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Black Water Facts

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Black Water Facts Floodwater damage in a Geneva, IL home

To folks who own homes in Geneva,IL , the prospect of floodwater damage in the aftermath of water infiltration can be a chilling thought. The type of inundation makes a difference in what will likely be required for effective remediation, and some floods are definitely worse than others.

Defining Characteristics

Black water is the term used to describe a type of liquid that presents a risk to the health of humans and animals upon exposure. Sources of this unsanitary condition include the following:

  • Sewage from a toilet or bidet containing urine and fecal matter
  • Flood water from rivers and streams
  • Ground surface water entering a home or building

Aside from the expense and inconvenience of water damage, serious illness and disease can result from encountering unsanitary water in various ways. Ingesting it, inhaling it in droplet form, and even exposing broken or unbroken skin can be hazardous to one’s health. Campylobacteriosis, cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, leptospirosis and gastroenteritis are common infections caused by this kind of exposure and typically produce diarrhea, fever and chills. More serious threats include hepatitis and infected wounds that can escalate to become life-threatening, especially if left untreated.

Remedying Concerns

A timely and professional response is crucial in remediating a home compromised by raw sewage. Contaminated water must be extracted, and an assessment of what can withstand antimicrobial cleaning, and what must be discarded, must be made. Because mold can begin growing within hours of a deluge, thorough drying of the area is likely to be one of the first steps to take.

Water damage of any kind is an event that no homeowner relishes, but the presence of biohazards can add anxiety to an already challenging situation. Bringing a home back to its pre-flood cleanliness and comfort is doable in most situations. Safe and effective industry-standard procedures have been developed and can take away the worry associated with black water flooding.

Swamp Cooler Maintenance Is a Key To Mold Prevention

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Swamp Cooler Maintenance Is a Key To Mold Prevention You can prevent mold damage in your St. Charles, IL home

Swamp coolers provide an economical way to keep your house cool, but they introduce moisture into an otherwise dry home. If you have a properly maintained cooler, monitor the humidity levels and are on the lookout for mold or a musty smell, you are probably going to be mold-free. If you have a leaking swamp cooler and it goes unnoticed, you could have problems. Swamp coolers can leak for several reasons.

  • The plumbing connections to the cooler could be loose or corroded.
  • The pads are loose, have become dislodged or need to be replaced.
  • The float valve that maintains the water level allows the water in the reservoir to overflow.
  • The reservoir is cracked or otherwise damaged, allowing water to leak into the house.
  • The residue from hard water evaporation negatively affects its operation.

Have Your Swamp Cooler Checked Regularly

By the time you realize that you have a leaking swamp cooler, you may already have a mold problem. With swamp coolers, the best approach to leaks is to prevent them or catch them early. Schedule an appointment to have your cooler inspected and tested. That would also be a good time to have the pad changed and look for evidence of leaks.

Do Not Let Your Swamp Cooler Operate Unattended
This is not to say that you should turn it off before going to the grocery store and turn it back on when you return. This refers to times when you are away, and no one is keeping an eye on your house because changes in the weather or failure of your cooler can change the amount of moisture being delivered into your house.

You Don't Need a Swamp Cooler To Have a Mold Problem
A leaking swamp cooler is only one of many problems that can trigger mold growth. Mold problems can occur anywhere that mold can find moisture and food, including St. Charles,IL . If you have a mold problem, it’s best to have nearby mold removal experts address your problem quickly and completely.

5 Reasons Your Business Needs Flood Coverage

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 5 Reasons Your Business Needs Flood Coverage Flooding can occur from storm damage after a severe storm in the St. Charles area.

When it comes to flood insurance for your commercial building in St. Charles, IL, you may think this is an extra policy you don't need. After all, won't your commercial policy cover any water damages done to your property? However, most commercial storm damage restoration professionals will tell you this is coverage you should get for your business.

1. Flooding might not be covered by property insurance. This of course depends on your policy, but most commercial insurance policies don't help pay for damages done by flooding caused by storms. Your policy could cover some sources of water damage, but you may feel better if you equip yourself with a policy that provides more protection.


2. It can help you replace your belongings. If your business equipment is damaged during a storm's deluge, you may be able to get some help replacing the items. This assistance can help you get your company back up and running quickly after a disaster.


3. It can cover you from various sources of flooding. Most flood insurance policies will cover a wide range of standing water sources, including ice dams, overflowing rivers, blocked sewage systems or snow melt. Talk with your insurance agent to find out which ones apply for your coverage.


4. You may be at a high risk for flooding. Some areas have a higher flood risk than others. If your property is in a low-lying area or hurricanes are common in your locale, you may want to strongly consider adding a specialty policy to your coverage.


5. It can help you remove mold caused by standing water. After water permeates your building, you have a risk of accruing secondary damage, such as mold growth. Many policies for floods will help pay for restoration after mold damage is found.

Flood insurance can help protect your property and your business from damages caused by a storm. Without a special policy added to your property insurance, you may have a major gap in your coverage.

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First Aid Tips for Minor Burns

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage First Aid Tips for Minor Burns Serious injury on the job could require urgency in care


If you or your employee has suffered a minor burn after fire damage at your St. Charles, IL, business, you will want to follow some basic first aid steps to ensure that the burn is well taken care of and the victim’s safety is being considered. There are five steps that should alleviate pain and suffering associated with minor burns while keeping the skin as healthy as possible.

1. Remove Jewelry

Tight-fitting items such as rings and watches need to be carefully taken off of the victim so they do not get stuck if the burn swells up. Objects worn around areas such as necks are especially important to remove.

2. Cool Burned Skin

This is a crucial burn first aid tip. Run the burned skin under cool water, making sure that the temperature is not too cold. You can also use a wet compress. Once the pain settles, cease cooling efforts.

3. Apply Aloe Vera

Aloe vera or similar moisturizers can provide burn relief as well as keep the area from getting dry. If a broken blister is found during this process, clean it and apply antibiotic.

4. Loosely Bandage

Make sure to use gauze that is sterile. Bandaging will keep the burn dry and protected.

5. Take Pain Medicine

It can be easy to forget to take care of personal comfort after fire damage, but if a burn victim is still in pain after applying cold water, aloe vera or a bandage, it is really a good idea to look for a pain reliever to alleviate his or her suffering. Over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen or aspirin should help.

Know When to Get Help

Burns that seem more serious or that are causing the victim an alarming amount of complications should be checked out by a medical professional. Most property destruction can be corrected by a fire damage restoration company in St. Charles, IL, but a human’s needs are a little more complicated. If something seems urgent with the burn, trust your instincts and seek help.

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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.

For more on St. Charles click here

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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