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Quality Flood Damage Assistance Available in the Chicago Area

9/23/2022 (Permalink)

Flood Damage Assistance

After a flood, things may appear worse than they are, you can recover much of what you see by obtaining the services of a quality restoration company. These technicians clean, dry, and rebuild flooded homes all of the time, enabling homeowners just like you to return to their home sooner than you might think.

When dealing with flood damage in your Chicago area home, play it safe. Never enter your property to take a look around or assess the damages alone. Safety hazards are lingering in the rubble that put you and your family at severe risk, some that only a trained eye can spot quickly enough to avoid. Making it necessary for you to ask for help immediately.

Companies like SERVPRO assist homeowners with recovering from flood damage on their property while also providing recommendations to assist with limiting your losses during any future events. Using the right company can make the difference between preventing or limiting flood damage, or losing your home entirely to the next problem that occurs.

At SERVPRO you and your family come first. We want you to be safe, avoid stressful situations, and concentrate on a more important side of your restoration, your health. Flood situations take their toll on your family both physically and emotionally, once you have expressed your concerns and had your questions answered by our onsite supervisor, leave your restoration in our hands.

SERVPRO can help you floodproof your home as we perform your restoration. Our initial inspection outlines problems that exist providing you with a timeline for recovery and prevents you from being surprised by anything that might arise. We help you rescue your cherished items, restore your furniture, and protect the structural stability of your home.

Our services include the removal of any standing water, getting air moving to reduce moisture caused by condensation and humidity. We clean and disinfect everything found within the affected area, removing debris that makes its way inside. We check for broken or leaky pipes and perform any necessary repairs to help return things to normal, in the most efficient way possible.

Contact SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City for additional information or to begin your home’s restoration, today (773) 337-3900.

If you are looking to learn more about Chicago visit https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en.html.

Chicago Fires have Degrees of Damage

9/14/2022 (Permalink)

Inspection and Planning by SERVPRO Can Mitigate Fire Damage

Every fire is different, depending on how fast the fire burns, property consumed, and many other factors. Once extinguished, we determine damage according to three levels: minor, medium, and major.

Each type of fire damage in Chicago homes requires special services. To restore homes to their preloss condition, SERVPRO provides an extensive group of services. Depending on the kind of destruction and to what degree, we develop a restoration plan from these categories.

Mitigation – This first service is to secure the home and prevent more destruction; boarding up windows and doors for example. In one case where there was primarily smoke and soot residue, a homeowner waited overnight to call us. By the time one of our work crews arrived, a raccoon had entered through a broken window in the kitchen and caused several thousand dollars in damage throughout the house. The owner also had to pay another company to trap and remove the raccoon.

Structural Cleaning – If the smoke penetrated through walls and into the crawlspaces, then the beams and framing in a home need cleaning as well. In cases where a company simply replaces drywall and ceiling tiles, smoke odors do return. We wipe down metal and wood frames by hand or use a fogger in places where we cannot physically enter.

Contents Cleaning – Personal property absorbs smoke residue quickly, but can often be cleaned on-site. It may not be possible if the structure is determined to be unsafe or we cannot secure it. If necessary, our technicians pack up property and bring it back to our facility for cleaning and storage until we complete work.

Specialty Restoration – This category covers dry cleaning, refinishing furniture and cleaning electronics and artwork. In one case, a client spent their budget to replace the roof and to contract out the restoration of a 1950s era, reel-to-reel, tape recording, sound system.

Reconstruction – In cases of major damage, structural components (beams, columns, and load bearing walls) become compromised. When this occurs, our technicians place temporary, additional support structures to remove the damaged pieces. If there is too much damage, we may need to subcontract the labor or have the client hire a general contractor.

Restoring a home after a fire can be a long and expensive process. The only way to make it work is to carefully inspect, determine services needed and use one of the most experienced companies in Cook County. SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City is here to help, so call us today at (773) 337-3900 to get started.

Chicago Area info click here.

How Chicago Residents Can Restore their Homes after Water Damage

9/13/2022 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO technicians installing plastic to protect contents from water damage in an office Our entire team stands ready to provide professional cleanup and water damage restoration services day or night in Chicago.

