern for water levels and problems; it also creates a concern for property loss caused by floating debris and furniture. Therefore, if you have benches or other furniture outside of your building, either remove it and store it someplace safe or secure it to the concrete and weigh it down. The same goes for sculptures, statues or other garden art.

Protect Integral Equipment
Last, to prevent storm damage and floodwaters from affecting any merchandise or sensitive equipment, be sure to move everything of value to a higher level in the building. Also, it is likely wise to keep everything unplugged just in case water levels do rise inside your property, reaching the electrical outlets.
Flooding can happen any time of the year, and if your commercial facility is in an area prone to such disasters, then make sure to take the appropriate precautions. If unsure how to plan ahead, then contact a flood mitigation expert to advise you.

Take Steps Now to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing This Winter

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Heat tape Use heat tape on pipes that are located in unheated crawlspaces or in the ceiling

Your home in North Des Plaines,IL is a cozy and safe haven from the world where you and your family can enjoy warmth and security in spite of the frosty winter. What happens, however when that icy outdoors invites itself inside and causes frozen pipes, possibly even causing a burst pipe? Putting some pipe freeze prevention measures in place can save you the grief of a flooded home.

5 Pipe Freeze Prevention Tips

Icy walls and cold temperatures can cause pipes to burst and flood your home. Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent most of them from happening. Here are a few ideas that may help

Wrap your pipes and fittings with pool float tubes split lengthwise to insulate them
Use heat tape on pipes that are located in unheated crawlspaces or in the ceiling
Open cabinets that house plumbing to allow room heat in
During frigid temperatures, turn your faucets to a fast drip or slow stream to keep pipes open
Make sure to disconnect hoses from any outdoor faucets and insulate them on the inside

Thawing Frozen Pipes
If you do get frozen pipes, you should never use a blow torch or fast thawing method as it could suddenly erupt and send water flooding through the basement. You should shut off your water supply, turn the faucets on. Place a gently heat source such as a space heater or infrared lamp close to the wall where the blockage is located. You can also turn the heat up in the house to slowly thaw the pipes.
Waiting too long to employ pipe freeze prevention tactics could result in a burst pipe, leaving you with damaged floors and carpets. When the water is from a clean source such as a water supply, then carpets may be saved. If the cleanup is more than you can handle, you’ll need to call a professional water remediation service in North Des Plaines,IL to help with cleaning and restoration. Your best bet is to take a proactive stance and protect your home before cold weather hits.

How To Put Out a Grease Fire

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

A jar with the word baking on it and in front of the jar there is a spoon with baking soda. Smother a small cooking fire with salt or baking soda.

Putting Out Grease Fire

A grease fire is one of the most common ways house fires begin. They often start because food was left unattended while cooking, but even under close watch, fires can happen. All it takes is for a little grease to spill over the side of a pan, and you have the potential of a fire starting. Here are 5 steps to putting out a fire involving grease.

1. Remove the Source of Oxygen

Place a metal lid over the fire. If a lid is not easily accessible, a cookie sheet will also do the trick. Do not remove the lid until the fire is out and it is cool to the touch.

2. Remove it From the Heat

Turn off the source of heat. If you can safely do so, and the fire is contained in a pan, remove the pan from the heat.

3. Smother the Fire

Water should never be used to put out a grease fire. It can splash and spread the fire, making it much worse than it was. Instead, smother a small cooking fire with salt or baking soda.

4. Use a Fire Extinguisher

If you have a class B fire extinguisher that is made to handle chemical fires, you can use it on the fire. Since you should not touch or inhale too much of the powder, you should use this as a last resort.

5. What To Do if All Else Fails

If these steps fail and you are not able to put out the fire or it is spreading, evacuate the area as quickly as possible. Get everyone outside and call emergency services so that your local fire department can put out the fire. Remain outside until they tell you it is safe to go back in.


If you experience a grease fire in Mount Prospect, IL, you need to get the fire out as quickly as possible while protecting your safety. If your home sustains damage, you may want to call a professional fire restoration company for fire cleanup. They are trained to repair or replace damaged items and remove any lingering odors.

