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Fire Safety Saves Lives

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety Saves Lives Fire Safety Saves Lives

Fire Safety

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County encounters a lot of fires that ended with everyone safely out of the vicinity thanks to smoke detectors that end up looking like this.  

Follow these tips from the American Red Cross to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Test smoke alarms every month. If they're not working, change the batteries.
  • Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  • If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT, and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

If you do have a fire in your home or business call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County to help clean it up at 847-516-1600.

Source: American Red Cross

Are You Prepared for Power Outages?

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for power outages, whether it is at your home or your place of business? Do you have a designated area that has a supply bin with items that are needed in case of a power outage? This is something every business and household should have in case of a power outage. Below is a guide that we have put together to help get you started on being more prepared should a power outage event strike your area.

Remember that a business and a home will have different needs. For example, a business should have either emergency backup lights or possibly something as simple as a flashlight at each employee’s desk or work area.

Depending on the time of year that the power outage happens it may require that you find a way to stay warm or a way to cool down. Emergency blankets are a helpful way to stay warm, and you can put on extra clothing.

If it is hot and you experience a power outage cover the windows to block the sun from coming in and go to the lowest level in the building. Wear the least amount of clothes as possible and stay as hydrated as you can but remember you may have a limited supply of water.

Here are some items that should be in your emergency power outage bin.

  1. Phone Number for The Power Company
  2. Flash Lights
  3. Batteries
  4. Emergency Candles
  5. Lighters
  6. Power Bank for cell phone (Make sure it stays Charged)
  7. First Aid Kit
  8. Snacks (Please keep in mind anyone that may have allergies or may be diabetic)
  9. Battery powered radio
  10. Water
  11. Hand sanitizer
  12. The name an address of the dedicated emergency shelter for your area
  13. Emergency Blankets
  • Have an inventory check list on the top of the bin and make sure it stays current and nothing is expired

 Please remind everyone to keep the refrigerator and freezer closed, to only open when necessary. Water must be conserved as much as possible. 

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Removal?

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Removal? Visible Mold By Window

Don't be caught off guard after you already have a mold problem. Coverage varies from policy to policy, so read your policy carefully and if you have any questions, call your insurance agent. Some policies contain exclusions, stating they do not cover mold removal and others cover mold removal under certain circumstances. They may also cover the removal but not the testing itself.

If you think you might have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County. A professional trained in mold remediation will examine the structure for any visible signs of mold. If mold is found, you will be asked to approve and sign a work authorization form prior to any mold cleanup or related work being performed. The technician may also recommend you leave the affected area while the mold cleanup and associated containment process is being safely completed.

If a visual inspection does not reveal mold and you feel that you may still have a mold issue, we can recommend an Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional with specialized equipment to access the situation.

"Remember, no mold is good mold!"

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

Preparing for a Disaster Caused by Nature

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Preparing for a Disaster Caused by Nature

With the increasing amount of weather predicting technology, we are often able to determine storms long before they happen. However, natural disaster can happen more without much warning. Though, it is important to be prepared and understand what it takes to be prepared. It is often joked about that the only job that you won’t get fired for being wrong is being a weather forecaster. Whether we believe the storm will affect us directly or not, we need to trust the possibility that if a storm is predicted to hit a specific area and prepare of the worst.

How should you prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster?

-Prepare to be without electricity for several days. Here is a list of very basic items you should have on hand:

>You should have a couple flashlights with extra batteries. Candles and matches.

>Food that will not spoil and does not need to be heated to be eaten or kept cold.

>Plenty of bottled water. Some sources say as much as 1 gallon of water per person per day.

>Blankets and clothing stored in a plastic container that won’t get wet if flooding should occur.

>First aid kit.

>At least a week’s worth of any prescription medication and any over the counter medication you may take.

>Toiletries such as paper towels, toilet paper, shampoo, body wash, tooth paste and tooth brushes, anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitizer.

Remember that stores and gas stations can get overwhelmingly busy when everyone is trying to prepare for a storm. Be patient and understanding during this time. It is easy to become anxious as no one truly knows what will happen in the days or hours to come.

-Watch the news and stay current on what is happening. In some areas evacuations may be necessary. It is important to know what is going on and what safety measures are being recommended.

-Create a family communication plan. In case you get separated from your loved ones, make sure you have a plan of how you would get back in touch with them. Often we hear on the news that family members were evacuated separately from one another. If this were to happen, you would want to have a plan to get back in touch with your loved ones so that you know quicker that they are alright.

-Be flexible with your plans. Circumstances may change in a moment’s notice and it is important that we remain flexible in our plans. The area you’re in may not be expecting initially to get hit with the eye of the storm. However, this can change very quickly and officials may decide to evacuate your area. You need to be prepared to do so with very little time so that you and your family can get to a safe zone.

