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4 Ways To Prepare Your Business To Weather an Intense Storm

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Flashlight, portable radio, batteries, water bottles and a first aid kit Gather and store some supplies.

Preparing Your Business For A Storm

The weather report calls for severe storms, and as the day passes, the impending system appears worse than expected. What should a proprietor do? Are there actions to take to ward off problems? After all, if a significant weather system passes through Glendale Heights, IL, your business could be impacted by tornadoes, floodwater, intense wind speeds and hail. These conditions prove destructive for properties. Business owners should understand how to get ready for the storm and restore the premises once it passes.

1. Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan
A flooded building proves chaotic. Get organized. With other team members, put together a notebook of safety procedures. Within the documents, have copies of insurance policies, the number for a water restoration company and instructions on safeguarding the premises and employees. Designate points of contact.
Also, gather and store the following supplies within a back room:

  • A battery-operated weather radio
  • Flashlights
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batters
  • Water bottles
  • Non-perishable snacks

2. Move Valuables to Higher Levels
If flood water breaches the walls, valuables and structures become contaminated and ruined, some of which may not be salvageable. Protect your property by moving important items up off the ground.

3. Create Flood Barriers
Use sandbags around the perimeter to reduce water penetration. It's best to have them on hand for a prompt response. Begin in low-lying sections, placing plastic sheeting down first. Then, stack the bags as if laying down bricks, with one slightly overlapping the other.

4. Store Electronic Data
If electronics sustain water damage, saved data is likely lost. Take the time to save your critical emails, documents and invoices to the cloud and a hard drive. It's better to have it in multiple places.
Flood water and harsh winds and rain can harm your establishment. Get ahead of trouble by having a plan and taking action to minimize issues. This effort could save remediation time and reduce repair costs.

Fire Alarms: What Kind, and How Many?

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

severe fire damage in a kitchen, cabinets totally burned Severe fire damage in Schick, IL.

If a fire breaks out in your Schick, IL, time is of the essence. While the damage can be taken care of by a fire damage and restoration specialist, the safety of everyone in the home is the top priority. The best way to ensure everyone’s safety is by installing a smoke alarm. Although it may seem simple, there are different types and different requirements based on the size of a home.

Types of Alarms

When it comes to fire safety, any kind of smoke alarm is better than nothing. To maximize protection, it is important to understand how the different types of common alarms work.

Ionization: This type has metal plates with a constantly running electrical current running. It is triggered if the current experiences disruption. These are ideal for detecting fast-burning fires.
Photoelectric: Instead of an electrical current, these emit a light beam. Once its chamber fills with smoke, it disrupts the beam and is triggered. These work well for smaller fires.
Heat: As the name implies, it monitors increases in air temperature. They are prone to false alarms and may take longer to be triggered.
Ionization/Photoelectric: This type provides the best of both worlds to detect smoke as quickly as possible.

Any of the above can be hardwired or battery-operated. Many are also available as smart devices. They provide the same benefits while also allowing for remote notifications, easier disabling and wireless interconnecting. They do come with a much heftier price tag.

Ensure the Home Has Enough
Once you have decided which type of smoke detector works best for your home, the next step is figuring out how many you need and where to put them. At the minimum, there should be an alarm on every level of the home and inside every sleeping area. They should be installed a minimum of 10 feet away from stoves and ovens and high on a wall or ceiling.
While no one wants to experience a fire, ensuring you are ready is essential. Relying on a smoke alarm is the best way to help make that happen.

What To Do if Your Basement Floods

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

painting from walls falling, empty basement, Basement water damage.

Water In Your Basement?

Homeowners who experience a basement flood know they need to act quickly to reduce the amount of damage to their homes. After all, this space is probably being used to store more than just off-season decorations. Plus, taking quick action can get your insurance coverage to pay for more of the damage. Fortunately, there are a few steps that are guaranteed to help. Here is what you need to do if water enters your basement.

Find the Source
There are many reasons you would have a basement flood. Your first step is to find the source so you can report to your insurance agent and chosen water restoration company. The most common sources include:

  • Natural disasters
  • Groundwater seepage
  • Sewer backups
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Drain clogs

Turn Off Your Water Supply
You can fix most internal sources by turning off your water supply. The shutoff valve will be located somewhere in or around your house. Usually, it will be in your basement along the wall facing the street. If water is leaking from one of your appliances, you can turn the valve leading to that fixture off. Older homes may not have this feature.

