Recent Posts

How To Combat a Broken Pipe

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water on the floor Water damage in a Chicago, IL home

Here Are A Few Ways To Combat Broken Water Pipes

It is natural to feel a sense of panic when dealing with bursting pipes. In the event that you are having plumbing issues at your home in Chicago, IL, you must remain calm and be diligent about getting the problem fixed.

Assess the Situation
Once you notice something wrong with your pipes, go through your home to try to pinpoint where the complication started so a plumber can fix the broken pipe as quickly as possible. Some water leaks are obvious, while others can take months to rear their heads. If you have a concern that is hard to locate, the following can be tell-tale signs of plumbing trouble:

  • Moisture damage (like stains or mold) on walls or ceilings
  • Low water pressure
  • Water bills that are higher than usual

Call a Professional Immediately
After you have fixed the leaking or bursting pipes and completed as much damage control as possible, the next step is to call a water damage repair service right away. When dealing with water leaks or flooding, it is crucial to get the area thoroughly dried out and inspected for mold as soon as possible. Mold can start to develop in wet areas within 24-48 hours, so rely on professionals to deal with the problem and restore your peace of mind.

Do What You Can To Prevent Future Leaks
You can't fully prevent a leak from springing at your home, but there are ways to care for your pipes and help extend their longevity, especially during cold winter months when they may freeze:

  • Paying attention to weather and temperatures
  • Open cabinets to allow air circulation
  • Keep the water running on below-freezing nights

Failing to respond promptly to bursting pipes can have devastating consequences on your house's foundation and flooring. By knowing what to do when a plumbing disaster strikes, you can save a lot of money, and more importantly, your sanity.

3 Tips To Assess Mold Damage in Your Home

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on wall Mold damage in a Chicago, IL home

Read On To Learn Three Tips To Completed A Mold Assessment

Your home is a safe retreat for you and your family. As such, you want to ensure it is protected from certain elements of the environment. One common infestation that can spread rapidly is mold.

1. Know What To Look For
One factor that makes identifying mold tricky is that not all species look the same. Mold can appear in a variety of shapes. It can be a small spot resembling soil, a collection of spots or long and thin, resembling vines. Mold also comes in an assortment of colors, including:

  • Neutral shades, such as white and black
  • Neutrals with a green tinge
  • Bright colors, such as purple and pink

While a patch of black mold is easily identifiable, not all developed spores look like this. If you find any growth around your house, turn to a certified mold specialist right away to get your house professionally evaluated and treated.

2. Check Locations Exposed to Water
Certain parts of your Chicago, IL, house are more at risk than others; therefore, even if you do not suspect these places, include them in your mold assessment. Any location that could be exposed to water has an increased chance of damage. Some obvious locations include showers, the area below sinks and windowsills. Less obvious locations are basements and walls, especially if condensation creeps in between the wall and wallpaper.

3. Investigate Your Air Supply
Evidence of mold and mildew can linger in the air you breathe. Therefore, it is important to check your air supply. Look inside exposed vents and around any air conditioner units and fans. If you suspect mold, professionals can test the quality of the air.
Completing a mold assessment does not have to be as tricky as it sounds. If you suspect growth, take action right away. Following the above tips can help determine if your house is experiencing an outbreak.

How To Determine Whether the Landlord or Tenant is Financially Responsible for Fire Damage

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

apartment fire An apartment fire can be devastating

Which Party Is Responsible To Pay For Repairs Of The Fire Damage?

One of the main duties of landlords is to provide a habitable dwelling for their tenants. They need to make sure the dwelling is safe, livable and properly maintained. There are even laws that protect renters by ensuring compliance from their landlords. What happens if a disaster strikes like an apartment fire, though? 

Structure Damage
The landlord must pay for professional fire restoration to repair structural damage after a fire in a Rosemont, IL, apartment. Structural damage includes:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical system
  • Interior and exterior structure

The good news for landlords is they most likely do not need to pay out of pocket for the repairs. A homeowner’s policy usually covers the cost of repairs.
If the fire was started by renters or their guests, they may be on the hook for the cost of repairs. In this situation, landlords need to have their insurance company coordinate with the renter’s insurance company for compensation. If a tenant does not have renter’s insurance, the landlord’s insurance company can go directly to the tenant to receive compensation.

