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Safety Tips for Escaping a Home Fire With Kids

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Safety Tips for Escaping a Home Fire With Kids Always make an escape plan for your home

Whether you have very young children who depend on you or older children who can possibly fend for themselves, the best way to ensure your kids’ safety if a fire ever occurs in your home in Bloomingdale, IL, is to prepare ahead of time. This guide includes tips on how to help very young children keep safe in a fire and how to teach older children what to do in a fire.

Protecting Children Under the Age of Five

Understandably, babies, toddlers, and preschoolers under the age of five are the most vulnerable in the case of home fire. Depending on the age and maturity level of your child, it can be very difficult to teach your young child how to escape a fire on their own. This is why it’s important you first prepare your home for a fire:

  • Keep doors closed at night
  • Clear exits of any toys or other items
  • Install all the necessary fire alarms, especially outside every sleeping area
  • Ensure kids’ safety by teaching children ovens, lighters, and candles are not toys


Protecting Older Children

Older children should be given consistent education on how to safely escape from a house fire. Always make an escape plan for your home, so your children will know exactly what to do in a fire. Also, teach them to never open the door unless there is no sign of heat or smoke and they can’t feel warmth with the back of hand on the door or from the doorknob. Make sure they know to never reenter the home for objects after they escape and that the fire fighters and fire cleanup specialists will take care of their home and personal belongings.

The best way to keep your child safe in a house fire is to prepare your home for the worst case scenario, come up with a family plan, and teach your child important fire kids’ safety skills.

Checking Your Commercial Building

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Checking Your Commercial Building Condensation around windows is common during the winter months

Exterior Maintenance Tips

If you are a building administrator or business owner in Schaumburg,IL, you are responsible for the conditions at your worksite. Take a look at the following exterior maintenance tips in order to prevent unnecessary downtime.

1. Pay Attention

Some of the most obvious signs of a building in disrepair are right under your nose. Have you noticed cracks along the drywall running from the doors or windows up to the ceiling? This can indicate issues with the settling of the foundation. Do you get excess condensation around windows, especially in winter months? This may indicate a lack of proper insulation or caulking around the frame. Keep your building maintained and it will reward you with longevity.

2. Water Issues

Another set of problems can come from water retention. During exterior maintenance, check for dampness along the walls and siding on the lowest floors of the building. If you notice any sort of moisture buildup or mold, then water may be entering the building from outside. This can put your property at increased risk for flood damage should a severe weather event arise. Notify a qualified flood cleanup professional if any liquids begin to pool. If a building inspection identifies an indoor flooding issue, distribute sump pumps throughout the basement or crawlspace.

3. Future Avoidance

Preventative landscaping can keep water entry from becoming a problem in the first place. Ensure that the slope of your roof and the grade of your lawn serve to direct water away from the building. Use ditches and swales effectively to stop creeks and puddles from forming during rainy weather. Add mulch or gravel to areas that are prone to erosion, especially those with clay or silt soils.

You can't expect your property to take care of itself. With the correct exterior maintenance process, you can extend the lifetime of your building materials and keep your business running smoothly.

3 Reasons You Need Business Insurance

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Reasons You Need Business Insurance Having the right policy can save your company a lot of money.

When you are thinking about taking out an insurance policy for your Schick,IL business, you may begin to wonder if this is really a necessary expense. Not having one will save your business money, right? The truth is, this is unlikely to be the case. There are many common problems, such as water damage, that can end up being quite costly for your business without insurance. Here are just a few situations when insurance will come in handy.

1. Storms and Natural Disasters

While there are some things you can do to prepare for a storm, they are unpredictable. Water damage can occur as the result of snow or ice buildup that leaks into the building as it melts. If you have cracks in the outside of your building, water can create moisture inside the walls and lead to structural damage as well as mold growth. In these cases, insurance will cover repairs and the cost of lost property.

2. Broken Equipment

If you have equipment that uses water, such as a dishwasher or a water cooler, it is possible that these could cause damage if they are broken. As long as the break is caused by a sudden and accidental incident, the repairs and water cleanup should be covered by insurance. However, this will not be the case if the equipment is not properly maintained and negligence played a role in the damage.

