Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

How Property Owners Can Prepare for Possible Mold Problems

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Technician wearing protective gear while doing mold containment Hire a professional to remove mold damage in your Glendale Heights property

Mold can be an expensive problem to fix. Not only do you have to ensure the spores have been removed from the premises, but you may also have to hire professionals to fix the leak or flood that caused the mold damage in the first place. A mold infestation at one of your Glendale Heights, IL, properties could thus affect your reputation and your bottom line. Many landlords attempt to mitigate the harm by filing mold insurance claims. However, they also need a mold management plan, as well.

Mold Management

A mold management plan can help you and your tenants minimize damage to the building. It can also show your insurance provider that you are serious about preventing mold issues. Ideally, your plan should include the following:

  • Ways to lower humidity within the building
  • Frequent inspections to find and address any leaks or clogs
  • A guide for what employees should do if they see water damage
  • Training seminars to implement your plan

A proper mold management plan can prevent the need for mold insurance claims. Still, you should have sufficient insurance in place just to be safe.

Mold Insurance
Your general liability policy likely includes some mold coverage. However, the policy likely limits the amount the insurer will pay for your mold claim. The money you receive from your regular policy likely will not cover the cost of mold remediation services. The policy may also exclude mold that results from excessive humidity or condensation.
That is why you should purchase separate environmental insurance. This type of insurance typically includes mold as part of its pollution liability coverage. You can thus use your environmental policy to make mold insurance claims.
By creating a mold management plan, you can reduce the chances of mold contamination harming your building. To further protect yourself, you should consider adding mold coverage to your environmental insurance policy. Then, if an infestation does occur, you can file a mold claim to help you pay for repairs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mold 101: A Quick Overview of Mold

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

white wall with grey discoloration Mold damage on wall

Any Roselle, IL, business can end up with a mold problem. This is because mold spores are literally everywhere. If the spores are introduced to water, mold has the environment that it needs to survive and to grow. If you’re worried about black mold growth in your business, then there are ways that you can prevent mold and to clean it up quickly and easily with the help of mold remediation specialists.

How Mold Grows

Mold growth is relatively simple. It tends to grow in the following areas:

  • Warm environments
  • Muggy climates
  • Flooding areas

Black mold grows in warm and moist environments. This is why the summertime sometimes leads to even more mold growth than other times of the year. This is particularly true if you live in a muggy area where the heat and moisture can lead to mold on the walls. Mold spores may travel from the outside into your building, or it may hitch a ride on your clothing until it ends up in your business.

Traits of Mold

In order to identify mold, you will probably smell it first. It can produce a strong odor that tends to lean towards musty. When you smell the mold, it can help lead you to where the problem is. Mold thrives in wet environments and will grow into colonies under the right circumstances. Likewise, mold spores are microscopic and can travel through heating and air vents. No matter where you are, whether it’s a business or a multi-family home, indoors or outdoors, mold spores are everywhere, and sometimes you need mold cleanup to help.

When you have a moisture problem, it can easily lead to a black mold problem. Any time you have moisture in your commercial building, you run the risk of mold growing. Fortunately, there are services Here to Help when you’re in the most need for them. Mold remediation can help offset new growth.

Filtering Mold Out of Your Home: Which Purifier Is Right for You?

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

dehumidifier in floor Secura 5-in-1 HEPA Air Purifier Cleaner

Mold is one of those things in life from which you just cannot hide. If you aren't vigilant, and if you do not take proactive measures, mold spores are bound to infiltrate your home and eat away at its structure. Fortunately, it doesn't take much to keep the fungus at bay. One way you can prevent mold growth is by investing in a quality air filtration system. The top three, in order of most to least expensive, are as follows:

  • Alen Breathesmart Classic Large Room Purifier
  • Alen T500 HEPA Air Purifier Pet Dander & Odor
  • Secura 5-in-1 HEPA Air Purifier Cleaner

What Makes Each Purifier Worthy of This List?

Read on To Find Out

Alen Breathesmart Classic

The Alen Breathesmart Classic is one of the pricier air purifiers on the market, but then again, it's effective. This system can purify an area up to 1100 square feet and kicks on every half hour. It utilizes WhisperMax technology and was designed and built by NASA engineers. The HEPA filter was designed to specifically prevent the reproduction of mold spores.

Alen T500 HEPA Purifier

As its name implies, this air filtration system purifies an area of up to 500 square feet. It too utilizes WhisperMax Technology and is equipped with an Ozone Safe Ion Feature. This feature allows the unit to clean the air quickly and effectively via the use of negative ions. You can choose from three different fan speeds when running this unit. The price of this item is middle-of-the-road.

Secura 5-in-1 HEPA Purifier

This unit may have a small price tag, but it does mighty things. Thanks to the 5-in-1 filtration arrangement, it features a true HEPA filter, a pre-filter, a carbon filter, a negative ion generator and a cold catalyst filter. You have your choice of three fan speeds and can set the system to automatically turn on and off after one, two or four hours. It claims to clean 99.9% of mold spores, pet dander, dust, pollen and household odors.

If you discover mold prior to buying an air filtration system, don't panic. Contact your Hanover Park,IL, mold remediation team for fast assistance.

