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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 In fact, the Library of Congress uses this method to dry invaluable books and historical documents.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.

Steps to Making a Water Damage Claim

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Furniture moved so drying equipment can be placed in affected area Water damage cleanup in a Hanover Park, IL home

Steps to Making a Water Damage Claim

Finding water in your home can be devastating. Even minor flooding issues can cause damage to the structure, not to mention personal items. Whether the flood started from bursting pipes or from a sewer backup, it's important to clean up the water as soon as possible. To help cover the costs and replace items you lost, you'll want to make a flood claim. Understanding this process will reduce stress and help the process go more smoothly.

First Response

If you discover water in your Hanover Park, IL, home, you should first stop the source of the flooding, if possible. Next, if it's safe, move items out of the water and onto higher ground. You should also unplug electronics. If the water damage is widespread, or if you spot black water, evacuate your home immediately and do the following:

  • Contact a professional flood cleanup company.
  • Contact city utility crews if the flood is due to a main water line break or a sewer backup.
  • Get in touch with your insurance company.

Provide Detailed Information

When you speak to the insurance company to report the damage, give as much background and information as you can about the incident. Tell your agent where the flooding occurred, how it started, how much damage it caused and whether there were any injuries. If there are still bursting pipes or other issues that continue to bring water into your home, make sure you report that as well.

Document What Was Lost

To make a damage claim, it's best to provide photos of the affected area. Also, record materials and possession that the water destroyed or ruined.

Coordinate Efforts

Once you've hired a flood remediation team, inform the insurance company. These two parties will work together in the claims process. The flood remediation team will fix the broken pipe, remove the water, sanitize the area and restore damaged materials.
Bursting pipes and other problems in your home can cause significant flooding. Cleanup and replacement costs can be high, so make sure you properly file a flood claim so you can get the right help.

Avoid Fires With a Clean Grill

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning a grill with a brush Grill maintenance should be undertaken whenever the grill shows a buildup of grime

Avoid Fires With a Clean Grill

Grilling anytime of year is great fun. but grill cleaning not so much. Still, it is an important thing to do if you don't want your chicken, steak or vegetables to go up in flames. A grease fire can erupt quickly and can be a challenge to extinguish before the inferno spreads to the lawn and eventually to the garage or the house. Therefore, you want your grill as clean as your kitchen stove. Besides, a grill that has a layer of grease accumulated on it is just bad form and an attractant for wild animals.

How To Clean Your Grill

When it's time for grill cleaning, you'll want to avoid a mess so some gloves and old clothes will come in handy. Then proceed with the following steps:

  • Make sure the burners are turned off and the grill is cool to the touch
  • Remove the grates, the plates over the burners and the emptied drip pan and place in a bucket of warm, soapy water
  • Use a grill brush to clean grease and carbon off the inside of the grill
  • Clean the grates, plates and drip pan, rinse with clean water and replace in grill
  • Clean the grill exterior with stainless-steel wipes or a soft cloth with soap

Be careful with the heating elements and the connection to the propane tank. Grill maintenance should be undertaken whenever the grill shows a buildup of grime.

How To Respond to a Fire

If a grease fire gets away from you and spreads, call the fire department pronto. Once the fire is out, call a fire remediation team in Schaumburg, IL, to come to your home for an inspection and damage assessment. The remediation crew can determine if you need additional cleanup such as addressing soot and smoke damage to your property. With the proper attention to grill cleaning, you can avoid a destructive fire.

Understanding the Key Differences Between Mold and Mildew

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

The finger of the hand points to the black fungus on the white wall. Mold damage in a Bloomingdale, IL home

Differences Between Mold and Mildew

Most homeowners place mold damage on their list of dreaded disaster. However, many cannot differentiate between a problematic mold infestation and an easily remedied mildew problem. While property owners don't need to be experts in the study of fungus, it is beneficial to understand the critical differences between mold and mildew.

  • Color
  • Texture
  • Cleanability

Color

One of the most evident differences in mold and mildew growth is the color. Mildew tends to stay in the grey and white family while mold is more colorful, displaying itself in greens and yellows and blacks. However, color does not always reflect the true nature of the growth because both fungi can absorb other liquids around them. For example, mildew might look green, but that is only due to the absorption of a detergent.

Texture

Texture can also be a reliable indicator of what fungal growth you are dealing with. Mold damage has a three-dimensional appearance, and it is almost fuzzy and soft-like. Mildew, on the other hand, is typically flat, clinging close to whatever surface it is on.

Cleanability

Last, mold growth is not as easy to clean or scrub away. While mildew can be cleaned easily with a store-bought cleaner, mold will not go without a fight, and that is due to its deep-rooting nature. Mold develops deep within porous items, and it does not reside only on the surface. Therefore, some infestations might require the skilled hands of a mold remediation specialist in Bloomingdale, IL.

Not every fungal growth you come across in your home is representative of mold damage. Many problems might be a simple mildew issue that is easily washed away with a readily available cleaner.

However, for those deep-rooted infestations that are undeniably molded, you might want to consider seeking the assistance of a professional. Mold clings to porous items and is not easily removed. The fuzzy, green, visible growth is likely only a fraction of the actual fungal problem.

