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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Timing is Everything

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

"Like it never even happened"

Water leaks within a business can seep into flooring, carpets, baseboards and walls while moving throughout the structure, potentially creating mildew and staining walls.

Quick action is critical in avoiding costly repairs and expensive downtime. The faster you call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County, the faster we can get there, and the cheaper it will be for you.

Our SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County team understands that a water damage event can not only disrupt your facility, but it can also interrupt day-to-day business functions- possible closing the business and ultimately affecting your revenues. Our goal is to get in there and take care of your facilities damage as quickly as we can.

Even small fires must be addressed quickly in order to limit secondary damage and to lessen business interruption.

By arriving quickly, mitigating the damage to the structure and contents, and providing effective cleanup and restoration services. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County will help you reopen the doors as soon as possible.

Call 847-516-1600.

Hail Storm What to Check After

7/28/2019 (Permalink)

hail from a storm in Cary

While hail is a pretty cool phenomenon when seen on TV or from afar, it’s a scary and many times dangerous situation when experienced first hand. These frozen balls of ice falling from the sky can cause a lot of damage to cars, businesses, and homes. So if you should experience a hail storm, the first step is to take immediate cover. Once the storm has passed, it’s then a good time to check your property for damage. Below we will cover common areas to check around your home and business for damage from hail.

The Damage Hail Can Cause

When it comes to hail damage, the first thing many people think of is cars. We’ve all seen the news stories where cars are pelted with hail during a storm creating little dents in the car hoods and roofs. But what most people don’t think about is that if hail can cause that damage to metal, imagine what it can do to a home or business?

Check the Roof

One of the most common damages from hail is damage to a roof. The hail can tear up the shingles of a home resulting in roof leaks. Even if there are no signs of leaks from the roof damage, you may still want to check for any dings or pot marks in the shingles. If there is enough damage, many times the insurance company will cover the damages due to the hail storm.

Check the Siding

Another common area of homes that hail can damage is the siding. This is particularly true with old, brittle siding. If the hail storm brings with it high winds, the hail can be blown into the siding of homes rather than dropping straight down. The hail can tear apart the shingles causing water to seep into the exterior walls resulting in water damage to the insulation, the wood framing, and eventually into the drywall.

Check the Windows

Again, if the hail storm has severe winds, the hail can be blown into windows and doors causing glass cracks or breaks. Even if the windows and doors are broken, the hail can also cause damage to the seals around the windows and glass which can lead to water seeping into the home. It’s always a good idea to do a thorough check of all the windows and doors that were hit by hail for any damages.

Check the Air Conditioner

Luckily there’s only one major appliance that is found on the outside of the home. That is the air conditioner. While air conditioners are usually built to withstand the brutal Indiana seasonal weather, large and damaging hail storms is one thing that air conditioners may not be able to stand. The hail can damage the cooling coils of the air conditioner. The coils are usually protected by a wire cage to can block objects from hitting the coils directly, hail is usually small enough that it can pass by the cage and cause direct damage to the coils. In severe hail storms, hail can also damage any wires or power supplies to the air conditioner. Again, it’s always a good idea to check the air conditioner and make sure nothing has been blown into it during the storm or been damaged from the hail.

Check the Gutters

Not only can hail dent and ding the gutter system, it can also cause further damage from the weight of the hail piling up into the gutter system. It’s not uncommon to see a gutter system pulled or torn away from a home due to the excessive weight of the hail piling up in the gutters. If you are up on the roof to check for damage to the shingles, you can also check the gutters for damage too. Look for dents in the gutter systems and areas where the gutter is drooping or even pulled away from the house.

Call the Hail & Storm Damage Cleanup Experts

If you should suffer hail and storm damage to your home, call the cleanup experts at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County. They have the knowledge and expertise to handle any type of storm damage. With their extensive training and state-of-the-art equipment, the pros at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County can handle water and mold damage that can result from heavy hail storms, wind damage, and flooding. 847-516-1600

How Fast Will Mold Appear After Water Damage to Your Cary Home?

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

How Fast Will Mold Appear After Water Damage to Your Southern McHenry County Home?

While water damage to your home is bad enough, there could be more secondary damages just waiting to happen if you do not get rid of the water and moisture in time. It takes just a little water for mold to start growing, so when your home has a water damage from a flood, broken pipe or faulty sump pump; there are a lot of places that mold can grow rapidly. So how fast does mold start to appear after water damage to your home?

It Depends.

There’s really no clear answer to how rapidly mold can appear after there has been water damage. If you ask mold remediation experts, you will most often hear 24-48 hours. Many water damage and mold remediation companies have observed this first hand going to homes that have suffered from water damage. On the other hand, these same experts have seen homes that have experienced water damage and have found no mold.

It gets even more confusing when you look at research that scientists have performed to determine the growth of mold. In a 2006 article in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene titled “Controlled Study of Mold Growth and Cleaning Procedure on Treated and Untreated Wet Gypsum Wallboard in an Indoor Environment”, researchers took drywall and immersed the bottom inch in water. The researchers inspected on daily basis the drywall pieces over a period of 8 weeks for mold growth. Some of the drywall was treated with primer paint while others were left untreated and bare.

Surprisingly, the researchers didn’t discover any sign of mold growth until 2 weeks into the testing. This is obviously goes beyond the typical 24-48 hour window that is typically repeated and many times observed out in affected structures. These results only tested drywall and in one environment. The results have obviously differed in affected homes that have experienced water damage and visible mold growth. So what is different from these situations? To answer that, we have to understand how mold grows in the first place.

Mold: How Does It Grow or Happen?

Mold is microscopic in size and doesn’t really become apparent until it has grown or colonized. Mold is spread by mold spores which are carried by wind currents and are present in the air outside.. While there are more mold spores present in the air outside, mold spores also exist in our homes but at lower levels. Once mold spores are introduced to the right amount of moisture, humidity, temperature and food source, they begin to grow in our homes. If left untreated, the mold can quickly grow out of control.

So what is a food source for mold? Mold needs a dead organic substance to feed off of and grow. If you look around your home, it is full of dead organic materials like wood, fabrics, drywall, insulation, leather, dirt and dust. With the right conditions like a flooded basement or burst pipe, mold can multiple quickly. So how do you stop mold? Is there anything to prevent it?

Stop Growth of Mold and Damage Before It Begins

The key to stopping mold growth before it begins is timing. If your home should suffer water damage, call the water damage cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County. They will remove all the water and treat any water damaged parts of your home before mold can take hold. If mold has started to appear, they can also remediate the mold as well. While you can’t remove the food source normally, you can take away the water and the moisture thus stopping mold from growing or happening.

Contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County today for water damage cleanup & restoration, as well as, mold remediation. 

Source: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene

Cleaning Different Types of Smoke and Soot in Cary/Algonquin/Lake In The Hills Home

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO techs cleaning Soot from a Ceiling

When a fire occurs in your Southern McHenry County home the heat and flames are not the only fire damage causing problems to be concerned about. Smoke generated from the blaze burning structural materials and other components can travel throughout an entire home and ruin its contents. Residue from the smoke can permanently stain contents and building materials requiring them to be replaced. In some cases, it is possible to salvage contents and materials by cleaning and removing soot residues. The level of difficulty for doing so is contingent on the type of soot that is present in the property following the fire.

Wet Smoke Versus Dry Smoke

The length of time and overall clean ability of soot strongly depends on how wet or dry the smoke that caused the damage was. Dry smoke is a result of the blaze burning natural materials quickly and with a significant supply of oxygen. Wet smoke occurs when a fire burns synthetic materials at a slow pace with very little oxygen. It is extremely common for a fire to create both types of smoke while burning.

The easiest soot to clean is caused by dry smoke. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County uses dry sponges to wipe dry soot off and also can clean it using water-based chemicals. As an additional step, it is very helpful to vacuum carpets and fabrics to remove loose soot and debris. Removing soot from smoke that is too wet, requires much more aggressive cleaning methods that can be extremely difficult or even impossible in some cases.

Smoke Damage from Protein Fires

A large percentage of kitchen fires have a protein fuel source. Protein types of fuels that are commonly burned as a source include meat, poultry, and fish. These proteins produce smoke that leaves behind a residue, which is usually yellow or amber in color. These residues create a foul odor and must be fully cleaned in order for the smell to be removed. Some of this residue cannot be seen but will still cause a foul odor. Therefore, it is necessary to clean the property thoroughly in order to remove the odor completely.

Smoke Damage Cleaning and Odor Removal Services

If you have experienced a fire in your property, SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is a professional fire restoration company that can help you restore your property, clean soot, and remove odor caused by smoke. We work closely with you and your insurance adjuster to make this stressful situation as smooth as possible. Give us a call 24/7 at 847-516-1600 to get started!

Commercial Bio-hazard Damage

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO BioHazard Cleanup Team

A bio-hazard is defined as any biological or chemical substance that is dangerous to humans, animals or the environment. This includes body fluids (blood, human waste) and human tissue (skin and other organs) among other threats. What makes a bio-hazard so dangerous is that it has the potential to infect any person who is exposed to it, not merely someone who comes into physical contact with it.

Because of this potential, a bio-hazard requires a professional response team to rapidly begin and complete the cleanup process. Technicians at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County are trained according to strict IICRC standards and CDC safety requirements. They understand that every hour is valuable and the faster they can get you back into your business is one less hour that you have to pay them and lose customers.

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County provides an extensive number of bio-hazard cleanup services. Our customer services include animal waste removal and helping individuals and families deal with the potential health threats that come when a person develops a hoarding disorder.

Some of the key services include the following:

  • Accidental Death Cleanup
  • Advanced Odor Reduction
  • Body Fluid Remediation
  • Crime Scene Cleanup (Homicide and Suicide)
  • Gross (Large Amount) Filth Cleanup
  • H1N1 Decontamination
  • Hoarder Cleanup
  • MRSA Decontamination

Sewage Cleanup And Sanitization

Another service that we provide which has, unfortunately, become very popular is cleaning up after a drug lab arrest. The chemicals used to create methamphetamine and other illegal substances can quickly render a home or commercial structure uninhabitable. Prolonged exposure can even force county or state officials to condemn a structure, leaving the cost of demolition to a property owner that has no opportunity to restore the building or recover any costs.

Regardless of the bio-hazard, SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County will handle it with a professional attitude. Call today (847) 516-1600

Sometimes Water Damage Can't Be Prevented From Occurring In Your Cary/Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Homes

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage to Cary/Lake in the Hills/Algonquin homes can happen anytime

The new iPhone 7 may be waterproof but just like a home, water can find a way into it. With flooding, cracked pipes, a leaky roof, or a broken sump pump; water can find a way into your home and damage it. And hopefully just as you have insurance for your mobile phone, you also have insurance for your home.

If your home does happen to suffer from water damage, you can trust the experts at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County to clean up the damage before more has occurred. At SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County we have the knowledge and experience to handle all types of water damage. Whether it is from a flood, a backed up sewer, a roof leak, or a frozen pipe that has burst; we have the specialized equipment and professional-grade products to quickly remove the water from your home. Once the water is removed, we'll then focus on completely drying out any remaining water and moisture in the damaged areas. We'll also remove and treat any areas that may promote mold growth.

The Hidden Danger of Water Damage

While unwanted water in a home can certainly cause damage to drywall, wood floors, furniture, clothes, and other porous materials; it's the mold growth that the water promotes that can cause the most damage. Not only can mold cause substantial damage to one's home but also to one's health. That is why it is imperative to seek water and mold remediation professionals immediately after water damage has occurred. Water and mold remediation professionals, like those at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County, will work quickly to remove all water and moisture from the affected area. They will then clean and treat the area to prevent mold growth from occurring. Once the area has been completely dried and has been inspected to make sure there are no mold spores or signs of mold growth, then the damaged area can be repaired. This can include replacing the drywall, carpeting, wood floors, and sometimes subfloor depending on how long the water damage has existed.

Call the Water & Mold Damage Experts

Hopefully, you have caught the water damage early and it can be quickly remedied. But if you do have long-term water damage from a leaky pipe or roof, we have the expertise and the tools at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County to make it "Like it never even happened." The moment you experience or spot water damage in your home, call us anytime at 847-516-1600. Our highly trained technicians will respond immediately to your residential or commercial emergency. Whether you're in Indianapolis or the surrounding communities, we'll be there faster to your disaster than any other.

Help your apartment residences coup with water damages in Lake In the Hills/Algonquin

5/18/2019 (Permalink)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

5/18/2019 (Permalink)

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

5/14/2019 (Permalink)

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?

3/31/2019 (Permalink)

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.

  1. 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.”

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.”

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.”

  1. 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.”

  1. 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.

Source

http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2013/08/14/11-tips-every-home-owner-needs-to-know-about-insurance.html

Fire Safety Saves Lives

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

"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)

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)

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.

Do's:

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

Dont's:

  • 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)

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)

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

picture source - xactware.com

Three Reasons Why to Use SERVPRO for Your Commercial Loss  

12/1/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Five Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Faulty Toaster On Fire

Electrical fires can get out of control quickly. Prevent them from ever occurring with these tips.

Over 14670 people sustain injuries or 3400 deaths due to electrical fires during 2017 in the United States. And almost every one of those injuries or deaths could have been prevented. The fact is that many fires of this nature happen because of human error. Taking preventative steps now will help you avoid a fire in the future. Here are 5 ways you can prevent such a fire in your McHenry County home or business.

Replace or fix broken plugs and cords

Frayed or nicked electrical cords or broken pugs can overheat or cause sparks. Both of these can cause a fire. It is not difficult to replace most appliance cords or plugs. If you are not able to do the work yourself, an electrician can do the work for you.

Don't overburden electrical outlets

Plugging too many appliances or electronics into the same outlet can cause overheating. An overheated plug can spark or short out completely and cause a fire. If you need to plug more than one thing into an outlet, use a power strip with built-in overload protection.

Have faulty wiring fixed

If you have flashing blinky lights, buzzing outlets, breakers that constantly trip or funny smells, you may have faulty wiring somewhere. Older homes often contain aluminum wire or even white ceramic "knobs" and black "tubes" that encase the copper wiring, which are both prone to cause fires more than modern copper wiring. It may be time to rewire your century-old building. Faulty wiring is often hidden in the walls or ceiling cavities. So, leave faulty wiring to an electrician. He can diagnose and fix the problem quickly and effectively.

Keep flammable materials away from electrical appliances

Your home and business abound with flammable materials, such as towels, rugs, draperies, paper and blankets. Keep electrical appliances well away from these flammable materials. This includes electric space heaters, hair irons, hair dryers, and lamps. Never hide cords under rugs because they cause fires by overheating.

Get an electrical inspection done

If your home or business is an older building, consider a thorough inspection performed by a professional electrician. Older homes often contain aluminum wire or even white ceramic "knobs" and black "tubes" that encase the copper wiring, which are both prone to cause fires more than modern copper wiring. It may be time to rewire your century-old building.

Get Rid of Faulty or Defective Appliances

You should stop using an electrical appliance that is sparking, tripping a breaker, or overheating. Things like these are time bombs waiting to happen, and just because nothing has gone wrong yet doesn’t mean nothing will. There is a reason they are called accidents!


Each of these tips will help you prevent an electrical fire from starting in your home or business. So, if the worst happens, and you do have damage from a fire, you need the help of professionals to get your home and business straightened out. Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.

Source: HOWSTUFFWORKS 

          www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/

Hoarding Cleanup with Biohazard Contaminants in Algonquin/Lake In The Hills

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Hoarding Cleanup with Biohazard

Do you know someone in your life that may be a hoarder?

We are often called to clean and restore properties with hoarding conditions after a water, fire, or mold damage.  Many hoarding situations require biohazard or specialized bloodborne pathogen cleanup, depending on the items being hoarded.  No matter the situation, our team has the experience to handle different hoarding situations, even before a damage has occurred.

Hoarding can create cramped living conditions and fill a home to its capacity.  Often, only narrow pathways are available to move from room to room, and the number of items prevents the use of normal living space.  Accumulation can be in every room of the house and may spread to the garage, vehicles, and yard.

Hazards associated with hoarding include:

  • A fire hazard due to blocked exits and excessive smoke
  • Unsanitary conditions that pose a risk to health
  • Injury or being trapped by shifting or falling items
  • Relationship conflicts, including loneliness and social isolation
  • Financial problems
  • Legal issues such as eviction

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County offers hoarding cleanup, including situations with bloodborne pathogens.  We are a full-service cleanup and restoration company. We can:

  • Inventory, sort, and pack items of value
  • If needed, kept items will be transported to our facility for storage
  • Gather and dispose of items that require being thrown away
  • Identification and cleanup of hazardous contaminants
  • Deep clean of the entire home, including the garage and yard
  • If any part of the property is permanently damaged, our reconstruction team will rebuild it.
  • If requested, we can provide our services in unmarked vehicles for your privacy.

When hoarding begins to seriously affect the daily life of your friend or loved one, we’re to help.   SERVPRO of Southern McHenry has over 17-years of experience remediating water, fire, and mold damage.  We service Southern McHenry County and all surrounding Algonquin and Lake In The Hills communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at 847-5161600.  

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 “Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Resources:

Mayo Clinic

NFPA National Fire Prevention Association

today.com

The Aftermath of a Home Fire

9/1/2018 (Permalink)

House fire in Cary

The Aftermath of a Home Fire

Recovering from a fire is not easy by any means. It is an emotionally draining process that turns your life upset down. The hardest part comes at the beginning, when you feel helpless and are completely unsure as to how to proceed. With that in mind, our goal is to present to you the fundamental steps you need to take immediately after the fire is extinguished.

Deal With Insurance

You should already be on the phone with your insurance agent before the firefighters even get done putting out the fire. Mind you, this is just the beginning. After a few days, you’ll need to get a copy of the official “fire report” from your local fire department. The insurance agency will likely send an adjustor out to survey the damage and help you get in touch with a restoration agency, such as the professionals at SERVPRO.

If you are renting, then you’ll obviously need to contact the owner of the home. If you own home but don’t have insurance, on the other hand, then you’ll want to speak with the Internal Revenue Service. You might be eligible for something known as casualty loss.

Settle in Somewhere

Most likely, your home is currently in an unlivable state, meaning you’re going to have to find somewhere else to stay. Your best bet is to stay with friends or family. However, if that’s not an option, check with your insurance company to see if your policy covers temporary living expenses. Otherwise, contact the American Red Cross.

Before you leave, try to rummage through your home for some essential items like the following: Identification Cards, Medications, Eye Glasses / Hearing Aids, Wallets, Credit Cards / Checkbooks, Money. **Only do this AFTER you get permission from the firefighters to reenter your home.**

Turn Off Utilities

Make certain you get all of your primary utilities turned off.  Why waste money for services when you are not even living in your home? Plus, restoration cannot be performed on your home if there’s still electricity and such running through it. The risks of electrocution would be far too high.

