Recent Posts

4 Ways To Prevent Mold in the Office Fridge

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Maybe your breakroom fridge in Chicago isn't as bad as the one at an office building in San Jose, CA, where, in 2009, 28 people became sick from fumes of spoiled food and disinfectants. Perhaps your office fridge isn't that bad yet, but you can use this as a cautionary tale to coworkers. Here are four tips on preventing fridge mold at your office:

1. Store food the right way. This sounds straightforward, but the USDA recommends repackaging foods into smaller portions for efficient chilling. This is especially important after work events where large quantities of food were shared. When deep containers of warm food are placed in the fridge, the center may stay warm long enough for bacteria and mold to grow. Be sure to cover food to help keep moisture in and better maintain humidity of the fridge environment.

2. Maintain the proper temperature and humidity. Mold can live at temps of 40-100° F, but you can reduce the opportunity for fridge mold by keeping the temperature at 40° F or lower. Buy a thermometer to keep inside of the fridge for easy monitoring and don't keep the doors open for long periods of time.

3. Know when to throw away food. Don't rely on mold smell to motivate you. Food should be removed weekly and never left over the weekend. Food that has sat at greater than 40° F for more than 2 hours is not safe to eat, so throw out all food when the power has been out that long.

4. Use proper cleaning methods. For disinfecting fridge interiors, don't use harsh cleaners that may transfer odors to foods. Frequent cleaning with baking soda and dish soap are all you need. Pay attention to high humidity areas that are higher risk for fridge mold, like crisper drawers and seals.

Hopefully, you won't need a hazmat team to help your office through a disinfecting fridge cleaning, but mold remediation specialists are available to help with any mold problem in your building. With their knowledge and special equipment, they make sure to cleanup mold while preventing the further spread of spores.

For more on Chicago click here

Getting Your Business Ready for a Flood

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Getting Your Business Ready for a Flood Storm Damage in Chicago

During storm season in Chicago, flooding is always a possibility. To head storm damage off at the pass, you need to be prepared to combat it. You may not be able to prevent all the storm damage, but having a plan can minimize your losses and help you get back on your feet faster.

Keeping an Eye on the Sky

Keep an eye on the weather, particularly if you know that storms are a frequent occurrence where your business is located. If you know a bad storm is coming, go through this checklist to improve your chances of safety:

• Turn off utilities in case of a power surge
• Check flashlights and extra batteries
• Back up important data
• Have an evacuation or safety plan so that people know where to go during the emergency

Protecting Your Equipment

To prepare for flooding, imagine what would be the most devastating items to lose. Once you have turned off the power or unplugged all the sensitive machines, it is a good idea to move them to a higher floor where they are less likely to succumb to flood damage. Barricade your building against the impending waters by placing sandbags against the doors and windows. This not only keeps the wind from blowing them open and possibly causing damage but also keeps the rising waters at bay a little longer.

Guarding Your People

Having an evacuation plan is a must in these situations. Discuss the plan with employees on a regular basis. It is also a good idea to institute practice runs so that the day your building floods is not the first time employees are trying to stick to the plan.

After the flood, you can contact water restoration specialists to inspect and remediate the damages and get your business back to normal. The more damage you can prevent during flooding, however, the quicker the cleanup process is going to go.

For more on Chicago click here

What's the First Step To Take After a Burst Pipe?

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial What's the First Step To Take After a Burst Pipe? Commercial Pipe Break in Chicago

After the initial shock of a broken pipe wears off, many business owners begin to realize the enormity of the pipe burst cleanup process. As these feelings settle in, don't wait to call a sewer cleanup company in Chicago. In fact, some insurance companies tell their clients to call cleanup and restoration specialists first. This is because the sooner you begin cleaning up, the better able you'll be to limit damage.

