Recent Posts

3 Differences Between Mold and Mildew

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

The finger of the hand points to the black fungus on the white wall. There are two common types that you might need to be concerned with: mildew and mold

Important Differences Between Mildew And Mold Damage

If you are experiencing high levels of humidity in your home in Bloomingdale, IL, or have recently had water damage, then you might notice fungal growth in some areas of the house. There are two common types that you might need to be concerned with: mildew and mold. While they may have some similarities, there are some important differences between mildew and mold damage.

1. Appearance

The easiest way to tell whether you have mold or mildew growth is likely going to be the appearance of the fungus. Mold is often fuzzy in texture, but some varieties appear slimy. This fungus comes in a wide range of colors, from green to orange to black. Mildew, on the other hand, will have a chalky or powdery texture and will usually be gray or white.

2. Location

Mold tends to grow in more varied locations than mildew. You can find mold growth nearly anywhere. It might show up between bathroom tiles, behind walls or underneath carpeting. Mildew will more often be found on living plants or other organic materials such as paper and wood. Mildew tends to grow on the surface of objects while mold will grow beneath the surface.

3. Removal

The way that these two fungi grow means that they have different requirements for removal. Mold damage can spread beneath the surface of certain materials and can, therefore, be more difficult to remove. Mildew generally only requires a superficial cleaning and can often be removed with soap and a cloth.
While mildew is usually a mild problem that is easy to handle on your own, mold damage should be taken care of by a professional. This damage is often more severe and can keep returning if it is not thoroughly removed. It is also possible to inadvertently spread this fungus further throughout the house if the proper steps are not taken during cleanup. A mold remediation company can help if you have this type of growth in your home.

3 Alternatives to Traditional Sand Bags

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

Sandbag pile protection from flood or enemy fire A sand bag works great to stop water from passing into your building

Keep Your Business Safe By Implementing One of These Unique Products

A sand bag works great to stop water from passing into your building. However, they can be bulky and heavy. If you own a business where flooding is likely, you may be glad to know there are several alternatives on the market. Keep your business in Schaumburg, IL, safe by implementing one of these unique products:

1. Water Filled Barriers Several companies, including HydraBarrier and AquaDam, have developed innovative solutions using water to keep unwanted water away. These flood dams can be rolled up and stored in a garage when they are not needed. Once a flood warning is issued, roll them out and fill them with water to create a barrier that will protect your property from flood damage. On the smaller end, they will protect up to 50 feet, with the largest ones able to protect an entire city block.

2. Water Absorbers This low maintenance solution can be left out all year long by placing it in front of the area you wish to protect. The diaper-like material shrinks when it is dry and expands when it is wet. Once expanded, it creates a barrier that water cannot pass through. Similar to a sand bag, they can be bought in various sizes and stacked to create more height.

3. Instant Levees Progressive Innovations offers The Instee Levee Builder and the Quick Levee Builder. These solutions require advanced planning and specialized equipment, but they are good solutions for larger projects. A 3 person crew can fill 400 18-inch sand bags per hour. If your business borders a body of water, this may be worth the investment.
Even with the best traditional sand bag alternative, you could still find yourself facing a storm you were not prepared for. If you experience flooding, seeking the help of a professional water remediation company will have your business back up and running as quickly as possible.

The 5 Steps to a Water Damage Claim

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

Hole on a drywall, sliding door that goes to a terrace Water damage in a Bartlett, IL home

The 5 Steps to a Water Damage Claim

Bursting pipes in your home can create quite the mess, especially if the break occurs when you are not home. What do you do, and how to you how do you go about making an insurance claim? Follow five steps to combat the problem and notify the insurer.

  1. Mitigate problem
  2. Contact Insurance and restoration services
  3. Assess damage
  4. Complete work
  5. Secure payment

Mitigate Problem
First, you need to mitigate the problem, which means you need to fix broken pipe, or at least stop the water from gushing. Find your water shutoff valve in the affected area and cut the supply.
Contact Insurance and Restoration Services
Next, you should contact your insurer about the water damage. Also, contact a water restoration company in Bartlett, IL, for a property and damage assessment. Your insurance company may have a few suggestions for service providers, but you do not have to go with their recommendations.

