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The Importance of Renters Insurance

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO The Importance of Renters Insurance We deal direct with insurance claims, so that you won't have to!

Recent natural disasters from tornadoes to wildfires have left hundreds of thousands of people with lost or damaged belongings. This devastation is awful, but those who rent their homes are too at great financial risk.

Most home owners are able to protect their property and belongings thanks to policies that were put into place when they purchased their homes. However, less than half of renters in America lack the insurance that can protect them in the same way. If this describes you, then it might be time to rethink if you should purchase renters insurance. It can be an important way to protect your belongings and finances in a time of devastation, because cleanup and restoration can be costly.

What It Covers

When you think about renters insurance, it is possible that you are imagining it as financial burden, something that will ask you to fork over more money than it could save you. However, that is not the case. On average, renters insurance costs less than two hundred dollars a year, and the benefits it offers can be a lifesaver.

In the event of a fire or water disaster renters insurance can cover the cost of lost belongings and arrange accommodations for you if your home becomes uninhabitable. It even offers liability if there is ever an accident that happens on your rented property. It is important to keep in mind that this type of insurance does not cover earthquakes or floods, usually, so a separate policy might be needed if those are natural disasters that present a risk in the area of which you reside.

Business Coverage

While renters insurance will typically cover any of your lost belongings, it does not extend to anything business related. Anything work related that you store at home is not covered, and if someone visits you for business reasons and gets hurt, your renters insurance will not offer liability. It is suggested that if your rented property is a place where you conduct business or store business items you should get a different type of insurance policy in addition to your renters insurance.

Standard policies tend to be pretty similar across the board, no matter what company you turn to, but the amount of coverage you get is up to you. When it comes to renters insurance, your policy will cover the actual-value of your items, or the replacement value. Actual-value coverage will cover the cost of your belongings, even if those belongings lost or gained value over time. With replacement value, your policy will cover the cost of you buying new belongings. Deciding on actual-value coverage might save you on premium cost, but replacement value will help you out more in the long run.

Policies tend to limit what insurers will pay you for some valuable items, but you can up your policy to increase coverage on them. If you own a lot of valuable items, it may be in your best interest to add more coverage on them, though it will cost more.

Not all landlords require you to have renters insurance, but it is good coverage to take advantage of. You never know when it might help lessen the financial burden that comes with fire or water damage Chicago.  

If your home has been impacted by a disaster such as a house fire restoration, water damage, mold mitigation, or large storm events, you can reach out to SERVPRO of Ravenswood. We are there to help and we work with ALL insurance companies! Contact us today with questions; 773-878-5200.

We Have A Strategy

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO We Have A Strategy Recognition goes a long way!

Every SERVPRO franchise has a plan for success in their area.  They carry an internal Mission Statement, a Vision Statement and Core Values to set themselves apart from the competition.  That means there are 1700 Mission Statements, Vision Statements and Core Values that ebb and flow throughout the nation.  All with a common goal of adhering to our company slogan, “Like it never even happened."  And that, folks, is what sets us apart from the others!

I share below SERVPRO of Ravenswood’s contributions that distinguishes us from the singularity. 

VISION STATEMENT

“To be a beacon in our community while providing disaster relief (big or small) services with efficiency and professionalism.”

MISSION STATEMENT

“To continue to provide a client experience with knowledgeable and professional restoration services for the Chicagoland area.”

CORE VALUES

  1. Be honest, respectful and caring to your team members
  2. Make a good first impression by always being on time, showing leadership, and being accountable for your actions and the safety of others.
  3. Creating a united work environment with communication, teamwork, and a positive mental attitude in order to succeed.
  4. Always strive to learn new things about my job and industry, while keeping our customers informed.

Hurricane Damage and How To Recover

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricanes are one of the most devastating natural disasters there is. They can completely destroy entire cities and neighborhoods. Most of the time, people have to evacuate their homes just to be safe from them. Hurricanes can cause extensive, sometimes irreversible damage. For someone who has never lived through one, they might have no idea what to do. If a hurricane has hit your home, you might not know what to do to recover. You can feel lost and hopeless, as if there is no fixing what was destroyed. However, there are services everywhere dedicated to getting your life back to normal after such a tragedy. It is important to first understand how damaging a hurricane can be so you know what to expect.

