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Why Are Flood Waters Classified as Black Water?

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Why Are Flood Waters Classified as Black Water? If flooding has filled your Park Ridge,IL property wait for professionals to handle the mess.

When flood water washes through a community, officials quickly warn residents to stay away from the area. Why isn't it okay for commuters to travel their normal route to work? Why not conduct business through shallow areas? There's more at risk than damage to vehicles and the threat of being washed away, although both are significant risks. The primary danger may be the health hazards lurking in the water.

Water Categories

There are three classifications for water:

  • Category One - Clean: Water that is safe to touch, such as rainwater and tap water.
  • Category Two - Gray: This water may come from dishwashers or aquariums. It must be treated for contamination before it is consumed.
  • Category Three - Black: This water contains bacteria, chemicals, and biological hazards. Sewage is a familiar example of black water.

Flood water is treated as black water because it may have picked up many contaminants as it traveled through the community. It may have come into contact with sewer mains, waste dumps, ditches, septic tanks, and toilet backflows. When water floods into your building, you can't tell where it's been or what it has picked up.

Dangers of Black Water

Black water may have been contaminated by fecal matter or by dangerous chemicals. It may carry bacterial or viral diseases. During floods, water may carry toxic waste or raw sewage. If your building has been affected by flood water and storm damage, contact an emergency restoration service immediately. These professionals can assess the level of danger and provide safety guidelines and a plan for remediation. These professionals have the equipment and training necessary to move through the cleanup plan in compliance with guidelines established by the EPA.

Don't plunge into cleanup efforts on your own. If flooding has filled your Park Ridge,IL, property with water, stay out of the area and wait for professionals to handle the mess. There are plenty of other recovery efforts you can undertake.

How To Handle a Toilet Overflow

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Handle a Toilet Overflow Water damage cleanup after sewage backup in Chicago,IL

Most people have to deal with a flooded toilet at some point. You press the handle, and the water rises, but instead of draining, it flows over the rim and onto your bathroom floor. Water from the toilet is most likely to be Category 3 water, which means it's highly contaminated. If your bathroom has sewer damage from an overflowing toilet, there are several steps you can take to mitigate the problem.

Assessing the Severity

If only a little water escapes and it doesn't contain fecal matter, you may be able to clean up the mess yourself. You will need to call a sewage company that specializes in water remediation, however, if certain factors are present:

  • A large amount of standing water on the floor
  • Wet, contaminated carpet
  • Water damage on walls, floors or cabinets

Professional mitigation technicians have the tools and the knowledge to make sure all the excess water is extracted, and all sewer damage is remedied.

Unstopping the Toilet

In order to prevent the toilet from overflowing again, you can take care of the problem that caused it to do so. If you can use a plunger to get rid of the clog, that is ideal. If your efforts do not produce any results, however, you may need to enlist the help of a plumber.

Sanitizing the Bathroom

No matter how big or small the problem is, any instance of a flooded toilet requires that all the surfaces impacted by the water be sanitized. Whether you hire professionals to take care of the disinfection or you decide to do it yourself, gloves can be worn to protect hands from the contaminated water. A benefit of hiring specialists to clean up your bathroom is that they can do post-cleaning tests to make sure the area is thoroughly sanitized.

If the toilet in your home in Chicago,IL, overflows, you will likely need to hire professionals for the cleanup. They can assess the situation, mitigate the sewer damage and sanitize the room.

Mold Always Follows a Flood

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Mold Always Follows a Flood Storm damage to flooring after a severe storm hit the area

Once a flood invades your home, the mold isn’t far behind. It won’t wait for the water to recede or for your home to dry out. In 24 to 48 hours you can expect that mold growth has begun and there is only so much you can do until the moisture is removed. Before you start the cleanup, contact your insurance agent and take pictures of the damage. Following that, there are several things you can do to hurry the cleanup along.


• Eliminate standing water using pumps and wet/dry vacuums.
• Discard items in the flooded area that will not be restored.
• Send items that are to be restored out for restoration.
• Put undamaged items into storage to be brought back later.
• Treat wet areas with disinfectant to minimize the negative effects of bacteria.
• Tear out damaged sections of walls and floors but not structural components.


