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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Winter Storm Harper

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winter Storm Harper Ice damming and pipe bursts are the main cause of water damage during the winter months.

Winter Storm Harper is on everyone’s minds. Will it hit us? How much snow will fall? If the wind is blowing a little south the storm could pass Chicago and its suburbs, but if the wind blows a little more northeast then Harper will lay a thick layer of snow on us. Whether the storm goes right through us or takes a small turn here are some winter tips to keep in mind.

  1. While shoveling, keep your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and keep you back straight. Do not twist or throw snow while shoveling. Instead walk the snow to a spot you want to put it. Only shovel small amounts of snow at a time. Shoveling is a hard exercise. Make sure you take plenty of breaks while shoveling. Heart attacks from over exertion are a major cause of winter deaths.
  2. Keep cabinet doors open especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. This allows the heat from the home keep those hidden pipes warm. Also, think about allowing a small trickle of water to flow out of the faucets. The continual movement of water prevents the water from freezing in the pipe. This could prevent a pipe burst.
  3. Make sure no furniture is blocking heat registers. This helps keep costs of heating your home a bit lower while keeping the pipes from freezing as well.
  4. Avoid ice damming! Ice damming is when the snow melts off your warm roof and refreezes in the gutters. Ice damming leads to the water soaking into the home creating water damage. To avoid ice dams, insulate the attic floor to prevent the heat of the home escaping through the roof. Also, having a water-repellent membrane installed under your roof can prevent water intrusion even if ice damming occurs.
  5. Only drive if absolutely necessary. Don’t travel alone, or let others know when you leave and when you expect to arrive at your destination. Keep you gas tank full. Also, make sure your antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, and other fluids are full. In case you get stuck somewhere you want to be able to use your car to keep you warm. You should always have a blanket, extra gloves, bottled water, a first aid kit, and a flashlight in your car just in case you are in an accident and there is no one to come help immediately.
  6. A common misconception is that alcohol warms your body up. While the initial feeling of alcohol warms your stomach, the reality is alcohol is a blood thinner. The thinner your blood the faster your extremities (fingers and toes) will be susceptible to hypothermia. Try warm non-alcoholic beverages to keep your body warm or to quickly warm up the core after being outside for long period. (hot chocolate, coffee, etc.)

These tips are handy whether the storm lands 12 inches of snow or only a quarter of an inch. Use your better judgment when driving and shoveling. Also, make sure you are consistently checking the news for weather updates.  

Why You Should Trust SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Why You Should Trust SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison Our Crew Chief, David, is happy he got his certification renewed this year!

When a disaster strikes, the last problem you want is to worry about the people coming in and out of your home. SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison has taken the proper steps to ensure you have the safest and most qualified crew performing services in your home or business located in Lombard, Addison, Villa Park, Glen Ellyn, and Oakbrook Terrace. Our employees are IICRC certified (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certificate). An IICRC certification requires attendance to a 3 day course where they learn how to properly inspect and restore any damage caused by water, sewer back-ups, and contamination like mold. All the employees have a background check done upon hiring and annually. We want you to be able to focus on getting your home restored rather than stress about the people doing the work. SERVPRO has been restoring homes and businesses after water, fire, and mold damage for over 50 years. We have the experience and resources to help with any disaster.

Christmas Decoration Hazards

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Christmas Decoration Hazards A Christmas tree 17 seconds after catching on fire.

Now that the holidays are upon us, we will start getting ready by decorating the house! Some families go to the store and purchase a new, artificial tree, some take their artificial tree out of storage, and some run out and purchase a fresh, real tree. Whether the tree is real or artificial they both propose fire hazards. Before even bringing a tree home, there are steps to make sure the tree is going to be as safe as possible. If you have chosen an artificial tree, look for “fire resistant” or “flame retardant” on the labels. These phrases tell you the tree is less likely to catch on fire than artificial trees that are not advertising these phrases. While going out and searching for a live tree, you need to make sure the tree is not already dried-out. A dried-out tree will catch on fire much faster than any other kind of tree. To check if the tree is dried out give it a small shake and see how many needles fall out. A well-watered tree will have a few needles fall out, but a dried-out tree will have many needles fall out. Once you have chosen a real tree, you will need to keep the tree watered. There are stands that are made specifically to hold water. Experts say to check every day on the amount of water in the stand. A video has gone viral of a tree that isn’t watered catching fire and burning down within seconds. The watered tree takes a few minutes to fully catch aflame. So, remember when you are picking out a tree to do your research and keep your home as safe as possible this holiday season!

