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Storm Preparation for Your Home

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Preparation for Your Home What flood zone you live in?

What Flood Zone You Live In?

Whether you live in North Aurora,IL or elsewhere in the country you should be prepared for a weather-related emergency. However, different kinds of storms occur in different areas which is why it’s important to know what flood zone you live in.

1. Know What Flood Zone You Live In

One of the most important things you can do to be best prepared for a storm is to know what flood zone you live in. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has identified three different types of flood zones:

  • Moderate to Low Risk Areas
  • High Risk Areas
  • High Risk – Coastal Areas

Knowing what zone you live in will help give you an idea of how to prepare for the amount of flood water that’s expected to enter your home.

2. Sign Up for Emergency Alerts

Your local government agencies will be your best source of up-to-date information in the event of an emergency. Either the local sheriff’s office or your county will probably be your best source of information. You can choose how you get notifications, generally by a phone call or through a text. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is also a good resource for weather-related emergency alerts.

3. Keep Important Paperwork in a Water-tight Container

There’s no telling how much water damage can occur in your home if flood water finds its way inside, so you want to make sure that all your important paperwork is inside a water-tight container. Birth certificates, passports, deeds or your last will and testament are all examples of documents you want to protect from water damage.

4. Know Your Evacuation Routes

It can be difficult to think clearly in the event of an emergency. This is why you want to have as much prepared in advance as possible. If you find yourself in a flooded building surrounded by flood water you want to know the best emergency exit route before you need to use it.

If your home does get damaged in a storm you’ll want to contact a water damage repair professional as soon as possible to

What To Do After a Big Storm

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What To Do After a Big Storm Storm Damage due to heavy winds.

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.

3 Steps to Follow After a Big Storm.

  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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

4 Important Items To Replace After a Fire

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 4 Important Items To Replace After a Fire Replace your personal products after a fire

Four Items that Require Replacement After a Fire

Fire can ruin most of the contents of a home in a matter of minutes. Items that are not exposed to direct flame or high heat may benefit from content cleaning and restoration. Throw away any burnt or charred items that have significant fire damage. Documenting damage, listing losses and providing proof of purchase, ownership or condition may facilitate the insurance claim filing process. Here are four items that require replacement after exposure to heat, flames, soot and smoke.

Charred Materials

When fire causes blackens any material, chemical changes take place that can cause contamination. It is possible to remove soot and smoke residue from materials indirectly exposed to a fire, but burnt and charred building materials and contents should be disposed of during cleanup.

Food

Fire causes chemical changes to occur that can destabilize food in bags or containers without airtight seals. Rather than risking exposure to contaminants or food poisoning, you should replace damaged food stores. Canned food that was not exposed to flames or high temperatures may be salvageable. Remove labeling, clean the can and create a new label with the contents and expiration date.

Personal Products

Body, face and hair products should be free of contaminants found in burning materials and smoke. Heat also reduces the effectiveness of topical formulas.

Medicine

The temperature ranges on over-the-counter and prescription medications are among the most important factors when determining which items you should throw away or keep and try to use. It’s almost always a good idea to get new, sealed medication that is guaranteed to be effective.
Even if there is no visible charring on an item, a rapid escalation in temperature can alter most chemical compounds. If you are not sure whether to throw items away, check the labeling. Rather than running the risk of re-contamination, rely on IICRC-certified fire damage restoration experts in Batavia,IL.

Smoke, but No Fire- You Could Still Be Covered by Insurance

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke, but No Fire- You Could Still Be Covered by Insurance A large wildfire can spread smoke for miles and cause soot damage to nearby structures.

Smoke, But No Fire

There are plenty of instances in which you could experience smoke damage without having had a fire occur on your property in St. Charles, IL. If you have fire insurance, this may still be included in your coverage. What are some real-world scenarios where you could see this happen?

