Recent Posts

The Benefits of SERVPRO's Claims Information Center

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Woman with a tablet showing a man in an office With the Claims Information Center, you can review and approve changes without the extra travel

Three Benefits Of Using This System

Insurance adjusters are busy professionals. They often juggle multiple projects at a time for several commercial clients, and keeping everything on track can be challenging. Disaster restoration companies in Kaneville, IL, are often familiar with the challenges of an insurance agent because they deal almost exclusively with the insurance claim process, too. That is why, at SERVPRO, the Claims Information Center is such a vital tool for clients and insurers alike. There are at least three benefits of using a system like this.

1. Immediate Information 2. Research Materials 3. Claims Updates

Immediate Information
When a client works with multiple services for the mitigation and restoration of their facility, it makes the job of an adjuster more challenging, and it slows down the timeline to insurance claim approval. By working with SERVPRO, a business will receive an estimate for the entire project right after the initial assessment. The estimate is then immediately put in the Claims Information System and accessible to insurance companies.

Research Materials
When determining the claim value for a client, an insurance agent must research the costs associated with the project. The Claims Information Center has a library separated into the state, county, and city, so adjusters can review similar projects and causes of loss, allowing them to make a fair assessment about the filed claim.

Claims Updates
If you are an agent, then you know that almost no project goes according to plan. There are always work order changes and updates throughout a project. Unfortunately, in most cases, a change means you need to head over to the site for additional assessments. Thankfully, with the Claims Information Center, you can review and approve changes without the extra travel.
SERVPRO wants to make the disaster recovery process easier for everyone involved, which means helping clients retrieve funds quickly and assisting agents through the insurance claim process. Do you think you could use a little more help?

How To Fix a Leaky Faucet

6/4/2020 (Permalink)

Faucet and water drops If you still have a leaking faucet, however, call a plumber right away

The constant dripping of a leaking faucet in your Aurora, IL home can be really annoying. In most cases, you can fix the dripping faucet yourself.

Fix the Faucet - Preliminary Steps

Before you get started on your leaking faucet, turn off the water supply valve under the sink. Put a sink stopper or towel over the drain to prevent any parts from falling down the drain.

Remove the Handle
The type of faucet you have will determine how to remove the handle.

If the handle has a set screw behind it, use an Allen wrench to remove the screws.
If a screw-top cover is attached to the top of the handle, pry it off with a flat screwdriver. Loosen and remove the screw underneath with a Phillips screwdriver.

Gently lift the handle and set aside.

Remove the Old Cartridge
Loosen and remove the packing nut located inside the handle assembly with a crescent wrench. Pull the cartridge straight up and out of the assembly. Some models require a specialized tool to remove the cartridge. The manufacturer's instructions will indicate if one is required.

Install a New Cartridge
If you know the faucet's manufacturer and model number, you will know the type of cartridge to purchase. If you aren't sure, you can take the old cartridge to the hardware store to match it.

Dry the entire area around the handle with a towel.
Check the O-rings surrounding the housing and replace any that are worn.
Align the new cartridge.

Reattach the Handle
Reattach and tighten the packing nut, being careful not to overtighten. Reattach the handle and replace the screw top cover, if applicable. Turn on the water line and run hot and cold water for a few minutes.
A fixed leak will give you the satisfaction of a job well done. If you still have a leaking faucet, however, call a plumber right away before water damage repair is necessary.

Meet the Smoke Cleaning Machines

6/4/2020 (Permalink)

Thermal fogger, smoke odor removal Thermal foggers provide an effective way to remove smoke odors

Smoke Cleaning Machines

Experiencing a house fire can be devastating. Whether you've been through a fire caused by a natural disaster or a human mishap, your main priority is to get your Sugar Grove, IL, home back to a safe and livable state. Smoke cleaning is a crucial part of a complete fire damage remediation plan, and here are some of the machines that do the work.

1. Thermal Foggers
Thermal foggers provide an effective way to remove smoke odors. Your team will use the machine to heat a deodorizing agent and spray it throughout your home in the form of a fog. The mixture from the machine permeates deep into hard-to-reach areas and attaches to smoke particles. The deodorizing agent absorbs the smoke particles and neutralizes the offensive odors. Thermal foggers, using thermally-activated deodorant droplets to encapsulate and eliminate smells, are also effective for improving the air quality of your home.

