Recent Water Damage Posts

Tips to Prevent and Protect Pipes from Freezing During The Winter

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

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

Why Pipe Freezing is Such a Problem

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

Most frequently pipes that freeze are:

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

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

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

How to Help Pipes From Freezing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

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

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

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

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

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

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

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

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

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 


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

5/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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

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

What is a Sewer Backup?

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What is a Sewer Backup? 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.

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

4/1/2018 (Permalink)

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


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

Condo Association and Insurance. Who Covers You?

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Condo Association and Insurance. Who Covers You? 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.

Ice Damming on Homes

1/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ice Damming on Homes 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.

Winter Freeze Checklist for Your Southern McHenry County

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Winter Freeze Checklist for Your Southern McHenry County 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.

Dishwasher Leaks and Floor Damage Repair

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Dishwasher Leaks and Floor Damage Repair 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.


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)

Water Damage Don't DIY When You Have a Water Loss 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

Wood Flooring and Secondary Damage To It

8/6/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Wood Flooring and Secondary Damage To It 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.

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.

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

7/12/2017 (Permalink)

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

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.