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.

Moldy Bathrooms and Mold Removal

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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.

Preventing Mold Growth in Rental Properties

12/2/2018 (Permalink)

Mold drywall cleanup in Ontarioville,IL

As a landlord in Ontarioville,IL, you know how important the upkeep of your property is. In addition to keeping things like plumbing and heating in order, the possibility of finding mold is an ongoing concern. Being diligent about mold prevention can save thousands of dollars in the long run by ensuring that your renters' health is protected, your property remains undamaged, and you are in no danger of a subsequent lawsuit.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus. It is found everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, and propagates through airborne spores. It thrives in a moist environment, and becomes a problem when the mold growth occurs indoors due to water damage, such as behind a wall where a pipe is broken, or under a leaky roof. Various types of mold include:

  • Trichoderma – a mold usually found in wallpaper, damp carpeting or AC filters
  • Stachybotrys chartarum – otherwise known as black mold, a heavy producer of mycotoxins
  • Alternaria – a common mold found in showers and sinks
  • Aureobasidium – a fast-growing mold that's found in wooden furniture, window caulk and wallpaper
  • Aspergillus – found in air conditioners and on food

How is Mold Prevented?

Mold prevention is accomplished by removing any possibility of excess moisture within the structure. Humidity levels should be kept below 50%. Dehumidifiers or air conditioners can help keep the humidity level low. Plumbing should be inspected for any possible leaks. Condensation on cold surfaces can also contribute to mold growth. You can reduce this possibility by adding insulation to walls, floors, piping and walls. In addition, make sure there is proper ventilation in each unit. Utilize exhaust fans that vent to the outside in bathrooms and kitchens. Clothes dryers should also vent to the outside.

Consult a Professional

While there is a great deal you can do on your own to ensure mold prevention, it is always a good idea to consult with a mold remediation professional. They can inspect your property to make sure that nothing has been overlooked. If mold is detected, they have the expertise to quickly take care of a small problem before it can become a large one.

3 Elements of Damage After a Fire

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Structure fire damage in a Bloomingdale,IL home

Different Categories for Damages

Understanding what kind of damage your Bloomingdale,IL, commercial building can have after a fire may help you prepare for the restoration process. You can get a sense for the items that may need to be replaced or repaired. Going into a fire restoration full of knowledge can help you make decisions with confidence. Your fire damage restoration crew may have different categories for damages, such as the following:

1. Possessions

A fire may affect some of your commercial equipment and furnishings. These possessions can be scorched by the flames or covered in soot. An insurance adjuster may want to have a thorough list of damage done to your possessions before filling out a claim. You should try to take pictures of the damaged belongings.

2. Structure

The structure of your building may be affected by fire damage. Walls, flooring and ceilings can be burnt by flames. If the bones of your space are damaged too much, your building may be unsafe until a remediation crew can make repairs. In some cases, the exterior structure of your property may be affected by the fire. The roofing and siding could be damaged by the heat and smoke produced by the fire.

3. Smoke

After a fire, you may have to do more than fire mitigation. Smoke, for example, can cause another level of problems including bad odors and stains. The soot may cling to every surface in your commercial property. For this reason, you may need to replace carpeting, window treatments and other fabrics. Depending on the materials that burnt, the smoke may contain pollutants and other irritants that can be harmful for upholstery, electronics and other parts of your building.

There are a lot of items and structures that can fall into the category of fire damage. After your commercial building is affected, you may need to work with an insurance provider to pay for the required restorations on your property.

Options for Temporary Roof Repair

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Roofing after severe storm in Roselle,IL

How To Be Prepare

A typical asphalt shingle residential roof will last for around twenty years. However, this assumes proper maintenance procedures and comes with a few caveats. Forms of roof damage in Roselle,IL  can happen in a number of ways, not limited to hail storms, high winds, and UV damage. Infrequent and relatively inexpensive repairs after such events will extend the lifetime of your roof.

Unfortunately, sometimes an emergency can necessitate temporary repairs, especially after extreme weather events that create a spike in demand for the services of local roof repair professionals. If there is a roof leak or other visible damage, a homeowner should be prepared to:

  • Identify punctures from debris such as hailstones and secure the hole with a tarpaulin or sheet metal
  • Check for gaps in shingles or attic ventilation pipes and seal them with roofing cement
  • Examine gutters and flashing for wind damage
  • Check insulation, plywood, and other materials below the top surface, replacing if necessary
  • Use boards to cover sensitive surfaces such as broken windows or other large gaps

Consult your insurance provider to determine the proper inspection procedure. Some agencies may even prefer to send an inspector routinely, before any roof damage has taken place. Others may simply send an adjuster at the time of the event to assess potential claims and prevent further losses. Regardless, the above mitigation strategies will prevent extra water buildup and other forms of deterioration from worsening the problem. Addressing the damage in a timely manner is key.

Even with timely preventative stopgaps, some roof damage may be severe enough that water or debris enters the home, which with time can become a health risk and accelerate damage to the living space. In these cases, it may be prudent to consult with a professional cleanup specialist to remove moisture and ensure that your home is safe.