Recent Posts

3 Places Water Leaks Could be Hiding in Your Home In Southern McHenry County

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Places Water Leaks Could be Hiding in Your Home In Southern McHenry County Check these areas to make sure water is not damaging your home!

If you are a homeowner in Cary or Algonquin, you know the danger that water damage can cause to your house. Sneaky leaks and unforeseen plumbing problems can cost you more than an increased water bill. They can cause massive damage to your home, and repairs can be in the thousands of dollars. Last year, almost 40 percent of homes suffered some sort of water damage, ranging from a frozen pipe bursting to leaky roofs. Out of these 40 percent of homes, 93 percent of the incidents could have been prevented! Read through this article to find out 3 of the most common ways that water damage can be in your home, without your knowledge! If you do find damage from water in your home, give SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County a call. We can give you a quote for water damage restoration, and help you get through the pain of water damage.

Leaky Pump Valves

One of the most common ways that water leaks can happen in your home, comes from the pumps that are in your shower or central air system. These pumps, while rugged, are not impervious to wear and tear. The valves in them often go for years without service, and by the time you can see the damage that they've caused, it is often too late. The water seeping out of the valves can cause floorboards to be destroyed, or cause mold to grow around the area of the pump. The best practice is to give a water restoration company a call and have them assess the damage.

Leaks from the Bathtub

Another sneaky way that water can damage your home, comes from your bathtub. If the watertight seal around the tub is somehow broken, not all the water from your long shower or bath will end up down the drain. It may take a few days to finally notice, but that notice will be shocking. If you have an upstairs bathroom, that notice may come in the form of water dripping from your ceiling, right before the ceiling begins to sink down from the added weight of the water. If your bathroom is downstairs, you may not notice the leak for a longer period of time, allowing for the water under the bathtub to eat away at wood flooring. The worst outcome from the leaking bathtub is that mold growth is almost inevitable!

Hidden Toilet Leaks

Toilet leaks are some of the most common leaks that happen in a home. This makes them the most important place to watch for a runaway leak, and one of the most important places to have inspected by SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County. Toilet leaks that are not immediately visible to the homeowner can cause massive damage over a long period of time, much like the bathtub leaks mentioned above. A leaking gasket or valve can cause water to pool under the toilet fixture, eating away at the floor of your home.


If you think you might have a leaking valve, give SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County a call. They can inspect your home for potential leaks, and evaluate the risk these leaks can pose to your home.

Chimney Cleaning Tips

7/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Chimney Cleaning Tips Keep your chimney clean to prevent fire damage in your home!

Chimney Cleaning Tips

At SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County, we know the lovely warm glow a chimney can add to any home. Sitting in front of a fireplace in your Nashville home on a crisp day is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy an evening with family. There is nothing more important than keeping your home and family safe. To help keep those fires going, it's useful to make sure the chimney is periodically cleaned. Chimney cleaning can help a fireplace stay in good shape and reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in your home. Additionally, the chimney allows smoke, fumes and dangerous toxins escape the home through its ventilation. Read on for some helpful tips on having your chimney services.

Inspect the Brick

All chimneys should be completely cleaned at least once a year. Proper cleaning is important to make sure that the chimney is in good working order. Any homeowner should also perform an inspection on their own. This can help identify any potential problems that must be addressed as soon as possible. It's a good idea to bring a flashlight and have a good look at the floor. All the ashes in the chimney accumulate here. The flooring needs to be kept in good shape to make sure the fire can be turned on. Note any problems with the brick surrounding it. The bricks used in a fireplace are more heat tolerant than ordinary bricks. They need to be maintained to prevent any fire in the fireplace from spreading to other areas of the home. If a single brick is out of place, this can make the rest of the chimney far less functional.

Have a Look Up

After having a good look at the area surrounding the fireplace, it's a good idea to have a look at the rest of the chimney. Put on some old clothes and get in the area surrounding the fireplace. Have a look at the chimney area. You should see if there's any obstruction or other issues. Small birds and rodents often find themselves stuck or you could have a thick layer of creosote and soot sticking to the flue and masonry inside the chimney. When this gets too thick, all it takes is a spark and you have a chimney fire on your hands.


According to the National Fire Prevention Association, 30 percent of home fires are caused by chimney fires. Be sure your home is not one of them and have your chimney cleaned regularly. If you do run into trouble with smoke or fire in your home give us a call at 847-516-1600. At SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County, we take pride in making it like it never happened 

Negotiating with Insurers After Commercial Water or Fire Damage in Southern McHenry County

7/1/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Negotiating with Insurers After Commercial Water or Fire Damage in Southern McHenry County SERVPRO Helps with Your Insurance Claims After Water Damage in Your Southern McHenry County Office

SERVPRO Often Interfaces With Your Carrier in Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Marengo, Woodstock, and Union Concerning Commercial Water Damage.

