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What To Do if Water Is Dripping From a Ceiling Light

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Water in a light fixture Water in light fixtures isn't an everyday event

What To Do if Water Is Dripping From a Ceiling Light

You’ve just settled into bed after a busy day, and then you feel it — an icy drop of water hits your face. You know nothing about water in light bulbs, other than it’s bad. What now?
Don’t panic! Before calling professional help in Park Ridge, IL, follow these steps:

  • Shut off the light switch. (Use a flashlight if it’s dark).
  • Find the water main to the house and turn it off.
  • Go to the breaker box and shut off the electricity.

Once you’re safe, evaluate the situation. Water in a light fixture often causes ceiling damage and electrical problems, so you'll need a specialist who can address this combination of issues. Instead of an electrician or plumber, consider a company that offers water damage restoration. This is definitely not a DIY situation.

Water Damage Restoration: What To Expect
Water in light fixtures isn't an everyday event. In fact, you probably never thought you’d be in this situation, so you may have no idea what happens when it occurs. Here's what to expect:

Evaluation: Your provider will survey the affected areas and document the needed repairs.
Elimination: This is the water removal process, which can vary depending on the amount of water and the location of the leak.
Sanitization: The technician should remove humidity and mold, then thoroughly sanitize the area.
Restoration: The last step involves any repairs needed to return the area to normal.

Water Damage Prevention: What To Do Next
Now that you’re familiar with the effect of water in light fixtures, how can you prevent it? While natural disasters are unpredictable, you can monitor the following:

Faucets and toilets: Make a habit of checking for drips, leaks, and cracks around these fixtures, especially in rooms on the second or third floors.
Water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines: Large appliances that use water can be prone to problems as they age. Regularly inspect the floor and walls around these machines, and any visible hoses, for signs of moisture and mold.

These simple steps can help you avoid unwanted water in the future. Sleep well knowing you’ve done your best to protect your investment from another round of ceiling damage.

How Renters Insurance Can Help With Fire Damage

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars on the table. Renters insurance can help you get through this stressful time

How Renters Insurance Can Help With Fire Damage

A fire can do serious damage to your Rosemont, IL, rental home. Fortunately, renters insurance can help you get through this stressful time.

Coverage
The landlord's insurance will cover fire damage to the structure itself, but the renter will be responsible for certain other costs. There are a variety of expenses that fire insurance covers, including the following:

  • Contents restoration
  • Temporary relocation
  • Liability
  • Small medical payments

The contents of the rental home, including furniture, clothing, etc., are covered under a renters insurance policy. This means that you will receive funds to repair or replace damaged personal property up to the coverage limits listed in the policy. Some policies will cover what it costs to replace the items, but other policies only pay what the items were worth prior to the loss, known as actual cash value. Many policies also cover the costs of living arrangements during the restoration period. Additionally, fire insurance may provide the policy holder with liability coverage in the case that he or she accidentally causes a fire that results in a loss for a third party. Some policies will also pay small medical costs incurred by a third party without having to establish liability. Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you fully understand the details of your policy.

Contents Restoration
The items in your home are made of a variety of materials. In addition to furniture, you may have electronics, antiques, and important documents that need to be restored following fire and water damage. Fortunately, there are a variety of cleaning and drying methods available, including the following:

  • Dry cleaning
  • Vacuum freeze drying
  • Vacuum thermal drying

A professional can help determine what can and cannot be salvaged and the best fire restoration techniques for your possessions.
Although getting your life back to normal after a fire can be a daunting task, renters insurance can help you financially. Additionally, a certified restoration team can help you restore your belongings to pre-fire condition.

Creating a Broken Pipe Playbook

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Broken pipe Don’t let a broken pipe break your business

Don’t let a broken pipe break your business. Commercial water damage in Rosemont, IL, can be approached like any sports game; with planning and training, a competent team, and a winning attitude, you can almost certainly win this match against flooding.

