Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
Why Call SERVPRO?
Let us handle it for you.
Here at SERVPRO of St.Charles/Geneva/Batavia, we realize you have many options when selecting a restoration and emergency service provider. So, why should you call us?
- We are a one stop shop that can handle any job from start to finish.
- As one of 1700 individually owned and operated franchises we have access to more support during harsh weather.
- We are “Faster to any size disaster”.
- SERVPRO is a trusted name in the mitigation and restoration industry.
- We work with all major insurance carriers and have relationships with many local providers.
- We are a Large Loss Provider.
- We always put our customers need first.
- We have the equipment and training to get any job completed.
- We can easily handle both commercial and residential properties.
- Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- We are locally owned and operated so we live and work in the same communities you do.
- We love what we do and want to help you!
If you have questions, need any assistance or would like a free estimate. Give us a call today (630)377-7062.
Eliminating Mold Odor
We can find hidden mold and remove it, eliminating mycotoxins and the lingering odor.
If your St. Charles, IL business has ever suffered a mold infestation, then you may have experienced the musty smell frequently associated with mold growth. This odor is caused by the mycotoxins released by mold spores. Fortunately, removing the mold will eliminate the smell.
Covering up the smell of the mold may help in the short term, but remember that the smell will keep coming back until the mold is removed. The following are items that may help with the smell but will not address the underlying problem:
These products may help your business smell fresher, but they should not be used long-term. The longer you wait to remove the mold, the worse the infestation will be and the more damage it will cause.
The only way to eliminate the musty odor permanently is to thoroughly remediate the mold using a professional mold remediation company, such as SERVPRO of St. Charles/Geneva/Batavia. It is impossible to remove all mold spores because they are present nearly everywhere. However, it is possible to clean mold growth well enough to eliminate the odor caused by the mycotoxins. To clean mold, the experts at SERVPRO will first address the moisture source and make sure the area is dry. It is important to turn off the HVAC system and any fans to keep the spores from spreading throughout the building. Run an air purifier with a HEPA filter to trap the free-floating mold spores.
If you have removed all the visible mold and still detect a musty odor, then you may need to call an experienced restoration team.
Restoration After a Fire
Sources of dry smoke residue are wood and paper
The aftermath of a fire in you Geneva, IL, can run the gamut from minimal damage to a total loss. Even if the damage doesn’t fall on the extreme end, there could be hidden fire loss that will need to be taken care of to get your business back to looking “Like it never even happened”.
Types of Damage
Along with the obvious signs of fire damage, smoke damage is a main cause of long-term concern. While some may be visible, it sometimes just leaves a smoky smell behind without being seen. There are four main types of smoke damage.
Dry Smoke – The result of a paper or wood fire, this type leaves a powdery residue that is relatively easy to see and clean. Unfortunately, it contains tiny particles that can embed themselves in porous materials, creating the lingering scent of fire.
Protein Residue – Usually associated with low-heat cooking fires, it is difficult to visibly detect but permeates a consistent smoky odor if not treated.
Fuel/Oil Residue – Although uncommon, this is dense, sticky residue that is difficult to clean and leaves a strong, pungent smell.
Wet Smoke – If plastic and rubber catch on fire, the sticky smoke can quickly spread across an entire room. The smearable residue is tough to clean without special equipment.
The Cleanup Process
Whatever the level of your fire loss, fire restoration is available that can eliminate the lingering odors, as well as help you salvage a number of items. A restoration specialist has the expertise and equipment to remove soot, smoke damage and odors from furniture, documents, drapes, furniture and more. These professionals also have the know-how to replace and repair structural damage to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.
While dealing with fire loss can be overwhelming, getting the right can help ease the disaster. Count on a professional to help you restore things back to normal.
3 Effective Ways To Reduce Mold Risk at Home
Reducing Mold Risk
Mold needs an ample amount of moisture, warmth and oxygen to grow in St. Charles, IL homes. Therefore, it is most common in places where water damage goes untreated or when humidity is too high. Even though water particles are always around you, there are ways you can reduce moisture, which can decrease the risk of mold growth in the process. Continue reading to learn how you can prevent mold development in your house.
1. Repair Any Leaks
Not every part of your home can function properly, and sooner or later, something will break. This extends to your plumbing system, roof and window. Leaks and cracks to these parts can bring unwanted water and humidity inside, which can encourage mold. It is important to actively look for pipe, roof and window damage and repair it as fast as possible. Mold can even warn you of damaged pipes behind a wall, for example.
2. Clean and Dry After Flooding
A flood can invade your home for a variety of reasons, from a pipe leak to excessive precipitation. Once the flooding stops and it is safe to move around, it is time to repair the water damage. Drain the contents and clean as much of the water as possible. Dry any affected surface and ventilate the area to expedite the process. Contact emergency restoration services to ensure the job is efficiently done with the right expertise and equipment.
3. Control the House's Humidity
Even if you are attentive to the house's faults and mitigate the damage, your mold prevention plan can go further. High humidity, coupled with oxygen, food and other elements, can be enough to result in mold. Use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner to keep humidity at 50% or less. Keep up with temperature changes to adjust these devices throughout the day.