Remove the Moisture From What Remains


Typically, this means opening windows and operating fans to circulate the air and send the moisture out of the house. You can find nearby restoration specialists in Chicago, IL, who will bring their experience and specialized equipment to help with the drying process.


It Is Never Too Soon to Start Looking for Mold


While this moisture removal is underway, use your eyes and nose to look for evidence of mold growth. Assume you will find some. A mold problem can be addressed even if your house Is still wet, but removal cannot be declared complete until the house is dry and carefully inspected. Also, bear in mind that mold needs to be removed. Covering mold with caulk or paint is not an effective method of control.


Don’t Finish the Restoration Until You Are Certain That the Mold Is Gone


Before you start the final restoration, you want to make certain that mold growth is no longer a problem. You didn’t go through all this effort only to bury mold behind walls and under floors. Your restoration specialists can help you determine that you are ready to complete the restoration.

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Salvaging a Flooded Company: How to Ensure Your Employees Are Protected during the Cleanup Process

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Salvaging a Flooded Company: How to Ensure Your Employees Are Protected during the Cleanup Process A flooded company can be devastating and employees should be prepared with requirements incase of a storm for safety

A flooded company is a devastating thing that can stem from a broken pipe or a flood in the Chicago, IL, area. When this type of disaster occurs, it can be second nature to want to begin the cleanup process immediately with all hands on deck; however, there are certain precautions that you may want to take to protect the health and well-being of your employees.

1. Enforce Hygiene Practices

Standard practice when cleaning up any water damage should be the washing of hands before eating or touching your face. Depending on the type of water damage, you may be working in a contaminated space that can pose health risks just from contact.

2. Enforce PPE Requirements

As to avoid any further health risks, workers should wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This equipment includes facemasks, waterproof gloves, rubber boots, goggles, and water repellent coveralls.

3. Enforce Vaccination Requirements

In addition to any protective clothing, employees should be up-to-date on their tetanus shots as well as hepatitis A and B vaccines. You can speak to an emergency manager to find out if there are any other vaccinations required.

4. Ensure Appropriate Training

Before entering a flooded company, you may want to provide employees with the appropriate training necessary for the particular damage they will encounter. This training should cover the above requirements and practices, ensuring that everyone is aware of their risks and responsibilities.

5. Call in the Calvary

Depending on the level of damage and the significance of the health risks, it may be beneficial for a company to pursue restoration specialists with the appropriate certifications, training, and experience to protect their employees and their business. While a burst pipe may result in a small flood, corrected with wet vacs and a dry cleaning delivery, that is simple enough for an in-house team to handle, large floods may require more skilled hands.

A flooded company, while devastating, can provide opportunities for team building; however, it is essential to prepare employees for the cleanup process by ensuring they abide by the appropriate requirements, practices, and training. Their safety is your ultimate responsibility.

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Black Mold and Why It Shows Up in Homes

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Black Mold and Why It Shows Up in Homes Mold and mildew damage may require a professional for cleaning and inspection

Mold exists in many natural forms and is found naturally in indoor and outdoor environments. Most of the time, mold isn't a problem, but it can quickly develop into one when it spreads throughout , homes. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent black mold from spreading through your home.

1. Control Moisture

The most effective way to prevent and control the growth of black mold in your home is to keep moisture at bay. If you live in an area where humidity is consistently high, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier. Other steps you can take include immediately cleaning up any spilled or leaking water, keeping appliances and appliance filters clean and dry, clean and repair roof gutters, and remove condensation from windows. Make sure you have adequate ventilation wherever water is used in the home.

2. Guard Against Leaks

It isn't unusual for older pipes to weaken and develop leaks. You may find that your pipes burst during an especially hard winter. Learn as much as you can about the potential for leaks in your home and then take steps to prevent them. For example, removing hoses from the outdoor spigots and protecting spigots from winter weather is a good way to guard against flooding in the spring.

