Recent Posts

How To Test for Mold

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up of person hand wearing gloves measuring wetness of a moldy wall Mold testing in a Rosemont, IL home

Mold can cause a significant amount of damage to your home in Rosemont, IL. Unless you can smell its telltale musty odor, though, it’s not always immediately apparent that you have a fungus growth somewhere in the house. A professional mold assessment can determine whether you need remediation.

Drawbacks of Home Tests

There’s no such thing as a house that doesn’t have any mold present. There are several ways spores can get into your home:

  • Pets
  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Bags

If you suspect you have black mold, you may decide to get a testing kit at the hardware store. All that kit is going to tell you is that mold spores are in your home. It doesn’t indicate where, how much, or what kind of fungus is there. To get the results you need to make an informed decision about the next steps to take, you need a professional mold assessment.

Benefits of a Professional Test
When certified mold specialists or environmental hygienists visit your home, they use a much more sophisticated test than you can buy at the store. They take air samples to figure out where the spores are most densely concentrated. This helps them find the location of the growth. A surface test can determine if the growth is mold or some other type of fungus such as mildew. Technicians can also remove items from your house and have them tested in the lab to determine if they can be salvaged. Finally, a culture test can reveal the species of mold that is present. Professional testing gives mold remediation experts the information they need to mitigate the damage to your dwelling and restore it to its former condition.
If you suspect you have a mold problem in your house, a home test isn't going to give you definitive results. A professional mold assessment from a certified environmental hygienist is necessary.

What To Know About Fire Damage Restoration Estimates

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up of mature couple doing finances at home You may need to get an estimate for your restoration cost

What To Know About Fire Damage Restoration Estimates

After a fire at your Park Ridge, IL, business you may need to get an estimate for your restoration costs. These numbers may vary leaving you wondering what the costs actually are. This is why it’s important to understand what factors may come in to play when determining the restoration costs. The quote provided by your local fire damage restoration service may take into account the following things.

1. Multiple Damage Types

After a fire, multiple forms of damage may have occurred. In addition to fire damage, there may also be problems with smoke and soot. Fire suppression efforts may also have caused some flooding which could mean potential water damage problems as well. Your restoration professional should take into account all of these damages and the repairs required when quoting your repair costs.

2. Additional Services

In some cases, an estimate quote may also include the costs of additional services that may be desired. These can include security, tarping services, content cleaning, and digitizing damaged paperwork. Be sure to talk to your restoration professional about what services you will need to ensure the costs of these are included in the quote.

3. Insurance Coverage

In some cases, your commercial fire insurance policy may cover some or all of the restoration costs depending on your coverage plan. This is why you may also wish to talk to your insurance agent about which restoration teams they may recommend for the job.

When quoting an estimate for the restoration of your company after a fire, the local restoration crew may be accounting for various damage types they will need to clean, and additional services you may require. It’s also important to note that sometimes your insurance may cover some of the restoration costs. Choosing an insurance approved restoration crew with the ability to handle all of these things themselves may save you money.

Can Items Be Saved After a Fire?

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

One of the hardest things about experiencing a fire in Rosemont, IL can be the loss of personal belongings. Walls and floors can be repaired, a roof replaced and plumbing and electrical redone. The contents of the building, however, can have meaning and personal attachment that makes them difficult to do without. Dry-cleaning and other techniques can be used to save many items.

What Methods are Used to Clean Contents?

There are several methods that can be effective depending on the material the items are made up of. Here are a few of the favored content cleaning choices.

Dry-cleaning — For clothing and draperies and fabrics with soot stains

Laundering – For other fabric items not contaminated with soot

Cleaning with detergent – metal and hard surfaces

Shampooing – Carpet my possibly be cleaned this way if the damage is only from smoke
Ultrasonic treatment – This method works well for many non-porous materials

Cleaning and Storage

The first two options are best for cleaning smoke and odors from clothing and fabric items that suffered soot stains in the fire. You may also be able to save draperies, sheets and bedding and bathroom linens this way.

A soapy wash with an anti-bacterial detergent may help save some of your washable items like dishes, glassware, and surfaces like laminate or tile. For non-porous items, a dip in an ultrasonic unit can loosen and break up soot and smoke residue. They should be thoroughly cleaned to remove stains and odors.

Content cleaning is a particular process best handled by fire restoration professionals. Using the wrong method can cause permanent damage. Professionals in Rosemont, IL know what works best to salvage anything possible. In some cases, cleaned items may be put into content storage to protect them from becoming contaminated until restoration is complete.

If a fire disaster happens, get help that understands the way dry-cleaning and other methods can help save your content. They can help make it “Like it never even happened.”

An Initial Assessment Could Reduce Your Claim Expense

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment. Air movers and dehumidifiers SERVPRO high tech content cleaning equipment

An Initial Assessment Could Reduce Your Claim Expense

When storms, fire, or water ravage a building, property owners in Chicago, IL, look to restoration as a chance to regain normalcy. They aren't always sure how to proceed, so they turn to their insurers for guidance. During the first few hours of damage assessment, it's important for both parties to initiate pretesting of the location to gain a true understanding of the magnitude of the repairs needed. This knowledge is pivotal in lowering the overall costs of the claim.

1. Identify the Extent and Type of Damage
Does the property really need a new floor? Was it truly necessary to gut the entire bottom section? During early testing, the experts can guide decisions that are essentials for renovations, verifying the extent of the insurance claim. Not only will the SERVPRO team evaluate where the problem happened, but they can also assess what category of water impacted the rooms and whether state laws deem work should be required. This is documented through photos and paperwork.

2. Minimize Additional Destruction
During pretesting stages, the disaster remediation company focuses on containment, attempting to cut down on unnecessary costs further down the road. The specialists identify the original source of the trouble and determine the possibility of further contamination. With this information, they can locate impacted sections and establish barriers, preventing situations such as mold growth or additional water saturation. Furthermore, they can stop air circulation so that spores do not travel. In addition, they'll ensure that dehumidifiers dry up water-logged walls and floors.

3. Focus on Restoring, not Just Replacing
The bottom line is essential; the insurance agent must balance safety and price. SERVPRO understands that using high tech content cleaning equipment can help to reduce costs and salvage items that otherwise might simply be thrown out. During early evaluations, the crew can identify fixtures and electronics that can be treated and sanitized.
It's about doing a job well and doing it right. Pretesting establishes a foundation for completing the restoration project on time and within a reasonable price.

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.

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.