Recent Posts

When Sewer Backups Strike

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Sewer Damage in basement Sewage Damage in basement

The sewer system fails which causes backups into homes and businesses. This unfortunately is a reality and occurs often. SERVPRO of Joliet has the training and equipment required to safely mitigate, clean and repair sewage damaged basements.

Sewage water is classified as category 3 water which means there are potential health effects to it and should always be cleaned by a professional cleaning company. If not done properly the secondary effects could be dangerous mold and health effects for the occupants.

Odor is another big issue with sewer backups and without the problem equipment could cause a serious disruption to your home or business. Cleanup is the first step but address the air quality is also a function of a proper remediation.

SERVPRO of Joliet is a full service specialty cleaning company with the capability to remediate any size sewage backup.

Commercial Fires

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Before and after cleaning of wall Before and After Picture showing cleaning

Fires are tragic. However when they occur around the holidays they become even more so. They disrupt the lives of homeowners, tenants and businesses and can causes thousands of dollars in damage.
One reason, that mitigating fire damage is so timely and costly is that usually there is smoke, soot and water damage resulting from the fire. Here you can see the amount of soot which gathered in the lobby of this apartment high rise after it suffered an apartment fire. Ironically, the actual fire was contained to a single unit but secondary damage to the building was extensive. If this is the damage in the lobby you can image what the adjacent hallways looked like.
Smoke and soot will permeate every nook and cranny of the affected area and without professional mitigation, completely removing the odor might be difficult. Restoration companies like SERVPRO of Joliet has certified fire technicians who understand the properties of smoke, soot and odor and are able to come up with the proper remedy. We have the specialized equipment to manpower to handle a fire disaster that affects a large area. the cleanup process is extensive because every floor, wall, ceiling and items within the affected area need to be "touched".
Having the specialized equipment and trained personnel is just one reason SERVPRO of Joliet is the leader in smoke, fire and water cleanup and restoration.

SERVPRO of Joliet Does It All

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Building Framing Home brought down to just framing and rebuilt from there.

When your home or business has been damaged by fire, water, or storm damage, the immediate concern should be temporary protective measures such as placing roof tarps to prevent additional damage, and boarding up to secure the building and remove water and debris.

After protecting and securing the structure, professionals at SERVPRO of Joliet can begin the restoration process. Your home or business may need reconstruction work to get your property back to its preloss condition.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Joliet can simplify the restoration process by handling both the initial damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas. Having one qualified company for the entire process can save time and keeps costs low.

SERVPRO of Joliet can provide this continuity by supervising a full range of restoration services that will bring a building back to full functionality.

We are the area leader in smoke, fire and water clean up and restoration. We can handle any size disaster. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days per week at (815) 436-5735. 

4 Things to Do to Prevent Further Damage During a Power Outage

8/26/2020 (Permalink)

Power Outage Sign Storms often come with power outages.

Power outages are not only an inconvenience; they can also end up causing costly damages. At SERVPRO of Joliet, we’ve seen first-hand the kind of property damage that can come as a result of a power outage. Even though it may seem counter-intuitive to think that a power outage itself can cause damage, the truth is that it can start a chain of events that becomes gradually more destructive. 

To help protect yourself against the compounding damage that can come in the wake of a power outage, take these five steps. 

#1: Exercise extreme caution when using candles, stoves, and generators. 

It’s not uncommon to have a stash of long-burning candles tucked away for just such an emergency as a power outage. The use of candles isn’t itself necessarily dangerous; however, unattended, lit candles can quickly start a structure fire, potentially causing thousands in damage. 

A good rule-of-thumb to keep in mind during a power outage is never to use a gas stove to stay warm. As tempting as it may be, gas stove emissions contain carbon monoxide, which can accumulate in the air and cause serious personal harm—even death. 

When it comes to the use of gas-powered generators, always be sure that they’re operated in a well-ventilated area, ideally near a window or exhaust fan. For the same reason using a gas stove to keep warm is a bad idea, generator emissions can also be very harmful. 

Also, never use a charcoal grill as a means of producing warmth indoors. The smoke from burning charcoal can be incredibly dangerous to inhale.

#2: Defend against food spoilage by using ice coolers to preserve existing food.

If the power is going to be out for an extended period of time, then you’re going to need a strategy for preserving your refrigerated food.

While a typical freezer can be expected to stay cool for about 48 hours, the rest of the fridge is going to succumb to higher temperatures by about the 4-hour mark. For this reason, it might make sense to fill a cooler full of ice and preserve whatever refrigerated foods you can. 

Also, try not to open freezer or refrigerator doors more than is absolutely necessary, to conserve the cool. 

#3: Deactivate and unplug appliances. 

This especially applies to older appliances that may not have modern surge protection built into them. 

When the power comes back on after a power outage, it’s possible that the sudden surge of electricity could cause damage to whatever is plugged in. After a power outage has taken place, walk through each room and check to ensure that appliances are in the ‘off’ position and/or unplugged from the wall. 

[Tip: If you live in an area where power outages are especially common, it might be worth investing in a 12-volt battery and inverter combination. Most auto parts stores carry power inverters that can turn 12-volt DC power into 120-volt AC power for supplemental use by critical appliances.]

