Five Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires
Faulty Toaster On Fire
Electrical fires can get out of control quickly. Prevent them from ever occurring with these tips.
Over 14670 people sustain injuries or 3400 deaths due to electrical fires during 2017 in the United States. And almost every one of those injuries or deaths could have been prevented. The fact is that many fires of this nature happen because of human error. Taking preventative steps now will help you avoid a fire in the future. Here are 5 ways you can prevent such a fire in your McHenry County home or business.
Replace or fix broken plugs and cords
Frayed or nicked electrical cords or broken pugs can overheat or cause sparks. Both of these can cause a fire. It is not difficult to replace most appliance cords or plugs. If you are not able to do the work yourself, an electrician can do the work for you.
Don't overburden electrical outlets
Plugging too many appliances or electronics into the same outlet can cause overheating. An overheated plug can spark or short out completely and cause a fire. If you need to plug more than one thing into an outlet, use a power strip with built-in overload protection.
Have faulty wiring fixed
If you have flashing blinky lights, buzzing outlets, breakers that constantly trip or funny smells, you may have faulty wiring somewhere. Older homes often contain aluminum wire or even white ceramic "knobs" and black "tubes" that encase the copper wiring, which are both prone to cause fires more than modern copper wiring. It may be time to rewire your century-old building. Faulty wiring is often hidden in the walls or ceiling cavities. So, leave faulty wiring to an electrician. He can diagnose and fix the problem quickly and effectively.
Keep flammable materials away from electrical appliances
Your home and business abound with flammable materials, such as towels, rugs, draperies, paper and blankets. Keep electrical appliances well away from these flammable materials. This includes electric space heaters, hair irons, hair dryers, and lamps. Never hide cords under rugs because they cause fires by overheating.
Get an electrical inspection done
If your home or business is an older building, consider a thorough inspection performed by a professional electrician. Older homes often contain aluminum wire or even white ceramic "knobs" and black "tubes" that encase the copper wiring, which are both prone to cause fires more than modern copper wiring. It may be time to rewire your century-old building.
Get Rid of Faulty or Defective Appliances
You should stop using an electrical appliance that is sparking, tripping a breaker, or overheating. Things like these are time bombs waiting to happen, and just because nothing has gone wrong yet doesn’t mean nothing will. There is a reason they are called accidents!
Each of these tips will help you prevent an electrical fire from starting in your home or business. So, if the worst happens, and you do have damage from a fire, you need the help of professionals to get your home and business straightened out. Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.
Hoarding Cleanup with Biohazard Contaminants in Algonquin/Lake In The Hills
Hoarding Cleanup with Biohazard
Do you know someone in your life that may be a hoarder?
We are often called to clean and restore properties with hoarding conditions after a water, fire, or mold damage. Many hoarding situations require biohazard or specialized bloodborne pathogen cleanup, depending on the items being hoarded. No matter the situation, our team has the experience to handle different hoarding situations, even before a damage has occurred.
Hoarding can create cramped living conditions and fill a home to its capacity. Often, only narrow pathways are available to move from room to room, and the number of items prevents the use of normal living space. Accumulation can be in every room of the house and may spread to the garage, vehicles, and yard.
Hazards associated with hoarding include:
- A fire hazard due to blocked exits and excessive smoke
- Unsanitary conditions that pose a risk to health
- Injury or being trapped by shifting or falling items
- Relationship conflicts, including loneliness and social isolation
- Financial problems
- Legal issues such as eviction
SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County offers hoarding cleanup, including situations with bloodborne pathogens. We are a full-service cleanup and restoration company. We can:
- Inventory, sort, and pack items of value
- If needed, kept items will be transported to our facility for storage
- Gather and dispose of items that require being thrown away
- Identification and cleanup of hazardous contaminants
- Deep clean of the entire home, including the garage and yard
- If any part of the property is permanently damaged, our reconstruction team will rebuild it.
- If requested, we can provide our services in unmarked vehicles for your privacy.