Contact a Restoration Company

This is perhaps the most important step. You’ll need to contact a professional, full-service restoration company, such as SERVPRO. Our company is trained specifically to deal with post-tragedy damage. Below is a list of some of the things you can expect us to do:

  • The company will start by removing all the water from your home. During a fire, a lot of water from the firefighters hoses usually collects all over the place. Plus, fires sometimes cause pipes to burst, thus leading to even more severe flooding. The point is that restoration cannot begin until the water is first removed.
  • The company will then start with water restoration. Carpets, walls, ducts must be dried. Mold must be removed. Just this step itself can take a few days.
  • Next is the actual fire restoration. First and foremost, the company will inspect the structural foundation of your home and fix any major problems. Obviously, if a ceiling is about to crash, then it must be attended to before any other restoration efforts can be completed.
  • Once the structural foundation is secure, the specialists will start cleaning up soot/smoke damage, deodorizing everything (carpets, walls, furniture, etc.) and basically returning the home back to normal. If anything is so damaged that it cannot be repaired, it’ll be removed and thrown away. It’s your responsibility to let your insurance company know what items you lost.
  • Last, but not least, the company will clean up the remaining mess (dust, debris, etc.) and rearrange everything back into place.

Move Back In

Finally, you get to move back into your home and resume life. Unfortunately, it can take quite a bit of time before you even get to this final step. We’re talking about several weeks. The truth is that restoring a home from a fire takes a lot of time, a lot of resources and a lot of money.

Just remember to keep in close contact with your insurance company through the whole process. If all goes well, you’ll get your home back in one piece, and you’ll get your lost possessions replaced.

When you have fire, water and mold restoration service needs, give the experienced professionals at SERVPRO a call at 847-516-1600.

National Preparedness Month is officially here!

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

September Is National Preparedness Month: What Are You Doing To Be Prepared?

September Is National Preparedness Month: What Are You Doing To Be Prepared?

National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month (NPM), recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year. This NPM will focus on planning, with an overarching theme: Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.   

Take time to learn lifesaving skills − such as CPR and first aid, check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency. Also, know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas.

The devastating hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 reminded the nation of the importance of preparing for disasters.  Often, we will be the first ones in our communities to take action after a disaster strikes and before first responders arrive, so it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community.

2018 Weekly Themes

  • Week 1: Sept 1-8                          Make and Practice Your Plan
  • Week 2: Sept 9-15*                       Learn Life Saving Skills
  • Week 3: Sept 16-22                      Check Your Insurance Coverage
  • Week 4: Sept 23-29                      Save For an Emergency
  • September 15 is a National Day of Action

Hashtags

  • #PrepareNow
  • #FloodSmart
  • #NatlPrep

Graphics, Videos, and Related links

Check out tips and ideas to promote preparedness. For more engaging messages, attach appropriately sized graphics for specific social media platforms (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) and add emoji’s. 

Social Media Content

Week 1:  September 1-8Make and Practice Your Plan

Web Resources

Social Media Content

  • Disasters don’t plan ahead. You can. Make an emergency plan today & practice it: www.ready.gov/plan#PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Preparing your family for an emergency is as simple as a conversation over dinner. Get started with tips from www.ready.gov #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Does your family have a fire escape plan? Make one today & practice two ways out of every room. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Practice your fire escape plan by having a home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the home. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Download a group texting app so your entire crew can keep in touch before, during & after an emergency. #NatlPrep #PrepareNow
  • Practice evacuating in the car with your animals, so they’re more comfortable if you need to evacuate in an emergency. #NatlPrep #PrepareNow
  • Disasters don't plan ahead, but you can #PrepareNow.  Get the @fema app with weather alerts for up to 5 locations: www.fema.gov/mobile-app #NatlPrep
  • Sign up for local emergency alerts in your area by searching online. #NatlPrep
  • Contact your water and power companies to get on a “priority reconnection service” list of power-dependent customers if you rely on electrical medical equipment. #PrepareNow
  • #PrepareNow. Find out if laws in your state permit pharmacists to dispense a 30-day refill of medications in an emergency.

Week 2:  September 9-15-Learn Life Saving Skills

Web Resources

Social Media Content

  • Keep your family safe. Install natural gas detectors throughout your house.#PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Commit to learning and sharing life-saving emergency skills with the #UntilHelpArrives training http://go.usa.gov/x5Xcm #PrepareNow
  • What’s deadly, colorless, and odorless? Carbon monoxide. Protect your family by installing a carbon monoxide detector. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Do you know how to turn off the gas in your home? Learn how to in case you ever have a gas emergency in your home. #NatlPrep
  • Be prepared for a power outage by having enough food, water, & meds to last for at least 72 hours: www.ready.gov/kit #PrepareNow
  • Whether you need batteries for your remote or flashlight, always make sure you have spare batteries handy in an emergency: www.ready.gov/kit #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Never use candles for emergency lighting. Use flashlights and stock up on extra batteries. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Do you have emergency supplies? Get ahead of the next storm or wildfire by making sure you’re ready in case you are asked to leave your home: www.ready.gov/kit #PrepareNow
  • Replace all home smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Put smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them monthly. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from your furnace, water heater, and other heat-generating equipment. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Have chimneys and vents cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year to prevent home fires. #PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Practice how to “Drop down onto your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Hold on to any sturdy covering until the shaking stops. More info at www.ready.gov/earthquake#PrepareNow
  • Do you know what to do when an emergency happens? Learn actions to save a life #UntilHelpArriveshttps://community.fema.gov/until-help-arrives #PrepareNow
  • Giving CPR to a person struck by lightning can save their life. Learn how to perform Hands-Only and how to use an AED to prepare for a health emergency. #PrepareNow

Week 3:  Sept 16-22-Check Your Insurance Coverage

Web Resources

  • Insurance is the first line of defense; check your insurance coverage and review the Document and Insure Property guide.
  • Flood Insurance allows communities and families to recover more quickly and more fully. Visit Floodsmart.gov to learn more about flood insurance and how to protect your home or business.

Insured Survivor Video Testimonials

  • US Army Sgt. Boggs almost lost everything during Hurricane #Irma. Flood insurance gave him the financial protection he needed after the storm. Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrEP2H_Lnf0 #FloodSmart #NatlPrep
  • Jeff’s daughter was just one week old when Hurricane #Harvey hit. Flood insurance helped his young family get back in their home and back to their life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTB30uqgPNo#FloodSmart #NatlPrep
  • “Having flood insurance meant having one thing less to worry about.” Rupi Prasad lost almost everything in Hurricane #Harvey. Flood insurance is helping her get back to her home and get back to retirement. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmE4GQkfd0w #NatlPrep
  • With flood insurance, John and Michelle Tipton are rebuilding their home safer and stronger after Hurricane Matthew. Flood insurance is worth the investment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmE4GQkfd0w #FloodSmart #NatlPrep

Social Media Content

  • Flooding can be an emotionally and financially devastating event.  Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damage to your home. #PrepareNow #Floodsmart
  • Approximately 80% of households impacted by Hurricane Harvey last year did not have flood insurance. Don’t become a statistic. Learn more about your flood risk: www.floodsmart.gov #NatlPrep #FloodSmart
  • Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Learn more about flood insurance at www.floodsmart.gov #PrepareNow #FloodSmart
  • #PrepareNow. Snap photos of important documents and personal belongings to help you quickly file a claim after a flood: https://youtu.be/i3MfRpND5gk #NatlPrep
  • Hurricanes bring heavy rains that may cause flooding. Think about buying flood insurance before the storm. www.floodsmart.gov #NatlPrep #FloodSmart
  • Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S.  Are you protected?  Check your insurance policy today #NatlPrep #FloodSmart
  • 30 Days: The number of days it takes for most flood insurance policies to go into effect. Don’t wait until it’s too late!  www.floodsmart.gov #PrepareNow #FloodSmart
  • Anywhere it rains, it can flood.  Learn more about how flood insurance can help protect the life you’ve built. #NatlPrep #FloodSmart
  • Find out if you live in a flood prone area and how flood insurance can lessen the cost to your family by visiting: www.floodsmart.gov. #NatlPrep #FloodSmart
  • At least 25% of small businesses never reopen following a disaster. Purchase flood insurance to protect your business. #NatlPrep #FloodSmart

Week 4: Sept 23-30-Save For an Emergency

Web Resources

Social Media Content

  • What important documents should you have for an emergency? The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit explains them all: https://go.usa.gov/xNhp6 #PrepareNow
  • How will you pay your bills if a disaster strikes? Disasters don’t plan ahead, #PrepareNow: www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness #NatlPrep
  • Over 40 percent of all Americans don’t have $400 in savings according to the Federal Reserve. What will you do if there is a disaster? Learn how you become more prepared:www.ready.gov/financial-prepaaredness #PrepareNow
  • Keep some cash on hand in case of emergencies. #NatlPrep
  • You will have expenses like lodging, food, and gas, after a disaster. Are you prepared? #PrepareNow www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness #NatlPrep
  • Are you prepared for a flood? Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster, causing billions of dollars in damage each year. #PrepareNow. Get tips: www.floodsmart.gov #FloodSmart
  • The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit is a tool to help you and your family collect and secure the documents you would need if there was a disaster. www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness#PrepareNow #NatlPrep
  • Set aside a small amount from each paycheck to go into your savings account.Find more tips to help you manage your money to be prepared for the unexpected: https://www.usa.gov/flec #NatlPrep
  • Only about half of all Americans have an emergency fund. This gives them the money needed to help with increased expenses after a disaster. Get tips about creating a fund: https://www.usa.gov/flec#PrepareNow
  • Do you know the help your community provides if there is a disaster?  Search online today. #NatlPrep #PrepareNow
  • Make digital copies of important documents and save them on the cloud or a secure cell phone app in case disaster strikes. #NatlPrep
  • Flooding can be an emotionally and financially devastating event.  Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damage to your home.  To learn more visit www.FloodSmart.gov #FloodSmart #PrepareNow

Local McHenry County Home Has Mold Invasion

8/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold, Mildew, and Mushrooms Are No Match For The Trained Professionals

Local McHenry County Home Has Mold Invasion

This country home was broken into and vandalized. Intruders took what they wanted, and then left the water running when they left.  Damage to the home included a flooded kitchen and basement.  The end result was extensive mold throughout the entire basement and behind the walls of the kitchen cabinets.  The flooring in the basement had mushrooms growing on area rugs.

Take Precautions

Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time. 

Four Things Are Needed For Mold Too Become A Problem

-Organic Materials (wood, paper, drywall, insulation)

-Temperature (60* and above)

-Humidity (70% or higher)

-Time (as little as 48 hours)

Our trained professionals will examine your structure, and if they find mold you will be asked to approve and sign work authorization forms prior to any mold remediation being performed.

If You Think You Might Have Mold, Call Us Today 847-516-1600.

Residential Biohazard Cleanup

8/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fully suited up and Ready for Whatever Happens

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is fully trained and specialized in the cleaning and disposal of biohazard contents and affected materials. 

When it comes to a biohazard situation, protection is the name of the game. Protection for our employees, protection for the home or business owner and protection of the environment during the disposal process. We never know what type of call we might get so our crews are always ready with Tyvek suits, industrial-grade gloves and full face respirators.

This Cary resident knew to call the experts at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry who would be able to properly clean his home with chemicals that cannot be purchased in your local hardware store. We were able to restore his home back to it's original state and make it "Like it never even happened."

How Your Insurance Is Important in a Commercial Build Back

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Can Restore and Rebuild Your Business in Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Marengo, or Woodstock

SERVPRO Provides Emergency Services, Build Backs, and Communication

When severe damage strikes a business, it can be difficult for owners to cover the costs of repairs. In addition to material losses, expenses of new materials, safety and preventative fixtures, labor, and many other factors must be considered, quickly adding up before the business ever gets a chance to reopen. Insurance companies are critical in these scenarios, as their prompt delivery of payment and quick processing may mean life or death for a business trying to overcome its damages. SERVPRO works in close cooperation with insurance companies, providing them with regular updates on the situation by any means necessary, and in many cases acting as a go-between with the agency and the claimant.    Commercial build back in Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Marengo, Woodstock, or Union can vary widely on time and resources spent before the business can reopen, depending on what reconstruction efforts are needed. Removal or rebuilding of walls, pillars, and other structural elements can take lots of time, as can full replacement of aesthetic elements such as flooring materials and wallpaper. These types of repairs not only add days or weeks to restoration times but rack up thousands in material costs. SERVPRO works to make sure that the insurer understands both forms of financial loss, helping to keep your business open during the crisis, if at all possible.    If your business has been recently hit by damages, by far the most important step in reducing costs and headaches related to your insurance is in calling us early for a fast response. By contacting us immediately, we can respond to the damages and begin mitigation within hours, reducing any co-payments or demands the insurer might make. This fast initial action is contingent upon the signing of our SERVPRO Service Authorization Form. You must also contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. We do emphasize that we are not an insurance company and will always follow the suggestions or demands of the client and the insurer.    We have staff, project managers, and an established protocol to rebuild many damaged facilities. We can also partner with other companies whom we have a working relationship with or other companies of your choosing.

  SERVPROof Southern McHenry County has a strong reputation and relationship with all local insurance companies, helping businesses to build back as quickly and with as little cost as possible. Call us as soon as trouble strikes at (847) 516-1600.

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is Hiring!

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Now Hiring

Are you interested in working with a great crew of people for a super company?  Not afraid to get a little dirty?  Enjoy doing something to help people who have just gone through disaster?  Consider checking out this position with SERVPRO Southern McHenry County. Call today and you could start working tomorrow!

Location:  Cary, IL

Pay: $13-$15/HR. DOE $15-$18/HR if IICRC Certified

Hours:  Guaranteed 30 hours-40 hours a week

Requirements: Flexible to accommodate 24/7 business needs but not limited to pushing, pulling, lifting up to 50 lbs as needed.

Call Robert or Josephine at 847-516-1600 for an interview today!

3 Places Water Leaks Could be Hiding in Your Home In Southern McHenry County

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

Check these areas to make sure water is not damaging your home!

If you are a homeowner in Cary or Algonquin, you know the danger that water damage can cause to your house. Sneaky leaks and unforeseen plumbing problems can cost you more than an increased water bill. They can cause massive damage to your home, and repairs can be in the thousands of dollars. Last year, almost 40 percent of homes suffered some sort of water damage, ranging from a frozen pipe bursting to leaky roofs. Out of these 40 percent of homes, 93 percent of the incidents could have been prevented! Read through this article to find out 3 of the most common ways that water damage can be in your home, without your knowledge! If you do find damage from water in your home, give SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County a call. We can give you a quote for water damage restoration, and help you get through the pain of water damage.

Leaky Pump Valves

One of the most common ways that water leaks can happen in your home, comes from the pumps that are in your shower or central air system. These pumps, while rugged, are not impervious to wear and tear. The valves in them often go for years without service, and by the time you can see the damage that they've caused, it is often too late. The water seeping out of the valves can cause floorboards to be destroyed, or cause mold to grow around the area of the pump. The best practice is to give a water restoration company a call and have them assess the damage.

Leaks from the Bathtub

Another sneaky way that water can damage your home, comes from your bathtub. If the watertight seal around the tub is somehow broken, not all the water from your long shower or bath will end up down the drain. It may take a few days to finally notice, but that notice will be shocking. If you have an upstairs bathroom, that notice may come in the form of water dripping from your ceiling, right before the ceiling begins to sink down from the added weight of the water. If your bathroom is downstairs, you may not notice the leak for a longer period of time, allowing for the water under the bathtub to eat away at wood flooring. The worst outcome from the leaking bathtub is that mold growth is almost inevitable!

Hidden Toilet Leaks

Toilet leaks are some of the most common leaks that happen in a home. This makes them the most important place to watch for a runaway leak, and one of the most important places to have inspected by SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County. Toilet leaks that are not immediately visible to the homeowner can cause massive damage over a long period of time, much like the bathtub leaks mentioned above. A leaking gasket or valve can cause water to pool under the toilet fixture, eating away at the floor of your home.


If you think you might have a leaking valve, give SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County a call. They can inspect your home for potential leaks, and evaluate the risk these leaks can pose to your home.

Chimney Cleaning Tips

7/8/2018 (Permalink)

Keep your chimney clean to prevent fire damage in your home!

Chimney Cleaning Tips

At SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County, we know the lovely warm glow a chimney can add to any home. Sitting in front of a fireplace in your Nashville home on a crisp day is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy an evening with family. There is nothing more important than keeping your home and family safe. To help keep those fires going, it's useful to make sure the chimney is periodically cleaned. Chimney cleaning can help a fireplace stay in good shape and reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in your home. Additionally, the chimney allows smoke, fumes and dangerous toxins escape the home through its ventilation. Read on for some helpful tips on having your chimney services.

Inspect the Brick

All chimneys should be completely cleaned at least once a year. Proper cleaning is important to make sure that the chimney is in good working order. Any homeowner should also perform an inspection on their own. This can help identify any potential problems that must be addressed as soon as possible. It's a good idea to bring a flashlight and have a good look at the floor. All the ashes in the chimney accumulate here. The flooring needs to be kept in good shape to make sure the fire can be turned on. Note any problems with the brick surrounding it. The bricks used in a fireplace are more heat tolerant than ordinary bricks. They need to be maintained to prevent any fire in the fireplace from spreading to other areas of the home. If a single brick is out of place, this can make the rest of the chimney far less functional.

Have a Look Up

After having a good look at the area surrounding the fireplace, it's a good idea to have a look at the rest of the chimney. Put on some old clothes and get in the area surrounding the fireplace. Have a look at the chimney area. You should see if there's any obstruction or other issues. Small birds and rodents often find themselves stuck or you could have a thick layer of creosote and soot sticking to the flue and masonry inside the chimney. When this gets too thick, all it takes is a spark and you have a chimney fire on your hands.


According to the National Fire Prevention Association, 30 percent of home fires are caused by chimney fires. Be sure your home is not one of them and have your chimney cleaned regularly. If you do run into trouble with smoke or fire in your home give us a call at 847-516-1600. At SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County, we take pride in making it like it never happened 

Negotiating with Insurers After Commercial Water or Fire Damage in Southern McHenry County

7/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Helps with Your Insurance Claims After Water Damage in Your Southern McHenry County Office

SERVPRO Often Interfaces With Your Carrier in Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Marengo, Woodstock, and Union Concerning Commercial Water Damage.

Depending on your insurance provider, acquiring a payout after a disaster can either be very easy or relatively difficult. In general, it is best to take insurance proceedings slowly and to hire a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. Some insurance companies will be unwilling to pay if you do not follow instructions, make small violations, or even fail to respond to their documents. At SERVPRO, we make an effort to work with business owners and insurance companies alike to ensure that the store has to pay as little as possible for repairs and employ a mitigation and restoration strategy designed to minimalize the costs of expensive replacements. In general, an insurance company may make very specific demands related to the initial steps towards repairing your commercial water damage in Southern McHenry County. Many insurers will want to choose a restoration company for you, which may be how you found out about SERVPRO. Our corporate brand is on the rosters in municipal, state, and Federal agencies as a preferred vendor. This list also includes management companies, insurance agencies, and the like. 