The Damage

As stated above, hurricanes can, and most likely will, case awful damage. They are powerful and deadly. Hurricanes almost always bring storm surge and tidal flooding. They are the most noticeable effects, and tend to be the most devastating. Storm surge is the wall of water that hits land during a hurricane. It leads to awful tidal flooding. These effects are the number one cause of hurricane related deaths. They account for about ninety percent of them. High winds are another effect. They actually determine how strong a hurricane will be, which makes them a pretty important factor. Maybe even the most important. These winds are able to reach up to two hundred miles per hour. They directly relate to how devastating the storm surge will be. Tornadoes often occur during a hurricane, but most people don’t notice them. They usually happen after landfall, and don’t tend to be very strong. Damage caused by these tornadoes will be minimal compared to the hurricane damage. Heavy rain is another effect that tends to happen after the hurricane dissipates. Not many people realize how devastating this can be, but the rain fall is what mostly contributes to flooding.

How To Recover

If you had to evacuate, you will have to listen for when it is safe to return to your area. Local officials will give the go-ahead, and you should stay clear until then. Even with the storm gone, flooding can still present danger. Make sure to be cautious when returning to your home. When you get home, you will have to figure out what to do in terms of repair and cleaning. Depending on the extent of the damage and flooding, you might not be able to do much however we can share some TIPS. You should document the damage, and throw out any food that touched water. Make sure to wear protective clothes and lookout for any dangerous debris or downed power lines. A major part of recovery will be finding professionals who can clean and repair your home.

SWERPRO is a 24/7 company with over 1,700 franchises. SERVPRO of Ravenswood is located in north Chicago.  We are dedicated to helping out after disasters such as hurricanes and other storms. Our highly trained technicians will make quick work of making sure your house is back to normal so you can return home.  Call today with your questions; 773-878-5200.

Examples of Biohazard and What To Do About Them

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

Biohazard Examples of Biohazard and What To Do About Them Bloodborne pathogen cleanup

Biohazard is an umbrella term for biological materials that are a threat to living organisms. If you own or manage a Andersonville commercial property, biohazards can pose serious harm. Not just to you, but anyone who frequents your establishment. Biohazards could show up almost anywhere, Andersonville. If you have commercial property it is extremely important to be cautious of this threat. However, some people may not know everything that the word biohazard encompasses and how to clean it up. It covers numerous materials. There are even levels of biohazard, each one presenting different threats.

Examples of Biohazard

There are different kinds of biohazard. It is possible that some of these examples will never present themselves in your building. Of course, that does not mean you are safe from harmful materials. Blood is a huge biohazard risk. This also includes anything that has come into contact with blood, or other bodily fluids. Bloodborne pathogens and fluids can lead to disease if they come into contact with someone. Animal bedding and animal waste are also threats. This is especially true if the animal is sick in anyway. Microbiological waste is another example of biohazard. Of course, this kind of threat is more common in labs. A threat that is common in medical settings is sharps waste. This includes needles, glass slides, and scalpels.

While your Andersonville commercial property may not be exposed to as many biohazards as other places, it is still exposed. It may not be obvious, but biohazards will be a threat no matter what.  SERVPRO of Ravenswood can clean it up safely and efficiently.

Levels of Biohazard

There are numerous levels of biohazard, four to be exact, with different threats. Level one includes E. Coli, Bacillus subtilis, and more. These materials are just a minimal threat to people and the environment. Level two includes HIV, Hepatitis B, and Salmonella. These have the possibility to make people extremely sick. Level two biohazards are contracted through contact with any infected materials or items. Level three includes tuberculosis and other airborne pathogens. They expose people to serious illnesses. Level four biohazards pose the highest threat levels. The diseases they cause have no treatments, and could even be life threatening. This includes the Ebola and Lassa viruses. For threats of this nature it is recommended to contact your nearest EPA office for help.