Post-Flood Cleanup at Your Home

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Furniture placed in the outside of a house damaged by flooded waters Damaged furniture by flooded waters

If you come home to a flooded house, or if a flood starts at your residence while you are there, your first concern should be your safety and the well-being of your family members. You'll also be concerned about the structure of your home and what can be salvage. Of course, you can't forget about personal belongings and other items such as electronics, furniture and documents. You may not be able to save everything, but with the help of an experienced flood remediation team and its content cleaning methods, you'll be able to hang on to many of your belongings.

What Should You Do?

If a flood started in your home due to a pipe burst, the water should not be harmful. In this case, you can take many matters into your own hands and protect the contents of your home before cleanup crews arrive. Follow these steps to minimize the risk of further damage:

  • Remove any materials from water immediately.
  • Turn off electronics.
  • Get as much furniture and documents off the floor as you can.

What Can Be Spared, What Must Be Tossed?

Unfortunately, you may not be able to salvage all contents. You'll have a good chance of saving non-porous items; however, porous materials will likely be too saturated and damaged to keep. Flood cleanup specialists have the tools and methods to thoroughly clean books, photographs, televisions, stereos and computers.

Exercising Caution

In some situations, content cleaning isn't a task you should handle alone. Category 3 flooding, which occurs following a sewer backup, toilet overflow or large storm to brings river water into your home, can be dangerous. This is known as black water. It contains hazardous materials, including human waste. Only a trained and competent expert should get near the water and touch any contaminated materials.
If you require content cleaning following water damage in your home, don't hesitate to call the pros. You can have confidence that these crews can restore many of your belongings.

How Do Cities Control Flooding?

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

River Water Flowing Quickly Over an Overflow Dam Planners may consider many methods to deal with high water, including dams

How Do Cities Control Flooding?

Flooding has always been both a boon and a curse for humanity; river flooding brings in essential soil nutrients, but floods are the leading cause of deaths from natural disaster. The control of water has been a quintessential tool for allowing large cities to be built. Planners in Glendale Heights,IL, may consider many methods, both old and new, to deal with high water, including


Floodplains and groundwater replenishment
Reservoirs
Wiers
Dams
Levees


Humans Have Been Invested in Flood Control for Millennia

As ancient humans started creating more permanent settlements, they tended to be in areas ideal for growing crops. This was always associated with water, such as the Nile River delta, but the reason it is so fertile is because annual floods bring in tons of nutrients to refresh arable land.
At least 5,000 years ago, the first levees and dams were constructed to control high water so that the farmers could get the benefits without losing all their work. These techniques seem obvious now, but their extreme agricultural advantage allowed Egypt to become the dominant world power in the world.

Modern Technology Is Revolutionizing Flood Prevention

There are a handful of manufacturers innovating new technology in reusable flood protection for residences, businesses and cities both major and minor. They are usually quickly deployed and easily removed once no longer needed. They can be insertable panels or raised and lowered and are entirely unobtrusive when not in use.
In the Netherlands, rotating water barriers are used as needed and lowered for ship passage. The Maeslant Barrier is one of the world’s largest moving structures, and the Hagestein Weir uses normally open arches that are lowered to stop flooding. Japanese cities are using flood gates, and many cities around the world are using temporary flood barriers for easy on-demand control. Some are transported to a prime location and filled with water to block floods.
If you’ve experienced property loss from high water in Glendale Heights,IL, call a professional flood damage cleanup company to contain, mitigate and restore everything to its original condition. They can also advise you about how to prevent future damage if you’re in a flood prone area.

What To Do After a Pipe Breaks

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Chaos in a home Water damage in a Schick, IL home

What To Do To Minimize Water Damage

Bursting pipes in Schick,IL have the potential to cause a lot of damage to your residence. While water can be cleaned and areas dried, secondary damage can occur if the water is left to sit for too long. Since mold begins to grow in as little as 24-48 hours, it is imperative to get the water cleaned and the area dried as quickly as possible. Here are a few tips on what to do to minimize water damage.

Before Help Arrives

Although you will need to contact a professional restoration company, your priority should be to stop the flow of water and prevent further problems. There are several things you can do minimize damage even before the professionals arrive onsite:

  • Turn off the main water switch
  • Turn off electricity to the area
  • Drain the remaining water from the pipes
  • Clean up any water you can
  • Remove valuable items from the area

Once Help Is Onsite

Most home insurance policies cover damage from bursting pipes, so be sure to work closely with your agent to ensure your expenses are covered. Once the expert restoration service gets to your home, they will asses the damage using special tools that locate moisture within your walls and subfloors. Next, they use professional blowing equipment to quickly dry out the area. Once the moisture has been removed, they will assess your home and replace any materials that sustained water damage. Often times, flooring, ceilings, and drywall will need to be replaced. The remediation company will fix broken pipes or other sources of moisture. If disinfection is required, they will apply the appropriate disinfectant or biocide.
By performing the preventative actions before the professional restoration service arrives, you can play an important role in preventing mold and minimizing damage to your home. Although no one wants to find bursting pipes, remediation experts have the skills and expertise to return your home to its original condition.