2. Ozone Machines
Ozone machines are powerful odor removers. They use ozone, also known as enriched oxygen, which is an oxidizing gas that neutralizes odorous molecules. The machines are used in a controlled space and thus the gas can infiltrate carpet, furniture, and cracks to destroy the smoke smell. The extra atom of oxygen in ozone (O3) attaches to and destroys the contaminants by oxidation. The machines are valuable for smoke cleaning as ozone will neutralize nearly any organic odor.

3. Air Scrubbers
Air scrubbers are portable filtration devices that are frequently used for cleaning up smoke damage. The system removes gasses and particles by drawing in the air from a certain area and sending it through a series of contaminant-removing filters. Air scrubbers use filters that are specifically designed to remove smoke odors, such as HEPA filters and activated carbon filters.
While each fire emergency requires a customized approach to remediation, smoke cleaning should always be part of the plan. Contact your local experts in this industry as they have the training, equipment, and resources necessary to return your home to its pre-fire shape.

3 Preventative Measures for Sewer Problems

5/10/2020 (Permalink)

Sewer cleaning. A plumber uses a sewer snake to clean blockage in a sewer line. Sewer line maintenance in Montgomery, IL

3 Preventative Measures for Sewer Problems

Commercial buildings can be susceptible to sewer problems, from aging sewer lines to blockages that lead to backups. Building owners and managers can reduce the likelihood of pipe breaks, a blocked sewer, and other common sewer problems by taking three measures.

1. Display Disposal Guidelines
Improper disposal of materials that cannot easily pass through a sewer line leads to clogs. Building owners and managers should post guidelines to remind building occupants and guests about materials that are not safe to flush or dispose of down the drain. The availability of alternative disposal methods for personal hygiene products in bathrooms can also prevent toilet overflow.

2. Perform Sewer Lateral Maintenance
Commercial property owners are responsible for maintaining the condition of the lateral that runs from a building to the main sewer line. In addition to clogs caused by improper disposal of materials, intrusive roots can also damage a line and result in cracked or broken pipes or a blocked sewer. Regular inspections are essential to ensure that a sewer lateral is in good condition. Building owners and managers can also use enzymatic treatments to discourage the formation of blockages.

3. Install a Backwater Prevention Valve
A backwater prevention valve can keep contaminated water from backing up into a commercial building. Sewer damage cleanup is not covered by most commercial property insurance policies. Additional sewer backup coverage is necessary to offset the cost of this damage. Having a plumber install a backwater prevention valve or other preventative equipment may stop sewer damage from occurring.
Prevention is the best way to avoid sewer problems at a commercial property in Montgomery, IL. From limiting the introduction of materials that are likely to cause a blocked sewer to maintain the condition of lines and taking measures to avoid costly backups, a building owner or manager should be able to reduce the risk of damage caused by contaminated water.

How Landlords Can Protect Against Mold Damage Lawsuits

5/10/2020 (Permalink)

Technician wearing protective gear in front of door entrance If mold appears, contact a local mold mitigation franchise in Big Rock, IL

If you rent property to residential tenants, such as for apartment buildings, or for commercial properties, it is important to know a little about mold insurance claims. In either situation, you have a responsibility to maintain your property to certain standards. These standards can vary a bit between different locations. If you fail to achieve this standard, your company can be sued by the people or the business that is renting your property. In the case of mold, in the most general terms, you should make sure the conditions for mold growth are not present in your building. If mold does appear, it is important to contact a local mold mitigation franchise in Big Rock, IL.

Mold Insurance Claims

The best source of information regarding a mold claim is your insurance agent. While most commercial insurance policies have exclusions regarding mold coverage, it is possible to purchase additional coverage, sometimes called environmental liability insurance, for protection against third-party claims. In general, you may be subject to a lawsuit if the following conditions are present:

  • Mold is growing in the rented property
  • Mold has resulted in damaged to belongings
  • Mold has caused a business disruption
  • Mold growth is the result of a failure on your part

If the presence of mold has arisen from a failure on the part of the renter, the lawsuit is less likely to be successful. Residential landlords are more likely to see a mold claim against them than are commercial landlords.