When hoarding begins to seriously affect the daily life of your friend or loved one, we’re to help. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry has over 17-years of experience remediating water, fire, and mold damage. We service Southern McHenry County and all surrounding Algonquin and Lake In The Hills communities. We can be reached 24/7 at 847-5161600.
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“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.
NFPA National Fire Prevention Association
The Aftermath of a Home Fire
House fire in Cary
The Aftermath of a Home Fire
Recovering from a fire is not easy by any means. It is an emotionally draining process that turns your life upset down. The hardest part comes at the beginning, when you feel helpless and are completely unsure as to how to proceed. With that in mind, our goal is to present to you the fundamental steps you need to take immediately after the fire is extinguished.
Deal With Insurance
You should already be on the phone with your insurance agent before the firefighters even get done putting out the fire. Mind you, this is just the beginning. After a few days, you’ll need to get a copy of the official “fire report” from your local fire department. The insurance agency will likely send an adjustor out to survey the damage and help you get in touch with a restoration agency, such as the professionals at SERVPRO.
If you are renting, then you’ll obviously need to contact the owner of the home. If you own home but don’t have insurance, on the other hand, then you’ll want to speak with the Internal Revenue Service. You might be eligible for something known as casualty loss.
Settle in Somewhere
Most likely, your home is currently in an unlivable state, meaning you’re going to have to find somewhere else to stay. Your best bet is to stay with friends or family. However, if that’s not an option, check with your insurance company to see if your policy covers temporary living expenses. Otherwise, contact the American Red Cross.
Before you leave, try to rummage through your home for some essential items like the following: Identification Cards, Medications, Eye Glasses / Hearing Aids, Wallets, Credit Cards / Checkbooks, Money. **Only do this AFTER you get permission from the firefighters to reenter your home.**
Turn Off Utilities
Make certain you get all of your primary utilities turned off. Why waste money for services when you are not even living in your home? Plus, restoration cannot be performed on your home if there’s still electricity and such running through it. The risks of electrocution would be far too high.
Contact a Restoration Company
This is perhaps the most important step. You’ll need to contact a professional, full-service restoration company, such as SERVPRO. Our company is trained specifically to deal with post-tragedy damage. Below is a list of some of the things you can expect us to do:
- The company will start by removing all the water from your home. During a fire, a lot of water from the firefighters hoses usually collects all over the place. Plus, fires sometimes cause pipes to burst, thus leading to even more severe flooding. The point is that restoration cannot begin until the water is first removed.
- The company will then start with water restoration. Carpets, walls, ducts must be dried. Mold must be removed. Just this step itself can take a few days.
- Next is the actual fire restoration. First and foremost, the company will inspect the structural foundation of your home and fix any major problems. Obviously, if a ceiling is about to crash, then it must be attended to before any other restoration efforts can be completed.
- Once the structural foundation is secure, the specialists will start cleaning up soot/smoke damage, deodorizing everything (carpets, walls, furniture, etc.) and basically returning the home back to normal. If anything is so damaged that it cannot be repaired, it’ll be removed and thrown away. It’s your responsibility to let your insurance company know what items you lost.
- Last, but not least, the company will clean up the remaining mess (dust, debris, etc.) and rearrange everything back into place.
Move Back In
Finally, you get to move back into your home and resume life. Unfortunately, it can take quite a bit of time before you even get to this final step. We’re talking about several weeks. The truth is that restoring a home from a fire takes a lot of time, a lot of resources and a lot of money.
Just remember to keep in close contact with your insurance company through the whole process. If all goes well, you’ll get your home back in one piece, and you’ll get your lost possessions replaced.
When you have fire, water and mold restoration service needs, give the experienced professionals at SERVPRO a call at 847-516-1600.
National Preparedness Month is officially here!
September Is National Preparedness Month: What Are You Doing To Be Prepared?
September Is National Preparedness Month: What Are You Doing To Be Prepared?
National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month (NPM), recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year. This NPM will focus on planning, with an overarching theme: Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.
Take time to learn lifesaving skills − such as CPR and first aid, check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency. Also, know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas.
The devastating hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 reminded the nation of the importance of preparing for disasters. Often, we will be the first ones in our communities to take action after a disaster strikes and before first responders arrive, so it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community.