Mold thrives in moist environments, such as places affected by water damage and excessive humidity. Control this moisture to stop mold growth in your home.
Why Does Food Get Moldy?
bread mold grows quickly
How Does Bread Mold Begin to Grow?
What makes leftovers that are lurking in the back of the fridge turn into a science project? Mold is a microscopic fungus, a plant, that is found everywhere on earth, including Elburn, IL. We are surrounded by mold spores traveling through the air looking for a home.
Home Sweet Bread
Bread is an inviting host for traveling spores. White bread is made of simple carbohydrates that turn to sugar, which is a very efficient food source, and once a colony gets established, bread mold grows quickly. The best environment for mold growth is cool, damp and dark with poor air circulation — in other words, a refrigerator.
As with other plants, mold can only survive in a limited range of circumstances. If temperatures are too cold, such as in the freezer, growth stops. Warm conditions, such as baking in an oven, have the same effect. But the humid, dark, still interior of a refrigerator is the perfect place for mold. The best way to prevent mold growth is to eat food while it is still fresh before fridge mold starts to grow.
Mold is not always bad and has actually saved lives. For example, the antibiotic penicillin was first cultured from mold. Some cheeses, such as Roquefort and blue cheese, rely on mold for their distinctive flavor and appearance. A fungus growth on corn is called huitlacoche in Mexico and is considered a delicacy.
The next time you open a bag and find that bread mold has staked a claim, remember that mold is everywhere in the air around us. The only way to prevent it is to buy smaller amounts of food more frequently so that they can be eaten before mold growth starts. Failing that, you can freeze leftovers. In the event that you have a more serious mold problem, such as mold growth on drywall after a flood, then it's likely time to enlist the help of a professional mold remediation service.
Why Bleach Doesn’t Effectively Remove Mold
Don't use bleach to clean up fungus
For many business owners, bleach is the go-to method of mold and fungus cleanup. Whether it’s small spots under the bathroom sink or a large area of water damage from a leaking roof line, mold cleanup can appear to be quick, easy and sanitary with the use of surface cleaning products. However, these products only remove the surface of mold and can’t get at the roots. Find out how to effectively remove mold in Elburn, IL, today.
The Problem With Cleaning Supplies
The issue with most commercial cleaning supplies is that they only address the surface problem. Chlorine bleach is an effective way to remove mold from the surface, but here are a few reasons that it isn’t the best way to thoroughly disinfect your commercial building:
- Chlorine can evaporate
- It can’t reach the roots of mold
- It can be dangerous if used improperly
Instead, here are some ways to properly cleanup mold and fungus in your commercial property. When you choose a commercial solution, you’ll enjoy fast and efficient results.
Effective Mold Removal
Fungus cleanup should start with an experienced cleanup company that is Here to Help. There are a range of commercial cleaning supplies that are able to reach the deepest roots of mold while still keep your air quality safe.
Hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, borax and even tea tree oil are all natural ways to remove surface mold. However, deep cleaning requires professional-grade biocides. These tough cleaning solutions aren’t easily available, but a commercial mold remediation company has access to all the gear and cleaning supplies necessary to effectively rid your storefront or office building of any mold buildup.
Discover how you can receive prompt, professional fungus cleanup today. Don’t use bleach or other harmful chemicals to attempt to clean it yourself, but choose a company who is able to provide the effective cleaning solutions and techniques that can target the roots of mold and leave you with a clean, sanitary surface.
How Does Pretesting Affect Claims?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Regional Disasters Require a National Response
Contact the cleaning and restoration company that is faster to any size disaster
Regional disasters occur more often than we would like. Damage is usually extensive, and the region cannot recover without outside help. Even before the disaster is complete, the road fills with response teams from:
- Fire and rescue departments and agencies
- Power companies
- Cable TV and internet service providers
- Grocery and restaurant chains
- Medical facilities
- The cleaning and restoration company that is faster to any size disaster
There Are Many Different Ways To Respond to Disasters
The listed companies each respond to in their own way. Power, cable and emergency services have reciprocal agreements to send crews when needed. Grocery stores, restaurants and hotels take care of their own. Large hospitals and medical facilities assemble, equip and deliver teams of medical professionals.
One Company Takes a Unique Approach
The cleaning and restoration company takes a different approach. On a typical day, it looks like a group of over 1,700 independently owned and operated franchises. They deal with damage of all types including fire, water and storm. They perform cleanups and restorations in the nearby cities and towns. For the employees, it’s a peaceful day-to-day job.
Looks Are Deceiving
When disaster strikes, this company stands tall. Faster to any size disaster is not just a catchy phrase. Those home town franchises are part of a tightly connected network of providers. The central office of this network regulates all activity in the disaster area.
It begins with franchisees transferring teams and equipment to the disaster area. The company’s central office logs each insurance claim and assigns it to an appropriate team. In a disaster situation, the number and density of claims are high. Teams may find themselves working on multiple claims at the same time.
Make it Look “Like it never even happened.”
This is the ultimate goal of all cleaning and restoration projects. If you need this done in the North Aurora, IL, area, getting help is easy. Contact the cleaning and restoration company that is faster to any size disaster.
