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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.

Who Pays for Damages in a Rental Fire?

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

In an office fire, your first concern is your safety and well-being and that of everyone you work with. You also need to be mindful of the repair, cleanup and restoration costs and what responsibilities you have. If your office is in a rented apartment building in Chicago, IL, it’s important to understand that your insurance coverage may not take care of all the damages. Make sure you understand what you face in the aftermath of this apartment fire.

Insurance Options

If you rent office space for your company, the landlord will purchase property insurance to cover damages to the structure. To protect anything you own, it’s a smart idea to get additional commercial renter’s insurance. This will come in handy if an apartment fire starts, even if you accidentally caused it. This insurance can compensate you for the following:

  • Damaged or destroyed furniture you purchased
  • Décor or pictures you purchased
  • Personal knick-knacks and memorabilia
  • Personal equipment you used for work but purchased yourself

Property Insurance Payments

Regardless of the cause (unless it was on purpose), the property insurance should cover all fire damage to the building itself, including walls, ceilings, flooring, the roof, electrical equipment or other building systems. Make sure your landlord has comprehensive coverage against fires.

When You Have to Pay

Fires are not only destructive because of the scorching flames, but water damage and smoke damage can be significant as well. If you happened to have caused the fire due to an accident or mishap, the respective insurance coverages should kick in. However, if you intentionally caused the fire, not only will you be held financially liable for damages and to pay for professional fire restoration teams to clean up and rebuild, but you may be prosecuted.
An apartment fire has the potential to damage or destroy a significant amount of your work materials. It’s a wise idea to supplement the property coverage with commercial renter’s insurance.

Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover Fire Damage?

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage Insurance Coverage

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.

5 Ways To Prevent Mold Growth

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Man cleaning and maintaining plastic guttering Clean your gutters regularly to avoid clogs

5 Ways To Prevent Mold Growth

Fungus exists everywhere, traveling easily into indoor spaces. Usually, the microbes are innocuous, simply living without causing problems; however, that can change when the right elements align. Organic matter, fluid (such as from water damage) and microorganisms spell out a recipe for a mold disaster. Therefore, business owners in Park Ridge, IL, should take care to avoid excess moisture. By doing that, it's less likely that mold reproduction will occur. Here are five ways proprietors can try to ward off unwanted development.

1. Inspect Your Utilities
Keep a keen eye on your faucets and appliance lines. In fact, check them regularly. Sometimes, small leaks can begin, showing as rust or rings. These are subtle signs that liquid is accruing, allowing mold growth to begin. If you notice anything amiss, have a water restoration company immediately evaluate the trouble and mitigate the situation.

2. Ensure Your Property Drains Well
External water damage should be considered. Check the property's drainage plans. The land should be sloped for improved flow. In addition, gutters should help draw rain to appropriate areas. Clean them out regularly to avoid clogs.

3. Invest in Mold-Resistant Products
During renovations or construction, spend a bit more for materials that offer some mold prevention. Both drywall and paint are available, giving you one more step to security.

4. Maintain Good Air Circulation
Humidity should remain between 30 to 60 percent. To achieve this, run your air conditioner regularly. If you still observe an issue, then purchase dehumidifiers. If you have small closets or crawl spaces, look for moisture-absorbent items, providing dryness in harder-to-reach locations.

5. Check the Roof
Overtime small holes can develop, permitting moisture to enter through the shingles. Have a specialist assess the roofing at least twice a year, noting anything amiss. Any abnormalities should be mended. Plus, carefully examine everything, detecting if any internal devastation is present.
Be proactive in your approach. Drier is better, so don't allow water damage to linger.

4 Actions To Take To Prevent Water Damage

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water on floor due to pipe damage Water damage in Rosemont, IL

Avoid Water Problems In Your Property

Sometimes events happen that come without any warning at all. For example, a brand new appliance fails and leaks water all over a room. The truth is, though, that many incidents are preventable and a little foresight or timely maintenance can often prevent an expensive business claim. This is important because water damage in your company can easily run into the thousands of dollars. Even if you have good property insurance, the disruption to your business can be unsettling. Here are a few things you can do to avoid large water problems on your property.

1. Winterize the Plumbing. If your property in Rosemont, IL, is located in a cold-weather region, the plumbing system should be protected against freezing weather. This includes such items as the outdoor sprinkling system as well as any indoor areas that are exposed to the cold. Failure to properly winterize items each season can lead to a pipe break and damage to the property.

2. Have a Plan. To avoid an unnecessary business claim, you should write down a plan for regular maintenance of water lines and appliances. Don't rely on memory to make sure the pipes are cleared out every fall, but commit it to a written schedule.

3. Take Quick Action. If anyone notices water where it does not belong, act aggressively. A small water leak can quickly grow larger. A leak can also lead to other problems such as mold growth.

4. Call in the Professionals. If your pipes break or an appliance fails, call for the help of a local water remediation company. Trained technicians will arrive on scene and work to mitigate any damage. They will remove any standing water and address the source of the water problem. They can also help you document the damages and expenses for a business claim. A professional response minimizes any disruptions to your company.

How To Lessen Severe Weather Damage on Your Business

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

heavy rain drops falling on city street during downpour Heavy rain in Chicago, IL

Severe weather can strike during any season in Chicago, IL. Staying prepared is key to lessening the damage that can be caused by severe weather. Regardless if it's a rain storm, high winds or heavy lightning, there are measures you can take to ensure your business operations are less likely to be impacted.

Before Severe Weather Strikes

Maintaining your property is important to avoiding damage. Making sure your employees are informed is equally important.
Before severe weather happens, make sure your employees have a designated safe place to take cover in the event of damaging winds or potential tornado. Also, be sure everyone has access to an emergency preparedness kit. The kit should include first aid supplies, drinking water, hand sanitizer, a radio with working batteries or rechargeable hand crank, light sticks and a whistle.
Around your property, keep trees and shrubbery trimmed to lessen clean up after a rain storm. Regularly remove damaged and dead branches and don't allow them to grow near windows. If a tree is dying, have it removed.
If your building has a lightning rod, have it inspected every year. Make sure a quality assurance certification is completed every three to five years.

During Severe Weather
Once a thunderstorm strikes, be prepared for anything to happen. Take preventive measures to keep everyone safe, including the following:

  • Keep employees safe by keeping them away from windows and skylights.
  • Keep apprised of the situation from your local news.
  • Stay indoors if you hear thunder, as that means lightning is nearby.
  • Avoid electrical equipment.
  • If you hear emergency sirens, take cover immediately.
  • Remain calm.

If you experience damage during the thunderstorm, shut off the power to your building if it safe to do so. If the damage is severe, don't attempt to perform cleanup yourself, as hazards could be present. Contact your insurance company and contact restoration specialists who are trained for these types of situations.
Always have emergency contacts on hand should you need assistance. Being prepared for a rain storm or thunderstorm is the biggest part of keeping everyone and everything safe.