Recent Posts

Fire Damage Ravenswood

6/21/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Ravenswood Smoke damage traveling upstairs

When we mention fire damage Ravenswood we are referring to soot and smoke; the byproduct of a fire incident. Soot and smoke is very aggressive and can infiltrate various openings, crevices or cracks within the walls and floors of your place of residence or business. Fire damage Ravenswood is also known to cause hidden odor or damages. SERVPRO of Ravenswood’s smoke damage knowledge and understanding allows us to inspect and precisely assess the extent of the fire damage Ravenswood in to develop a thorough cleanup action plan.  

Fire Damage Ravenswood byproduct facts:

  • Scorching smoke travels to cool areas and climbs to up to additional levels of the building.
  • Smoke makes its way around plumbing systems, moving through the holes used by pipes hitting every floor to floor.
  • There are variations of smoke which greatly affect the process for cleanup and restoration.

Fire Damage Ravenswood Smoke Types

There are 3 types of smoke; 1. wet, 2. dry and 3. protein. Wet smoke is considered as fire produced by rubber or plastic. This nasty stuff will web, making the cleaning process extremely difficult. It is sticky and pungent in odor. Dry smoke however is something that burns fast, like wood or paper. In this circumstance the temperature is high, thus causing heat to rise and smoke as well. The last type is protein fire residue which is the vapor from burnt materials such as paint, varnishes, etc.  

Consequently, the type of smoke makes for 2 types of soot residue after a fire damage Ravenswood as well. SERVPRO of Ravenswood must test the soot in order to accurately determine if the smoke is wet or dry before starting restoration. Based on these pretest procedures, only then can we determine a plan. All components of information is then communicated with the insurance adjuster making sure all parties are aligned.

Fire Damage Ravenswood Restoration Services

Every fire loss scenario is different, therefore each are treated with unique solution tailored to that scenario.  Luckily, SERVPRO of Ravenswood has all the equipment, trained technicians, and knowledge to restore your home or business.  We treat your family or employees with the respect and empathy they deserve. Call us to schedule a free assessment for any fire, water, mold cleanup needs.

Water Damage Edgewater

6/15/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Edgewater Rendering depicting water damage in a home. credits: http://www.extremtakaritok.hu/index.php/szolgaltatasok/item/2-karesemeny-utani-karenyhites

 

Water Damage Edgewater and The Importance of Renters Insurance

When our scheduler Daniel, receives a call for a water damage Edgewater loss he almost immediately asks, "What type of insurance coverage do your carry?" You see, like with any business, the question of payment has to be addressed from the get go. Some people opt to pay out of pocket, some have already submitted a claim and some are only asking for estimates so that they can figure out how to come up with payment. In my recent visits to various insurance agent offices I have sparked conversation revolving around water damage Edgewater and asked them for their advice on the importance of renters insurance. Undeniably they were all open for recommendations, as they as well as SERVPRO of Ravenswood have witnessed firsthand the hurt tenants feel when their personal treasures are destroyed due to an unexpected catastrophe.

Us old fogies (I speak loosely of course) already know – with our infinite knowledge over time and experience – the value behind protecting ourselves. But what about our offspring, our recent graduates, our soon-to-be roommate to another GenY who "I know, ma’" you all day long? We ask ourselves, do they really know? Probably not. Let us not forget, from an opposite spectrum the loving grandparent who resides in the lower level of your two-flat. According to Edgar Camargo, a five-year State Farm representative, says "that other level is considered a separate unit. They should have a separate policy, or with other insurance companies a rider." Whichever scenario applies to you, the bottom line is expecting the unexpected is the responsible move because, come on, who really expects water damage or smoke damage? We just thank our lucky stars that it hasn’t happened to us!

Once you’ve come to terms with shopping for the right coverage remember to keep in mind and ask your agents specific questions about water damage, smoke damage, and even mold remediation. Keep things at bay with other irreplaceables; such as an expensive wedding ring, heirlooms, iPads/electronics, and for you global travelers who work in music or sport, are your instruments and equipment insured? The list can go on depending on your life style and employment. Edgar wisely advises to "check the limitations on your caps", while another State Farm Agent, Nicole Page recommends to "look at your itemized floaters". I understand that these terms may roll off our tongues since this is our industry, but please take them as your own and talk with confidence. This way when Daniel receives that water damage Edgewater call you can assuredly acknowledge that you are prepared and secure with insurance coverage.

The purpose of this blog is to highlight water damage Edgewater, or any of our wonderful Chicago neighborhoods on the importance of renters insurance.

Fire Damage Restoration Sauganash

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Restoration Sauganash Fireman fighting a fire at a furniture store in Chicago.

