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Why You Need a Professional Response to Home Flooding

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Why You Need a Professional Response to Home Flooding Mitigation procedures after a basement flood

Once your St. Charles, IL, home has been exposed to flood damages, it's important to take steps to avoid secondary damage. This type of damage occurs when the materials of your home suffer because of indirect exposure to water or contamination. Some of the results include the growth of black mold or swelling wood floors. There are several common causes of this type of damage.

• Flooding wasn't cleaned up completely or soon enough.
• Type of dehumidification wasn't adequate for the circumstances.
• Areas of exposure were overlooked during the assessment phase of recovery.

Water Extraction Machines

If your home has been affected by flooding, your wet/dry vacuum, air conditioner, and fans won't have enough impact on the high humidity levels resulting from the presence of so much water. Professional extraction machines quickly remove water without giving it time to evaporate as quickly into the air of your home. The speed of water removal also decreases the chances of excess water getting under the walls and other hidden areas of the home.

Dehumidification Equipment

As water evaporates in the home, it will condense on parts of the home that hadn't initially been affected by the flooding. Porous materials, such as the wall materials, then become ideal for the growth of black mold. Professional-strength high-volume dehumidifiers are necessary to remove as much moisture from the air as possible, as quickly as possible.

Professional-Strength Fans

High-speed fans are also necessary to prevent standing water from seeping into the porous materials of your home and furnishing. Household fans could be used in a pinch, but if you have access to professional-strength fans, they are the best option.

Protect Your Home With Professional Results

As soon as your home has been affected by flooding, protect it, your furnishings, and your family from the effects of secondary damage. Reach out to flood restoration professionals with the equipment and training to prevent black mold, permanently damaged wood, expensive reconstruction, and all of the other damage that could occur. Check with your insurance company concerning flooding policies.

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Tips for Removing Cigarette Smoke Odor From Your Home

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tips for Removing Cigarette Smoke Odor From Your Home Cigarette smoke stains and odor in St. Charles home

As a new homeowner in St. Charles, IL, there may be a few things about your new house that you want to upgrade. Some people start thinking about remodeling and renovation. However, if your home smells of cigarettes, your first priority will likely be home deodorization. Working with a smoke and odor removal company can help you have a fresher smelling space. You can also keep these tips in mind as you go through this vigorous cleaning process.

• Wash Fabrics: Any curtains, rugs and carpets left behind need to be thoroughly washed. Fabrics can soak up particles from cigarette smoke. These particles make the odor linger longer. The type of fabric will dictate whether you use a dry-clean or wet method.


• Store Content: Once your belongings have been cleaned, you need to make sure they remain odor free. Putting your clothing, furniture, curtains and other cleaned items into a storage unit can help you ensure they do not get smelly again.


• Clean Walls: Even the walls and ceiling in your new home need to be properly cleaned for a thorough home deodorization. If these surfaces are left untreated, you may notice that the aroma still permeates your house. The professional cleaning crew will likely use a special solvent and equipment to clean the permanent fixtures in your house.


• Incorporate Filters: Commercial-grade air filters can help remove odor particles from your space. While air filtration may not remove the odor on its own, it is an important part of the overall cleaning process.


• Use Machines: Another machine commonly used to help remove cigarette smoke odor is an ozone machine. This device emits ozone molecules that act similarly to the smoke molecules. The new particles attach themselves to the surfaces in your home to start the deodorization process.

Home deodorization may not happen overnight. Sometimes it takes trial and error to fully remove bad smells from your house. Cleaning every surface and item in the building helps make sure you completely remove the foul aroma.

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How FEMA Can Help After a Storm

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How FEMA Can Help After a Storm Storm Damage in St. Charles Illinois

A hurricane or storm can leave terrible damage to homes in St. Charles, IL, but there is help. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can help homeowners get back on their feet following storm damage. Below is an idea of what to expect in the event of a hurricane in your area.

• Registration

The first step in the process is to make sure you are registered with FEMA. The easiest way to register is to go online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or to download the app. You can also call 800-621-3362 to get started over the phone or visit a Disaster Recovery Center in the event that you do not have internet access.

Be prepared with your Social Security number, address, income, insurance information and bank routing numbers, in addition to a detailed description of the damage to your home. Some homeowners have to submit a Small Business Administration loan application before their eligibility is determined. You’ll be given a nine-digit registration number to use for all future correspondence.