Tips for Surviving the Polar Vortex this Winter

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tips for Surviving the Polar Vortex this Winter Surviving the Polar Vortex

What is The Polar Vortex and How Do I Prepare My Home For It?

Over the last few years, the term “Polar Vortex” has become one of the most popular buzzwords used when referring to the frigidly cold temperatures we experience during the winter months in many regions of the United States. But what most people don’t know is that the polar vortex isn’t a new phenomenon; it’s something that exists year-round, and which only occasionally impacts the severity of North America’s winter weather.

What Is the Polar Vortex?

The polar vortex is an area of low pressure and circulating cold air that exists year-round at the Earth’s poles. During winter months in the Northern Hemisphere, the vortex in the North Pole can expand and send that cold air down the jet stream, all the way to our front doors here in the U.S. Although the polar vortex is too high in the atmosphere to be associated with any kind of large-snowfall-producing storm system, it can sometimes be the source of the bitter cold we feel coming from the Arctic regions.

So, other than making the walk to our mailboxes unbearable, how does this cold air affect us and our homes? Well, subzero temperatures can cause problems such as ice dams and frozen pipes that, if not attended to, can cause some serious damage to your home.

Ice Dams

Ice dams are ridges of ice that form on the edge of your roof and prevent melting snow from draining off your house. These dams often result in the melted snow leaking into the house, causing water damage to your home’s interior. Some things you can do to prevent ice dams from forming are: removing the snow off your roof (for example, with a roof rake) and/or increasing the insulation in your ceiling or attic. For more detailed information about ice dams and how to prevent them, 

Freezing Pipes

Another damaging consequence of frigid temperatures is freezing pipes. Water that freezes in your pipes exerts so much pressure that it can actually cause a pipe to burst! Some helpful tips to prevent this from happening in your home are:

  • Properly insulate all your accessible pipes with pipe insulation.
  • Before the winter months, seal all cracks, holes, and other openings on exterior walls to prevent cold air from getting in.
  • Disconnect all your hoses and install insulating covers over the host bibs.
  • When cold air is predicted, let all your faucets drip to prevent the water from freezing inside.
    • If freezing does occur, this will prevent pressure build up as well.
  • Install a water leak protection system in your home to alert you when a leak is detected. These can be found at a plumbing supply store.
  • Before leaving your home unoccupied for an extended period of time, shut off your water supply and drain your water system.
  • Complete regular maintenance of your furnace and monitor the temperature of your home when you are away. Some examples of how you can monitor your home temperature include:
    • Install a smart thermostat that allows you to monitor the internal temperature of your home remotely.
    • Hire a service to install heat sensors and provide monitoring service that will alert you if the temperature drops below the desired level.
    • Have a friend, neighbor, or family member check on your home while you are away.

By taking steps to prevent and treat ice dams and freezing pipes, you’ll ultimately help prevent the more inconvenient and expensive problems that a polar vortex brings.

Sources: 
INSURANCE INSTITUTE FOR BUSINESS & HOME SAFETY

Property Casualty 360                                    A National Underwriter Company                      

How Long Do You Have to Escape a House Fire?

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How Long Do You Have to Escape a House Fire? Know 2 Ways

How Long Do You Have to Escape a House Fire?

How long do you have to escape a house fire? It's way less time than you think.

Everyone knows not to dawdle if their house is on fire, but you may believe you have some time to make a safe exit. Well, think again.

Gail McGovern, the president of the Red Cross reveals that you only have two (just two!) minutes to get out of your home before you might get stuck in the flames. This is because it only takes about five minutes for a fire to consume your entire house. And with one in seven people dying in a house fire each day, there's little room for error.

Practicing fire safety certainly requires vigilance, but it doesn't take too much effort to avoid a tragedy. First, make sure you have smoke alarms in your home (5 million American homes don't). You need one in every bedroom, one outside every sleeping area, and at least one on every floor. Make sure the detectors are working and refresh their batteries when you change the clocks for the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time.

Also, it's important to practice fire drills with your family. You should go over possible routes to get out of your house fast, and consider getting escape ladders for any rooms on upper floors. Choose a meeting place outside that's a safe distance from your home.

And of course, you should take steps to prevent fires from happening in the first place. Watch the video to learn which common mistakes you might be making.

When fire and water damage strikes, a fast response is critical. We’re dedicated to responding immediately, day or night, to your Southern McHenry County home or business. A faster response helps to prevent secondary damage and to reduce cost.

We are available to assist you 24/7/365.

