Flash Flooding in Madison WI
This was the scene of a library in the basement of a childrens museum which flooded.
What makes SERVPRO so great? It is our network of individually owned and operated franchises that have the capability to travel when times get rough in other communities. SERVPRO of Northbrook/Wheeling/Glencoe recently traveled to Madison Wisconsin after the recent floods to help the community out. The devastation was enormous, it seemed as though everyone had flood damage to some extent. Driving down the road, you would see debris and building materials in the front yards.
The people of Madison were incredibly hard working and optimistic. Nobody had ever seen rain like they had this past August. Everyone felt great helping these people in their time of need, and the local community was grateful to receive the support they needed.
We saw crews from all over the country, from California, to Texas. We are one of the few restoration companies that have the capabilities to pull resources from all over the country to get the job done quickly, and efficiently.
For all your restoration needs, call us day or night at (847)498-8889. SERVPRO Of Northbrook/Wheeling/Glencoe is always ready at the drop of a dime!
Its Hurricane Season!
Here in Illinois, we do not have to worry about the hurricane season. We have our own problems with the weather! But for those living in coastal areas, hurricane season brings discomfort and anxiety. Coastal flooding and wind damage can have devastating effects on communities causing damage to residential and commercial buildings.
Each SERVPRO franchise is locally owned and operated and many have the capacity to travel to these communities that have been hit after a hurricane to provide assistance. SERVPRO of Northbrook/Wheeling/Glencoe is one of the many franchises opting to travel after a storm hits to help communities in need. Last year, SERVPRO of Northbrook/Wheeling/Glencoe traveled to Florida and provided assistance after the hurricanes rolled through. It is tough work, but we are always here to help not only locally, but also nationally. We are hoping for a calm hurricane season this year, but know that if it gets bad, we are always here to help!
Why choose SERVPRO?
Here at SERVPRO of Northbrook/Wheeling/Glencoe, we realize you have many options when selecting a restoration and emergency service provider. So what makes us the best?
-We are a "one stop shop", meaning that we can handle any job from start to finish.
-We are one of 1700 individually owned and operated franchises which means we have more support during harsh weather.
-We are the fastest to any size disaster.
-SERVPRO is a trusted name in the industry.
-We work with all major insurance carriers.
-Our personal franchise has over 20 years of experience in any situation.
-We pride ourselves on customer service.
-We have all the necessary equipment to get any job completed.
-We handle both commercial and residential properties.
-We love what we do!
If you ever need any assistance or would like a free estimate. Give us a call today at (847)498-8889 day or night!
Out of the Frying Pan: What Can You Do About Fire Damage?
Fire damage can be devastating for a homeowner. Aside from damaging the structure of the building, furniture, belongs etc., smoke and soot can continue to cause problems if not dealt with immediately. While everything that burned will have to be replaced, there are steps you can take to help prevent things from getting worse. First, you should seal off certain sections of your house with tarps and plastic sheets while damaged areas are being treated. Grease and soot can spread to other sections of the house, making everything worse. Odors can travel, and stains can get into your carpet, walls, and clothing. Blocking off the area can help prevent this.
Check for any leaks or other areas that could cause more problems for your home. Sometimes fire damages pipes, or there could be entry points for water in the roof. This can lead to water damage, which will only make things worse if it’s not treated right away. You can simply scan for any areas that might have this issue and keep an eye out for leaks if it rains. Moreover, you’ll need to watch out for mold and other problems that stem from water damage, as water used to extinguish fires can seep into dry wall and floors. Most often, carpet and flooring will need to be removed. These areas tend to absorb both soot and water, and it is usually much better to simply replace them. Essentially, everything that might have been covered in soot will need to be deep cleaned, and that includes clothing and other belongings that might have been damaged in the fire. Of course, some items will need to be replaced, but belongings that can withstand heavy cleaning can often be saved.
If the damaged area is not properly cleaned, the smoky odor that a fire leaves behind will never go away. There will always be at least a faint trace of that unpleasant smell. Sometimes, you can fix this problem by scrubbing the walls and floor with soap and water. Paint tends to hold odors, but if the damage is only on the surface and dealt with quickly, you might be able to get rid of it. However, sometimes these areas will need to be replaced depending on the severity of the damage. You’ll need to remove sections of drywall and perhaps even flooring. It can be difficult to tell the difference between things that can be salvaged and those that need to be replaced, but knowing will save you time and money. The professionals at SERVPRO of Northbrook/Wheeling/Glencoe will be able to discern what can be restored, and they can help you effectively remove any traces of the fire while saving as much as possible. Give us a call today at (847)498-8889!
Hidden Killers: Mold and its dangers in Northbrook, Wheeling, and Glencoe.
