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Useful Information on Water Damage

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in an office building SERVPRO responded quickly to begin mitigation after a water loss.

What To Know About Water Damage 

Water damage is one of the scariest things homeowners can think of. Many of them know what water damage entails. However, a few understand exactly what causes it, how to repair the damaged parts and how to ensure it never occurs again. Below is a list of everything you need to know about water damage.

Common Causes

Water damage and flood damage may occur if excess water accumulates in areas where it is not supposed to be. Several factors can cause this excess water in your business or home. The most common factors include pipe break, issues with the plumbing system, faulty household items, natural disasters, leaky roof, supply line break and improper grading. Many of these issues are difficult to detect during the early stages. They only become known after they cause serious damages.

Removing Standing Water

Removing standing water in a flooded home is the first step towards water damage restoration. It is important to get rid of the accumulated water in the home or business as soon as possible to allow the flooded areas to dry. Do not attempt to repair the flood damage yourself. Hire a reputable restoration company to do the water cleanup job on your behalf. A restoration company has well-trained and qualified personnel who know exactly where to start from and what to avoid.

Most likely, the restoration company experts will use a pump or any other tool to do water cleanup. They will remove the water from the flooded home and check to see if the cause is due to a pipe break, supply line break, or any other plumbing issues that might bring water in your home.

3 Steps for Creating Green Flood Prevention

11/26/2021 (Permalink)

Rain garden Pay attention to where you place landscaping.

Three Steps to Green Flood Prevention

With the extreme weather created by global warming, business owners in North Aurora, IL, now have to think about flooding. Flood damage is a major hassle. Fortunately for you, there are three steps that can help you create green protection from storm damage.

1. Observe

The first step is to observe water flow and drainage around your business. Watch where the water goes during the next storm. Look for sources of running water. You may need to watch out for a small river from further up your street or off a neighbor’s roof.

Drainage is important for avoiding storm damage. Keep storm drains clear of debris. Check with your local government to see who is responsible for maintaining drains around your business.

2. Assess

Assess the drainage capability of the area surrounding your business. Asphalt and concrete don’t absorb any rain water. Even if you have grass or other landscaping, take a poke at it after the next rain storm. How well does water drain through that soil?

Walkways and the base of stairs are notorious for creating small pools. Does this happen around your business? How do they dry up? Would they contribute to flooding?

3. Create

Your landscaping can serve as a first barrier to floodwaters. A high berm with well-rooted shrubbery is far more attractive than a wall of sandbags. The same can be said of raised garden beds that create a welcoming atmosphere for your customers and clients. A rain garden is also an attractive way to prevent flood damage. These gardens purposely hold onto water and allow it to drain into the ground below.

Pay attention to where you place landscaping. The last thing you want to do is redirect water into your building. Think of the spaces between green areas as pathways for water. If you share a building with other businesses, landscaping and flood prevention is a shared investment in which all have a stake.

Flood damage can be minimized or avoided by taking certain preventative steps. However, should damage occur, contact recovery professionals as quickly as possible.

Banning Cigarette Odors From Your Home

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone neutralizes the foul odors caused by cigarette smoke.

Getting Rid of Cigarette Odors in Your Home

Whether you smoke cigarettes or think it is a bad habit, you probably don’t enjoy the smell of stale cigarette smoke. Unfortunately, though, smoke odors from cigarettes and cigars can linger for decades in Batavia, IL, homes. You don’t have to put up with the smell of old cigarettes. By contracting with a restoration specialist for home deodorization, you can leave your home smelling fresh and clean.

A Holistic Cleanup Process
As you probably know, smoke from cigarettes has a funny way of getting virtually everywhere inside your home. When smoke contaminates walls, ceilings, furniture and other belongings, you need a holistic approach to removing it. Restoration professionals typically do the following to remove smoke odors:

• Open windows and doors to allow fresh air into your home
• Remove and replace all heating, air conditioning and other filters
• Scrub walls with ammonia and glycol
• Use a sealant to lock-in smoke odors on the walls and ceilings of your home
• Paint walls and ceilings with a fresh coat of latex paint
• Professionally clean all furniture, fixtures and personal belongings