Or, they may have given specific guidelines regarding certifications and equipment, and we commonly meet even the strictest of these requirements. Typically, an insurance company won't ask you to make any repairs yourself, and in fact, may specifically request that you avoid making any significant changes without their express approval.    Of course, most insurers will want to be notified of any important developments or costs that arise during restorations.

In general, our representatives will be able to handle these types of calls, but you should be prepared to answer any questions and sign documents if additional approval is required on your part. Once again, it is probably best to consult a lawyer for any major decisions you may be asked to make. On small levels of damage caused by fire or water, the process may not require an attorney. 

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is proud to offer quality restoration services at an affordable price and has a strong relationship with most local and national insurance companies. We can even help with the paperwork. 

Call us at (847) 516-1600 to find out more about our services or how we help business owners like you in times of crisis.

Insurance tips for storm damage

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Insurance tips for storm damage

If your home or business has experienced storm damage and you are unsure on how to actually seek help in this sort of process or you are unsure if you are even covered for such loss, please remain calm. We understand this process may be frightening at first, but there are several professionals that can and will assist you during this process. If you need immediate help, please contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County, by calling 847-516-1600. We are willing to help you through this process, but for general tips and best practices, please follow the outline below provided by United Policy Holders and what they tell their clients during the process of storm aftermath.

What to do before and during a severe storm:

  • If you live on or at the foot of a hillside, place sandbags around the perimeter of your home.
  • Place rolled up towels along the inside of exterior doors to prevent water from getting in.
  • Do your best to keep your gutters clear but stay safe throughout the storm. 
  • Move valuables and items up from lower levels and away from doors and windows.
  • Find a copy of your insurance policy.  Check the wording on water damage and the amount of your deductible
  • Use the free UPHelp Home Inventory App to photo document key features of your home that could be damaged (windows, siding, roof and interior) and your possessions.

What to do after the storm:

  • If your home was damaged, focus on creating a scope of everything that was damaged and what it will cost to repair or replace. 
  • To keep a clean record and avoid premium increases, don't file a claim until you review your policy and you think your loss will exceed your deductible and be covered.  Read: To claim or not to claim...
  • If the damage was sudden and accidental and triggered by the storm, don't accept a claim denial argument from your insurer or agent that it was due to faulty construction or maintenance.  The insurer cashed your premium checks and insured your property "as is".    
  • If you file a claim and your insurer rejects it, make sure you get a clear and detailed explanation of their position.  Read: www.uphelp.org/speakUP.  Claim and coverage disputes are rarely as clear cut as your insurer makes them out to be.
  • The answer to whether your town or city will pay to repair flooding damage to your home is..."it depends."

Source: (http://www.uphelp.org/pubs/insurance-tips-storm-damage)

United Policy Holders

5 Principles of Mold Remediation

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold in a Home

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) for water, and fire restoration as well as microbial remediation.  The IICRC outlines five major principles of mold remediation.

  1. Make sure safety and health precautions are taken by cleanup professionals and occupants. Mold-contaminated buildings can be associated with a number of health problems. Anyone involved in the mold remediation process must be protected from exposure through a combination of practices and controls.
  2. A post-cleanup assessment by an independent environmental expert. An effective mold remediation cannot be developed without first determining the extent of the contamination to be removed. To ensure that remediation work is being properly performed, it is highly recommended that appropriate documentation of the remediation process be kept by project management
  3. Control of mold before it spreads further. Eliminating mold at the source of contamination is essential. Once mold spores spread through the air, it will be much more difficult to capture.
  4. Oversee the proper physical removal of the mold. The mold must be physically removed from the structure. Attempts to isolate mold or remove signs of mold on the surface are not adequate. Note that bleach alone cannot kill mold.
  5. Ensure that moisture is controlled to limit future contamination or recontamination. Mold growth is virtually inevitable if moisture is not controlled. Moisture problems must be identified, located and corrected or controlled as soon as possible.

Application of these principles may involve multiple disciplines and professionals from a wide range of restoration and indoor environmental fields.

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

Source: IICRC

Mold Coverage and Your Insurance Claims due to Water Loss Event

6/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Due to a Water Damage

It has happened. There is water everywhere. Your carpet is saturated; the drywall is wet, your furniture and even some of your personal belongings. There are so many things running through your head: how am I going to get this dry; how much of this will my homeowner’s insurance policy cover; what if this water loss event leads causes mold?!

We are here to help you prepare, should a water loss event - such as a pipe burst, pipe leak, ice damming, hot water heater leak, etc. - occur in your home. Here are some tips to help you best handle the situation:

  1. Familiarize yourself with your declarations page. This is something that you should do, as a homeowner, once you move in to your home. This way, you know what is covered under your policy and you are not surprised when something isn’t covered. If you're not comfortable with what is or isn’t being covered, you can contact your insurance agent to make the desired adjustments.
  2. Document the loss as best you can.If a water loss event occurs, take date and time stamped photos. Keep record, such as call logs or copies of e-mails, of all interaction with your insurance company and any vendors you are using to help address the issue.
  3. If you see possible mold growth or you are getting musty-like odor, contact a mold inspection company to have a mold inspection and testing performed.If a water loss event is not properly and thoroughly dried up within 48 hours, mold can begin to grow. A mold inspection and testing by a Certified Mold Inspector will determine if "abnormal" or unhealthy mold conditions exist in the area affected by the water loss event.
  4. Monitor the health of those in the home.After the water loss event occurs, if any occupants of the home start experiencing adverse health reactions such as: allergy-like symptoms or respiratory issues, this may be an indication that areas were not properly dried up and mold may have started to grow. We strongly suggest having a mold inspection and testing done by a Certified Mold Inspector if any of the homes occupants are not feeling well while in the home.

If you have experienced a water loss event in your home and have concerns of mold, contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600. We service all of these communities in Southern McHenry County           Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Trout Valley, Marengo, Village of Lakewood, Village of Oakwood Hills, Woodstock and Union.

Prepare for Spring Storms

6/10/2018 (Permalink)

Tornadoes can occur during spring storms.

Tornadoes can occur during spring storms.

Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy and frigid. Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather. Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur even within the same day.

Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. They can bring lightningtornadoes, and flooding. Whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can occur. For much of the world, this happens in spring and summer.

Because spring weather is so unpredictable, you may be unprepared when severe weather hits—particularly if you live in a region that does not often experience thunderstorms, tornadoes, or flooding. And when severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. So planning ahead makes sense; prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will.

Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and floods requires specific safety precautions.

Keep an emergency kit on hand. Some items to include are:

  • A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries for both
  • An emergency evacuation or shelter plan, including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room
  • A list of important personal information, including:
    • telephone numbers of neighbors, family, and friends
    • insurance and property information
    • telephone numbers of utility companies
    • medical information
  • According to the American Red Cross a first aid kit may include:
    • non-latex gloves
    • assortment of adhesive bandages
    • antibiotic ointment
    • sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
    • absorbent compress dressings
    • tweezers
    • scissors
    • adhesive cloth tape
    • aspirin packets (81 mg each)
    • first aid instruction booklet
      (NOTE: Customize your first aid kit to meet your individual and family needs.)
  • A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • An emergency kit[1.08 MB] in your car

Sources:

NOAA

American Red Cross

CDC

Understanding the Three Categories of Water

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

When dealing with water damage in your home or business, there are three different types or classifications of water that we use: Clean, Gray, and Black water.

Clean Water: This is water that does not contain contaminants. It includes broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, and toilets holding tanks, snow melt and rainwater. Overtime however, clean water can progress and become gray water within 48 hours, if left untreated.

Gray Water: Gray water does contain slight chemical or biological contaminants, and may pose a health risk. Gray water can discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, aquariums and waterbeds, or come from a clean water source that leaked through a ceiling. It can also be clean water that was left untreated (and became gray water). Gray water can also progress to the next stage (Black Water) if left untreated within 48 hours.

Black Water: This water is a positive health risk as it is highly contaminated. Black water is presumed to contain multiple potentially harmful contaminants including fungi, bacteria, chemicals, viruses, and more. Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be treated by a trained and certified professional.

For any type of water damage, it is always best to treat it quickly so as to avoid further contamination and risk mold growth. Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County if you need services in your home or business.

Available 24/7 

847-516-1600

Top Hidden Places that Mold May Grow In Your Southern McHenry County Home

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO

While there are common places where most people find mold, like around showers and tubs, there are many places in a home or business where mold be hidden. It’s these hidden areas that can lead to further damage from mold which is why it’s important to check them on a regular basis for any signs of moisture or condensation. In no particular order, here are the top places where mold can grow in a home:

  1. Crawl Spaces

Most homeowners never look into their crawl spaces but they might want to. Crawl spaces can easily collect moisture from water seeping through the foundation to moisture rising from the ground. A crawl space should have a vapor barrier on the ground to keep moisture from rising up. A crawl space also need adequate ventilation to allow any moisture that may collect to flow out. Failure to keep the moisture out from your crawl space can result in mold growth on the exposed framing of your home. The mold can eventually lead to excessive damage to all wood surfaces and make its way into the home.

  1. Basements

Basements are similar to crawl spaces but the fact that they are open and exposed to the rest of the house, can result in mold spreading quickly throughout your home via the air ducts and open doors. If your basement smells musty, then you either have mold growth already happening or the high possibility of it occurring. Due to the fact that many basements are furnished and carpeted, there are more areas in a basement that are perceptible to mold growth when compared to a crawl space.

  1. Bathrooms

A good ventilation fan is important in a bathroom not for the odor issues but the moisture issues. This is especially true with bathrooms where there are showers in them. While everybody loves a hot shower, a hot shower also creates a large amount of moisture that can lead to mold growth. Another area where mold may grow is behind toilets and under sinks with cabinets. Moisture can condensate on the toilet tank and wall causing mold to form on the wall.

  1. Under the Refrigerator

Some refrigerators have drip pans where water can collect. If dust or debris get into the drip pan, mold can start to grow. Water can also leak from the water line or drip from the cooling coils. It’s a good idea to check every few months as well as keep it clean by sweeping and vacuuming on a regular basis.

  1. Around the Washing Machine

The washing machine and the dryer are both susceptible to mold growth. If the dryer vent hose does not properly vent out the steam from the drying clothes, it can accumulate in the hose or around the back of the dryer causing mold to grow. Washing machines can also leak and drip down under the machine where dust can gather creating the perfect home for mold growth. Just like the refrigerator, it’s important to keep the areas clean and check underneath them often.

Top Ways to Reduce Mold Growth in Your Home

So now that you know where mold growth can happen, how can you reduce the likelihood of mold growing in your home? As stated above, it’s important to keep your home clean of dust by sweeping and vacuuming on a regular basis. While dust doesn’t necessarily cause mold to grow, dust along with moisture can.

The most important thing to reduce mold growth from happening in your home is to control and eliminate any moisture problems in your home. Check for leaks and condensation problems around sinks, appliances, and air conditioning units. If you have a musty basement, ensure that your sump pump is operating properly. You may also want to consider a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in the air. If you have water that is seeping in from the basement walls or crawl space foundation, you’ll want to look at the drainage around your home.

Mold Remediation in Southern McHenry County

If you should experience mold growth and mold damage to your Southern McHenry County-area home or business, call the mold remediation professionals at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600. The professionals at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County have the specialized equipment, professional training, and certifications to quickly treat and remediate mold in your home or business.

What is Tenant, Renters Insurance? Water damage in Southern McHenry County

5/27/2018 (Permalink)

What is Tenant, Renters Insurance? Water damage in Southern McHenry County

What is Tenant, Renters Insurance? Water damage in Southern McHenry County

What is Tenant, Renters Insurance? Water damage in Southern McHenry County

Many renters are under the impression that their landlord’s insurance policy will cover their belongings, unfortunately that generally is not the case. Your landlord’s policy covers the building itself, but it may not include your personal belongings, and may not cover injuries sustained within the structure. That’s where renters insurance comes in.

Renters insurance protects your personal property in a rented apartment, condo or home from unexpected circumstances such as theft, a fire or sewer backup damage – and will pay you for lost or damaged possessions. It can also help protect you from liability if someone is injured on your property.

Renters insurance is similar in scope to homeowners insurance, with the exception that it does not provide coverage for the dwelling itself or other structures.

How does Tenant, renters insurance work?

If you experience a covered loss in your rented space, renters insurance can help to cover the associated costs. The amount covered will depend on the type of loss that occurred and the amount of coverage you have.

There are two types of coverage options under a typical renter’s policy: Actual Cash Value coverage and Replacement Cost coverage. Here’s the difference between the two:

  • Actual Cash Value coverage will reimburse you for the value of the items at the time of the damage or loss.
  • Replacement Cost coverage covers the cost it takes to replace the items lost or damaged.

What does Tenant, renters insurance cover?

A renter’s insurance policy offers you coverage for the loss or destruction of your personal belongings in the event of a covered peril such as:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Windstorm
  • Hail
  • A frozen plumbing system
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Impact by a vehicle

Renters insurance may also cover you if:

You are forced to temporarily move out of your home: In the event your home becomes unlivable due to damage caused by a covered instance such as a fire or vandalism, renters insurance can help cover the cost of alternative living arrangements while your home is repaired or rebuilt.

A person is injured on your property and requires medical attention: Personal liability coverage is designed to protect you, as well as other individuals who visit your home, if an accident were to occur. This type of coverage will help pay for medical costs and legal fees that you could end up incurring.

Items you keep inside your car are damaged or lost: Depending on your renter’s insurance policy, you may be covered for belongings that you keep inside your car. Note that this coverage does not include equipment or systems installed in the car.

What does Tenant, renters insurance not cover?

Now that you have a basic idea of what renters insurance covers, it’s important to understand what a basic renter’s insurance policy does not cover so that you’re prepared:

  • Valuables. Expensive collectables and valuables such as jewelry may not be covered under a basic renter’s policy and may require additional coverage.
  • Home business. Operating a small business out of your home doesn’t mean it will be covered by your renters insurance. For instance, if your business laptop is stolen from your apartment, there’s a chance it could be considered business property and therefore, won’t be completely covered by your renters insurance. Check with your provider to see if your policy covers a home business or if you need additional coverage.
  • Motorized vehicles. Use or ownership of a motor vehicle will not be covered by your renters insurance even if it is parked on your property (this also applies to aircraft and specific watercraft). Personal belongings kept inside the vehicle, however, are typically covered.

Also, remember to always make sure to thoroughly read through your policy so that you have an understanding of what is and isn’t covered.

For any type of water damage, it is always best to treat it quickly so as to avoid further contamination and risk mold growth. Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County if you need services in your home!

Available 24/7    847-516-1600

Commercial Restoration Services Fire/Water Cleanup McHenry County

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage

No one wants to discover water or fire damage on a Monday morning. Unfortunately, a commercial facility is more likely to have a larger, more significant damage than a residential home. This is not only because of the facility's size, but it is also because commercial facilities generally have longer periods without anyone there (i.e. overnight, weekends, holidays). Because of this, it is important to have a plan in place in case a disaster does happen. 

Call Us Today 847-516-1600.

Did you know that we do commercial damage restoration? We know the stress and anxiety that water or fire damage can bring to your business. At SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County, we are dedicated to limiting your business interruption by being faster to any size disaster. We can be on-site within a few hours to help reduce future damage water can cause. We have the right equipment,

Mold in an apartment

5/13/2018 (Permalink)

The apartment was sure there was a smell coming from a building, I guess they found it.

No two mold jobs are alike, no two Fire jobs are alike, no two water jobs are alike, neither are forensic, biohazards, or hoarding cleanup jobs none are just the same as the one before it. Before shows like A&E "Hoarders" or "Buried Alive", hoarding is the relatively unknown mental illness. Reality TV shows the worst-of-the-worst of these situations. TV blows things out of proportion. They want all the eye's on their show and don't want you to look away for even an instant. They don't you to even look down and eat your cereal, eyes need to be on them nowhere else. 

So really how accurate are all these different shows? Most will agree to watch a tv show documenting a crew attempt to clean out a disaster scenario is not an accurate depiction of what truly goes into jobs such as these. Hoards come in all shapes and sizes, involving many different types of items from trash to treasures, like rare books and other contents. 

You can find a hoarder in any place. From the cheapest apartments in town to the most expensive neighborhoods. Although not all hoards have been there before or been growing for years.

Four Benefits of Tile and Grout Cleaning

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial kitchen floor restaurant tile floor non-slip and anti-clip tiles

Running any business can be a very demanding job. Sometimes owners get so caught up in the day-to-day running of the business that they forget about some other very important things, such as a spectacularly clean floor. There are huge benefits to having your tile and ground cleaned. If you have never experienced professional tile and grout cleaning, then you are in for a treat.

  •  Benefit #1: The largest benefit to investing in this service, is that it will change the look of your whole business.
  •  Benefit #2: The floor will look brand new, and your customers will take notice.
  •  Benefit #3: When your tile, and grout is clean, it changes the whole atmosphere of your business.
  •  Benefit #4: When you properly clean your tile and grout you show your employees, and customers, how much you care about their safety and health because clean floors means that you properly removed the dirt and buildup from them and made your overall building much healthier.

The floors will be cleaned, and then the grout would be sealed so that the dirt doesn't easily creep back into the grout. It is well worth the investment. Having your floors cleaned is an investment that will pay out over, and over again.

 With proper maintenance, your floors will never get back to the dull, dirty look that they had before the cleaning. With the noticeable change of your tile and grout, the confidence in the way you do business may change forever. Your confidence is not the only thing that will increase, your customer’s confidence will increase also.

 For more information on having your tile, and grout professionally cleaned, please contact us. We would be delighted to help you give your business a new look that you, and your customers will feel great about.

 For more expert tips and information about our cleaning services, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthernmchenrycounty.com/ or like us on Facebook.  We provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. Call us at 847-516-1600

What is a Sewer Backup?

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Sewage Backup In a Bathroom

While floods are probably best known for causing extensive water damage to homes and businesses, they can also cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to back up into houses through drain pipes. These backups not only cause damage that is difficult and expensive to repair, but also create health hazards.

Most homeowners and business owners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral – the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located under the street, and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that may extend into the street or public right of way. A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the possible sewer backup problems.

A sewer backup can lead to disease, destruction of your valuables, damage to your house or business, and can even result in electrical malfunctions. Prompt cleanup of the affected property can help minimize the inconvenience and prevent mold and further damage.

That’s where SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County can help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sewage backup should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. We are the water damage restoration specialists with specific training and expertise to safely restore your home or business in Cary, Fox River Grove, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Crystal lake, Marengo, Huntley, Union or Woodstock.