• Inspection

After registration is complete, the agency will contact you to set up a home inspection. They will assess any flood damage to the home during this time. The inspector should display his or her identification when he or she arrives. Homeowners or renters will be required to prove occupancy or ownership at this time, so be prepared with a payment receipt or rental agreement and government identification.

• Follow-Up

Following the inspection, registrants will receive notification about their applications via mail, email or text. Be sure to read everything because often times, people have to submit further documentation. If you aren’t sure what the letter means, you can contact the helpline at 800-621-3362.

No one wants to deal with flooding or the devastation of a hurricane, but fortunately, there is help. FEMA exists to help homeowners through this situation and get back to their normal lives as quickly as possible.

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Timely Intervention: The Key to Mold Prevention

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Timely Intervention: The Key to Mold Prevention Air Duct cleaning in St. Charles

If your commercial building in St. Charles, IL , is prone to mold problems, it is likely that you need to adjust your prevention measures. Early detection of the problem and remediation by certified specialists is key to taking care of it. If you want to prevent the problem in the first place, however, engaging in regular maintenance such as carpet cleaning, air purifying and HVAC servicing is helpful.

Early Detection

Water leaks can occur anywhere there is a source, even if you think the source is secure. A building may have cracks, allowing water to seep in from outside. Well-sealed buildings can also experience mold growth, though, as poor ventilation can cause condensation to form when moisture in the air cannot escape. There are several other ways water damage that lead to mold issues can occur:

• Frozen or broken pipes
• Loose supply lines
• Ice dams causing roof leaks
• Poorly planned landscaping or gutter systems
• Overflowing toilets or sinks

No matter what causes the issue, it must be resolved so that mold doesn't grow. If mold spores find a moisture source, you will likely experience a problem.

Preventative Measures

Regular maintenance of your commercial property can help prevent mold problems Routine carpet cleaning, particularly in high traffic areas where excess moisture may occur, is necessary. Set up a regular schedule for HVAC testing and cleaning to make sure that your air ducts don't have mold growth. Consider using HEPA air purifiers with activated carbon filters that draw mold spores out of the air to destroy them. Finally, something as simple as placing door mats at each entrance so that employees can leave the spores from outside that have hitched a ride indoors on their shoes at the door.

Air duct and carpet cleaning should be a part of your regular building maintenance plan. By keeping on top of your maintenance schedule and taking care of water leaks when they occur, you are more likely to prevent mold issues.

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4 Easy Steps To Flush a Water Heater

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 4 Easy Steps To Flush a Water Heater Conduct a water heater flush annually to ensure your water heater is working efficiently

Unless you love ice cold showers at your home in St. Charles, IL, you depend on your water heater to reliably do its job. This household item requires annual maintenance to keep it working properly, as mineral deposits collect over time and build up inside. A water heater flush may seem like an intimating task because water, electricity and gas are involved. However, the job is less stressful than it first appears. There are 4 easy steps to improve the efficiency and extend the life of this important appliance.

1. Turn Off Power

First, turn the appliance off to avoid the risk of exposing yourself to gas or electrical shock. For gas, turn the knob at the bottom to the “off” position and shut off the valve on the gas pipe. For electric, shut off the power at the circuit breaker box.

2. Prepare

Before you begin flushing, collect a garden hose long enough to lead outside. The alternative is to bring a shorter hose and a large bucket to contain the water. Connect the hose to the drain spigot on your water heater.

3. Drain and Flush

Open the valve to drain the water out of the tank. Run hot water from elsewhere in the house to help it flow. Once the water runs clear, close the valve. Repeat the process if desired.

4. Turn On Water and Power

Turn on the water supply to the appliance with the valve closed. Now, turn the power back on. For gas, turn the knob at the bottom to the “on” position and restart the gas supply. For electric, turn the power on at the circuit box. Remember to turn off the water you left running in the other location. The water should heat up in about 20 minutes.

As a homeowner that loves hot showers in St. Charles, IL, conduct a water heater flush on an annual basis to keep your water heater working efficiently. However, if this appliance reaches the end of its life and causes flooding or water damage, contact a water restoration specialist as soon as possible.

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What Is Category 1 Commercial Water Damage?

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial What Is Category 1 Commercial Water Damage? Broken Pipe in St. Charles IL

When your business has water damage in St. Charles, IL, it is understandable to be concerned for your livelihood. However, consider yourself lucky if the type of damage is a Category 1. There are three categories of water damage, with this being the only one resulting from clean water. When this type of loss occurs, it is important to understand why the damage occurred and how to return your commercial site to preloss condition.

What Causes Category 1 Water Damage?