Wildfires

Depending on where your property sits, wildfires could be a recurring issue, especially during the summer fire season. A large wildfire can spread smoke for miles and cause soot damage to nearby structures. You may need to consider cleaning the soot out more than once throughout the season, so it does not build up or sit, causing more destruction. There are a handful of ways you can help reduce your building's exposure to wildfire smoke:

  • air filters
  • room air cleaners
  • humidifiers
  • tightly sealed windows and doors

Trouble With the Neighbors

Most people wish the best for their neighbors, but sometimes the worst happens. If you happen to be located nearby when a fire strikes, your commercial property may also be effected- smoke damage is likely. If you are close enough, you may also experience damage from fire suppression materials like water, foam and pressurized hoses. You could attempt to coordinate with your neighbors and use the same fire remediation service after calling your insurance.

Kitchen Mishaps

Not everyone can be a chef, no matter how hard you try. Another common occurrence of smoke damage, especially in the kitchen, is from small kitchen fires or burnt food. While one individual incident may not cause a lot of visible smoke, over time and with accumulating occurrences, soot can build up enough to require a more thorough smoke cleaning.

Even if you've managed to escape having any fires, you may still experience the damaging effects from they cause. However, if you are protected from fire in your insurance policy, smoke damage can easily be taken care of. It's a good idea to give your insurance company a call to clarify, if you are unsure.

5 Steps To Minimize Flooding Damage

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 5 Steps To Minimize Flooding Damage Use the circuit breaker box to shut off the electricity to all affected areas of your property

5 Steps To Minimize Flooding Damage

When it comes to sewer damage, there are two places in a building most likely to be affected: the basement and the bathroom. When a flooded toilet in a bathroom upstairs affects the lower levels of the building, you can face significant damage and repair costs. Fortunately, you can minimize some of the destruction by taking immediate steps.

Shut off the main water supply

If you are near the toilet, you can use the shut-off valve that's probably on the wall near the toilet. However, if there's a lot of overflow water on your property, there may be electrical risks to consider. In this case, it's best to stop the water from outside your building.

Turn off the electricity

Use the circuit breaker box to shut off the electricity to all affected areas of your property. When water is running through the walls and floors of your building, there's the risk of electrocution anywhere that outlets, lighting fixtures, and electrical lines may have been affected.

Contact professionals 

From your insurance agent to water damage remediation professionals, there are several people to contact right away. These may include the sewage company and other municipal authorities, especially if sewer damage resulted from a location outside of your property. The sooner you get these professionals involved, the better they can help you work through this process.

Mop up water

Use a wet/dry vacuum, towels, rags, mops, and other tools to get the water off the floors and into a drain or outside the property. Remove water as quickly as possible to prevent more damage. Remove waterlogged carpets and furnishings as well.

Open windows and ventilate the property.

In addition to opening the doors and windows, set up powerful fans (if you are sure it's safe to introduce electricity.) The moving air decreases the likelihood of residual moisture and secondary damages.
Sewer damage can be one of the most frustrating problems to affect your Elburn,IL, property. However, taking the right steps can minimize damages until professionals arrive to take over.

How To Clean Up After Your Water Heater Breaks Down

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Clean Up After Your Water Heater Breaks Down A leaking water heater can cause water damage in your North Aurora home

A water heater that has stopped working properly can cause damage in your North Aurora,IL, home, which must be addressed immediately. Before you contact a water restoration specialist, there are several steps that you need to take to keep the damage under control. Follow these guidelines to quickly mitigate the effects of a leaking water heater in your home.

Remove Excess Water

It’s crucial to first get rid of any excess water in your home before it spreads and damages your belongings. Start by mopping and blotting all areas around your house that water has seeped into. Be sure to also wipe away any traces of water that may be found on various items and surfaces, such as:

  • Wood furniture
  • Tabletops
  • Floors
  • Areas around your water heater

The damage caused by excess water from your failed water heater can be hiding in many places throughout your home. Make sure to remove as much leaking water as you can until help arrives.

Move Objects

Once you’ve taken care of any leaking water that could cause immediate damage, survey your possessions and keep them protected from the effects of your leaking water heater. Pick up all loose objects from your floors and move any artwork to a drier area where it will be safe. If any of your cushions have gotten wet, remove them as well and keep them propped up.

