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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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Storm Damage Prevention

3/31/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Damage Prevention Tree Damage in Commercial Building

St. Charles Home Care: What Every Homeowner Must Know to Reduce Storm Damage

Water damage from severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, ice, and hail is an all too familiar occurrence in St. Charles and surrounding areas. Because our area is prone to severe weather, it is vital to know what you can do to protect your home. This simple checklist can help you prepare your home and minimize the damage caused by a destructive storm.

Check Your Roof and Ceiling
At least quarterly, do a quick visual inspection of the ceilings in your home. Any cracks or discolorations should be further inspected. Discoloration could be a sign of water damage and possible mold growth. If you are unsure, call an expert like St. Charles SERVPRO, for a full evaluation and assessment. After walking through the inside of your home, walk around the exterior paying attention to the roof. The older the roof on your home is, the more frequently you should do a quick (from the ground) inspection. In addition, you should walk around your home after every major storm to note any new damage. If you notice any lifting or missing roof tiles, contact a licensed roofing company in your area for a thorough inspection.

Review Gutters and Downspouts
If you have trees close to your home, gutters and downspouts need to be inspected regularly. Leaves, sticks, other debris, and even critters can collect in gutters resulting in poor drainage during severe weather events. Clogged downspouts can be difficult to notice during a storm. The best test is to put your garden hose in the gutter, and turn on the water fully. This can help you assess whether it the gutters and downspouts are clear. Just as important is ensuring that the landscaping and downspouts are directing the water away from the foundation of the home.

Mold Won’t Go Away on Its Own – You Need To Give It a Helping Hand

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Won’t Go Away on Its Own – You Need To Give It a Helping Hand Mold Ceiling Damage in Geneva Home

Black mold has staying power, and even after you’ve dried out the problem area and removed any visible signs of mold growth, you still have a problem. Mold cleanup entails much more than drying out the mold; it also involves these tasks:

• Removing spores
• Replacing affected materials with new ones
• Implementing preventative measures

If you recently discovered mold in your home, the problem may be much more extensive than you initially thought. Once you have dealt with the initial source of the problem, reach out to your [City, State], mold remediation team for help eradicating the problem for good.

Professional Mold Remediation Is Key

If the moisture problem that caused the mold growth was allowed to continue for more than 24 to 48 hours (which is often the case with roof leaks, leaking pipes, and sump pump failures), chances are that the black mold spores have already spread beyond the original site. If this is the case, it would be in your best interests to reach out to a professional mold cleanup team.

The professionals have the technology necessary to identify affected areas without busting down walls, and the equipment on hand to remediate mold in an as uninvasive way as possible. Many homeowners fail to remove all present mold spores because they limit cleanup efforts the site of the moisture problem. The professionals, however, perform remediation efforts at all sites where their detection meters indicate growth.

Professional remediation often includes the following efforts:

• Containing the problem area so that further contamination is not possible
• Drying out and airing out the contained area
• Inspecting and cleaning out HVAC systems
• Removing mold and mold infested contents
• Cleaning materials and belongings
• Restoring your home to pre-mold condition

If you discover black mold in your home, it’s important to note that DIY cleanup efforts rarely work. If you want to eliminate the problem for good and ensure it doesn’t return, you need to work with a professional Geneva, IL, mold cleanup team.

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Understanding What Happens to Building Materials When They Get Wet

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Understanding What Happens to Building Materials When They Get Wet Home suffering from Water Loss

Water damage from any type of water deluge can be devastating to a home’s structure and not just to the contents within it. From swelling wood to supply line damage, the damage that an influx of water has the potential to cause can be costly and extensive. If you want to know what to expect from a burst pipe, flood or any other type of water issue, keep reading. Some common issues that stem result from sitting water include:

• Weak drywall
• Swollen wood
• Ineffective insulation
• Bad electrical
• Contaminated furniture and flooring

Common Structural Issues From Water Damage

Though a burst pipe is unlikely to cause the foundational damage a flood can cause, it can still wreak havoc on your home. If your home has been subject to several water deluges in the past, you may notice a few subtle signs.

For one, your drywall may become weak and begin to crumble, get soft or grow mold. If this happens, your drywall needs to be replaced and the structure of your home dried out, otherwise the swelling wood will continue to swell and cause additional damage. If your walls are plaster, you may be able to get away with simply drying the material.

Another sign you may notice is that your home doesn’t retain heat or cool air as well as it once did. Water damaged insulation is no longer effective and should be replaced when the drywall is replaced.

Depending on how extensive the damage was, you may notice that some outlets or switches don’t work as well. If there are electrical lines behind the damaged areas of drywall, the water surge may be the cause.

Finally, you may notice that your furniture and flooring take on a musty, moldy smell. If this happens, chances are because your furniture and carpet are contaminated, in which case, you would be better off replacing those items.

From swelling wood to bad electrical, a burst pipe can wreak havoc. If you’ve recently experienced a water surge, contact your St. Charles, IL, water restoration team for immediate and effective water pipe repair and restoration efforts.

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