2018 Weekly Themes
- Week 1: Sept 1-8 Make and Practice Your Plan
- Week 2: Sept 9-15* Learn Life Saving Skills
- Week 3: Sept 16-22 Check Your Insurance Coverage
- Week 4: Sept 23-29 Save For an Emergency
- September 15 is a National Day of Action
Graphics, Videos, and Related links
Check out tips and ideas to promote preparedness. For more engaging messages, attach appropriately sized graphics for specific social media platforms (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) and add emoji’s.
Social Media Content
Week 1: September 1-8- Make and Practice Your Plan
Social Media Content
- Disasters don’t plan ahead. You can. Make an emergency plan today & practice it: www.ready.gov/plan#PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Preparing your family for an emergency is as simple as a conversation over dinner. Get started with tips from www.ready.gov #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Does your family have a fire escape plan? Make one today & practice two ways out of every room. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Practice your fire escape plan by having a home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the home. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Download a group texting app so your entire crew can keep in touch before, during & after an emergency. #NatlPrep #PrepareNow
- Practice evacuating in the car with your animals, so they’re more comfortable if you need to evacuate in an emergency. #NatlPrep #PrepareNow
- Disasters don't plan ahead, but you can #PrepareNow. Get the @fema app with weather alerts for up to 5 locations: www.fema.gov/mobile-app #NatlPrep
- Sign up for local emergency alerts in your area by searching online. #NatlPrep
- Contact your water and power companies to get on a “priority reconnection service” list of power-dependent customers if you rely on electrical medical equipment. #PrepareNow
- #PrepareNow. Find out if laws in your state permit pharmacists to dispense a 30-day refill of medications in an emergency.
Week 2: September 9-15-Learn Life Saving Skills
- Know basic home maintenance to protect your family and home. Learn how to mitigate your home against flood damage, or protect against the impacts of earthquakes.
- Learn how to turn off utilities like natural gas in your home.
- Put smoke alarms on every level of your home, test them monthly, and replace them when they are 10 years old.
- Know the ways to keep your home safe from cooking, heating & electrical fires.
- On National Day of Action, Saturday, September, 15, hold a preparedness event. Some examples of events might be hosting a CPR class or Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training at your business, school, or house of worship; or volunteering with a local disaster response or recovery agency.
Social Media Content
- Keep your family safe. Install natural gas detectors throughout your house.#PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Commit to learning and sharing life-saving emergency skills with the #UntilHelpArrives training http://go.usa.gov/x5Xcm #PrepareNow
- What’s deadly, colorless, and odorless? Carbon monoxide. Protect your family by installing a carbon monoxide detector. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Do you know how to turn off the gas in your home? Learn how to in case you ever have a gas emergency in your home. #NatlPrep
- Be prepared for a power outage by having enough food, water, & meds to last for at least 72 hours: www.ready.gov/kit #PrepareNow
- Whether you need batteries for your remote or flashlight, always make sure you have spare batteries handy in an emergency: www.ready.gov/kit #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Never use candles for emergency lighting. Use flashlights and stock up on extra batteries. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Do you have emergency supplies? Get ahead of the next storm or wildfire by making sure you’re ready in case you are asked to leave your home: www.ready.gov/kit #PrepareNow
- Replace all home smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Put smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them monthly. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from your furnace, water heater, and other heat-generating equipment. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Have chimneys and vents cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year to prevent home fires. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Practice how to “Drop down onto your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Hold on to any sturdy covering until the shaking stops. More info at www.ready.gov/earthquake#PrepareNow
- Do you know what to do when an emergency happens? Learn actions to save a life #UntilHelpArrives: https://community.fema.gov/until-help-arrives #PrepareNow
- Giving CPR to a person struck by lightning can save their life. Learn how to perform Hands-Only and how to use an AED to prepare for a health emergency. #PrepareNow
Week 3: Sept 16-22-Check Your Insurance Coverage
- Insurance is the first line of defense; check your insurance coverage and review the Document and Insure Property guide.