What Do You Do About Them

If there is biohazard exposure in your Andersonville commercial property you may have no idea what to do. It needs to be cleaned immediately, but most levels require specialty cleaning services. These services are trained to get rid of the problem quickly and efficiently. However, if you have no experience with this, you might not know who to call. SERVPRO of Ravenswood is a 24/7 company that specializes in cleaning up many levels of biohazard exposure. We comply with health regulations and possess all of the equipment needed for safe disposal. We will decontaminate your building in the event of trauma, chemical spills, sewage backups, hoarding, and more. When it comes to biohazard, the substances must be cleaned up properly to prevent serious health risks. SERVPRO of Ravenswood will make sure this gets done so your Andersonville building can go back to normal.  

Property Management and How It Helps

4/13/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Property Management and How It Helps We work with all Property Management companies in Chicago

Property management can be a huge help when it comes to overseeing your property. It can be used for residential, commercial, and industrial property. Property owners may not think that they need a management firm. However, there are numerous reasons for hiring a manager.

What Is Property Management

First things first, what exactly is property management? It has to do with a property manager overseeing property owned by another entity. This can be any kind of property from industrial to residential, condos to shopping malls. A property manager will act in place of the owners to preserve value while also bringing home income. Property managers also do various other things. They will help owners with budgeting, advertising, collecting rent, and building services – (the latter is where SERVPRO of Ravenswood comes in). The owners of the property will pay a fee for the services the manager provides.

It is not uncommon for a real estate broker to also act as a property manager. They are able to offer buyer and seller services, in addition to management services.

Why Should You Hire a Property Management Firm

There are a number of reasons for hiring a property management firm. If you own several rental properties it can be hard to take care of all of them on your own. In this case, a management firm would step in. They would maintain the property, collect rent, and handle tenants. This can be a good thing if you own a rental property for the sole purpose of generating income. You would be able to do this and not have to worry about the smaller details that can be a headache.

A property owner who is part of an affordable housing program may also take advantage of a management firm. Many people do this because to be in such a program you need knowledge of federal guidelines. Not everyone is well versed in these guidelines, but property management services are. These services would step in to help the property owner follow the guidelines. In addition to these services, management firms also provide maintenance, cleaning, and construction.

The exact services covered will vary depending on what type of property they are managing and how much of a fee they are getting paid.

What Are They Responsible For

Property management services have many responsibilities, but the main one is maintenance and repairs. The property must be kept in good condition. Managers must take care of physical repairs, including emergency fire and water cleanup and restoration. If your property is damaged by flooding, fire, storms, mold, or something similar your management firm will have to take care of it. This typically means hiring a company to come out, as firms tend to have a long list of available restoration and cleaning companies. SERVPRO of Ravenswood, a trusted industry leader, may just be the company they hire. We specialize in repairing damage from fires, floods, storms, and mold. Our restoration and cleaning services are available for residential properties as well as commercial properties.

The Impact of Smoke Damage after a Fire Ravenswood

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Impact of Smoke Damage after a Fire Ravenswood Using a Hepa vacuum to clean off soot caused by smoke damage

Any Ravenswood house fire is devastating in its own right. It destroys your belongings, prized possessions, sometimes entire rooms of your house. Fires are obviously a tragedy that can completely turn your life upside down, but there is something that accompanies fires that many people don’t think about; smoke damage. Smoke damage Ravenswood can be just as harmful as fire damage and, in some cases, even more so. A lot of people tend to overlook it as a danger after experiencing a fire in their house, but it can have damaging impact if left untreated. While your house might continue smelling like smoke, the damage left behind can cause serious health issues.

Problems with Breathing

One dangerous impact smoke damage can cause has to do with your respiratory health. The smoke might be gone, but it will linger in your air ducts, walls, furniture, and many other places. Coming in contact with any part of your house that was damaged by smoke can be harmful. You will be at risk of inhaling soot. This can cause damage to your lungs and sinuses, and lead to bigger respiratory issues down the road.

Skin Problems

Soot and the residue left by smoke act as irritants to your skin. One big issue they present is drying out your skin, and no amount of lotion can help. You can wash many of your things to get rid of soot and smoke residue, but your skin is a different story. The smoke damage will linger in the air and continue irritating your skin until it has been dealt with. While your skin drying out might not sound too awful, it has the potential to lead to more serious medical issues. A few years down the road, you may end up with severe skin problems that can only be treated by a doctor.