Source: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/      http://www.redcross.org/

Six Common Causes of Fires In Your Home

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Six Common Causes of Fires In Your Home Grease Fire

Six Common Causes of Fires In Your Home

These below causes are preventable if caution is practiced.

Electrical

Electrical fires are another common type of home fires. One of the leading culprits is the over-use of extension cords. Extension cords are designed to safely pull a certain amount of amps, so make sure to read labels and know the limitations of the cord you are using. We recommend having an electrical inspection performed by a certified electrician at least once a year.

Cooking Incidents

The leading cause of residential fires are incidents related to cooking. Cooking incidents actually make up about 42% of reported house fires in the country! For example, an oven or stove left on and unattended is a disaster waiting to strike.

Unsupervised Children

Teaching children about fire safety is definitely something every parent should consider. It is extremely common for items such as lighter and matches to be left within reach of children who are not aware of the dangers of fire.

Smoking

Smoking is the source of many house fires and leads to almost 1,000 deaths a year. Lit cigarettes that have been left unattended, forgotten about can make contact with flammable items in your home and lead to a fire. Another common occurrence is smokers falling asleep while smoking in their home.  We recommend not smoking in your home or quitting altogether, however, if you choose to smoke in your home you should always make sure to extinguish your cigarette.

Candles

Candles should never be left unattended but oftentimes are. When leaving a room with a burning candle make sure to blow it out or take it along with you if necessary. Forgotten candles are very dangerous and can quickly lead to a fire disaster.

Dryers

Dryers are all too often forgotten!  It is important to remember to empty out your dryer vents and be certain that they are properly vented. Remember to maintain your dryer by cleaning the vents at least once a year.

When Fire Disaster Strikes

There are many possible causes and contributors to residential fires. Being aware of the causes listed above will go a long way in helping to prevent fire damage or much worse in your home. In case of an emergency, please be sure to dial 911 to reach a local emergency responder. Also, keep in mind that SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County performs excellent fire restoration services and is available 24/7 to respond to your needs.

Source: NFPA (National Fire Protection Association

Why You Want to Use SERVPRO OF SOUTHERN MCHENRY COUNTY for Carpet Cleaning.

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Why You Want to Use SERVPRO OF SOUTHERN MCHENRY COUNTY for Carpet Cleaning. Clean Carpet

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County has a variety of carpet cleaning methods to attack different kinds of carpet and stains. This service can clean short and long-piled carpets. We can precondition, rinse and treat carpet while keeping the color intact. Additionally, SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is one of the few services available 24 hours a day for emergencies, offering both fire and water restoration services for both business and residential properties

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County of Southern McHenry County provides all the necessary services for commercial carpet cleaning. Whether you run an office space or a storefront, you can contract with SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County for carpet cleaning and several additional services. The company can perform maintenance cleaning, allowing you to have regular visits from a cleaning technician. Upholstery and rugs are also an easy service for SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County to tackle. If your business falls victim to fire or water damage, you can also hire this SERVPRO to help restore your space.

SERVPRO OF SOUTHERN MCHENRY COUNTY can help you clean the carpets and upholstery in your RV, boat or car. Other trouble spots such as tile and grout, air ducts and vents are also standard services for SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County. We have all the additional services to do leather cleaning. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County can meet all of your cleaning needs. Please call us at 847-516-1600.

Why Choose SERVPRO?

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Why Choose SERVPRO? "Like it Near Even Happened"

Why Choose SERVPRO?

 We understand you have the choice in deciding which restoration company you want when disaster occurs. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County responds immediately using the most advanced currently available equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. We closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly by using our advance software applications.

We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is dedicated to responding immediately to water emergencies. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

We're Highly Trained Water Damage Specialists

SERVPRO specializes in water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage restoration training with an emphasis on monitoring and documenting the drying process until completion.

  • Water Damage Restoration Certified Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying  specialized Technicians

We Use Most Advanced and Current Water Restoration Equipment and Techniques

Our advanced equipment helps to detect hidden moisture, extract the standing water quickly, and thoroughly clean and dry your home and belongings. We finish the job with professional deodorization and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.

When disaster strikes your home or business, get the professionals. Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600 today. 

Tips to Prevent and Protect Pipes from Freezing During The Winter

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Tips to Prevent and Protect Pipes from Freezing During The Winter Tips to Prevent and Protect Pipes from Freezing

Why Pipe Freezing is Such a Problem

Water has a unique property going from a liquid to a solid it expands as it freezes. This expansion causes tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Most frequently pipes that freeze are:

Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor water faucets, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.

Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.

Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

How to Help Pipes From Freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.

Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.

Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.

Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.

Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes.

Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

Open bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

If there should be a pipe burst call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.