Recent Posts

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.

For more on St. Charles click here

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.

For more on St. Charles click here

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.

For more on St. Charles click here

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.

Click here for more on St. Charles.

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.

For more on St. Charles click here.

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

St. Charles Fire Services

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage St. Charles Fire Services Home fire in Geneva, IL

St. Charles Fire Damage Services for Your Home

While we hope you will never need our services, please know that SERVPRO of St. Charles, Geneva, and Batavia stands at the ready in the event of an emergency. We specialize in fire damage restoration. From the moment the smoke clears, our professional and efficient specialists work diligently to clean and restore your home. Providing fire damage service in St. Charles, Illinois as well as Geneva, Batavia and the surrounding areas - SERVPRO is a name you can trust.

Here is a brief list of the services we provide:

  1. Water Removal: After a fire, the damage to a property is not limited to just charred walls and furniture; the water damage is typically as extensive. Using a variety of methods, from water pumps to commercial fans to dehumidifiers, SERVPRO of St. Charles/Geneva/Batavia works to eliminate this excess water and moisture from your property, furniture, carpet, and other items. This helps to prevent the development of mold and mildew, as well as protects the integrity of the structure. This is why it is in your best interest to contact SERVPRO, your local experts in fire damage restoration and water damage restoration.
  2. Smoke Removal: Stains from the soot generated by the fire and the smell of smoke lingers in furniture, clothing, carpet, drapes, and drywall if the smoke damage is not professionally remediated. SERVPRO’s specialists can efficiently remove the aftermath of fire damage allowing you to return the normalcy of life as quickly as possible.
  3. Determine Salvageable Possessions:  When fire damage is extensive, it can seem as though all of your possessions, from couches to clothing to electronics must be thrown out.  That is a costly mistake that SERVPRO of St. Charles/Geneva/Batavia can help you avoid. Our fire damage salvaging experts can assist you item by item to determine whether a particular piece is salvageable or needs to be replaced.  With your approval, salvageable items are taken to our specialized facility where we begin the delicate process of restoring the items you desire.

Getting life back to normal quickly and efficiently by restoring and repairing your fire, water, and smoke damaged home is what the technicians at SERVPRO do best.  When you are looking for experts to assist with fire damage restoration and repair near Batavia, IL, make the right call to SERVPRO of St. Charles/Geneva/Batavia at (630) 377-7062. Don’t delay; we are available 24x7 for just such emergencies. The sooner we begin the process, the sooner you and your family will be enjoying your home once again.

4 Mold Prevention Tips for Restaurants

4/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 4 Mold Prevention Tips for Restaurants Take these steps in preventing Mold in your St Charles restaurant

Restaurants are prime real estate for mold. Food service environments have plenty of organic materials and moisture in play, both of which are necessary for mold growth. If you want to prevent mold contamination in your restaurant, you should follow these four steps under ordinary conditions and after any water damage.

1. Take measures to eliminate excess moisture. Mold must have moisture in order to grow. If you are aware of places where water tends to pool up, take steps to prevent it from doing so or to clean up spills or leaks as soon as possible.

2. Install proper ventilation throughout the restaurant. In addition to sufficient hood venting for your hot line, you should also have a functional HVAC system. Ventilation can help to filter food particles out of the air and prevent mold from forming. If a severe leak occurs, use fans and a dehumidifier to reduce high humidity and make the area less prone to mold.

3. Keep surfaces clean and identify areas at risk for mold growth. Mold may flourish in places that you don't regularly look. Make a special mold checklist that involves cleaning areas that may be at risk for developing mold undetected, such as the underside of sinks or the back sides of coolers or other refrigerated preparation equipment. Employees should follow this protocol on a regular basis.

4. Cycle out old stock to prevent mold in food storage areas. You should try to avoid having moldy food in your walk-in cooler or other food storage areas. Mold can cross-contaminate food items that are not properly sealed and stored.

These four steps are intended to help you prevent mold from becoming a problem in your restaurant in St. Charles, IL. If you follow all of these steps and still encounter mold growth, you should contact a service that specializes in commercial mold remediation.

Click here for more on St. Charles.

Understanding Category 2 Water Damage

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Understanding Category 2 Water Damage Broken pipes can cause severe damage in your commercial building

If you don’t take care of a water pipe repair, you could end up with a flooded business. To make sure your building is restored to its undamaged state as quickly as possible, it’s important to contact a water mitigation expert in Geneva, IL. The first thing an expert will do is assess the flood water to determine whether the water is category 1, 2 or 3.

Flood water is categorized based on how contaminated it is with substances that pose a threat to human and animal health. Category 1 is clean water that’s drinkable at its source – for example, from a broken pipe. Category 3 water is highly contaminated with bacteria, microorganisms and viruses that can cause serious illness. Sewage from a backed-up toilet is category 3 water. So what is category 2? Sometimes called grey water, category 2 refers to water that contains some contaminants that may cause illness if swallowed.

Where Does Category 2 Water Come From?

Category 2 water can be classified as such right from the source, or it can be a result of category 1 water from a broken water pipe repair that has come into contact with contaminating materials. Some potential sources for grey water include the following:

• Overflow from washing machines
• Overflow from dishwashers
• Toilet overflow containing only urine
• Water flushed from sink drains
• Stagnant category 1 water
• Category 1 water that has come in contact with building materials

If you need to do a water pipe repair but put it off and ended up with a flood on the second floor, the water on the second floor would probably be classified as category 1. If that water seeps through the floor and leaks through the ceiling of the floor below, the water on the lower floor will probably be classified as category 2. An experienced water damage mitigation expert in Geneva, IL, can help you deal with both.

Click here for more on Geneva.

What To Do After a Big Storm

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What To Do After a Big Storm Aftermath of a Storm can leave your home or business with damage needing professional assistance

When large storms sweep through St. Charles, IL, many homeowners are left with some type of storm damage. Whether you have to deal with roof disrepair or flood damage, you likely want to get the problem looked at as soon as possible. If you're struggling to know what to do first, you can use this handy guide.

1. Consider your insurance policy. Does your home have flood insurance or another policy that could help cover some of the repair costs? You may want to call your insurance company to start the claims process. However, many storm adjusters are very busy right after a large storm. While it's a great idea to give them a call, you may not want to wait until they can arrive at your house before moving forward. If you do wait, the damage done by the storm may get worse.

2. Have the damage inspected. You don't have to wait for a flood insurance adjuster to start taking care of the damage. Instead, you can call in a team of storm remediation professionals. These specialists may record the damage done to your home and help you make a repair plan.

3. Get the water removed. If your home was affected by flood waters, you want to make sure to address the problem as quickly as possible. If you let the waters linger, your flood damage could transform into mold damage. Make sure to take plenty of pictures of your home before any repair steps are taken.

After a big storm, you may need to have an adjuster come to your home to figure out how your flood insurance policy will affect the repair budget. However, because of an adjuster's crazy schedule after a storm, it may not be wise to wait for him or her to come to your house before starting the repair process. You need to address the damage done to your home as soon as you can.

For more on St. Charles Click here.