3. Respond Immediately to the Presence of Mold

If you do find that mold has developed in your home, act immediately to arrange for mold cleanup. This means thoroughly cleaning the area and then using appropriately cleaning materials to kill remaining mold spores. If drywall or carpeting was affected, you may need to contact mold remediation professionals for stronger cleanup measures.

Remember, black mold is a living organism that lives in your home because it thrives in moist places. You can take steps to prevent mold growth and there are many professional resources available for when mold gets out of hand. As soon as you notice mold, take steps to eliminate it for the long-lasting well-being of your home and family.

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Your Business and Hail Damage: What You Should Know

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Your Business and Hail Damage: What You Should Know This home suffered from hail damage after a recent storm.

If you are a business owner in Chicago, IL, chances are that you have worried about hail storms at one point or another and wondered what roof damage they could cause. There are some types of hail damage that you need to be aware of so you can protect your building from it and understand how to make repairs if this unfortunate destruction should occur. The two main types are as follows.

1. Superficial Damage

Damage to your roof that affects how it looks but does not necessarily harm the building in any way is superficial damage. Some examples include spots on the roof that are darker than they should be and areas that simply look battered. Surface-level problems such as these may not be as alarming as ones that affect the more fundamental areas of the structure, but they should still be repaired so you can get your business back to looking good as new.

2. Critical Damage

Damage that affects the usefulness of your roof could be classified as critical damage. It is usually more crucial to have such issues corrected sooner than more superficial damage, as they can lead to other troubles with your roof’s as well as your building’s overall integrity. Things such as cracked or missing shingles, as well as wet insulation, could lead to problems such as water leaks, which could cause mold growth in the future.

Your best defense against roof damage to your Chicago, IL, business is to equip the premises with the most hail-resistant roofing material available. You will want to do some research, as there are many roofing supplies available to meet different businesses’ needs. If you have had the misfortune of already facing hail damage, a commercial storm damage restoration company will be your best bet for assisting you in correcting any problems that a hail storm has caused. Being prepared and knowing what resources are available allow you to be in a better position to handle any weather-related mishaps that could come your way.

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The Importance of Security Fencing

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Importance of Security Fencing Security fencing is good to use to keep people out of an unsafe zone

Your commercial property in Chicago, IL, may be protected by various security measures when it is fully functional. If a fire ravages your building, however, it can become vulnerable to those who are inclined to take advantage of others' misfortune. A security fence around the perimeter of your property can protect it while it is uninhabited or undergoing fire mitigation. It can also save you money with your insurance company.

Insurance Savings

Your insurance adjuster assesses the property to decide how much the insurance company will pay to recover your damages. If more losses occur because you do not take the appropriate building security precautions, however, your insurance company is not going to cover those losses. There are several problems that could stem from a lack of security:

• Theft of personal property
• Vandalism
• Physical injury

When the insurance adjuster sees that you have taken the initiative to put up a security fence, this can simplify your claims process and get you a bigger settlement. If the area is secure, the adjuster is likely to determine that most if not all of the damage occurred as a result of the fire.

Trespass Prevention

Security measures can give you peace of mind. They keep people out, which in turn keeps out all the problems that trespassers could cause. You protect yourself from intentional offenses, such as theft or vandalism. You also protect yourself and others from accidents. Security fencing can keep children and wayward pets out of the area, keeping them safe from the dangers of a building that has suffered fire damage. For a little bit of effort, you can avoid a lot of potential problems.

Putting up a security fence while your building is being restored is the smart thing to do. It keeps out people who are up to no good as well as those who are merely wandering away from their usual path out of confusion or curiosity. In the long run, it can save you stress and money.

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Can My Wet Carpet Be Saved?

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Can My Wet Carpet Be Saved? Carpet Water Loss in Chicago, IL

Can My Wet Carpet Be Saved?

Flooding at your home in Chicago, IL, can be overwhelming and confusing. What needs to be thrown away? What can be restored? For some contents of your home, the decision to keep or discard after a pipe break may appear cut and dry. When it comes to carpet, however, there are multiple factors that go into the decision.