Mold Remediation
A fast response to a mold problem is an effective way to avoid mold insurance claims against you. This will clear away the mold colonies before they have time to cause adverse health effects or do damage to belongings. Professional mold removal treats the cause of the mold growth, usually dampness or high humidity, and gets rid of the mold problem.

Common Problems With Commercial Irrigation Systems

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Leaking water. Don't let your irrigation problems lead to bigger problems.

A plush, green lawn can be easy to maintain if your property has an in-ground irrigation system. These systems usually add convenience and ease to your maintenance routine but can occasionally develop irrigation problems. If you own or rent commercial property in Kaneville, IL, and have issues with your sprinkler system, here are some ways to find and resolve the problem.

System issues can be mechanical, such as malfunctions or stuck valves.
System issues can be in the programming and may require a simple reset.

Finding the Issue
You can determine if the system has a programming error by resetting it. At the control panel, the emergency shutoff valve, or at the main backflow valve, switch the system off and then see if the water stops running. If so, then the problem can likely be fixed by reprogramming the watering schedule. If you reprogram the system and the water is still flowing, then you have a mechanical issue. The best thing you can do is to shut the system off at the water source and call your irrigation specialist to efficiently find and repair the problem. You can stop the water flow at the backflow preventer or the main water connection.

Cleaning Up Your Yard
Issues with an irrigation system that isn't addressed quickly can result in damage such as a drowned lawn, hefty water bills, and burst pipes. After you stop the water flow, you need to fix any flooding issues. Depending on the size of the leak, you may benefit from hiring highly-trained water damage restoration technicians who can save you time and money in the cleanup process.

Don't let your irrigation problems lead to bigger problems - call a specialist as soon as possible if you can't remedy the situation yourself. You will be able to maintain beautiful landscaping easily by keeping your irrigation system in good working order.

Where Can Mold Hide in a Commercial Building?

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Close up shot of mold. Stay on top of potential mold growth by inspecting those hidden areas frequently.

Since mold thrives in a dark, moist environment, you may not spot it by walking through your building in Aurora, IL. That's why it's important to conduct a periodic inspection of those hidden places where mold growth is common.
Where Does Mold Grow in Commercial Buildings?

Ductwork - Your building's ductwork contains a lot of moisture from the cooling air that is blown into the office. Check the lining of the ducts for mold growth and damage. If the duct lining contains cracks, water can seep through. This creates the right conditions for mold. Dirty linings are also an invitation for mold. Any abnormalities in the duct lining should be inspected and replaced by a professional.

HVAC drain pans - Make sure the pans are draining properly so that water doesn't pool around the unit.
Carpet - Dirt gets trapped in carpet fibers, and when that is combined with liquid from spills, the resulting water damage is an invitation for mold. If the building has a high humidity level, this increases the risk. Thoroughly dry any wet carpet quickly by sopping up the water and running a fan until the carpet is dried completely. Turning on the air conditioning and dehumidifier will quicken the drying process. If the spill area is larger than 10 square feet, it's time to call a professional.

Ceiling tiles - All ceiling tiles should be inspected for water stains, which could indicate a roof leak. The tiles around the HVAC vents are most vulnerable to moisture and dirt, so check them more frequently.

In addition to setting up a routine maintenance program to look for mold, it's important to schedule an annual inspection with mold remediation specialists. They are trained to know what to look for, and they will give you the best assessment for safely handling any mold they find.

Stay on top of potential mold growth by inspecting those hidden areas frequently.

The Top 5 Flood proofing Tips

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

Garden flowers in rain. Summer flower background. Natural backgrounds Rain garden in Kaneville, IL

Five Ways To Avoid Flood Damage

Floods can cause thousands of dollars of damage to building materials and contents. Here are five of the best ways to avoid the worst consequences of flood damage, promote flood safety, and make a residence in Kaneville, IL, more flood-proof.