Assess Damage
After you have contacted a restoration company and your insurer, both will visit your property to assess the damage from the bursting pipes. The restoration company will probably be first on the scene, and an insurance adjuster will arrive within a few days of the problem, depending on the backlog of other claims.

Complete Work
Once your insurer has approved the scope of work, the restoration company can get to work. The timeline for the project depends on the extent of the damage, but when they are finished, your property will be restored to pre-disaster conditions.

Secure Payment
The restoration service you select will typically help you through the claims process. Many companies take pride in assisting homeowners with their claims process. They will also work with the insurer to ensure that everything is in line with the original agreement.
While bursting pipes can significantly damage your property, the claims process doesn't have to be too difficult. Restoration companies should assist you with the paperwork and technical issues, helping you secure claims approval.

Is It Time to Switch to Smart Smoke Alarms?

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light You should consider buying a smart smoke detector for the added benefits they offer

Three Basic Types Of Smart Smoke Detectors

Many homeowners in Schaumburg, IL, are considering buying smart smoke detectors for the added benefits they offer. The units detect fires using the same technology as older alarms, but they send notifications to your smartphone about alerts. They can also significantly reduce false alarms and let you silence the alarm from anywhere you are connected to the internet.
There are three basic types of smart smoke detection upgrades:

  • A smart smoke alarm
  • A smart listening device
  • A smart battery to upgrade unconnected devices

How Much More Do Smart Detectors Cost?
With fire being the major hazard to persons and property in a home, the cost of a basic detector is negligible compared to the benefit – often under $10 each. Smart alarms are substantially more costly. However, like all smart devices to date, as they become more popular, the prices are falling precipitously. As older detectors age, they become less effective, so most homeowners typically wait until they are past their usable lifetime (around 5 to 10 years, depending on conditions) to upgrade each one by one.

Can a Smart Listener Save Money and Still Be Effective?
Smart listeners are a form of bridge technology and can be cost-effective in larger homes. The device is separate from the alarms, but it listens in the frequencies of sound produced by an activated smoke detector and sends a push notification to your phone when it detects an alert. They can hear devices for quite a distance, so if there are many alarms on a single level of your house, this can save considerable money.

Smart Batteries
A smart smoke detector battery offers the advantages of a smart alarm for a little less money than replacing the older units. It also is designed to last much longer than standard alarm batteries and connects to your smartphone just like smart alarms.
If you use a smartphone or tablet frequently in Schaumburg, IL, and enjoy the greater control and information, purchasing a smart smoke alarm probably makes sense. If you’ve already had a fire, ask a smoke damage restoration expert for advice about the best smoke alarms for your fire safety needs.

Fire Restoration in Schaumburg, IL

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

a white wall with a big black spot Restoration is the final step to getting your property looking brand new.

Having a fire in your building in Schaumburg, IL, can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to decide how to handle your business, but you also have the added task of calling your insurance company and trying to figure out who is going to repair the fire damage. There is definitely a benefit in hiring the same company to complete the step-by-step cleanup after the fire and restore your building to its former glory.

1. Assessment

The first thing the specialists are going to do is assess the damage. They often provide a bid for the job and can do so for the insurance adjuster. If you hire a company that offers both fire mitigation and restoration as services, you can get the bid for the whole process.

2. Security

Before repairs can begin, the building has to be secured. Technicians often board up windows and doors and put a tarp on the part of the roof that is damaged.

3. Cleanup

After a fire, there is not only a lot of fire damage but also extensive water damage. Water must be extracted, and smoke and soot must be removed from surfaces. Damaged items must be contained and removed from the area.

4. Disinfection

It's not enough for surfaces to be wiped down. They also need to be sanitized. This also goes for the items, such as office equipment or furniture, that were removed. If they cannot be sanitized, they must be discarded.

5. Restoration

Having restoration as the final step of the process rather than the first step by a new company means that it's probably going take less time to work. The technicians are already familiar with the building, and if something does go wrong, they can simply confer with the mitigation team to troubleshoot.

You can streamline your fire damage cleanup process by hiring the same company to do both mitigation and restoration. It can save you both money and time.