Ozone
Cigarette and cigar smoke smell so badly because of the gases and toxic substances they release. When odors are extreme, restoration technicians often use ozone-generating machines for home deodorization. Ozone neutralizes the foul odors caused by cigarette smoke. Professionals simply plug in the machine, set a timer, and create ozone. Note, though, since ozone can be harmful to people, you must vacate your home when the ozone machine is creating the gas. Technicians repeat the process until all lingering odors are gone.
You don’t have to live with the unpleasant smell of old cigarettes. While removing ingrained odors is not necessarily simple for amateurs, professional restoration technicians deal with home deodorization all the time. With the right cleaning process and some assistance from ozone, your Batavia, IL, home can likely smell as if no one has ever puffed on a cigarette there.

3 Fast FAQs About Mold

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold spots on a ceiling home Mold damage in a Geneva, IL home.

Mold: 3 Quick Answers

Treating mold growth in your Geneva, IL, home can be a daunting task. No matter what type you are dealing with or what caused it, eradicating it for good usually requires the assistance of a mold removal and cleanup company. However, asking a few questions about the growth, treatment and nature of this fungi may help you understand it a bit better and even help you prevent another invasion in the future.

1. What Causes Mold To Grow?

Mold spores are common in the air and can be found both indoors and out. However, when they find an environment with high humidity or dampness, they attach themselves to organic matter and multiply rapidly. Since mold does not require sunlight to grow, it can thrive in dark places, such as under cabinets, around toilet bases and in basements. The more moisture there is, the better the chances for mold growth.

2. What is Mold Remediation?

Once mold is discovered in your home and you call in a professional cleanup team, the technicians may perform immediate remediation to ensure the patches do not spread into other rooms. Remediation is meant to isolate the spores, which is usually performed with specialized tools, such as negative air chambers. This type of preventative care allows the technicians to move ahead with tear out work without risking the further spread of fungi spores.

3. How I Can Prevent Mold in the Future?

One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of mold in the future is to monitor your home’s plumbing and water lines. Water damage can cause leaks and puddling, and since moisture attracts mold spores, preventing these conditions may lower the risk of infestation. Keeping your home’s humidity levels low may also discourage mold from forming.

Calling in a professional mold growth eradication team is a wise choice when you find fungi in your Geneva, IL, home. Being prepared with a short list of questions may allow you understand the cleanup process more thoroughly and help you prevent mold from returning in the future.

6 Steps To Handle a Pipe Break

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Pipe bursting. Follow these steps to deal with bursting pipes and water damage in St. Charles, IL.

Bursting pipes can cause extensive damage in commercial property. There are several steps you can take to limit the extent of the damage.

1. Call a Plumber

Contact a plumber with an emergency work order to fix a broken pipe. If more than one person is on-site, one person should make the call while the other shuts off or collects water.

2. Shut Off the Water

Shutting off the flow of water to your building can limit the amount of water that can cause damage. Notify all occupants that the water is turned off.

3. Collect Water in Containers

Collect as much water from bursting pipes as possible in any containers you have on hand. Once again, if more than one person is present, you should cycle out containers as each becomes full. These containers will be heavy, and a sturdy cart may help prevent strain or injury.

4. Fix Broken Pipes

A plumber should resolve the source of the leak before you can start removing water and restoring the area. Continue to try to mitigate the damage until help arrives.

5. Eliminate All Standing Water

Use any method available such as buckets, mops, towels, or a wet vacuum to start getting rid of standing water. You may want to call commercial damage restoration professionals with specialized equipment to pump out water. Water from a burst pipe is clean Category One water. If water leaks through building materials to another floor, it becomes contaminated Category Two water.

6. Dry the Affected Area

Prevent mold or other secondary damage by completely drying the area affected by the leak. Use a dehumidifier to draw moisture out of porous or semi-porous building materials and contents.

Follow these steps to deal with bursting pipes and water damage in St. Charles, IL. A plumber can help stop the leak, and restoration experts can help prevent further damage.

5 Steps in Maintaining a Sump Pump

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

A sump pump plays a critical part in preventing groundwater from intruding into the basement or crawlspace of your home. This pump should be fully functional during flood or storm conditions. Follow these five pump maintenance steps to ensure your pump stays in working order.