Identify Your Teammates and Opponents

Who will help you triumph, and what can hinder your chances for victory? You may be better prepared for a future issue by developing a general understanding of your building’s potential flood-friendly areas before an incident occurs. Any of these may be your water rivals in the workplace:

  • Fire sprinkler system
  • Toilets
  • Sinks (in restrooms, breakrooms, and kitchens)
  • Water drinking fountains
  • Any other water supply line (waterfall feature in the lobby?)

Never fear these foes, however, as you likely have a talented group on your bench with unique skill sets, knowledge, and experiences to keep your business afloat. You may not inherently understand the inner workings of your building’s plumbing and drainage system, but you can identify professionals and services who do. Teamwork is key!

Play Defense
Businesses do not need to wait until a broken pipe issue occurs before developing a plan of action for water repair and deterrence, but when flooding happens, damage defense follows. Building restoration services can quickly and efficiently assess and address the problem, mitigating future concerns that could stem from the same initial breakage (cue the cheerleaders, “M-O-L-D, mold prevention, 1-2-3!”) These cleanup captains will also tackle soaked structures, upholstery, and tough odors so your team can return to the workplace with minimal interruption.
With any sports team, fine-tuned equipment is necessary. Make sure you and your teammates are stocked with helpful tools and tips, such as mold prevention guidelines, and determine to whom certain tasks will be delegated (internally and externally).

Win the Game
Unexpected water damage can impact your commercial space at any time, but your business can prevail if you train with a proper playbook, then confidently face the competition. If you approach a broken pipe like a sporting event, you will realize victory is reachable with the support of a team of experts on your sideline.

Preventing Mold-Related Claims

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold in the corner of a window Mold growth on the corner of a window

As a commercial landlord or property owner in Chicago, IL, the law may not be clear regarding requirements to make sure your property is safe to inhabit, especially since a commercial building doesn’t necessarily need to be habitable, per se. Still, it should be fit for planned use. When it comes to mold remediation, you may be responsible as a commercial landlord for not only cleaning the mold, but also repairing the condition that created the standing water from which the fungus developed. You’ll need to check if any existing insurance policies you hold allow you to make mold insurance claims.

Ounce of Prevention Is a Pound of Cure

The best way to avoid a mold claim is by being diligent about preventing fungus from developing at all. As a commercial property owner or manager, you should regularly check for condensation build-up, leaks, faulty drainage at foundations and damaged seals around windows and other openings. Ventilation systems should also be inspected for the presence of mold. Potential warnings for future trouble spots include the following:

  • Water damage, including flooding, busted pipes or fire extinguishment
  • Wet conditions lasting longer than 48 hours
  • Moisture issues such as leaky windows or pipes
  • Moldy or musty odors
  • Structural remodeling or repurposing

Staying on top of these issues goes a long way to avoiding mold insurance claims.

Mold Damage Repair and Restoration
If you suspect you have a mold problem, hire an investigator who can take air samples and is equipped to thoroughly investigate to determine the source and the extent of the problem. Leave the mold cleanup process to a team of trained professionals who are experts when it comes to mold remediation, water damage cleanup, and drying techniques. These experts can respond quickly, minimizing damage, stopping the spread of mold, and reducing the duration of the restoration process. Quick and thorough cleanup may help you reduce the amount of any mold insurance claims or eliminate them altogether.

Flood Water Preparation Tips

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

River Feale bursts its banks during post-storm flooding and encroaches onto neighbouring pasture farmland Your home may be found in risk if it is located near a stream or river

Do you know the flood risks your home could face in Park Ridge, IL? Preparing against potential floodwater may take planning and effort, but it may also pay big dividends by helping preserve your belongings — and perhaps even your house — from severe water damage if disaster strikes.