Check Your Sump Pump
In the event of a basement flood, you need to check that your sump pump is working. If you're not sure if it's working, unplug it and let it rest for a few seconds. If it doesn't start working immediately when you turn it back on, buy a new one and replace it.

Check the Floor Drain
If water is coming in through your floor drain, the sewer system in Keeneyville, IL, could be backed up or your drain is clogged. When your drain is clogged, and water is coming in from another source, you need to unclog it as soon as possible. If the sewer system is backing up, you need to notify the city and call a plumber.
When you go downstairs and find a flooded basement, you need quickly find and address the source. Then, you need to check your drainage measures to make sure they are working.

Why Fast Commercial Building Recovery Is Critical

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

dehumidifier surrounded by air movers Commercial water clean up in Ontarioville, IL.

When dealing with devastating damage to your commercial building in Ontarioville, IL, speed is essential to the recovery process. Extensive damage can happen quickly, so finding a restoration service that has 24-hour assistance is critical. SERVPRO is the restoration service recommended by most insurance companies because of the quick response and the expert service provided.

SERVPRO Is There When You Need Help

A fast response is essential to reduce the risk of serious damage to your property. The longer you wait to seek help, the damage becomes more severe. Examples of the types of damage include:

Immediately - Water spreads fast and saturates carpeting and furniture. It is also absorbed quickly into the drywall.
Within a 24 hour period - Metal surfaces and furnishings start to tarnish. In addition, drywall and furniture begin swelling and cracking. An unpleasant odor begins to permeate the air as well.
In the first week - Metal begins to rust, paint starts to blister and mold starts growing throughout the facility.

After a week’s time, restoration will take more time and be more costly. You will also face a greater risk of sustaining serious structural problems and mold growth.
SERVPRO franchises are available all over the country, and they are always open to serve you. Since each is locally owned and operated, there is never a franchise too far away. With corporate resources always available, you will also get the technical help you need.

SERVPRO Helps You Recover Faster
When you call a SERVPRO franchise, a professional will be dispatched to your facility quickly. They thoroughly assess the situation and help you develop a comprehensive plan to remove the damage and renovate your building and property.
Industrial vacuums and pumps first remove the water, and then all surfaces are dried with dehumidifiers and air blowers. Once the entire area and all structures are cleaned and sanitized, renovations can begin.
Trust your renovations with the 24-hour service available from SERVPRO professionals.

How To Reduce The Risk and Cost of Water Damage To Your Building

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

wet carpet in commercial building A pipe break can cause major damage to your commercial building.

An undetected water leak can lead to significant water damage to your business in Hanover Park, IL. Although a sudden pipe break can cause gallons of water to flood your space, slowly evolving leaks from various sources can also have significant ramifications and are often preventable.

What Are Common Causes of Building Leaks?

Water can enter your building in various ways, but routine building maintenance can reveal necessary repairs to prevent this from happening. Among the common causes for leaks in a commercial building are:

  • Foundation cracks
  • Doors and windows with broken seals
  • Clogged drains
  • Roof damage
  • Faulty HVAC system

Undertaking routine inspections of your building's premises is the best way to prevent potential leaks.

How Can Leaks Damage Your Building or Cost You Money?
Gradual leaks can cause significant financial losses when building owners neglect to practice routine maintenance for detecting potential problems. Roof, plumbing and other building inspections are among the necessary measures building owners can take to avoid a water leak, potentially leading to mold formation.
Signs of mold include damp spots and brown stains on walls, ceilings or floors. A musty odor indicates that mold spores have penetrated the air, and it may be necessary to hire a mold remediation service to perform air filtration and odor removal.
Although insurance policies may cover widespread water damage resulting from a sudden or unavoidable water pipe break, delaying drying efforts can reduce a claim's value. It is vital to contact a flood restoration company to remove excess moisture from the environment with commercial-grade wet vacuums. In other instances, timely repairs can address small leaks before they grow or allow water to accumulate over time, causing unnecessary property damage that may not qualify for an insurance claim.
A water leak of any size can easily lead to costly damage to your building in Hanover Park, IL. Routine maintenance and structural repairs can help ensure your facility remains in the best shape possible to avoid many problems.

