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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.

Choosing the Right Smoke Detector for Your Home

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Ionization smoke detector Ionization alarms work when smoke particles interrupt the electric current in the alarm

A properly working smoke alarm can be one of the most important things you purchase to keep your home and family safe. If you need to buy a smoke detector, it can be confusing with the numerous types available. Fortunately, here is a guide to help you choose the right detector for your home.

Know the Available Kinds of Alarms

As with most items for sale, there are a variety of alarms available. The most common type of alarms for fire safety include the following:

  • Ionization – this type of alarm works when smoke particles interrupt the electric current in the alarm.
  • Photoelectric – a pulsating light is used in this type of alarm to detect smoke in the air.
  • Dual-sensor – ionization and photoelectric are used in a dual-sensor smoke alarm.
  • Combination – this alarm is used to detect both smoke and carbon dioxide.


Consider the Type of Power Used

If you’re in a newer Keeneyville,IL, home, your alarms may be hard-wired into your electrical system. If the household current goes out, these types of alarms have backup batteries. Other detectors run on 9-volt, AA or AAA batteries. Consider what type of power is used when purchasing your smoke detector.

Recognize the Size of Your Home

If you have a fairly large home, fire safety is especially paramount. It may be a good idea to have all your alarms wired into one central alarm so that once one alarm goes off, all the alarms go off. Professional installation is usually required for this type of alarm.

Check Requirements

It’s important to properly test and maintain each smoke detector. Most alarms need to be tested monthly for fire safety; therefore, choose one that you feel comfortable testing. Some alarms have remotes for testing so that you don’t have to climb a ladder each month.

Choose the right smoke alarm for your home using the guidelines above. If you ever experience a home fire, there are fire restoration experts available to help you.

How To Avoid Spreading Mold

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

A mold technician wearing a white suit, goggles and a respirator mask Mold technician wearing protective equipment

When trying to get rid of mold in Ontarioville,IL, it’s crucial to know the best way to do so. Spreading mold can happen easily, even when attempting to get rid of it. That’s because mold is spread by air movement. In cases where homes have black mold, this can be dangerous. Learn more about how mold can move around and the best way to clean it up.

Understanding How Mold Spreads

Mold can easily travel through the air as small spores. These spores look for areas that are damp and have a humid temperature in order to continue breeding. Bathrooms are a common place to find mold growth, with basements and attics providing alternative places for it to breed. Because these are normally dark locations, it isn’t always easy to spot mold when it grows.

Other areas where mold likes to grow can include the following:

  • Paper
  • Soap scum
  • Dirt

Allowing these areas to remain untouched makes spreading mold easier. If mold makes an appearance, it is important to use mold remediation specialists to help with the problem to avoid further damage.

Why Avoiding DIY Mold Removal Is Important

Although choosing a DIY method sounds tempting, this can make matters worse. Many people think they’ve removed all the mold by spraying or otherwise cleaning the area. Often, these methods encourage the mold to travel and can even move it along, allowing the spores to float. If you’re not diligent, the mold can grow back without proper treatment.

That’s why professional mold remediation is the best choice for a home. In these instances, trained technicians can come in and ensure the mold is completely removed. They can even let the homeowner know if they’ll need to come back again for repeated sessions to ensure everything is completely gone.

Spreading mold is far easier to do than removing it. By enlisting the help of a professional, it is possible to eradicate it from your home.

Flood Prevention Strategies To Protect Your Business

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

A map with evacuation routes A map with evacuation routes

Flood Prevention Strategies To Protect Your Business

Floods caused by severe weather have increased in number over the last few decades. Whatever your location, unpredictable conditions, from broken pipes to flash floods, can cause water to infiltrate your facility. Some simple precautionary measures can reduce your property’s risk of costly water damage.

Maximizing Preparation

The better prepared you and your staff are, the easier it will be for you to work together in an emergency. Consider these ideas to provide some essential support.