SERVPRO Assists with Water Cleanup in the Chicago Area

Most water intrusion events occur due to appliance malfunction or your home's internal drainage problems. Although, severe weather conditions cannot be ruled out as a potential threat to structure and contents. Reducing the impact of water intrusion relies on drying the property as quickly as possible before cleaning and restoring the existing damage.

In Chicago, restoring water damage is a highly specific task best handled by professional restoration technicians. SERVPRO technicians use a range of strategically placed equipment in affected areas to maximize drying efficiency during the drying phase. A technician may use pumping equipment or water extractors for liquid water, which are far more effective than fans, natural air circulation, and air-moving devices. Dehumidification is also an essential tool to dry a wet home. Unlike other equipment designed to shift or evaporate liquid water, dehumidifiers focus on removing water vapor from the house. Without dehumidifiers, evaporated moisture in the air can re-condense onto surfaces and promote unwanted secondary water damage like mold growth. Dehumidifiers come in two categories: a refrigerant, which removes moisture through cooling air to the dew point, and a desiccant, which uses a Silica gel to chemically separate water molecules from the air.

How Drying Equipment Fulfills Restoration Objectives

  • Water extractors and pumps transport liquid water out of the property
  • Air movers and fans evaporate moisture from wet surfaces
  • Dehumidification removes evaporated moisture from the air to prevent recondensation

Restoring a property to its pre-incident condition includes the home structure and your belongings. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also states that returning a property to a habitable condition includes fixing essential parts of the home, such as electric or water supply. SERVPRO has several methods for restoration after water intrusion. Your home restoration includes dry cleaning wet clothing or fabrics and sanitizing surfaces to protect them from potential microbes like bacteria, mold, and viruses. In some cases, repainting walls, replacing carpets, and cleaning upholstery are necessary to restore the home to its preloss condition. Our goal is to make your water damaged home appear “Like it never even happened.”

How We Restore Home and Contents After Water Intrusion

  • Packing out specific clothing, textiles, or belongings for special cleaning services such as Esporta washing
  • Either drying or replacing floor materials, including wood, carpet, and concrete
  • Spot cleaning to remove watermarks and stains from upholstery

Water damage is an urgent issue for homeowners. If water remains in the home, it can quickly stagnate or cause secondary damages. Using a tried and tested formula for drying, cleaning, and restoring your home is the surest way to prevent unnecessary losses. Our team holds qualifications from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certifications (IICRC), a nationally accredited and recognized institution. By combining training with equipment and commonly accepted protocols and recommendations, we can ensure your home does not become permanently damaged by faulty appliances or water leaks.

Homeowners can also benefit from our specialty cleaning services for sentimental or high-value belongings. Typical belongings reserved for specialty cleaning are essential documents, sculptures, paintings, and other artwork. Some of our practices for restoring these items include rapid freeze-drying that can help to prevent further damages occurring to belongings that are wet or otherwise have significant exposure to water. There is the option to have an art curator and specialist restore water damaged high-value artifacts.

Homes in Chicago can recover quickly from water intrusion with the right services and equipment. Contact SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City for quoting water damage cleanup and restoration at (773) 337-3900.

Recovery from Fire Damage for Chicago Residents

9/13/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO trailer and SERVPRO truck in a driveway Our technicians use a combination of devices and machines to pluck smoke and soot particles from your home in Chicago.

SERVPRO in Chicago Has Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians for Any-Size-Disaster

Fires affect millions of homeowners each year. Common causes are unattended stoves or malfunctioning electronics. Damage can include smoke staining, odor problems, and charring. Our role is to make sure your home returns to a preloss condition while minimizing inconvenience to your everyday life.

When fire damage affects your Chicago home, it is vital to enlist a qualified restoration service for assessment. Fire and smoke restoration technicians (FSRT) can use their training to reduce the turnaround time of restoration. One method is by understanding how smoke moves through a property which allows us to find and assess the most likely areas where soiling conglomerates. Convection, for example, is a rule of thermodynamics. It dictates that hot air rises above cool air. When this process occurs, it generates air movement as hot air replaces cold air. In an enclosed environment, this air displacement creates pressure that drives hot smoke into the upper portions of the room. Typically, the areas with the most damage in any fire scenario are the ceilings directly above the flames. The driven smoke can push into cooler surfaces, increasing the number of smoke deposits in your home. In some situations, it can even bond soot particles to surface material.