3. Plumbing Problems

Another common problem in commercial buildings is plumbing issues. Broken pipes and backed up drains can both cause damage to your property. As with equipment, as long as the problem is not caused by negligence and improper maintenance, your insurance policy should cover the necessary repairs.
Because damage from water can be extensive and contribute to long-term problems such as weakened building structure and mold growth, it is a good idea to get an insurance policy to cover any potential damage. If you need to hire a water damage remediation specialist to do repairs, having the right policy can save your company a lot of money.

How Homeowners Can Prevent Winter Storm Damage

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How Homeowners Can Prevent Winter Storm Damage Winter weather can inflict on a home in Hanover Park, IL.

Preventative maintenance can limit the damage that winter weather can inflict on a home in Hanover Park, IL. Here are three measures homeowners can take to prepare for any conditions this season may bring, from below-freezing temperatures to a severe winter storm.

1. Maintain the Roof

A blizzard will test the condition of any roof. Three inches of dry snow can add up to 10 pounds per square foot to a roof, while wet snow can add up to 60 pounds per square foot. It is important to ensure that a roof is in good condition prior to the start of winter. Rather than risking a cave-in or collapse, it may be advisable to safely rake or sweep snow off of a roof to lighten the load.

Uneven attic and roof temperatures can also cause ice damming. Snow that melts and refreezes around the eaves can cause roof damage that leads to leaks. Roofers can recommend solutions for keeping an attic cool, insulated and ventilated. Homeowners should also make sure that gutters and downspouts are clear.

2. Protect Pipes

Pipes that run near exterior walls may require insulation. It is also important to maintain a consistent interior temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. When temperatures dip below freezing, a homeowner should trickle faucets and leave cabinets that contain plumbing open.

3. Seal Doors and Windows

Severe damage may occur if an exterior door blows open during a winter storm. Properly-sealed doors and windows are also much more efficient. Weather stripping can reduce the amount of warm air that seeps out of a home and prevent condensation.

Homeowners should take measures to maintain the condition of a residence all year round to avoid the need for extensive repairs during the fall. If a blizzard or winter storm damages a residence in Hanover Park, IL, storm restoration specialists can quickly provide mitigation services.

Let Us Count the Ways: Top Reasons Property Owners Are Sued for Mold Growth

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Let Us Count the Ways: Top Reasons Property Owners Are Sued for Mold Growth SERVPRO of Central Schaumburg / West Bloomingdale has the experience with mold size remediation.

While most commercial policies will not handle mold insurance claims, many business policies will protect companies from frivolous lawsuits. In fact, liability insurance protects business owners from being deemed personally responsible, but the definition of protection and responsibility are dependent on your specific policy and insurer. Despite your coverage, there are likely going to be people that sue you over mold damages if they occur, and it wise to be prepared for the various lawsuits you may be exposed to.

1. Toxic Mold

There have been instances where tenants take a landlord to court over a toxic mold claim. Toxic mold is more commonly referred to as black mold, though not every black mold is toxic. Typically, these cases will attempt to demonstrate that the owner, you, had knowledge of the mold problem and did nothing, and as a result, the tenant became ill. It is worth noting that these cases are hard to prove in court because it is difficult to pinpoint specific ailments to mold exposure.

2. Liability

While mold insurance claims are limited for property owners, tenants may still sue over mold damage because the property is the owner’s responsibility, meaning that the owner is liable, or responsible, for any damage to the structure of the building. While this is often true, there are instances where tenant neglect may negate owner responsibility.

3. Breach of Contract

While breach of contract may sound outrageous, a landlord and a tenant have certain expectations as to the care and maintenance of the building. When signing a rental agreement, it is often understood that the property owner will maintain the property. Therefore, a failure to maintain the property may result in a tenant suing.

4. Lack of Timely Mitigation

Also, when problems arise, tenants expect property owners to handle the situation in a timely manner. Therefore, failure to hire a mold remediation specialist in the Ontarioville, IL, area may result in lawsuits as well.

While mold insurance claims may be limited, lawsuits are never in short supply. Therefore, protect yourself by being aware of common suits and by being proactive when it comes to mold prevention.

