Recent Posts

Flood or Storm Damage: When is a Flood a Flood

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flood or Storm Damage: When is a Flood a Flood Flood Damage in Batavia, IL.

Definition of Flood And Stormwater Damage

Flooding is one of those issues that causes a lot of controversy around the idea of insurance coverage. While flood damage requires individual riders and sometimes special policies, storm damage is often covered under a typical business policy. Why is that, and what exactly is the difference between flood and stormwater damage? The critical issue is in the definition of flood and stormwater.

1. Flood Water

Flood water is defined by territory and natural formation. Therefore, overflowing rivers, lakes, creeks, watercourses and dams are considered floods. Water overflowing from these areas and into your building will require coverage from an individual insurance rider or policy.

2. Stormwater

Stormwater refers to water overflowing from drains due to backups or rainwater. This type of flood damage is considered damage from a storm or other humanmade issue. However, while most policies will cover this type of damage, you may require special insurance coverage for your surrounding property or possible business interruption.

3. Water Damage Overlap

There are instances where both rainwater and overflowing rivers cause flooding. In these instances, it is up to your insurer what items are covered or not, likely anything explicitly caused by rainwater and damaging your property will be covered, but this can be hard to prove.

4. Water Coverage and Recovery

The most practical thing to do is to get a flood insurance rider if you are in a moderate to high-risk flood zone. By covering multiple possibilities, you can ensure a better outcome. Call your insurer or a flood remediation specialist in the Batavia,IL, area to discuss your options further.

Flood damage is unique in that its causes vary wildly from natural occurrences to humanmade crisis but that it is not as broadly covered by insurance policies. Insurers define flood water and stormwater in different ways which may result in the necessity of multiple policies or riders.

Watch Out for the Top 3 Leading Causes of a Home Fire

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Watch Out for the Top 3 Leading Causes of a Home Fire A fire place is an example of a possible source of a heating fire

Watch Out for the Top 3 Leading Causes of a Home Fire

For most people, their house is much more than just a building that they live in; it is a home where they make precious memories and feel the most secure. Going through a home fire that damages your home and destroys sentimental belongings can be extremely devastating. Although a fire restoration company can help reconstruct your home in St. Charles, IL, and deal with the fire cleaning, you will likely still experience some loss. It is important to be educated on how house fires often happen so you can prevent this terrible situation from every happening to you. Here are the top three leading causes to watch out for.

1. Cooking Equipment

Between oil spill, electrical appliances, open flames, and extremely hot temperatures, your kitchen is just a fire waiting to happen if you’re not careful. Keep your family and your home safe by making sure you keep the following tips in mind:

  • Never leave cooking food unattended
  • Keep flammable objects off your stovetop
  • Check the wires on your appliances
  • Keep oil splatter to a minimum
  • Keep a metal lid or pan close by when frying

2. Smoking Indoors

While many people choose to smoke outdoors to keep smells and lingering smoke out of their homes, preventing a home fire is another good reason to add to the list. In fact, smoking in bedrooms is the top cause of house fire fatalities. Leftover cigarette butts and embers that accidentally fall onto the ground or furniture can quickly catch flame.

3. Heating

Portable space heaters, furnaces, boilers, and fire places are all examples of possible sources of a heating fire. Make sure to keep up on maintenance tasks for all of these types of equipment, and always keep flammable objects at a safe distance away.

Fortunately, there are many steps and precautions you can take to prevent a home fire. Start by focusing on these three top fire causes to help keep your family and home safe all year long!

The Truth About What You Need To Do With Belongings Affected by Mold Damage

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Truth About What You Need To Do With Belongings Affected by Mold Damage Since mold likes to attach itself to a large number of different types of surfaces, your personal belongings may be affected as well.

The Truth About What You Need To Do With Belongings Affected by Mold Damage

If you’ve recently discovered mold in your home in St. Charles, IL you might be devastated to discover that the extent of the damage goes beyond the structure of your home. Since mold likes to attach itself to a large number of different types of surfaces, your personal belongings may be affected as well. The good news is that mold cleaning is possible for many different types of items around your home!