Personal Property Damage
After an apartment fire, renters are responsible for the damage to their personal property. If the tenant has renter’s insurance, that should cover the cost of lost or damaged items such as clothes, furniture, etc.
The only time a landlord would need to cover the cost of lost personal items is if the tenant can prove that the landlord was at fault for the fire due to negligence. If the fire was definitely the renter’s fault, the landlord will not need to reimburse the tenant for personal items but will still be obligated to cover the structural damage.
An apartment fire can be devastating, and what is most important is that everyone is safe and unharmed. It is beneficial to be aware of how to resolve the issue of fire damage costs before the situation ever arises so that everyone involved can move forward without issues or confusion.

2 Reasons You Need Business Insurance

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

Hot key for business insurance Business insurance can pay your bills and expenses during this time when you would be working at your business but are unable to

Reasons To Purchase Business Insurance

Building a business is the culmination of someone's dreams, passion and vision. You may invest your entire life savings into a venture you believe can help customers. That's why business maintenance is key. Unexpected situations occur daily in Chicago, IL. From broken pipes and water damage to fires and other unexpected natural disasters, the protection provided by business insurance is essential for any owner's peace of mind.

1. Your Company Looks More Credible
Some people deeply analyze a company before deciding to give it their business. In some cases, their decision comes down to factors well beyond your products and services on offer. Having solid business insurance is one way to make prospective customers and clients feel safer investing in your company. If something goes wrong on site, you'll be protected, and ultimately, they'll be protected, too. This creates a security blanket that's essential for you and your customer's peace of mind.

2. You Can Stay Afloat During an Unexpected Situation
If water damage does hit your commercial property, you'll be left with a water cleanup job you never planned — or budgeted — for. Work will likely have to be put on the back burner as you wait for a professional water restoration company to return a sense of normalcy to the premises and create a safe working environment for you and your staff.
Fortunately, business insurance can pay your bills and expenses during this time when you would be working at your business but are unable to. It keeps payments processing and doesn't put you in a deeper hole. You're able to maintain relations with creditors and other business partners while you work to get your business back to normal.
From water damage to fire or even falling trees, every day has the potential to bring unexpected challenges and situations to your business's door step. With the right protection, however, your business can weather any storm.

How To Conduct an Emergency Drill at Work

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

commercial fire Having a Commercial Fire Preparedness Plan can help prevent secondary damages after a fire.

How to Conduct an Emergency Drill at Work

Handling an emergency at work is overwhelming and hectic, especially if there isn't an organized response procedure in place. While there is no way to know if and when you will have to endure such a setback, it is best to be prepared before you are faced with a fire at the office. Here are three steps that should be included in your fire drill to avoid chaos and make safety a priority.

1. Establish Safety Routes

You fire preparedness plan needs to include maps that offer multiple escape paths. Everyone in the office should be aware of all fire evacuation routes at your Chicago IL property, not just those nearest their workstations.

Additionally, there should be fire extinguishers on each floor that are clearly marked. Routine safety equipment training should be mandatory for all personnel.

2. Give Fire Drill Assignments

Giving assignments to employees willing to take on more responsibility can slow the spread of panic during an actual fire and guarantee the fire department is called. At the very least, someone needs to be in charge of alerting the rest of the office about the situation and ensuring all personnel are accounted for post-evacuation.
There should also be a team member responsible for calling a company that specializes in fire damage assessment and restoration so that your lives can get back to normal as quickly as possible.

3. Practice

You may feel as if you have time-traveled back to elementary school while conducting your fire drill at work. All the same, practice is a critical component of how well everyone understands the expectations during a live fire. Additionally, taking the time to go over your procedures will help find any faults along the way and strengthen the game plan altogether.
It is hard to fathom the idea of a fire or other emergency at work. Still, knowing you are one step ahead of a disaster will give you peace of mind.

