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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.

Storm Damage Prevention

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Damage Prevention Storm Damage in a Commercial Building in St. Charles.

St. Charles Home Care: What Every Homeowner Must Know to Reduce Storm Damage

Water damage from severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, ice, and hail is an all too familiar occurrence in St. Charles and surrounding areas. Because our area is prone to severe weather, it is vital to know what you can do to protect your home. This simple checklist can help you prepare your home and minimize the damage caused by a destructive storm.

Check Your Roof and Ceiling

At least quarterly, do a quick visual inspection of the ceilings in your home. Any cracks or discolorations should be further inspected. Discoloration could be a sign of water damage and possible mold growth. If you are unsure, call an expert like SERVPRO of St. Charles / Geneva / Batavia, for a full evaluation and assessment. After walking through the inside of your home, walk around the exterior paying attention to the roof. The older the roof on your home is, the more frequently you should do a quick (from the ground) inspection. In addition, you should walk around your home after every major storm to note any new damage. If you notice any lifting or missing roof tiles, contact a licensed roofing company in your area for a thorough inspection.

Review Gutters and Downspouts

If you have trees close to your home, gutters and downspouts need to be inspected regularly. Leaves, sticks, other debris, and even critters can collect in gutters resulting in poor drainage during severe weather events. Clogged downspouts can be difficult to notice during a storm. The best test is to put your garden hose in the gutter, and turn on the water fully. This can help you assess whether it the gutters and downspouts are clear. Just as important is ensuring that the landscaping and downspouts are directing the water away from the foundation of the home.

4 Residential Flood Proofing Tips

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Homeowners can follow these four flood prevention and safety tips to promote flood safety and keep water out of a residence in Elburn,IL. While it is helpful to flood-proof a property in advance, residents should comply with evacuation orders to preserve personal safety.

1. Enhance Drainage

It may be possible to significantly reduce the flood risk of a property by hiring landscaping experts to adjust the grading or slope to ensure that water flows away from the foundation. Adding fill to a property located in a flood zone may enable a homeowner to obtain an amendment or revision on the Flood Rate Insurance Map maintained by the National Flood Insurance Program, which may reduce the cost of flood insurance coverage.

2. Invest In Reusable Flood Barriers

Owners of homes in areas that frequently flood may want to invest in sandbag alternatives for flood safety. Choose from water-filled cofferdams or self-stabilizing fence barriers. Absorbent single-use alternatives are also available.

3. Install Backup Prevention Equipment

Flooding can overwhelm a municipal main and result in sewer backups. A homeowner can hire a plumber to determine whether preventative mechanisms such as a backflow valve, standpipe or overhead sewer could be effective solutions for flood proofing a basement.

4. Anchor or Elevate Critical Components

If flooding is anticipated within days or hours, homeowners should make every effort to promote personal safety while limiting losses. Anchor or elevate critical components such as fuel tanks, generators and HVAC units. Raising indoor electrical components can also reduce electrocution risks. Relocate as many appliances as possible above the anticipated flood water level.

These safety tips can reduce the likelihood that flooding will result in extensive damage and losses at a residence. In any case, flood safety is the primary concern. If a residence suffers damage, mitigation and restoration specialists can quickly arrive on site in Elburn,IL.

3 Common Sewage Problems in Commercial Buildings

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Common Sewage Problems in Commercial Buildings Frozen pipes are common, the damage is sudden

Finding sewage problems in your Elburn, IL building can be frustrating. If you are not careful, issues such as a blocked sewer can seemingly come out of nowhere. It is important to perform regular inspections and maintenance of the building in order to prevent any potential damage. The following are a few common problems that you might experience.

1. Broken Pipes

Pipe breaks are not always preventable. In some cases, such as cold weather when frozen pipes are common, the damage is sudden. However, old pipes often break as the result of normal wear and tear on the materials. If the pipes in your building have not been replaced in a while, you should be sure to check them regularly to catch signs of damage early.

2. Backed Up Plumbing

When you have a clogged drain, the water is removed very slowly and sometimes gets backed up. This can cause problems such as sink or toilet overflow. Not only will this be unpleasant to clean up, but it can also create lasting damage if it is not repaired quickly.

3. Sewage Blockages

Plumbing backups are not the only problem that can come from a clogged drain. If you are having trouble with more than one sink or toilet, it is likely that there is a larger issue. A blocked sewer can be the result of buildup in the drains that remove water from your building. This can be caused by disposing of items improperly, such as flushing paper towels down the toilet or pouring grease into the sink. In some cases, it may also be caused by the roots of nearby trees or a collapsed pipe.


While regular maintenance can help prevent certain sewage problems, sometimes they are unavoidable. If you have a blocked sewer or other problem, a damage restoration company can help locate the source of the issue and repair any damage that has been caused.

Preventing the Spread of Mold in Your Rental Property

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Preventing the Spread of Mold in Your Rental Property Walls were covered with mold, but SERVPRO made it "Like it never even happened."

Spread Mold

While mold prevention is an excellent practice to get into the habit of as a property manager, it doesn't do you much good when you already have an issue. However, prevention can quickly transform into protection when dealing with a current problem, as preventative steps are used instead to reduce the risk of further contamination and exposure.


1. Seal Off Contaminated Areas

Prevention calls for ensuring seals around doors and windows to be intact and tight. The same applies when dealing with mold growth, except you are now ensuring that the contaminated area is well sealed from the rest of the building, meaning that you close all doors and windows to the area. Additionally, you can use plastic sheeting to ensure a tight seal thereby reducing air movement and mold spore spread.

2. Turn Off Water

Mold prevention also mandates that you seal and repair any sources of water damage. When dealing with an area that has already experienced water damage and is currently contributing to mold development, you should turn off the water supply to that area.