Clean water damage originates from a sanitary source and, unless left to sit, does not endanger you if you come into contact with it. There are a number of places in your business that this water can come from:

• Cracked supply line
• Broken pipe
• Damaged sprinkler system
• Malfunctioned water heater
• Overflowed tub or sink

What Is the Process for Cleaning up Category 1 Damage?

Regardless of the source, the cleanup course for Category 1 damage is the easiest and quickest of the types due to the fact that the damage occurred from untainted water. If you immediately contact a water restoration company, you will not need to worry about the water posing a risk to your health. There are important steps, however, that the experts will follow to help you return your business to its prior condition:

• Immediate, emergency removal of excess water from the site using submersible pumps and industrial strength vacuums, both portable and/or truck mounted
• Inspection and removal, if necessary, of carpets and carpet pads
• Use of industrial grade dehumidifiers and air movers to efficiently and completely dry the space

Whether you experience commercial loss from a supply line or broken pipe in St. Charles, IL, cleanup from Category 1 damage is the least intrusive of the three types because it results from clean water. Although this justifiably will cause some stress and loss of operating time, when the problem is dealt with immediately and correctly your business will be functional again soon.

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4 Things You Need To Know About Partial Loss

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Things You Need To Know About Partial Loss Partial Loss to a house fire

Fires don't always ravage commercial buildings in St. Charles, IL. Sometimes they cause small amounts of smoke damage rather than burn the structure to the ground. This type of fire loss is often called a partial loss. Even though the damage isn't as severe, your restoration may still be a long process. Here are four things you need to know about partial loss:

1. Recovery may be on the back burner. If other commercial buildings were affected in the fire, your fire restoration may not get scheduled right away. The more damaged structures may get priority over your partial loss.


2. There could be more damage than expected. You have to get an inspection done of your property even if you don't think there's much damage. The inspection will look at your roof, siding, windows, interior walls, plumbing and structure. You may find hidden points of damage in ducts and behind walls. You may have to fix air quality and mold, water, smoke and ash damage too.


3. You may have to replace undamaged items. If part of your roof or siding has been damaged, you may need to replace a larger portion of the materials than expected. To get your building back to a uniform appearance, you may need to redo the entire roof after a partial fire loss.


4. You need to work with a professional. Even though there isn't that much damage to repair, you still need to work with a fire mitigation team familiar with this type of repair work. If you fail to work with a true professional, your cleaning and repair may not be done as well as it should be.

No matter how much fire loss you have after flames break out in your commercial building, you need to take on a complete restoration. Sometimes even the seemingly easy repairs can take more work and time than initially expected.

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Maintain Your Swamp Cooler To Prevent Mold

5/13/2018 (Permalink)

In hot, dry climates, swamp coolers, or evaporative coolers, are a great way to cool your home. As the water in the cooler evaporates, it absorbs heat from the air and adds water vapor. However, in St. Charles, IL, where humidity sometimes rises, it’s important to pay attention to the barometer. If humidity is too high, the water won’t evaporate and mold growth can develop in your swamp cooler. If this happens, it’s critical you clean the mold out of your evaporative cooler before running it again.

To avoid mold problems from a dirty or leaking swamp cooler, it’s important to do regular maintenance on your unit. Follow these basic guidelines to keep your cooler working and prevent mold.

1. Check Water Levels Regularly

Check the water level in your evaporative cooler regularly. If the water level is too low, your cooler may not be able to cool the air effectively. If the water level is too high, a leaking swamp cooler can become a source of chronic moisture in your home, creating the perfect conditions for mold to grow.

2. Keep the Exterior Clean

You should wipe down the outside of your swamp cooler every couple of weeks. A surface build-up of dust or grime can interfere with its cooling abilities. Wiping it down can also clean off any pollen spores that may have settled there, waiting for the right conditions to grow.

3. Clean the Water Tank

It’s a good idea to clean out the water tank periodically. This removes any build up of sediment, lime or organic material that might serve as a breeding ground for mold.

4. Change the Cooling Pads

The cooling pads are one of the first places mold can grow. Inspect them regularly and replace them if they’re cracked or dirty. If you notice a musty smell coming from your swamp cooler, you may have mold. Changing the pads and cleaning the tank should help.

While swamp coolers can be an economical cooling option in St. Charles, IL, some care is needed. Don’t run your cooler on humid days and perform regular maintenance to prevent a dirty or leaking cooler from causing mold to grow.