Contact a Professional

While you’re trying to prevent further damage to your home from your broken water heater, only do what you can. For the safety of your house, it’s best to call a professional and allow him or her to securely restore any water damage. The advanced methods that specialists use can help to keep any excess water at bay and protect your home.

Water damage from a leaking water heater doesn’t have to become a burden. With the right procedures, you can be one step closer to a restored home.

3 Things You Should Know About Mold

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 3 Things You Should Know About Mold Mold can grow almost anywhere

How You Can Discover Black Mold in Your Home

At one point or another, it is likely that you have encountered mold in your Batavia,IL  home, whether it was growing on your walls, in your air conditioner or even in a container of long-forgotten leftovers. Here are a few pieces of useful information that might help if you discover black mold in your home.

1. What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that comes in many varieties. Their colors, smells and other properties vary from species to species. Most types of mold are not harmful, though some can cause discoloration and an unpleasant, musty odor in your home. Black mold is one of these.

2. What Causes It to Grow in Your Home?

One of the reasons that mold is such a common problem is that it is present nearly everywhere. Mold spores in your home can begin to spread quickly when exposed to moisture, as dark and damp environments are where they thrive. For this reason, you can sometimes find mold lurking inside your showers and sinks. If you have any leaks in your home, this can contribute to black mold growth as well.

3. How Can You Get Rid of It?

The truth is that you can’t truly remove mold from your home completely. Mold cleanup can only remove the excessive growth that has formed. You can prevent mold spores from spreading by maintaining your home to prevent broken pipes and repairing any leaks as soon as you spot them. Regularly cleaning your home, particularly in areas with a lot of built-up moisture, can help as well.

While mold is usually not harmful, that doesn’t mean that you want it around. It doesn’t look or smell nice and it can be a pain to get rid of. If you have an infestation in your home, you might want to hire a professional cleanup and restoration service to perform mold remediation. They can remove the growth and help prevent it from returning.

How to Prevent Lint Fires by Cleaning Your Dryer

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Prevent Lint Fires by Cleaning Your Dryer Clean the lint screen to prevent a lint fire in your Geneva, IL home

How to Prevent Lint Fires by Cleaning Your Dryer

It is likely that you have a washing machine and dryer in your Geneva,IL  home. You may not think much about cleaning the lint from your dryer, but failing to do so can result in a lint fire that could cause severe damage to your house and the items in it. To minimize the risk of this happening, be sure to do the following regularly.

1. Clean the Lint Screen

Removing lint from the screen is the most obvious, and the most simple, step in keeping your dryer clean and preventing a lint fire. You should wipe the screen off with your hand or a brush before and after every use. On some occasions, you may need to use soap and water to remove stubborn lint that has built up over time.

2. Clean the Vents and Exhaust Hose

While this step may be less convenient, it is important to clean the vents and exhaust hose of your dryer at least twice a year to reduce the chances of a dryer fire. Be sure to unplug your dryer before you begin any deep cleaning. A cleaning rod can help you remove hard to reach lint.

3. Clean the Interior

Keeping the interior of the dryer clean is important as well. You will need to remove the panel in the back of the appliance to access any lint that has gotten trapped inside. Wipe down and vacuum each area before replacing the panel.

4. Hire a Professional

The best way to ensure your machine is properly cleaned and maintained is to hire a professional service. They will be able to do the job thoroughly to help prevent a lint fire.

While performing routine maintenance on your unit will make a fire less likely, not all accidents can be prevented. If a fire does occur, a fire restoration service can help remove fire damage, repair your home and salvage damaged belongings to help return your home to pre-fire conditions.

Commercial Roof Upkeep

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Commercial Roof Upkeep SERVPRO is available to arrive on a 24/7 basis for emergency cleaning

Tips in How to Keep Your Roof in It's Best Shape All Year

If you are a St. Charles,IL, business owner, you probably take a lot of pride in maintaining your business. Protecting it against roof damage is one way that you can show others how much you care about your company. Here are some tips to remember to keep your roof in its best shape all year.