Compiling an emergency kit with flashlights, batteries, fresh water, first-aid, food, towels and blankets
Registering with an emergency notification service
Posting a map with evacuation routes
Providing an emergency preparedness class for your staff
Posting contact information for an emergency water restoration specialist


Once these aspects are covered, it may help to take steps toward addressing your facility’s risk.

Minimizing Vulnerability

Your facility's flood readiness significantly affects your risk for water damage. Cleaning gutters and storm drains regularly can prevent flood-favorable conditions from developing on or near your structure. Your sump pump can continue removing water even through a power outage if you provide it with battery-backup power. Winter weather brings risk of freezing, bursting pipes. Insulating any above-ground backflow prevention valves will help avoid broken pipes and costly property damage. Having addressed practical risks, the final consideration is financial protection.

Mitigating Cost

Because water-related damage can be so destructive and costly, insurance coverage is strongly recommended. If your Keeneyville, IL, business is in a high flood-risk area, a flood insurance policy was likely required when you purchased the property. Even if your flood risk is low, a policy that covers water damage is recommended for problems such as roof or plumbing leaks. Your business insurance agent can help evaluate your risk and recommend the best coverage for your unique situation.

Water cleanup is generally an unsettling experience for a workplace. You may be glad you devoted some time to preparation if you do have to endure a water emergency in your facility. Planning well could minimize the impact on your property and your bottom line; it might even mean the difference between a few soggy landscape plants and a flooded basement.

Removing Odor After Your Home Is Flooded

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Someone's hand pointing at a wall that has mold and mildew Mold growth and mildew as a result of humidity

A flood’s aftermath can impact your home in various ways. Possessions may be ruined, the structure itself is likely compromised and mold growth might emerge. One noticeable effect of a flood is often a foul smell that can range from annoying to overwhelming. Learn more about removing this odor by identifying the multiple causes and removal methods at your disposal.

What Causes Flood Odor?

There are a variety of reasons why the affected location has such a powerful stench. Knowing each reason can assist you in finding a specific solution. The following factors are some of the most common causes of after-flood odor:

  • Strong humidity
  • Sewage loss contaminated with waste, bacteria and other pollutants
  • Water filled with chemicals or garbage
  • Mold growth and mildew as a result of humidity

The longer the odor remains in the home, the stronger it can become. You will need to determine the definite cause behind the smell and act fast before the problem escalates.

What Do You Do After a Flood?

The first step in handling undesirable smells in the flooded area is getting rid of the flood water. Beyond draining away the excess water, you will also have to use a wet vacuum or a steam cleaner to clean carpets and remove the remaining water. You must also dispose of any debris caused by the flood.

How Do You Eliminate the Odor?

Once everything has been cleaned up, it is time to begin the disinfection and deodorization of the area. If the odor is weak and the damage is minor, you can use a mop with soap and disinfectant to clean the floors and walls. If the smell is too great or if mold is present, water damage restoration services can help you get rid of the smell — and the mold — effectively.

A strong odor after a flood can impact the quality of life in your Hanover Park,IL, home. Take the necessary steps to mitigate the damage, including mold growth, and eliminate the odor before it worsens.

Why Your Water Heater is Making Noises

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

An annual water heater flush is generally the best way to maintain your equipment

Most noises that are made by water heaters come from those that have a tank. If you have a tankless system in Hanover Park,IL, it might make a clicking noise when the flow switch starts and stops the flow of water, which is normal. However, if it makes a lot of noise when turning on, there may be too much calcium from hard water. This might indicate the need for a water softener. Other noises could be related to a dirty fan, a leak in the sealed combustion, or a problem with the burner. So, what about noises with a tank water heater?

Types of Water Heater Sounds

Crackling or Popping

Sediment can accumulate around the element tubes and begin making popping sounds as the water is forced through the sediment. If you have an older heater, this is more common. If the sound is more of a rumble, there may be sediment inside the tank which can be fixed with an annual water heater flush and a good cleaning. Similar noises can be made just by the metal tank expanding and contracting, which is normal.

