Recent Posts

Classes of Mold

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Like we always say, mold is everywhere and not all molds are harmful to us! Molds are often found in wet, damp places and can vary in color and smell. Mold is put into different categories based on their hazard:

Hazard Class C:

While this group of molds are not health hazards – they can cause structural damages, and are recommended to be removed.

Hazard Class B:

These are molds that if endured over long periods of time can cause allergic reactions

Hazard Class A:

These are the molds we want to identify and remove immediately! These molds create toxins and if not handle correctly the air quality of a structure with steadily decline.

If you feel like your home or business might be affected by mold.

Call SERVPRO at 847-516-1600. While we cannot determine what type of mold it may be – we can remediate it with no worry!


Mold Coverage and Your Insurance Claims due to Water Loss Event

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Coverage and Your Insurance Claims due to Water Loss Event Mold Due to a Water Damage

It has happened. There is water everywhere. Your carpet is saturated; the drywall is wet, your furniture and even some of your personal belongings. There are so many things running through your head: how am I going to get this dry; how much of this will my homeowner’s insurance policy cover; what if this water loss event leads causes mold?!

We are here to help you prepare, should a water loss event - such as a pipe burst, pipe leak, ice damming, hot water heater leak, etc. - occur in your home. Here are some tips to help you best handle the situation:

  1. Familiarize yourself with your declarations page. This is something that you should do, as a homeowner, once you move in to your home. This way, you know what is covered under your policy and you are not surprised when something isn’t covered. If you're not comfortable with what is or isn’t being covered, you can contact your insurance agent to make the desired adjustments.
  2. Document the loss as best you can.If a water loss event occurs, take date and time stamped photos. Keep record, such as call logs or copies of e-mails, of all interaction with your insurance company and any vendors you are using to help address the issue.
  3. If you see possible mold growth or you are getting musty-like odor, contact a mold inspection company to have a mold inspection and testing performed.If a water loss event is not properly and thoroughly dried up within 48 hours, mold can begin to grow. A mold inspection and testing by a Certified Mold Inspector will determine if "abnormal" or unhealthy mold conditions exist in the area affected by the water loss event.
  4. Monitor the health of those in the home.After the water loss event occurs, if any occupants of the home start experiencing adverse health reactions such as: allergy-like symptoms or respiratory issues, this may be an indication that areas were not properly dried up and mold may have started to grow. We strongly suggest having a mold inspection and testing done by a Certified Mold Inspector if any of the homes occupants are not feeling well while in the home.

If you have experienced a water loss event in your home and have concerns of mold, contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600. We service all of these communities in Southern McHenry County           Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Trout Valley, Marengo, Village of Lakewood, Village of Oakwood Hills, Woodstock and Union.

Hurricane Harvey

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Harvey

Here to Help®

In addition to the 121 local Franchises that are in the states affected by Hurricane Harvey, SERVPRO has a national network of over 1,700 Franchises across the country and our designated Disaster Recovery Teams have been deployed to the affected areas bringing hundreds of crews from across the nation to help.

Harvey made landfall late Friday night as a Major Hurricane at Category 4 strength. Impacts for Harvey are widespread and will continue for the next week at the very least, and our local SERVPRO Franchises and Disaster Recovery Teams are ready to respond to calls.

You Can Help By Making a Donation Today!

The American Red Cross is working around the clock along the Gulf Coast to help the thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by Tropical Storm Harvey.

Click HERE to make a donation

A Few Facts About Labor Day

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

General A Few Facts About Labor Day celebrating A Day For the Worker

Today Labor Day, is the first Monday in September, it was a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the economic and social achievements of American workers. It establishes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated in September, caught on in other industrial areas across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it. Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. Many credit Peter J. McGuire, a carpenter and cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a machinist and a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday. We didn't know which man should be credited - partially because people over the years confused them because of their similar-sounding names. Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer, the start of the back-to-school season and the wearing of any white clothing after the summer officially ended.