The Impact of Surface Temperature on Fire Damage

  • High-temperature smoke attracts to cold surfaces.
  • High concentrations of smoke residue are typically found on cooler external walls, windows, and inside furniture or cupboards.
  • Before introducing water or other cleaning methods, a professional must assess heavy soiling on interior surfaces.

Carrying out a time-efficient initial assessment can be very helpful in reducing the stress of homeowners facing a fire damaging disaster. Our one-four-eight policy ensures that we arrange a service with you within one hour of notification of loss. We can send expert technicians to your property within four hours and produce a working estimate for you and your insurance adjuster within eight hours. Returning burnt homes to a preloss condition is most efficient following a thorough pre-test of different smoke residues and their response to cleaning efforts. We can then make informed choices about the necessary equipment, methodology, and time frames for restoring your home. SERVPRO always prioritizes essential areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms, to ensure you can get back to a semblance of normality as quickly as possible. 

Cleaning Products Versus Cleaning Equipment

  • Mechanical equipment can include pressure washers for building exteriors and rotary machines to dislodge dry soots from furniture or upholstery.
  • Household water-based cleaning products like detergents are less effective against some types of soot; that is why we provide specially formulated industrial-strength cleaners and solvents.
  • Dry cleaning solvents use chemicals to break down wet or stubborn soot but inadvertently damage some materials. We pre-test to ensure there is no exacerbation of the fire damage.

Pre-testing residues, materials, and equipment is essential to our approach to fire restoration. As a homeowner, you may feel obliged to begin clearing debris away or cleaning walls and ceilings. Some useful techniques for homeowners can be to ventilate the property by opening windows, allowing lingering particulates, ash, and odor to disperse. Another helpful approach can be to vacuum surfaces which helps to remove any non-bonded dry smoke. When attempting to assist in smoke removal, one aspect to avoid is introducing water or cleaning products. If the smoke is greasy or wet, introducing moisture can cause further damage by spreading or setting soot. We also recommend staying clear of heavily smoke-damaged areas as foot traffic can drive soot into flooring- especially in carpeted properties.

We are here to help with your property emergency. Contact SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City for fire damage restoration at (773) 337-3900.

Remediating Mold Damage from Homes in the Chicago Area

9/13/2022 (Permalink)

The side of a green SERVPRO van Mold can appear in plain sight, or you can smell the musty presence of mold behind cabinets and walls. In either case, contact SERVPRO to investigate

SERVPRO Provides Expert Mold Advice and Remediation for Local Residents

Mold is a microorganism. It exists in almost all environments but often in the benign form of a mold spore. Only when these spores grow and reproduce can they become a problem for homeowners. Like most living things, spores require specific growing conditions, including a food supply, adequate temperature, and water. While spores are impossible to remove from an environment entirely, remediation can help reduce mold's impact and return your home to a normal condition.

We offer expert mold damage remediation to Chicago residents all year round. Lab-testing microbial growth can often be a time-consuming and inconclusive venture. The noticeable symptoms of a microbial infestation, such as a distinct musty odor, are usually enough to justify professional remediation. Remediation is a staged process that begins with an inspection of damaged areas. The inspection phase can often require temporarily lifting floors or using borescopes to analyze wall and ceiling cavities to observe how far the mold has spread. Since mold requires a source of moisture to grow, an infestation often stems from a pre-existing moisture problem. Some moisture problems are consistent such as a leaking pipe. Other moisture problems can arise from insufficient insulation, causing condensation or roofing gaps that allow rainwater. Mold can also grow from a one-time issue like a spillage that goes unnoticed for several days.

Different Types of Moisture Problems and How They Connect to Mold Remediation

  • If surfaces are still wet, the moisture problem stems from a consistent flow of water. It is vital to fix the leak before beginning the remediation process.
  • If moldy surfaces are dry, it may have been a one-time issue. A chemical cleaning solution can be very effective in these circumstances.
  • A mold that appears during certain times of the year can often indicate insufficient insulation. A vapor barrier can often correct these issues and prevent recurring growth.