What To Expect During Cleanup

Professionals who handle water damage restoration can prevent significant destruction, keeping your restoration costs down and protecting your building from secondary damage. The cleanup process entails several steps:

• Removing standing water
• Installing specialized dehumidifiers and equipment to dry the area
• Assessing moisture levels with thermal imaging cameras and moisture meters
• Repairing water damage to drywall, carpeting, air ducts, etc.
• Mold prevention and protection

How To Clean Items After Water Damage

The contents of businesses often need specialized attention during and after pipe burst cleanup efforts. For example, upholsteries may require dry cleaning. Residue from water can be cleaned with wet rags or abrasive materials. Some items, such as certain electronics, should be sprayed with appropriate cleansers and wiped down. Carpeting and some upholstery should be treated with foam cleansers. There may be other items that require complete immersion in a cleaning solution. Whether you tackle these tasks on your own or turn them over to professionals, it's important to establish the right tactic for different items.

When To Call the Professionals

There are some items that should only be treated by professionals in Chicago. For example, televisions, computers, and other electronic equipment pose serious risks to your safety. An electrical device that has been damaged by water could cause injury. Running that equipment before it has been repaired could lead to further damage, corrosion, and other risks.

You don't have to deal with pipe burst cleanup on your own. Share the work and the worry with professionals who know how to handle the damage.

For more on Chicago click here

Use These 5 Simple Steps To Flush a Water Heater

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Use These 5 Simple Steps To Flush a Water Heater Water heater maintenance is key to reducing leaks or breaks.

Water heaters can last a long time if properly maintained, but the appliances are often neglected. The old adage, "out of sight, out of mind" can be especially true of the water heater because it is often hidden away in a dark closet, basement, or garage in your home in Chicago. To prevent costly repairs or replacement of the unit, consider establishing a regular maintenance program. By taking the following steps, you can keep your home's hot water flowing for years to come.

1. Turn off the power or gas feeding the water heater. For a gas unit, simply make sure the pilot light is extinguished and no live electric lines feed into the tank. For an electric heater unit, turn all electrical lines off at the circuit breaker.

2. Screw a garden hose or drainage hose to the drain valve. Make sure the tubing is long enough to deposit water outside or into a tub. The water will almost certainly contain mineral-filled sediment, so draining the water outside is preferred.

3. Check the drain valve and move to the open position. The water should flow freely for several minutes; if it does not, call a water specialist to assess the situation. If the water begins flowing and then slows down, open a kitchen or bathroom hot water faucet. Wait for several minutes, and close the water supply valve. The water flow will eventually stop.

4. Close the drain valve after the water heater flush is completed. Turn the water supply line back on and watch the faucet’s flow to make sure the air is flushed out of the system entirely. Once the tank is completely full, the faucet water will flow smoothly with no air gushes.

5. Check again to make sure the water tank is full. Turn the gas or power back on. After restoring power, check the heating element to make sure it is working. Turn the kitchen or bathroom faucet off and enjoy your restored heater.

Regularly draining the water heater can help keep the hot water flowing. It can also save you money on tank repairs or replacement units.

For more on Chicago click here

Understanding Fire Damage

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

A fire can occur for hundreds of different reasons, yet the results are always the same - a devastating amount of property damage and loss of possessions. Dealing with fire damage can seem like an
overwhelming task, especially at first. That's why every homeowner should  prepare for such an emergency before it occurs and know what to do if it does happen.

Preventative Measures

In some cases, fire damage happens due to unpredictable circumstances
and can not be avoided. Storms and hurricanes cause thousands of residential fires each year. Also, if a property suffers a serious fire on a windy day, neighboring houses tend to be affected as well.

That being said, most fires can easily be avoided, especially in areas like Park Ridge and Chicago (Illinois) where weather tends to be moderate. Here are some basic safety tips that can help homeowners prevent a devastating tragedy:

Keeping a close eye on every potential fire hazard is the most important step one could take to mitigate fire loss. Since most residential fires start in the kitchen, it is vital to make a habit of making sure the stove is off after using it. For smokers, the same rule should apply to ashtrays as well as trash cans. People who want to go the extra mile to ensure they don't have to deal with extensive fire loss install heavy fireproof doors in the kitchen. They are designed to prevent flames from spreading throughout a property. These can be costly but, of course, they're not nearly as expensive as recovering from fire damage.The second most common fire hazard is the backyard, especially if it contains a garden. On a hot summer day, vegetation can dry up and easily catch on fire. As such, it is important to keep all plant life properly hydrated
in the summer. It's no secret that fire alarms and smoke detectors are a must-have for all homeowners. However, most people aren't aware that IL fire safety protocol recommends changing the batteries on these devices every six months. Smoke detectors which don't require batteries should be tested just as often in order to ensure
that they are operational.