Eye Irritation

Just like the case with skin, soot and smoke residue will linger in the air and irritate your eyes. Your eyes might get red, itchy, and sometimes watery after exposure to smoke damage. While eye irritation might not seem too bad at first, after prolonged exposure yours eyes could be damaged behind repair. It is hard to tell how serious eye irritation is on your own, so it is best to seek out a doctor the moment any symptoms present themselves.

The impact of smoke damage after a fire can be serious and cause numerous health issues. That is why you should reach out to SERVPRO of Ravenswood, a Chicago fire cleanup professional, after any Ravenswood house fire to get your home back to normal. SERVPRO of Ravenswood is a leading cleanup and restoration company committed to getting your life back on track. It is our mission to respond immediately to any size disaster, and our trained specialists operate by the “restore first” mentality. That means we will do everything we can to restore your property and belongings to normal so you don’t have to worry about replacing anything. Call 773-878-5200 to clean up any Ravenswood fire damage in your home or business.

Recovering From A Tornado

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are a terrifying, often devastating, weather event. They can turn houses into dust, and flip lives upside down. Living through a tornado can be traumatizing, and sometimes the aftermath is just as bad. Parts of your home may be destroyed, and the idea of fixing it can be overwhelming. Recovering from a tornado could be a huge task, depending on how bad the damage was. However, there are steps to take toward recovery and people ready to help along the way. There are steps that should be taken right after the storm passes, and other steps to take down the road when it is time for repairs and cleaning.

Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

The first step is to stay in your safe place until the storm has completely passed. If you are able, try and wait until you get the all clear from local officials. After the storm, check yourself and those with you for any injuries. If someone is hurt, the next step is seeking out first aid. After everyone has been checked and is okay, you should see how bad the damage to your house is. Make sure to watch out for anything that is unstable and likely to fall. If you go outside, look out for any downed powerlines. They can be life threatening, so if you see downed powerlines stay inside.

Protect Your Property

After you make sure yourself and your loved ones are protected, start protecting your property. You can make temporary repairs in order to prevent further damage. Many insurance companies will reimburse you for the cost, so make sure to keep receipts just in case. In addition to temporary repairs, living expenses may also be reimbursable. If your house is damaged to the point of you having to stay in a hotel, keep the receipts. Your policy may pay you back for the cost of it. Make sure to make a list of anything that was damaged, and don’t throw out damaged belongings. An adjuster will need to assess them for value if your policy covers replacing them. You should also inspect all utility lines and appliances. Any damage could lead to a gas leak or electric shortage. Damaged electric wires may also cause a fire. You may even have to turn off the main valve in order to prevent more harm to your house. Once these steps have been taken, contact your insurance company. From there, they can work with you to see what your policy covers. Most of the time, they will hire services to come out and repair damages.

Clean Up and Repair

SERVPRO of Ravenswood has highly trained storm damage specialists, and your insurance company may choose to work with them. We have an incredibly fast response time when it comes to disasters. We have equipment and personnel ranging across 1,700 franchises. Our experience and training will allow us to restore your property quickly and efficiently. In addition, we will document the entire process.

SERVPRO of Ravenswood CE Course Vote

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO of Ravenswood CE Course Vote 2018 Course: Ready to learn photo!

As many of you know, SERVPRO is well known for offering free continuing education classes to property managers, insurance agents and adjusters to help stay abreast to ever-changing cleaning technology in our industry, as well as keep IL insurance licenses updated.  This year's Continuing Education course will be held on August 21st.  Save the date and location & time will be announced in the forthcoming months. At this time we would like to receive your input on which course you are most interested in learning about.  Help us decide which subject to choose. Below is a list of SERVPRO-sponsored course offerings. TELL US which course is important to you. We will tally your votes and pick the one with the most responses. Your opinion is valuable - thank you for casting your vote! 