The Inspection Process

When a mold remediation specialist surveys the damage caused by mold to your home, they will inspect all the items affected. Often, the first step involves identifying whether items are porous, semi-porous, or non-porous. Porous surfaces have holes that quickly absorb water or other particles. Here are some examples of porous items:

  • Paper
  • Books
  • Carpet
  • Cardboard
  • Mattresses
  • Stuffed animals 

Porous items that have experienced mold damage require a more extensive cleaning process, so they are often thrown out if they are not of any value. However, items of sentimental value or important documents can be restored using special mold cleaning methods. It is important to consider the cost of cleaning particular items when determining whether you should keep them or throw them away.

Item Restoration

Once the items you want to have restored are identified, the restoration specialist will identify the best cleaning method depending on type of object affected. While non-porous surfaces can often be washed using dry and wet cleaning, spray and wipe cleaning, or abrasive and immersion cleaning, some items require special handling. For example, electronics, documents, photographs, and upholstery fabrics will go through a specialized mold cleaning process that will prevent further damage or corrosion from occurring.

While there is no guarantee that all of your items can be salvaged, it is certainly a relief to learn that you don’t need to throw out everything you own that has been affected by mold! With the help of a mold remediation specialist, you will be able to restore many of your most valuable belongings.

3 Potential Reasons You Have Noisy Pipes

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Potential Reasons You Have Noisy Pipes Copper pipes tend to expand when hot water passes through them.

Noisy Pipes In Your Home

Your home in St. Charles,IL , should be a comfortable and quiet place. If you have a noisy plumbing system, though, knocks and creaks could keep you up at night. While avoiding a pipe break is likely your primary concern, you may want to quiet your loud pipes. Here are three potential reasons you have noisy pipes in your home.

1. You Have Copper Pipes

Copper pipes tend to expand when hot water passes through them. When you switch to cold water, copper pipes quickly contract. This expansion and contraction can make your plumbing system noisy. While you probably don’t have to worry about a pipe burst, the noise may annoy you. By lowering the temperature on your water heater, you may be able to effectively stop the creaks and pops.

2. A Water Hammer Hits Your Valve

A water hammer occurs when pressured water hits the shut-off valve. Unlike noises from copper pipes, a water hammer may cause a pipe break. You may be able to fix the problem by tinkering with the air chamber in your plumbing system. If the water hammer causes a break, you must fix the broken pipe. Then, work with a water cleanup service to be sure you successfully control flood damage.

3. Water Pressure Plagues Your Plumbing System

Finally, you may have too much water pressure surging through your pipes. While high pressure is good for washing dishes, filling water bottles and showering, it can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. If you think water pressure is the source of your noisy pipes, adjust the pressure regulator.

Noisy pipes can be unbelievably annoying. Depending on the cause of pipe noise, your loud pipes could be a sign of a bigger problem with your plumbing system. By understanding what causes pipes to creak, moan and snap, you can develop a plan for protecting your home’s plumbing.

Mitigation Companies vs. Restoration Companies What’s the Difference?

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Mitigation Companies vs. Restoration Companies What’s the Difference? Board up commercial building in St. Charles, IL

Mitigation or restoration - these are common terms to come across when handling fire damage cleanup, and for the novice, it may not seem like there’s much of a difference. But the fact is, there are significant differences which can have major financial impacts: Some insurance plans cover mitigation services after a disaster and others only cover restoration services. Not knowing the difference can cost you big. Learn more about the difference between these two services and how they can help your St. Charles,IL, business in the wake of fire damage.

What’s Mitigation?

Many companies advertise themselves as fire mitigation specialists. Mitigation generally refers to reducing the severity of something, in this case, the impact of fire damage. Mitigation companies try to limit ongoing damage and stave off continued losses using tools and methods like:

  • boarding up windows
  • Adding roof tarps
  • Removing water from firefighting efforts
  • Securing the structure against collapse

It’s important to understand that they do not repair or replace, but rather, ensure the disaster doesn’t continue to have consequences.

What’s Fire Restoration?

After mitigation, it’s time for restoration. Restoration experts aim to rebuild and repair your property. They may replace walls damaged by fire or floors and carpets damaged by standing water. They can combat mold, odors and infestations, while making your property livable again. The key difference between restoration and mitigation is how it enables you to move forward. Mitigation sets the stage for fire cleanup. Restoration allows your business to get back to normal.

Fire restoration efforts pair naturally with mitigation and it’s not a question of one being better than the other, rather, which one you need at the time. The fact is, you’ll probably need both, but you may need to figure out which one insurance covers and which one you’ll need to finance. Talk to your insurance adjuster to learn about your options.