Contents Restoration for your Southern McHenry County Home

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Content Before and After

CONTENTS RESTORATION

From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, we'll treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.

Key Issues

  • Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
  • Contents inventory
  • Determine replacement and restoration
  • Pack
  • Ozone treatment
  • Cleaning
  • Odor removal
  • Secure
  • Return

Contents Inventory

  • We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
  • We carefully pack all salvable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
  • Unsalvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.

Contents Valuation

We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for pricing of non-salvable inventory items.

Restoration

  • Thorough cleaning
  • Proper handling of all electronics
  • Photographs and artwork
  • Fabrics
  • Clothes
  • Memorabilia
  • Antiques
  • Soft goods

If you need the above services contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.

What does a Property Inspector Check For, and What is Not Included

4/1/2018 (Permalink)

Areas for Inspection

What a Property Inspector Check For, and what is not included, water damage in your Southern McHenry County home.

A property is probably the biggest purchase you'll ever make, so when you buy a property it's important to be sure your potential new property has a proper inspection before you sign the papers. Getting a qualified home inspector can be an important first step.

A home inspector is a qualified professional who visually inspects the structure and components of a home and looks for any immediate or potential problems. They provide a written report to you with a description of problem areas and may also include recommendations for further evaluation.

You can go over the report with your real estate agent to decide how the results may affect the purchase of your potential home.

What they inspect

Home inspection requirements vary greatly from state to state, but the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has a Standards of Practice page that outlines minimum and uniform standards that you should expect from an inspection. They include the following:

  • Structural elements: Construction of visible foundation, evidence of sagging or bowing of the structure, and window alignment
  • Safety: Operating fire and carbon monoxide alarms, fire sprinklers, condition of stairs, hand and guardrails, and garage door openers.
  • Grounds: Leaks from septic tank, proper drainage, and condition of the house's driveways, fences, and sidewalks
  • Roof: Condition of shingles, any repairs/patches to flat roofs, clear vents, damage to chimneys, and properly working gutters
  • Exterior surfaces: Correct clearance between ground and siding material, condition of exterior paint or siding, and properly working lights and electrical outlets
  • Attic: Sufficient insulation, proper ventilation, and any sign of leaking or water damage
  • Interior plumbing: No damaged or leaking pipes, proper hot water temperature, as well as functioning toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers
  • Electrical system: Up-to-code condition and type of visible wiring, and proper function of circuit breakers, outlets, light fixtures, and fans
  • Appliances: Proper function of stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, washer and dryer, and all other appliances
  • Heating and cooling systems: Condition of furnace, air conditioning (temperature permitting), water heater, chimney, and fireplace
  • Basement: Solid foundation, walls, and floors, with no signs of water intrusion or damage
  • Garage: Solid foundation, windows, ceiling, framing, and roof; working garage door opener; up-to-code electrical system; and proper function of outlets

What they don't inspect

Again, while there is variation of what home inspectors look for, there are areas that are generally not covered by a home inspection. If you suspect any problems or concerns in the following areas, you may want to schedule an evaluation by a certified specialist:

  • Pest control
  • Swimming pools
  • Asbestos
  • Radon gas
  • Lead paint
  • Toxic mold

What will it cost?

The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, the inspection fee may vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as septic, well or radon testing.

Do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection or in the selection of your home inspector. The sense of security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain. Use the inspector’s qualifications, including experience, training, and compliance with your state’s regulations, if any, and professional affiliations as a guide.

Why can't I do it myself?

Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail.

Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.

Finding a home inspector

Be sure you are comfortable with your choice of home inspector. They are extremely important and can help you detect and avoid major pitfalls in the home buying process.

  • Talk to your real estate professional. They may be able to recommend a home inspector that they have worked with in the past and trust.
  • Ask friends and family. If you know anyone who has recently gone through the home buying process, they may have a good recommendation.
  • Look for accredited affiliations. Consumers should look for an inspector who has an affiliation with groups such as the National Institute of Building Inspectors, the American Society of Home Inspectors, and the International Society of Certified Home Inspectors. These are some of the most reputable inspector associations, and their Web sites have a 'find an inspector' service to locate a member in your area.

Sources:

American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)                                                                     National Institute of Building Inspectors                                                                           International Society of Certified Home Inspectors

Emergency Survival Kit

4/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO survival kits in preparation for spring.

With spring approaching, Illinois weather can be extreme. Between major thunderstorms and wind storms it's important to have an emergency survival kit ready for when the power does go out! These kits can also be stored in cars, for when that thunderstorm or tornado approaches and requires you to take cover. 

Keep in mind, doubling up on essentials like flashlights and radios is a smart move in case something malfunctions. 

  • Clean water is a great start
  • Blankets, Sleeping Bag
  • Additional clothes
  • Non-perishable food that can be eaten warmed up or cold (if you pack anything that's perishable, make sure to regularly cycle it through to keep it fresh)
  • 1-2 Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Matches and small candles. Check to make sure there is a metal or some sort of containment for the wax!
  • Any necessary medicines (check expiration dates).
  • Medical supplies such as band-aides, gauze, Neosporin and rubbing alcohol. 
  • Lightweight tent
  • Personal hygiene items 
  • Paper goods (napkins, plates, paper towels)
  • Manual can opener
  • AM/FM radio.

There's always more a person can add to their survival kit. This is a great starting point. If you do lose power during a thunderstorm, tornado, high winds or other damage can occur throughout your home. If that is the case, keep SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County in mind to help you through! 

Commercial Restoration Services

4/1/2018 (Permalink)

No Job is too Small. If your business suffers a loss CALL SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County 847-516-1600

There is never a good time for fire or water damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity.  So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we'll be there fast ad with the help you need.

Your commercial properties appearance speaks volumes to your clients.  So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County professionals have the training and expertise to make it "Like it never even happened."

  • Retail Facilities
  • Education Facilities
  • Property Management
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Hospitalities Facilities
  • Food Service Facilities

Commercial Building Restoration Services

We are available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage.  We are also your businesses best resource for mold remediation.

Commercial Building Cleaning Services

Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County get the job done right the first time.  They'll respond promptly and make your workspace look its very best.

Have Questions? Call Today 847-516-1600

Four Fire Damage Restoration Factors for your Southern McHenry County Homes

3/11/2018 (Permalink)

Never Leave a Flame Unattended Says SERVPRO

SERVPRO Steps to Restore Your Southern McHenry County Fire Damaged Home

A serious situation is a given with heavy Southern McHenry County fire damage. If you try to complete the remediation process on your own, you will often expose yourself to health and safety hazards that may lead to injury. For these reasons and more, calling a professional fire damage restoration team like SERVPRO is the most prudent course of action when disaster strikes your residential property. Learn more about how remediation experts can assist you with the property restoration process by reviewing this short outline: Fire Damage Remediation Techniques. There are many factors and services involved to restore your property following a fire. Some are drying the property, cleaning the HVAC system, rebuilding the damaged structures of the property, and removing unsalvageable goods. Drying Your Home. Drying your property following a fire is important. Typically, firefighters perform extinguishing work that leaves excessive water in your living space. This standing and hidden water create the perfect breeding ground for mold if left unattended. To prevent a mold infestation--starts with 48-72 hours after water intrusion--SERVPRO will extract volumes of water using powerful pumps, and water extractors. Now additional drying and moisture removal can begin using specialized equipment like air-moving machines and dehumidifiers. HVAC System. Residual particulates from a house fire coat the coils and filters of HVAC systems with debris and soot. Soot is not smoke, but an oily by-product of partially combusted materials like plastics and vinyl. The ductwork must also be cleaned and deodorized. Special techniques, along with IICRC and corporate training enable our technicians to complete successfully this wipe down and clean up stage. If this process is done properly, staining, painting, and replacement of drywall and ceilings are minimized, along with your costs. Structural Repair. When fire damage has compromised structural materials such as trusses, floor joists, drywall, and the electrical or plumbing systems, then the affected areas may have to be replaced. When feasible, repair is done before replacement. Our fire damage restoration experts can complete this work, or we can work and instruct your building contractors on your behalf. Removing Unsalvageable Materials. SERVPRO utilizes an industry developed technology called XactContents that inventories all household content. Categorizing of these items is then made as salvageable, non-salvageable, or questionable. The XactContents benefits you regarding the claims process with your insurance adjuster. We will help and cooperate with your okay. Fire damaged items beyond repair must be disposed of properly. If not, these items could contaminate other areas of the property.

Don't Delay-Get Great Fire Damage Remediation Services Today! In many cases, Southern McHenry County property fires send homeowners into a panic. Don't let this happen to you. Instead, recognize that hiring a top-notch fire damage restoration company is the key to restoring your property to preloss condition while maintaining your emotional equilibrium. SERVPRO works for you to keep costs down, treat you with empathy, and get you back home ASAP.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this Charlotte community too. When you have a smoke, soot or fire damage emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the Cary, Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, Huntley, Marengo, Union, Fox River Grove and Woodstock communities and want to do our part in making it the best it can be. Call us for immediate assistance. (847) 516-1600

Condo Association and Insurance. Who Covers You?

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Condos

Condo Association and Insurance. Who Covers You?

Before filing an insurance claim, condo owners must determine who is liable for water damage.  Determining who is responsible or liable for condo water damage can be pretty tricky, and is dependent upon the cause of the damage. A Condo Association maintains insurance to cover common areas in the complex, and individual condo insurance policies cover the interiors of individual units, such as walls and floors.

When a water damage occurs in a condo, it does not matter where the water came from.  Keep in mind that each unit owner is responsible for their own unit.  The HOA is also responsible for the repairs and dry out or clean up.  Before filing an insurance claim, condo owners should contact a restoration company to perform an assessment.  A professional restoration company will be able to assist the homeowner and the association to coordinate the cleanup and repairs.  Condo owners should also review their individual condo coverage and determine what is covered by whom.  If the water damage was caused by a pipe that burst in the kitchen, the claim will most likely be covered by your own individual insurance.  If the water damage was caused by another unit, that will be a little tricky.  This is why it’s very important for every condo owner to be informed of their condo association’s master policy and their personal condo coverage, inside out!

Toxic mold growth can start within 48 hours of the water damage, if you notice any water damage either coming from your unit or another unit, notify us SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County and your condo association and inform them of what is going on.  When dealing with the condo association, be persistent and make sure you receive an immediate response, especially if the water damage has made your unit uninhabitable.

Contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.

How to be ready for a thunderstorm

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Approaching lightingstorm

How to be ready for a thunderstorm

The American Red Cross created a great outline of how to prepare for severe thunderstorms.  In the case of an emergency it always helps to be prepared.

  • Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
  • Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household
  • Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
  • Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
  • Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
  • Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
  • Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods
  • Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies
  • Put together an emergency preparedness kit
  • Review the Be Red Cross Ready - Thunderstorm Safety Checklist

Please contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County if you have any questions or need emergency service at 847-516-1600.

-Source: American Red Cross

Presidents Day History Facts

2/17/2018 (Permalink)

George Washington Statue

Originally established in 1885 in recognition Washington's Birthday, also known as Presidents' Day, is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of February.

Traditionally celebrated on February 22 Washington's Birthday officially traditionally celebrated honors the life and work of George Washington, the first president of the United States and honors other presidents of the United States. 

In the weeks or days leading up to the holiday, schools often organize events and lessons for students about the presidents of the United States and George Washington in particular. It is a popular day for stores to start their sales.

Many delivery services, except for the Post Office, have a regular service and many, but not all, public transit systems operate on regular schedules. Some schools close for the whole week for a mid-winter recess.

Damp Places Loves Mold

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Mold in a Damp Crawlspace

What Does Mold Need to Grow?

According to Michael Pugliese, author of The Homeowner’s Guide to Mold, there are three main necessities that mold spores need to grow and thrive:

  • Moisture

Mold spores need moist or damp areas to grow and reproduce. Watch for flooding, leaky pipes or windows, etc. Also excess moisture in the bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are prime areas for mold growth.

  • Food

Mold spores need food – in the literal sense as well as other materials (i.e. cotton, leather, wood, paper products and others). The most dangerous materials mold loves to grow on, are porous materials (beds, couches etc.). It’s often impossible to remove mold growth from these items.

  • Optimum Temperatures

Mold spores thrive in temperatures 32 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures from about 70 – 90 degrees are the most conducive for mold growth. Chances of mold growth are heightened greatly between those temperatures. You may be wondering why mold can grow in your freezer. Mold doesn’t die when temperatures drop below 32 degrees, they lay dormant until temperatures raise, or they are set out to warm up.

Favorable Conditions for Mold

Michael Pugliese, author of the same book previously mentioned, also offers 5 tips describing favorable or unfavorable conditions for mold growth:

  • A relative Humidity of roughly 50% or higher

A good preventative measure would be to purchase a hygrometer to measure humidity levels in your home.

  • Damp or Dusty Conditions

Avoid developing piles of rags, clothing or other mold food sources.

  • Stagnant air

This explains why overly “tight” homes designed for energy efficiency can have mold problems.

Unfavorable Conditions for Mold

  • Ventilation

Good circulation throughout the home is important to eliminate dampness or potential moisture; especially in attics, basements, crawlspaces, laundry rooms.

  • Dry Air Indoors

Make sure to keep your home’s relative humidity down below 50%.

-Source: Mold Blogger

Smoke Detector Safety

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke Detector and Sprinkler

Smoke Detectors Smoke detectors are devices that are mounted on the wall or ceiling and automatically sound a warning when they sense smoke or other products of combustion. When people are warned early enough about a fire, they can escape before it spreads. Prices start at about five dollars. Every year thousands of people die from fires in the home. Fire kills an estimated 4,000 Americans every year. Another 30,000 people are seriously injured by fire each year. Property damage from fire costs us at least $11.2 billion yearly. Most fire victims feel that fire would "never happen to them." Although we like to feel safe at home, about two-thirds of our nation's fire deaths happen in the victim's own home. The home is where we are at the greatest risk and where we must take the most precautions. Most deaths occur from inhaling smoke or poisonous gases, not from the flames. Most fatal fires occur in residential buildings between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. when occupants are more likely to be asleep. More than 90 percent of fire deaths in buildings occur in residential dwellings. A Johns Hopkins University study, funded by the United States Fire Administration, found that 75 percent of residential fire deaths and 84 percent of residential fire injuries could have been prevented by smoke detectors. There are Two Basic Types of Smoke Detectors 1. Ionization detectors - Ionization detectors contain radioactive material that ionizes the air, making an electrical path. When smoke enters, the smoke molecules attach themselves to the ions. The change in electric current flow triggers the alarm. The radioactive material is called americium. It's a radioactive metallic element produced by bombardment of plutonium with high-energy neutrons. The amount is very small and not harmful. An ionization detector responds satisfactorily to all types of fires, however it generally responds quicker to flaming fires. 2. Photoelectric detectors - These type of detectors contain a light source (usually a bulb) and a photocell, which is activated by light. Light from the bulb reflects off the smoke particles and is directed towards the photocell. The photocell then is activated to trigger the alarm. A photoelectric detector generally responds more quickly to smoldering fires. Choosing a Smoke Detector When choosing a smoke detector, there are several things to consider. Think about which areas of the house you want to protect, where fire would be most dangerous, how many you will need, etc. East Side Fire Department recommends that every home have a smoke detector outside each sleeping area (inside as well if members of the household sleep with the door closed) and on every level of the home, including the basement. On floors without bedrooms, detectors should be installed in or near living areas, such as dens, living rooms or family rooms. The safest bet is to have both types of detectors or a combination detector with a battery back up. Be sure to check for a testing laboratory label on the detector. It means that samples of that particular model have been tested under operating conditions. Check to see if it is easy to maintain and clean. Installation The placement of smoke detectors is very important. Sleeping areas need the most protection. One detector in a short hallway outside the bedroom area is usually adequate. Hallways longer than 30 feet should have one at each end. For maximum protection, install a detector in each bedroom. Be sure to keep the detector away from fireplaces and wood stoves to avoid false alarms. Place smoke detectors at the top of each stairwell and at the end of each long hallway. Smoke rises easily through stairwells. If you should put a smoke detector in your kitchen, be sure to keep it away from cooking fumes or smoking areas. Proper mounting of a smoke detector is also important. You can mount many detectors by yourself, but those connected directly to your household wiring should have their own separate circuit and be installed by a professional electrician. If you mount your detector on the ceiling be sure to keep it at least 18 inches away from dead air space near walls and corners. If you mount it on the wall, place it 6 to 12 inches below the ceiling and away from corners. Keep them high because smoke rises. Never place them any closer than three feet from an air register that might re-circulate smoke. Don't place them near doorways or windows where drafts could impair the detector operation. Don't place them on an uninsulated exterior wall or ceiling. Temperature extremes can affect the batteries. Maintenance Keeping smoke detectors in good condition is easy. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Be sure to replace the batteries at least once every year or as needed. East Side Fire Department recommends changing the batteries in your smoke detectors twice annually. Most models will make a chirping, popping or beeping sound when the battery is losing its charge. When this sound is heard, install a fresh battery, preferably an alkaline type. Keep extra batteries on hand. Check the smoke detector every 30 days by releasing smoke or pushing the test button. Clean the detector face and grillwork often to remove dust and grease. Never paint a smoke detector, as it will hamper its function. Check your detector if you've been away from home for an extended period of time. If you're looking for a unique gift for somebody, consider giving him or her a smoke detector. It's an interesting gift that can save lives and it shows that you care.

Commercial Buildings Southern McHenry County

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

Ready to Help

Commercial restoration is a nuanced industry. That's why you can trust SERVPRO of Southern McHenry with your building and business. We care about your livelihood. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry has the experience necessary to handle any size commercial disaster, whether it is fire damage, water damage, mold damage, or a crime scene cleanup. Every commercial building is different, but SERVPRO of Southern McHenry knows how to handle them all.

Call us today with any commercial emergency and you can rest assured that our team will take great care of you and your business. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry is a diverse company with many specialties, but we are unsurpassed in our restoration ability. We know the ins and outs of the industry and are prepared to assist you in any way possible. We know that when disaster strikes, you can't afford to be out of business. We want to get you back in as quick as possible. Put your trust in SERVPRO of Southern McHenry and you won't be disappointed.

We serve Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Marengo, Woodstock, and Union.     Have Questions? Call Today 847-516-1600

To Claim or Not to Claim: THAT is the Question!

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

When faced with a water damage situation, either at home or commercially, one of the first questions to ask yourself is “Should I file a claim?” There are a number of reasons why this is an important factor to consider once you have the mitigation (cleanup) portion under control.

Of course, the first step with any water loss is to get help immediately to stop the source of the leak, BEFORE you mitigate the loss (get it cleaned up)!

By not acting fast, secondary damage can result in mold issues which may or may not be covered by your insurance policy. In Illinois, there are restrictions as to how much coverage will be offered for mold remediation. So regardless as to whether or not you decide to file a claim, it’s still of vital importance that you act fast. In fact, your insurance company might even try to use your lack of action against you and try to deny the claim because you waited too long & inadvertently caused more damage than otherwise would have been the case. So always pick up the phone and call a team like SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County right away.