What You Need To Know About Commercial Mold-Removal Regulations
Mold containment in a North Aurora,IL building
Investing in commercial property is usually an effective way to make money in North Aurora,IL. Of course, your rental property can only bring in income if you can attract tenants. As you probably know, mold growth has a way of driving tenants away. If you notice mold in one of your units, you must prioritize its removal. You must also be sure you comply with federal, state and local mold standards.
A Few Agencies Regulate Commercial Mold Removal
While black mold has developed a nefarious reputation in recent years, it isn’t the only type of mold that can devalue your investment property. When you are removing mold from commercial property, you must be careful to follow the law. A few agencies regulate the mold clean process, including:
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- The Environmental Protection Agency
- State and local environmental agencies
OSHA’s mission is to keep employees safe at work. For that reason, the agency has developed mold standards that protect employee health. By contrast, the goal of the EPA is to safeguard the environment. Therefore, regulations from that agency direct the removal and disposal of mold and cleaning products.
A Nonprofit Certifies Cleanup Technicians
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification certifies mold-mitigation specialists. Those who pursue certification from IICRC learn about mold-removal rules and regulations. If you choose to contract with a certified technician, you can be certain your cleanup strategy complies with both OSHA and EPA regulations. Even better, because skilled technicians have the equipment and expertise to effectively remove existing mold and prevent future mold growth, you achieve peace of mind by leaving your cleanup to the professionals.
Few things can jeopardize the income potential of commercial property faster than mold growth. If you don’t comply with mold standards, though, you could further devalue your commercial investment. Rather than leaving your property to chance, rely on the expertise of skilled technicians who know how to remove mold legally.
4 Things You Should Know About Cleaning Up Smoke After a Fire
Soot damage in Geneva,IL
Dealing with Smoke Damage
The odor of smoke left behind after a fire can be irritating to skin and lungs, putrefying to your nose and stomach, and a sickening reminder of a traumatic event. But smoke damage and soot must be cleaned by someone trained to do so. Business owners in Geneva,IL, would be wise to call on professionals for help in dealing with smoke cleaning.
1. Damage from Smoke
Smoke damage alone may not mean the end of your belongings, but in some cases it may stain or saturate. For non-porous items, a thorough cleaning with an antiseptic may be all that is needed. Fabric items will need to be laundered, bleached or dry-cleaned to remove the residue.
2. Damage from Soot
Soot usually contains harmful compounds. It can be very sticky or greasy, making complete removal difficult. On hard-surfaces, soot damage might be scrubbed away with tri-sodium phosphate and detergent, while fragile or fabric items may be more difficult. A fire restoration company can be a great help in sorting it all out.
3. Chemical Residue from Electronics
The smoke from a fire, particularly at a business where plastics and electronics are used can have a high chemical content. Plastics give off an oily and irritating chemical when burned and smoke from burning electronics and wiring has a nasty, rancid fish odor.
4. Foul Odor
In addition to any stains and residue, smoke and soot can have a foul and lingering odor. Important papers and other porous, non-washable items may need to be placed in a tent with an ozone machine. Commercial ultrasonic purifiers may be necessary to help remove odor from furniture, walls, and floors. Air conditioning and filtration systems cleaned to prevent the residue and odor lurking there from causing problems.
Smoke cleaning is so much more than just dealing with the odor. Hiring someone in Geneva,IL, to perform a fire damage assessment and assist with the difficult cleanup issues that smoke damage causes can help restore your business and your peace of mind.
5 Tips for Preparing for a Storm
Flood damage in a Elburn, IL home
Protect Your Home From Water Damage
The storms in Elburn,IL, can bring flood water to you home. This can cause a number of problems for both the house and your family. However, there are a few things you can do to protect your home from water damage.
1. Know What to Expect
One of the first steps is to know what to expect when it comes to flooding in your area. Perhaps you get a lot of storms, or a local river swells with the spring thaw? Are you at the bottom of a watershed? These factors can help you predict the likelihood of a flood in your area, as well as the water patterns. Knowing this can help you plan accordingly.
2. Keep Your Insurance Up-to-date
In many cases insurance plans will cover water damage. It’s important to keep your policy up-to-date as well as make sure you’re covered for events like flooding or storm damage.
3. Have Supplies Ready
If you think you may be dealing with flood water in your area it’s important to have supplies ready just in case. Think of things like medication or your pet’s needs, as well as what you will need if the power goes out. Extra batteries, a first aid kit, and protective gear are all important supplies to have on hand.
4. Protect Your Home
There are several ways to help prevent a flooded building. Preparations beforehand may include sandbagging doors, boarding over windows, or tarping over vulnerable areas.
5. Have a Plan for Cleanup
Having a cleanup plan before a flood happens can help save valuable time after the storm. Make contingencies for water removal, sanitation, and even repairs common to such events. You may even want to have the contact information for a local water damage and restoration specialist in case you need extra help.
Taking these steps can help you protect your home against flood water. Being prepared beforehand can also help you have a plan in place in case flooding does breach your property next time a storm in Elburn,IL, heads your way.