For more on Schaumburg Fire Restoration click here

What To Do When a Second Level Toilet Overflows

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Overflowing toilet Overflowing toilet in Roselle, IL

Sewer damage from an upper-level toilet overflow can cause problems beyond what the eye can see. If you suspect that your business in Roselle, IL, has sustained water damage, you may need to hire a professional remediation company to assess the situation. While it may be necessary to have the examination done by a professional, you may be able to tell if you might have water damage by conducting an assessment yourself.

Where Damage Occurs

A flooded toilet on a second floor can quickly cause a problem. As the toilet overflows, it is simple to spot the water that gathers on the floor around it. What may not be so obvious are the other places the water can spread:

  • Drywall
  • Insulation on exterior facing walls
  • Electrical wiring inside walls
  • Subfloors in between the first and second floor
  • Underneath bathroom cabinets
  • The room below the bathroom

The water in these areas is not always visible, and you may need the help of a sewage company that uses a special device to measure for dampness. You may be able to get a good idea of the damage by assessing where the water is, how long it has been there, and how deep it is.

How To Clean It

Sewer damage from a flooded toilet is considered category three water. This is a designation used to describe water that is likely to contain high levels of bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens that can be harmful to human health. As a result, it is important that the water gets cleaned up correctly and that the area is disinfected. Any towels used to clean the water should be discarded and a bleach solution should be used.
Sewer damage requires complete and thorough identification, cleaning, and disinfection. If you discover that you have hidden damage during a moisture inspection, you can hire a remediation expert to clean, disinfect, repair, and resolve the problem.

SERVPRO Restores Water-Damaged Documents

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents The SERVPRO Document Restoration Team is available at a moment’s notice for your document drying needs

Why Should You Choose SERVPRO?

Every commercial building is susceptible to some form of water damage, whether it’s a flood, sewage backup or fire sprinkler malfunction. Unfortunately, most of your building’s contents probably won’t be waterproof. After a water disaster, time is of the essence. You need to start restoration right away. This is especially true for paper-based items, including irreplaceable documents and photos. So, why should you choose SERVPRO? They use the latest state-of-the-art document restoration equipment to:

1. Dry

SERVPRO’s restoration team is proud to offer the same vacuum freeze-drying method that’s approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). In fact, the Library of Congress uses this method to dry invaluable books and historical documents. Vacuum freeze-drying works by using sublimation, which turns a solid into a vapor, skipping the liquid state altogether. This avoids the possibility of causing more water damage during the restoration process.

2. Clean and Disinfect

Paper-based materials that have been exposed to substances such as sewage or toxic chemicals will need to be disinfected. Gamma irradiation is a very effective technique used for sterilizing these materials.

3. Deodorize

After water-damaged paper-based materials are dried, they may have a lingering musty odor. This smell can be especially pronounced if mold has occurred. Eliminating foul odors is an important part of the document restoration process.

4. Re-jacket

A severely water-damaged book may be falling apart. Along with drying the inside, replacing the cover may be necessary to keep it bound.

5. Digitize

While it may be preferable to have some hard copies of important documents and photos, digital copies will make sure that they’re not a total loss should a disaster occur. SERVPRO restoration professionals can convert them to digital formats. The loss of these documents could severely impact your business.
When water damage occurs at your building in Glendale Heights, IL, the remediation process needs to start as soon as possible to limit unnecessary loss. The SERVPRO Document Restoration Team is available at a moment’s notice for your document drying needs.

How To Remove a Mold Smell From Your Commercial Building

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Dehumidifier with the words STAY DRY Did you know that using a dehumidifier in your building can reduce the amount of moisture in the air

Effective Ways to Eliminate a Mildew Smell from Your Business

The smell of mold is one of the first signs of a mold infestation. If you have detected a mold smell in your Schick, IL, business, it’s crucial to address the issue as soon as possible. By allowing mold to accumulate in your building, you may face severe signs of mold damage over time. Here are some effective ways to eliminate a mildew smell from your business.

Find the Source

To remove a musty smell from your building, you first need to identify the source of the mold. Search your building carefully and pay close attention to HVAC vents, damp building materials, peeling paint or other areas that may attract mold growth. If you’re having trouble finding visible mold, be sure to call a professional.