- Flood Insurance allows communities and families to recover more quickly and more fully. Visit Floodsmart.gov to learn more about flood insurance and how to protect your home or business.
Insured Survivor Video Testimonials
- US Army Sgt. Boggs almost lost everything during Hurricane #Irma. Flood insurance gave him the financial protection he needed after the storm. Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrEP2H_Lnf0 #FloodSmart #NatlPrep
- Jeff’s daughter was just one week old when Hurricane #Harvey hit. Flood insurance helped his young family get back in their home and back to their life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTB30uqgPNo#FloodSmart #NatlPrep
- “Having flood insurance meant having one thing less to worry about.” Rupi Prasad lost almost everything in Hurricane #Harvey. Flood insurance is helping her get back to her home and get back to retirement. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmE4GQkfd0w #NatlPrep
- With flood insurance, John and Michelle Tipton are rebuilding their home safer and stronger after Hurricane Matthew. Flood insurance is worth the investment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmE4GQkfd0w #FloodSmart #NatlPrep
Social Media Content
- Flooding can be an emotionally and financially devastating event. Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damage to your home. #PrepareNow #Floodsmart
- Approximately 80% of households impacted by Hurricane Harvey last year did not have flood insurance. Don’t become a statistic. Learn more about your flood risk: www.floodsmart.gov #NatlPrep #FloodSmart
- Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Learn more about flood insurance at www.floodsmart.gov #PrepareNow #FloodSmart
- #PrepareNow. Snap photos of important documents and personal belongings to help you quickly file a claim after a flood: https://youtu.be/i3MfRpND5gk #NatlPrep
- Hurricanes bring heavy rains that may cause flooding. Think about buying flood insurance before the storm. www.floodsmart.gov #NatlPrep #FloodSmart
- Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S. Are you protected? Check your insurance policy today #NatlPrep #FloodSmart
- 30 Days: The number of days it takes for most flood insurance policies to go into effect. Don’t wait until it’s too late! www.floodsmart.gov #PrepareNow #FloodSmart
- Anywhere it rains, it can flood. Learn more about how flood insurance can help protect the life you’ve built. #NatlPrep #FloodSmart
- Find out if you live in a flood prone area and how flood insurance can lessen the cost to your family by visiting: www.floodsmart.gov. #NatlPrep #FloodSmart
- At least 25% of small businesses never reopen following a disaster. Purchase flood insurance to protect your business. #NatlPrep #FloodSmart
Week 4: Sept 23-30-Save For an Emergency
Social Media Content
- What important documents should you have for an emergency? The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit explains them all: https://go.usa.gov/xNhp6 #PrepareNow
- How will you pay your bills if a disaster strikes? Disasters don’t plan ahead, #PrepareNow: www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness #NatlPrep
- Over 40 percent of all Americans don’t have $400 in savings according to the Federal Reserve. What will you do if there is a disaster? Learn how you become more prepared:www.ready.gov/financial-prepaaredness #PrepareNow
- Keep some cash on hand in case of emergencies. #NatlPrep
- You will have expenses like lodging, food, and gas, after a disaster. Are you prepared? #PrepareNow www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness #NatlPrep
- Are you prepared for a flood? Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster, causing billions of dollars in damage each year. #PrepareNow. Get tips: www.floodsmart.gov #FloodSmart
- The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit is a tool to help you and your family collect and secure the documents you would need if there was a disaster. www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness#PrepareNow #NatlPrep
- Set aside a small amount from each paycheck to go into your savings account.Find more tips to help you manage your money to be prepared for the unexpected: https://www.usa.gov/flec #NatlPrep
- Only about half of all Americans have an emergency fund. This gives them the money needed to help with increased expenses after a disaster. Get tips about creating a fund: https://www.usa.gov/flec#PrepareNow
- Do you know the help your community provides if there is a disaster? Search online today. #NatlPrep #PrepareNow
- Make digital copies of important documents and save them on the cloud or a secure cell phone app in case disaster strikes. #NatlPrep
- Flooding can be an emotionally and financially devastating event. Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damage to your home. To learn more visit www.FloodSmart.gov #FloodSmart #PrepareNow
Local McHenry County Home Has Mold Invasion
Mold, Mildew, and Mushrooms Are No Match For The Trained Professionals
Local McHenry County Home Has Mold Invasion
This country home was broken into and vandalized. Intruders took what they wanted, and then left the water running when they left. Damage to the home included a flooded kitchen and basement. The end result was extensive mold throughout the entire basement and behind the walls of the kitchen cabinets. The flooring in the basement had mushrooms growing on area rugs.
Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time.
Four Things Are Needed For Mold Too Become A Problem
-Organic Materials (wood, paper, drywall, insulation)
-Temperature (60* and above)
-Humidity (70% or higher)
-Time (as little as 48 hours)
Our trained professionals will examine your structure, and if they find mold you will be asked to approve and sign work authorization forms prior to any mold remediation being performed.
If You Think You Might Have Mold, Call Us Today 847-516-1600.
Residential Biohazard Cleanup
Fully suited up and Ready for Whatever Happens
SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is fully trained and specialized in the cleaning and disposal of biohazard contents and affected materials.
When it comes to a biohazard situation, protection is the name of the game. Protection for our employees, protection for the home or business owner and protection of the environment during the disposal process. We never know what type of call we might get so our crews are always ready with Tyvek suits, industrial-grade gloves and full face respirators.
This Cary resident knew to call the experts at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry who would be able to properly clean his home with chemicals that cannot be purchased in your local hardware store. We were able to restore his home back to it's original state and make it "Like it never even happened."
How Your Insurance Is Important in a Commercial Build Back
SERVPRO Can Restore and Rebuild Your Business in Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Marengo, or Woodstock
SERVPRO Provides Emergency Services, Build Backs, and Communication
When severe damage strikes a business, it can be difficult for owners to cover the costs of repairs. In addition to material losses, expenses of new materials, safety and preventative fixtures, labor, and many other factors must be considered, quickly adding up before the business ever gets a chance to reopen. Insurance companies are critical in these scenarios, as their prompt delivery of payment and quick processing may mean life or death for a business trying to overcome its damages. SERVPRO works in close cooperation with insurance companies, providing them with regular updates on the situation by any means necessary, and in many cases acting as a go-between with the agency and the claimant. Commercial build back in Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Marengo, Woodstock, or Union can vary widely on time and resources spent before the business can reopen, depending on what reconstruction efforts are needed. Removal or rebuilding of walls, pillars, and other structural elements can take lots of time, as can full replacement of aesthetic elements such as flooring materials and wallpaper. These types of repairs not only add days or weeks to restoration times but rack up thousands in material costs. SERVPRO works to make sure that the insurer understands both forms of financial loss, helping to keep your business open during the crisis, if at all possible. If your business has been recently hit by damages, by far the most important step in reducing costs and headaches related to your insurance is in calling us early for a fast response. By contacting us immediately, we can respond to the damages and begin mitigation within hours, reducing any co-payments or demands the insurer might make. This fast initial action is contingent upon the signing of our SERVPRO Service Authorization Form. You must also contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. We do emphasize that we are not an insurance company and will always follow the suggestions or demands of the client and the insurer. We have staff, project managers, and an established protocol to rebuild many damaged facilities. We can also partner with other companies whom we have a working relationship with or other companies of your choosing.
SERVPROof Southern McHenry County has a strong reputation and relationship with all local insurance companies, helping businesses to build back as quickly and with as little cost as possible. Call us as soon as trouble strikes at (847) 516-1600.
SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is Hiring!
Are you interested in working with a great crew of people for a super company? Not afraid to get a little dirty? Enjoy doing something to help people who have just gone through disaster? Consider checking out this position with SERVPRO Southern McHenry County. Call today and you could start working tomorrow!
Location: Cary, IL
Pay: $13-$15/HR. DOE $15-$18/HR if IICRC Certified
Hours: Guaranteed 30 hours-40 hours a week
Requirements: Flexible to accommodate 24/7 business needs but not limited to pushing, pulling, lifting up to 50 lbs as needed.
Call Robert or Josephine at 847-516-1600 for an interview today!
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
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