Help your apartment residences coup with water damages in Lake In the Hills/Algonquin
Help your apartment residences coup
In an apartment community residence will share walls from the sides and from above and below, sharing spaces. If a water damage occurs, it can get out of hand quickly. As a water damage could not only affect one residence but multiple residences. You can never know when an emergency situation will occur, but it’s in your best interest as a property manager, as well as in the best interest of your residents, to always be prepared for anything. Taking these measures today to help prevent water damage in the future.
- Check On Aging Appliances Regularly – If the property you manage includes a fridge, dishwasher, and/or washer/dryer in unit, you should closely monitor the age of the appliances as well as routinely checking them for cracked or damaged hoses or connections. Washer hoses should be replaced about every five years. It’s a good idea to replace washers and dryers before there’s a problem. It may cost more money now, but it could save you a lot of money and a headache or two in the future.
- Repair Old or Damaged Roofs When It’s Dry – Don’t wait for a big rainstorm to find out that the roofing at your unit(s) needs replacing. Make routine checkups to monitor the condition of the roof(s) at your property. Make time and room in the budget to make any replacements or upgrades necessary during the dry season so that you can avoid water damage in the wet season.
- Stay in Touch with Your Residents and Know When they’re traveling – Many people go on vacations during the summer. Talk to your residents about having their water shut off while they’re gone or, alternatively, having someone check on their apartment from time to time while they’re gone. If a water leak occurs while they’re away and no one is checking in, a small problem could potentially turn into something much worse.
We're faster to any disaster
We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage, limit further damages and reduces the cost. Our professional make disasters, "Like it never even happened."
If your home or business suffers from an emergency, call (847) 516-1600 SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County.
5 Ways Commercial Restoration is Different from Residential
Commercial restoration jobs typically require more equipment on-site due to larger affected areas.
There are many ways that a commercial restoration job can be different from a residential job. Today, we share our five most important differences. Whether the job involves water, fire, or mold, knowing what to expect as a commercial client can go a long way for your restoration process and experience.
- Open Business Hours
An important factor to consider in a commercial job is if the business will continue to operate on-site during the restoration process. Many businesses cannot afford to cease operations during this time. In these cases, the restoration company should be mindful of working employees by keeping noise to a minimum and even creating accessible walkways and work areas. For mold removal jobs, all parties must understand the importance of keeping contained areas sealed. Clear communication between the restoration professionals, clients, and their employees can make all the difference in these situations.
- Size of the Area Requiring Services
The most common difference between a commercial job is the size of the area that requires services. The actual size varies from job-to-job based on several factors. For example, a pipe burst on an upper floor of a building can affect the lower floors and cause damage that may not even be visible. On the other hand, a mold removal job in the ballroom of a hotel would require the entire room being sealed and contained.
- Multiple Insurance Claims
Another difference comes in the form of insurance claims. Aside from the claim itself being larger in most commercial cases, clients such as apartment property managers can have multiple residents and their belongings affected. This can lead to the need for multiple individual insurance claims being filed. More claims mean more claim handlers in need of continual job updates along with the tenants and property manager.
- Additional Furniture and Objects
With larger affected areas, usually comes a higher amount of furniture and objects that must be removed. These objects can include filing cabinets, desks, various types of machinery and more. To properly dry carpets these items should be removed. In cases where objects cannot be moved, the restoration company must work around them, making the process trickier.
- Different Specifications
Buildings are oftentimes built with different specifications and can cause delays or complications of the restoration process. During the process of cleaning water, additional challenges can include removing excess water and even testing for dryness levels. If a commercial unit has firewalls, drywall could be twice as thick making it more difficult to locate and extract wet insulation.
Best Commercial Restoration Company
The 5 differences between residential and commercial restoration listed above show just how important it is to choose a company that knows what they are doing and what to expect. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is available 24/7 to respond to your emergency restoration call. Our highly trained professionals understand what it takes to get the job done right. We are Faster to Any Size Disaster and even have a warehouse that can store your business’s belongings. Give us a call at 847-516-1600 and get started today!
Reduce the Risk of Water & Mold Damage with these Springtime Tips
Reduce the Risk of Water & Mold Damage with these Springtime Tips
Winter is Over. Did Your Home Survive?
Springtime is upon us in Illinois. It’s time to start thinking about planting some flowers and getting your lawn mower ready to start the long mowing season. There are lots to look forward to in the spring but there are also lots of things that need to be done to make sure your home is up for the season. Below we cover five things to check in your home to make sure it is free of water damage and mold damage - and ready for springtime.