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4 Dos and Don'ts of Putting Out a Grease Fire

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 4 Dos and Don'ts of Putting Out a Grease Fire Grease Fire

Cooking a tasty meal in your St. Charles, IL, home can be an enjoyable way for you to express your creativity. However, stovetop cooking can present some dangers, especially when you use frying oils. If a grease fire should break out, knowing how to react and what to avoid can prevent the blaze from spreading and allow you to extinguish it quickly.

1. Do Not Move the Pan or Pot

If a pot or pan should catch fire, avoid trying to grab the handle or moving the container off the fire, even with a potholder. The movement might cause the burning oil to splash and spread the blaze. Turn off the burner instead and step away from the stove until the danger has passed.

2. Do Cover the Fire

If the fire is small, cautiously cover it with a metal lid. This should snuff the grease fire by leeching the oxygen from it. Avoid removing the cover until the pot or pan cools. If your appliance, walls or ceiling have sustained damage, call in a fire cleanup and restoration company to inspect the area and advise you about repairs.

3. Do Not Use Water on the Fire

While your first instinct may be to throw water on a stovetop fire, doing so can spread it quickly and increase the risk of burns from splashing. If the fire is contained within the pan, you can put it out with baking soda or a small kitchen fire extinguisher.

4. Do Call 911 Right Away

If you cannot stop the fire from spreading, evacuate your home immediately and call 911 from a secure location once everyone exits. Trying to contain a spreading fire on your own is highly dangerous and may result in serious injury.

Your St. Charles, IL, home’s kitchen can be a source of culinary joy and adventure. However, it also comes with potential risks, such as the outbreak of a grease fire, but knowing how to react can prevent a larger blaze and allow you to contain it safely.

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How To Recover After A House Fire

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

St. Charles Home Health: How to Recover after a House Fire

A house fire is one of the greatest fears for every homeowner and parent. To protect your family and your home from a fire, smoke detectors must be properly installed and tested monthly, fire extinguishers need to be placed in strategically throughout the home, and your evacuation drills need to be practiced regularly. These safety precautions can help to prevent house fires, minimize fire damage, and protect your family. ] However, if your home is damaged by fire, smoke, and water damage, SERVPRO of St. Charles/Geneva/Batavia can help you recover quickly.


After a fire, once you and your family is safe, the first step is to call your insurance company. The sooner you make contact and start the claims process, the quicker you and your family can resume your lives. Most insurance companies have a 24-hour emergency claims numbers; however, if you are unable to reach a live agent, leave a clear message explaining the damage, and provide a phone number where you can be reached. SERVPRO of St. Charles/Geneva/Batavia can work with you to file a claim allowing the recovery and restoration process to begin immediately.

 
Once the fire department has deemed your home is safe to enter, proceed with due caution and wear proper protective clothing and footwear. In your initial walk through, take photos and videos of the damage. If you have an inventory of items in your home, you can begin the process of checking off items that have been affected by fire or smoke damage. Meticulously cataloging each damaged item helps hasten the insurance claims process allowing you and your family to get your life back to business as usual. The SERVPRO of St. Charles/Geneva/Batavia team is highly trained to assess the damage to the contents of your home, and its structure, and can assist you throughout the inventory process.  We can quickly determine if items are a total loss, or whether they can be restored to pre-fire condition. Even items that may seem hopelessly lost to the devastating effects of the fire damage may be recovered and restored by a professional fire restoration team. 

The final steps are cleaning and rebuilding, and yes, SERVPRO of St. Charles/Geneva/Batavia is here to help with you throughout these steps as well. Cleaning up after a fire can be daunting, and even dangerous. Weakened structure, standing water, charred household items, damaged electrical appliances, and soot-covered keepsakes make it difficult to know where to begin. And, don’t discount the emotional side effects that a fire in your home will have on you, and your family. Allow your locally owned SERVPRO of St. Charles/Geneva/Batavia to assist you throughout the clean-up and rebuilding process, and you focus on attending to you and your family’s immediate needs and healing.


Seeking support throughout the fire recovery process is important too. Reaching out to friends, extended family, your worship community, and professional counseling are essential to the house fire recovery process. In fact, while fire damage restoration can take a few weeks to a few months with SERVPRO of St. Charles/Geneva/Batavia, the emotional recovery may take several more months. This is particularly true for the children in the household; be sure to consult a grief counselor if your children begin to show signs of fear and anxiety.

In the days and weeks after a house fire it may seem life may never return to normal. However, it most certainly can and your local SERVPRO of St. Charles/Geneva/Batavia is here to help you every step of the way.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com/.