4 Steps Following a Storm To Prevent Residential Mold

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a living room Storm cleanup in a Park Ridge, IL home

Protect An Affected Home From Mold Growth

Following a storm, there are some important steps needed to protect an affected home from mold growth. Posting to social media seems like the popular thing to do, and sometimes that will alert friends and neighbors that help is needed with cleanup. However, many times a professional crew is the best assistance to consider.

1. Stop further damage. Water damage can come from rain, snow, flooding in Park Ridge, IL, damaged pipes, and even backed-up sewage. If there are leaks in the roof or broken windows, immediate repair is an important first step. This may need to happen even while the downpour continues. However, safety comes first — don't climb up on a roof during a lightning storm!

2. Call for help. The cleanup from flooding can often be too much for one or two person to handle on their own. While it's possible to ask family and friends who live nearby to assist, trained professionals who specialize in mold prevention have the right tools and equipment to deal with many problems promptly and effectively.

3. Remove standing water. All forms of mold and bacteria need the right environment to grow, and moisture is a key element. Getting everything dried out as quickly as possible will help prevent mold growth, which can start within 24-48 hours.

4. Discard wet floor padding and insulation. The expense of replacing materials can add up. Some carpeting can be cleaned and reinstalled, but don't make the mistake of trying to save money by allowing damaged materials to be reused. Wet carpet padding and any damp insulation in the walls or attic will take too long to dry out completely before mold can set in — they need to be replaced. Walls and all other surfaces should also be inspected for damage and moisture.
Storm cleanup can be overwhelming, and many homes in Park Ridge, IL, may be affected. Follow these steps and reach out for help to make sure that there is no mold growth in your home due to residual moisture.

4 Steps To Restore a Fire-Damaged Home

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Shelf covered with ashes from fire Fire damage in a home

Four Steps To Help You Get Back In Your Own Home As Quickly As Possible

Most people have practiced fire drills since elementary school, and many have developed family plans in their own homes. Fewer families in Park Ridge, IL, have taken the next step: getting emotionally and physically prepared for what happens following a home fire, such as the need to contact a fire restoration company to restore their home to the way they remember ASAP. Here are four steps that can help every family get back in their own home as quickly as possible.

1. Be Prepared
It is a great idea to prepare in advance for any disaster by developing a family emergency plan. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Memorize your emergency contact numbers
  • Practice home fire drills
  • Take pictures every year of each room
  • Have digital copies of photographs and home movies

2. Stop Further Damage
When that horrible event happens, the damage can be devastating. When there has been a large fire, the home may need immediate attention to protect the interior from further loss. This may require boarding up windows and doors or closing up the roof. The water from the fire truck also needs to be removed and dried out as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew.

3. Remove Soot and Smoke
Smoke damage and soot need to be carefully and thoroughly removed. Every surface in the home may have been affected and will require specialized equipment. A professional process to clean each item is crucial to successful fire restoration.

4. Repair and Restore
Once the damage cleaning is finished, the rebuilding really begins. New materials replace those that were damaged or lost, including flooring and appliances. Necessary repairs to plumbing and electrical fixtures need to be completed. Everything else should be restored so each family will feel "at home" again.
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Having a plan in place may help to avoid the loss of valuable photographs and family mementos in a home fire or flood. Whether or not there is a disaster, having a fire restoration plan in place just might add some extra comfort to each family.

Quick Facts About Mold and Your Home

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth inside closet wall Mold damage in a Rosemont, IL home

Arrange A Mold Inspection As Soon As Possible

The sight of mold in your Rosemont, IL, home can quickly leave you feeling concerned. It's important to remember, at this point, that not all mold is toxic. Even some types of black mold may be non-toxic. However, it can be hard to tell the difference between the "harmless" and the toxic varieties, and even if it isn't toxic to humans, mold can still wreak havoc on your home. This is why it's very important to arrange for a professional mold inspection as soon as possible.

What You Need To Know
The more you know about mold and mildew in your home, the better able you are to take the appropriate cleanup steps. Here are some quick facts about house mold:

  • Mold comes in many colors, such as black, orange, yellow, green, and pink, and textures, including flat-looking, hairy, and bumpy.
  • Spores are carried by your pet, on your clothing, or on a light breeze. It is very easy for spores to spread.
  • These microscopic organisms occur naturally and can thrive in most situations, including areas with extreme temperatures. You can find them inside and outside of your home.
  • Stachybotrys atra is the toxic black mold that you may have heard about. This species of fungus has a slimy, black appearance with a greenish tinge that isn't common in other species.