5 Steps To Stop Constant Flushing

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

A toilet that flushes repeatedly can cause a lot of problems in your commercial building. It can result in toilet overflow, and it can significantly increase your utility bill. The flushometer is designed to flush a commercial toilet efficiently, but if it malfunctions, it keeps flushing, even when it doesn't need to do so. Here are five steps to fix the problem.

1. Turn Off Water

When you look at your manual flushometer, you should see the slot where the screwdriver head goes. Insert the screwdriver and turn until the water source is shut off. This will help prevent a toilet flood while you are working on it.

2. Take Off Lid

Remove the lid of the flushometer. You may have to use a wrench to get it started, but after that you should be able to unscrew it by hand.

3. Reveal the Gasket

When you remove the flange, you should see the gasket. The most cause of flushometer malfunction is a clogged gasket. Right away, you can tell if there is a problem because the gasket and possibly the weep hold will be full of sediment.

4. Clean the Gasket

Remove the gasket and clean it thoroughly to prevent further toilet overflow that has to be mitigated by water restoration professionals. Wash the gasket and, using a small tool such as a pin, clear out the weep hole port.

5. Reassemble the Flushometer

Place the cleaned gasket back into the flushometer. Screw the lid back on, tightening it with a wrench if necessary. Turn the water back on see if the problem is resolved. If not, you may have to call a plumber in Batavia,IL, who can stop a toilet from running.

It's important to make sure the plumbing in your commercial building is working properly. To prevent toilet overflow, clean the gasket on your flushometers regularly.

Water in Light Fixtures? Safety First!

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water in Light Fixtures? Safety First! Water in a light fixture in a St.Charles home

Unless you live in a clam shell in Triton’s kingdom under the sea, you shouldn’t see water in your light fixtures. When your home is in St. Charles,IL, water in such a place is a dangerous problem that needs to be addressed quickly. Here are some important things to do to resolve the problem and prevent further damage.

Stay Safe

When it comes to water in a light fixture, your first step is safety. Here are three things to do to keep everyone safe:

1. Turn off electricity. Throw the breakers for the affected locations. If you are in doubt, turn off power to the whole house before proceeding.

2. Cordon off unsafe areas. You may have some ceiling damage, so look for sagging ceilings or stains to indicate its location and take caution until you find the source of the leak. Prevent children and other family members from being under or above the damaged area.

3. Stop the leak. Finding the leak may be a challenge, but once you have the electricity off, you can proceed without risk of electrocution. Turn off the water supply to prevent further damage until you can repair the source of the leak.

Prevent Secondary Damage

A sneaky ceiling leak causes a lot of damage. You may need a professional for help with structural and electrical repairs, and prevention of subsequent damage is key. Water-damaged household materials are a prime breeding ground for mold. This is a key point of recovery when a professional flood remediator can save you time and money by working quickly to either remove materials or dry those that can be salvaged.

Act Fast

Keep in mind that mold starts to develop fast, in as few as 48 hours. Prompt and thorough action is key to minimizing damage. Remember that safety is the first step whenever you have water in a light fixture or flood damage in a ceiling.

Steps To Take After a Fire

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Steps To Take After a Fire Fire damage in Geneva,IL

Are you Prepared?

It's hard to imagine a fire happening to you, but what if your home does catch fire? Are you prepared? Do you know what to do? When you're in the midst of the crisis, it can be hard to decide which steps should be completed first. However, as you work with fire restoration professionals, you'll be able to get your life back on track.

1. Contact Your Insurance Agent

As soon as possible, call your insurance agent. Before the smoke from the fire clears, you'll get phone calls from contractors and other professionals with services to help you. Before you sign any paperwork, however, you'll want to know exactly what your fire insurance policy is going to cover.

2. Contact a Fire and Smoke Restoration Company

The clean up that happens right after the fire can have long-term effects on the rest of the restoration process. Your insurance company may recommend specific fire restoration professionals in Geneva,IL. These experts have dealt with many fires and have the specialized training, equipment, and cleaners to protect your home.

3. Categorize Your Belongings

In addition to separating those items that have been damaged from those that are still in good condition, you'll want to take an inventory of your losses. Separating your items into groups makes this process easier. Ask your insurance company about the information they need.