Depending on your insurance provider, acquiring a payout after a disaster can either be very easy or relatively difficult. In general, it is best to take insurance proceedings slowly and to hire a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. Some insurance companies will be unwilling to pay if you do not follow instructions, make small violations, or even fail to respond to their documents. At SERVPRO, we make an effort to work with business owners and insurance companies alike to ensure that the store has to pay as little as possible for repairs and employ a mitigation and restoration strategy designed to minimalize the costs of expensive replacements. In general, an insurance company may make very specific demands related to the initial steps towards repairing your commercial water damage in Southern McHenry County. Many insurers will want to choose a restoration company for you, which may be how you found out about SERVPRO. Our corporate brand is on the rosters in municipal, state, and Federal agencies as a preferred vendor. This list also includes management companies, insurance agencies, and the like. 

Or, they may have given specific guidelines regarding certifications and equipment, and we commonly meet even the strictest of these requirements. Typically, an insurance company won't ask you to make any repairs yourself, and in fact, may specifically request that you avoid making any significant changes without their express approval.    Of course, most insurers will want to be notified of any important developments or costs that arise during restorations.

In general, our representatives will be able to handle these types of calls, but you should be prepared to answer any questions and sign documents if additional approval is required on your part. Once again, it is probably best to consult a lawyer for any major decisions you may be asked to make. On small levels of damage caused by fire or water, the process may not require an attorney. 

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is proud to offer quality restoration services at an affordable price and has a strong relationship with most local and national insurance companies. We can even help with the paperwork. 

Call us at (847) 516-1600 to find out more about our services or how we help business owners like you in times of crisis.

Insurance tips for storm damage

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Insurance tips for storm damage Insurance tips for storm damage

If your home or business has experienced storm damage and you are unsure on how to actually seek help in this sort of process or you are unsure if you are even covered for such loss, please remain calm. We understand this process may be frightening at first, but there are several professionals that can and will assist you during this process. If you need immediate help, please contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County, by calling 847-516-1600. We are willing to help you through this process, but for general tips and best practices, please follow the outline below provided by United Policy Holders and what they tell their clients during the process of storm aftermath.

What to do before and during a severe storm:

  • If you live on or at the foot of a hillside, place sandbags around the perimeter of your home.
  • Place rolled up towels along the inside of exterior doors to prevent water from getting in.
  • Do your best to keep your gutters clear but stay safe throughout the storm. 
  • Move valuables and items up from lower levels and away from doors and windows.
  • Find a copy of your insurance policy.  Check the wording on water damage and the amount of your deductible
  • Use the free UPHelp Home Inventory App to photo document key features of your home that could be damaged (windows, siding, roof and interior) and your possessions.

What to do after the storm:

  • If your home was damaged, focus on creating a scope of everything that was damaged and what it will cost to repair or replace. 
  • To keep a clean record and avoid premium increases, don't file a claim until you review your policy and you think your loss will exceed your deductible and be covered.  Read: To claim or not to claim...
  • If the damage was sudden and accidental and triggered by the storm, don't accept a claim denial argument from your insurer or agent that it was due to faulty construction or maintenance.  The insurer cashed your premium checks and insured your property "as is".    
  • If you file a claim and your insurer rejects it, make sure you get a clear and detailed explanation of their position.  Read: www.uphelp.org/speakUP.  Claim and coverage disputes are rarely as clear cut as your insurer makes them out to be.
  • The answer to whether your town or city will pay to repair flooding damage to your home is..."it depends."

Source: (http://www.uphelp.org/pubs/insurance-tips-storm-damage)

United Policy Holders

5 Principles of Mold Remediation

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 5 Principles of Mold Remediation Mold in a Home

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) for water, and fire restoration as well as microbial remediation.  The IICRC outlines five major principles of mold remediation.

  1. Make sure safety and health precautions are taken by cleanup professionals and occupants. Mold-contaminated buildings can be associated with a number of health problems. Anyone involved in the mold remediation process must be protected from exposure through a combination of practices and controls.
  2. A post-cleanup assessment by an independent environmental expert. An effective mold remediation cannot be developed without first determining the extent of the contamination to be removed. To ensure that remediation work is being properly performed, it is highly recommended that appropriate documentation of the remediation process be kept by project management
  3. Control of mold before it spreads further. Eliminating mold at the source of contamination is essential. Once mold spores spread through the air, it will be much more difficult to capture.
  4. Oversee the proper physical removal of the mold. The mold must be physically removed from the structure. Attempts to isolate mold or remove signs of mold on the surface are not adequate. Note that bleach alone cannot kill mold.
  5. Ensure that moisture is controlled to limit future contamination or recontamination. Mold growth is virtually inevitable if moisture is not controlled. Moisture problems must be identified, located and corrected or controlled as soon as possible.