Does Your Home Have A Mold Problem?

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Person pointing at mold growth on the wall Mold can spread quickly and cause health risks

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 847-956-1880

Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growing on a tray in a laboratory We specialize in mold removal

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 847-956-1880

What To Do Now To Prepare For A Flood

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Parking garage flooded with black water Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.

  • Know types of flood risks in your area. Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center https://msc.fema.gov/portal for information.
  • Sign up for your community's warning system (EAS) The Emergency Alert System.
  • If flash flooding is a risk in your location, monitor potential sign, such a heavy rain.
  • Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans,and flash flood response.
  • Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately or if services are cut off including medications, pet needs, batteries or and other critical equipment.
  • Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days to go into effect. Get Flood coverage under the(NFIP) the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password protected digital copies.
  • Protect your property by moving valuables to higher levels, declutter drains and gutters, install check valves and consider a sump pump with a battery.

Remember that SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines, 847-956-1880, is available 24/7 to help you if the need should arise.

Mount Prospect/North Des plaines Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

Man shutting off the main water valve Basements are inherently prone to flooding.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 847-956-1880

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 847-956-1880

Faster to your Water Damage Event

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water leaking from a faucet Water damage is our specialty

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

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines 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 – 847-956-1880

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 Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines

SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines 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.

Importance of Sprinkler Systems in Commercial Properties

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler system in the ceiling Sprinkler systems can help make your business safer in multiple ways

Whether you have purchased a commercial property or are in the process of building a commercial building, before a new company can open for business; it must be in compliance with local, state and federal fire safety standards. As a commercial building owner or property manager, one of your biggest concerns is protecting the investment you've made in your business and the people who work there.

Sprinkler systems can help make your business safer in multiple ways. Sprinklers work by detecting the heat from a fire and automatically turning them on. While the spray from the sprinklers is not always enough to put out the fire, it goes a long way to suppressing the fire and allowing more evacuation time until the fire department can get there. 

Fire and water damage not only affects the structure of your building and it's contents but also your emotions. Don't take on the stress of dealing with this on your own, Call SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines at 847-956-1880 and let us make this "Like it never even happened."

Biohazard Cleanup Services

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage damage in a commercial warehouse building Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can cause serious health issues

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies nationwide, SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines professionals offer fast, reliable biohazard cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercials properties.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can have serious health issues for building occupants, employees, customers and owners. Our professionals are trained to safely, effectively and discreetly remove biohazardous substances and prepare it for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. Our services include:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Crime Scene and Suicides
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Urine and Feces
  • Rodent Droppings
  • Vandalism
  • Extensive Hoarding
  • Sewage Backup

SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines can help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe properties and make a difficult or personal situation easier to handle. We are here for you in your time of need. Call 847-956-1880

Warning Signs of Faulty Wiring or Electrical Systems

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

Plug on fire in an electrical outlet Electric fires account for 34,000 house fires a year

Electrical failure or malfunctions account for an estimated 34,000 home fires, on average, per year and result in roughly 440 deaths and $1.3 billion in direct property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This threat is higher in older homes built before the 1950's due to lower electrical wiring standards, however; even newer homes are at risk. Older homes were built to handle 30 amps of power, but most newer homes demand 100 to 200 amps. Listed below are some of the warning signs that may indicate an electrical problem in your home:

  • Flickering or dimming lights.
  • Switches or outlets that are hot to touch and/or give off a strong burnt rubber odor.
  • Discolored cords, outlets and switch plates.
  • Repeatedly blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers.

If you have any any of these, contact a licensed electrician immediately to examine and repair any electrical problems and if the need for fire restoration is required, we are there to make it "Like it never even happened". SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines, 847-956-1880.

Recipe for Safety

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Gas stove top turned on Make sure to shut off your stove when you leave the house

Cooking Safety Tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave the room for even a second, turn your stove or cooking device off.
  • When you are simmering, baking, or roasting, check the food regularly or use a timer to remind you.
  • Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles such as potholders, paper towels, food packaging, etc...
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of at least three feet around the stove.
  • If an oven fire starts, turn off the oven and keep the door closed. If the fire does not go out, get out of the house and the fire department.