Bonfire Safety

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Bonfire Safety Stay safe this fall with these bonfire tips.

Before starting the fire make sure the weather is good for a bonfire. Weather conditions that are too windy could create risks such as blowing sparks around.  Once the weather conditions are good you can light the fire. When lighting the fire, an accelerant should never be used. Using gas or lighter fluid could cause a loss of control of the fire. Start with lighting small crumbled paper pieces and small sticks. From there you can add larger pieces of wood. It never hurts to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of any accidents. If you do not have a fire extinguisher, try keeping a hose handy or a bucket of sand. Sand will effectively put out a fire. Throughout the night there are a few things to keep an eye on. Look out for too much alcohol consumption, watch children trying to get too close, and monitor pets sneaking towards the fire. When the night is coming to an end and the fire has burned down, use a metal shovel to spread out the ashes so they can cool down faster. You can pour water or sand on the ashes to get rid of the remaining embers. Remove the ashes and place them in a designated metal can used for ash storage only.

SERPVRO'S 1-4-8 Policy

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Why is SERVPRO the best restoration company? There are many reasons SERVPRO is the best, but the most important reason is we make our customers a priority. We have a system set up we call 1-4-8. Within 1 hour of the initial phone call our SERVPRO Franchise will be in contact with the customer to arrange for services. Within 4 hours of the initial call our Franchise will be on site to start work. Then, within 8 hours of onsite arrival we will inform the customer and adjuster the scope of work. This insures we are in communication with the customer, adjuster, and insurance agents throughout the entire mitigation process and everyone fully understands the scope of work to be performed.

Since our response is so timely and we are open 24/7 we can reduce the chances of secondary damages such as mold. Mold can grow in as little as 24 hours if the environment is right. Which means during a water loss every hour is precious.

There's Mold in the Air...Conditioner!

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation There's Mold in the Air...Conditioner! Don't be afraid to get your AC unit wet while cleaning it! They are typically water resistant. We advise to keep the water away from the controls.

Have you noticed a smell but can’t quite put your finger on where it is coming from? When was the last time you checked your AC units?

Mold thrives any place there is moisture.  Whether you can clean the unit yourself or need a replacement will be determined by where the mold is located. A few steps can be taken to inspect and clean your AC unit.

First, unplug and remove the unit from the window.

Second, remove the filter and allow to soak in hot soapy water.

Third, remove the outside pieces of your unit. Be sure to follow your owner’s manual. Once you have access to the inside of the AC unit, vacuum to remove any built-up debris and dust.

Fourth, make sure the coils are clean. This is a step you cannot skip because the built-up residue will provide a food source for mold.

Fifth, after you know the coils are clean, you will need to wipe down the entire inside of the unit to wipe away any visible mold.

Sixth, spray the inside of the unit with Concrobium. This product can be found at any store that sells home improvement goods. After allowing the filter to soak through all the other steps, make sure to wipe down the filter and remove any leftover residues.

The seventh and final step is to allow the AC unit to dry completely before assembling it back together.

If you take apart the unit and find it saturated with mold, replacing the whole unit could be the safest option for you and your family. A common mistake people make is turning off the AC completely before leaving the home for a few days. This can lead to mold growth because the stagnant air promotes its growth. Instead of turning the AC off completely, set the temperature up 10 degrees higher than you would normally have it. This will keep the unit running every once in a while to prevent the environment where mold will grow. 

Sewage Backup - Lombard, Addison, Oak Brook Terrace, and Villa Park

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Sewage Backup - Lombard, Addison, Oak Brook Terrace, and Villa Park Sewage or Water Damage? You know who to call - SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison is here to help!