With the celebration there is a risk fire please take the proper precautions while using fireworks or barbequing.

Hope you have a great Labor Day.

If you have any questions or you need emergency call us at 847-516-1600.

Smoke Odors and Fire Damage Often Act in Tandem

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Odors and Fire Damage Often Act in Tandem Rely on SERVPRO to Restore Your Fire and Smoke Damaged Property in Southern McHenry County

SERVPRO's Many Proven Techniques Mitigate Smoke Odors and Fire Damage

Following a fire, early deodorization is essential as a follow-up to cleaning and odor removal procedures. Deodorization gives a clear indication of how effective an odor removal process is working. Deodorizing usually requires multiple techniques to produce the proper results. As a multi-step process, this helps to reduce cross-contamination of smoke residue. Odor removal should begin in the area where the fire originated.

Fire odors are caused by different sources such as soot, flames, contaminated materials that become damaged, all of which require different methods of deodorization. For a fire damage event in Southern McHenry County, your home or business may need a water-based deodorant treatment.   The purpose of this method is to counteract gas smells at the floor level and to keep them from becoming airborne. A compression sprayer is used, which is filled with a water-based deodorant and is then applied to the floor along with a safe odor counteractive chemical for the smoke.   Another deodorant process involves a time-release granulated deodorant that is applied to the floor. These specialized granulates release odor counteractants to reduce the intensity of smoke odors. Granule treatment should only be performed by SERVPRO because of the particular care that should be taken on different floor surfaces.   The last emergency deodorization procedure used is an odor counteractive spray or fog. This method is called “thermal fogging,” to recreate the conditions that exist during a fire. Tiny particles become deeply embedded into surfaces, just like smoke particles during a fire. Odor counteractant vapors will continue to work throughout the SERVPRO restoration project.   Of the varied deodorizing techniques, the first step of any odor removal treatment is to remove the source of the odor. The second basic step is to clean the area of residue. Removing odor sources and cleaning residues is perfunctory in every deodorization methods. During a fire, odors can come from some sources, both indoors and outdoors. Of course, HVAC systems must not be activated during these procedures, and quite often a thorough and comprehensive duct cleaning are needed.   SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County technicians are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. We have the training, tool and industry approved equipment to deodorize and remove offensive odors from a fire, water damage or mold. Acting fast can save your property even after fire damage. We are available 24 hours a day, give us a call – (847) 516-1600 and let us help restore your property to a preloss condition.

Floods and FEMA

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Floods and FEMA FLOOD LOSSES and FEMA

I know we have got past of the worst of the flood season, but with all the talk of earthquakes, I thought this could be helpful.

Catastrophe situations typically involve numerous flood claims, making for brisk business for restoration companies like SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County. When a property owner states they have insurance, it would be wise to clarify if it is going to be a standard property claim, or insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It is important to keep in mind that flood claims have to follow the rules of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) and there are some fairly significant differences from a standard homeowner’s policy.

Knowing the flood program rules can keep restorers like SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County from getting into hot water after a flood claim, especially if you are referred in by an agent. Nothing upsets a client or referring partner more than surprise charges the property owner must pay when, from the onset, everyone might have assumed it would be covered by the policy. While restorers like SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County know exactly what is required to be done to restore the property to pre loss condition, it is imperative that they know these standard procedures are not always covered by the SFIP -- which the flood adjuster must adhere to. There is no wiggle room when it comes to the SFIP, and it is important that the insured read their policy and coverage and make sure they understand the coverage and limitations, or contact their agent. When a restoration professional knows the rules, life becomes easier for all involved. 

FEMA produced a lengthy memo outlining what is allowed and what is not when it comes to restoration expenses after a flood loss. The memo is titled W-13025a and a quick web search will produce it. With this in mind, the following list represents a portion of some of the major points every restorer must know before beginning work on a flood claim using an SFIP policy. Refer to the memo for a full listing.