Many of you may read, heard or even saw the great blaze last week when an extra-alarm fire demolished a furniture store, while crippling several businesses and residents in the vicinity.  Fortunately, no one was harmed during the fire.  However, the aftermath is something worth writing about; fire damage restoration

Regardless of where you live or work a fire WILL shut you down immediately.  That is why Sauganash business owners and home owners alike should hold a contingency plan of action, as well as hold insurance coverages to help you pick up the pieces after a fire.  Fire damage restoration Sauganash takes place after first responders have completed their duty and cleared re-entry.  Fire damage restoration Sauganash also consists of water damage cleanup Sauganash.  Think about it, water is the #1 remedy for fire fighters to take back control of an emergency situation.  For that matter knowing what takes place after a fire is simply good knowledge.

Step 1:  Emergency Contact;

  1. 911,
  2. Insurance Agent,
  3. SERVPRO of Ravenswood

Step 2:  Inspections and Fire Damage Assessment

Step 3:  Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Step 4:  Water Removal and Drying (call SERVPRO of Ravenswood at 773-878-5200)

Step 5:  Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces (call SERVPRO of Ravenswood at 773-878-5200)

Step 6:  Cleaning and Sanitizing (call SERVPRO of Ravenswood at 773-878-5200)

Step 7:  Restoration (call SERVPRO of Ravenswood at 773-878-5200)

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-extra-alarm-fire-at-furniture-store-on-north-side-20170601-story.html

http://www.SERVPROravenswood.com/fire-repair-process

Albany Park water damage restoration

5/26/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Albany Park water damage restoration This Albany Park home’s basement has water damage due to heavy rains.

Albany Park water damage restoration could be in your life sooner than you might think.  Your basement is susceptible to flooding at any time, even thought you might think that it only happens during a storm event.  Since your basement is the lowest level of your home and lower than the sidewalk anytime the city sewers burp you can have water damage in your home.  Listed below are the reasons for Albany Park water damage restoration needs for your home:

  • 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

You have to be quick in reaction towards Albany Park water damage and it has to be done properly.  Time is of the essence otherwise you could be damaging your home’s structure and also the health and safety of your family. 

Here are the things you need to understand when water damage occurs: a flooded home is unsafe for your family, will eventually become an unhealthy environment and the home/foundation can sustain lifelong damages.  SERVPRO of Ravenswood prides itself in a crew that is professional and trained in how to best remedy the situation.  They are always courteous and understanding of homeowner’s feelings.  We as a company have earned trust from homeowners, business owners and property managers.

When in need of Albany Park water damage restoration we are here for you 24 hours 7 days a week.  SERVPRO of Ravenswood is a preferred vendor to many National Insurance Companies.  We are held to strict rules by our industry following closely the s500 IICRC Restoration Standards.

AIR QUALITY WEEK IS MAY 1-5

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning AIR QUALITY WEEK IS MAY 1-5 Before and after photos of the inside of the ducts.

Be Air Aware


When addressing air quality, inspecting the ductwork is your SERVPRO of Ravenswood Franchise Professional's first order of business. Dirty ducts can work to circulate odors and contaminants like mold and irritating dust throughout the building.


The SERVPRO® Difference



  • Reduce potential for mold growth

  • Remediate bacteria, fungi and mold

  • Restore peak energy efficiency

  • Eliminate offensive odors

  • Free written inspections and estimates


How can the air inside our homes be so bad for us?


      Over the years, buildings have been made more airtight to conserve energy. A variety of methods have been employed to keep the hot or cool air from escaping from our homes: installing storm windows and insulation; applying caulk and weather-stripping to seal cracks and other openings; and heating our homes with kerosene, wood, coal, and natural gas. Unfortunately, when we trap in hot or cool air, we also trap in pollutants and sometimes generate more.


 


Why is this an issue?


       On average, people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors. Sixty-five percent of that is spent at home. To make matters worse, those who are most susceptible to indoor air pollution are the ones who are home the most: children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses. Children breathe in 50 percent more air per pound of body weight than adults do. EPA studies have found that pollutant levels inside can be two to five times higher than outdoors. After some activities, indoor air pollution levels can be 100 times higher than outdoors.


 


To find out more go here:


http://files.constantcontact.com/074ea2a5601/f35c263a-ce1b-46a6-af5f-b8aec774bb67.pdf


 National Safety Council: http://www.nsc.org/pages/home.aspx


 

Leaky Radiators

2/3/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Leaky Radiators Examples of damaged floors over time caused by leaky radiators.

      Radiator leaks sound minor but they can actually cause a lot of damage to a home.  If your wood flooring becomes wet continuously it will rot over time.  A small radiator leak can also cause unforeseen damages to the ceiling below, which later can result in a mold issue inside the space between floor and ceiling.


 


In this video: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/how-to/how-to-repair-whistling-and-leaky-steam-radiator , This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey silences a leaky, squeaky steam radiator.