4. Arrange a Place to Stay Throughout the Reconstruction Process

After the fire and smoke cleaning professionals have had a chance to inspect your property, they can give you an estimate of how long the clean up and restoration process will take. At this point, make plans to stay at a Geneva,IL, hotel or with family and friends who are willing to host you. In some cases, fire insurance policies will pay for food, clothing, and shelter.

Before you need to worry about fire restoration services, take steps to prevent fires. Make sure you have adequate insurance policies in place. Plan ahead to avoid trouble in the future.

Mold And Your Home

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold And Your Home Mold On Kitchen Cabinets

What You Need To Know About Mold and Your Home

Mold and mildew are common nuisances for homeowners in Geneva. Whether the mold growth is caused by a slight rise in humidity or by water damage from a leak or flood, fungus is a frequent problem in our community. If not taken care of properly, mold can have serious effects on both home and health. That is why it is vital that you call on the experts in mold removal in Geneva.

These are items concerned homeowners need to know about mold in the home:

Mold Growth Causes Health Problems

Mold growth in the home can negatively affect the health of your family and pets. If you suspect that mold exposure is causing health problems, seek help from your medical professional first and also call a trusted mold remediation service in Geneva to get your home thoroughly inspected and restored back to healthy living standard.

Mold Growth Causes Structural Damage

Mold growth is not only unsightly but, in fact, can cause significant damage to the integrity of your home. The damage can be in the form of weakened drywall, structural beams, and ceiling joists. Mold growth from water damage in Geneva is something that concerns our community as we are frequently affected by flooding from local waterways. After the water has subsided and the outer structure of your home has dried, mold growth behind walls, under carpeting and other hidden places in your home is still possible. It is important to have your home thoroughly and professionally inspected after water damage has occurred to ensure that your home is mold-free and healthy.

Geneva SERVPRO is the trusted leader in our community when it comes to mold remediation and water damage restoration. We understand the challenges and have the expertise to quickly and fully restore your home. Beginning with a quick phone call, our professional team will initiate the process of assessing the damage and immediately get to work on eliminating the effects of mold to your home.

Commercial Water Damage

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Water Damage Commercial dry-out

Commercial Water Damage

 When your business is crippled by flood damage, the urgency to get back to business is stressful. With customers and employees depending on your business, the fastest way to servicing your customers and assuring your employees of their job security is to hire a reliable commercial water damage restoration company.

Whether office, warehouse, restaurant, school, or other commercial building, a professional water damage restoration firm such as St. Charles SERVPRO is prepared to handle all aspects of restoration –big or small.

Learn more about how an IICRC certified water damage restoration firm handles commercial water damage.

One of the first critical steps to flood damage restoration is responding quickly. The longer your business is exposed to excess moisture, the more extensive the water damage will be. Water degrades furniture, weakens structures, and can permanently damage electrical items such as computers and printers. Calling on a water damage restoration company with a fast response time will give you the best chances of saving the things you need to service your customers.

When you call on St. Charles SERVPRO, the technicians arrive at your place of business ready to assess the damage. With meters to detect moisture levels and a professional visual inspection, SERVPRO can give you an initial estimation of what it will take to dry and restore your business as well as an estimate of how long it will take.

This preliminary inspection also serves to begin an insurance claim process. SERVPRO has a dedicated department that deals directly with insurance companies. SERVPRO database securely stores all the information that your insurance will need to expedite the restoration process.

Soon after this initial inspection, technicians work on removing standing water. Using powerful pumps mounted on SERVPRO’s familiar bright green vans, all traces of standing water is removed. Extracting excess water in less than 24 hours from primary exposure is ideal. Water can cause warping of wood and cause carpeting to deteriorate. However, quick and efficient drying will give you the best chances of salvaging your flooring.

The drying process continues with the use of other professional grade equipment such as high-speed air movers and dehumidifiers. The drying process is a fundamental part of water damage restoration, including mold damage prevention. The key to doing this critical role both quickly and efficiently is to train. SERVPRO technicians are considered some of the highest trained commercial restoration professionals.

Debris brought in by floodwaters, and flood-damaged items are discarded, while your dedicated water damage cleanup crew gets to work on cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing your business. Any items that were salvageable will be brought back in their restored condition, making it all the closer to business as usual.