4 Benefits of a Claims Inventory System

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

Insurance companies prefer to work with mitigation and restoration services that maintain up-to-date systems. The SERVPRO Claims Information System enables an insurance agent to access the information he or she needs to process and settle an insurance claim. Here are four benefits of this system.

1. Access To Individual Claim Information

Insurance agents and adjusters can gain access to information for each claim through the Claims Information System. Local franchises upload damage information and estimates to an internal database. Documentation is then made available to representatives of property owners' insurance providers to facilitate the claim process.

2. Ease of Data Comparison and Research

Agents and adjusters can also access information to ensure that each estimate falls within the normal range nationwide and for the region, state, county or surrounding area of Hanover Park, IL. Discrepancies may be due to extenuating factors for a particular job, such as secondary damage. A claims inventory system makes it easy to sort data based on causes of loss, types of claims and job costs.

3. Shorter Processing Times

It may take less time to process an insurance claim if all of the information about the job is available in one convenient online resource. Insurers can access updated information at any time, which should prevent delays due to communication. An estimate that accounts for both damage mitigation and restoration may make it easier to settle a claim.

4. Updated Estimates and Job Information

Experienced mitigation professionals and the option for pretesting can increase the accuracy of initial estimates. If additional damage becomes apparent later in the mitigation or restoration process, this information is made available to agents and adjusters through the claims inventory system.

Insurance companies seek out Preferred Vendors for mitigation and restoration services. The SERVPRO Claims Information System is one of many features that can help an agent or adjuster settle an insurance claim.

Factors Affecting Flood Coverage

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Factors Affecting Flood Coverage Ask your Insurance agent if you are covered

Deciphering your homeowner's policy can be tricky. If you have a flood in your home in Bloomingdale, IL , due to a leaking or broken pipe, your insurance company may pay for the remediation of the damage. There are two main factors that determine whether or not your claim will be accepted.

Timing

The damage caused by a sudden pipe burst is a classic example of an issue that is covered by insurance. Pipe repair is generally considered part of regular home maintenance, not part of accident recovery. While your insurance may not pay to fix a broken pipe, it will likely cover the following water restoration services:

  • Carpet cleaning
  • Flooring replacement
  • Drywall and insulation replacement
  • Anti-mold precautions

Addressing the problem quickly is vital. If you let a problem go unresolved, causing the damage to get worse, the insurance company is likely to see this as neglect, and your flood claim could be denied.

Cause

Your commitment to regular maintenance is a factor in insurance coverage. If you can demonstrate that you keep your plumbing on a reliable maintenance schedule, the damage resulting from a broken pipe is usually covered. Your insurance will probably even cover secondary damage that occurs later if it is related to an issue that was initially paid for by your policy. If, however, you neglect to fix known problems or allow pipes to freeze and burst because you didn't take the necessary precautions to protect them, your claim may be denied. Most policies require that the problem causing the damage is accidental or sudden in order for the cost of remediation to be covered.

If the flood in your home was caused by a leak or broken pipe, your homeowner's policy likely covers the cost of fixing the damage. As long as you have done your due diligence regarding proper maintenance and prevention, your claim will probably be accepted by your insurance company.

Moldy Bathrooms and Mold Removal

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Moldy Bathrooms and Mold Removal Call SERVPRO of Central Schaumburg/West Bloomingdale for any mold damage

Shower mold can be a common occurrence and one that is easily remedied. However, there are times when a moldy bathroom is a symptom of a more substantial issue and requires more experienced hands for the removal and cleaning process. Although, if you decide to tackle the problem on your own, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Safety First

When working around mold, you need to stay safe. There are numerous mold species, and some of them are toxic to humans. Therefore, before attempting to remediate any mold issue, you should have the proper gear. You will need a good face mask, rubber gloves and likely even a safety suit to prevent any exposure that could eventually lead to exposure. Also, seal off the area and work slowly to minimize the risk of spores spreading. Professionals are aware of these precautions and likely better suited for this type of job.

2. Cleaning Surfaces

While shower mold is common enough that there are cleaners readily available in big box stores, some other molds are not so common, requiring specialty cleaners. Experts will pretest an area to find out the exact species they are dealing with, ensuring they use the right cleanser to resolve the problem.