Please remember that education in prevention is the best way to keep you and your family safe. In the event there is a fire, call your local fire department and then call SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines at 847-956-1880 to help you with all your fire restoration needs. 

Build an Emergency Kit

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Fire alarm with sign "this is not a drill" Being prepared ahead of time is the best way to reduce stress during an emergency.

Be Prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. Ready.gov suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit:

  • 3-day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Water (one + gallon per person per day)
  • Prescription medication
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hygiene products
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Cell phone charger
  • Change of clothes
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Pet supplies
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Important documents such as insurance policies, ID's, and bank records in a container

You can also keep a condensed emergency kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive list, check out Ready.gov. and remember, if needed; we are her to help you, call SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines at 847-956-1880.

4 Tips for First Responders During and After a Flood

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

CPR training medical procedure - Demonstrating chest compressions on CPR doll in the class CPR training medical procedure

4 Ways You Can Help As a First Responder

When extreme weather hits Mount Prospect, IL, what happens during the initial flood response is of the utmost importance. Whether it’s performing simple first aid or contacting a water damage restoration company, acting quickly and intelligently can help prevent further injury to both people and property. If you're one of the first on the scene after a flood, here are four ways to increase your power to help as a first responder.

1. Get CPR Certified

In a perfect world, everyone would be CPR certified. If you find someone unconscious during a flood, it's imperative to start chest compressions quickly. (Providing mouth-to-mouth is no longer necessary.) Springing into action immediately can buy the paramedics valuable time.

2. Remember RICE

If someone suffers a sprain or strain during the chaos that can accompany a flood, remember RICE:

Rest the affected area.
Ice it to lessen swelling.
Compress the area with a bandage or other wrap to minimize swelling.
Elevate the injury.

Even if you don’t have all of the necessary supplies on hand, following as many of these steps as possible, as promptly as possible, can kick-start the healing process while you wait for help to arrive.

3. Know How To Treat a Wound

As a first responder, you don't have the luxury of being squeamish about blood. If someone on-site is bleeding heavily, you should apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth. If he or she bleeds through it, apply another layer on top of the soaked one. If you can raise the wound above the injured person's heart, do so. If there's debris in the wound, exercise caution around it, but don't remove it.
4. Get Your Shots

For those who are first responders in a professional capacity, such as paramedics, the Centers for Disease Control requires immunizations for two diseases: hepatitis B and tetanus. As a layperson, keeping your immunization record up to date can help prevent the spread of disease as well.
A well-prepared first responder can mean the difference between life and loss. Remember these four tips to increase your odds of safely helping others during a flood.

When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready!

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Rain and hail hit the roof of a house Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage!

SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 847-956-1880

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Sprinkler in a commercial building You can be left with extensive water damage due to sprinkler systems

Flooding and water damage events at Mount Prospect/North 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

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke pours into a stairwell Fires can cause immense damage and the aftermath can be stressful

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 property with care.

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

Protect Your Home From Water Damage While on Vacation

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

Faucet with water coming out Make sure all of your faucets are off when you leave for a long period of time!

Nobody wants to return from vacation to find a flooded house in need of new carpet and water pipe repair. When a pipe bursts while you’re away for an extended period of time, water damage becomes more likely, which is why it’s important to take precautions. Before your next trip, follow these leak-proofing steps to help ensure a dry house when you return to Mount Prospect, IL.

Perform a Visual Inspection

Before you leave, carefully inspect your home for water seepage. Some common sources of household leaks include the following:

• Windows
• Pipes
• Large appliances

Around windows, look for discoloration of surrounding surfaces and ensure the seals are in working order. In addition to searching for a broken pipe, inspect for rust and cracks, as these are signs of weakness in the metal. Inspect the hoses that connect major appliances, such as dishwashers and water heaters, to running water, ensuring there are no tears or kinks. Perform this inspection in advance to allow yourself time to make a water pipe repair or get help from a professional if necessary.