The first goal of a mold remediation technician is to correct the source of the issue. Dealing with the moisture problem first ensures that the fungi do not grow back during or after the remediation service. Once the source of the problem is isolated and corrected, we can begin to work on the existing damage. Remediation techniques often disturb moldy areas, releasing spores into the environment. Correctly preparing the room or property by sealing off certain areas, establishing clean rooms, and decontaminating areas are essential to stop spores from spreading. Generally speaking, the removal of microbial growth is achievable through anti-microbial chemicals, physical agitation, or by disposing of the infested material altogether. Whether materials need to be disposed of depends on the porosity of the material and the cost of replacement. Porous materials are generally more susceptible to infestation than their denser counterparts.

Equipment for Aggressive Agitation and Cleaning of Microbials

  • Metal scrapers and steel wool can help scrape mold from dense surfaces.
  • Like Hardwoods or lumber, Dense organic matter can often be sanded down and refinished to remove exterior mold.
  • Blasting equipment- sand, soda, or ice- helps eliminate molds without causing excessive damage to the surface beneath. Soda blasting can be ideal for valuable materials with exterior mold.

Tackling mold can be tricky without expertise. Contact SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City for mold remediation at (773) 337-3900.

Insurance for Water Damage in Chicago

9/12/2022 (Permalink)

insurance policy form Trust your insurance carrier and SERVPRO for water damage restoration in Chicago properties.

Different Policies Cover Many Aspects of Water Recovery Mitigation

Most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover particular kinds of water damage to the inside of your home. Several factors will determine precisely what it covers. The type and cost of the homeowner’s policy you carry will determine the deductible, plus any limits to payouts arising from particular claims.

Their different coverage restrictions and premium costs differentiate each type. There are certain kinds of water damage in Chicago that a homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover. Natural flood damage from a source outside has to be covered under a distinct policy for flood insurance. Homes in elevated areas or dry climates away from natural water sources might not need flood insurance policies. However, homes in low-lying areas along lakes, rivers, or oceans could need flood insurance.

Homeowners have three basic types of insurance policies: HO1, HO2, and HO3. HO1 policies need lower premium payments but carry deductibles on the high side and might not cover some kinds of damage to the homes covered by other policies. HO2 policies are intermediate, usually have moderate deductibles, and cover most damages. HO3 policies are the most expensive and generous insurance for homeowners. These policies give you limited deductibles and have a lot of perks that make them well worth their extra cost.

Variations in the Insurance Market

The market for these insurance types is relatively localized. In areas that are flood-prone where there are regular basement floods, flood insurance can be extremely costly. This is also true in the regions which regularly experience severe thunderstorms and hurricanes. The flood insurance market in Florida is regulated to lower the costs out-of-pocket for the homeowners living there.

During a weather event, if your home sustains water damage, a homeowner’s comprehensive policy could cover your repair costs in particular circumstances. You will likely need to show your claims adjuster that the damage happened because of a defect in the construction of your home. This reasoning could explain why water seeped through a window that was sealed improperly or by the structure having a weak point. It is not as likely to be an adequate explanation for water entering the home clearly through an open door or window.

A homeowner’s insurance policy will likely cover water damage associated with faulty appliances or plumbing. This outcome, of course, is not guaranteed, either. Before your provider agrees to pay your claim, you’ll have to state that the flood or leak was the cause of water-carrying equipment that was poorly manufactured or repair work on a shoddy existing water line.

At SERVPRO of Evergreen Park/South Chicago City, we can help you get what you deserve regarding your insurance claim after experiencing water damage. Just call us any time of day or night at (773) 337-3900.

Why the Type of Water in a Flood Matters More Than the Amount of Water

9/2/2022 (Permalink)

Clean vs. Contaminated Water after a Flood

A flooded home is always an unwelcome event, but there's more to water emergencies than most people realize. Water level isn't the only challenge and potential hazard involved, and whether the flood water is clean or contaminated plays a huge role in the cleanup process.
 