1. Inspect Your Pump Before Heavy Rains

The pump should plug into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet and should be standing upright. Try pouring a bucket of water into the pit. The pump should start automatically, and the water should drain. If the pump is not operational, schedule repairs as soon as possible or rely on a backup method.

2. Clean the Grate on Submersible Pumps

Raise the submersible pump and clean the bottom grate on a regular basis. The sucking action can pull small stones into the grate that block the inlet and cause damage over time.

3. Schedule Annual Maintenance

Groundwater tends to rise due to snowmelt or precipitation in late winter or early spring. This is an ideal season to make sure your pump is in working order.

4. Familiarize Yourself With the Pump Alarm

Most sump pumps have battery-powered water level alarms. Some systems can send an alert to your cell phone in the event of a flood or pump failure.

5. Consider Installing a Backup Pump

Choose from water-powered pumps that work without electricity, a battery-powered pump that uses a deep cycle boat battery, or a pump powered by a car battery. Or rely on a generator.

These five pump maintenance measures will ensure that the sump pump in your home works properly. You should have a backup plan in case you lose power during a storm in St. Charles, IL. If groundwater backs up into your crawlspace or basement, contact a residential restoration company to make sure building materials are still viable and to prevent mold.

Comparing and Contrasting Mold and Mildew

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

Hand measuring mold infestation on ceiling. Generally speaking, materials that have sustained mold damage will not be salvageable because the infiltration is not superficial.

As any homeowner in St. Charles, IL, can attest, the unwelcome appearance of mold and mildew might be a matter of when not if. Both can proliferate in many environments, needing only moisture and nutrition to colonize quickly. And while they share many similarities, there are some significant differences in how to remediate them once they’ve taken up residence. Mold damage is typically more serious than mildew.

Fungi Unknown Facts

There are roughly 100,000 known types of fungi throughout the world, and some are not only beneficial but also delicious, such as mushrooms. What makes them unique from other types of plants is that they digest their nutrition externally before absorbing it. Both mold and mildew are fungi and can thrive on porous materials found in homes such as:

• Paper
• Wood
• Walls
• Insulation
• Fabric

Mildew Versus Mold

Mildew is white, whereas mold can take on many colors, including red, green, blue, orange, and black, depending on the species. Because mildew stays on the surface of the material on which it grows, removing it can be simple if the surface can be scrubbed with a cleaning solution in a well-ventilated area. Mildew can be thought of as a nuisance and a benign indication that there is too much moisture collecting in a given area.

Mold damage, on the other hand, infiltrates porous surfaces that have been exposed to excessive humidity or water, and it is more challenging to remediate. It is best to allow professionals to step in and make an assessment. The first step is to identify the source of moisture and address it. Materials like wallpaper and drywall are likely to require replacement. Once the mold growth has been removed, there are products on the market that inhibit regrowth, such as specially treated drywall and paints.

Generally speaking, materials that have sustained mold damage will not be salvageable because the infiltration is not superficial. Keeping a home as dry as possible can inhibit mold and mildew growth.

How To Choose an Air Purifier To Remove Mold Particles From the Air

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

A ceiling filled with mold in a home SERVPRO has the right people trained and the right equipment ready for any of your mold needs.

How to Pick An Air Purifier To Get Mold Particles Out Of The Air

Battling mold in your St. Charles, IL, home can be a challenge. Mold tends to spread quickly and reduces your home's air quality, and once it takes hold, it can cause an unpleasant odor and damage building materials. Using quality air filtration in your home can eliminate mold particles from the air; however, there are a few factors you may want to consider as you compare different brands and models to choose a system that best suits your needs.

Filter Quality

The quality of the filter in an air purifier can make a significant difference when it comes to removing mold particles from the air. Generally, systems with HEPA filters, such as in the Oransi Max, are effective in removing not only mold spores but other impurities:

  • Bacteria
  • Pet Dander
  • Dust

Consulting a restoration and mold remediation company before choosing a system with a high-quality HEPA filter can help you feel confident about removing damaging mold particles from the air before they can take hold inside your home.

