Recent Posts

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.


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 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 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 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 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.

Tips to Prevent Smoke & Fire Damage to Your Business

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Tips to Prevent Smoke & Fire Damage to Your Business Tips to Prevent Fire & Smoke Damage to Your Southern McHenry County Business

Reduce Stacks of Paper Items in Your Office

Do you have a stack of papers lying in the corner of your office that is growing bigger every day? Items like papers, magazines, boxes, and other paper products in your office is fuel for a potential fire. Stacks of paper items not only provides fuel for a fire but it can also hide potential fire hazards. Storage boxes in closets and storage areas rather in the corner of your office or blocking stairwells. Try keeping your desk and office clean and free of all items to reduce the risks of fire. Use file cabinets and drawers to store papers and documents.

Safely Store Flammable Chemicals and Liquids

If you’re working with flammable liquids, chemicals, and/or solvents, make sure you store them in the proper area accordingly to OSHA or fire department regulations. Some flammable materials and chemicals may need to be stored in specialized cabinets according to local rules and regulations. For flammable liquids and materials that don’t require specialized storage, you still should ensure that they are stored away from any heat source. You also need to make sure that if the liquids or materials off-gas creating flammable vapors that you have proper ventilation. If you don’t have proper ventilation, the vapors can build up and ignite from a small spark like a light switch being flipped on or a plug being inserted into an outlet.

Designate a Smoking Areas

If you have employees who smoke, designate an area where smoking is only allowed. It’s preferable that the area is located outside to reduce smoke odors in the business and fire risks from cigarettes that weren’t fully extinguished. You also need to make sure that you have a proper receptacle for employees to discard their extinguished cigarette butts. Also, make sure that the designated smoking area is away from flammable liquids and materials, as well as, landscaping that could fuel a fire like dried grasses, mulch, and dead leaves.

Report Electrical Problems

It’s important to let your employees know to report any electrical problems immediately before they result in a potential fire. This could be exposed wiring, frayed cords, faulty wiring, electrical equipment and sockets near water sources, etc. If you notice an electrical problem in your business, call an electrician to fix it if needed. Don’t try to fix any wiring issues yourself as this can also lead to an increased risk of fire due to inexperience and mistakes. It’s also important to keep access to electrical boxes clear so you can quickly cut the power to an area if there is a risk of fire.

Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets

One of the most common causes of fire in a business is an overloaded electrical outlet. An overloaded outlet can cause an increase of heat to the outlet, plugs, and wires. The heat can melt the insulation around the wires causing them to touch and cause sparks. The best scenario is that the circuit breaker flips before the wires short and cause sparks. If the circuit doesn’t flip off, then the heat and the sparks can quickly lead to an electrical fire. If you’re always tripping a circuit or notice your desktop lights dimming, then you might be overloading the outlet. To reduce the load, move some electronics to other outlets.

Be Safe & Be Smart

These are just a few tips that you can follow to reduce the risks of smoke and fire damage to your business. The best advice to keep your business safe from fire is to be smart and be aware. Use common sense when at your business. For instance, while some businesses allow scented candles to be burned by employees, it might be smart to not permit this. The same goes for space heaters. While you don’t want to be a mean business owner by prohibiting things like candles and space heaters, you also don’t want to increase the risk of fire occurring at your business. I think most workers will understand that safety is more important than convenience and comfort in these situations.

Contact the Fire & Smoke Damage Professionals if a Fire Does Occur

Hopefully, your business will never experience a fire. Not only can a fire cause a lot of property damage, it can also lead to a lot of downtime and loss of revenue. If you should, unfortunately, experience a fire at your Southern McHenry County business, contact the fire and smoke damage experts at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County. They’ll be able to quickly clean up and restore any damage that has occurred to your business from fire. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County has the resources and knowledge to handle any size disaster. Contact them today for fire damage restoration.   

Why Use SERVPRO Professionals for Mold and Mildew?

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

BACKGROUND: Mold grows in filaments called “hyphae”, and a network of these hyphae are called a “mycelium”. The "hyphal tip" is the part that eats bacteria.

Disinfectants work by killing the bacteria that the mold’s hyphal tip absorbs. What does that mean, exactly? Disinfectants first stop the growth of mold by preventing there from being a food source (the bacteria).

With regards to mold control paints, those will prevent the growth of mildew and mold, but won’t stop or kill existing mold necessarily, so it is important to have your walls treated and washed BEFORE applying this kind of paint. (Don’t know how to treat your walls for such a project? That’s where SERVPRO comes in!)

There is a crash course in mold on our blog if you want to arm yourself with even more knowledge.

But what about existing mold? Well, if the mold is growing on a non-porous surface (think linoleum), the disinfectants will kill the mold, and when it’s removed, you don’t have to worry about regrowth. It is only on non-porous surfaces that bleach can be used as a disinfectants; for any other surfaces, professional-grade equipment and solutions are the standard.

On a porous surface (think wood) the roots of the hyphae are deeper inside, which means spraying and removing it won’t be as effective, and regrowth is a possibility. Letting a treatment sit over a period of time will discourage mold growth, and kill the roots of the mold inside the structure.


