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How to save the deductible after getting water damage

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Water obeys the law of gravity. Therefore, look down when looking for water damage.

Water damage payment may include work you can do yourself

If you incur water damage and get reimbursed by your insurance company, you can avoid paying the deductible. Hire yourself as a contractor.

Unpleasant return home

Elmer and his family went on vacation for a week. When they returned, they saw the upstairs bathtub had overflown. This created water damage both upstairs and downstairs. Water soaked the floor and drained to the kitchen downstairs. Apparently someone left the drain closed and the faucet had a slow leak.

Elmer called SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County and his insurance company, which was the right thing to do. SERVPRO came out, assessed the water damage and presented Elmer with an estimate. $12,000. Elmer has a $1,000 deductible on his homeowners’ insurance.

Scope of work

The water damage remediation work includes removing soiled drywall, studs, flooring and ceiling materials. The project second phase involves removing airborne mold particles and getting mold counts down to a healthy level. The third phase involves installing new studs, drywall, flooring and ceiling materials. The fourth and final phase involves painting the new drywall.

SERVPRO did the water damage remediation work he and the SERVPRO Office Manager agreed they should do. This includes all work listed above, except for the painting. Elmer felt he could do that himself. Upon completion, Elmer’s insurance company paid him $12,000. He paid SERVPRO $11,000. The remaining $1,000, which is his deductible, covers his cost for painting the new drywall.

He does some of the work

Elmer is an honest man. He buys the paint and paints the new drywall. He is also a businessman. He wants to reduce spending every chance he can get. Pocketing the deductible and doing some work himself helps Elmer get his house back in order and save some cash.

If you incur water damage from a storm event, do not delay. Your top priority is finding and stopping the leak. You can work with the insurance company and water damage remediation experts to create the scope of work and arrange payment. You can save the deductible by doing some of the work yourself.

Two years after

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

If disaster strikes, will you still be in business a year from now?  According to FEMA 40% of businesses never reopen after a major disaster, and only 29% will still be open two years later. They go on to say that if the technology is down for nine days the business will likely be bankrupt within a year. By having a comprehensive disaster plan, the odds of survival are much greater.  All of these factors need to be considered when formulating your disaster plan: 

  • Natural Hazards 
  • Human-Caused Hazards 
  • Technology-Related Hazards 
  • Health Hazards 

 Natural Hazards: Floods, rockslides and mud-slides, earthquakes and high winds just to mention a few.  Human-Caused Hazards: Floods, fires, damaged sprinkle systems, or violence. Technology-Related Hazards: I don’t know of a business that doesn’t rely on communication systems including telephones and the internet.  Health Hazards: It seems like the flu is the big one. Are there plans in place in the event of major outbreak? How much of the staff can be out sick at the same time before it harms the business?  What to do. 

  • Identify the Risks 
  • Develop a Plan 
  • Take Action 

Every business has risks, but they are not all the same. Plans need to be tailored to the specific location and type of business. SERVPRO has developed the Ready Plan. It is a great asset to add to the emergency plan. 

Taking action could be the only thing preventing a bankruptcy. However, after a plan has been put in place, it needs to work! PRACTICE it and work out the bugs. I participated in an evacuation drill for a care facility unrelated to Community Action Resource Enterprise, Inc... On paper it was flawless, but in reality it was deadly. Turned out the hospital beds were too big to maneuver though the evacuation route. In discussing the ideas for this month’s Tip of the Month with Erin Skaar, the Executive Director of Community Action Resource Enterprise, Inc., she suggested using high school students as stand-ins for residents for care center drills. I thought this was a great idea. Finally, plans need to be effective. I remember hiding under my school desk during the Air Raid drills. I’m still not sure that was a particularly effective plan. 

An Overview of our Drying Equipment

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Water testing Meter Moisture Meter

Moisture Meters (like the one above) are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials.

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.

When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform properly. Our team will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by our highly-trained technicians.

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe to monitor the drying process.

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, we can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.

Thermal Foggers dispense solvent- based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor- causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach.

The bottom line? SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County has the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 847-516-1600.

4 Commercial Water Damage Steps to Take After a Disaster

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

flooded office Flooded Commercial Property

Protective shoes and gear can protect you from hidden hazards you can not see in the water.

Hopefully, you never experience a major commercial water damage disaster in your business. With that being said, it is critical to know how to handle a water damage situation before it happens so you are adequately prepared if it does. Flooding can cause a variety of issues including structural damage. As a business owner, you can avoid additional disasters by ensuring the following steps are taken immediately after water damage occurs.