Hammering or Knocking

If you hear a knocking sound inside your walls, this is usually from the pipes heating, especially when water going to and from the tank is turned off abruptly, such as from a dishwasher or toilet. This causes pipes in the walls to move, and while it’s not damaging to your water heater, it could cause wall damage eventually. Water hammer arrestors are made to solve this issue.

Screeching

A screeching or screaming sound usually indicates that water is being forced through a small opening, caused by a slightly closed valve at your water heater or the appliance you’re using, such as a sink.

Tapping or Ticking

This is often a normal sound, caused by the check valves or heat traps in the pipes on top of your heater. These are used to make sure water does not flow in the wrong direction.

Maintaining Your Water Heater

An annual water heater flush is generally the best way to maintain your equipment to ensure it lasts as long as possible while functioning correctly and efficiently. It’s also useful to check the hot water supply lines to all of your sinks once in awhile to ensure you won’t be needing any water damage repair out of the blue!

Tips on Defending Your Building Against Storm Damage

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

A powerful storm in Schaumburg,IL, can deliver a wallop against the walls, windows and roof of your commercial building. A little extra attention to exterior maintenance can strengthen a building and make it more likely to hold up to heavy winds, torrential rains and flooding. The starting point is a thorough inspection of your building and the nearby grounds. This is something you can do, but at some point you might want to bring in an extra set of eyes by contacting a building company or a team of storm damage professionals. They might spot things you would have missed and will offer tips for protecting the building.

The Most Effective Measures

After the building inspection is completed, you will probably want to take some specific measures to strengthen your property. Pay attention to areas of your building that have been neglected or look vulnerable. The following issues should be addressed promptly:

  • An old or damaged roof
  • Broken windows or windows with poor seals
  • Cracks in the foundation
  • Ceilings that show signs of water damage
  • Walls that have crumbling masonry or damaged siding

A building maintained well gives your company a better chance of handling a high-impact storm. Proper exterior maintenance allows your company to stay ahead of problems and reduce the chance of major repairs and work disruptions. It also enables your property and its contents to weather a big storm in Schaumburg,IL.

Additional Fixes

If your building is located in a flood zone, or if it is in the path of frequent storms, you may want to consider more substantial measures. Building earth berms or physical barriers fortifies your property against high waters and strong winds. A new metal roof may be more effective than a traditional shingle and tar roof. These measures are expensive, but may pay off in the long run. Serious attention to exterior maintenance pays off in the long run.

3 Tips for Resolving Smoke Damage Claims

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke damage in a Bartlett, IL building

When your property is damaged by smoke from a neighboring building, the insurance claim process may be anything but clear. Fortunately, there are some things you can do as you work with your insurance company to improve the results of a smoke damage claim.

Keep Thorough Records

Written records and photographic evidence of smoke and soot damage is crucial to the successful resolution of a claim. Your records should include a lot of information:

  • The date of the fire
  • The type of damage and any related losses
  • Names and contact information of the involved parties
  • A description of all affected contents
  • Estimates for the cost of repairs and corrective action
  • Reports from the police and fire department


Contact your insurance agent to find out if you need any other information. Keep these records in a safe place, so you can provide copies as needed by various authorities.


Hire Professionals for Repairs


As smoke damage spreads throughout your building, soot settles on carpets, equipment, and furnishings. Professional smoke cleaning companies can help you avoid further damages, and they are likely to work with your insurance company. If you try to attempt repairs on your own, you could do additional damage and reduce the amount you could get from your insurance provider.


Call a Public Adjuster


Even if you are confident in your insurance company, a public adjuster provides an unbiased estimate of the cost of the damage. This information can help you develop a realistic understanding of how much money you may get from the claim. The participation of a public adjuster could influence your insurance company, particularly if the company is likely to minimize their estimate of damages.

Smoke damage losses are generally covered by insurance companies. Use these three tips to improve your chances of getting sufficient reimbursement when your Bartlett,IL, business has been affected by fires in adjacent buildings.