What To Do About Lingering Mold Odor

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Mold containment in a building, plastic barrier for mold containment and drying equipment Mold containment in a Bloomingdale, IL building

A mold smell at your Bloomingdale, IL, business can create an unpleasant environment for you, your employees, and your customers. Fortunately, it is possible to eliminate the smell.

Cause of Mold Odor

Mold growth often releases mycotoxins that emit strong odors. Mold is commonly described as smelling

  • Musty
  • Earthy
  • Damp

Although an unusual odor is often an early sign of a mold problem, the fungus smell can linger even after the mold has been removed by an experienced restoration service.

Removal of Mold Odor
Following the mold remediation process, there are several things you can do to eliminate any residual mold smell. Remember that air fresheners usually only cover up the odor, and the mildew smell will return when synthetic smell fades.
If the weather permits, open the windows and doors to let in some fresh air. Turning on fans while the doors are open improves air circulation and will help eliminate the odor more quickly. Run an air purifier with an activated carbon filter to trap some of the mycotoxins.
Baking soda and vinegar may seem old-fashioned, but these two cleaning products are great for getting rid of tough smells. Add vinegar to the washing machine to eliminate odors in washable items. Sprinkle baking soda over carpets or upholstered items and let the powder sit for about fifteen minutes before vacuuming up the musty odor.

Prevention of Mold Odor
The only way to prevent mold odor in the future is to prevent mold growth. The most effective way to do this is to keep your building dry. Keep the humidity below 50% if possible. Run a dehumidifier in particularly humid areas. Clean up spills and water damage as quickly as possible.
Even after a mold infestation has been remediated, the moldy smell can linger. Fortunately, fresh air and a cleaning session are often all you need to get your business smelling fresh and clean again.

How Can Lightning Hurt the Home?

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

House damaged by fire Home fire damage in Schaumburg, IL

Three Main Threats To A Home That Is Struck

Thunderstorms can be beautiful to see when lightning is involved. It’s a wondrous thing to witness the dark night sky lit up for a few seconds, whether it’s off in the distance or close enough to see it strike. While it can be an amazing sight to see, it’s important to be educated on how lightning fire can affect the home and how to proceed in the event that the home is hit.

1. Power Surges

While traveling from the sky to the ground, lightning looks for the path of least resistance. A house has many options to make that path easier, including electrical wiring and the many devices utilizing that electricity. If hit, the power surge that results has the potential to damage any device in the house that is connected to that wiring.

2. Shock Waves

During a storm, the loud crashes of thunder that are heard are the direct result of the shock waves produced by lightning. These shock waves can cause additional damage to structures by breaking apart brick, the ground, cement, stone, glass, and concrete. It is easy to see how a home can be damaged during a storm when considering these facts.

3. Fires

Perhaps the most dangerous part of a storm for a home in Schaumburg, IL, is the possible outcome of a lightning fire. Dry thunderstorms bring the greatest risk for a house fire due to the lack of water. In dry areas, such as out west, there is an added risk because even if it is raining the water may likely be gone before it even hits the ground due to the extreme heat. If lightning fire strikes a home, contacting a local restoration company offers ample opportunity to find the best options for fixing the damages caused by a storm, be it from fire, water, or anything else.

6 Steps You Can Take to Fix Water Problems in Your Crawl Space

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing If you are experiencing a wet crawl space, it is time to take action

Here Are a Few Steps You Can Take To Protect Your Home

The general process for fixing a wet crawl space is to create a system that captures moisture and gets rid of it. This prevents you from experiencing water damage and needing to hire a professional remediation company. There are a few steps you can take to protect your home.

1. Protect the Floors
The first thing you need to do is look at the pipes along your floor. Make sure they are not leaking and causing your moisture problems.

2. Identify the Water Source
Take a peek in your crawl space. Look at both the ground around it and inside it. It would help if you also looked at the structure of your home. Try to figure out if flooding or something else is causing your moisture problem so you can fix it.

