Recent Posts

Mold Prevention Tips

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Concerns regarding indoor exposure to mold has increased as the public has become more aware that exposure to mold can cause a variety of health effects and symptoms.   The EPA has come up with the following tips for mold prevention in your commercial property.

  • Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building envelope as soon as possible.
  • Watch for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture problem(s) as soon as possible.
  • Prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
  • Keep heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly and unobstructed.
  • Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
  • Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60% relative humidity (RH), ideally 30-50%, if possible.
  • Perform regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.
  • Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
  • Don't let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today –847-983-4468

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Morton Grove/East Niles specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

Sudden Power Outage

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Even small storms can cause damage.  The CDC offers these tips to help you prepare for and cope with sudden loss of power:

  • To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, use generators, pressure washers, grills, and similar items outdoors only. Generators should be used at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Identify and throw away food that may not be safe to eat.
  • Check with local authorities to be sure your water is safe.
  • In hot weather, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids to prevent heat-related illness.
  • In cold weather, wear layers of clothing, which help to keep in body heat.
  • Avoid downed power lines, if a power line falls on a car, you should stay inside the vehicle.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 847-983-4468

Returning Home

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

After natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, be aware that your house may be contaminated with mold or sewage, which can cause health risks for your family.

When You First Reenter Your Home

  • If you have standing water in your home and can turn off the main power from a dry location, then go ahead and turn off the power, even if it delays cleaning. If you must enter standing water to access the main power switch, then call an electrician to turn it off. NEVER turn power on or off yourself or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water.
  • Have an electrician check the house’s electrical system before turning the power on again.
  • If the house has been closed up for several days, enter briefly to open doors and windows to let the house air out for awhile (at least 30 minutes) before you stay for any length of time.
  • If your home has been flooded and has been closed up for several days, presume your home has been contaminated with mold.
  • If your home has been flooded, it also may be contaminated with sewage.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today –847-983-4468

Steps to Prepare for Any Weather Emergency

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Weather events impact small businesses every day. In fiscal year 2015, the U.S. Small Business Administration provided 46,000 businesses and individuals with $2.8 billion in disaster loans.  No owner wants to believe it could happen to them, but severe weather is an issue no matter where you are located.

Follow these steps to prepare for any weather emergency:

  1. Develop a Plan. How will you manage in the event of a weather disaster? Who is responsible for doing what? What do you need to run your business at a remote site? Stock up on necessary storm supplies, and make sure you can access your data.
  2. Understand Your Coverage.  In addition to property and casualty insurance, talk to your broker about adding business interruption insurance to your business owner’s policy.
  3. Watch the Weather.  Knowing about a storm as soon as possible gives you and your team ample time to prepare for the worst and get as much done as possible. This additional time could be used to make crucial game-changing decisions.  A NOAA weather radio can help, especially for immediate threats like flash floods and tornadoes.

For help restoring your commercial space after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Morton Grove/East Niles at 847-983-4468. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Create an Emergency Ready Profile(ERP)

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Morton Grove/East Niles as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Call Us Today to set up your ERP 847-983-4468

Steps to Take Before a Spring Storm Strikes

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Spring storms strike no matter where you live.  Wind, rain, hail, tornadoes, and flooding can cause costly damage to your home.

Luckily there are ways to prevent potential costly damage to your home.

1. Clean out gutters and downspouts

Clogged gutters, drains, and downspouts can lead to roof damage during a storm. Dirt and debris can cause water to be unable to flow away from the roofline, adding weight to your roof and potentially causing a roof collapse.

Before the spring storms strike, check your downspouts and gutters to ensure that winter storms haven’t created any blockages. While you’re up there, make sure that all connections are secure and that no repairs are necessary.

2. Seal your windows, doors, and roof

Check the seals around your doors and windows. Look for loose screws and cracked caulking, and make repairs if necessary. If you live in an area that's prone to heavy storms, consider investing in impact-resistant windows to protect your home.

When you inspect your doors, check that there are three hinges on each to provide additional support. Then, make sure your threshold is screwed directly into your house, as opposed to only your door frame.

Next, inspect your roof. If you find any missing or damaged shingles, an area of sagging, or other damage, have your roof professionally inspected before a storm hits. Repairs can keep your home from experiencing severe damage due to a leaky roof.

3. Search for cracks in the foundation

Even small cracks in your foundation or basement can put your home at risk of major damage during a spring storm. If water seeps in through the cracks, your home could be in danger of flooding. Furthermore, high winds can make existing cracks prone to widening, causing significant structural damage throughout the home. If you find or suspect any cracks in your foundation or basement, call a professional to seal them to help you prepare for a flood.

4. Install a backflow valve in your basement to prevent sewage backup

Heavy rain can cause municipal sewers systems to become overtaxed, creating the possibility for excess water to flow backward through your home's sewer lines. Plumbing fixtures situated at the lowest points in your home may be particularly prone to sewer backup. Consider installing a sewer backflow valve to divert unexpected water away from your sewer lines and back to your city's sewage system.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 847-983-4468

Water Damage Prevention Tips

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can be extremely costly. What starts as a small leak from your shower stall can turn into tens of thousands of dollars of damage from mold or a collapsed ceiling. As a homeowner, you’ll want to take the following these water damage prevention tips seriously. It could save you both money and a lot of inconvenience.