Location Matters

The flood risk to your home may be greater than average if it is located in certain places:

  • In a floodplain
  • Near a stream or river
  • At the base of a mountain or hill

That risk may not be evident at first glance, either. It may only become apparent after a storm. Check federal and local resources regarding flooding potential: There may be historical data sites available to help you assess vulnerability or alert systems already in place in your area to help you stay actively informed.
For example, if you live near a river or stream, find out if it has ever overflowed, and why. Armed with that knowledge, you can also monitor current information for increased risk of floodwater by visiting the U.S. Geological Survey's website to check the status of water levels near you.
Do you know if you live in a floodplain? You can find out by checking your address at the FEMA Flood Map Service Center.

Awareness May Help You Limit or Avoid Water Damage
Knowing that a flood could someday occur in your area gives you time to take intentional steps to safeguard your house and property. Such steps could include things like contacting your insurance agent, making sure your basement or foundation is properly sealed, storing important documents and valuables in a waterproof safe, and learning who to turn to for water damage repair. In the short run, being alerted to a potential flood may give you precious time to move certain things to higher ground or sandbag key areas to prevent a flooded building.
Take time to prepare now. Your home may be better protected from floodwater because of your diligence.

How Fire Can Damage Different Parts of Your Business's Computers

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Personal computer burnt due to electricity short circuit Business computer damaged after a fire in Chicago, IL

How Fire Can Damage Different Parts of Your Business's Computers

Computers are one of the most important pieces of electronic equipment your business in Chicago, IL, needs to run its everyday operations. When damaged in an electrical fire, how the computer cleanup process goes depends on the different parts affected by the heat, soot, and smoke.

1. Metal
Different metals, such as aluminum, silicon, lead, copper, and tin, make up a large majority of computer components. Although most of these metals remain intact even when exposed to higher temperatures, the longer exposure to heat continues in a fire, the more the metals will continue to break down.
2. Platters
The platters within a computer are disks that store the device's data, and they are typically made from cobalt, ceramic, aluminum or glass. These disks can withstand high temperatures and smoke damage for a certain period of time, but after prolonged exposure to an electrical fire, they will start to bubble, melt and warp.
3. Rubber Seals
Some solid-state drives and most hard disk drives include metal casings that protect the disks within the computer. An industrial-strength rubber gasket seals these cases to prevent damage, but during a fire, it will begin to melt when the surrounding environment reaches approximately 620 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Plastic Parts
The exterior case, the insulation within the exterior case, the keys in the keyboard and even some of the electronic circuits within a computer are plastic. Even if fire cleanup professionals can salvage most of your business' computer parts, it is unlikely the plastic components will survive, as they typically start to melt soon after exposure to a direct flame or indirect heat.
The sooner you can save your business's computers from exposure to heat and flames during an electrical fire, the better. While you may not be able to use the devices again, you may be able to recover some of the important data stored within them.

How To Choose the Right Generator

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator Commercial generators provide electricity through the motion created within the machine by a fuel source

How To Choose the Right Generator

When the power goes out in Rosemont, IL, it can devastate businesses that do not have commercial generators for emergency preparedness. However, there are important factors that can impact the efficiency and safety of these machines. If you are considering a generator for your commercial property, here is what you need to know.

Commercial Generators

Commercial generators provide electricity through the motion created within the machine by a fuel source. They can provide automatic back-up power in the event of storm damage, flood damage and other events that cause power outages. Different units run on different types of fuel including diesel, gas, bi-fuel and solar power.

Avoiding Generator Problems

Regular maintenance is essential to avoid problems. Here are some tips to help you avoid issues with your generator:

  • Inspect and maintain it annually and after use every 200 hours.
  • Run it regularly to avoid stagnant fuel or air in the machine.
  • Have enough fuel in it during operation.
  • Choose the size needed at the time of purchase, not based on future needs.

Joining a service contract with experienced professionals, such as those who provide storm damage restoration is a good way to upkeep any generator, as well.