"I've lived here for 30 years and this has never happened before!!"

We hear this all the time from customers in Lombard, Addison, Oak Brook Terrace, and Villa Park.  Until the time comes, no one thinks it can happen to them.

Time changes everything.  Your home that was purchased brand new now needs attention.  Pipes are becoming rusty.  The sapling that you planted after your honeymoon now has roots poking into your foundation.  The gutters that had a 25 year warranty just turned 27.......

You've got a lot on your mind.  The one thing you were not thinking about when you flushed the toilet and walked away was if it went down or not. 

Sewage backup from malfunctioning toilets or storm surges come unexpectedly.  The good news is that SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison can help.  Our trained crews understand the challenges in cleaning up sewage damage.  Let us help.

Call the SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison professionals @ 630-543-1700.

Being Green and Being Green

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Being Green and Being Green Being Green and Cleaning Green with Environment Friendly Products!!

"There goes the guys in the green trucks!"

Running around in green vehicles and using green equipment, we know what it's like to be green.  However, we also know the being environmentally green is as important as the brand we promote.  It is extremely important that we take care of the health and well being of our customers as we clean, deodorize, and disinfect homes and businesses.  More than ever, our customers are concerned about what products we use and how we use them.  We are proud of our lineup of cleaning products and are even prouder that they have the testing and backing of SERVPRO chemists located at our corporate office in Gallatin, TN. 

We would like to introduce our new line of Green Cleaning Products. SERVPRO® Industries, Inc. is a member of the EPA’s Design for

Environment (EPA/DFE) initiative. As a member company, SERVPRO® can access the listing known formally as CleanGredients.

The EPA/DFE has established a set of criteria for formulating environmentally friendly cleaning products. With the assistance of larger chemical companies the EPA/DFE has put together a listing of safe cleaning components that can be used in Green cleaning formulations. From the listing a formulation can be derived that incorporates “green” chemistry. The initiative is designed to allow chemical formulators a resource to formulate environmentally friendly cleaning products using environmentally friendly raw materials. We have formulated three Green Cleaning Products that will allow you to complete approximately all your cleaning tasks. The products are as follows:

Carpet & Upholstery Green Clean #251 is a product designed for cleaning both carpet and upholstery. It is truly a “one product does all” in that it can be used as a spotter, pre-spray, in-line cleaner for both truck mount and portable equipment, and in low-moisture bonnet cleaning. The product is pH neutral, biodegradable, contains no phosphates, solvents, dyes or fragrances.

All Surface Green Clean #250 is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional surface cleaners. It is pH neutral, contains no dyes or fragrances. All components are safe, non-toxic, phosphate free, Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) compliant and rapidly bio-degradable. The product is designed as a one product cleans all for surfaces that can be wiped or mopped. It can safely be used on walls, ceilings, countertops, floors, etc. The exclusive formulation contains both ionic and non-ionic surfactants that are naturally derived and provide excellent multi-functional cleaning.

Window Green Clean #249 is an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional glass cleaners. It is pH neutral, contains no dyes or fragrances. All components are safe, non-toxic, phosphate free, VOC-compliant and rapidly biodegradable. The product comes ready to use and is formulated with soft water to eliminate spotting and streaking.

Two areas the EPA/DFE does not address that are common in our restoration tasks are disinfectants and deodorizers. Disinfectants are “kill” agents and not considered green per the EPA/DFE. The EPA does though classify disinfectants by the overall toxicity. The lowest toxicity disinfectants get a rating of category 3. SERVPRO® provides Sporicidin® as a low toxicity disinfectant and it carries the EPA’s lowest toxicity rating of category 3. Therefore in the course of Green Cleaning it is recommended Sporicidin® be used for your disinfecting requirements. The final area is Deodorization and the problem is the fragrances used in these products can cause reactions with certain individuals. The EPA/DFE does not currently have “Green” fragrances listed. SERVPRO® provides air scrubbers with activated charcoal to serve as a “Green” method of deodorization. This method will scrub the odor particles from the air and trap them in the activated charcoal filter.