Guard Against the Elements

During cold months, leave your thermostat set on low to prevent water from freezing and bursting your pipes. Insulate those outdoors with foam or fiberglass sleeves that are sold in hardware stores. If you’ll be gone for a considerable amount of time, consider shutting off the water at the main and draining pipes if temperatures may reach freezing. Look into digital detection systems, which notify you of leaks and can even remotely shut off water.

Enlist Backup

If possible, arrange for someone to occasionally check on your house while you’re away. Show this person your house’s water shut-off valve and instruct him or her how to use the thermostat. Since water damage requires a hasty response, be sure the individual knows to immediately call a plumber or water damage repair expert at the first sign of trouble.

When in doubt, be proactive. After all, who wants to ruin a vacation by worrying about water pipe repair? By taking simple precautions against leakage, you can avoid concern about returning from vacation to a flooded home.

What Is Category 3 Water Damage and How To Recover From It

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Water coming out of a down spout Water damage can cause serious damage to your home or business.

There is so much to consider when you experience flood water at your business in Mount Prospect, IL. One of the many considerations is what category the water is and what kind of recovery the resulting level of damage requires. The worst possibility is category 3 water. It is important to understand what you are dealing with and how to protect yourself and employees.

What Is Category 3 Water Damage?

Category 3 water damage is the unhealthiest level. It occurs when highly contaminated water, or flood water, infiltrates materials such as wood and sheetrock, leading to poor environmental conditions. This type of liquid can come from broken sewer lines, severe weather conditions, flash floods, backed-up sewer mains, and even toilet overflow.

Why Is Category 3 Water Damage Dangerous?

There are serious health concerns involved with category 3 water damage. The highly contaminated black water can carry pathogens that can lead to communicable diseases such as hepatitis, tetanus, HIV, tuberculosis, and West Nile virus. The water can spread quickly through a building, making it very difficult to properly clean up all the materials in which it can permeate.

How Does a Business Recover from Category 3 Water Damage?

To recover from a flooding event, it is important to allow a professional company specializing in water damage repair to thoroughly clean your building. Make sure the company is certified in category 3 damage. These professionals can ensure you meet OSHA and EPA standards at your place of business for the sake of all employees. If possible, move your workplace to another location during the cleanup process. Using a professional cleaning company can help reduce the spread of pathogens, aid in reconstruction of damaged structures, and help with recovering salvageable materials and personal belongings.

Cleaning up from a flood water event in your business is not easy. Do not risk your health and the health of your employees by trying to restore category 3 water damage by yourself. Call a professional instead.

How Water Affects Common Building Materials

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Leaking faucet filling sink with water Water leaks can cause serious damage in your home or business.

Large volumes of water can destroy your home’s internal structures. To minimize swelling wood and other forms of destruction, you need to quickly and efficiently remove standing water and eliminate moisture. Understanding how water destroys various building materials can also help you assess the salvageability of water-damaged items inside your home.

Dry-Soaked Objects

Eliminating water and moisture is one of the first steps of the cleanup process and is essential for damage control. You can utilize a variety of methods to expediate drying:

• Open windows
• Use fans and a dehumidifier
• Employ a shop vac to soak up pooled water

Wooden Materials

A common indication of water damage is swelling wood. Wooden structures inside your home that may be influenced by excessive water exposure include:

• Subfloors
• Baseboards and door frames
• Cabinets

When exposed to water, plywood may warp and delaminate. Particleboard can also bloat and distort. As a result, you may need to replace saturated subfloors. However, your ability to salvage wooden items will largely depend on the extent of water exposure.

Drywall Saturation

Both drywall and insulation absorb water. When saturated, drywall becomes soft and weak while insulation loses its R-value, thus reducing its effectiveness. Wet drywall and insulation can also become breeding grounds for mold and mildew. For this reason, saturated drywall and insulation should be promptly removed and replaced once the damaged area is dry.

Carpet Replacement

Like drywall and insulation, carpets and padding absorb water. Because wet carpets can also harbor mold and mildew, drying them quickly is essential. If the floor is extremely saturated, you may need to replace both items.