Staying Prepared

Unfortunately, there's just no way to rule out the possibility of a residential fire. That's why being prepared to deal with the fallout is simply paramount. There are two main steps homeowners can take to make sure they'll be ready to deal with such an event.

The fist step is to do some research and find the best local fire restoration company in your area. For example, residents of Chicago and Park Ridge should look for an agency based in Illinois. The most
significant thing to consider when making the choice would be the reputation of a company. The right firm will have numerous references and recommendations from other IL residents.

Of course, the most effective way to prepare for fire loss is to fully insure both the property and its contents. A truly comprehensive insurance policy covers the full cost of fire restoration and damages to furniture, personal belongings and any other possessions destroyed in a fire.

Visit http://www.SERVPROparkridge.comfor more information on fire damage.

Dealing With the Aftermath of a Fire Damage

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

After a fire, it's very important to remember that restoration must begin as soon as possible. If soot and water damage are left unattended, they can cause more harm than the fire itself. 

Understandably, those who suffered a fire tend to be under a lot of stress immediately after it occurs. However, that's no reason not to get the restoration process started ASAP. Here's what a professional 
restoration company can do if they are contacted within 48 hours of a fire:

First off, if the damage is bad enough, a house may need to be sealed with specialized tarps. Fires are likely to cause holes in the roof or walls, which need to be covered up in order to prevent further damage. Thus, the first step of proper fire cleanup is sealing these holes and any other areas that may leak if it rains before repairs are finished.

Secondly, a restoration company will prepare a comprehensive assessment of damages and losses. This is a basic list of repairs that are needed and things that must be replaced. The assessment is necessary for the restoration company to provide an accurate quote as well as to start 
filing an insurance claim.

The next step is a general, yet comprehensive, fire cleanup session. Most importantly, this involves cleaning up the dust to minimize soot damage and improving air quality by minimizing smoke damage early on. Another concern is the contamination (caused by water damage from the fire) which is eliminated by sanitizing the property.

Once the premises are safe again, the primary concern should be obtaining a "fire report" and filing an insurance claim. A fire report is filed by the local fire department. It discusses the state of a damaged property and includes the "incident number" necessary to file a claim. Plus, any water damage from fire department efforts will be 
indicated in the report.

Apply chemical products that eliminate soot damage and smoke damage. Perhaps the most harmful part of fire loss is the soot that settles afterward. If it is not deal with, residents may experience a variety of respiratory disorders due to deteriorating air quality. The most common of these products is TSP - tri-sodium phosphate. It is practically harmless and it works within hours of being applied. 

If any items have been damaged beyond repair or have been badly covered in contaminated water, then it will be necessary to simply dispose of them and this is another service these companies offer.

Finally, after contractors finish with structural repairs, it is absolutely necessary to thoroughly vacuum the entire property. This ensures that no harmful residue is left inside the premises. No matter if it is a hot summer day or if it's freezing cold - vacuuming should be a prime concern. A quality fire restoration company will thoroughly 
clean all fire residue from any site they work on. 

Visit http://www.SERVPROparkridge.comfor more information on fire damage.

Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover Fire Damage?

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover Fire Damage? Commercial Fire Loss

Commercial property insurance can cover any structure zoned for commercial use. Depending on the level of coverage and any additional endorsements, this insurance should pay for damage resulting from burst pipes, fire, explosions, storms, or theft and vandalism. Commercial insurance can shield businesses from bearing the extensive costs of fire damage alone. The pricing of these policies depends on several factors.