If you have questions about Green Cleaning or the EPA’s Design for the Environment program, the following link from the EPA’s website may be helpful:

http://www.epa.gov/dfe/

Recent Storms - Stay Safe by Staying Prepared

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Recent Storms - Stay Safe by Staying Prepared Fire or Water Damage? Think Green!! Think SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison.

Ever walk into your beautiful finished basement and hear the "squish, squish" of wet carpeting?

Unwanted water intrusion can happen at anytime. Whether it's from a rain storm or a busted water heater, be rest assured that you don't have to tackle the damage alone.

If water intrudes into your Lombard or Addison home, be prepared to follow these tips until help arrives:

  • Shut off the water source if possible.
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs.
  • Hang furs and leather goods separately at room temperature.
  • Remove Oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Do not use a regular vacuum to remove water.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of areas where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
  • Do not leave books,magazinesor other colored items on wet carpeting.

Nobody likes to be interrupted. Don't let unwanted water in your home interrupt your life. Contact SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison to help getyou back up and running again.

Call the professionals @ 630-543-1700.

Mold Prevention - Your Bathroom

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold thrives on lingering moisture, especially in rooms that do not have the correct type of ventilation.  Mold can grow on numerous materials in your bathroom like shower curtains, rugs, wallpaper, drywall, and grout.  

Tips on How to Prevent Bathroom Mold

  1. Do not leave damp towels or any other wet materials on the floor.
  2. Make sure the bathroom is getting proper ventilation. Use the bathroom vent anytime the shower or tub is running and leave the vent on for 30 minutes after you are done. 
  3.  After you are done showering, wipe down the tiles and grout in the shower.
  4. Wash your shower curtain regularly.
  5. Wash the rugs in your bathroom regularly. 
  6. Purchase a mildew resistant shower curtain.

Sitting water can cause mold growth.  Make sure to keep your tub, shower, and sink clean by cleaning them frequently.  A clean and dry environment will prevent mold from ever growing.

10 Things Never to Do When You Grill

7/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 10 Things Never to Do When You Grill Grilling can be fun when done properly. Enjoy these great tips to keep your backyard BBQ safe and enjoyable.

10 Things Never to Do When You Grill

As temperatures rise, homeowners love firing up the grill and eating outdoors. Yet just as with indoor food prep, there are some important rules and guidelines to follow when you're cooking outside. Play it safe and check out these 10 things you should never 

  1. Never Leave the Grill Unattended

Never walk away from a lighted grill, because the open flames present a fire hazard. Also, for safety's sake, always have a fire extinguisher on hand.

  1. Never Use a Metal Brush

Avoid using metal-bristle brushes to clean your grill grates; the bristles can break off and become lodged in your food. Instead, rely on a wad of aluminum foil, dish scrubbies, or clean damp rags to wipe your grill—preferably while the grates are still warm.

  1. Don’t Run Out of Fuel

Make sure you have enough propane (or charcoal) to finish cooking your food before you start. Keep a spare full propane tank or bag of charcoal on hand, just in case.

  1. Don’t Use Lighter Fluid

Avoid using lighter fluid or lighter-fluid-infused charcoal briquettes, because the chemicals can impart a nasty flavor to your food. That’s also why you should never use gasoline, kerosene, or oil to start your grill!

  1. Banish Bacteria

Avoid food contamination both on and off the grill by following safe handling procedures: wash your hands, keep the food in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill, and don't prepare raw meats and vegetables on the same surface. To be sure meats are sufficiently cooked, use a grill-safe thermometer to check that they've reached the proper internal temperature (165 degrees Fahrenheit for poultry, 160 degrees Fahrenheit for ground meat, and 145 degrees Fahrenheit for steaks or roasts).

  1. Skip the Sloppy Look

Don't wear loose clothing, scarves, or dangling jewelry while grilling; these items can potentially catch fire in open flames. If you have long hair, tie it back or tuck it under a hat to avoid singeing your lovely locks.