Professional Assistance

Every home in Mount Prospect, IL, is potentially susceptible to water damage. Removing standing water and quickly drying the area is crucial to minimizing destruction, including swelling wood. If your property suffers significant damage, you may want to hire a professional cleanup and restoration team. A licensed plumber can also inspect the water supply line, complete a water pipe repair to the damage and offer suggestions to minimize bursting pipes.

3 Reasons Not To Drive During a Flood

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

Cars in black flood water in a parking garage Heavy rains can cause flooding and make driving extremely risky

During a severe storm, heavy rains can cause flooding in Mount Prospect, IL. While it can be frustrating to be stuck at home, there are very few reasons to risk driving on a flooded street. On the other hand, there are plenty of reasons why you should avoid driving during a flood.

1. You could lose control of your car. Even a small amount of water can result in hydroplaning, which is when your car’s tires lose traction against the road. When there are flooded roads, the risk of losing control of your vehicle is even greater. Just two feet of water is enough to wash away most cars, and smaller automobiles can be carried away with even less. If this happens, you may end up having to abandon your vehicle.

2. It can be difficult to see the condition of the roads. Water isn’t the only thing that can present an issue during a storm. A flooded street can easily hide debris, sinkholes, and other road damage. Flood water can fill holes in the road, making it look safe to drive on even though there may be hidden dangers lurking beneath the water.

3. You could damage your car. Most cars are not designed to travel in high waters and could suffer a lot of damage if you attempt to drive on a flooded street. If the water is high enough, it can enter the engine or other parts of the car. Not only can this affect your safety while you are driving, but you may also end up needing to spend money on water damage repair.

Driving during a flood is risky and dangerous. The water can pose threats to both you and your vehicle. One of the best travel tips for driving in a storm is simply not to. When there is a flood in Mount Prospect, IL, you should try to stay inside and off of the roads whenever possible.

Tenant and Owner Responsibilities After a Fire

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

Fire spreads into stairwell of apartment building Fires in an apartment building aren't fun for the landlord or the tenants

Whether you've experienced an apartment fire, a commercial fire or a fire at a rented home in Mount Prospect, IL, the effects can be devastating to both the tenant and the landlord. It may not be clear who is responsible when it comes to the fire damage. Depending on the circumstances, liability can be divided up very differently. Let's look at some particulars.

Landlord Responsibilities

Generally, the landlord is responsible for hiring the restoration company to repair structural damage after a business, house or apartment fire. Damage may include:

• Structural damage to:
o Walls
o Floors
o Carpeting
o Pool Houses
o Sheds
• Damage to fixtures and appliances:
o Cabinets
o Countertops
o Plumbing
o Electrical wiring
o Supplied appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators

Tenant Responsibilities

In most cases, the tenant is responsible for any damage done to his or her personal property. The tenant will have to go to his or her insurance company to recover the loss of items such as:

• Clothing
• Furniture
• Computers
• TVs
• Tenant-owned appliances
• Video game consoles
• Musical instruments

Liability Claims

Sometimes, there is a question of who is liable for the damage. If the landlord is proved to be responsible (for instance, due to negligence regarding the property's electrical wiring), he can be made to pay for damage to the renters' personal belongings, wages lost, costs related to finding another place to stay, and more. Conversely, if the landlord can prove that the renter was somehow negligent, the renter may be responsible for any costs related to repairing the property. If the landlord is unable to prove this, he will be liable for any structural repair, as it's the landlord's responsibility to see to it that the property is in a livable condition.

Be Prepared

Whether you are a renter or a landlord who's suffered a commercial fire, apartment fire or house fire, you will need to make sure that you have immediately contacted your insurance company, have made a detailed list of any property that's been damaged, and taken pictures of any damage to the structure and property, as well as any evidence of negligence. That way you will be prepared for any subsequent questions from the insurance company, and ensure that you're only incurring cost for the fire damage that you're actually responsible for

3 Parts To Check When a Commercial Toilet Keeps Running

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Water on floor because of toilet overflow Toilet leaks and overflow can cause water damage on any property

Your Mount Prospect, IL, commercial building’s toilets need to run efficiently for the comfort of your employees and customers. However, when a plumbing issue like a toilet overflow happens, it can be unpleasant for everyone. This problem may be caused by a variety of issues, but some can be fixed without the assistance of a plumber. If a toilet keeps running, there are several parts you can check before you call in a flood damage and cleanup service to ensure your bathrooms are properly dried and deodorized after an overflow.