Application of these principles may involve multiple disciplines and professionals from a wide range of restoration and indoor environmental fields.

If you suspect mold contamination in your home or business contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County today at 847-516-1600.

Source: IICRC

Mold Coverage and Your Insurance Claims due to Water Loss Event

6/10/2018 (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.

Prepare for Spring Storms

6/10/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Prepare for Spring Storms Tornadoes can occur during spring storms.

Tornadoes can occur during spring storms.

Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy and frigid. Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather. Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur even within the same day.

Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. They can bring lightningtornadoes, and flooding. Whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can occur. For much of the world, this happens in spring and summer.

Because spring weather is so unpredictable, you may be unprepared when severe weather hits—particularly if you live in a region that does not often experience thunderstorms, tornadoes, or flooding. And when severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. So planning ahead makes sense; prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will.

Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and floods requires specific safety precautions.

Keep an emergency kit on hand. Some items to include are:

  • A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries for both
  • An emergency evacuation or shelter plan, including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room
  • A list of important personal information, including:
    • telephone numbers of neighbors, family, and friends
    • insurance and property information
    • telephone numbers of utility companies
    • medical information
  • According to the American Red Cross a first aid kit may include:
    • non-latex gloves
    • assortment of adhesive bandages
    • antibiotic ointment
    • sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
    • absorbent compress dressings
    • tweezers
    • scissors
    • adhesive cloth tape
    • aspirin packets (81 mg each)
    • first aid instruction booklet
      (NOTE: Customize your first aid kit to meet your individual and family needs.)
  • A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • An emergency kit[1.08 MB] in your car

Sources:

NOAA

American Red Cross

CDC

Understanding the Three Categories of Water

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

When dealing with water damage in your home or business, there are three different types or classifications of water that we use: Clean, Gray, and Black water.

Clean Water: This is water that does not contain contaminants. It includes broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, and toilets holding tanks, snow melt and rainwater. Overtime however, clean water can progress and become gray water within 48 hours, if left untreated.

Gray Water: Gray water does contain slight chemical or biological contaminants, and may pose a health risk. Gray water can discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, aquariums and waterbeds, or come from a clean water source that leaked through a ceiling. It can also be clean water that was left untreated (and became gray water). Gray water can also progress to the next stage (Black Water) if left untreated within 48 hours.

Black Water: This water is a positive health risk as it is highly contaminated. Black water is presumed to contain multiple potentially harmful contaminants including fungi, bacteria, chemicals, viruses, and more. Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be treated by a trained and certified professional.

For any type of water damage, it is always best to treat it quickly so as to avoid further contamination and risk mold growth. Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County if you need services in your home or business.

Available 24/7 

847-516-1600

Top Hidden Places that Mold May Grow In Your Southern McHenry County Home

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Top Hidden Places that Mold May Grow In Your Southern McHenry County Home Call SERVPRO

While there are common places where most people find mold, like around showers and tubs, there are many places in a home or business where mold be hidden. It’s these hidden areas that can lead to further damage from mold which is why it’s important to check them on a regular basis for any signs of moisture or condensation. In no particular order, here are the top places where mold can grow in a home:

  1. Crawl Spaces

Most homeowners never look into their crawl spaces but they might want to. Crawl spaces can easily collect moisture from water seeping through the foundation to moisture rising from the ground. A crawl space should have a vapor barrier on the ground to keep moisture from rising up. A crawl space also need adequate ventilation to allow any moisture that may collect to flow out. Failure to keep the moisture out from your crawl space can result in mold growth on the exposed framing of your home. The mold can eventually lead to excessive damage to all wood surfaces and make its way into the home.

  1. Basements

Basements are similar to crawl spaces but the fact that they are open and exposed to the rest of the house, can result in mold spreading quickly throughout your home via the air ducts and open doors. If your basement smells musty, then you either have mold growth already happening or the high possibility of it occurring. Due to the fact that many basements are furnished and carpeted, there are more areas in a basement that are perceptible to mold growth when compared to a crawl space.

  1. Bathrooms

A good ventilation fan is important in a bathroom not for the odor issues but the moisture issues. This is especially true with bathrooms where there are showers in them. While everybody loves a hot shower, a hot shower also creates a large amount of moisture that can lead to mold growth. Another area where mold may grow is behind toilets and under sinks with cabinets. Moisture can condensate on the toilet tank and wall causing mold to form on the wall.

  1. Under the Refrigerator

Some refrigerators have drip pans where water can collect. If dust or debris get into the drip pan, mold can start to grow. Water can also leak from the water line or drip from the cooling coils. It’s a good idea to check every few months as well as keep it clean by sweeping and vacuuming on a regular basis.