  1. Protect Yourself

The safety of you and your employees should be your first priority. Make sure to never put your hands anywhere you cannot see first. Wearing sturdy shoes when walking in flood waters can protect your feet from hidden debris in the water that can trip or cut you. Flood waters can be contaminated so wearing hip waders is also a good idea. Look out for snakes or other creatures that may have been displaced by the flood.
If you are unsure or concerned about your safety at any point in time, remain outside of the property and wait for your restoration company to arrive. They will know all of the procedures and safety precautions to take in order to keep themselves and others safe. They will also have protective gear to wear as they are assessing the situation.

  1. Shut Off Potential Hazards

If it is safe to do so, you will want to make sure that you turn off any electricity to the affected areas. You don’t, however, want them to be turned on before you are ready. Doing so can potentially mix electricity and water or create a gas leak before the flood damage can be corrected.


Your restoration company will have access to special tools that can detect moisture. This is key to ensuring the property is completely dried out and preventing any mold from growing. For example, a digital moisture meter is able to find signs of moisture behind walls

  1. Take Plenty of Photos

For insurance purposes, it is a great idea to be as thorough as possible when documenting the water damage in your property. Taking lots of pictures will help you when filing a claim with your insurance company. Get photographic evidence of the damage that was left behind by the water, plus any water that is still there. Document all that you can and then speak with your insurance company as quickly as you can to get the claims process going.

  1. Salvage What you Can

Keep in mind that it is extremely common for any property affected by a water disaster to experience mold growth. Mold only needs about twenty-four to forty-eight hours to start growing. Drying out the entire property as fast as possible is essential to preventing it from doing so.

The professional restoration company can assist you in this, but you will need to throw away anything that has been saturated for over forty-eight hours and figure out on a case to case basis what else can be saved or needs to be thrown away. Rugs and padding will always need to be tossed if they are damaged by flood waters. 

What Happens When a Bathtub Overflows in Southern McHenry County Homes?

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Bathtub Overflowing Accidents happen rather quickly. Be prepared by calling SERVPRO for water removal and effective remediation services.

SERVPRO Provides Water Damage Mitigation When In-Home Flooding Occurs in Southern McHenry County

An overflowing bathtub can cause significant damage to your home. The water goes under the flooring, behind cabinets, and can migrate to lower levels if the bathroom is on a higher level. SERVPRO provides water damage remediation that can prevent further problems when contacted right away.

Professional Water Removal Services

Whether it is an overflowing bathtub, burst pipes, or ceiling leaks, you need to quickly get the situation under control. SERVPRO arrives ASAP and provides water damage mitigation in Southern McHenry County homes, hit with in-home flooding. Services we offer include:

  • Basement flooding cleanup
  • Water damage repairs
  • Ceiling repairs from water damages
  • Water cleanup
  • Emergency services for water damage

Water Damage Restoration You Can Trust

When we arrive, we use specialized equipment to trace the water’s migration path, ensuring all moisture gets located and removed. Often we can save flooring and carpeting if called in immediately. We use the correct ratio of dehumidifiers to air movers for optimum drying. We determine the correct drying times to avoid problems that can occur when certain materials are dried too fast.

Call in the Professional Water Restoration Team

When you need quality water damage mitigation, contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County. You can reach us at (847)-516-1600.

Where Do I Start the Cleanup After a Kitchen Fire in Southern McHenry County?

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Stovetop Fire Fire damage can displace your family if not taken care of properly. Contact SERVPRO for mitigation.

Calling Experts for Fire Restoration in Your Home Puts a Solid Plan into Action for Quality Results

With any kitchen fire, the stovetop is the usual culprit. Whether you had a grease fire or another fire loss, the soot and smoke can be tough to deal with on your own. Instead of going the DIY route, the trained professionals at SERVPRO get to work fast using all of the latest techniques and technology to restore your interior to pre-damage condition.

How Do You Address a Fire Restoration Call?

Once you call us for emergency service, our skilled technicians arrive on the scene to begin the assessment and restoration. After removing all of the fire-damaged materials and debris in your kitchen, such as cabinets, lighting, drywall, and appliances, we then begin cleaning soot and smoke particles.

  • Wet smoke is generated with lower heat, often coming from burning rubber or plastics. Such smoke residue is often stubborn because it webs and becomes sticky or smears to the touch.
  •   Dry smoke develops at a higher temperature and is fast-burning, often coming from burned materials like wood and paper. This type of smoke is often easier to clean.