To Save

Oftentimes, wet carpet can be saved when professionally dried and cleaned by a water restoration company. Follow the tips below to know when your carpeting can be rescued:

The source of the water is the most important factor when making this decision. If the water came from a clean source, like a pipe break or supply line, it is likely salvageable.
Consider the amount of time that the carpeting has been wet. Usually, less than 24-48 hours is a good rule of thumb. Mold can develop and spread quickly, so it is important to act fast.

Not To Save

In certain instances, water damage to the carpeting is irreparable. Know which situations necessitate taking it out with the trash:

If the source of the water is contaminated, such as from a sewage backup, the carpeting must be discarded for safety reasons. Black water contains viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms hazardous to your health.
Regardless of the type of water, carpet padding cannot usually be saved because it is so difficult to clean.
Carpeting that is under standing water or damp for more than 24-48 hours is at high risk for mold growth. Once mold is present, it should be replaced to avoid further problems.

Regardless of whether you choose to clean or replace your carpeting in Chicago, IL, it is critical to take immediate action. After a pipe break or other source of water damage, call a water restoration specialist and your homeowner’s insurance agency to begin the process of drying and restoring your home.

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Avoiding Space Heater Fires

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Experts estimate that one third of all house fires that occur in the winter months are caused by a burned space heater. Following a few simple tips can keep folks living in Chicago, and the rest of the country safe when using space heaters. In the event of a fire from a portable heater, professionals can help with smoke clean up and restoration.

Space Heater Fire Prevention Tips

A well-placed space heater on a cold winter day or evening can offer welcome comfort and coziness. Reduce the risk of a burned space heater by remembering some simple rules.

• Make sure the space heater has a high safety rating.
• The heater should have a shut off feature for tip-overs or overheating.
• Do not use a space heater around water.
• Do not use a space heater with an extension cord.
• Use a heater on the floor on a hard, level, nonflammable surface.
• Do not use a space heater in a child’s bedroom or play area.
• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the heater.
• Do not use a heater near flammable materials such as solvents, paints or gasoline.
• Keep the heater at least three feet away from combustibles like curtains and bedding.
• Do not share the outlet the heater is plugged into with another appliance.
• Turn off the space heater when you leave the area.
• If the space heater has a filter, inspect it regularly and clean or replace it as necessary.

These pointers should prevent the inconvenience of a burned space heater. An easy way to remember to keep children, pets and combustible materials at least three feet away is to reframe the word “space.” Think of the word not only to describe the confined area that is in need of warmth, but also as a reminder to give the portable heater its “space.”

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Three Unexpected Ways FEMA Can Help Your Home Recover From a Storm

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Three Unexpected Ways FEMA Can Help Your Home Recover From a Storm Unexpected storm damage to your home can be devastating

After a damaging storm strikes your home in Chicago, you may experience flooding and find yourself overwhelmed with a seemingly impossible recovery project. Even smaller storms can create a number of problems for your home:

• Structural damage to your roof and home supports
• Water damage, especially on lower floors
• Broken windows and burst pipes

Though you may struggle to repair all of the damage yourself, FEMA can assist you in finding a firm starting point for your work. With the guidance of its on-site crew and external resources, you can begin repairs in confidence and rebuild your home stronger than ever.

Let Them Assess the Damage

FEMA’s contracted inspectors are experienced professionals who can provide you with a comprehensive overview of the damages your house has suffered and how you should prioritize your repairs. This is especially important after a flood, in which water damage can pose a time-sensitive threat.

Find a Team To Fit Your Needs

After an initial inspection, FEMA can help connect you with the appropriate repair contractor for your home’s damage. Its networks of connections in inspection and repair fields can be broad enough to ensure that whether you’ve suffered fire, flood, or rain damage, you can easily find a team of professionals to expedite and safeguard your repairs.

Get Direct Assistance

Depending on the level of damage your home suffered in the storm, you may also qualify for a governmental grant to help reimburse some of your losses. These supplements can apply to several aspects of recovery, like storage, moving, and essential household item purchases.

Though any storm damage is a significant burden, it becomes even more difficult to manage if you attempt to handle it alone. If you use its services wisely, FEMA can prove a great asset to your recovery efforts; with their help, you can worry less about the present and more about your future.

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