1. The Gasket

Once you turn off the water, the first step to take is to open the winter flushometer. This is the part that causes a commercial toilet to flush efficiently. Use a screwdriver and a wrench to remove this unit’s lid. The gasket is usually located directly under the lid. If it contains a lot of debris or buildup, carefully remove and clean the gasket thoroughly.

2. The Weep Hole

A commercial toilet’s weep hole controls its suction, so when it gets clogged, this may affect water flow and cause a continuous flush. When you remove the toilet’s gasket, take a close look at this small hole. Clean it carefully with a slim tool and ensure all the sediment and other debris is cleared out. This may stop a toilet from flushing constantly and prevent a future toilet flood.

3. The Flange Cover

If this part is loose or corroded, it may be affecting the unit’s proper operation and contribute to a toilet overflow. Note how much water you find under the cover. If there is enough to run over when you remove it, there may be a leak in the gasket or the cover might be faulty, and one or both could need replacing.

When your Mount Prospect, IL, commercial building experiences a toilet overflow, it can be embarrassing and unpleasant. However, you may be able to repair it by checking and cleaning a few important parts inside the unit to prevent future floods.

Securing Your Building Post-Fire

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers are the first line of defense against a fire Fire extinguisher training can be crucial in preventing fires in a business

Is your Mount Prospect, IL, commercial property suffering after a fire? If you are planning on seeking help from a local fire damage restoration company, you are already on the right track. But you also need to keep your building safe in the meantime. Follow these three steps to make sure looting does not affect your business in the aftermath of a commercial fire.

1. Identify and Secure Open Spaces

Survey your building very carefully when beginning your fire cleanup efforts. Ensure that all windows, doors and other open spaces are securely locked. Next, make sure that you purchase some sturdy boards that will be sufficiently protective for the type of opening that you are securing. The length of time you expect the boards to be in place should also influence what type of covering you buy.

2. Research Further Options

While waiting to repair fire damage to your building, you may want to invest in some fencing for added security. This really depends on whether or not you feel that your building is in an area prone to heavy looting, as well as the amount of time you expect your business to be shut down for.

3. Consider Advanced Security Options

If you feel that your company’s geographical area is highly unsafe or expect you will be closed for a very long time, security services or a high-tech alarm may be the way to go. These options allow your building to be secured when you are not physically available to keep a close watch.

Don’t Get Intimidated

Fire damage is stressful enough without worrying about highly customizable security options. You need to focus on fixing any destruction first and foremost, so if you think complicated security measures are out of the question logistically or financially, stick with basic, reliable boards that will keep your Mount Prospect, IL business protected not only from criminal activity, but also the unpredictable natural elements.

Choosing the Right Restoration Company

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Disasters are devastating. Whether caused by fire or water, whether big or small, they can turn your world upside down in a matter of minutes.  Even the strongest of us can feel helpless, not knowing where to turn to get the best help possible; but fortunately for you, SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines is nearby and is ready to help 24/7.

But why SERVPRO? After all, there are other companies who make the same claims.  Consider this: if you have to undergo surgery due to a dangerous and life-threatening condition, wouldn’t you insist on having a surgeon the best surgeon possible with extensive training, years of experience, and a sterling reputation to get you back to good health? Well, your property is probably the biggest investment you’ll make in your lifetime, so it’s also very important to have a company with the knowledge, experience and reputation you can trust to return your property to its pre loss condition or better. We offer a full line of services so we are able to handle your disaster from beginning to end and make it "Like it never even happened."

