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4 Steps for Obtaining Tax Relief After a Storm

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Steps for Obtaining Tax Relief After a Storm If your business has experienced storm damage take the following steps to obtain tax deductible aid

Recovering from a major disaster, such as a hurricane or other storm in Batavia,IL, can be difficult, especially when you factor in financial losses. The good news is that you may be able to qualify for a tax break that provides funding for the gap between your actual losses and compensation you received from your insurance company. If your business has experienced storm damage, take the following steps to obtain tax deductible aid.

1. File a Claim

Sometimes, property owners have their property fully insured, but fail to submit a claim to their insurance company. When this happens, there isn't an option to take the storm damage tax deduction. The simple solution to this is to file an insurance claim, even if you believe you won't be approved.

2. Complete the Proper Steps

To take the tax write-off for damages to property, it's best to contact the IRS for special help and to obtain the necessary forms. You may be familiar with the $100 rule and the deadlines in place to get tax relief for personal losses, but the laws that apply to business and income properties are different.

3. Understand the Provisions

Special circumstances may lead to tax law provisions that work in your favor – if you know how to access those provisions. For example, if the federal government declares your community to be a major disaster area, you may have extra time to file your taxes or you may be able to get a refund more quickly. Either of these provisions could provide some necessary relief that helps you get your business up and running again.

4. Visit the IRS Website

There are several sections and documents posted on the IRS website that can help you deduct storm damage from your upcoming taxes. Use the Disaster Resource Guide for Individuals and Businesses (Publication 2194) to claim casualty losses on your property or the tip section on how to move forward when commercial crops have been destroyed.

When storms threaten to put your business underwater, take advantage of the many resources available. After filing an insurance claim, be sure to contact the government for further assistance. Don’t forget to reach out to remediation and recovery professionals as well.

Why Does Your Toilet Overflow When You Shower?

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Why Does Your Toilet Overflow When You Shower? A clogged pipe in your St.Charles,IL bathroom can cause the toilet to overflow

Nobody wants to have to deal with a toilet overflow. Not only can the water that runs over the top of a toilet be disgusting to clean up, but it can also destroy tile, wood floors and bathroom fixtures. Most overflows occur immediately after flushing the toilet. These are usually the result of a clog in the toilet itself. If your toilet overflows when you are showering, however, the problem may be deeper inside your overall plumbing system. Before schedule sewage cleaning, you should know a few things about the workings of your toilet and your shower.

A Deep-Down Clog

When a toilet overflows while you are in the shower, the culprit is usually a clogged pipe between the toilet and the sewer system. When your shower drains, wastewater is unable to makes it way past the clog. Instead, it eventually backs up into the toilet, causing an overflow. Deep-down clogs may be due to a variety of factors, including:

  • Wash cloths, rings and other artificial debris
  • Hair
  • Tree roots
  • Disintegrating or collapsed pipes

A Clog-Removal Strategy
Removing the sort of clogs that cause water backups is often a do-it-yourself project. It is sometimes possible to push clogs through with a plunger. If that doesn’t work, you may need to add a snake to your sewage cleaning strategy. You can likely use the snake to reach the clog either through the toilet or the drain clean out. If the snake doesn’t do the trick, you may need to call in a plumber.

A Way To Address Black Water
You don’t have to deal with an overflowing toilet in your St. Charles,IL, home. Instead, understand the cause of your overflowing toilet and work to remove drain clogs. Remember, though, black water usually contains untreated sewage that can be hazardous. If your toilet overflows, hiring a professional restoration specialist is usually your best bet. These experts have the knowledge, skill and equipment to effectively deal with contaminated bathroom surfaces.

4 Key Practices To Keep Toilets From Clogging at Your Business

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Key Practices To Keep Toilets From Clogging at Your Business SERVPRO can help with your commercial water loss in Batavia, IL

As a business, your restrooms are used by both employees and customers. It’s important that these facilities are appropriately designed and adequately equipped for proper use. Here are four ways to help prevent a clogged toilet from happening at your Batavia,IL , business.

1. Make Sure Your Facilities Are Adequate

Certain toilets are more prone to flushing problems than others. For example, early generation low-flow models clog more often because of poorly designed flow pressure.

As a cheaper alternative to replacing models, a different brand of toilet paper that’s thinner may be worth trying. If clogs still regularly occur afterwards, it is likely more economical to replace the toilet rather than treat any water damage from the repeated toilet overflow.

2. Keep Non-Flushable Offerings Away From the Toilets

To encourage proper disposal, sanitary supplies offered in your business bathrooms should be kept away from any toilets. Complimentary items like cotton tips, diapers or tampons should instead be kept near trash cans. A clogged toilet is less likely when flushing trash becomes a hassle instead of a convenience.

3. Place Several Accessible and Regularly Emptied Waste Bins

A trash can that isn’t overflowing is likely to be used to throw away anything not soiled. It’s good practice to put a small bin in each toilet area to give an option to people who decide to throw something away while still maintaining privacy. It’s important that these bins are also regularly emptied to maintain them as a usable option for disposal.

4. Post Signs

A posted reminder over the toilet to use the trash may do wonders at stopping any unwanted behavior. People may not evaluate the consequences of flushing something down your pipes, so a courteous reminder of the risks will often encourage people to behave appropriately.

Regardless of your best efforts, you could still end up with sewage backup. This water is contaminated and may need the equipment and expertise of a professional water damage cleanup service. Taking steps to prevent a clogged toilet can help lessen the likelihood of damage, so you should implement changes now to protect your business from unwanted, unsanitary flooding.

Black Water Facts

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water 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.

For more on St. Charles click here

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.

For more on St. Charles click here

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.

For more on St. Charles click here

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 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.

For more on St. Charles click here