  1. Water extraction from wet carpet is not covered by the SFIP. If your estimate lists water extraction as a line item, it will not be allowed for coverage. It is assumed the extraction cost is included in the cost to remove wet carpet, so restorers must include that cost in the removal line item.
  2. Restorers must provide complete daily drying logs with their invoice. This includes readings of affected and non-affected areas, equipment outputs, and material readings, documenting the drying process. Without proper drying logs, flood adjusters are only able to pay the reasonable costs that should have been incurred via calculations provided by FEMA.
  3. The SFIP will not pay for claims to dry building components that are typically removed as flood water is considered category three. The removal of carpet and drywall affected by flooding is a typical example. All wet materials must be removed prior to installing drying equipment or the equipment charges will not be allowed.

Concerns with Mold in your Southern McHenry County home?

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Concerns with Mold in your Southern McHenry County home? Intrusion of water into your home can result in mold growth

From The Ordinary....

Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment.  In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified.  

Fungi produce some very useful results.  Yeast is a type of fungi used in preparing breads, baked goods and other food products, including some alcoholic beverages.  The unique flavor of blue cheese is a result of mold.  An edible mushroom is simply a type of fungi, and lifesaving penicillin is a product of mold.

Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful.  Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people.

To The Unhealthy...

Intrusion of water into your Southen McHenry County home can result in mold growth.  Water intrusions can be a result of storm damage, plumbing failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control.  When these intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth.  Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments.  If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply.  Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish.  Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.

Take Precautions

The Professionals at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County handle water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth.  Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time.  If your Southern McHenry County property has sustained a recent water damage, it is vital to remove excess water and dry the structure promptly.  If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, it is important to be alert for:

  • The presence of visible mold.
  • Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present.
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.

Help is Here!! 

If you think you might have a mold problem, the Professionals at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County are here to make it “Like it never even happened."

Call us today at (847) 516-1600 for any Mold concerns 

Mold Growing in Your AC Unit in Your Southern McHenry County Vacation Home or Home

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Growing in Your AC Unit in Your Southern McHenry County Vacation Home or Home When mold strikes your home, SERVPRO strikes back.

Does Your AC Unit Have A Musty Odor? 

When you have arrived at your vacation home or home to find mold growing inside, you want to locate the source of the problem right away. Mold spreads fast and can cause detrimental health effects for you and your family, so getting rid of it as soon as possible is a must. SERVPRO, professional mold damage remediation specialists, can assist you in finding the source of the mold, and clean up all the mold, so your property is safe again.  Your air conditioning unit in your Southern McHenry County vacation home or home can create mold damage, and quickly spread it throughout your property. When the AC unit is working properly, it can collect anywhere from ten to twenty gallons of water each day. Since most of it is usually tucked away out of sight, you may not realize the problem until it has accumulated into major damages.  Water ideally drains off the condensation coil into a collection pan and then disposed into the sewer system. However, if the drain becomes clogged, it can overflow and lead to damaged carpeting and flooring, plus create unhealthy molds.  When your condensation pump is dirty, it can create a leak. An excessive build-up of water like this leads to the growth of mildew and mold inside your AC unit, which in turn can get blown throughout the ductwork of your home. SERVPRO has the necessary equipment to clean the mold properly, including using air skippers or air whips which drive dirt, dust, mold and other debris toward collection devices which are fitted with HEPA filters. We know how to do the job safely and correctly, so you and your family are not exposed to the harmful mold spores during the process.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County understands the dangers of mold and how disconcerting it can be to discover it upon re-entering your vacation home after several months away. You came to relax, so call us at (847) 516-1600.

Warning Systems – Wireless & Siren Alerts

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Warning Systems – Wireless & Siren Alerts Tornado in McHenry County

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers, and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a national emergency. The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to specific areas.

Tornado Sirens

What should I do when I hear the sirens?