  1. Never Skip Resting Time

As tempting and mouthwatering as that just-cooked steak may appear, don’t cut into it immediately, or you'll end up with a dryer, tougher piece of meat. Rest your meat for a few minutes to give the internal juices time to redistribute through the muscle fibers. You'll be rewarded with juicy goodness in every bite. 

  1. Don’t Char, Grill!!

Be careful not to overcook your meat. Not only does burned barbecue taste unappealing, but it also forms dangerous carcinogenic compounds, known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which have been linked to increased risks of pancreatic, colorectal, and prostate cancer.

  1. Stay Away From Smoke

Never stand directly over a smoky grill, and avoid inhaling the fumes. Grill smoke contains carbon monoxide as well as substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which have been linked to increased risk of certain cancers—especially lung cancer.

  1. Don’t Drink and Grill

Grilling under the influence of alcohol can be a recipe for disaster. Wait to pop open a cold one until the grilling and food preparation is complete, then help yourself to a recreational beverage while your meat is resting.

Here To Help - SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison

7/6/2018 (Permalink)

General Here To Help - SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison Whatever life throws at you, SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison is here to help!

Residential and Commercial Services

Whether your home or business needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential and commercial services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

If you need any of these services, we are always here to help, no matter how big or small the job is. We can help make your home or property look "Like it never even happened." after a disaster.  Do not hesitate to call us at (630) 543-1700, as we are open 24/7 to help with any disasters or cleaning needs you might need. 

Christmas Lights Safety Tips

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Seasonal decorations, including lights, trees and wreaths, can help put your household in the holiday spirit. However, when not used properly, decorations can create safety hazards or cause fires.  Follow this Holiday light safety check list to make sure your holiday lights are safe this holiday season. 

  1. Inspect your light strings to make sure that there are not any damaged, frayed, or cracked electrical cords.  Also, be sure to check to make sure there are not any broken sockets because broken sockets can lead to fires.
  2. Check to see if all lights are working properly, if not be sure to replace any burned out light bulbs.  Leaving empty sockets on a string of lights can cause the whole string to overheat. 
  3. Make sure to check that any lights or extension cords that are going outside are safe to use outside.  They need to be weather resistant.
  4. When hanging lights only use approved hangers.  Do not use staples or nails, they can cut through the wire insulation and cause a fire.
  5. Do not keep lights hanging outside for too long.  Having lights hanging outside for too long can cause a safety hazard due to weather damage. 

If you do happen to experience any Christmas lights disasters, be sure to call SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison as we are always here to help.  

Kitchen Fire Prevention

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Cooking fires are the most common house fire.  They are also the most dangerous.  Follow these tips to keep your family and home safe while in the kitchen.

Never leave the kitchen

While you are cooking or even while you are just preheating the oven, never leave a hot stove or oven unattended.  The most common kitchen fires are caused by leaving cooking food unattended.  If for some reason you have to leave the kitchen, be sure to remove all pots and pans from the hot stove top and from inside the oven. 

Be aware of your surroundings

While you are cooking, try to avoid wearing long-sleeves or any clothing that might be too big for you.  Also, if you have long hair try to keep it tied back while cooking.  Be aware of where you place kitchen towels and oven mitts, make sure to keep them away from the hot stove top.  Make sure there is not anything flammable near the stove top while it is on.

Be prepared

If there ever should be a fire in the kitchen, make sure you are prepared.   Make sure to check and change the batteries in the smoke detector regularly.  Make sure your fire extinguisher is up to date and not damaged.  Also, if a fire was to occur in your home make sure to go over a fire escape plan with your family so that they know where to go and what to do.

If you ever experience a fire in your home call SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison (630)543-1700.  We have a highly trained team and we are always here to help.  

Decluttering

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Decluttering makes us feel more in control of our lives, so now is a perfect time.  Especially, with starting a new year.  Start you New Year off right with a clean and clutter free home.  