#1 Check Around Your Windows & Doors
During the winter, water can seep into cracks around your windows and doors and freeze. The freezing water can expand causing the tiny cracks to grow to allow more water to enter into your home. Check around the outside and inside of all your windows and doors. Look for cracked or missing caulking. If you find any cracks where water could enter your home, be sure to caulk or seal the holes.
#2 Check Your HVAC System
As the warm weather approaches, you need to make sure your air conditioner is ready. The first thing to check and most likely replace is the air filter. The air filter catches allergens and reduces the buildup of dust in your home’s air ducts. You should also make sure that there is no standing water or dirty air coils where mold can grow and then be pushed through the air ducts.
#3 Check Your Roof for Damage
When it’s nice out and your roof is dry, climb up there and do an inspection. Check to make sure your gutters are clear. Otherwise, water could run over the gutters and cause water to enter through your foundation and into your basement. Also, check to make sure there are no missing shingles. If you have exhaust pipes or chimneys, check around them to make sure they are sealed and there are no signs of cracking.
#4 Check Attics, Basements and Crawl Spaces for Mold
As the ground thaws out from the Winter, water make find its way into your crawl spaces and/or basements. If you have any roof damage, it could seep into your attics. Make sure to check all these areas for any signs of water. This could be standing water or water stains. If your basement or crawl space smells musty, then you may want to get a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture from the area before it leads to mold growth. If you do find mold growth or water that you can’t remove, then call the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County to help remediate the mold damage.
#5 Check Exposed Water Pipes
If you have water pipes in your basement, crawl space, and/or crawl space that you can see, make sure to check them for any drips around the joints. During the winter, these pipes could have frozen causing the pipes to expand and crack. Even a small drip can lead to extensive water damage and/or mold growth. It’s also a good idea to check any external faucets for cracks or leaks. If you find any sign of leaks, make sure to have it fixed before it leads to even worse damage.
Enjoy a Stress-Free Spring
While you can’t completely reduce the risk of water damage to your home, you can lower the risk by following the five steps mentioned above. If you should experience water damage or find mold growth when inspecting your home, contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County call them at 847-516-1600 to help clean up the damage and restore your home.
Are you covered by your Insurance?
Are you covered by your Insurance?
This is a question everyone should ask them self, Do I understand my homeowner’s insurance?
This article is from Fox Business
"Insurance requires you to think about bad occurrences … medical problems, car accidents, emergency home repairs. But although it may sound pessimistic to dwell on what could happen (carpe diem, anyone?), it’s important to protect yourself from some of life’s biggest surprises When it comes to protecting your home, it’s not just about safeguarding against structural damage or theft—it’s just as much about feeling secure in where you live. If disaster strikes, your focus should be on reclaiming your sense of stability. The last thing you should worry about is money.
- What It Covers
A typical policy will pay for damage to your property and your possessions in the event of certain storms, fire, theft or vandalism. Like renter’s insurance, it also provides liability coverage if someone gets hurt on your property and decides to sue. Homeowner’s insurance also covers shelter costs, so you don’t have to face crazy hotel bills if you’re temporarily displaced from your house.
Homeowner’s insurance can protect belongings outside the home, too. If something is stolen from your car, auto insurance won’t cover it—but your homeowner’s policy likely will. “Most policies will cover your belongings when they are traveling with you,” Derrick says. “If you have a $1,200 laptop and it gets lost by the airline, call your insurance agent—right after you file the claim with the airline, of course.”
- What It Doesn’t Cover
A standard policy has exclusions, including earth movements (landslides, earthquakes, sinkholes), power failure, war, nuclear hazard, government action, faulty zoning, bad repair or workmanship, defective maintenance and flooding. Windstorms are typically covered, including tornadoes, although insurance companies exclude tornadoes or hurricanes in some high-risk areas.
Water damage is tricky. As a rule of thumb, water from above (rainwater or a burst pipe in an upstairs apartment) is usually covered, but water from below (backed-up sewers or ground flooding) generally isn’t. If your region is prone to floods and earthquakes, you should consider supplemental coverage.
- Why You Should Shop Around
Before committing to a policy, take the time to research an agent whom you trust—preferably one with good reviews online or via a personal recommendation.
Bottom line? Don’t just shop for a policy. Make sure you also select the best agent.
- Which Preventive Actions Can Reduce Premiums
It may sound like common sense to have a working smoke detector, but did you know that it might also help you land a lower insurance quote? The same goes for a burglar alarm. According to insuranceagents.com, you can reduce your premium by about 5% if you install something as a simple as a deadbolt, and up 15-20% for a burglar alarm system.