Mold is one of the headaches that comes with owning a house. It is common, not always visible and can be very difficult to get rid of. Bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and crawlspaces are all common places where mold can take root and it can be very expensive to clean up, not to mention hazardous to your health. Unexplained illnesses can be linked to undiscovered mold problems and make air toxic if untreated which in turn, in extreme cases, can lead to death. There are however ways of attempting to prevent the growth of mold and to clean it up when it has already established itself.
Moisture is the primary contributor to the growth of mold, which is why bathrooms, kitchens and basements are highly susceptible to it. One way of preventing the growth of mold is to ensure that moisture does not get trapped anywhere. In the bathroom, make sure that the ceiling fan is working and keep it running after you shower, also ventilation can help. If you can keep the area dry, then it is unlikely to become infested. Similarly, if you investigate under sinks and other areas where water is common and make sure that no moisture is getting trapped, that should help prevent mold. Cleaning out gutters, having de-humidifiers and making sure to keep an eye on common problem spots for mold will help to prevent its growth and any health consequences. However, being vigilant does not always stop mold from taking root.
Leaky pipes in walls, malfunctioning de-humidifiers, or floods can cause mold without the homeowner realizing. If you suspect that you might have a mold problem (smell is a great indicator of this) but you are not able to find where it is coming from, there are mold testing kits. It can be professionally done for a cost or you can buy a kit for as little as $10. These kits, however, are not considered to be very reliable, so be wary if you choose to use them.
Once you have identified a mold problem there are ways of treating it. If the mold is well contained in a space of less then 10 feet, then you may be able to clean it on your own using 1 part bleach to 15 parts water. Make sure to use goggles and gloves if you attempt to clean the mold on your own. Also make sure that there is good ventilation and that you are careful because bleach can be dangerous. You can gently scrub the mold away, but do not dry the wall. Drywall is porous so the bleach will need to soak into the wall in order to really get to the mold, but this also poses another problem with cleaning it yourself. Mold visible on a porous material like drywall can obscure a larger problem beneath the surface which will be far more difficult to clean. But sometimes bleach is not enough. If the area affected is large, or mold has formed in carpets and ventilation systems, you will need to remove all carpeting and clean out air ducts with caution. It is important to wear a facemask so that you do not breath in any spores. Moreover, you will need to cover unaffected parts of your house in plastic sheets, otherwise spores might spread during the removal and breed in new parts of the house, exacerbating the issue. Cleaning heavily infested spaces can be very dangerous and difficult, especially if you happen to have black mold. You’ll need to identify where the mold resides and how to remove it. This includes floors, drywall, and insulation. We highly suggest hiring professionals in these extreme cases. If you need assistance with the headaches of mold, call the professionals of SERVPRO of Northbrook, Wheeling, and Glencoe!
When It Rains in Northbrook, It Pours: What Can You Do About Water Damage?
We’ve all had it happen sometime in our lives. You walk into your basement after a rainstorm, check on that dripping sound coming from the kitchen, or go see why that odd noise is coming from the laundry machine and there it is: water flooding into your home. Sometimes the cause is obvious: a pipe leaks, a nasty flood outside creeps under a doorway, or the dishwasher starts pouring water onto the hardwood floor. However, something seemingly innocuous can lead to heavy damage as well. Areas prone to collecting water, like crawlspaces and basements, can slowly build up moisture and become a breeding ground for mold. Water damage, if not taken care of promptly, can lead to major catastrophes for home owners: mold can lead to health problems (death in the most extreme cases), furniture and other belongings can become permanently damaged, and even the foundation of a building can be weakened. If you’re concerned about any belongings stored in places prone to water damage, you can always place them in plastic bins. Make sure they’re elevated so that water coming in can’t reach them. Your items might seem safe in a basement, crawl space, or attic, but leaks and floods happen. Preventative measures can save you time, money, and stress.
So, what can you do about water damage? First and foremost, you should take lots of pictures and contact your insurance agency. They’ll want to see what happened before you’ve intervened to determine your coverage. The next step might seem obvious, but you should dry the area as much as possible. Mop it, lay towels on the area, do whatever you can to absorb as much water as possible, but avoid using electronic appliances. While this can help, water can seep into drywall, the floor, and other permeable objects. If this is the case, you’ll need to remove and replace these damaged areas. Sometimes it can be difficult to know just how much water has spread, as it can travel through floors and walls. A damp or moldy smell is a strong indicator that water seeped into the area, but you can also use a moisture meter, which you can buy online or at your local hardware store, to find areas that have been saturated. Of course, SERVPRO of Northbrook, Wheeling, and Glencoe can efficiently and effectively remove odors, damaged areas, and tough-to-get mold, leaving you safe and worry-free.
Commercial restoration is so important!
If you have a damaged commercial property, then you need to look for a company offering commercial restoration services as quickly as possible.
As with any type of property damage, leaving your damage unattended could potentially cause it to get worse. Rainwater can get into your property if you have an exposed roof for instance and this can then cause mold and water damage. Likewise, if you have broken window, this can leave your commercial business vulnerable to theft and vandalism.