  1. Examine Ceilings and Walls for Signs of Leaks

It’s easy to get so busy with everyday life that you don’t notice the water stain slowly creeping across your kitchen ceiling, but that water mark is an important indicator that something is leaking. Make note of the location and then check the upper floor or attic of your home, paying special attention to:

  • Cracks in or around tubs or shower stalls
  • Loose or old caulk that pulls up from the seams it should be protecting inside shower stalls
  • Leaking toilets
  • AC lines that collect and drip condensation
  • Improper flashing on your roof around vents or fans

It’s important to find and resolve the source of the leak quickly to minimize damage.

  1. Keep an Eye on Your Water Bill

Leaks are not always obvious; they often occur in hidden places like under slab or in walls. A water bill spike can be the only indicator you see that alerts you to the existence of a leak.

To determine if a spike in your water bill is caused by a leak or something else, take the following steps:

  • Check with family members about water usage.
  • Locate your water meter, Turn off all the water in the house and then check the water meter dial. If the dial is still turning when no water is being uCsed, you might have a broken water meter on your hands, but most likely, you have a leak.
  • Call in the utility company. The utility company will let you know if the problem is a leak or if the problem is the water meter. If the water meter is broken, the utility company will fix it.
  • If it’s not the water meter, you have a leak. Call in a plumber with state-of-the-art leak detection equipment so they can locate and fix the leak.
  1. Know Where Your Water Main Shut Off Valve Is

In case of an emergency, you need to get your water main shut off quickly to limit the amount of water pouring into your home. In most cases, your water main shut off valve is in the garage. Locate it, test it to make sure it is not rusted into position, and then teach everyone in your home how to operate it.

  1. Place Pans Underneath Appliances

Washing machine hoses often wear out long before the washing machine needs any other repairs, making the hoses a prime suspect for leak problems. A ruptured or cracked dishwasher, AC, or washing machine hose can cause major water damage. Protect yourself by placing deep pans underneath appliances so they can capture any water from a leaky hose.

For help restoring your home after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Morton Grove/East Niles  at 847-983-4468. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Develop Safe Fire Habits

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

If you do nothing else:

  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. If you smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside; choose fire-safe cigarettes; never smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen.
  • Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 847-983-4468

Prevent Kitchen Fires

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Prevent Kitchen Fires Kitchen fires are preventable

Kitchen fires are the number one cause of house fires.  They are also easily preventable.  Listed here are several recommendations from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

  1. Cooking oil, a key ingredient for frying and sautéing, is also a prime cause of sudden stove-top fires. Smart cooks heat oils slowly to the desired temperature, then add food gently to reduce the chance of splatter and flare-up. Keeping an appropriately sized lid next to your pan gives you a means to quickly cover the pan and snuff out sudden flames.
  2. Good chefs always stay in the kitchen; unattended cooking is a dangerous gamble. Staying in the kitchen, especially when frying, grilling, broiling or boiling, is a smart and obvious way to avoid an out-of-control fire.
  3. Roasting, simmering and baking foods takes more time. While the likelihood of a fire may seem less, the main culprit is forgetting to check on your meal. Set a timer to remind you to check back every so often, and be sure that any wooden utensils, oven mitts, paper products, dish towels and curtains are moved far away from heat sources.
  4. Early morning and late evening cooking coincides with the time you may be more tired. Staying alert is staying safe, so be sure you’re not too sleepy or distracted by other tasks. Consuming alcohol can be enjoyable when preparing meals, but it is also a risk that should be minimized if not completely avoided.
  5. Fight or flight. There is no concrete answer concerning whether it is better to fight a kitchen fire or immediately leave the room, close the door behind you and call for help. If you’re really unsure, take the safest route and call 911 as soon as you and all others can leave the kitchen.

NFPA studies report that 55 percent of the people who were injured in reported nonfatal home cooking fires during 2005-2009 were injured when they tried to fight the fire themselves. One of every four house fires reported in 2007-2011 started with fat or grease, and one of every three fire injuries resulted from these fires.

Source: NFPA’s Fire Analysis & Research Division

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
847-983-4468

Floods

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Know your Risk

What

Flooding is a temporary overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. There are many possible causes of floods including heavy rain or snowmelt, coastal storms and storm surge, waterway overflow from being blocked with debris or ice, or overflow of levees, dams, or waste water systems, Flooding can occur slowly over many days or happen very quickly with little or no warning, called flash floods.

Where

Flooding can happen in any U.S. state or territory. It is particularly important to be prepared for flooding if you live in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as near a river, stream, or culvert; along a coast; or downstream from a dam or levee.

When

Flooding can occur during every season, but some areas of the country are at greater risk at certain times of the year. Coastal areas are at greater risk for flooding during hurricane season (i.e., June to November), while the Midwest is more at risk in the spring and during heavy summer rains. Ice jams occur in the spring in the Northeast and Northwest. Even the deserts of the Southwest are at risk during the late summer monsoon season.

Basic Safety Tips

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

Source: READY.gov

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 847-983-4468