  1. Understanding the Restoration Industry: Property Fire Damage Restoration
  2. Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry
  3. Restoring Contaminated Buildings
  4. Restorative Drying for Water Damage
  5. Cleaning & Restoring Smoke-Damaged Contents
  6. Deodorization of Malodors
  7. Mitigation Awareness and Response Seminar (MARS)
  8. Ethics
  9. Biohazard Cleanup

Five Things To Know About the Mold Remediation Process

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Building Services Five Things To Know About the Mold Remediation Process Icky - yes! Fixable - yes!

Mold remediation is handled by experts Lincoln Square, as these cleanup jobs need to be handled in a very particular way each time. SERVPRO of Ravenswood knows how the process goes because we are trained to know. Lincoln Square property or business owners still wonder about the mysteries behind the mold removal process. Here are five things that may help clear that wonder.

1) You might have to leave your home during mold remediation

Depending on the extent of the mold damage, yes there is a possibility you may have to leave your home or business while the remediation work is being conducted. In many cases, insurance companies will not cover the hotel room expense. During the process contaminants become airborne – having the proper equipment to capture anything airborne is very important.  SERVPRO of Ravenswood has air filtration tools that is necessary to prevent spores from spreading and eliminating the chance of breathing it in. 

2) The overall process depends on the types of mold found

The very first thing that a legitimate mold remediation company should do is request a test of the mold to see what spore levels exist in your home or business Lincoln Square. A certified Indoor Environmentalist can conduct such testing.  Based on their findings, SERVPRO of Ravenswood will be able to determine the very best way to remediate. Removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Many restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.  Mold exists naturally and is everywhere, indoors and out.

3) A good mold remediation company will talk you through the steps

SERVPRO of Ravenswood will talk you through everything required in order to cleanup the affected area. We will advise on the how you can help during the process, while we continue with our process.  Many times removing wall panels and drywall to applying cleaning solutions designed to mitigate mold Lincoln Square is required. No matter what each step consists of it, all will be explained to you in detail. The best companies will answer all of your questions.

4) Mold removal isn’t always the same thing as mold remediation

 Some companies might try to tell you that they’ll remove all of the mold in your house. This isn’t quite the case (see number five below), which is why removal and remediation are two very different things. Remediation refers to taking care of the problem. Removal implies getting rid of all of it. You always want to find an honest remediation company such as SERVPRO of Ravenswood who will tell you how why mold exists and how it can be cleaned.  

5) Some specks of mold will get left behind.

Though it is impossible to clean up every last bit of mold, our mold remediation specialists will do their best to get as much of the organism as possible and then kill what remains to prevent it from returning. Staining be occur.  During the restoration process you can decide whether to remove the mold damaged walls, ceilings or floors or whether to keep and paint over the affected areas.

We understand that when mold comes into conversation a sense of panic may overcome you.  Please do not worry, rather call for remediation help at 773-878-5200.  You will feel better once it is taken care of.

Waiting List! What?

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Waiting List! What? View from Lake Michigan

After this year’s record-breaking storm, the 2019 Polar Vortex really put our winter preparation skills to the test. The coldest air mass in 34 years created wind chill temperatures to drop between -30 to -60 degrees! That’s almost unheard of in Chicago, but it happened, and we persevered.  The affects of the storm however did create much hard ache to so many home owners and businesses in the Chicagoland areas.  Luckily, SERVPRO of Ravenswood was equipped to help. 

Cold temperatures can cause water main breaks and pipe leaks, generating much water damage.  During the Polar Vortex many experienced such water losses.  Fortunately for you SERVPRO’s army of green, Storm Team, came from all over America to help us answer the calls, because we know that being put on a 3-week waiting list is not acceptable when your standing in water!  Our Storm Team for this particular storm was derived by SERVPRO franchises ranging from Alabama up to California.  Our teams don’t hesitate when help is needed, as the support is reciprocated when forest fires are ignited on the west coast or when hurricanes are hitting the coasts down on south and on the east. 

When you call SERVPRO of Ravenswood our waiting list is short – 24 to 48 hours to be exact.  Our prices don’t fluctuate either.  We pride ourselves on helping you get back to “Like it never even happened.”, rather than inflating costs out of desperation and making top dollar.  Trust, experience and professionalism is our motto.  So, when you find yourself in a jam with water or fire damage don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Ravenswood. Your calls will be answered, and you will be treated fairly.