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Is Your Business Covered for Water Damage?

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Broken water pipe in a building Commercial water damage in Romeoville, IL

Water damage to your Romeoville, IL, property means much more than potentially costly repairs. It can also mean loss of vital equipment, materials, and other belongs, as well as extensive downtime while water and mold remediation and restoration professionals get your business back to normal. Even if it might seem that facing water damage is a rare risk your business faces, ensuring your business insurance include water damage can save big headaches and bills if the “what-if” happens.

Damage Sources

When it comes to the reasons for water issues, there are three main culprits:

Broken Pipes: A frozen pipe can crack and burst, dumping massive amounts of water into a business. Even if there is no visible damage, the right conditions can result in an unexpected pipe break.
Slow Leaks: Usually plumbing or equipment related, gradual leaks can lead to big problems. Sometimes the leaks are hidden, such as if from underground or behind-the-wall plumping, but some leaks can be detected. Not regularly maintaining and inspect HVAC systems, fire sprinklers, toilets, and faucets may turn a slow leak into extensive mold and water damage.
Nature: Heavy rainfall and melting snow can wreak havoc on a property, especially if there are existing foundation issues.

Policy Coverage
The water damage covered by a policy is not always standard. While most allow claims for a pipe burst, damage that could have been prevented is often not covered. In areas prone to natural flooding, an additional policy is required to cover flooding damage. Working with your insurer and understanding the policy is vital to better prepare for the water cleanup process and what it will cost. If a business uses equipment that relies on water, there are often riders or endorsements to increase water damage coverage.
When it comes to water damage, any coverage is better than no coverage. Although not all the repairs may be covered, a little help can still make a big difference in unexpected expenses.

The Steps of Mold Remediation

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Technician holding a door, the door has plastic covers. Concept mold containment Mold remediation in Crest Hill, IL

The Steps of Mold Remediation

Black mold, or any mold, can easily become an issue on your Crest Hill, IL, property. It only takes a few widely available things to establish a colony:

  • A single airborne spore
  • A bit of moisture
  • Some air for the spore

Most types of mold prefer warmth but thrive in cold environments anyway. Unfortunately, a lot of mold issues start in out of the way areas, such as dark basement corners, in the attic, or behind the drywall. Once you notice the problem, it's time to contact mold cleanup and remediation professionals.

The first step professionals take when preparing for mold cleanup is establishing containment. This may be as simple as closing the doors between affected and non-affected areas, but it could also involve putting up plastic barriers and wearing personal protective equipment.

Personal Protection
This protective equipment, or PPE, often includes a specialized jumpsuit, gloves, and boots. The purpose of wearing this gear is to protect the technicians and also prevent tracking spores from the containment area through the rest of the property.

Tear Out
As mold spreads and feeds, it does a lot of damage to the structural elements of your home. When cleaning up black mold, technicians will tear out drywall and other materials to prevent further spread and then replace those materials. This step may also include making repairs to dripping faucets or leaky plumbing.

Cleaning and Disinfection
Once the bulk of mold-affected materials have been removed, technicians use specialized cleaners and disinfectants to remove the last vestiges of infection. Although new mold can be reintroduced to the property, technicians do their best to prevent new growth.

Drying of Wet Materials
One of the most important steps to preventing future outbreaks is containing moisture and bringing humidity levels down. Without moisture, new mold spores can't develop into colonies. After professionals have finished, you can takeover mold remediation by regularly inspecting your property for moisture, leaks, and areas of mold. Provide plenty of ventilation and keep your property dry.

Mold Spreads Faster Than You Think

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth. The water damage started the situation. It needs to be repaired immediately, and the possibility of fungus should be seriously considered.

Building owners in Joliet, IL, wince at the thought of water damage. Those stains and soggy floors are a sign of more than needed reconstruction. They are also an awareness that mold could begin developing within the space, attacking the structure and causing major hazards. Those little spores are reproducing swiftly, ready to take over the premises. As a proprietor, then, cleanup should become a top priority, working right away with professionals to understand the depth of the issue.