• Fire protection levels: The cost of a business insurance policy that covers fire may vary depending on the distance of the closest fire station. You may pay higher premiums if you are far from assistance or do not have suitable fire suppression safety equipment in your place of business.

• Building materials: The materials used to build a commercial property may also play a major role in determining how much commercial insurance for your business will cost. Is the building built out of fire-resistant materials or combustibles like wood? Do newer structural features or updates maintain the same level or a higher level of fire safety than the rest of the building? Insurers will factor in any additions and modifications as well as the original structure, which may either raise or lower premiums.

• The type of business: When it comes to buying property insurance or policies that compensate for business interruptions, offices are generally considered to be safer commercial properties than restaurants or businesses that work with potentially hazardous substances.

Fire is a common risk covered by commercial property insurance no matter where your business is located. Some policies may require endorsements for other less common disasters such as earthquakes or floods. If you are considering purchasing commercial insurance for your property in Chicago, IL, you should carefully assess the fire risks of your property and determine the best policy for your needs. If a fire does occur, this coverage may offset the cost of fire damage mitigation.

For more on Chicago click here.

Why is flood water dangerous?

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Flood water that hits from the outside can have all kinds of trouble contained within. Among the bad ingredients are raw sewage, pesticides,
fertilizers, viruses, petroleum products and many pieces of debris and garbage. People should not even touch flood water as it could be contaminated.

If there is standing water you should not touch it or walk into it  because you may not know whether the water is covering a live electrical socket which could electrocute you if you touch the water.

In a serious flood situation, you should evacuate your home or business  and call professionals to provide mitigation for your situation. A professional service has the expertise, the proper clothing and the equipment to get the job done, and you do not. Especially if you have a water in home or a water in business situation.

How to remove water from you home ?

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Once you have made arrangements for someone to come and begin the water damage and the flood damage mitigation, a high-speed pumping system will be set up to remove the standing water to the outside or to a tank truck. It won't take very long to remove water with this system, probably just a few minutes.

When all of the standing water has been removed, a drying process will begin by using large industrial fans to create air movement over the entire area that was flooded. This is also a part of water cleanup
process and it might take three or four days for it to be completed. When the drying process has been completed by the air movement then the fans are removed and the next part of the water cleanup can continue.

Remember to call SERVPRO of Park Ridge if you have need of our services.

4 Tips for Controlling Mold in Your Home

5/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 4 Tips for Controlling Mold in Your Home Mold Damage after a water loss

You may have heard that it’s impossible to wholly get rid of mold because of how it pervades every aspect of your Chicago, IL, home, including omnipresent spores in the air around you at all times. That doesn’t mean you can’t control mold, however, and both prevent its spread and return. Take a look at a few tips for managing your mold problem and ensuring mold prevention.

1. Fix Those Leaks

One of the worst culprits when it comes to mold growth is leaks. Not only do leaks cause water damage, but they create spots of damp where mold proliferates as the moisture and organic matter feed the spores. Check your roofs, windows, appliances, and walls for dark spots and other signs of leakage, and address them promptly with proper repairs and mold remediation.

2. Respond Rapidly to Flooding

If you’ve had a flood in your home, you may be dealing with more than just water damage. You may have an environment ripe for mold growth in stagnant standing water and soaked furnishings. Immediately remove any waterlogged furnishings or carpeting, and dry out the area as much as possible. Be aware that you may be dealing with water soaked beneath the floorboards or into the drywall.

3. Properly Ventilate Your Home

Proper ventilation can go a long way toward drying out any damp areas in your home where mold may grow. It can also prevent condensation, which can be another source of water damage that leads to mold. Open windows and run fans to keep a proper airflow, and use an air filtration device as needed.

4. Eliminate Humidity

You may be noticing a common trend. Moisture is the most prevalent factor in mold outbreaks, and in humid environments you’re asking for another infestation. Dehumidifiers can work wonders to dry out a room and prevent another mold attack. This can be particularly useful in climates where humidity is the norm.

For more on Chicago click here.