Power

The bigger the engine, the more power it can put out. So, when it comes to generators, the bigger the better, right? Not necessarily. If it does not use 35% or more of the load, there are many problems that can occur, including a fire. Therefore, ensure you know the hertz, kilowatts, type of phase and voltage required for your property.

Lifespan

How long a unit lasts depends on several factors including the quality of the machine, how long it is run every day and if it is well maintained. Most generators can last from 3,000 to 5,000 hours depending on whether they are of standard or high-end quality. You can expect them to last at least 20 years if properly maintained.
A generator can provide valuable peace of mind in an emergency. If you choose to invest in one for your property, it can last for many years to come with proper care.

Getting a Hold on Mold

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Drywall covered with mold, air scrubber present in the room. Concept mold remediation Getting rid of mold in a home

Unlike other home maintenance issues, mold damage is not something you can afford to put off for a rainy day. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. In fact, it will get significantly worse. For the average professional mold removal job in Park Ridge, IL, you can spend anywhere from $500 to $6,000; however extensive mold damage can run into the tens of thousands of dollars for remediation. When it comes to eliminating mold, time is really of the essence. Delaying can make all the difference on the cost for cleanup.

Go With a Pro

Although you may be alerted to the presence of mold by seeing it on drywall or wood or by detecting a musty odor, your best move is to hire an independent professional inspector. A pro can take samples and properly determine the extent mold removal required. An inspector should do the following:

  • Have industry-specific credentials
  • Be independent of a mold remediation company
  • Provide a detailed, specific report based on lab and air samples
  • Be objective about findings and not try to promote a particular company or cleanup approach (e.g., black mold removal, professional vs. DIY mold cleanup)

Understand the Inspection Process

A mold investigator may charge from $200 to $600. The job can last from two to six hours, including the taking of air samples. Air samples can cost up to $150 per sample. They may be rolled into the investigator’s price, though, so you should ask about them upfront.
Your walls may be cut so that the investigator can determine how much mold there is. A good inspector will not only tell you what level of mold eradication is necessary but also the source of the issue so you can make repairs. If you need to hire mold cleanup experts, the job can take several days for simple cleaning and drying or up to several weeks if demolition and reconstruction is necessary.
The mold removal process doesn't have to be stressful. By knowing what to expect upfront, you can make educated decisions and enlist helpful professionals who can restore your home in no time.

The Problems Associated With Storm Damage

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

River Feale bursts its banks during post-storm flooding Storms bring with them a lot of groundwater from the sea, river flooding, rainfall, and other sources

The Problems Associated With Storm Damage

There is nothing that is more devastating to a homeowner than having to deal with storm damage. However, with calamities such as Hurricane Irma and Harvey following one another in quick succession, many people have to brace themselves to foot the cost of home restoration. Below is a list of the problems which usually follow storm damage, and how damage restoration experts handle them.

Flooding

Storms bring with them a lot of groundwater from the sea, river flooding, rainfall, and other sources. The flooding problem can become a life and death situation, especially in states that are near the coast. When flooding happens, you should quickly evacuate everyone from the affected areas and move them to safety. Flooding can only be mediated after the storm has passed. Flood pumps are normally used for the water restoration process. The experts will assess the water levels and determine which flood pumps are best for the home restoration.

River flooding

People that live near rivers need to understand that when it rains, river flooding can turn into a groundwater nightmare. The challenging thing about river flooding is that the water will be full of silt, dead organisms and other debris which makes the water category 2 or category 3. You should only allow experts to handle river flooding and the resulting damage. They know the home restoration processes which will remove any dangers connected to contaminated water restoration.

Storm damage

A storm will ruin any structure in its path. Storm damage affects all parts of the house from the roof to the basement. When storm damage has occurred, especially when flood water is involved, you should contact roof repair and restoration experts. They will help you come up with flood water restoration measures to address the problem. As long as a competent storm damage restoration company is working on your behalf, you can be assured that they will try their best to preserve the integrity of your house during home restoration.