When you hear tornado sirens, go inside and tune to local media to get more information.

Why can’t I hear the sirens in my house?

Sirens are an outdoor warning system designed only to alert those who are outside that something dangerous is approaching.

How can I get alerts when I’m at work or in my house?

For alerts indoors, every home and business should have a NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards. NOAA Weather Radio is like a smoke detector for severe weather, and it can wake you up when a warning is issued for your area so you can take appropriate action.

When are sirens tested?

Sirens are tested according to local community policies. This policy in the Chicagoland area is the system is tested every Tuesday at 10am.

Why don’t the outdoor warning sirens sound an all-clear signal?

People should be indoors and monitoring local media for updates on the storm.

Will the sirens warn me of every dangerous storm?

The safest approach is to be proactive and use all of the information available to protect yourself and your family from threatening weather. Nothing can replace common sense. If a storm is approaching, the lightning alone is a threat. Sirens are only one part of a warning system that includes preparation, NOAA Weather Radio, and local media.

Who activates the sirens?

Sirens are typically activated by city or county officials, usually a police or fire department or emergency management personnel. Check with your city or county officials to learn more.

Wireless Emergency Alerts

During an emergency, alert and warning officials need to provide the public with life-saving information quickly. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), made available through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) infrastructure, are just one of the ways public safety officials can quickly and effectively alert and warn the public about serious emergencies.

What you need to know about WEAs:

  • WEAs can be sent by state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States
  • WEAs can be issued for three alert categories – imminent threat, AMBER, and presidential
  • WEAs look like text messages, but are designed to get your attention and alert you with a unique sound and vibration, both repeated twice
  • WEAs are no more than 90 characters, and will include the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, as well as the agency issuing the alert
  • WEAs are not affected by network congestion and will not disrupt texts, calls, or data sessions that are in progress
  • Mobile users are not charged for receiving WEAs and there is no need to subscribe
  • To ensure your device is WEA-capable, check with your service provider

NOAA All-Weather Radio

If you don’t have a NOAA Weather Radio, there are other methods for receiving forecasts, watches and warnings from the National Weather Service. Tune in to your local radio and television stations for the latest news and updates on the situation, and visit for information about weather radios and other online services.

All individuals living or working in tornado-prone areas should have a weather radio inside their home or place of work. A weather radio is particularly important for those living in an area that does not have storm warning sirens. All-weather radios broadcast National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day, and post-event information for all types of hazards, both natural and technological.

NOAA Weather Radios are available at electronics stores across the country and range in cost from $25 to $100 or more, depending on the quality of the receiver and number of features. The NWS does not endorse any particular make or model of receiver.

What to Look for in a NOAA Weather Radio

  • The most desirable feature is an alarm tone. This allows you to have the radio turned on but silent, listening for a special tone that is broadcast before watch and warning messages that give immediate information about a life-threatening situation.
  • Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology, a feature available since the mid-1990s, is capable of providing detailed, area-specific information. Unlike other NOAA Weather Radios, the SAME feature will filter out alerts that do not affect your immediate area.
  • It should operate on batteries during times when electrical service may be interrupted. Look for radios with an AC adapter and battery compartment.
  • The radio should be tunable to all seven NWR frequencies. For the latest list of frequencies and transmitter locations, check the NOAA Weather Radio website.
  • The hearing and visually impaired can receive watches and warnings by connecting weather radio alarms to other kinds of attention-getting devices, such as strobe lights, pagers, bed-shakers, personal computers, and text printers.

Please be safe during these times of possible disaster. If a disaster does occur call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.


Dishwasher Leaks and Floor Damage Repair

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Dishwasher Leaks and Floor Damage Repair Damage to Wood floors because Dishwasher Leak

For some people, dishwasher leaks start as a slow drip that may not be immediately noticed. Others discover dishwasher leaks as soap suds bubble their way across the kitchen floor.