Unwanted Toiletries

Start with unopened  travel shampoos and conditioners, do you really need that many? probably not, chances are you will not use half of them.  Get rid of all lotions that have been sitting for a long time and are dusty, or if you just do not like the scent of them or how they worked.  Get rid of the face wash or shampoo that you tried and ended up totally hating and now just sits and takes up space because you will never actually use it again.  If you have unopened toiletries and feel bad about just throwing them away, donate them to your local shelter. 

Unwanted Books

Having books just sitting around is a great way to collect dust.  Start by getting rid of books that you have already read, chances are you are not going to reread it.  Get rid of cook books that have been sitting around and you only use a few recipes out of it.  photocopy or write down the recipe and get rid of the rest of the cookbook.  Books can always be donated to a library or even a local used book store. 

Unwanted Clothes

Getting rid of clothes can be challenging, but it needs to be done.  Get rid of clothes that you have not worn in over a year, that have holes or stains, and that you do not fit into anymore.  Also be sure to get rid of any mismatched socks and any jewelry that you do not wear anymore. 

How to Prevent Pipe Freezing

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

          How to Prevent Your Homes Pipes                   From Freezing and Causing a                                        Disaster

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts a lot pressure on whatever is holding it, including pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. 

  • Make sure pipes in your attic, basement  and crawl space are insulated.  The more insulation the more protected the pipes will be.  Bare pipes are more likely to freeze.
  • Make sure all leaks that can bring cold air into the home are sealed.  You can use caulk or insulation to seal the leaks. Common places to check are: dryer vents and pipes. 
  • Make sure to disconnect all garden hoses from the inside valves, if possible  Make sure to drain the water from the pipes that lead to outside faucets. 

If your pipes happen to freeze and you experience a water loss call SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison. (630) 543-1700 
We are always here to help. 

How to Clean Your Carpets to Help With Allergies and Asthma

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

Most people will vacuum their carpets at least once a week. But if you are asthmatic, you may consider doing it two to three times a week. Some allergy symptoms are exacerbated during particular seasons, for instance, when pollen count is high. If this is the case with you, then, it is advisable that you adjust the frequency of vacuuming accordingly.
A popular belief is that the use of vacuum cleaning machines with HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters helps get rid of more effectively common house allergens.
However, a note worth mentioning is that dust mites and pet hair are larger than .3 microns, which is the minimal size of particles that a HEPA vacuum cleaner is designed to retain. Thus, specialists indicate that sufferers should not exclusively invest in a more expensive vacuum cleaning machine but focus on the regular and meticulous cleaning maintenance of their carpeted floorings.

People who have a severe allergic reaction to certain antigens take additional precautions by choosing the right type of carpet that is designed to alleviate their condition. The manufacturing industry has evolved greatly in recent years in that respect. There are different hypoallergenic or antimicrobial carpeting and padding on the market, which have a very low level of VOC and are easy to maintain and clean.

And let’s not forget that allergens can thrive on a variety of other surfaces throughout your home, hence, the importance of cleaning your upholstered furniture and mattress on a regular basis. Washing frequently your bedding, the curtains, any mats, cushion covers and throwovers will also reduce your allergy symptoms and will improve tremendously the quality of air you and your family breathe.

The Silent Killer

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Carbon monoxide is called the silent killer because it is a gas that you can't see. According to the CDC each year 20,000 people visit the emergency room, 4,000 are hospitalized, and 400 Americans die from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs mostly in the winter time because as we burn fuels to heat our house, these fuels give off carbon monoxide. Not having and maintaining proper appliances in your house can cause a carbon monoxide build up in your home. Buying and maintaining a carbon monoxide detector in your home can help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Replace and the batteries in your detector once and year and make sure your detector work once a month. Learning to operate appliances safely is another big prevention tip. Never run a generator in your home or garage because the generator does not get the proper ventilation it needs, even opening up the windows and doors will not prevent carbon monoxide build up. When using a generator the safest place for it is outside.