We know that air-quality and foul odors are an issue with any kitchen fire, so we have a range of deodorization techniques that allow us to make your interior, “Like it never even happened.”

  •   Thermal foggers, also known as dry fogging, helps to vaporize deodorizers that react on a chemical level with odor-causing residues.
  •   Air scrubbers are excellent for removing airborne particles and odorous elements from the air.

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County understands how important it is for you to get your home back to normal quickly after suffering from fire damage in your kitchen. Call us 24/7 at (847)-516-1600 to deploy a team that gets to work fast with specialized restoration services.

Southern McHenry County Businesses - Does your business have water damage?

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Office Water Damage You can trust the professionals of SERVPRO of Southern Mchenry County will get your business back up and running after a water damage

Water intrusion in one room can mean water damage in other rooms. This can only be the start of other damages. 

Water intrusions invade floors, ceilings and walls to find the lowest point in your business’ structure. Water from an overflowing bathroom stall or other water incidents will search for pinhole crevices and cracks in your floors and walls looking for a way to travel down in the building.

Some common signs of water damage in your business include:

  • Water rings on the ceilings or walls
  • Warped or cracked flooring
  • Rust on the hot water heater
  • A smell could develop

If your business has recently fallen victim to water damage, you may be wondering what you can do to mitigate your damages.  There is a critical period in which certain actions must be taken to preserve as much of your property as possible. SERVPRO focuses on keeping the business operational or getting the business back up and running quickly.

You can depend on SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County to provide reasonable prices for water damage and other services in the Southern McHenry County area.  Our restoration services include cleanup after water damage, fire damage and storm damage.  Our trained and certified IICRC technicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to begin your business’s restoration.  Whether the water damage is big or small, call us at (847)-516-1600.

Mold Removal or Remediation?

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on wall Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County today!

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.


A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO  Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same.

  • Step 1: Call SERVPRO
  • Step 2: Have one of our highly trained estimators come out for and inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Step 3: Mold Containment
  • Step 4: Air Filtration
  • Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Step 7: Restoration

The SERVPRO Standard

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

Picture of buildings with SERVPRO logo Faster to Any Size Disaster

The SERVPRO Standard

Faster to Any Size Disaster

How familiar are you with SERVPRO? How about a little reminder about what we can do for you and your family? Did you know that with over 1,700 Franchises in the U.S. and Canada, SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry and is dedicated to providing quality service..

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, we have highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We provide 24-hour emergency service and have the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. 

Our highly trained technicians respond quickly, whether you need water damage restoration or simply need your upholstery cleaned. You can depend on us for these residential services and more:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Air Duct Cleaning
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building Services

Summer Storm Safety

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

Storm Safety Picture of thunderstorm occurring

Summer arrived with greenery and colorful flowers. However, the season can also bring severe weather. The American Red Cross wants everyone to know what steps they can take to stay safe if dangerous weather is predicted for their community.

TORNADOES Summer can be the peak season for tornado activity. Tornadoes occur mostly on warm days between 3:00 and 9:00 p.m. However, tornadoes can occur anywhere, at any time of the year, at any time of the day. The Red Cross has safety steps people should take now to be ready if a tornado warning is issued for someone’s neighborhood:

  • Know your community’s warning system.
  • Pick a safe room in your home where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. This should be a basement, storm cellar or interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
  • Prepare for strong winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
  • Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
  • Know the tornado danger signs – dark, often greenish clouds, a wall cloud, cloud of debris, large hail, a funnel cloud or a roaring noise.

THUNDERSTORMS Thunderstorms are most likely to happen in the spring and summer, during the afternoon and evening. However, like tornadoes, they can happen anywhere, at any hour of the day. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people every year that tornadoes or hurricanes. The Red Cross has steps you can take if a thunderstorm is predicted for your area:

  • If thunder roars, go indoors. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning.
  • Watch for storm signs like darkening skies, flashes of lightning or increasing winds.
  • Postpone any outdoor activities. Many people who are struck by lightning are not where it is raining.
  • Take shelter in a substantial building or a vehicle with the windows closed. Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Stay away from windows.
  • Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.

FLOODING Summer can be a time of year for flooding. Communities in the Midwest and south have already seen floodwaters inundate neighborhoods. Snow melt and heavy spring rains fill rivers and streams and flooding can occur. Flash floods occur suddenly when water rises rapidly along a stream or low-lying area. People should be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice and head for higher ground when a flood or flash flood warning is issued. Other safety steps include

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.