#4: Stay tuned in to local news outlets or radio transmissions for updates.  

During a prolonged power outage, staying current on developments is critical to mitigating damage. Keep yourself apprised of the power outage status by opting into SMS text alerts from your local utility provider. 

While it is possible for power outages to affect cellular transmission towers, this is very rare, which means you’re likely to still have a cell phone connection during an outage. Use your phone to stay abreast of what’s going on around you. 

Identify the Causes Behind Your Flooded Basement

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

Rain water flowing from metal downspout during a flood. Make sure downspouts are extended to at least three feet away from your house to avoid flooding

When water starts filling your basement, it can be hard to find the source of the problem. Without a proper solution, the flooding can cause major damage to your home and require water damage repair services. Knowing the various causes behind a flooded basement can help you prevent future incidents.

Common Causes of Flooding

The source of the problem can stem from several different places, including:

  • Downspouts
  • Gutters
  • Slanted pavement
  • Sloped landscapes

You can conduct your own home inspection to find the cause of the flooded basement. Regular gutter and downspout checks can prevent debris from accumulating and causing backups. It is also advised that you regularly inspect the perimeter of your home to determine whether the paving has settled in a way that is filtering water back into your home. Keeping a watchful eye over your property will curb future problems. Sewage Backups and

Flooding
Sometimes the problem is not visible on the surface. Sewer systems can also cause backing up, especially if your home has a combined system. This type of system handles both water run-off and sewage. During a heavy rainstorm, the system can become overwhelmed and send water pouring back into the home. Older homes have the additional issue of being connected to the system in your Joliet, IL. If run-off or sewage water floods the system, then you might experience severe back-ups. If the system is the cause of the flooding, then a professional repair service is the best source of assistance. Identifying the Cause of Water Build-up
There is no one cause of a flooded basement. Though it can be difficult to identify the source of the problem, you can be proactive by regularly inspecting your home for potential problems. If your home has recently been flooded, then you are advised to seek out a professional service to repair the damage. This is the best way to restore your home to its former state.

The Drawbacks of DIY Testing for Mold

7/25/2020 (Permalink)

The Microbial test kit isolated on white background Home test kits are notorious for providing false positive readings

The Drawbacks of DIY Testing for Mold

If you suspect your home in New Lenox, IL, has mold, it's important to verify that suspicion with certainty. While it is possible to buy mold testing kits from a home goods or hardware store, this isn't always the best option. Home test kits are notorious for providing false positive readings. This happens because most homes contain enough mold spores in the air to trigger a positive reading even though the level of mold is nothing to be concerned about. It's only when mold forms into colonies, usually as the result of excess moisture in a home, that the fungus becomes a problem.

Limitations of a Mold Kit

In most cases, a DIY mold kit provides very little information to the homeowner. Its limitations include the following important areas:

  • It doesn't inform you what type of mold is present
  • It rarely tells you how serious the mold problem is
  • It doesn't advise you on the next step to take

Professional mold testing is administered and interpreted by a trained environmental hygienist. This technician can verify with accuracy if you have a serious mold problem. The technician in consultation with a mold remediation company can develop a plan of action to rid your home of mold.

Benefits of Quality Mold Cleanup
High-quality mold testing is just one area where a mold mitigation company uses its expertise to help homeowners affected by mold. An experienced company understands the best practices to treat a mold infestation. Technicians will use equipment such as air filtration devices, HEPA vacuums, and negative air pressure barriers to contain and remove the fungus. Since a water problem is often a precursor to mold growth, they will also locate, fix, and eliminate any sources of excess water in the home. A quality cleanup will remove the unsightly blotches on walls and the musty odors associated with a mold problem. It will restore your home "Like it never even happened."

Common Water Issues for Businesses

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

Common Water Issues for Businesses

For a commercial property owner in Joliet, IL, unexpected water problems can be a big issue. Fortunately, a water damage professional can help you assess, clean, and repair damages from any flooding or leaks you may have. Here are a few of the most common water problems a business may face from leaking pipes to foundation cracks.

1. Pipe Breaks

A pipe break can occur in a number of ways. Over time, the pipe can age and loosen in its fittings, or extensive use can lead to pinhole leaks. Extreme heat or cold can also affect a pipe’s integrity. A blocked pipe can lead to pressure buildup and eventually burst.

2. Plumbing Backup

Blocked plumbing can even lead to a toilet backup or sink overflow. When a pipe is blocked, water can take the shortest path out regardless of its intended flow path. Blockages can occur from a number of things, including the buildup of water minerals over time inside a pipe or someone pouring a solidifying material, such as plaster or grease, down a drain.

3. Weather

Extreme weather conditions can also lead to leaking pipes. Cold temperatures can cause the water in pipes to freeze and expand. The expansion puts pressure on the pipe and can create a crack or even cause it to burst altogether. If you know cold weather is coming, you can check with a local professional about what preventive measures to take.