Using a Fire Extinguisher

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers are like insurance: you have it in hopes of never needing it.  There are three different types of fire extinguishers class A, class B, and class C.  Class A is for fires that involve combustibles such as wood, paper, plastic, cloth, and trash.  Class B is for fire that are caused by flammable liquids such as gas, kerosene, and oil(not cooking oil).  Class C is for fire that start by an electrical spark.

even though there are different types of fire extinguishers, they all operate basically the same way.  They all use the P.A.S.S. system which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. 

STEP 1: Pull the pin, usually attached to a metal or plastic ring, used so that no one hits the lever by mistake.  Do not pull the lever after you pull the pin, if you pull the lever you could break the canister's seal and decompression will begin. 

STEP 2: Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.  This is important because blasting the flames will not stop the source of the fire.  Stand at least 6 feet back from the fire.  Most extinguishers have a range of 6-20 feet and you can check yours by looking at your extinguisher.  

STEP 3: Squeeze the lever to spray the extinguishing agent .  Usually, extinguishers have an average spraying time of 10 seconds, so you will need to do be precise and fast.

STEP 4: Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire has been put out.  Close in on the fire as it dies down, and make sure to watch closely for re-ignition.  If there is still smoke that means that there is still fire, so if you see any smoke that means that the fire isn't completely out yet.  The best way to make sure that the fire is out is to feel for heat.  Slowly and cautiously holding your hand out to feel if there is any heat coming from the surface before actually touching the charred surface.  

STEP 5: After using your fire extinguisher, you will need to refill it.  Contact the manufacturer or local fire department to see where you can refill your extinguisher.  If you can not refill the extinguisher, let it sit for a few days to make sure it is completely depressurized.  You can also contact your local fire department for information about recycling the extinguisher and purchasing a new one.  

Make sure you check you extinguisher monthly to make sure the pin is in place and the pressure gauge shows either between 100 and 175 psi, or the needle is in a green ready zone.   

How to Remove Pet Hair From your Home

7/12/2017 (Permalink)

For any animal lover, pet hair and pet hair removal are just a fact of life.  It's one of those annoyances that comes with owning any type of pet.  when the dust bunnies under the couch start to look furry enough to make a call to the exterminator, we have some suggestions that will make it easier to control pet hair.

Furniture

  • From wooden furniture the easiest way to remove pet hair is to use a soft cloth and anti-static dusting spray and just wipe the furniture down.  
  • From fabric furniture use rubber gloves and run your hand over the surface and all the hair will attract to the glove.  When the glove is full of hair, just rinse off the glove.  

    Floors

  • With carpet floors while vacuuming up the pet hair go nice and slow and even go over some areas twice!  Also, alternate directions to pick up any stubborn hairs. 
  • With hardwood, laminate, or nay other bare flooring use a dry mop to pick up the hair; vacuums tend to blow the hair around rather than pick it up.

    Clothes

  • Always keep a lint roller handy, especially if you like to wear a lot of dark colors.
  • when washing clothes with pet hair on them try putting your clothes in the dryer with a dryer sheet for ten minutes.  The movement and softener loosens hair, which winds up in the lint trap.  Also, adding liquid water softener to the washer helps with removing pet hair.  

     

A Clean Mattress is a Happy Mattress

7/12/2017 (Permalink)

We use our mattress every night. How often do we clean it though? Even with linens and mattress pads, our mattresses are on the receiving end of dead skin cells, sweat, stains, dust mites, and some other lovely things. Here is one way to clean your mattress.

  1. Vacuum your mattress to pick up all of the crumbs, pet hair, dirt, and dust that has piled up over time
  2. Spot clean your mattress for any stains that might have occurred. Most stains are protein based, but they probably are notnew so you might really have to scrub at them to get them out.
  3. Deodorize your mattress by sprinkling a light layer of baking soda over the entire mattress. Let the baking soda sit for about an hour or two. and then vacuum off the baking soda.
  4. Air out your mattress. The best way would be taking it outside for some fresh air and UV sunlight. It's a great way to get rid of any bacteria naturally. If you can't get your mattress outside for whatever reason, just letting it sit on the house for a couple hours will be fine.
  5. Cover and protect your mattress with a mattress cover and linens. They are easy defensive mechanisms against future dirt and stains and they are really easy to clean.