If you've experienced flood damage in Beverly, you may not be aware that whether items within your home can be restored heavily depends on whether the water is contaminated or not. Here are the differences between clean and contaminated flood water, and how we deal with each.
 
Clean Water
 
This type of flood damage comes from water that is not contaminated with any waste, hasn't been used, doesn't have organisms in it that can carry disease, and has been treated. For instance, if your water heater malfunctions and floods your basement, that water is likely to be clean as it's been sitting in an enclosed tank waiting to be used. Flood damage from burst pipes also commonly involves clean water.
 
Clean water poses the least risk to your family, and SERVPRO technicians will have a much better chance of saving items affected by it. Here are some of the things that we're typically able to restore in this situation:
 
- Carpet and carpet pads
- Books and documents
- Electronics and appliances
- Furniture
- Electronic media
 
Contaminated Water
 
Gray water and black water are both contaminated, and the difference between the two is that black water has solid waste and is potentially more hazardous. Gray water has been used, but it doesn't contain human or animal waste. Examples include water dumped from broken washing machines and dishwashers, and toilets that have overflowed when not in use.
 
Flood damage from natural disasters and storms, backed up sewage, and used toilets that have overflown are examples of black water. This is the riskiest type of water emergency to handle, which is why SERVPRO technicians take special precautions when dealing with black water.
 
Though area rugs, some possessions and furnishings, and appliances can often be saved when they've come into contact with contaminated water, carpet padding is thrown out for safety. Carpet can be cleaned if the flood is from gray water, but it's best for your family's health that it be thrown out if black water is involved.
 
The team at SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City have the tools and expertise needed to handle all types of water emergencies quickly. For a quote or to learn more about our flood damage services, call us at (773) 337-3900.

Protecting Precious Memories From A Fire in your Downtown Chicago Homes

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

Preserving Cherished Memories

Most people do not like to think about the possibility of their home catching on fire, but, what if it did? Assuming your family and pets all get out safely, what would be the things you are most upset about losing? You may have little to nothing left that is salvageable after a fire. Even if you have a good homeowner’s policy, it cannot bring back your treasured items such as photographs, personal papers, relevant documents, children’s artwork and your computer files. While all these things would be a great loss, sentimental belongings like your family photographs are at the top of most people's lists.

A good place to start, a fire safe can prevent fire damage to your precious memories. Most residential safes in Downtown Chicago carry a two or three-hour rating, however, which means they protect the contents for just a few hours in case of a fire. An even better way of protecting your personal and legal documents and family memories is to store copies of them somewhere other than your home. Then, when you have a professional remediation company such as SERVPRO come to restore and repair your home, this is one less worry.

Scanning Your Documents
Begin scanning each item by taking a digital picture, using your home scanner, or, for high quality or fine art scanning, use a scanning service. After you have digital copies of your documents, you must determine how to store them.

Make CDs
Upload your digital image files to an online service, which lets you create shareable online photo albums or get CDs burned. Think about having CDs sent to friends and family as a backup copy. Many people enjoy storing images on the hard drive of their computer and backing the images up on a flash drive, the problem here is most people forget to back up their pictures and documents, risking their loss, even from general computer issues. If you remember to back up your computer regularly, a flash drive is an excellent way to save precious memories. However, this is only if you keep it in your possession or give it to a family member for safekeeping. In the case of a fire, the flash drive and computer are lost. Remember that after a fire, SERVPRO needs to be called right away so they can come and restore everything possible in your home, and repair any damage.

Go To The Cloud
You can upload images to Yahoo or Google, however, for the most secure storage off-site of your important photos you are better off using a backup service like Cloud. Using Cloud storage puts your images on a remote service, and the packages include backups for your computer. The services use the same technology for encryption that banks use, so your images are protected.

Protecting your family memories from fire is something important to consider. If your family does experience loss from fire, be sure to reach SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City immediately. We can help you to get your home back to normal as soon as possible when you call us at (773) 337-3900.