3. Control HVAC Settings

While prevention often calls for ventilation, when dealing with an existing fungal problem, ventilation is the enemy because it allows for the spread of spores. Therefore, if you cannot turn off the HVAC system, you should control the temperature settings to reduce the number of times the unit cycles on and to minimize the risk of mold spores getting pushed throughout the system and the property.

4. Hire a Remediation Specialist

It is OK to admit you need help. Calling a mold remediation specialist in the North Aurora, IL, area is probably the wisest decision you can make because they are trained and certified to deal with your current problem.

Mold prevention goes beyond eliminating potential risks as it also relates to controlling and mitigating a current problem. Reduce the air flow in contaminated areas, turn off contributing factors and call a specialist to remediate the situation safely. Don't put yourself or your tenants at risk.

How Does Pretesting Affect Claims?

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

Pretesting can help to determine the full extent of damage to a property before mitigation starts. This preliminary step may increase the accuracy of an initial estimate and could ultimately reduce the total amount of an insurance claim. Learn more about how early testing can potentially impact a claim.

Improving Estimate Accuracy

Preliminary testing can determine the types and precise extent of damage at a property in Batavia, IL. This method goes beyond visual inspection. Mitigation experts may take any of the following measures:

  • Testing surfaces for damage
  • Searching for signs of secondary damage
  • Inspecting adjoining areas

Pretesting can identify the presence of additional damage that might otherwise be overlooked. Undetected damage could result in serious problems or significantly increase an estimate if it is discovered during mitigation or restoration.

Identifying Additional Damage

Preliminary testing can also determine whether other types of damage are present. In the case of a fire, this may involve additional smoke or soot damage that has traveled through ductwork to other parts of a structure or water damage from extinguishing efforts. In the event of water or storm damage, mold or other secondary damage could be identified through early testing. This damage can then be factored into an initial estimate and work schedule.

Keeping Work On Schedule

If any additional damage is discovered in the midst of mitigation or during restoration, it may add time to the duration of the process. This may result in higher claim amounts for property insurance and possibly also business interruption. Preliminary testing can account for all of the damage that is present at the start of the process.

All of these factors make pretesting well worth any additional expense or time. A property owner or insurance agent should insist on the importance of a thorough initial inspection, particularly when dealing with major damage caused by fire, water or storms.

How To Deal With Frozen Pipes

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Deal With Frozen Pipes Frozen pipes que cause damage to your Geneva, IL home

Winter weather can cause a lot of damage to your home. Prepping for winter means making sure there are no weak areas in your roof, around your windows or in your foundation to let cold air or water in. Other hazards to look out for are frozen pipes. While the best protection is prevention, there are things you can do to salvage pipes before they wreak havoc on your home.

Locating Problems

A pipe freeze will often show up as a faucet that produces little to no water flow. If that happens, start by inspecting pipes in the following areas:

  • Near exterior walls
  • In the attic or basement
  • In crawlspaces

If there is frozen water in a pipe, it may have already expanded enough to crack. If that is the case, turn off the water main and call a plumber. Warming the pipe up before it's fixed may result in water damage that can only be resolved by water restoration specialists.

Unfreezing Pipes

Sometimes, frozen pipes won't show any signs of stress or breakage. When this happens, you can fix the problem by simply warming the pipe. Keeping faucets open to keep warm water moving through the pipes can accomplish this goal. You can also use a hair dryer to warm up pipes or, if the pipe is metal, a heat gun. Directing warm air from your HVAC unit into the walls can also unfreeze the water in the pipes.

Preventing Freezes

To prevent a pipe freeze, you want to make sure the pipes and the air around them stay warm. Insulate pipes that are particularly vulnerable. Keep the heater on in your home, and circulate the air so that it reaches the pipes. Opening cabinets and closet doors can help facilitate this circulation.

Frozen pipes can cause damage to your home in Geneva, IL, but dealing with this issue is fairly simple. By warming pipes and keeping them that way, you can prevent a lot of water damage.

Mold Remediation: Why Hiring a Professional Is Often Necessary

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Mold Remediation: Why Hiring a Professional Is Often Necessary Mold damage in a ceiling after water damage.

Is It Necessary To Hire A Professional?

Mold removal may sound like a simple job, but nothing could be further from the truth, especially when dealing with an infestation. Mold spores spread quickly and easily, which means that in a contaminated home it is necessary to seal off registers and doorways to prevent the movement and cross-contamination of the mold species. However, beyond taking the appropriate precautions, hiring a professional for removal has other perks.

1. Pretesting

Reputable remediation experts will perform what is known as pretesting. This involves taking samples of all contaminated surface areas of the home as well as air quality tests. These tests allow experts to determine the mold species and the level of contamination. This determination then informs the remediation team on how to best move forward.

2. Prevention

Mold removal is not only about removing contaminated items and materials, but it is also about preventing the spread of the mold spores to other areas of the home. While spores are everywhere and virtually impossible to remove 100 percent, they can be reduced and controlled to prevent further and future damage to your home.

3. Removal

While some molds can be removed using cautious DIY techniques, black mold removal is not one of those species. In fact, some states and insurers require professional remediation for a black mold infestation to ensure the safety of you and others.

4. Restoration

A bonus to hiring a disaster restoration specialist in the St. Charles, IL, area for your remediation needs is the restoration part. These companies are a one-stop shop for remediation and restoration, meaning that your home will be free of mold and repairs when you get it back.

Mold removal can be a complicated job, one requiring professional assistance. Don't think that because a problem appears small and manageable than it actually is. Hire a professional to perform pretesting and learn about what you are dealing with, and then, if the problem is bigger than expected, hire a remediation and restoration team to take on the work. Stay safe and think of your health.