How to Prevent a Dryer Fire

7/6/2017 (Permalink)

According to the U.S Fire Administration 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported a year and caused $35 million in property loss. 

34% of these fires occurred because they were not cleaned.  Dryer fires are more likely to happen during the fall and winter months.  

Dryer do's

  • Make sure to clean your dryer's lint trap.  Make sure to get all the lint, even the lint that is in the back of your dryer.  
  • Every three months be sure to clean out the vent pipe.
  • Make sure the outside vent is opening when the dryer is on.  Also make sure the went is not getting rained or snowed on.  
  • Keep dryer area free of any items that are flammable.
  • Get your dryer cleaned by a professional regularly. 
  • Check the vent system behind the dryer to make sure it is not damaged.

    Dryer Don't's

  • Don't use the dryer without a lint filter or use a lint filter that is broken.
  • Don't dry anything that is foam, rubber, or plastic.
  • Don't leave the dryer running while you aren't home or while you are sleeping.

If tragedy does strike in your home give SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison a call              (630) 543-1700

How to Prevent Mold in your Bathroom

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

Mold thrives on lingering moisture, especially in rooms that do not have the correct type of ventilation.  Mold can grow on numerous materials in your bathroom like shower curtains, rugs, wallpaper, drywall, and grout.  

Tips on How to prevent Bathroom mold

  1. Do not leave damp towels or any other wet materials on the floor.
  2. Make sure the bathroom is getting proper ventilation. Use bathroom vent anytime the shower or tub is running and leaven vent on for 30 minutes after you are done. 
  3.  After you are done showering wipe down the tiles and grout in the shower.
  4. Wash your shower curtain regularly .
  5. Wash the rugs in your bathroom regularly. 
  6. Go for a mildew resistant shower curtain.

When you let water and soap sit in the tub, it can cause mold growth.  make sure to keep your tub, shower, and sink clean by cleaning them frequently.   

What to do Until Help Arrives After a House Fire

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

The first 48 hours after a house fire a crucial. In those hours it can make the difference between restoring your belongings or having to replace them.  

What to do Until Help Arrives

  1. Limit the movement in your home to help prevent soot from spreading in your home.
  2. Place clean towels on rugs and on high traffic areas.
  3. Put petroleum jelly or oil on any chrome faucets, trim, or appliances you may have. 
  4. Put aluminum foil or wood under any furniture to separate the furniture from any wet carpet. 
  5. Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.  
  6. Do not shampoo any rugs or carpet.
  7. Do not clean any Electrical equipment.
  8. Do not send clothes to a dry cleaner.  Improper cleaning could make the smoke smell set into the clothes damaging them even more.

Here at SERVPRO we understand that after a house fire you are overwhelmed with different emotions.  That is why we are here to help.  

Call the fire damage and restoration cleanup professionals at (630)543-1700    

Steps to Take After a Sewage Backup

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

One of the most inconvenient and foul events that can happen in a home is a sewage backup.  The amount of damage it can cause is huge, not only to your home but also to your health.  If a sewage backup is to occur in your home   

What to do if Sewage Backup Occurs in your Home.

  • Do not try to clean it up unless you have the proper protective equipment such as: rubber gloves, rubber boots, protective eye wear, and even a face mask.
  • Guard off the affected area so that children and pets cannot get to it.
  • Do not use the central air system the sewage could contaminate your HVAC system.  
  • Open windows and doors to get as much fresh air in there as possible.  
  • Take all non-contaminated items away.  

If a sewage backup is to occur in your home give SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison a call at (630) 543-1700

SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison

10/3/2016 (Permalink)

Residential Services

Whether your home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

If you need any of the services done we are always here to help, no matter how big or small the job is. We are always here to help make your home or property look "Like it never even happened" after a disaster.  Do not hesitate to call us at (630) 543-1700, as we are open 24/7 to help with any disasters or cleaning needs you might need.