Once the leak is stopped, it’s time to mitigate the loss and then evaluate the situation to determine if it’s actually worth it to file a claim with your insurance carrier. In many cases, smaller water damage losses can and should be paid out of pocket to save you money in the long run. Unless it’s very obvious that the claim is going to be a huge bill due to extensive damage, always take the time to weigh the pros & cons before you commit to filing a claim.

Don’t worry about having the work done before you call your carrier—they were going to tell you to get the work done ASAP anyway, and it’s YOUR CHOICE as the insured as to which vendor you choose to do the work.

First, request an estimate from the mitigation team—they should be able to give you some kind of ballpark dollar amount which you can use to weigh against your deductible as well as your total annual premium cost. Then, you’ll want to consider how much your premium cost stands to rise based on this new claim—you’ll want to contact your insurance agent who sold you the policy to discuss this with him/her. (Don’t bother trying to discuss this with an insurance adjuster, because they won’t be able to discuss premium rates with you).

In a nutshell, you need to try & calculate the cost for the loss to be cleaned up and repaired, versus your deductible and current/projected insurance premium. If it’s going to cost you less in the long run to just pay out of pocket, you’re better off not filing a claim. This is where the conversation with your agent comes into play—they can tell you how much your rates could be affected if you file a claim and show you on paper just how much money you stand to save over the course of time. This is largely dependent on the magnitude of the loss—if it’s obviously a huge water loss with extensive damage to the property, then filing a claim is the obvious choice. It’s the smaller incidents that might not prove worthy of filing a claim, because in the long run you might end up paying more in increased premiums than if you had just paid for the mitigation & repairs yourself.  You’d be surprised how many people don’t stop for a moment & consider all these factors before picking up the phone and filing a claim.

Water damage losses, particularly in Illinois, are the most common type of claim filed by homeowners. They can get quite expensive depending on the severity of the loss. Insurance carriers have reacted to this trend by implementing new policies & lobbying for new laws by which YOU as the insured, carry a higher burden than you might expect: the claim can not only raise your rates for as long as you own the property, but depending on the insurance company, the claim could follow you even if/when you sell the property and buy a different property. Yes, you read that correctly: your premiums might be affected by a water loss at a different property than the one at which you filed the claim. A simple analogy would be that it can be much like getting a speeding ticket: the ticket affects your car insurance rates, and selling your car & buying a different one won’t make that speeding ticket go away. THIS is why it’s so important to take a moment to consider the long-term effects vs. the short-term gain. Ask yourself: “Should I file a claim?

REMEMBER: regardless of whether or not you file a claim, keep in mind that you’re still going to have to get the work done by a professional reputable water mitigation team. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is available 24/7 to respond to your needs.

We hope this helps. We offer services ranging from water damage mitigation to mold remediation to fire/smoke damage. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or are in need of immediate assistance at your home or place of business, call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600—we’ll be happy to assist.

How To Handle Southern McHenry County Fire Damage for Commercial Businesses Fire

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Business owners must also have preventive measures in place that will limit the likelihood of fire damage.

How To Handle Property Damage From A Commercial Fire

Unfortunately, no business owner is immune from a Southern McHenry County commercial fire damage. When fires damage property, a plethora of environmental and health risks can surface. However, knowing how to handle property damage that results from a commercial fire can help business owners restore their property. Learn more about commercial fires and how you can limit their adverse effect on your property by reviewing the following information:

Commercial Fires: A Brief Overview When a business's property is subjected to Southern McHenry County commercial fire damage, recovery can be challenging. Fire threats can come from a plethora of places, including an electrical fire, lightning strike, or an adjoining business. When a commercial fire occurs, the damage can be significant. In some cases, the company cannot continue functioning after the fire. In most cases, this is because the business did not have the proper insurance. Businesses that did maintain business interruption insurance will usually find it much easier to recover from the loss. Because every commercial building is susceptible to fire, it is prudent for commercial business owners to purchase insurance. Business owners must also have preventive measures in place that will limit the likelihood of fire damage. Some of those measures should include:

- Avoiding the storage of flammable materials - Ensuring that smoke alarms are working properly - Creating and practicing a fire evacuation plan - Making sure appliances and machinery are turned off when not being used - Keeping machinery in working order - Making sure your backup drives and paperwork are in a safe location

Although taking these precautions can decrease the likelihood of fire damage, it's important to know that no business is entirely immune. Since this is the case, it's important that you develop good working relationships with a commercial insurance attorney as well as an experienced lawyer. These individuals will be able to assist you in the event that a fire takes place.

Conclusion While a Southern McHenry County commercial fire damage can have an adverse impact on your business, taking, preventive steps can help you avoid unwanted property damage and business-related complications that deplete your finances and productivity. In the event that a commercial fire transpires on your business property, it's important that you gain access to high-quality restoration services. As a remediation company that consistently works with excellence and expediency, you can count on the SERVPRO professionals to get the job done fast and well. Contact us today to obtain an information-packed consultation!

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is locally owned and operated and we are proud to be part of this community. We are also part of a national network of over 1,650 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large-scale fire, water, and storm disasters.

 We are here in Southern McHenry County and are ready to help you. Just call us. 847-516-1600.

Ice Damming on Homes

1/7/2018 (Permalink)

Serious Ice Damming

Ice dams occur on heated buildings with sloping roofs in cold climates with deep snow accumulation. Ice dams on roofs form when accumulated snow forms an insulating layer under cold conditions that would cause the freezing point to be within the snow layer, if it were not subject to melting. Instead, building heat coming through the roof's surface melts the snow resting on it. This causes meltwater to flow down the roof, until it reaches below a place on the roof's surface that is below freezing—typically at the eaves where there is no building heat. When the meltwater reaches the frozen surface, ice accumulates, growing a barrier that impedes further passage of meltwater off the roof. Ice dams may result in leaks through the roofing material, possibly resulting in damaged ceilings, walls, roof structure and insulation, damage or injury when the ice dam falls off or from attempts to remove ice dams.

The melting of roof snow comes from the combination of three basic causes:

  1. Air temperatures well below freezing.
  2. A thick layer of dry snow, which has good insulating capabilities.
  3. Heat from the building coming through the roof.

Resolve to be "READY" in 2018

12/3/2017 (Permalink)

With New Year’s Eve rapidly approaching, now is the perfect time to think of resolutions. While resolutions typically involve committing to personal changes and reaching goals, the single most important resolution that both business and homeowners can make for 2018 is to “Resolve to be Ready.”

Preparing in advance to deal with the unexpected can make a world of difference in how quickly and completely property owners can put the pieces of their lives back together. Emergency readiness plans are the foundation for effective and timely emergency response.

We would like to encourage all property owners, commercial or residential, to take advantage of the no-cost emergency planning tools available from FEMA, as well as SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile and READY Plan Mobile App.

For homeowners:

  • FEMA resources include guidelines for creating a Family Emergency Plan and Emergency Supply List, with additional tips for pet owners, seniors, people with disabilities, and even commuters.
  • SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County offers their free SERVPRO READY Plan App, which stores critical contact and property information electronically in advance, where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes.

For business owners:

  • FEMA offers materials on topics ranging from creating a Business Continuity Plan to an Insurance Discussion Coverage Form in addition to guidelines for creating an Emergency Response Plan.
  • SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County offers a no-cost facility assessment and assistance in creating a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile®(ERP). The ERP includes information about emergency contact numbers, priority and high/risk areas, shut-off valve locations and more that can be stored in the READY app.

The time to gather and store information like emergency contact numbers; insurance contacts; and location of shut-offs, fire suppression system controls, and such is before an emergency strikes, not during an emergency. Having this information at your fingertips can help emergency responders react as quickly and effectively as possible, helping to limit loss of property and even lives.

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County the SERVPRO mobile app and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please contact your local SERVPRO Restoration Consultants at 847-516-1600 or SP8666@sbcglobal.net.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Some communities hold special memorial services on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.©iStockphoto.com/JPecha

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, which is annually on December 7, 1941 commemorates the attack on Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii, during World War II.

The flag should be flown at half-mast to honor those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many associations, especially those linked with Pearl Harbor survivors or those who died from the attack, participate in special services to commemorate the event. Memorial services are held at the venue for USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. this activity include: wreath-laying ceremonies; keynote speeches by those associated with the event and survivors’ recollections of the Pearl Harbor attack.

The Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Hawaii. The attack came as a surprise to the American Army and Navy. The barrage lasted just two hours, but it was devastating: The Japanese managed to destroy nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight enormous battleships, and more than 300 airplanes. More than 2,000 Americans soldiers and sailors died in the attack, and another 1,000 were wounded.

The Japanese military had hoped that the attack on Pearl Harbor would prevent the United States of America from increasing her influence in the Pacific. However, the events in Pearl Harbor actually led to the escalation of World War II. The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked in a speech to Congress stated that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was “a date which will live in infamy”. Congress approved his declaration with just one dissenting vote. Three days later, Japanese allies Germany and Italy also declared war on the United States, and again Congress reciprocated.

The United States Congress established the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal or Pearl Harbor Survivor's Medal in 1991 which marked the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor This medal can be awarded to any veteran of the United States military who were present in or around Pearl Harbor during the attack by the Japanese military. The medal can be awarded to civilians, who were killed or injured in the attack.

Winter Freeze Checklist for Your Southern McHenry County

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipe Leaking

Winter Freeze Checklist

Winter season is upon us, it brings along with it one the most common water issues frozen pipes.

As soon as thermometers drop into the freezing zone, the following tips will help you avoid unpleasant surprises that may come from broken water pipes on your property. When it freezes, water in a pipe expands. This creates pressure on the pipe and could cause it to break, regardless if it is plastic or metal. Pipes that freeze most frequently are swimming pool feeder lines, outdoor hose bibs, and water supply lines and unheated interior areas like basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces. As well, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

We are happy to give you this Winter Freeze Checklist so that you can relax and enjoy this holiday season. Winters can be harsh on household plumbing so don’t forget to protect the water meter and pipes from freezing temperatures. Those located on outside walls, in basements or in crawl spaces, are particularly vulnerable to the cold. They can easily freeze and break during cold spells and lead to costly repairs. Please follow these important steps to help prevent expensive problems later.  

  • Disconnect and drain the garden hose connection. This will help prevent outside faucets and pipes from freezing, leaking or breaking.
  • If there are water supply lines in the garage, keep it closed and seal air leaks.
  • Close outside vents, crawl spaces and doors so cold air doesn’t seep inside.
  • Repair broken windows and seal cracks in the walls.
  • Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
  • Open you the cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathroom to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  • Wrap water lines and meters in commercial insulation.
  • 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.
  • Wrap pipes subject to cold or freezing in heat tape available from hardware stores. It must be kept plugged in all winter.
  • Locate The Shut-off Valves
  • Make sure the valves on either side of the water meter are working properly.
  • Place a tag on the main shut-off valve. Make sure everyone in the house knows where it is and how to operate it in an emergency.
  • Check The Heat
  • If you’re going away, keep a minimum amount of heat on in the house. This will help protect the pipes in case the temperature drops.
  • If you plan to turn the heat off, drain all the water from the pipes, toilets and water heater. Turn off the power source to the water heater. If your heater operates on gas, turn the heater on “pilot.”

If you have any questions or you need emergency services call us at 847-516-1600.

8 Safety Tips You Should Keep In Mind During This Thanksgiving Day!

11/5/2017 (Permalink)

This what could happen while deep frying a turkey.

According to the United States Fire Administration, there are the average number of reported residential building fires on Thanksgiving Day was more than double (2.1 times more) the average number of fires in residential buildings on all days other than Thanksgiving. The average losses for Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings, however, were less than the same measures for non-Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings. The majority of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings took place in one- and two-family dwellings (65 percent) followed by multifamily dwellings (29 percent).

    1. In case of any emergency, call 911!
    2. Never wear loose fitting clothing when cooking. Those can easily could ignite and catch fire.
  • Don't leave your food unattended on the range or in the oven.
  1. Keep children out of the kitchen when cooking.
  2. Remove anything near the stove that could catch fire, including wooden utensils, oven mitts, plastic bags, or towels.
  3. Take extra precaution with turkey fryers. Turkey fryers increase your risk of burn or fire hazards. Be sure the oil used to fry the turkey is the right temperature and always fry outside in a well-ventilated area. Never put water on a grease fire use a fire extinguisher or flour to put it out.
  4. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Be familiar with how the extinguisher works and teach your family to use it as well. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and teach your family how to use it.
  5. Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

Sources:

  • “Thanksgiving Safety Tips”

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/11/5-fire-safety-tips-to-keep-in-mind-this-thanksgiving/

Veterans Day Facts

11/5/2017 (Permalink)

Veterans Day honors those who served the United States in all wars, especially veterans.©bigstockphoto.com/Anthony Correia

In the USA, Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the  Treaty of Versailles of the whichwas signed on June 28, 1919 ending the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany. Every year veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day.

Today Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.

The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls.

Preparing for Winter Storms

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Take some time this fall to check your home before the cold winter and snow comes!

More often than not, as homeowners, the last thing we want to do is home repairs.  Not only do they take time (and many of us don't have a lot to spare), but they can also be costly and sometimes tedious.  Small repairs such as changing a light bulb or fixing a leaky faucet can be put off until it is absolutely necessary to fix, but there are some repairs that should never be put off.  Unfortunately, many of these involve major things (and can come with an even more major price tag), but avoiding the two repairs listed below could actually cause bigger problems down the road when the cold freezing temperatures and snow hit us shortly.  

Foundation Issues

The foundation of your home is extremely important-it holds up your home's entire structure.  Cracks in the foundation are definitely something not to overlook when it comes to repairs. The last thing you want as a homeowner is for a crack to spread.  Checking your home's foundation in the fall will help prevent water from thawing snow or ice getting into your home in the spring.  

Plumbing Issues

Water anywhere other than in a pipe or sink basin is bad, especially for your home.  Plumbing issues and leaks anywhere in your property should be addressed as soon as possible.  Winter in the Chicago area is known for its below freezing temperatures.  This can sometimes take a toll on the plumbing and pipes in your home.  Checking them now will be a great step towards prevention. 

Roof Issues

Every home has a roof.  This is one of the most important parts of any building because it protects what is inside.  The roof is a major player when it comes to keeping up on repairs.  If you notice any leaks, missing or damaged shingles/tiles or any kind of sagging this should be fixed as soon as possible.  Leaks mean water will get into your home and then may lead to mold, structure damage and even possibly fire if it comes in contact with anything electrical.  Missing or damaged shingles can lead to a number of issues if not fixed and create weak spots in a roof. A sagging roof could signify moisture in the attic and could be a sign of poor ventilation, broken or cracked joists, rafters or the ridge line itself.  

Fireplace Issues

Fireplaces and other indoor heating systems with poor maintenance can cause fire, puff-backs and smoke damage. A fireplace is beautiful and keeps your home warm with low electricity bills but without proper care it can cause a house fire. Clean chimneys and flutes on your fireplaces annually. Get your furnaces checked once a year and keep your space heaters 3 feet or the recommended length away from any flammable objects. This includes window blinds/curtains, furniture, bedding, and decorative rugs.

Fire Damage Repair Should Be Done By Professionals

10/8/2017 (Permalink)

With quick and decisive fire damage repair, even the worst disasters can be put in the past. Roaring flames have been one of man’s greatest enemies since the dawn of ancient times, and though it’s easier to handle these days, it can still cause havoc if it gets out of control. Not only can the flames cause enormous damage, the ash, soot and smoke residue that remains will make the home almost noxious to live in. Both can create irritating odors, discolor walls or ceilings and cause breathing issues if there is a high concentration of ash left over.

Professional fire damage repair will remove the ash, odor and smoke residue left behind. This has to be done quickly because ash is acidic and will cause materials to deteriorate if allowed to sit for long. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County technicians will work hard to provide a thorough cleanup.  This will include treatment of every surface that is affected by ash and soot. This includes cleaning down walls, ceilings, furniture and countertops. Ash and smoke will almost always be present in the vents and ducts as well, as they are quickly taken up by the HVAC system. SERVPRO’s technicians will access the home’s ducts to clean them out as well, preventing either from entering the home once again.

Upon eliminating all of the ash, soot, and smoke, the home will quickly be free of any lingering odor. It will be “Like it never even happened.”

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (847) 516-1600

 We service all of these communities in Southern McHenry County           Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Trout Valley, Marengo, Village of Lakewood, Village of Oakwood Hills, Woodstock and Union.

History of Sweetest Day

10/8/2017 (Permalink)

Sweetest Day

Sweetest Day is a holiday celebrated every year on the third of October, primarily only in the Mid-West.

Creation of Sweetest Day is often attributed to Herbert Birch Kingston—a simple man who worked for a candy company—decided to spread a little love to the less fortunate who are often overlooked. So, he passed out heaps of candy to the orphans, the ill and the disabled in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

As it turns out, the tradition stuck. Nowadays, Sweetest Day is a day to shower the ones you love with gifts and make them feel special, just like Valentine's Day. Even though, many people believe that Sweetest Day is for the guy and Valentine's Day is for the girl, that's not true. It's just another day to show love, respect, and appreciation for family, friends, and loved ones.

Have a happy Sweetest Day from everyone at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County.

Columbus Day in the United States

10/1/2017 (Permalink)

Statue of Christopher Columbus©iStockphoto.com/Lya_Cattel

Columbus Day is a national holiday in many countries in the Americas and elsewhere which officially celebrates the anniversary that remembers Christopher Columbus' arrival to the Americas on October 12, 1492.

Columbus Day first became an official state holiday in Colorado in autumn of 1905, and became a federal holiday in the United States in 1937

Since 1970 (Oct. 12), the holiday has been fixed to the second Monday in October, since 1957. It is generally observed nowadays by banks, the bond market, the U.S. Postal Service, other federal agencies, most state government offices, many businesses, and most school districts. Some businesses and some stock exchanges remain open, and some states and municipalities abstain from observing the holiday.

Have a happy Columbus Day from everyone at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County.

Fire Prevention Week

10/1/2017 (Permalink)

Celebration of Fire Prevention Week

This year, Fire Prevention Week in the United States is from October 8th through October 14th. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, fire prevention week is on Record as the longest running public health observance. 

The first National fire prevention week was October 4th through the 10th in 1925. This started a tradition of the President of the United States signing a proclamation of recognition for the annual occasion. The yearly event falls on the week of October 9th and runs Sunday through Saturday. 

The week is in commemoration with the "Great Chicago Fire". The Great Chicago Fire took place on October 8th-9th 1871. This dreadful fire burned over 2,000 acres, destroyed over 17,400 structures, left 100,000 people homeless, and killed more than 250 people. Legend has it, the fire started after a cow kicked over a lamp. 