Improve Airflow

Without proper airflow, the smell of mold can continue to linger in your business. One of the first things you should do when you notice a fungus smell is to increase the amount of airflow throughout the building. This includes taking the following steps:

  • Turn on air conditioning system
  • Open windows and blinds
  • Turn on fans
  • Use a dehumidifier

Because mold tends to thrive in warm, damp conditions, you are more likely to remove a mold smell by improving the air circulation in your building. In addition to running regular fans throughout your business, be sure to turn on any ventilation fans in the bathrooms to ensure that the smell fully dissolves.

Clean Thoroughly

In some cases, giving your business a good cleaning can effectively remove a mildew smell. If there is a large amount of dust that has accumulated throughout the building, it may be directly contributing to the unpleasant smell. The good news is that you can easily solve this problem by mopping, dusting or vacuuming your floors from top to bottom.
Mold growth is something no business owner ever wants to discover. However, by taking prompt action and calling mold remediation specialists, you can keep any type of mold smell out of your building.

Why You Shouldn't Clean Puffback Damage Yourself

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Soot webs on ceiling after fire damage Puffback damage in Keeneyville, IL

Puffback damage occurs when a furnace misfires, causing a small explosion inside the chamber of the furnace. In a best-case scenario, the mess will be confined to the furnace area. In extreme cases, the heavy, sticky, grime can be caked on just about any surface, including curtains and the insides of closets and drawers. If you have experienced soot from a furnace puffback in Keeneyville, IL, you will need to have your furnace repaired and the area properly assessed and cleaned.

Assess the Damage

At first glance, the soot may look like a fine, dusty powder that can easily be cleaned. However, the puffback from an oil furnace is anything but easy to remove. Instead, it is a thick, gooey substance that is difficult to get off surfaces. Since failed attempts to clean it can cause more damage to your items, you should not attempt to clean it yourself. If you suspect puffback damage, you can begin to assess the extent of the problem by checking areas for soot:

  • The furnace chamber
  • Inside the ventilation system and ductwork
  • Obvious areas such as floors, walls, and carpeting
  • Less obvious areas like inside drawers and file cabinets

Be sure to check inside each room that is connected to the HVAC system.

How To Restore the Area

Regardless of the extent of the damage, you will need to hire an HVAC technician to check, clean, repair, or replace your furnace. If damage has occurred outside of the oil furnace itself, the soot will be too difficult to remove on your own. The best course of action is to enlist the help of a professional restoration company to properly clean and deodorize the different surface types.
If you have a misfiring furnace that causes puffback damage, rest assured that the problem is only temporary and can be fixed with the right equipment. A professional remediation company can help with furnace repairs and restoring the area to its previous condition.

How To Protect Your Business Using Sandbags and Alternatives

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

Inflatable Rubber Dam flat Inflatable rubber dam flat

When a severe storm causes flood waters in Ontarioville, IL, to rise to a dangerous level, it may panic many business owners. Flood damage and storm cleanup can hamper or even close down business as usual. Additionally, flood cleanup can be costly. If you are lucky enough to know in advance that your commercial building may be threatened by rising water, creating a barrier can be very helpful. A sandbag may be helpful if the water is just threatening a doorway, but are there any viable alternatives when the threat is much greater?

How To Help Divert a Flood

The standard has always been to throw down a sandbag or two and hope for the best. Sandbags are really most effective when the flooding is localized and not very deep. Brand names may vary, but take a look around for some of these other methods you might want to consider.

6-foot long flexible tube that you simply fill with water and place where needed, to block up to 6 inches of water
Flood dams that are 5 feet long that can block up to 3-1/2 inches of flooding, and can be stacked for barricading higher water
Water-filled barrier that can block rising water up to 3 feet deep and is reusable
Durable water barrier made of stainless steel and PVC canvas, which can prevent up to 4 feet of water from entering your building

Prevent Damage and Cleanup

Storm damage can be messy and expensive and oftentimes requires the help of a water mediation and restoration company in Ontarioville, IL, to deal with flood cleanup. All of the methods above are basically tubes that can be inflated with water to provide a weighted barricade for different levels of flooding, essentially fighting water with water. They can be set up quickly and used over again when needed.
It is helpful to a business owner to understand that the humble sandbag has its place, but that there are some more effective options when the situation worsens. Preparing yourself ahead of time can help prevent serious damage later.