 

First Class Cleanup Assistance for Downtown Chicago Commercial Water Damage

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

First Class Cleanup Assistance for Downtown Chicago Commercial Water Damage

When it comes to dealing with commercial water damage in downtown Chicago, you'll need to hire a reputable local restoration service that can help you deal with the issue in an efficient and cost-effective manner. If your business or commercial office building has suffered water damage, whether due to flooding, overflowing sewage or a burst water main, we are here to help you.

Service Begins Immediately With Your Very First Call
When you contact us, your service will start immediately. The first step we take is to visit your property and make a quick and fully detailed assessment of the damage that has been done. It's critical to realize that the potential for danger does not abate simply because the emergency situation has been controlled. Leakage may persist in your structure for weeks and months after the incident, leading to further trouble such as mold growth and structural damage. This is exactly why a professional water damage restoration specialist is needed.

Dealing With Water Damage Is Our Personal Mission
Dealing professionally with the commercial water damage downtown Chicago businesses receive on occasion is our personal mission. As soon as the extent of the damage has been established, we will begin draining out all of the leftover water. We can get water out of hard-to-reach nooks and crannies in the building where it may hide undetected and slowly become the cause of future problems.

Once all of the water is eliminated, we will start a comprehensive restoration and remediation program that includes carting away all the damage/debris and purifying the air of any remaining odors. We will check areas, such as air conditioning vents and filtration units, to make sure that mold growth hasn't occurred. Finally, we will double check everything to make sure the building is safe to inhabit.

The Full Restoration of Your Property Is Our First Priority
If you want your property to be fully restored and renovated, you'll need the assistance of a reputable water damage professional. This is why the full restoration of your property is our first and overriding priority. You don't want to wait weeks or even months while the insurance company weighs out your claims or lose money every day while your business is unable to function. You especially don't want to watch as all of your tenants leave the building in search of a safer location. Instead of completely demolishing the structure, it's better to let our team of professionals restore it.

Your One Stop Shop for Downtown Chicago Commercial Water Damage
When it comes to dealing with the commercial water damage downtown Chicago businesses sometimes sustain, you'll need to know the number of a reputable and professional local service that you can trust. When you need service quickly, SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City is here to be your one-stop local restoration services provider. We can provide services anywhere in the Chicago metropolitan area from Beverly and Calumet Park to Blue Island and Alsip. Call us at (773) 337-3900 for more information.

Preparation is Key for Staying Safe Through a Storm

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

Storm Plans Need To Include Supplies and Reasearch As To Recovery Service Companies Storm season is upon us and we have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of customers that contact us for immediate help to clear up storm damage in the Downtown Chicago area. Some storms are brutal and take a significant toll on the population in the area. Restoring commercial and residential properties after a dramatic storm is our business. It is something that we take great pride in because we know that it is very beneficial to the local community. The fact is that SERVPRO of Evergreen Park South Chicago City is a locally owned business and we provide 24-hour service to storm disaster victims in the community. Preparing for Storms We realize that storms might hit out of the blue. One minute, the sky is crystal clear, with a calm breeze. The next minute, a storm is brewing over the area. We advise our customers to start preparing for storms and storm damage long before they occur. We've all heard stories about people that are preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse or the great disaster that ends the world. However, it is more practical to prepare for a real life situation that could occur at any time. For example, thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning strikes, hurricanes, and floods are more apt to strike a community than the disasters mentioned above. It is important to have a plan in place for any storm. For example, plan a safe location for the family in the home or a nearby evacuation center. Put together a storm disaster kit and store it away for use during the event. It is also a good idea to have a battery-operated radio that is tuned to the local weather station for updates on the storm. Make sure that the entire family is well aware of the emergency plan to keep everyone safe. Practice the plan a few times per season to stay on the safe side. More Storm Safety Tips Believe it or not, the safest place to be during a storm is inside your own home. Don't rush outside, in the middle of a storm looking for safer ground. Instead, we suggest that you stay inside, listen to the weather forecast, stay away from corded telephones, avoid interacting with any type of electrical equipment in the home. Storm Damage Downtown Chicago SERVPRO of Evergreen Park South Chicago City is recognized for their fast response to emergency situations after storms. We serve both residential and commercial customers promptly. Our staff of highly trained technicians will work quickly and efficiently to restore your property. Contact us at (773) 337-3900 for more information today.