1. Mold Is Already Present
Something to remember is that fungus exists everywhere. Those little tiny spores are so small you don't even realize that they are all around, moving into the rooms through your clothing, shoes, and bags. They blow in through windows and doors, and the air handler even brings them in from outside. While harmless on their own, should water mix with them mold growth can begin. At that point, it becomes just a matter of time.

2. Mold Advances in Days
Your water damage became the catalyst for microbes to breed, seeping into porous materials and making themselves cozy. That means getting into walls, within carpets, and on any other organic substances. Within 24 to 48 hours, contamination begins, and it won't stop until the active growth is removed and the moisture is eliminated. For that reason, there is no wait time. As they multiply, they eat away, attacking the building.

3. Mold Can Move Through Rooms
Remember that it's not isolated to the bathroom wall or under the sink. It can carry to other sections simply through the air conditioner and people's movements. The count continues to increase, and mold prevention becomes key. A mold remediation company in Joliet, IL, can detect the level of infestation and develop a plan for sanitizing and restoring. Cut off the air supply and establish a tightly sealed barrier.

The water damage started the situation. It needs to be repaired immediately, and the possibility of fungus should be seriously considered.

The 5 Clear Advantages of an ERP

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo. The emergency profile is a simple way to prepare for a disaster. It puts organization and clarity into a chaotic time.

You never know when a major challenge to your company in Joliet, IL, will strike, but that doesn't mean you can't prepare for it now. An Emergency Ready Profile puts all of your planning together and makes it easy to access when a disaster happens. The emergency profile is easy to compile and costs little or nothing to get it started.

It's your insurance policy against a flood or other forms of water damage. It provides a number of advantages that give you a road map through a difficult time.

1. It's Concise. The last thing you need is to go through a confusing mix of documents to find priority contact information. Having it all in one place, without irrelevant information, quickens your response.

2. It Is Low Cost. The emergency profile begins with a no-cost assessment of your facility by SERVPRO technicians. Professionals look over your company with an eye toward mitigating a water or fire disaster.

3. It Provides Vital Information. The document will contain information on how to get back into your building safely after a flood or other disruptive events. It will also direct a water remediation team or your employees to shut-off valves for water, electrical and other utilities.

4. It Provides Peace of Mind. Just knowing you have done the work ahead of time to make your company stronger is a good feeling. Also knowing that help is nearby and available 24/7 365 days a year by calling in a mitigation franchise builds confidence.

5. It Is on Your Phone. The ERP app enables you to put all of this information on your phone or mobile device, making it accessible to you and key personnel even during a power outage. You can always share this vital information with emergency personnel.

The emergency profile is a simple way to prepare for a disaster. It puts organization and clarity into a chaotic time.

A Fierce Winter Storm Can Shred a Roof and Ruin Your Home

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Flash light, sleeping bag, bottled water, first aid, portable radio, matches, medicine, band aids, whistle, blanket. Disaster preparedness supplies

Residents in Joliet, IL, are no strangers to a winter storm. Most will pass with little or no damage, but a severe blizzard can leave an entire region reeling from the impact. Just one example, the 1993 “Storm of the Century,” impacted 40% of the population in the United States, caused 10 million homes to lose power, and killed 208 people.

Be Prepared

With some simple steps, you can be ready for even the nastiest winter storm. The National Weather Service recommends that all homes that may expect winter weather should have

  • Extra batteries for flashlights
  • A portable weather radio (consider also having a hand-cranked one)
  • Emergency no-cook rations and clean water
  • Extra pet food
  • Diapers and baby formula
  • Emergency heat

Be Extra Careful With Emergency Heat and Generators
There are many options for providing heat in an emergency. However, it’s very easy to cause accidental fires with portable heaters and candles. Even more insidious, ventless heaters and generators create carbon monoxide, a deadly, odorless gas that kills over 400 people per year. Read the instructions very carefully and always have a carbon monoxide detector installed when using them. Also, never, ever use a portable generator inside.