Source: www.nfpa.org

Halloween Fire Safety

10/1/2017 (Permalink)

Have a Safe & Happy Halloween from SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County

For each year from 2011 to 2013, an estimated 10,300 fires were reported to fire departments in the United States over a three-day period around Halloween and caused an estimated 25 deaths, 125 injuries and $83 million in property loss. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) nearly half of decoration fires in homes occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source.

Don't let these statistics scare you away from celebrating Halloween to the fullest! The vast majority of these fires are easily preventable. Here are a few safety tips to help ensure the holiday remains festive and fun.

  • Keep decorations far away from open flames and other heat sources like lights and heaters. Remember to keep all of your home's exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Try a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o'-lanterns. If you want to use real candles, be extremely careful. In this case, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter when lighting them inside jack-o'-lanterns. If there are children around, make sure they are watched at all times when candles are lit. Place the lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far away from driveways, doorsteps, walkways and yards -- anyplace where trick-or-treaters may walk.
  • Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters whose costumes may brush up against the lighting as they walk to from your door.
  • Choose costumes that don't require long-trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can clearly see where he is walking to prevent trips or falls near dangerous or flammable items.
  • Talk to your children and remind them to stay away from open flames, including jack-o'-lanterns with candles inside. Provide them with flashlights or glow sticks to carry for lighting as part of their costume.

Source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Classes of Mold

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Like we always say, mold is everywhere and not all molds are harmful to us! Molds are often found in wet, damp places and can vary in color and smell. Mold is put into different categories based on their hazard:

Hazard Class C:

While this group of molds are not health hazards – they can cause structural damages, and are recommended to be removed.

Hazard Class B:

These are molds that if endured over long periods of time can cause allergic reactions

Hazard Class A:

These are the molds we want to identify and remove immediately! These molds create toxins and if not handle correctly the air quality of a structure with steadily decline.

If you feel like your home or business might be affected by mold.

Call SERVPRO at 847-516-1600. While we cannot determine what type of mold it may be – we can remediate it with no worry!

 Source:

https://www.moldbacteria.com/mold/common-building-molds-their-hazard-classes.html

Mold Coverage and Your Insurance Claims due to Water Loss Event

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Due to a Water Damage

It has happened. There is water everywhere. Your carpet is saturated; the drywall is wet, your furniture and even some of your personal belongings. There are so many things running through your head: how am I going to get this dry; how much of this will my homeowner’s insurance policy cover; what if this water loss event leads causes mold?!

We are here to help you prepare, should a water loss event - such as a pipe burst, pipe leak, ice damming, hot water heater leak, etc. - occur in your home. Here are some tips to help you best handle the situation:

  1. Familiarize yourself with your declarations page. This is something that you should do, as a homeowner, once you move in to your home. This way, you know what is covered under your policy and you are not surprised when something isn’t covered. If you're not comfortable with what is or isn’t being covered, you can contact your insurance agent to make the desired adjustments.
  2. Document the loss as best you can.If a water loss event occurs, take date and time stamped photos. Keep record, such as call logs or copies of e-mails, of all interaction with your insurance company and any vendors you are using to help address the issue.
  3. If you see possible mold growth or you are getting musty-like odor, contact a mold inspection company to have a mold inspection and testing performed.If a water loss event is not properly and thoroughly dried up within 48 hours, mold can begin to grow. A mold inspection and testing by a Certified Mold Inspector will determine if "abnormal" or unhealthy mold conditions exist in the area affected by the water loss event.
  4. Monitor the health of those in the home.After the water loss event occurs, if any occupants of the home start experiencing adverse health reactions such as: allergy-like symptoms or respiratory issues, this may be an indication that areas were not properly dried up and mold may have started to grow. We strongly suggest having a mold inspection and testing done by a Certified Mold Inspector if any of the homes occupants are not feeling well while in the home.

If you have experienced a water loss event in your home and have concerns of mold, contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600. We service all of these communities in Southern McHenry County           Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Trout Valley, Marengo, Village of Lakewood, Village of Oakwood Hills, Woodstock and Union.

Hurricane Harvey

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Harvey

Here to Help®

In addition to the 121 local Franchises that are in the states affected by Hurricane Harvey, SERVPRO has a national network of over 1,700 Franchises across the country and our designated Disaster Recovery Teams have been deployed to the affected areas bringing hundreds of crews from across the nation to help.

Harvey made landfall late Friday night as a Major Hurricane at Category 4 strength. Impacts for Harvey are widespread and will continue for the next week at the very least, and our local SERVPRO Franchises and Disaster Recovery Teams are ready to respond to calls.

You Can Help By Making a Donation Today!

The American Red Cross is working around the clock along the Gulf Coast to help the thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by Tropical Storm Harvey.

Click HERE to make a donation

A Few Facts About Labor Day

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

celebrating A Day For the Worker

Today Labor Day, is the first Monday in September, it was a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the economic and social achievements of American workers. It establishes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated in September, caught on in other industrial areas across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it. Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. Many credit Peter J. McGuire, a carpenter and cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a machinist and a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday. We didn't know which man should be credited - partially because people over the years confused them because of their similar-sounding names. Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer, the start of the back-to-school season and the wearing of any white clothing after the summer officially ended.

With the celebration there is a risk fire please take the proper precautions while using fireworks or barbequing.

Hope you have a great Labor Day.

If you have any questions or you need emergency call us at 847-516-1600.

Smoke Odors and Fire Damage Often Act in Tandem

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Rely on SERVPRO to Restore Your Fire and Smoke Damaged Property in Southern McHenry County

SERVPRO's Many Proven Techniques Mitigate Smoke Odors and Fire Damage

Following a fire, early deodorization is essential as a follow-up to cleaning and odor removal procedures. Deodorization gives a clear indication of how effective an odor removal process is working. Deodorizing usually requires multiple techniques to produce the proper results. As a multi-step process, this helps to reduce cross-contamination of smoke residue. Odor removal should begin in the area where the fire originated.

Fire odors are caused by different sources such as soot, flames, contaminated materials that become damaged, all of which require different methods of deodorization. For a fire damage event in Southern McHenry County, your home or business may need a water-based deodorant treatment.   The purpose of this method is to counteract gas smells at the floor level and to keep them from becoming airborne. A compression sprayer is used, which is filled with a water-based deodorant and is then applied to the floor along with a safe odor counteractive chemical for the smoke.   Another deodorant process involves a time-release granulated deodorant that is applied to the floor. These specialized granulates release odor counteractants to reduce the intensity of smoke odors. Granule treatment should only be performed by SERVPRO because of the particular care that should be taken on different floor surfaces.   The last emergency deodorization procedure used is an odor counteractive spray or fog. This method is called “thermal fogging,” to recreate the conditions that exist during a fire. Tiny particles become deeply embedded into surfaces, just like smoke particles during a fire. Odor counteractant vapors will continue to work throughout the SERVPRO restoration project.   Of the varied deodorizing techniques, the first step of any odor removal treatment is to remove the source of the odor. The second basic step is to clean the area of residue. Removing odor sources and cleaning residues is perfunctory in every deodorization methods. During a fire, odors can come from some sources, both indoors and outdoors. Of course, HVAC systems must not be activated during these procedures, and quite often a thorough and comprehensive duct cleaning are needed.   SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County technicians are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. We have the training, tool and industry approved equipment to deodorize and remove offensive odors from a fire, water damage or mold. Acting fast can save your property even after fire damage. We are available 24 hours a day, give us a call – (847) 516-1600 and let us help restore your property to a preloss condition.

Floods and FEMA

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

FLOOD LOSSES and FEMA

I know we have got past of the worst of the flood season, but with all the talk of earthquakes, I thought this could be helpful.

Catastrophe situations typically involve numerous flood claims, making for brisk business for restoration companies like SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County. When a property owner states they have insurance, it would be wise to clarify if it is going to be a standard property claim, or insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It is important to keep in mind that flood claims have to follow the rules of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) and there are some fairly significant differences from a standard homeowner’s policy.

Knowing the flood program rules can keep restorers like SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County from getting into hot water after a flood claim, especially if you are referred in by an agent. Nothing upsets a client or referring partner more than surprise charges the property owner must pay when, from the onset, everyone might have assumed it would be covered by the policy. While restorers like SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County know exactly what is required to be done to restore the property to pre loss condition, it is imperative that they know these standard procedures are not always covered by the SFIP -- which the flood adjuster must adhere to. There is no wiggle room when it comes to the SFIP, and it is important that the insured read their policy and coverage and make sure they understand the coverage and limitations, or contact their agent. When a restoration professional knows the rules, life becomes easier for all involved. 

FEMA produced a lengthy memo outlining what is allowed and what is not when it comes to restoration expenses after a flood loss. The memo is titled W-13025a and a quick web search will produce it. With this in mind, the following list represents a portion of some of the major points every restorer must know before beginning work on a flood claim using an SFIP policy. Refer to the memo for a full listing.

  1. Water extraction from wet carpet is not covered by the SFIP. If your estimate lists water extraction as a line item, it will not be allowed for coverage. It is assumed the extraction cost is included in the cost to remove wet carpet, so restorers must include that cost in the removal line item.
  2. Restorers must provide complete daily drying logs with their invoice. This includes readings of affected and non-affected areas, equipment outputs, and material readings, documenting the drying process. Without proper drying logs, flood adjusters are only able to pay the reasonable costs that should have been incurred via calculations provided by FEMA.
  3. The SFIP will not pay for claims to dry building components that are typically removed as flood water is considered category three. The removal of carpet and drywall affected by flooding is a typical example. All wet materials must be removed prior to installing drying equipment or the equipment charges will not be allowed.

Concerns with Mold in your Southern McHenry County home?

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Intrusion of water into your home can result in mold growth

From The Ordinary....

Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment.  In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified.  

Fungi produce some very useful results.  Yeast is a type of fungi used in preparing breads, baked goods and other food products, including some alcoholic beverages.  The unique flavor of blue cheese is a result of mold.  An edible mushroom is simply a type of fungi, and lifesaving penicillin is a product of mold.

Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful.  Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people.

To The Unhealthy...

Intrusion of water into your Southen McHenry County home can result in mold growth.  Water intrusions can be a result of storm damage, plumbing failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control.  When these intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth.  Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments.  If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply.  Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish.  Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.

Take Precautions

The Professionals at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County handle water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth.  Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time.  If your Southern McHenry County property has sustained a recent water damage, it is vital to remove excess water and dry the structure promptly.  If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, it is important to be alert for:

  • The presence of visible mold.
  • Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present.
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.

Help is Here!! 

If you think you might have a mold problem, the Professionals at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County are here to make it “Like it never even happened."

Call us today at (847) 516-1600 for any Mold concerns 

Mold Growing in Your AC Unit in Your Southern McHenry County Vacation Home or Home

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

When mold strikes your home, SERVPRO strikes back.

Does Your AC Unit Have A Musty Odor? 

When you have arrived at your vacation home or home to find mold growing inside, you want to locate the source of the problem right away. Mold spreads fast and can cause detrimental health effects for you and your family, so getting rid of it as soon as possible is a must. SERVPRO, professional mold damage remediation specialists, can assist you in finding the source of the mold, and clean up all the mold, so your property is safe again.  Your air conditioning unit in your Southern McHenry County vacation home or home can create mold damage, and quickly spread it throughout your property. When the AC unit is working properly, it can collect anywhere from ten to twenty gallons of water each day. Since most of it is usually tucked away out of sight, you may not realize the problem until it has accumulated into major damages.  Water ideally drains off the condensation coil into a collection pan and then disposed into the sewer system. However, if the drain becomes clogged, it can overflow and lead to damaged carpeting and flooring, plus create unhealthy molds.  When your condensation pump is dirty, it can create a leak. An excessive build-up of water like this leads to the growth of mildew and mold inside your AC unit, which in turn can get blown throughout the ductwork of your home. SERVPRO has the necessary equipment to clean the mold properly, including using air skippers or air whips which drive dirt, dust, mold and other debris toward collection devices which are fitted with HEPA filters. We know how to do the job safely and correctly, so you and your family are not exposed to the harmful mold spores during the process.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County understands the dangers of mold and how disconcerting it can be to discover it upon re-entering your vacation home after several months away. You came to relax, so call us at (847) 516-1600.

Warning Systems – Wireless & Siren Alerts

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Tornado in McHenry County

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers, and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a national emergency. The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to specific areas.

Tornado Sirens

What should I do when I hear the sirens?

When you hear tornado sirens, go inside and tune to local media to get more information.

Why can’t I hear the sirens in my house?

Sirens are an outdoor warning system designed only to alert those who are outside that something dangerous is approaching.

How can I get alerts when I’m at work or in my house?

For alerts indoors, every home and business should have a NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards. NOAA Weather Radio is like a smoke detector for severe weather, and it can wake you up when a warning is issued for your area so you can take appropriate action.

When are sirens tested?

Sirens are tested according to local community policies. This policy in the Chicagoland area is the system is tested every Tuesday at 10am.

Why don’t the outdoor warning sirens sound an all-clear signal?

People should be indoors and monitoring local media for updates on the storm.

Will the sirens warn me of every dangerous storm?

The safest approach is to be proactive and use all of the information available to protect yourself and your family from threatening weather. Nothing can replace common sense. If a storm is approaching, the lightning alone is a threat. Sirens are only one part of a warning system that includes preparation, NOAA Weather Radio, and local media.

Who activates the sirens?

Sirens are typically activated by city or county officials, usually a police or fire department or emergency management personnel. Check with your city or county officials to learn more.

Wireless Emergency Alerts

During an emergency, alert and warning officials need to provide the public with life-saving information quickly. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), made available through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) infrastructure, are just one of the ways public safety officials can quickly and effectively alert and warn the public about serious emergencies.

What you need to know about WEAs:

  • WEAs can be sent by state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States
  • WEAs can be issued for three alert categories – imminent threat, AMBER, and presidential
  • WEAs look like text messages, but are designed to get your attention and alert you with a unique sound and vibration, both repeated twice
  • WEAs are no more than 90 characters, and will include the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, as well as the agency issuing the alert
  • WEAs are not affected by network congestion and will not disrupt texts, calls, or data sessions that are in progress
  • Mobile users are not charged for receiving WEAs and there is no need to subscribe
  • To ensure your device is WEA-capable, check with your service provider

NOAA All-Weather Radio

If you don’t have a NOAA Weather Radio, there are other methods for receiving forecasts, watches and warnings from the National Weather Service. Tune in to your local radio and television stations for the latest news and updates on the situation, and visit weather.gov for information about weather radios and other online services.

All individuals living or working in tornado-prone areas should have a weather radio inside their home or place of work. A weather radio is particularly important for those living in an area that does not have storm warning sirens. All-weather radios broadcast National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day, and post-event information for all types of hazards, both natural and technological.

NOAA Weather Radios are available at electronics stores across the country and range in cost from $25 to $100 or more, depending on the quality of the receiver and number of features. The NWS does not endorse any particular make or model of receiver.

What to Look for in a NOAA Weather Radio

  • The most desirable feature is an alarm tone. This allows you to have the radio turned on but silent, listening for a special tone that is broadcast before watch and warning messages that give immediate information about a life-threatening situation.
  • Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology, a feature available since the mid-1990s, is capable of providing detailed, area-specific information. Unlike other NOAA Weather Radios, the SAME feature will filter out alerts that do not affect your immediate area.
  • It should operate on batteries during times when electrical service may be interrupted. Look for radios with an AC adapter and battery compartment.
  • The radio should be tunable to all seven NWR frequencies. For the latest list of frequencies and transmitter locations, check the NOAA Weather Radio website.
  • The hearing and visually impaired can receive watches and warnings by connecting weather radio alarms to other kinds of attention-getting devices, such as strobe lights, pagers, bed-shakers, personal computers, and text printers.

Please be safe during these times of possible disaster. If a disaster does occur call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.

source

https://www.fema.gov/integrated-public-alert-warning-system

www.weather.gov

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/info/nwrrcvr.html

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/

Dishwasher Leaks and Floor Damage Repair

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Damage to Wood floors because Dishwasher Leak

For some people, dishwasher leaks start as a slow drip that may not be immediately noticed. Others discover dishwasher leaks as soap suds bubble their way across the kitchen floor.

Dishwasher leaks and floor damage repair often go hand in hand. Stopping leaks before they cause damage is ideal, but depending on the situation, is not always possible.

Dishwasher Leaks and Floor Damage Repair

My dishwasher is leaking! What do I do now?

Time is critical when it comes to a water leak of any type. The faster you respond and take action to stop water from spilling onto your kitchen floor, the less damage that will be done – and that means less costly repairs!

What to do When Your Dishwasher Leaks

  1. If your dishwasher is leaking a significant amount of water, first turn off the dish washing cycle. For small leaks, it may be possible to capture the water with a towel or bowl and let the cycle finish first, but this is generally not recommended.
  2. Try to keep water from pooling on the floor. It’s easy for water to travel downwards and cause damage to your home’s structure out of sight. Use bowls, plates, and towels to capture and control the water flow.
  3. Clean up as much water as you can to minimize damage. If your water damage is severe, call Tidal Wave Response to assess the damage and begin the cleanup and restoration process.
  4. Determine the cause of the leak. Every leak has its own particular cause, and your course of action may take a bit of detective work. There are many possible causes of dishwasher leaks, and not all of them require a technician to repair. Depending on the cause of the leak, you may have to adjust the door, replace the gasket (seal) on the dishwasher, or even replace the dishwasher altogether.
  5. Repair your dishwasher leak before it ruins your kitchen floor. Some flooring is more susceptible to water damage than others, such as wood or bamboo. However, leaks need to be addressed for even the most water-resistant flooring, as water travels downwards and can damage substrate, ceilings, and lead to mold and mildew problems.

Common Causes of Dishwasher Leaks

Some dishwasher leaks can be repaired by your home handyman. Others may need to be repaired by a professional technician. The cause and severity of the leak will determine whether you need professional repairs.

  • Dishwasher installed unevenly: A dishwasher that is not level will leak water onto the floor instead of draining properly. Leveling the dishwasher usually solves this problem.
  • Loose connections (AKA clamps): One of the easiest problems to fix, loose connections or clamps usually require a tightening. In other cases, you may need to replace a clamp that is too large or faulty.
  • Wrong dish washing soap: While it might seem like soap is just soap, this is not the case with dishwashers. Dish washing soap is specifically formulated for your dishwasher’s cycle. Hand dish washing soap will cause excessive suds, which then leak onto your kitchen floor!
  • Faulty door: One of the most common causes of dishwasher leaks, faulty doors may be installed improperly so that they are too loose and do not create a proper seal, or misaligned and allow water out during the wash cycle.
  • Worn gasket: The gasket, or door seal, is critical in keeping water inside your dishwasher! It’s common for gaskets to simply wear out in older dishwashers, and a replacement gasket is an effective solution.
  • Defective Tub: The bowl-like bottom area of your dishwasher is called the ‘tub’, which gathers both water and food particles. In some cases, the tub is defective, allowing water out or not draining properly.