1. Consider waterproofing. There are several options for waterproofing materials that seal your roof and protect it from sunlight, rain and other causes of cracks. Many can be used without professional help and are fairly easy to apply.

2. Complete some landscape work. Trees and branches can lead to wind damage or damaging debris if they are hanging too far over the roof. You do not want to run the risk of a fallen tree damaging your business and causing safety hazards. Get professional landscaping help if needed to keep your plants safely trimmed.

3. Make inspections a regular routine. Your roof should be given a thorough inspection by whoever knows the most about it at least twice each year. Damaged drainage pipes, cracks and other roof damage red flags should be addressed as soon as possible in order to avoid a complete roof rebuild.

4. Know where to get help. If the worst case scenario occurs and you are left with damage in the aftermath of a St. Charles,IL, storm, local commercial storm damage restoration specialists should be able to help you figure out a cleanup and repair plan to get your business back in the shape it was before the bad weather hit. If you need immediate help, there are many teams that are available to arrive on a 24/7 basis for emergency cleaning.

No one wants to think about the bad things that could happen to their commercial building, but taking care of your property before something urgent occurs can help you prevent any excessive roof damage from occurring in the future.

St. Charles Home Care: The Professional Smoke Cleaning Difference

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage St. Charles Home Care: The Professional Smoke Cleaning Difference Fire aftermath.

House fires, even small ones, can leave behind a tremendous amount of damage. Flames scorch and heat can warp, but did you know that smoke is also destructive? Greasy residue and ashes corrode your home and personal belongings, while the penetrating odor of smoke reminds you of the shocking event of the fire ravaging your home. Clearing smoke damage is also important for your health. Smoke is a pollutant known to irritate airways and eyes and can cause other adverse health effects.

You may have heard that opening windows to let in fresh air, wiping down hard surfaces with household cleaners, and the passing of time will allow the smoke odor to disappear. Unfortunately, many times, that is not the case. The reasons that DIY methods may not be enough to clean out the smoke scent is that, at a molecular level, smoke particles embed deep into fabrics and crevices. The sticky grease and soot mixture that smoke leaves behind is also a formidable foe.

Smoke damage can also reach farther than you initially realize. While fire damage to you home may be contained to a small area, smoke can flow throughout your entire home. Doors and vents allow the powerful scent of smoke to penetrate into paint, drapes, and carpeting. And when smoke flows into an area of the home with poor airflow, the burned scent can become concentrated and overwhelming.

For stubborn smoke damage jobs like these, your best bet is to call a professional smoke cleaning service. While there are many St Charles fire restoration companies to choose from, only a select few carry the trusted IICRC-approval. Home restoration businesses that have The Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification follow a higher standard of service.

Training is extensive, cleaning methods are time-tested, and integrity in service is unmatched. If you want extra assurance that smoke damage restoration will be completed by the best, St. Charles SERVPRO technicians go through additional training and certification –surpassing the IICRC standards.

You may think that top professional smoke cleaning services are costly, but consider this:

  • Smoke and fire continue to be destructive until it is cleaned and repaired. The sooner you call the professional, the less damage you will incur
  • Generally speaking, restoring an item is less expensive than replacing it. Trained technicians, like those from SERVPRO of St. Charles / Geneva / Batavia, can help you decide which items can be salvaged and which need to be replaced.
  • Smoke cleaning services may be covered under your homeowners or renters insurance –which could mean little to no cost to you. SERVPRO offers customers a free insurance claims service in which they help you to file your claim. This saves you time and worry!

Professional smoke cleaning may seem unnecessary, that is, until your home has been overtaken by it. Smoke odor is much more than a nuisance. It’s harmful to health, home, and emotional well-being. If you are in need of fire and smoke damage restoration, call SERVPRO of St. Charles / Geneva / Batavia today for a free inspection.