Heavy Snow Drops Trees and Caves in Roofs
When snow is wet, it clings to trees like sticky syrup. Ice storms also cause build-up on trees. In both cases, it’s normal for a few homes to suffer major roof damage from falling trees and limbs in a major winter storm.
Snow and ice also build up on roofs. Most modern homes in Joliet, IL, are designed to withstand normal snowfalls, but for roofs without steep pitches, it’s still recommended to remove excess snow to reduce the stress. A roof rake is the simplest way to do this, but you should never attempt to use one while on a ladder or climb onto the roof itself.
If your roof has been damaged, you’ll need a local storm damage restoration company to tarp over the exposed areas as soon as possible. They can then begin the repair process and fix internal water damage as well.

3 Reasons to Use Board-Up or Tarp Services After a Fire

4/19/2020 (Permalink)

Windows and doors boarded up of a commercial building Commercial building board up in New Lenox, IL

3 Reasons to Use Board-Up or Tarp Services After a Fire

A large fire in your New Lenox, IL, building can cause damage in a variety of ways. One issue that you might have is missing areas in the roof. If this is the case, you should consider having your roof boarded up or covered in tarp during the fire cleanup and restoration process. The following are some reasons that this is beneficial.

1. Prevent Further Damage From Bad Weather and Debris
Depending on the severity of the fire and the extent of the damage, it might take a while for fire cleanup to be completed. During this period, you don’t want anything to cause further damage as this can cost you precious time as well as money. Rain can cause water damage, and wind can carry debris into the building. Keeping your roof covered will help prevent this.

2. Keep Out Animals
Along with debris, you might find that some furry creatures have found their way inside the building if it is not properly covered. This can cause a variety of problems, so it is best to cover any open spaces to keep any rodents, birds or larger animals out of the property until roof repair is finished.

3. Reduce the Chances of a Break-In
Unfortunately, many people might see your damaged building as an easy target for theft or vandalism. Your building likely has a variety of valuable property inside that would be costly to replace. If there are areas of the building missing, it can be easy for others to take advantage of the situation. Using board-up or tarp services will help deter this, as it will be more difficult to get inside.
Along with fire cleanup and repairs, a fire damage restoration company can perform services to cover up any missing parts of the building. This will help keep your property safe during the process and can help reduce the amount of time and effort it takes to return your building to its previous condition.

Kitchen Fires

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Chef cooking with flames While the kitchen is the heart of the home, it is also the most likely place for fires to begin.

Kitchen Fires: Four Risk Factors

While every home should have a smoke detector in the kitchen, there are several other tips for keeping your home and yourself safe when cooking. From rolling up your sleeves and tying back your hair to keeping flammable materials, like paper towel and dish towels, away from the stove, cooking safety is essential when it comes to fire prevention. However, many homeowners can be complacent about the following four risk factors.

1. Appliances  Fire Damage is devastating, but the fact that so many fires are caused by faulty or mishandled appliances is shocking. Appliances, if not maintained, are a leading cause of home fires. Be sure to service all your appliances properly. Additionally, unplug small countertop appliances as they draw electricity even when not in use, which can lead to overheating.

2. Too Much Oil or Grease One of the most overlooked cooking tips is to use less oil and grease. In cooking, a little goes a long way when it comes to these two substances. Using too much of either can lead to grease fires which, if left unattended, can get out of hand quickly. It is important to remember not to throw water on a grease fire because it will only splash the pan and cause the fire to spread, instead use salt or baking soda. 

3. Spills Another common cause of many kitchen fires is a dirty stove or oven. Always wipe up spills immediately and clean cooktops after use. Leftover grease, oil or food can ignite on the burner, causing a fire. This is another reason why it is essential to keep an eye on food as it cooks because these types of fires require a quick response, or they can spread quickly. Unfortunately, while the kitchen is the heart of the home, it is also the most likely place for fires to begin. The above tips offer several suggestions for helping you maintain a safe and fire-free home.

SERVPRO of Joliet (815) - 436-5735

Fires are Preventable

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Short circuit - burnt cable Make sure all extension cords are in good working condition.