Dishwasher leaks and floor damage repair often go hand in hand. Stopping leaks before they cause damage is ideal, but depending on the situation, is not always possible.

Dishwasher Leaks and Floor Damage Repair

My dishwasher is leaking! What do I do now?

Time is critical when it comes to a water leak of any type. The faster you respond and take action to stop water from spilling onto your kitchen floor, the less damage that will be done – and that means less costly repairs!

What to do When Your Dishwasher Leaks

  1. If your dishwasher is leaking a significant amount of water, first turn off the dish washing cycle. For small leaks, it may be possible to capture the water with a towel or bowl and let the cycle finish first, but this is generally not recommended.
  2. Try to keep water from pooling on the floor. It’s easy for water to travel downwards and cause damage to your home’s structure out of sight. Use bowls, plates, and towels to capture and control the water flow.
  3. Clean up as much water as you can to minimize damage. If your water damage is severe, call Tidal Wave Response to assess the damage and begin the cleanup and restoration process.
  4. Determine the cause of the leak. Every leak has its own particular cause, and your course of action may take a bit of detective work. There are many possible causes of dishwasher leaks, and not all of them require a technician to repair. Depending on the cause of the leak, you may have to adjust the door, replace the gasket (seal) on the dishwasher, or even replace the dishwasher altogether.
  5. Repair your dishwasher leak before it ruins your kitchen floor. Some flooring is more susceptible to water damage than others, such as wood or bamboo. However, leaks need to be addressed for even the most water-resistant flooring, as water travels downwards and can damage substrate, ceilings, and lead to mold and mildew problems.

Common Causes of Dishwasher Leaks

Some dishwasher leaks can be repaired by your home handyman. Others may need to be repaired by a professional technician. The cause and severity of the leak will determine whether you need professional repairs.

  • Dishwasher installed unevenly: A dishwasher that is not level will leak water onto the floor instead of draining properly. Leveling the dishwasher usually solves this problem.
  • Loose connections (AKA clamps): One of the easiest problems to fix, loose connections or clamps usually require a tightening. In other cases, you may need to replace a clamp that is too large or faulty.
  • Wrong dish washing soap: While it might seem like soap is just soap, this is not the case with dishwashers. Dish washing soap is specifically formulated for your dishwasher’s cycle. Hand dish washing soap will cause excessive suds, which then leak onto your kitchen floor!
  • Faulty door: One of the most common causes of dishwasher leaks, faulty doors may be installed improperly so that they are too loose and do not create a proper seal, or misaligned and allow water out during the wash cycle.
  • Worn gasket: The gasket, or door seal, is critical in keeping water inside your dishwasher! It’s common for gaskets to simply wear out in older dishwashers, and a replacement gasket is an effective solution.
  • Defective Tub: The bowl-like bottom area of your dishwasher is called the ‘tub’, which gathers both water and food particles. In some cases, the tub is defective, allowing water out or not draining properly.

Floor Damage Repair

The type of repairs for your floor will depend on the severity and location of the damage. Some of the most common types of floor damage repairs include:

  • Wood floors can warp and buckle if not properly dried, which may lead to replacing not just the wood panels, but the substrate below as well.
  • While stone and tile can look nearly indestructible, water damage can stain, discolor, and damage these types of flooring. Water damage on these types of surfaces often do not appear immediately, but show up months after the initial damage.
  • Linoleum and other synthetic flooring may require being pulled up and replaced, especially if the substrate below becomes damaged.
  • Water damage which seeps into the ceiling of the floor below may lead to the need for ceiling repairs and replacement, including the insulation and wiring between floors.


The best way to avoid leaks and floor damage repair is to keep up with the maintenance on your dishwasher, and address even the smallest of leaks as soon as possible.

If your dishwasher has leaked a significant amount of water into your home – especially if it’s bled into a downstairs ceiling – then call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County! We are experienced in assessing, cleaning, and repairing all types of water damage in the home.