Floor Damage Repair

The type of repairs for your floor will depend on the severity and location of the damage. Some of the most common types of floor damage repairs include:

  • Wood floors can warp and buckle if not properly dried, which may lead to replacing not just the wood panels, but the substrate below as well.
  • While stone and tile can look nearly indestructible, water damage can stain, discolor, and damage these types of flooring. Water damage on these types of surfaces often do not appear immediately, but show up months after the initial damage.
  • Linoleum and other synthetic flooring may require being pulled up and replaced, especially if the substrate below becomes damaged.
  • Water damage which seeps into the ceiling of the floor below may lead to the need for ceiling repairs and replacement, including the insulation and wiring between floors.

SERVPRO SOUTHERN MCHENRY

The best way to avoid leaks and floor damage repair is to keep up with the maintenance on your dishwasher, and address even the smallest of leaks as soon as possible.

If your dishwasher has leaked a significant amount of water into your home – especially if it’s bled into a downstairs ceiling – then call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County! We are experienced in assessing, cleaning, and repairing all types of water damage in the home.

Don't DIY When You Have a Water Loss

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Don't Try It Yourself

If we spill something we usually have no problem cleaning it without the use of professionals. Most of us have had a lot of water flood or leak into our home. Some jobs can be cleaned up with household tools, towels, and fans to help dry things up. What you don't know is sometimes that does not work. There is a science to correctly drying out a home and avoiding strong odors, mold, and further damage. It is important that you have homeowners insurance or even renters insurance when problems arise. Always look over your policy carefully. It is always good to call in a professional service to get you on the right track when going through the stress of a water loss. Never assume you have dried the home completely. The source of the water is very important also. There are many things to consider during the time of the loss. Let us help you through the tough stuff. Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County today to get the job done right. 

How A Water Restoration Technician Assists After Disaster

8/13/2017 (Permalink)

A water restoration technician has an extremely important job when a home is affected by excess moisture or fluid. Certified professionals in the industry can quickly reverse the extensive damage that a flood or sewage backflow can cause, and save as many items as possible in the process. And when dealing with contaminated fluids, especially when it has pooled in the home, only certified professionals should be allowed to manage the cleanup. Attempting to perform cleanup efforts without expert assistance can lead to injury or illness, both of which can be severe.

A certified water restoration technician will usually be on call around the clock, except for those times when an entire community has been affected by a major disaster. As soon as a professional is on site, they will assess the situation and determine what items need immediate rescuing. If fluid has pooled in areas around the home, then pumps will be used to remove it.

The home will be dried using a configuration of heavy duty air movers and dehumidifiers, and while it dries, the firm will move through the building and look for any evidence of mold or pathogen contamination. If pathogens or mold are present, they will be eliminated using special procedures. This will ensure the home is safe to return to, and with concerted drying efforts, the building will as good as new once professionals have completed their work.

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is an IICRC certified Firm and has IICRC certified technicians.

If you have any questions or need emergency service class SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.

Source: Reprint permission given by Scott Zerr at

www.IICRC.org

Be Storm Ready, Be Storm Smart!

8/13/2017 (Permalink)

Down Trees From Storm Event

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,000 tornadoes
  • 2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Build an Emergency Kit

  • Water (one galloon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust makes or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information

If you have any questions please contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600

Enjoy Your Summer Fires by Building a Safe Fire Pit

8/11/2017 (Permalink)

Be Safe By The Pit

It's finally that time for outdoor BBQs, parties, and camp-outs and it's important to always keep safety at the forefront. Whatever type of pit you have in mind, make sure you follow all the rules for proper ignition. This will keep not only your family and friends safe but also those around you, like your neighbors.

Getting Started

Before you start digging to build your summer fire pit, think through the process. Where are you going to build your pit? How deep should you dig? What should you use to create the above ground wall? When selecting your spot, take care not to dig too near other items that would easily flame up. So place your pit at least ten feet from other structures and avoid overhanging branches. It's important that if you are installing a prefabricated pit, you need to ensure your ground is level. Using pavers is a great way to ensure that any burning embers that may escape won't spread to other structures or brush.

When digging your own summer pit, ensure you remove at least one foot of earth. Place large stones or landscaping bricks around the outside edge of your site and cover up at least one foot. Using concrete to secure your bricks will provide a safer, stronger pit. Once you have your pit completed, create a ten-foot circumference around it by clearing any brush, leaving only bare earth, or by using pavers to secure the area and help prevent drifting embers.

Enjoying Your Pit

Light your pit before the light is too dim. Twilight is a bit late, but with some skill, you should be able to get it lit. Make sure you have enough water stored near your pit to quickly douse flames. Finally, keep your wood well away from the pit. And it goes without saying; no horseplay should ever happen near the pit. While we would rather you enjoy your summer safely; the professionals at Southern McHenry County can help you with any fire disaster--large or small.

What You Should Know About Commercial Fire Damage

8/11/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Building Fire

Commercial fire damage is one of the most devastating experiences that a business owner can experience. In addition to doing severe damage to the structure of the building, fires can lead to excessive, standing water on the property as well as mold invasions. For these reasons and more, business leaders find it difficult to recover from a natural disasters or man-made accidents. However, learning more about commercial fires and how fire damage remediation specialists can assist you is the first step towards limiting damages and preserving your equilibrium in the face of the disaster. Below is some information to help you:

Fire Threats – There are several factors that can place a commercial property in harm’s way leading to burning and fire damage.  Some of these include:

  • Lightning strike
  • Electrical fire
  • Blown fuse, overloaded circuits
  • An adjoining business fire

Preventing Commercial Fire Damage and Strategies You Can Use:

In addition to purchasing business interruption insurance, there are several strategies you can implement to decrease the impact of fire damage to your business. Some of them include:

  • Avoiding the storage of flammable items on site
  • Check your smoke alarms regularly to ensure they are functioning properly
  • Have your fire extinguishers in accessible areas
  • Implement a fire evacuation plan
  • Turn off appliances and machinery when no one is on site.
  • Ensure all machinery is in good condition
  • Have backup drives for computers
  • Important paperwork should be kept in a fireproof safe
  • Use a cloud for document back up storage
  • Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County today for any commercial needs.

A Way To Help Preventing Mold!

8/6/2017 (Permalink)

mold is a bathroom

In today’s new home our homes made them so air tight that it causes high moisture levels and poor air quality. These causes need to control both of this problems.

Mold spores are all around us, outside and indoors. In fact, mold serves a purpose in our eco-system to consume dead organic materials.

Problems with mold arise indoors because our homes are made of dead organic materials, meaning mold can grow anywhere in your home: on carpet, clothing, food, paper, and even in places you can’t see, such as the backside of drywall, areas inside walls around leaking or condensing pipes, and above ceiling tiles.

Your senses can help you detect mold problems. A musty odor is one indication. Not only is mold smelly, but can be many different colors from black and gray to orange and green. Watermarks on the ceiling and walls are also a telltale sign.

There are three key reasons you should be concerned about preventing mold.

  1. Mold can be difficult and costly to remove.
  2. Failing to remove mold could result in dry rot and structural concerns which will impact the long term value of the property.
  3. Finally, and most importantly, mold can produce allergens, irritants, and mycotoxins that can compromise your health. Since mold spores are very small and can easily be inhaled into your lungs it can impact your health negatively. In fact, research shows that chronic sinusitis and asthma can be caused by mold!

The good news is mold growth can be prevented. In order for mold to grow, it requires moisture, warmth, and food. Depriving mold of any of these three items will stop it from growing.

If you have any questions or you need emergency services call us at 847-516-1600.

Preventing Puffbacks

8/6/2017 (Permalink)

During the Cleaning process after a puff back

A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout the interior of a home. It can happen all at once, covering the interior in grimy soot, or it can leak soot more gradually.

Initially, many people mistake soot for dust and simply wipe it away. However, once cleaned, this “dust” often reappears and can sometimes be accompanied by a strong, oily odor. There are several steps your clients can take to prevent damage to their home. Remind them to:

  • Have the oil-burning furnace professionally checked and cleaned annually.
  • If you have a fireplace make sure is maintain properly.
  • Keep an eye out for traces of soot around their home.
  • Install a carbon monoxide monitor. Puffbacks (and the soot they create) will increase the carbon monoxide levels in their home. A carbon monoxide monitor can help to detect the puffback in its early stages.

If soot begins accumulating on objects or walls within their home, they should turn off the heating system immediately. Contact a heating professional to service the heater and restore it to proper working order.

Fortunately, if your client does experience a puffback, SERVPRO has the knowledge and experience to complete a thorough cleaning and removal of any soot and odors. Our Fire Restoration Team will respond immediately and make it look Like it never even happened®

Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.

Wood Flooring and Secondary Damage To It

8/6/2017 (Permalink)

Examples of Floor Damage

There are many ways water damage in your home or business can occur. Some of the most common examples are broken or leaking pipes, appliances malfunctioning, or flooding. The key to keeping the extent of water damage to a minimum is a quick response to start drying. Otherwise secondary damage to the property will be inevitable. Secondary damage can be many things from, delaminated carpeting, discoloring of building materials, musty odors, mold, or warped flooring. In this case we are talking about hardwood flooring in particular and what happens. Wood is semi porous material that absorbs water slowly between the wood joints. If wood has been affected by water damage, and is caught in a short amount of time, there are drying mats that can extract the water out of the wood and bring it back to its original state. If a wood floor has absorbed a significant amount of water and has dwelled for an extended period of time, then the wood floor will begin to cup and stain. If the floors are left in this condition it will get worse to the point of no return and must be removed. If wood floors are treated as soon as you see cupping, there is still a chance of them being saved. Water will get extracted, and then once dry, the wood can be sanded and refinished to get a smooth surface again.

If you or someone you know ever experiences water damage, the first thing you should do is call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County and start the drying process to prevent unnecessary damage from occurring! If water damage occurs and has gone unnoticed, call us in and we will survey the damage. Our goal is to save as much as we can and assist in the replacement of materials if absolutely necessary.

Commercial Buildings And Mold

7/30/2017 (Permalink)

Mold In A Commercial Building

Are you an Southern McHenry County business owner looking for information on how to fix water damage in your commercial property? If so, don’t put it off, hoping that the damage will dry off and things will go back to normal.

Water damage should be dealt with as soon as possible. What may begin as a small leak can quickly and unexpectedly turn into an unexpected flood, creating extreme property damage and even leading to toxic mold growth. As a result, your business can become inoperable, losing hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.

Commercial buildings face a greater risk of incurring water damage on weekends or during the holiday season when no one is around to notice potential problems that could lead to flooding.

Imagine coming in to work and realizing that a pipe has burst, a toilet has leaked or your office has flooded. Sometimes, expensive equipment like computers and fax machines can get damaged, and important business documents can get destroyed. If you’re particularly unlucky, your leak or flood may even cause damage to the offices next door. So what do you do?

What to Do If Your Office Is Flooded

The first and most important thing you should do is to call a water-damage specialist to get rid of the water and check for any mold growth. This first step is crucial because it takes only 24 to 48 hours for mold to form after a flood. Acting quickly can prevent major structural degradation due to mold and water damage.

Needless to say, business owners cannot afford to take water damage lightly. If that’s you, call in a professional water restoration company like SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County to deal with the flood quickly and effectively. You’ll be glad you did!

Water intrusion is a cause for concern for any commercial property owner. Water damage leads to mold in many cases, which will cost you financially and put the health and safety of the building’s occupants at risk.

Don't try to tackle a mold situation yourself call the pros at SERVPRO.

(847) 516-1600.

Checking Your Home: Structural Elements

7/30/2017 (Permalink)

Checking Your Home: Structural Elements

From The American Red Cross         

If you had to leave your home, return only when local authorities advise that it is safe to do so. Do not cut or walk past colored tape that was placed over doors or windows to mark damaged areas unless you have been told that it is safe to do so. If a building inspector has placed a color-coded sign on the home, do not enter it until you get more information, advice and instructions from your local authorities.

 If you have children, leave them with a relative or friend while you conduct your first inspection of your home after the disaster. The site may be unsafe for children, and seeing the damage firsthand may upset them even more and cause long-term effects, including nightmares.

 Make a careful and thorough inspection of your home’s structural elements:

  • Check the outside of your home before you enter. Look for loose power lines, broken or damaged gas lines, foundation cracks, missing support beams or other damage. Damage on the outside can indicate a serious problem inside. Ask a building inspector or contractor to check the structure before you enter.
  • If the door is jammed, don’t force it open – it may be providing support to the rest of your home. Find another way to get inside.
  • Sniff for gas. If you detect natural or propane gas, or hear a hissing noise, leave the property immediately and get far away from it. Call the fire department after you reach safety.
  • If you have a propane tank system, turn off all valves and contact a propane supplier to check the system out before you use it again.
  • Beware of animals, such as rodents, snakes, spiders and insects, that may have entered your home. As you inspect your home, tap loudly and often on the floor with a stick to give notice that you are there.
  • Damaged objects, such as furniture or stairs, may be unstable. Be very cautious when moving near them. Avoid holding, pushing or leaning against damaged building parts.
  • Is your ceiling sagging? That means it got wet – which makes it heavy and dangerous. It will have to be replaced, so you can try to knock it down. Be careful: wear eye protection and a hard hat, use a long stick, and stand away from the damaged area. Poke holes in the ceiling starting from the outside of the bulge to let any water drain out slowly. Striking the center of the damaged area may cause the whole ceiling to collapse.
  • Is the floor sagging? It could collapse under your weight, so don’t walk there! Small sections that are sagging can be bridged by thick plywood panels or thick, strong boards that extend at least 8–12 inches on each side of the sagging area.
  • If the weather is dry, open windows and doors to ventilate and/or dry your home.
  • If power is out, use a flashlight. Do not use any open flame, including candles, to inspect for damage or serve as alternate lighting.
  • Make temporary repairs such as covering holes, bracing walls, and removing debris. Save all receipts.
  • Take photographs of the damage. You may need these to substantiate insurance claims later.

Stay Safe from Summer Storms

7/30/2017 (Permalink)

Thunderstorm Occurring

While the spring season is known for the potential to experience severe weather, the threat exists throughout the summer months as well.  In fact, the potential for severe weather even increases in some areas.  Thunderstorm season in the Midwest begins June 1st and runs through September 30th.  

While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to ensure you are ready when disaster strikes. Consider the following tips when preparing for an approaching storm.  

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County 847-516-1600

Before the Storm Build an emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.  Unplug your electrical devices like your computer, or television.  Secure objects that could easily be blown away in a storm.  When you see the storm coming don't watch the storm and all of its fury, find shelter inside or in your hard top vehicle (avoid convertibles). 

During the Storm Use your battery operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from your local officials, for more information on weather radios. Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords, including corded telephones.  Cordless and cellular devices should be safe.  Unplug anything you don't want damaged as a result of the storm.  Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.  While staying away from windows and doors, remember that plumbing fixtures can conduct electricity.  

After the Storm Don’t ever drive through flooded roadways.  Stay away from downed power lines, and storm damaged areas to keep from putting yourself in harm’s way.  Report any downed power line to your electric supplier immediately.

sources

http://www.wikihow.com/Prepare-for-a-Winter-Storm

Mold - the Ugly, the Good and the Bad

7/30/2017 (Permalink)

Mold in a House

Mold----

the Ugly, the Good  and the Bad

 The Good… 

Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment.  In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified.  Fungi produces some very useful results.  Yeast is a type of fungi used in preparing breads, baked goods and other food products, including some alcoholic beverages.  The unique flavor of bleu cheese is a result of mold.  An edible mushroom is simply a type of fungi, and lifesaving penicillin is a product of mold.  

The Bad and the Ugly… 

Mold exists in every household, no matter how spotless you keep it. It’s a natural part of the air in any home. Mold becomes a problem if it can grow and spread, which can lead to respiratory problems in those with suppressed immune systems and who suffer from allergies or have asthma. Severe indoor mold infestations can also affect otherwise healthy people.

Things to be aware of… 

Appearance 

Do you see mold?

 Odor

Do you smell mold? Mold has a particular musty, earthy smell. If you smell something not quite right near an area that is prone to dampness and constant moisture, you may be smelling mold. Mold feeds on both wood and drywall, so if you smell a strong, musty odor but don’t see any discoloration, the problem may be inside of your wall. Check for leaks both inside and outside of the wall to help you track down the source of the smell. 

If you suspect you have a mold problem call

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County 847-516-1600

A professional in mold remediation will examine your home or business and determine the next course of action needed.

Fire and Smoke Damage Clean up tips From SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire and smoke damage

Damage can come in all forms including fire and smoke damage, and water damage.  If you don’t act immediately, you can be faced with additional expenses to fix that damage.  We have compiled a list of tips you can enact when facing such damage.   Today we are going to focus fire and smoke damage.

  • Call a professional.  Some by-products can cause etching which is irreversible fairly quickly.
  • Do not touch anything that has been damaged with your bare hands.  Your hands carry oil which can cause additional damage.
  • Open up the house and air out any smoke damage, if the outside temperature is warm.
  • Do not wash any of the walls that have smoke/fire damage.  The wrong cleaning component can cause more damage.
  • Clean off your Formica, chrome, porcelain or aluminum fixtures to prevent permanent tarnishing.
  • Call a professional to clean up any upholstered furniture and carpets.  Don’t clean them yourself.
  • Keep away from anything and everything electronic until they have been checked out by and cleared by a professional.
  • Replace your air filter on your furnace if you use forced air.
  • If your ceiling is wet, do not use any of the fixtures.
  • Throw away all food packages that have been opened.
  • Any clothing that has been tarnished, send to a professional for cleaning.
  • Clean out the refrigerator/freezers and keep the doors open, if the electricity is off.

If you have any questions or you need emergency call us at 847-516-1600.

SERVPRO Becomes PGA Partner

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO and PGA Partners
  • SERVPRO becomes TOUR partner

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The PGA TOUR and SERVPRO®, a national leader in property cleanup and restoration, have announced a new four-year official marketing relationship.

By joining the TOUR's Official Marketing Partner program, SERVPRO receives the designation as "Official Cleanup and Restoration Company of the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour." SERVPRO will have the opportunity to have a brand presence at tournaments on both Tours and promote its official affiliation using the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour logos.

Based in Gallatin, Tenn., SERVPRO specializes in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, helping both commercial and residential customers recover from property damage emergencies.

"We take great pride in the quality of our sponsors, and SERVPRO is not only recognized as the brand leader in its own industry, but also one of the top franchises in the country," said Jay Monahan, PGA TOUR Chief Marketing Officer. "We are extremely pleased to announce our new marketing relationship with SERVPRO and look forward to working together to maximize its sponsorship with the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour."