When it comes to your property, certain safety precautions can be taken to help prevent fires. Below are some tips that can help you to prevent a fire.

Electrical and Appliances Safety

  • Replace frayed and old worn electrical cords on appliances. Also make sure all extension cords are in good working condition and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three prong plug, use it only in a three slot outlet. Never force it into a two slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker and have replaced by a trained professional.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check for damage or obstructions monthly.
  • Always use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop a burning log from rolling out and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying embers.
  • Make sure that the fire is completely out before leaving your home or going to bed.

For more fire safety tips, visit and if a fire should occur call SERVPRO of Joliet at 815-436-5735 and our trained professionals will make it "Like it never even happened."

Prepare Your Building's Exterior for Storm Season

4/7/2020 (Permalink)

Roof with damage. Creating an exterior maintenance plan will not only keep your building maintained during storm season.

It is important to keep your building’s exterior well maintained all year long. A small spot of rust or a tiny crack may appear to be no big deal, but if it isn’t repaired quickly it can turn into a huge problem. During storm season, the risks of damage become that much greater. Setting up a routine exterior maintenance inspection for your building in Joliet, IL is a wise idea.

Develop an Exterior Building Checklist
Designing a checklist for your building inspection will reduce the risk of overlooking an important area. Checklists can vary, depending on the type of building you own, but typical exterior maintenance will include the following items.

Roof inspection - Check for such things as:
Debris clogging the drainage system or evidence of pooling water
Structural damage, including cracks or punctures
Buckled or missing shingles
Discolored or stained surfaces

Exterior walls - Look for cracks, staining, rust, peeling and any structural damage.
Exterior windows - Inspect for broken panes, cracks and leaks.
Gutters - Make sure they are free of debris and have no visible cracks.
Outside lighting - Check to ensure all lights are working and in good repair.
Paved surfaces - Look for raised areas and cracks. Also, remove any trash or debris from the yard.

Create an Automatic Maintenance Work Order
After you have completed the checklist, have your maintenance staff review it to make sure it’s comprehensive. If you have an automated work order system, create an ongoing work order reminder for designated intervals. Depending on the structure of your building and the climate you live in, the inspections could be conducted monthly, semiannually or annually.

Designate the person responsible for conducting the inspections. You can rotate the responsibility to different employees and include the assignments on the checklist.

Creating an exterior maintenance plan will not only keep your building maintained during storm season, but it will also reduce the risk of costly repairs all year long.

3 Things To Know About Black Water

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Sewage or domestic waste water or municipal waste water that is produced by a community of people. Sewage water counts in the black category

3 Things To Know About Black Water

When you expect a storm in Crest Hill, IL, protecting your company from water damage can be important. But did you know that flood water is classified as black water and can require some extra cleanup steps if your property experiences flooding? Fortunately, a local restoration team can help.

1. Water Is Categorized

It’s important to know that water is often broken into three categories. This is done to help restoration teams know what steps to use when cleaning up after a flood. White water is considered safe for human consumption and is mostly clean, often resulting from a broken faucet or pipe. Greywater is used water that may contain food particles or mild cleaners. Blackwater is any water that may have come in contact with fecal matter.

2. What Counts as Black Water

Any water that have potentially come in contact with sewage material, such as sewage, field runoff, or storm flooding can count in the black category. If this type causes water damage in your place of business it’s best to contact a professional for help as special cleaning and sanitation steps may be required.

3. Who Should Perform the Restoration

If you have damage from flooding it’s highly recommended to contact a local storm damage restoration service to conduct cleaning and repairs as quickly as possible. These professionals are trained in a number of restoration techniques, meaning than not only can they handle flooding, but mold mitigation as well. They will also be able to thoroughly clean and sanitize the affected area to prevent the spread of any bacteria that may have been present in the water.

Understanding what category flood water damage falls into can help you take the necessary steps during cleanup. Contacting a restoration crew is recommended as they have the proper tools to both clean and sanitize the area, making it once again safe for daily operations. If you have any questions, your restoration service can help.