Three of the Best Reasons to Use SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines, Illinois:

  1. Training – We never stop learning and honing our skills. We’re trained to IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) high standards in fire and water cleanup and restoration, biohazard and mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses. Additionally, our industry professionals regularly attend SERVPRO continuing education classes.
  2. Equipment – We use the professional equipment needed to completely clean and remove the effects of water, mold, soot, smoke, odor and more. During the past few years, there’s been a rapid advancement in the technology and techniques used in the restoration industry. These advancements allow SERVPRO of Mount Prosepct/North Des Plaines to restore your property quickly, reliably, and more effectively.
  3. Experience – SERVPRO is very reputable. They started over 50 years ago and currently have over 1,700 franchises nationwide. The extensive knowledge that SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines has makes us the go-to-disaster restoration company to call. Our experience will enhance your experience with us!

We sincerely hope that you’ll never be in a situation where you need to call a restoration company, however if you are; give us a call and we’ll make it as easy as possible for you. Call 847-956-1880.

The Science of Drying

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? The knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction maybe to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines employees are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chance of any secondary damage. If your business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines will:

  Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening. 

  Measure how much moisture is in what materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly. 

 Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

Hire Professionals Who Understand

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines News And Updates

Whenever you have a problem with your home, the first impulse is usually to tackle the problem yourself. Sometimes this can be the right choice, and the problem’s easy enough to solve on your own. Other times it’s much safer and smarter to call in the pros from the beginning.

Tracking down tricky leaks is one of those times. Sure, some leaks are easy to track down, but water has a way of traveling odd paths. So once finding a leak gets tough, then it’s time to call in some help. And here’s why:

They Know Where to Look

Water can travel strange paths before it finally comes out into your home, and you might be surprised how far it can come. That discolored spot on your basement ceiling could actually be caused by a leak in your roof, or your wall on the opposite side of the house.

Professionals have tracked down hundreds, even thousands of leaks over the years. That experience gives them a wide variety of usual suspects to check, and a good number of unusual ones, too.

They Know What to Look For

That slight, turquoise line along your copper pipe? That’s where water has run along the outside and caused the copper to oxidize. It’s a sure sign that a leak is sending water traveling on the wrong side of the pipes.

Pros know these and dozens of other signs. What looks like a bit of dirt to you might indicate a serious leak in your roof, foundation, or wall. Or it might just be some dirt. A professional will be able to know the difference for certain.

They’ve Got the Right Equipment

Most of us can only use our eyes or sense of touch to lead us to water, but not the professionals. They have a wide variety of specialized equipment that can sense moisture and humidity through walls or probe underground for water deposits using ground penetrating radar.

This equipment can be expensive to buy and tricky to use. They have years of experience using the equipment, and know how to put it to good use.

SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines (847) 956-1880

Making, Processing and Settling an Insurance Claim

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Several features set SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines apart from other mitigation and restoration companies. These distinctions should be clear to an insurance adjuster as well as homeowners. Here are four ways this company facilitates the process of making, processing and settling an insurance claim.

1. Fast Response A fast response on the part of a mitigation and restoration company benefits clients and insurers. The sooner that damage can be professionally assessed, the sooner mitigation can start. A call response time of one hour, a four hour window for an on-site visit and an eight hour window for a verbal briefing can limit extensive primary and secondary damage.

2. Accurate Estimates A company can make more accurate estimates by hiring certified professionals, relying on a national network of locations for training and maintaining data on locations. An insurance adjuster can use the Claims Information Center to obtain information about individual estimates and compare different companies, causes of loss and job files costs. All of this data adds up to more accurate estimates that account for mitigation and restoration.

3. All-In-One Service Rather than working with separate mitigation and restoration companies, clients and insurers may prefer a one-stop shop. A company that handles the damage remediation process from start to finish can provide a more accurate estimate from the start. There will also be less need to worry about adjusting schedules or necessary tasks getting lost in the shuffle.

4. Electronic Claims Service In addition to the aggregated data available through an electronic claims service, this portal can also make it easy for a restoration service and insurer to share information. This resource can speed up insurance claim processing and allow for faster settlements. All of these are ways in which SERVPRO, a national mitigation and restoration company with local and regional franchises, can support insurers and clients. Whether you are an insurance adjuster or homeowner in the Mount Prospect or Des Plaines area, you should consider hiring SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines for the best results.

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