Insurance companies price your premium based on how much risk they foresee, so you can reduce the premium by reducing your liability risk, thanks to some smart preventive measures. For example, if you have a pool, you may be able to reduce the likelihood of a claim—and thus, possibly lower your premium—by installing a fence and a pool cover to minimize the risk of a neighborhood kid wandering onto your property and falling in.
- How Replacement Coverage Differs From Market Value
There are two key distinctions that every homeowner should know: “replacement cost” versus “market value.” Replacement cost covers repairing or replacing your entire home. Market value is how much someone would pay to buy your home and accompanying land in its current downtrodden condition.
When you’re considering the type of coverage to take out, a policy that’s based on market value is typically less expensive but, as State Farm puts it, “for a cash-strapped homeowner, buying a policy based on market value offers the best chance to recoup at least partial expenses after a loss.” In other words, you won’t recoup as much in the event of a serious disaster.
For those who have a good emergency fund in place, Derrick says that there is a way to possibly get more substantial coverage and still pay lower premiums: “You might consider getting a policy that covers more in terms of replacing or rebuilding your property, but with a higher deductible.”
- Why You Shouldn’t Wait to File a Claim
When buying a policy, make sure to ask about time limits to report a claim, and then abide by them! If you wait too long, you may not be eligible for benefits—especially if waiting has made the problem worse. David Baxter works for a residential and commercial restoration company in Florida, and he remembers a customer with water damage who waited almost a month to do anything about it. “When the mold set in, and he decided to call, his insurance didn’t cover him because it was outside of the 14-day window required for reporting the problem,” Baxter says.
- Why You Should Write Everything Down
“Homeowners must document everything that occurs during a loss, do as much as possible to mitigate [the loss]—and document such mitigation,” Garcia says.
In addition to saving receipts, contracts and appraisals, document phone calls by writing down who you spoke to and when. And be sure to stow it in a secure place! Don’t want to invest in a safe? Consider keeping digital copies online using a program like Dropbox.
- How Jewelry Is Covered
When David Cohen lost his wife’s rings, he was relieved that his homeowner’s policy covered jewelry—but it was only up to a maximum of $3,000. “My wife gave me her rings to hold,” he says. “So I promptly put them in my jacket pocket … and then forgot about the rings when I took the jacket to the cleaners. As you can imagine, they were gone.”
Within three weeks, the Cohens received a check from their insurance company, but they were still out a good deal of money because his wife’s engagement ring was worth $6,000 alone. The lesson? When signing up for homeowner’s insurance, note the limits on jewelry. “Most people don’t realize that things like wedding rings aren’t usually covered by the basic limits in their policies,” Derrick says. “You can get an appraisal at your jeweler, and then consider buying a supplemental policy to cover it.”
- Why Good Maintenance Matters
Insurance companies would rather pay as little as possible to repair damage, so they prize early detection and prevention. Deacon Hayes and his wife paid for a routine checkup on their air conditioner because they live in Arizona and wanted to make sure that the system was ready for summer. “The specialist told us that the unit was on its last legs because of a hail storm,” Hayes recalls. Thanks to his diligence, Hayes’s insurance policy ended up paying for a new $4,000 A/C unit.
According to Derrick, one very important thing to keep an eye on is your water bill. “If you notice an unusual spike or trend upward (and it’s not just because it’s 100 degrees outside, and you’re watering your lawn more), you could have a leak somewhere,” she says. “Finding the source early could save you from dealing with a bigger headache when a major pipe bursts.”
- How to Save by Bundling
One way to save money is to bundle your homeowner’s insurance with other policies that you already own. “But don’t just buy a bunch of policies in order to ‘save’ money,” Derrick cautions. “For example, it makes a lot of sense to have your car and homeowner’s policies with the same company because you’ll usually get some kind of discount. However, if you don’t have a need for life insurance, don’t buy a policy just because the agent says you’ll save money on other policies.” After all, if you’re spending money on something that you don’t need, where are the savings?
If you have any questions please call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.
Fire Safety Saves Lives
Fire Safety Saves Lives
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?
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.
- Phone Number for The Power Company
- Flash Lights
- Emergency Candles
- Power Bank for cell phone (Make sure it stays Charged)
- First Aid Kit
- Snacks (Please keep in mind anyone that may have allergies or may be diabetic)
- Battery powered radio
- Hand sanitizer
- The name an address of the dedicated emergency shelter for your area
- 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?
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
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
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 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,
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.
INSURANCE INSTITUTE FOR BUSINESS & HOME SAFETY
Property Casualty 360 A National Underwriter Company
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/