Ease of Use

Air filtration systems that remove mold spores from the air and are designed for convenience can be a good choice if you want clean air with a push of a button. These models, such as the Oransi OV200, have a user-friendly design and can be operated with a remote control. Other features include an air quality sensor and a HEPA filter.

Budget

Working with a limited budget does not have to mean foregoing an air filtration system for your home. Some models, such as the Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier, 50250-S, cost under $200 and are designed to remove mold particles, pet dander and other irritants from the air. This model also includes a long-lasting filter for even greater savings.

The right air filtration system can help remove mold particles from the air inside your St. Charles, IL, home. Taking the time to consider which system best suits your needs and budget before you shop can help you choose wisely.

3 Tips for Cleaning Up After Your Home Is Damaged by Water

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

A kitchen with water damage SERVPRO can help you with the cleanup process when you 're dealing with water damage in your home.

3 Cleaning Suggestions After Water Damage To Your Home

When you think of water damage, you might think of issues caused by heavy rains or hurricanes. However, your Geneva, IL, home can be affected by flooding as the result of a plumbing disaster or a failed water appliance, such as a washing machine or dishwasher. When this type of problem occurs, there are a few steps you can take to clean up the water and assess the damage.

1. Avoid Flooded Rooms

Water from your dishwasher or washing machine can contain detergent chemicals that might harm your skin, and a malfunctioning water heater may burst and give you serious burns. It is wise to shut off the water supply to the broken appliance and then seal the room until help arrives. Do not let anyone go into the room, especially if you know electrical systems might have been damaged.

2. Call in Restoration Services

A professional flood cleanup and restoration company can help get the cleanup process started when you are dealing with water damage. Flood technicians may assist with removing any remaining water and advise you on what kind of repairs you might need to make. For example, if broken pipes have caused a flood in your kitchen, restoration experts can help you understand whether wall sections or flooring can be repaired or if they will need replacing.

3. Sort Through Wet Items

Once the area is safe to enter, you can then take stock of water damage by retrieving wet items and sorting them. Dry what you can in a low-humidity area, out of direct sunlight, and then disinfect smaller objects. You may want to ask your restoration company which items are safe to keep and which you must throw away after the water cleanup.

When a water appliance breaks and causes a flood in your Geneva, IL, home, it can cause a variety of problems. However, knowing how to deal with water damage may go a long way in keeping you safe and preventing long-term harm to your home.

Put a Business Continuity Plan in Place

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

Business Continuity Plan Concept Create a business continuity plan for your business.

Create a Business Continuity Plan

A continuity plan helps businesses remain operational during natural disasters, such as flooding. With approved plans in place, North Aurora, IL, businesses may receive premium discounts from their insurance companies. In some cases, business continuity allows otherwise unacceptable risks to qualify for insurance. With the right plan in place, day-to-day operations may continue, and the repercussions can be kept to a minimum.

Considering Benefits of the Plan

Other benefits of having this type of plan in place include:

  • Increased customer confidence
  • Decreased risk of injury or death
  • A competitive edge
  • Security of the supply chain and order fulfilment
  • Business resilience
  • Reduced financial losses

A business continuity plan establishes the steps and procedures administrators and employees should follow when major disruptions occur, including natural disasters

and man-made attacks on the business. The plan covers steps to take for the protection of human resources, inventory, and assets. Before it’s possible to establish a plan, it is necessary to identify areas of vulnerability and potential loss.

Creating a Continuity Plan

The first step in creating an effective plan is to identify the scope of the potential disaster. The second step is to identify crucial business areas and vital functions. The next step is outlining links between those areas and functions, giving special attention to functions that may suffer when one area of business is disrupted. The fourth step of this process is to determine how long it is acceptable for any critical functions to go down. Finally, put together the plan for maintaining core business operations during the course of flooding, snow storms, or burst pipes and a plan for bringing the business fully back into operation as storm damage and losses are assessed.

Testing the Plan

After creating the plan, it’s necessary to run a simulation to establish whether the plan fulfills its purpose. It’s best to put the plan through a challenging series of tests to improve the level of preparation. Most experts recommend testing two to four times a year. Work with commercial restoration businesses to develop a plan that keeps your business operational.