You may notice the unpleasant smell associated with mildew before you see signs of trouble. With this in mind, consider the value of an annual mold inspection, especially if you live in an area with high humidity.

How Mold Affects Your House
When mold exists outside, one of its primary tasks is breaking down organic substances, a very important natural process. Unfortunately, when this process takes place on the drywall, cement, or wood structures that make up your home, you'll face expensive repairs. Technicians with experience cleaning up house mold can help you avoid a lot of damage, especially if you catch mold growth in its early stages by scheduling a routine mold inspection at least once a year.

How To Fix an Overflowing Toilet

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet In a best-case scenario, clearing a small clog on your own will stop your toilet from overflowing

How To Fix an Overflowing Toilet

While no one wants to deal with an overflowing toilet, a clogged pipe can happen to anyone. Sewage cleaning requires professional help, so try to find the root cause of the problem first to avoid more damage.

Diagnosing the Problem
If your toilet overflows when you shower, something between the toilet and the shower is clogged, causing the backup. Small clogs can be taken care of with a bit of elbow grease, but bigger problems, like tree roots in your pipes or main line, require professional help. Keep the below in mind when you're working on the problem:

  • Try clearing the toilet first with a plunger or a snake. If the shower is the culprit, run the shower after to make sure the clog cleared.
  • Homeowners who are comfortable with more complicated repairs can try clearing their main drain but will likely need a pipe wrench to remove the cover. The process can be messy if there is sewage backup.
  • A snake won't be able to handle the problem if there's a clog or tree roots in the line from your house to the main sewer line. If your DIY efforts have failed, don't attempt further work on your own at this point. A professional will need to repair or replace the line, depending on the scope of the damage.
  • If you have a septic tank, make sure it's being regularly maintained. A full or damaged tank will cause toilet overflow.
  • Look into professional sewage cleaning. Water from sewage backup can contain dangerous contaminants.

Cleaning Up Damage
Should your toilet overflow, any water damage should be taken seriously and addressed promptly. A professional water damage restoration company in Chicago, IL, can keep your home protected. Hiring the right help ensures any contaminated water is treated properly.
In a best-case scenario, clearing a small clog on your own will stop your toilet from overflowing. With more major issues, professional plumbers and sewage cleaning may be necessary to avoid further water damage to your home.

Smoke Alarms: Valuable Life-Saving Devices

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke Alarms

An effective smoke alarm system is often the difference between escaping a fire safely and suffering a tragedy. According to the National Fire Protection Association,

  • 40 percent of home fire deaths happened in homes without a working smoke detector.
  • 17 percent of home fire-related deaths happened in homes where the detector wasn't working.
  • The rate of deaths is more than twice as high in homes without alarms than in homes with them.
  • Dead batteries are a significant cause of fire alarm failures.

These statistics may be grim, but they make it clear that installing alarms appropriately and keeping them in good working condition is a life-saving habit.

Timely Signals for an Escape

The materials in today's home furnishings catch on fire much more quickly than the materials used in the past. This means that there's a very small window of time for household members to escape from a home fire. The signal of a smoke alarm should prompt each member of the home to move to their escape route.

Types of Detectors

There are several types of alarms to consider. For example, an ionization alarm is more sensitive to fast-moving flames, and a photoelectric smoke detector is best for responding to smoldering fires. For your family's safety, it's best to have a combination of types in your home. If you have young children, you may also want to consider voice alarms that are more effective at rousing children from sleep.

Consistent and Appropriate Maintenance

A key factor in keeping your fire alarm system in working condition is proper maintenance. For example, once a month you should push the test button. Replace the batteries twice a year. The alarms themselves should be replaced every ten years. Write the date of installation on the back of the alarm, so it's easy to remember when to replace the detectors.

Do you know the condition of your existing smoke alarm system? Avoid a visit from fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals by updating the system in your Park Ridge,IL, home.