At the same time, though, commercial restoration is also urgent for another reason – which is that for every working day that you are closed due to damage, you will be losing money. Commercial businesses pay a lot of overheads such as salaries, rent, bills and more on the good faith that they will be able to earn their expenses back. Unfortunately, when commercial damage strikes, these companies are then left unable to make their money back and unable to make a profit. Thus, they will continuously lose money until they are able to reopen their doors. This makes a commercial restoration company that is able to work quickly even more valuable to these organizations in their time of need.
Moldy clothes, we have an answer!
The reason clothing is so susceptible to mold growth is not just because of the mold-inviting circumstances within the laundry room. Generally, when it is worn, clothing collects sweat and skin cells, as well as dirt and other forms of moisture and organic material that mold loves to feast on. Then, it is placed in the laundry hamper and usually sits for days before it it is finally washed. This scenario is typical and may not result in a noticeable mold infestation, but should the soiled laundry be allowed to fester long enough, a mildew smell may be present, as well as visible signs of green, blue, gray, black, or sometimes even white mold on clothes.
Another scenario is becoming more common due to busy lifestyles and poor habits. The quick development of mold on clothes after washing may be surprising to some, but it is quite an ordinary occurrence for those with overwhelmed schedules or those who are vulnerable to procrastination because they often forget to remove clothing from the washing machine once the cycle is finished. As time passes, this leads to the rapid proliferation of mildew and mold on clothes after washing, due to the remaining moisture. Neglecting to put the wet clothes in the dryer for a few hours is not what makes mold grow. Neglecting the clothes in the washer for 6 hours or longer–sometimes a day or even a few days–is the problem. Before too long, a mildew smell will be detected in the washer and clothing. Some assume this is the residue of soap, and while that may be true to some extent, the fact of the matter is that most soaps contains lard and other organic (even synthetic) materials that mold can thrive off of. The smell is not necessarily the residue of soap, but an indication that mold is producing a secondary metabolite–the mildew smell–from consuming that soap.
What is a natural detergent to kill mold? Here is what you will need.
- Two 5 oz. organic castile soap bars (naturally-scented with lavender or peppermint is great but non-scented works just the same)
- 3 cups of washing soda (no, it’s not the same as baking soda)
- 2 cups of borax
- 30 drops of certified-pure lavender essential oil (optional but highly advisable for a mold killing laundry detergent)
Once you have all the materials, this is what to do.
- Cut the castile soap bars into small pieces or chunks. (This is crucial to avoid damaging the food processor.)
- Place the cut castile soap pieces or chunks in the food processor bowl. Pulse the soap on high until what remains are large crumbs.
- Add the washing soda to the food processor and pulse for 1 minute. (After pulsing, all the ingredients should be in powder form and well-combined. If not, try running the food processor again and then mixing with a spoon.)
- Empty the washing soda and castile soap into the storage container. Add the borax and blend well with a spoon.
- Add the essential oils of choice (optional but beneficial) and be sure to mix well.
Do not place this mixture into the drawer or dispenser, place it directly in with the laundry.
Health risks posed by standing flood waters
After a storm hits, and the area is flooded, there are a number of risks that you need to keep in mind before wading through the water. The health risks associated with dirty water are well known. This type of water has an abundant amount of germs, bacteria, viruses and other contaminates. It is crucial to protect yourself when dealing with flood waters.
Not only do you have to worry about illness caused by contaminated water, but because the water is not clear, you have to worry about what is underneath the water. Flood waters are known to carry insects, and other critters that you really dont want to come in contact with. Depending on where you live, alligators are known to relocate after a flood and can easily hide unnoticed.
Another issue with flood waters is that they can sweep glass, metal and other objects that can cause injury.
Before dealing with flood waters, be sure to protect yourself!!
Understanding your coverage for Mold in IL
Mold growing behind a bookcase.
Before purchasing a homeowners insurance policy, you might want to read it thoroughly. Most insurance policies do not cover mold, but why?
General maintenance is a big issue when discussing mold coverage. In the eyes of the insurance company, small leaks and keeping the humidity down can prevent many mold scenarios. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to make these repairs, to avoid any mold growth and prevent claims.
Floods are typically not covered by your homeowners policy as well, and generally speaking, if the water is not cleaned up in a timely manner, mold can develop, which can worsen the issue. Unless you have additional coverage for flooding, you are responsible for the repairs.
Accidental water losses are typically covered by your policy, however, if left untreated, mold can develop which can cause issues with your claim. It is crucial that you respond to accidental water damages quickly, to avoid having the mold discussion with your insurance company.
If you have any questions about mold and the process of treating it, give the professionals at SERVPRO of Northbrook/Wheeling/Glencoe a call day or night at (847)498-8889.