4. Foundation Cracks

Foundation cracks can also become a problem leading to water damage. Water can seep through any cracks and pool, leading to further issues such as mold. Any cracks should be investigated and assessed as soon as possible to determine the best course of action. Water damage can happen to a commercial property. Fortunately, a professional can fix the damage caused by leaking pipes, foundation cracks, backed up toilet, or weather, and help you repair your property.

Understand Your Commercial Insurance Rates

7/5/2020 (Permalink)

Afro american businessman signing partnership agreement concept It's important to understand what factors are involved in determining your commercial insurance rates before a disaster strikes

Damages from a fire can be devastating to your commercial property in Crest Hill, IL. A fire damage assessment is critical in getting your business up and running again. It's also important to understand what factors are involved in determining your commercial insurance rates before a disaster strikes.

How Are Insurance Costs Determined?

There are a few considerations involved in deciding your insurance costs.

Type of business - If your business has a high risk of being unsuccessful, your insurance rate will be higher than for a business with lower risks.
Location - If your property is located in a high crime area, your rates may be high. In addition, if your business is near a large body of water or in an area prone to natural disasters, this will increase your insurance costs.
Revenue - The money that your business brings in each year impacts your insurance premiums.
Length of time - The longer you've been in business, and your business is successful, the lower your commercial insurance rates will be.
Building construction - Buildings that are constructed with materials that are potentially combustible can expect higher premiums than those made with fire-resistant materials.

If you are considering adding to your existing building, talk with your insurance agent before you begin the remodeling project. Any additions or changes may affect your fire rating. Make sure to use walls and flooring that reduce the risk of fire damage.

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Location?
Check how far the closest fire hydrant is located to your potential property. Determine how far away the fire station is situated as well. Other important considerations that reduce your insurance premiums include the installation of fire alarms and sprinkler systems. A good security system will also reduce your insurance rates.
Speak with your insurance agent about the circumstances involved in determining your commercial insurance rates. It will help you keep costs down.

The Role of the IICRC in the Restoration Field

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Audience in the lecture hall. Right top of the picture IICRC logo The IICRC plays a major role in the restoration industry

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification plays a major role in the restoration industry. While this agency does not have the power to create mandatory regulations, the IICRC and its guidelines influence much of the work that is done for addressing water damage, mold containment, and cleaning of materials. The organization was founded in 1972. Since then it has worked to improve the voluntary standards of the cleaning and restoration industry to benefit consumers and cleaning franchises. These standards have been developed over time with the input of professionals. A mitigation certificate is awarded to technicians who take classes to learn more about specific techniques and standards.

The Role of Training

A quality disaster mitigation company in  Romeoville, IL, must keep up with the evolving standards of cleaning and restoration. The SERVPRO company runs an approved IICRC training school. It operates year-round classes in the following categories:

  • Water restoration
  • Fire restoration
  • Upholstery cleaning
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Applied structural drying

Trained technicians perform work to the highest standards in the industry. This not only ensures the work is completed at a high-level, but it also provides benefits in the areas of safety. Much attention is paid to the use of the best cleaning methods and materials for a variety of situations.

The Importance of Learning
The IICRC promotes an ongoing learning process, and the SERVPRO organization embraces continued education for its workers and franchises. Each new franchise can take a 15-day course at a corporate training facility that covers such topics as mold mitigation and carpet and upholstery cleaning. Technicians also have access to self-paced learning that involves videos and testing. As a leader in education, SERVPRO also holds classes for insurance agents, insurance adjusters, and real estate professionals. The programs are designed to provide more information on how disaster mitigation works in all of its forms. Classes can be taken for credit or non-credit.

Will Your Insurance Rates Increase After Filing a Claim?

6/4/2020 (Permalink)

A businessman pressing an Insurance Claim button on a transparent screen. Insurance claims are part of your agreement with your provider

An insurance claim can help you pay for the cost of cleanup and restoration services after a home flood or similar disaster. Yet you may have also heard that filing a claim can cause your insurance rates to increase. Read on for more information.

What Are Insurance Claims?

Insurance claims are part of your agreement with your provider. In exchange for a regular fee, also called a premium, the insurer will cover the expenses that result from:

  • Damage
  • Loss
  • An emergency

What Can Cause Your Rates To Increase?
Some factors that affect your insurance rates are beyond your control. For instance, if you live in an area that is prone to floods and hurricanes, you may have to pay higher premiums than those who live in drier climates do.
When you file your insurance claim, the provider will also determine the cause of the damage. If the disaster was ultimately your fault, your rates will likely increase.
Certain losses, such as water damage, are often red flags to insurers. Even if you did not cause the harm, your rate could still go up by 20 to 40 percent. Depending on your provider, the increase could stay in effect for years.

When Should You File a Claim?
You should avoid filing too many water claims. That’s because insurers will look at how many claims you file. If you file numerous claims in a short amount of time, the insurance provider could hike your premiums or cancel your policy completely.
Since making a claim can increase your rates even if the damage was not your fault, you may want to pay for minor floods or leaks on your own. Save the insurance claims for major water disasters.
An insurance claim may greatly reduce your out-of-pocket costs following a home disaster. Yet your premiums could also increase, especially if the flood was your fault. For more information, contact your specific insurance provider in New Lenox, IL.