1. Elevate Essential Systems
Raise electrical, HVAC, and other essential appliances above flood level. These components can be adjusted upward on lower floors or moved to a higher floor to significantly reduce risks of damage and electrocution.
2. Take Dry Floodproofing Measures
Dry floodproofing involves making doors and windows more watertight and applying membranes or sealants to walls to discourage seepage. These measures can reduce the amount of flood water that enters a residence, limit the extent of water damage cleanup, and promote flood safety.
3. Take Wet Floodproofing Measures
Wet floodproofing measures require more extensive remodeling. A crawl space can be redesigned to allow flood water to pass under some homes without pooling. Other techniques include the use of flood-resistant building materials and specialized equipment such as flood vents.
4. Install Sewage Backup Prevention
There are several ways to discourage backups. A backflow prevention valve permits sewage to go out but does not allow a return flow of wastewater. Plumbing professionals may also recommend measures such as an air gap, barometric loop, or vacuum breaker.
5. Strategically Adjust the Landscaping
It may be possible to modify the grade or slope of the land surrounding a home or add features such as swales or rain gardens. Consult with landscaping professionals to determine the best way to stop water from accumulating around the base of a structure.
Even after implementing these safety tips, flood water may still enter a residence in Kaneville, IL. Standing water can damage building materials, contaminate contents, and pose flood safety risks. Reduce the out-of-pocket cost of restoration by maintaining flood insurance and sewer backup coverage.

What You Should Know About Post-Fire Event Restoration

4/19/2020 (Permalink)

Technician cleaning smoke and soot from ceiling Smoke and soot cleaning in Sugar Grove, IL

What You Should Know About Post-Fire Event Restoration

After experiencing a fire in your business or office, there will be significant fire and smoke damage. There will also likely be major water damage, either from an installed sprinkler system and from firefighting equipment. A professional assessment and inspection of your business in Sugar Grove, IL will be necessary to determine the full extent of fire damage as well as that of smoke, water, and soot. Once this assessment is done, a fire restoration plan can be fully developed that also includes dry-cleaning and content storage to help you get things back to normal.

Understanding Fire Restoration
Although the extent of fire damage will differ between events, a complete fire restoration process should follow this outline:

  • Call a fire restoration service that can quickly dispatch trained professionals with the right equipment.
  • Thoroughly inspect and test each room to verify the full extent of damage due to fire, water, and smoke.
  • Secure the property from further damage by placing tarps on roofs and boarding up windows and walls.
  • Remove any water damage and provide specialized equipment to aid quick drying of the property.
  • Employ content cleaning methods and equipment to remove smoke and soot from every surface.
  • Completely clean and sanitize damaged items and restore them to pre-fire conditions, including dry-cleaning and other specialized techniques.
  • Restoring the rooms in your business or office to pre-fire conditions from minor repairs and installations to major reconstruction. This includes content storage of your items during the restoration process.

Working with Experts
Fire restoration services should be in the hands of qualified, experienced professionals, especially the cleaning services. Getting your office back to original, pre-fire conditions is necessary to put the fire event behind you. The right fire restoration company offers a wide range of content cleaning services, including dry-cleaning to remove smoke, soot and other impurities for safe operations within a safe, restored environment.

Smart Ways To Prepare Your Workplace for a Fire

4/7/2020 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler with fire in the background. Firefighting crews and emergency cleanup companies will help salvage your building in the event of a business fire.

Even if you think one could never affect you, disasters in the workplace can happen. It's much better to be ready for one than to scramble when an emergency occurs. Give yourself and your co-workers some peace of mind by preparing your office for the possibility of a business fire. There are some simple steps you can take today to spare you a lot of stress and panic in the future.

Develop an Evacuation Plan
You might not be able to prevent a fire from occurring in your office in every instance, but you can learn how to get to safety quickly. A big component of fire preparation is to come up with a fire escape plan. This should include the following elements:

Identifying all safe exists from all parts of the building
Assigning roles to members of your team
Designating a meeting place outside of your building
Practicing the evacuation once a year

Check the Fire extinguishers
You can spare your building a lot of fire damage and perhaps even stop a fire before it gets too large by using an extinguisher. If your Aurora, IL, building doesn't have one, now is the time to make this important purchase. Place at least one on every floor. Make sure you train people on how to use one.

Check and Update the Smoke Alarm System
A business fire could start during the day when your building is filled with workers. To alert people to get to safety, you need a fully functioning smoke alarm system. You should test it regularly and make the necessary repairs and adjustments as needed.

Check for Hazards
Periodically, walk through your office and identify any fire hazards. Store flammable liquids and chemicals properly. Fix electrical issues. You should also remove any evacuation obstacles.

Firefighting crews and emergency cleanup companies will help salvage your building in the event of a business fire. You need to do your part to stay safe and minimize the damage.