SERVPRO recently was listed among the Top 10 of Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 rankings for the fifth consecutive year. Of the 853 companies qualified for the rankings, SERVPRO earned the No. 7 spot overall for 2014 and No. 1 in the cleaning and restoration industry for the 11th consecutive year.

"Our customers and our Franchisees love golf so we are thrilled to be a PGA TOUR Marketing Partner. The PGA TOUR partnership is a perfect way to expand our brand awareness and thank our clients for allowing SERVPRO to help make it 'Like it never even happened,'" said Sue Steen, CEO of SERVPRO Industries, Inc.

Sources

SERVPRO.com

pga.com

A Superior Company For Mold Damage Restoration

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Says: Mold Remediation in Southern McHenry County Needs Attention

Mold Remediation by SERVPRO

Mold can grow under a multitude of conditions present in our buildings every day. Moisture, however, is the foremost factor that causes mold growth. Specific areas of Illinois are considered flood zones. Areas where the Fox River or other main river boundaries flow are known to cause flooding onto local streets, affecting businesses and homes. Flooding can affect virtually every area of a home or business. More water damage in a basement or a building's foundation causes devastating effects. If standing water of any type is not extracted quickly, mold growth and damage can be the result.

If homeowners or office managers experience any Southern McHenry County mold damage to their properties and belongings, it is most beneficial to contact SERVPRO immediately. Mold spores live and grow through moisture and high levels of humidity. If these conditions are not addressed immediately - within 48 hours, mold will continue to return. These fungi can also produce a musty odor. We specialize in water and mold mitigation and restoration. Our advanced mold remediation equipment and restoration processes help to detect and handle the source of the water problem. Each mold infestation requires a particular solution. Our highly trained professionals use an exacting system of inspection, assessment, containment, air filtration, removing mold infested materials, disinfecting, and cleaning your belongings.  We can perform various types of minor and major repairs. To save our customers stress, time and costs expense, SERVPRO can handle the entire mold remediation service. We can handle the initial damage mitigation and the rebuilding, including sanitizing and deodorizing of all affected areas. Our AMRT, Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians, are IICRC certified, with advanced corporate and franchise training. We are also experienced in dealing with your insurance company, and we can assist you in these matters if applicable. We can even assist you with your paperwork for your claim. Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County with any questions that you may have. We are available with 24-hour emergency service – including holidays. We are locally owned and operated, which means when you call us, we can respond quickly with the help that you need.

Don't try to tackle a mold situation yourself call the pros at SERVPRO. (847) 516-1600.

Flood Warnings What do they mean?

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Lately there has been flooding all over the United States: if you are unfamiliar with the difference between a flash flood warning, flood warning, and flood advisory; then read below! 

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
  • Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

Information from http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/

Commercial Building Restoration

7/27/2017 (Permalink)

This commercial building in Crystal Lake became flooded when a water line burst on the wall. They didn't even have to miss a day of business

Commercial buildings are very different than residential buildings. The way they are constructed and the materials used are very different. Commercial buildings can prove difficult to work on for vendors and mitigation companies that do not understand this.

Luckily, your business has SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County on its side! SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County handles residential and commercial losses of all sizes. Our technicians are experienced in the intricacies of commercial restoration and have worked on every variety of commercial building: apartment complexes, retail shops, office units, warehouses, churches, and many more. Not only do we have the personnel to handle these jobs, but we also have the equipment to assist you in your time of need.

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is ready to assist you with any fire, flood, mold, crime scene, trauma scene, or biohazard damage that needs remedying. Call us today. We are here to help. Call 847-516-1600.

SERVPRO® Pledges Ongoing Support to the American Red Cross Disaster

7/27/2017 (Permalink)

American Red Cross Responder Program Red Cross recognizes SERVPRO for their contribution to disaster preparedness and recovery efforts.

Cary, IL This was a news release on June 1, 2016 -- The American Red Cross recently recognized SERVPRO®, a cleanup and restoration company, for participation in its Disaster Responder Program1.  As a Disaster Responder Program member, SERVPRO pledges a donation to the Red Cross in advance of disasters, allowing the organization to respond quickly and effectively to nearly 66,000 disasters annually, most of which are home fires. SERVPRO is entering their third year of partnership with the Red Cross; their donations to the organization to date exceed one million dollars.

According to statistics cited by the Red Cross, seven people die in a home fire each day in the U.S. Aiming to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent by the end of 2019, the Red Cross launched a Home Fire Campaign in October of 2014. The support of SERVPRO and other Disaster Responder Program members allows the Red Cross to pursue their home fire prevention goals while they continue to provide critical services to disaster victims.

One of the reasons home fires account for the majority of the disasters the Red Cross responds to annually is that the risk for home fires exists all year long, said Robert Hammerschmidt, owner of SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County. Statistics compiled by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)2 show the majority of home fires are related to unattended cooking accidents and cooking is something most people do every day.

 Although SERVPRO's business is helping business and home owners recover from fire, flood and other disasters, the company and its franchisees actively support disaster preparedness education, including fire prevention efforts. When disaster does strike, their relationships with major insurance companies combined with industry-leading job-Management technology help smooth the path to rebuilding and restoration for home and business owners affected by the unexpected.

SERVPRO's commitment to the Red Cross Disaster Responder Program means that, when disaster strikes, homeowners can count on the Red Cross to address their immediate needs and supply essential services, said Robert. 

Once the immediate emergency is under control, homeowners can count on the expertise of restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County to help them restore their property and move forward with their lives.

For fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit http://www.SERVPRO.com/. For more information on SERVPRO® of Southern McHenry County, please contact Robert Hammerschmidt at (847) 516-1600 or sp8666@sbcglobal.net.

http://www.redcross.org/news/article/local/tennessee/SERVPRO-Recognized-for-Contribution-to-the-American-Red-Cross

http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fires-by-property-type/residential/home-structure-fires

About SERVPRO®

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services, and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and 

Canada, the SERVPRO® System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

Biohazard Cleanup Requires The Right Company

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

At a Crime Scene Cleanup

Bio-hazard cleanups require highly specialized cleaning company that provides bio-hazardous, blood cleanup services for people involved in accidental or trauma scene situations. Employees should be professionals highly trained in biohazard cleaning that will safely and discreetly remedy any blood scene involving biohazardous or infectious wastes and dispose of it properly. Biohazards such as: blood, bodily fluids, and tissues are contained, removed and all surfaces disinfected to provide a clean and safe environment.

Homeowners, property managers, co-workers, families and friends should find from emotional trauma and physical hazards associated with cleaning a bio-hazardous scene. We advise that family, friends, and co-workers should not try to cleanup a bio-hazard scene due to the potential bloodborne pathogen dangers and the emotional pain associated with the victims. We provide strict privacy for any biohazard cleanup at a trauma scene.

We work with all insurance companies if insurance is used.

Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County 847-516-1600 when the emergency occurs.

Should Commercial Carpet Cleaning be Done By a Professional

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Commercial Carpeting

With regular commercial carpet cleaning, office flooring can remain in excellent condition for many years. Any professional brought in to clean the carpet should have be properly trained or ceritifed.

You should be regularly vacuuming and cleanup this very important and will greatly extend the life of the carpet. However, deeper treatment is needed periodically. This consists of cleaning near the entry points of the building, and any other high traffic areas. Regular maintenance should also include complete cleaning at least twice a year. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County professionals use hot water extraction for this process.

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County technicians are trained on various carpet construction, are exposed to a variety of soiling conditions, and different common cleaning methods providing a wealth of experience and knowledge.

If you have any questions please contact us at 847-516-1600.

Emergency Readiness Program (E.R.P.)

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

Emergency Readiness Program

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program. Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company.

By working with SERVPRO® of Southern McHenry County develop your personalized Emergency READY Profile your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600 today for a No Cost Assessment of Your Facility!

Helping you to be “Ready for whatever happens,”

What Technicians Learn During Water Damage Restoration Courses

7/24/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage restoration courses certify technicians in the proper techniques for drying excessive moisture in the environment and structure. Accidents such as sewage backup, flooding, and broken pipes can happen to anyone, and the good news is that most homeowner’s insurance companies will cover the cost. Quick action is necessary to stop further degradation of the property.

What are some of the classes the technician will be introduced to? What is the technician going to be qualified to do upon completion?

The first step is to stop the flow of the liquid. The repair process is not possible without stopping that flow, and a technician is taught to investigate whether or not the problem has been stabilized. The technician is not qualified to repair the cause, but is trained to ensure the situation is stable before proceeding in the restoration.

Extraction is the first step of the drying process, and there are numerous pieces of equipment to remove the excess moisture. There are a number of tools available that help measure the moisture, and the professional knows how to tell the difference between good and bad humidity.

Psychrometrics is the science behind measuring gases or liquid in the environment. The person will learn how to take readings and how to properly decipher those readings. Without psychrometrics the expert cannot know whether or not the process has been successful, so it is a necessary part of standard water damage restoration courses.

Air movers are an important part of the process as they help cycle the air. The technician learns how to choose the right air movers, and how to place them properly for maximum results. It is important to know how to recognize and use Cubic Feet per Minute, or CFM, for this process.

Evaporation happens naturally with proper circulation, but the process has to be motivated to guarantee less damage to furnishings and structure. It can be used to speed the process along, or it can hinder the process. The technician learns how to use evaporation properly to hasten the drying process.

Water damage restoration courses prepare a technician to repair the effects of damaging liquid. Proper techniques will prevent bacteria and mold growth, and the property will be stabilized in turn. Each step is important for a satisfactory outcome.

The most important thing is the technician learns to follow the S500 the procedural standard for the water damage restoration industry, developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Based on years of in-field experience, exhaustive research, and responsible restoration practices, the S500 sets the standard for water damage restoration businesses everywhere.

If you have any questions or you need emergency call us at 847-516-1600.

Protecting Your Home While on Vacation

7/24/2017 (Permalink)

Don't let the anticipation of a well-deserved vacation blind you to the risks of leaving your home unprotected. Go ahead and plan your vacation, but take these precautions before you leave.

The Insurance Information Institute reports that the majority of residential break-ins occur during the prime vacation months of July and August. Preventing burglaries and other problems when you are away takes a minimal amount of planning and can increase your peace of mind greatly while you travel. Experts in home security say that the key to keeping your home secure while on vacation is simply to make your home the least appealing target on your block.

Following the tips below, you can make your house harder to break into, and give yourself peace of mind that you have taken all the precautions for home security.

Internet

While using personal pages on the Internet may be a convenient way to keep in touch with friends, sharing your itinerary can cause problems while you are away from home. Show some caution when you talk about your trip. Your blog isn't the best place to announce that you'll be away from home for a month.  The less information you put out there, the less likely it is to reach the wrong ears and eyes. 

Locking Up

Before you leave for vacation be sure you physically secure and check all windows and doors. This seems so obvious, but hey, it's easy to forget. If you keep a window unlocked to allow the cat easy access, or never bother to turn the deadbolt on the kitchen door, now's the time to clean up your act. Locking your home makes it less attractive to opportunistic burglars. If you don't make it easy, there's a better chance that when you get home, your house will be in the same condition as when you left it. 

Unplug Electronics

Disconnecting the power to some of your electronics, like your desktop computer, coffee pot and television can save you money while you're gone and eliminate the worry that you've accidentally left them on by mistake. Turning off your garage door is also an effective way to keep thieves from opening it with a universal remote. 

Maintaining Appearances

If your house is obviously uninhabited, you may be at risk of becoming a target for a burglar. An occupied home looks lived in. Lights go on and off, and cars come and go. When you're away, everything stops. To help create the illusion that the residence is still occupied, invest in timers that turn on the interior lights for a few hours every evening. If you can get a neighbor to take out your garbage and put the cans back after the garbage pickup, it's another way to send the message that everything is proceeding normally at your house. 

Paying someone to keep the yard mowed while you are away is a good idea if you will be gone for a significant amount of time in the spring or summer. Parking a car in your driveway also can make it appear as though someone is at home.

Mail Delivery

Piles of mail and newspapers can make it clear that you are away. While you can temporarily stop mail and newspaper delivery while you're on vacation, the IntelligentCruiser.com doesn't recommend this practice because newspaper or postal workers will know you are away. Failing

Protecting Your Home

A burglar alarm, while not foolproof, helps secure your home. While alarm systems are expensive, the Insurance Information Institute reports that a sophisticated alarm system can result in insurance discounts of 15 to 20 percent. If you don't have an alarm system, installing deadbolts on doors and windows can make it more difficult for thieves to enter your home. The Insurance Information Institute also recommends turning your computer off and locking up important documents to prevent burglars from accessing financial and personal information. Locking up expensive jewelry and small electronic devices before leaving home will help you avoid the theft of your most valuable possessions. 

Enlist the Help of Neighbors

Tell your closest neighbors you’re going out of town and ask them to watch your home. By leaving them a key they can enter the home if there’s an emergency or even turn lights off and on periodically.

If you have a neighborhood watch group in your area, you can ask them to keep an eye on your home, too. It's another way to make sure someone reliable is paying attention to the premises while you're gone 

Consider Hiring a House or Pet Sitter

The best way to make sure your house is safe while you're gone is to have someone you trust still living in it. You may be lucky enough to have a tidy and conscientious relative who'll move in temporarily and water the plants, feed the pets and pick up the newspapers. If not, there are services you can use for house-sitting and pet-sitting while you're away. This can be a pricy option, but it's a solution that touches all the bases. 

Preventative Maintenance

Burst or leaking pipes can make you quickly forget all about your relaxing vacation. Shutting off the main water supply may help eliminate the possibility of plumbing problems when you are out of town. Insulating pipes and keeping the heat on during a cold snap will help prevent burst pipes.

Returning from Vacation

When you get back from your trip, be sure you inspect your home upon your return. Look for signs of entry or missing items. If you notice anything stray, be sure to call the police immediately. It’s a good idea to wait outside the home until help arrives and when they do be sure to allow them to collect fingerprints. Be sure not to allow anyone to walk on the lawn until the police have left as well.

Sources:

http://www.pepper-spray-store.com/relatedinfo/vacation-security.shtml http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/10-tips-for-keeping-house-safe-while-on-vacation.htm The Insurance Information Institute

Southern McHenry County Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

7/23/2017 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 847-516-1600.

Candle Fire Tips and Facts

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

A candle fire in progress.

The winter holiday season is upon it is traditionally a festive time of year filled with colorful decorations and family gatherings, it is too often a time of tragedy and loss as well. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics indicate that 28% of all home fires and 35% of home fire deaths occurred between the months of December, January, and February. These winter fires result from a variety of sources. From 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 9,300 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damage. And the top three days for home candle fires were Christmas, New Year's Day, and Christmas Eve.

Facts and figures

During the Six-year period of 2009-2014

  • Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 5% of the direct property damage in home fires.
  • Candle fires occurred in these rooms: 44 percent of candle-sparked fires start in bedrooms, , 19 percent in living rooms, family rooms or dens, 11 percent in bathrooms, seven percent in kitchens, and four percent in dining rooms.
  • Roughly one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 32% of the associated deaths and 47% of the associated injuries.
  • Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths.
  • On average, 25 home candle fires were reported per day. 
  • More than half (58%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.

Here are some candle safety recommendations:

  • Don't leave them unattended. If leave a room, extinguish the candle and re-light it when you return.
  • Maintain a two-foot circle of safety around a lighted candle. It shouldn't be near clothing, books, curtains, etc. A breeze from an open window or forced hot air from a heat duct can, for instance, sweep a curtain into the proximity of the flame.
  • Use candles with a sturdy base
  • Trim the wick to one-quarter inch. That prevents the flame from becoming too large.
  • Keep lighted candles out of areas where they can be knocked over by kids or pets. People like to put candles at the end of a coffee table, but that's where people reach over to get something, and their clothes can come in contact with a flame.
  • Some candles require special attention, such as those with combustible material embedded in them. When the candle burns down, a little plastic fish, for example, becomes exposed to the flame, and it may ignite.

We here at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County wish you the Happiest of the Holidays.

  • Source: National Fire Protection Association

Fires Can Be Traumatic

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

Here is where the fire started and there was smoke damage throughout the house.

Any fire loss is a traumatic event for home or business owners, leaving you highly stressed and unsure of the process of getting life back to normal. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County delivers compassionate and caring restoration services and guides you through the restoration process so you can recover as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Fire losses are often also water losses and represent a wide variety of technical challenges and SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County has the skills, specialized equipment and systems necessary to return structures back to their normal functioning condition. We thoroughly assess the damage caused by fire, smoke residue and water and start the restoration process immediately because fast action helps to minimize further and extensive fire and smoke damage.

Because SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County specializes in mitigation rather than reconstruction, we do everything possible to restore, rather than replace, damaged structure and even its contents in order to get the job done faster. We are the professionals at removing even the most difficult and persistent smoke odors in the Southern McHenry County area, as well as providing the kind of restorative cleaning required to return property and its' contents to preloss condition.

If you have any questions or you need emergency services call us at 847-516-1600.

Restoring Your Southern McHenry County Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

7/12/2017 (Permalink)

This flooded basement was caused by a recent storm.


Flooding and water damage events at Southern McHenry County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County
SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

http://www.SERVPROsouthernmchenrycounty.com/employee-photos

Certifications

    JSR - Journeyman Fire & Smoke Restorer
    OCT - Odor Control Technician
    CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
    UFT - Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
    JTC - Journeyman Textile Cleaner
    ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
    SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
    RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
    WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
    Successful Subrogation for Restoration Contractors
    IICRC Certified Firm
    AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
    American Drying Institute
    ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
    RRT - Carpet Repair & Reinstallation Technician

Affiliations

    Huntley Chamber
    Algonquin/Lake In The Hills Chamber
    Cary Grove Chamber
    Crystal Lake Chamber

We are an IICRC Certified Firm

7/12/2017 (Permalink)

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm.

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

Southern McHenry County Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

7/12/2017 (Permalink)

This Southern McHenry County home’s basement flooded due to heavy rains.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your [[City or County Name]] basement could flood, including:
•A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
•Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
•Storm sewer backup
•Sanitary sewer backup
•Foundation drainage failure
•Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
•And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 847-516-1600

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
•We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
•We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
•We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
•Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
•We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
•Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 847-516-1600

Does Your Southern McHenry County Home Have A Mold Problem?

7/21/2016 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
  • If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

    If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (847) 516-1600

    Southern McHenry County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

    7/21/2016 (Permalink)

    Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

    Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
  • Different Types of Smoke

    There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

    Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
  • Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 
  • Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

    Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

    Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
    Call Us Today – (847) 516-1600

    Faster to your Southern McHenry County Water Damage Event

    7/21/2016 (Permalink)

    Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

    Faster To Any Size Disaster

    Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

    Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (847) 516-1600

    Water Damage Timeline

    Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
  • Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.
  • 48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
  • More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
  • About SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County

    SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

    24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

    7/21/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

    We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
    Call Today – (847) 516-1600

    We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

    What to Expect

    When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

    Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?
  • About SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County

    SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

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