3. Removing Damage

Depending on the level of damage, drywall and other items may need to be removed and discarded. Also, the damage may have actually penetrated the structure of your home. The extent of visible and hidden damage is another reason professionals are best for remediation tasks.

4. Professional Assistance

There is one species of mold that requires the assistance of a disaster restoration specialist in the Schaumburg, IL, area. DIYers should not handle toxic black mold. This mold species needs to be controlled and discarded in specific ways, and only a certified professional should handle it.

Shower mold may be common, but that does not mean that it is the only mold issue you are dealing with. Mold should be tested and removed by people that understand the appropriate processes and precautions. Ask for help and stay safe.

3 Reasons To Own and Operate a Damage Restoration Franchise

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Reasons To Own and Operate a Damage Restoration Franchise SERVPRO is on call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

3 Reasons To Own And Operate A Damage Restoration Franchise

Damage mitigation and restoration services are always in demand. Whether a crisis impacts a single home, neighborhood, city or larger region, a one-stop cleanup and remediation business can meet the needs of homeowners and communities. Here are three reasons why entrepreneurs should consider owning and operating a SERVPRO franchise.

1. Perpetual Demand

When a home suffers damage, many homeowners will seek the expertise of a certified mitigation company. There are several factors that set SERVPRO apart from the competition:

  • All-in-one mitigation and restoration services
  • Fast response times
  • Industry-leading certifications and standards
  • National company with local franchises

These factors draw customers and explain why entrepreneurs may want to own and operate this business. If demand exceeds the capacity of a local SERVPRO franchise in the event of a catastrophe, the national company can offer regional support.

2. Professional Support

In the event of a disaster such as a hurricane, tornado or wildfire, a national restoration company can help a local franchise provide services to the affected area. This can enable a location to meet increased demand for mitigation and restoration services with the following resources:

  • Additional equipment
  • Certified experts
  • Supplementary personnel

SERVPRO is on call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. When a catastrophe strikes, the company can mobilize more than 1,700 franchises nationwide.

3. Proven Success

SERVPRO was founded in 1967 and sold its first franchise in 1969. The company has continued to grow over the last 50 years. Today, it is the highest-ranked restoration company on the 2018 Entrepreneur Franchise 500 ranking.

Entrepreneurs should consider opening a SERVPRO franchise for the same reasons that homeowners and insurers rely on this company in the event of a disaster in Bloomingdale, IL. The business model enables one-stop mitigation and restoration businesses that are locally owned to benefit from the experience, name-recognition and national network of an established company.

Storm Prep for Property Managers

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Prep for Property Managers Severe storm at Bloomindale, IL.

Preparing for a storm isn’t always top priority within property management, but it should be. The fact is storms are responsible for countless injuries across the country each year, and if any of those occur on your property, you could be facing liability. It’s easy to see that Bloomingdale,IL, storm preparedness should be top of mind, but where does one begin? Use these tips to get a handle on this important bit of planning.

Make A Storm Plan

Every multi-building property needs a comprehensive storm preparation plan at minimum. Such a plan should cover things like

  •  Disaster-relief information
  •  Emergency contacts
  •  Evacuation plans
  •  Nearby shelters

Create a plan months in advance as part of storm preparedness. Review and tweak it with your staff, then make sure you distribute it to residents.

Secure Loose Objects Around the Property

A powerful storm can transform furniture and even waste bins into dangerous projectiles that can harm people and damage buildings. One of the easiest ways to prepare your property for a storm is inspect it for anything that could be picked up by strong winds. Remove portable items to safe, indoor storage. For stationary items, use tarps, ties, locks and similar securing devices to keep things in place. Don’t forget to trim trees to prevent branches from becoming projectiles amid high winds.

Stock Up

Shortly before a storm and definitely in its midst, important supplies will run dry. The smartest property managers prepare by stocking up on essentials months before the storm season. Keep lots of water and batteries on hand, as well as shelf stable foods if possible. It’s also a good idea to invest in a backup generator or several.

Storms can be dangerous and even deadly. Fortunately, storm preparedness can be a lifesaver. Use these tips to keep your property safe when facing storm damage and it will help things go smoother.