 


Steps:


1. Turn down thermostat to shut off steam-heat system.


2. Wrap Teflon tape around the threads on new air vent.


3. Twist off old air vent by hand; cover vent with cloth to protect hand.


4. Thread new air vent into radiator. Hand tighten vent to vertical position.


5. Unscrew handle from top of the radiator valve.


6. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the packing nut that holds the stem to the valve.


7. Wrap graphite packing around threaded portion of the valve stem.


8. Thread the packing nut back onto the valve and tighten with a wrench. 9. Replace the valve handle.


10. Turn up thermostat to start the steam-heat system. Check for leaks or high-pitched whistling.

Mold

1/26/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Clockwise from top left: ceiling trusses, drywall and trusses from a tub drain, drywall from drain pipe cover, shower ceiling from tub drain above.

     Molds are part of the natural environment, and can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Mold is not usually a problem, unless it begins growing indoors. The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture. The EPA website provides guidance about mold and moisture for homes, schools, multifamily and commercial buildings. Molds can have a big impact on indoor air quality.

 

Ten Things You Should Know about Mold

 

  1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
    • Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
    • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
    • Increasing ventilation
    • Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

 

Mold Cleanup

 

      If you already have a mold problem - ACT QUICKLY. Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause.  Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself.  However:

 

  • If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers more than 10 square feet, consult EPA guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document is applicable to other building types. 

 

  • If you choose to hire a contractor (or other professional service provider) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygenists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations. 

 

  • If you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold (it is part of an identified moisture problem, for instance, or there is mold near the intake to the system), consult EPA guide Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold - it could spread mold throughout the building. 

 

  • If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call in a professional who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water.

 

  •  If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before starting cleanup.

 

Floods and Flooding

 

       During a flood cleanup, the indoor air quality in your home or office may appear to be the least of your problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and mold. They can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions, and continue to damage materials long after the flood.

 

 

EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency):  https://www.epa.gov/mold

Frozen Pipes: Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

1/5/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Frozen Pipes: Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes Home owners were out of state for the winter which resulted in massive damage when a pipe burst in the house and spilled out and refroze outside.
Being prepared and informed may help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides information and suggestions around how to prevent water pipes in the home from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze.
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts 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. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and 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 are also subject to freezing.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes 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.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, 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. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
During Cold Weather, Take Preventative Action
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • 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.
To Thaw Frozen Pipes
  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Future Protection
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
  • Pipes can be relocated by a professional if the home is remodeled.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • For more information, please contact a licensed plumber or building professional.

 

The American Red Cross:  http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes

Christmas tree safety

12/26/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Christmas tree safety Picture of fireman crawling into a fiery room. Picture credits go to today.com

No one wants to spoil the holiday season, but Christmas trees in the home can present a fire safety issue. A primary concern with a Christmas tree is fire danger, often brought on by the combination of electrical malfunctions and, in the case of a real tree, a drying tree.

In the United States, Christmas trees start approximately 210 house fires per year.

According to a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report issued in 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to more than 200 home structure fires annually between 2009 and 2013 in which Christmas trees were the first item to catch on fire. Each year, fires occurring during the holiday season injure 2,600 individuals and cause over $930 million in damage, according to the United States Fire Administration. Sadly, Christmas tree-related fires have a higher incident of fatalities than typical house fires, according to the NFPA report.

Electrical malfunctions are often to blame for Christmas tree fires.

Electrical failures or malfunctions were involved in nearly half of the fires, igniting the tree with sparks or small electrical fires. Decorative lights with live voltage were involved in more than 20 percent of the instances. However, putting trees too close to open fires or heaters caused a significant number of fires as well: nearly a quarter occurred because a heat source was located too close to the tree.

It isn’t just real trees that are a problem. Electrical malfunctions can also ignite plastic artificial trees, and homeowners should take the same precautions in terms of tree placement and decorations as they would with a real tree.

Be careful with how you discard your tree.

You should take care with trees that are left outside as well. The NFPA report revealed that an annual average of 90 outside and other non-structure fires on residential properties occurred because of Christmas trees stored on the property, the report indicates. Two-thirds of these fires occurred in January, with 64 percent of them being set intentionally. This suggests that discarded Christmas trees may be an attractive target for arsonists.

But, arson concerns are not an excuse to leave your tree up after the holidays. According to the NFPA, even a well-watered tree should be taken down within four weeks of being brought into the home. If you decorated your real tree right after Thanksgiving, it should be discarded the week after Christmas, not New Year’s Day. This is because by the end of the holiday season, Christmas trees are extremely dry, and present a heightened fire hazard.

ACTA (The American Christmas Tree Association): http://www.christmastreeassociation.org/christmas-trees-and-fire-safety/

Picture taken from Today.com

Have a safe 4th of July weekend!

7/1/2016 (Permalink)

Hopefully everyong is ready for a long 4th of July weekend! 

But first here are some tios to help keep everyone safe.

http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Red-Cross-Issues-Safety-Tips-For-4th-of-July-Holiday