  1. Around the Washing Machine

The washing machine and the dryer are both susceptible to mold growth. If the dryer vent hose does not properly vent out the steam from the drying clothes, it can accumulate in the hose or around the back of the dryer causing mold to grow. Washing machines can also leak and drip down under the machine where dust can gather creating the perfect home for mold growth. Just like the refrigerator, it’s important to keep the areas clean and check underneath them often.

Top Ways to Reduce Mold Growth in Your Home

So now that you know where mold growth can happen, how can you reduce the likelihood of mold growing in your home? As stated above, it’s important to keep your home clean of dust by sweeping and vacuuming on a regular basis. While dust doesn’t necessarily cause mold to grow, dust along with moisture can.

The most important thing to reduce mold growth from happening in your home is to control and eliminate any moisture problems in your home. Check for leaks and condensation problems around sinks, appliances, and air conditioning units. If you have a musty basement, ensure that your sump pump is operating properly. You may also want to consider a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in the air. If you have water that is seeping in from the basement walls or crawl space foundation, you’ll want to look at the drainage around your home.

Mold Remediation in Southern McHenry County

If you should experience mold growth and mold damage to your Southern McHenry County-area home or business, call the mold remediation professionals at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600. The professionals at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County have the specialized equipment, professional training, and certifications to quickly treat and remediate mold in your home or business.

What is Tenant, Renters Insurance? Water damage in Southern McHenry County

5/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What is Tenant, Renters Insurance? Water damage in Southern McHenry County What is Tenant, Renters Insurance? Water damage in Southern McHenry County

What is Tenant, Renters Insurance? Water damage in Southern McHenry County

What is Tenant, Renters Insurance? Water damage in Southern McHenry County

Many renters are under the impression that their landlord’s insurance policy will cover their belongings, unfortunately that generally is not the case. Your landlord’s policy covers the building itself, but it may not include your personal belongings, and may not cover injuries sustained within the structure. That’s where renters insurance comes in.

Renters insurance protects your personal property in a rented apartment, condo or home from unexpected circumstances such as theft, a fire or sewer backup damage – and will pay you for lost or damaged possessions. It can also help protect you from liability if someone is injured on your property.

Renters insurance is similar in scope to homeowners insurance, with the exception that it does not provide coverage for the dwelling itself or other structures.

How does Tenant, renters insurance work?

If you experience a covered loss in your rented space, renters insurance can help to cover the associated costs. The amount covered will depend on the type of loss that occurred and the amount of coverage you have.

There are two types of coverage options under a typical renter’s policy: Actual Cash Value coverage and Replacement Cost coverage. Here’s the difference between the two:

  • Actual Cash Value coverage will reimburse you for the value of the items at the time of the damage or loss.
  • Replacement Cost coverage covers the cost it takes to replace the items lost or damaged.

What does Tenant, renters insurance cover?

A renter’s insurance policy offers you coverage for the loss or destruction of your personal belongings in the event of a covered peril such as:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Windstorm
  • Hail
  • A frozen plumbing system
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Impact by a vehicle

Renters insurance may also cover you if:

You are forced to temporarily move out of your home: In the event your home becomes unlivable due to damage caused by a covered instance such as a fire or vandalism, renters insurance can help cover the cost of alternative living arrangements while your home is repaired or rebuilt.

A person is injured on your property and requires medical attention: Personal liability coverage is designed to protect you, as well as other individuals who visit your home, if an accident were to occur. This type of coverage will help pay for medical costs and legal fees that you could end up incurring.

Items you keep inside your car are damaged or lost: Depending on your renter’s insurance policy, you may be covered for belongings that you keep inside your car. Note that this coverage does not include equipment or systems installed in the car.

What does Tenant, renters insurance not cover?

Now that you have a basic idea of what renters insurance covers, it’s important to understand what a basic renter’s insurance policy does not cover so that you’re prepared:

  • Valuables. Expensive collectables and valuables such as jewelry may not be covered under a basic renter’s policy and may require additional coverage.
  • Home business. Operating a small business out of your home doesn’t mean it will be covered by your renters insurance. For instance, if your business laptop is stolen from your apartment, there’s a chance it could be considered business property and therefore, won’t be completely covered by your renters insurance. Check with your provider to see if your policy covers a home business or if you need additional coverage.
  • Motorized vehicles. Use or ownership of a motor vehicle will not be covered by your renters insurance even if it is parked on your property (this also applies to aircraft and specific watercraft). Personal belongings kept inside the vehicle, however, are typically covered.

Also, remember to always make sure to thoroughly read through your policy so that you have an understanding of what is and isn’t covered.

For any type of water damage, it is always best to treat it quickly so as to avoid further contamination and risk mold growth. Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County if you need services in your home!

Available 24/7    847-516-1600