3. Remove the Vapor Barrier
Most people love the vapor barrier in their crawl space because it keeps water out. However, if the barrier is trapping surface water inside, you need to remove it.

4. Dig a Trench
One way to encourage drainage from a wet crawl space is to dig a trench. This should be between one to two feet from your foundation and go around the entire foundation of your crawl space. Make sure you don't put it any closer than eight to your foundation, or you could undermine the integrity of your home.

5. Fill the Trench With Gravel
Once you have dug a trench, you should put in some gravel. This will act as a drain rock inside the trench.

6. Install a Discharge Pipe
If there is a sump pump in your crawl space in Keeneyville, IL, make sure you have a discharge pipe. This should run to an appropriate location outside of your home.
If you are experiencing a wet crawl space, it is time to take action. Whether a flood or a leaky pipe causes your moisture, be sure to fix the problem. These measures can help you fix your moisture issues.

3 Types of Fire Losses

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

burned content Fire loss in Schick, IL

Types of Fire Losses

When your property is damaged by a fire, three types of fire loss may occur. The exact definitions of each type vary depending upon the insurance code in Schick, IL, and the terms of your insurance policy. However, the general principles are the same.

1. Actual Total Loss
An actual total loss occurs when a property is destroyed or so badly damaged that fire restoration is not possible. For example, a building that completely burns to the ground is usually a total loss. An actual total loss usually results in the fair market value of the property or the policy limits being paid to the policyholder, who is then responsible for either rebuilding the property or purchasing a new building.

2. Constructive Total Loss
A constructive total fire loss may occur when the property is only partially damaged but is considered unfixable and unusable. This may happen because the cost to repair the property exceeds the fair market value or policy limits. It may also occur because local building codes or other government actions do not permit the damaged property to be repaired. Constructive total losses are usually paid out in the same manner as actual total losses. There may be specific language in your insurance policy that defines when a loss is considered a constructive total loss.

3. Partial Loss
Any loss that is not a total loss is considered a partial loss. If you have smoke damage, fire damage, or water damage that can be cleaned and repaired or part of your building was destroyed, but part can be restored, you probably have a partial loss. A partial loss claim will usually pay out the cost of fire restoration services and the repair or replacement of damaged property.
Understanding what type of fire loss you have will help you know what to expect in terms of a settlement from your insurance company. Your insurance professional can assist you in determining your likely settlement.

What To Do When You Find Sewage in Your Bathtub

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Severe flood in the bathroom. Water on the bathroom floor Sewer backup in Glendale Heights, IL

What To Do When You Find Sewage in Your Bathtub

Storms are inevitable. Powerful rains and winds have the potential to lasting cause damage during a storm. If you experience a sewer backup after a storm in your home in Glendale Heights, IL, you may have some questions about what happened and what to do about the mess.

1. Why Backups Happen
Toilets and bathtubs drain separately down into the same sewer line through separate pipes. When there is a backup or obstruction in the main sewer line for your home, things that did not drain properly, like raw sewage, can be pushed back up through any available pipes and end up in your bathtub. A bathtub backup does not mean there is anything wrong with your bathtub. It's messy and may smell bad, but your bathtub will likely function properly again once cleaned and sanitized.

2. What To Do Immediately
When you discover a sewer backup in your bathtub, there are a few things you can do immediately to lessen the impact on your home. Stop flushing toilets and turn off the waterline. Stopping the flow of water through your pipes will prevent flooding and stop more sewage from coming up in unexpected places. To help dispel the odor, open windows, and use fans to ventilate the area. Try to avoid skin contact with raw sewage. If you should accidentally touch it, wash your hands with antibacterial soap.

3. When To Call For Help
Sewage contains bacteria and other contaminants that can cause lingering odors and lasting damage to your home if not cleaned quickly and properly. Adequate ventilation throughout the cleanup process and personal protective gear are essential for the safe cleanup of sewage. Unless you want to purchase the proper protective gear and cleaning equipment needed to achieve a safe and thorough cleaning yourself, you may want to enlist storm damage repair professionals who are experienced in the process and equipped to efficiently clean and sanitize everything.
Understanding how a sewer backup happens and how to respond to the mess can help you avoid lasting damage to your home.