  • Stay out of all affected areas
  • Turn off HVAC system and turn off all fans


  • DO NOT touch or disturb areas with mold or water damage.
  • DO NOT blow any air across affected surfaces
  • DO NOT attempt to dry the areas yourself.
  • DO NOT pour bleach on or utilize any other disinfectants onto the mold.

If you suspect a mold issue, let our skilled team of professionals at SERVPRO know.

Call us at 847-516-1600.

Happy holidays!

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Happy holidays! Happy holidays!

The holidays are in full effect! Which means love, laughter, spreading cheer and family celebrations. Except, some holidays bring unforeseen disasters like a water heater leaks, a frozen pipe, Christmas tree fire or your burnt turkey . You really just never know what's going to happen, but that's why SERVPRO is a nationwide franchise. We run by expecting the unexpected. We also take pride in knowing that we are faster to any size disaster. The holidays are the worst time to add any more stress other than decorating and figuring what presents to get who. If you've used our services in the past, we want to thank you! You're part of the reason we can keep doing this day in and day out. We want to make your life easier, especially around the holidays. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is here for YOU! Have a happy holiday.

Ten Reasons to Use SERVPRO

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Ten Reasons to Use SERVPRO Detailed Reporting

Businesses and people rely on SERVPRO to quickly restore damaged property for many reasons. Here they are just 10.

1. We Get It
SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County understands your situation. You want to keep costs down, repair the damage, and get back to normal. Those are our goals, too.

2. We Respond To You Immediately
You can reach us 24/7. When a disaster strikes we respond as quickly as possible and can draw on more than 1,700 U.S. and Canadian locations to get the right equipment and right professionals to you faster than other companies.

3. SERVPRO Is Qualified
Our restoration and repair team members have the best training in the industry. Our results will create a significant difference for you.

4. You’re Part Of Our Team
We work with you and for you. You are in charge. You receive a complete explanation of the work we will do and why it needs to be done a certain way. Like you, we don’t appreciate surprises.

5. We Use The Latest Advance Technology
The past few years we have seen a rapid advancement in the technology and techniques used in the restoration industry. These advancements allow SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County to restore your property to preloss condition reliably, quickly and more effectively.

6. We Practice The Golden Rule Of Restoration
Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County professionals practice the golden rule, "Restore whenever possible, replace only when necessary." We make sure pretesting is completed on every loss to determine restorability.

7. For Claim And Other Purposes, Your Loss Is Itemized
SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County can give you and your insurance adjuster an itemized loss inventory. You will receive a Xactware Contents tracking report with pictures of important items.

8. We’ll Help You Prevent Losses, Not Just Deal With Them
Our services start with prevention. We’ll come out to your business or home and do a review of how you can protect yourself, your family, your business, and your property from potential losses. There’s another old rule we like: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Check out the SERVPRO Ready Plan.

9. We Handle Any Loss From A Natural Disaster—Big Or Small
Have multiple locations? No problem. Suffer a small loss from water or fire or wind? We can handle it. Have a massive, complex disaster to recover from? That’s within our scope of services, too.

10. We’re Approved, Certified, And Experienced
We’re trained to IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) standards in fire and water cleanup and restoration. Our professionals attend SERVPRO continuing education classes. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County has been in business for more than 17 years serving the Southern McHenry County and surrounding area. Hard-earned results have made SERVPRO a leader in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry.

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County
IICRC Certified
Call 847-516-1600
24 hour emergency service

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Three Reasons Why to Use SERVPRO for Your Commercial Loss  

12/1/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Three Reasons Why to Use SERVPRO for Your Commercial Loss    We are ready to help

When a commercial building is in good condition, real estate property managers, landlords or business owner won’t expect the smallest water leak in the ceiling to cause a major problem. However, an unforeseen pipe bursting can cause a catastrophe due to flooding. Water damage is a major disaster and, if not properly handled, it can cause a building to have mold and a deteriorating structure due to water damage.

Here are three reasons to use SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County to restore, clean, and repair commercial buildings after water damage:

  • Avoid Loss of Business: When a flood happens, business owners aren’t prepared to close up shop and lose business over it. With this in mind, professionals who work closely with commercial restoration will help bring your businesses back up and running. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County offers cleaning services to help restore businesses and have them quickly back up and running without major damage. “Like Never Even Happen”
  • Remove The Water Damage: To fix the situation in a timely manner, property owners, landowners or business owner hire professionals who specialize in water damage restoration to repair the structure, flooring, and any items that can be saved. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is here to help with water damage restoration and cleanup restoration.
  • Prevent Further Damage: Water damage can cause an unpleasant odor; it also sinks into the walls and flooring causing discoloration and mold. Drying the area with excessive heat causes humidity to increase; this leads to bacteria. To prevent this, commercial businesses must act quickly as possible by calling an emergency cleaning/restoration service.

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County restoration services include water damage restoration, mold remediation, storm restoration, fire damage repair, and commercial cleaning services. Their professionals understand how important it is to fix an emergency situation and keep a business operating. To schedule an appointment, call them at (847) 516-1600.