Roof damages

Recent hurricanes have featured winds moving at speeds of more than 100mph. When these winds come into contact with structures like houses, they blow off the roofs instantly. These roof damages expose the interior of the house to ice damming and ice damage. If the roof damage or wind damage does not lead to the complete blowing off of the roof, minor issues such as roof leaks will result. The house will then be open to more hail damage and ice damage. Roof repair should be done as soon as damage occurs to protect your house interior from flood water and any further harm.

Frozen pipes

Temperatures can get extremely low after storms. When this happens, frozen pipes will result, and this could lead to bursting, and eventually flood water in the home. Storm restoration for issues caused by frozen pipes should, therefore, start with thawing the pipes to prevent further water flooding in the home. The experts know how to handle frozen pipes during the storm remediation.

Ice dams, ice damage, and hurricane damage

When the storms are blowing in, and the temperatures are low, the rain may fall as small pellets of ice known as hail damage. Sometimes these pellets will be as large as a golf ball. These cause a lot of hurricane damage to windows, roofs and other parts of the house. At times, when it snows, the ice damming will accumulate on the roof and gutters, leading to ice damage and ice dams in the long run. Roof repairs should concentrate on the removal of ice dams, prevent future ice damming and repair damages as part of storm restoration.

The process of storm restoration and storm remediation.

Storm restoration should be done by professionals. These are the only people who you can trust to assess the hurricane damage, roof leaks, river flooding, hail damage, and other catastrophes and come up with a workable plan for storm remediation. Before you consult a certain company for water restoration and flood restoration, you should understand the process which is normally followed:

  • Flood pumps will be brought in to remove water from groundwater.
  • Any roof leaks, roof damage, and wind damage will be resolved by roof repair.
  • All the structures ruined by hurricane damage, wind damage, ice dams, ice damage, and hail damage will be reconstructed. Flood pumps will ultimately be used to clear all the water.

The ultimate aim of groundwater, floodwater, ice damming, and storm remediation. is to take the house to the state it was in before any of the roof leaks, flooding and other wind damage.

Proper Preparation Can Help Prevent Winter Storm Damage

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Snowstorm, snow-covered street and cars with a lonely pedestrian Snowstorm in Chicago, IL

Proper Preparation Can Help Prevent Winter Storm Damage

Before icy winds blow, commercial property owners in Chicago, IL can take steps to prepare for winter storms. Time spent winter-proofing structures can pay big dividends by saving money and time in repair and restoration costs, including for the two most common types of winter storm destruction: frozen pipes and roof damage.

An Ounce of Prevention

When summer ends and the days grow shorter, owners of business buildings should work with a checklist every year to best prepare their properties for the cold months ahead. A few steps taken in time can save many headaches later.

  1. Inspect the exterior. Have a professional check the roof, and repair all damages to rain spouts and drains. Clear the gutters to help prevent ice dams, which can damage property and eventually lead to mold growth.
  2. Take care of trees. Trim trees and bushes near the property to help prevent building damage from ice storms.
  3. Turn up the heat. Keep temperatures throughout commercial structures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius), even in empty or unused rooms, to prevent a pipe burst from causing damage.
  4. Keep it clear. Before properties need repairs after a wintry storm, put arrangements in place to keep access to business structures clear during snowy, icy weather. This includes arranging for snowplows.
  5. Plan for the worst. Preparing for winter storms is not a time for positive thinking or hoping for the best. Think of worst-case scenarios, including frozen pipes, pipe bursts, and roof damage, and write a contingency plan for each one. Inform all team members about the disaster plan.

Disasters Happen

Even with the best preparations for fierce winter storms, damage to commercial properties in Chicago, Illinois can occur. When it does, building owners should notify their insurance companies and also call in restoration specialists who can quickly assess the situation and begin repairs. The right professionals can make the damage seem to disappear.