Recent Posts

Calm Before The Storm

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Brick buildings along a street, with gray clouds looming above SERVPRO is ready to respond 24/7 during this weekend's Winter Weather Watch!

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch throughout the Chicagoland area that will be in effect through the weekend. The area will be expecting a mix of heavy rain, followed by freezing temperatures and potentially more than half a foot of snowfall.

We urge everyone to stay safe! In the event of water damage caused by the weather, SERVPRO is available 24/7 to take care of your emergency! We are highly trained and experienced in dealing with a variety of water damages, from pipe bursts to water main breaks to sump pump failures, and we can also work with your insurance companies to ensure your claims are filed quickly and properly. 

We are an independently owned and operated franchise, and we service the areas of Elk Grove Village, Schaumburg, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and the surrounding areas. No job is too big or too small, and we are available 24/7 to provide emergency services. Call us at (847) 593-3055!

Categories and Classes of Water Damage

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

Diagram of water categories, showing pictures of clean water, gray water, and dirty water The cleanliness of water (category) and the scale of damage (class) determines what procedures will be followed for mitigation.

At SERVPRO, we have been working with various degrees of water damage for almost twenty years. Our experiences range from small leaks to total property losses. 

When dealing with water damage, we follow IICRC standards and guidelines to ensure proper mitigation. Part of determining what the procedures will be depends upon what type of water has affected the property, as well the extent of the damage.

Categories

Category refers to the type of water affecting the structure.

  • Cat 1 (Clean): Water originates from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. Examples include: broken water supply lines; melting ice or snow; falling rainwater; or broken toilet tanks.
  • Cat 2 (Gray): Water contains significant contamination and can potentially cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. Examples include: discharge from dishwashers or washing machines; overflows from washing machines; or toilet overflows with some contaminants.
  • Cat 3 (Black): Water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents and can cause significant adverse reactions to humans if contacted or consumed. Examples include: sewage; rising water from rivers and streams; wasteline backflow; or water with traces of regulated or hazardous materials such as pesticides or toxic organic substances.

Classes

Class refers to how much water and how the water has affected the structure.

  • Class 1 – least moisture absorption (less than ~5% of combined floor, wall and ceiling surface area)
  • Class 2 – significant moisture absorption (~5% to ~40% of combined surface area)
  • Class 3 – greatest moisture absorption (more than ~40% of combined surface area)
  • Class 4 – deeply held or bound water into low evaporation materials (e.g. plaster, wood, concrete, masonry) or assemblies (e.g. multilayer wallboard, subfloors)

We at SERVPRO service the Chicagoland area, including Elk Grove, Schaumburg, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and the surrounding area. For a fast 24/7 emergency response, call (847) 593-3055!

Safety Tips While Decorating for the Holiday Season

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

A living room with stockings hung up over a fire place and a decorated Christmas tree set on fire The holiday season can pose multiple fire risks from decorations.

The holiday season is a time of good cheer and an opportunity to catch up with loved ones near and far. However, it is also a time of potential fire hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2013-2017, fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires started by Christmas tree lights, and 780 home fires started by other decorations. 

In order to prevent potential fires caused by Christmas decorations, here are a few safety tips to follow:

  1. Replace old or damaged Christmas lights. If you see light strands with frayed or pinched wires, it is best to throw them away.
  2. If you have a natural Christmas tree, be sure to water it every day. Dry wood catches fire more easily.
  3. Be sure any lit candles are secured in stable holders and located in areas where they cannot be easily knocked over.
  4. Consider LED lights - they stay cool, use less electricity, and are less likely to overheat compared to traditional Christmas lights.
  5. If you are decorating the outside of your house with Christmas lights, be sure the lights you use are graded to be used outside. Some Christmas lights are to be used indoors only, and these are not insulated and could potentially pose a fire risk if they become wet.
  6. Do not leave tree lights running overnight. Make sure to switch them off before leaving the house or going to bed, or purchase a light timer to set your mind at ease. 

In the unfortunate event your home or business suffers fire damage caused by holiday decorations, please give us a call. We at SERVPRO are available 24/7, even during the holidays! We service Elk Grove, Schaumburg, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and beyond! (847) 593-3055

Like it never even happened.

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

A bathroom with green walls, a sink and toilet The photo shown is a bathroom previously damaged by a flood, which now cannot be detected.

Over the years, we at SERVPRO have seen many types of residential losses in the Palatine and Rolling Meadows area, and we understand how stressful it can be, whether from water damage, fire damage, or mold growth. That's why we take the phrase, "Like it never even happened," seriously. When we work on restoring your loss, we want to ensure your property is left not only in the same spot as it was before, but perhaps even better. 

We specialize in mitigation, but we also can help coordinate reconstruction efforts to put your home back together. We are experienced in working with subcontractors and insurance adjusters to make sure every party is doing their part to restore normalcy to your lives. 

The photo shown is a bathroom previously damaged by a flood, necessitating damaged drywall to be removed to dry the structure. After drying was completed, new drywall was installed and matching paint was applied to create a seamless repair. Click here to see a photo of the bathroom before repairs were made.

SERVPRO is ready and available to respond to your emergency of any size 24/7! Call us now at (847) 593-3055 to make it "Like it never even happened."

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Palatine

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

A broken metal pipe with ice forming all around it and water bursting from the crack Knowing what winter is capable of causing in Chicago, now is the time to take extra precautions and know what to do when frozen pipes occur.

2019 is almost over, and it is always wise to look back on lessons learned the past year. In January, when the Polar Vortex hit, many houses in Elk Grove, Schaumburg, Palatine, etc. experienced large-scale water losses caused by burst frozen pipes. Knowing what winter is capable of causing in Chicago, now is the time to take extra precautions and know what to do when frozen pipes occur.

If you suspect your property may have frozen pipes, it is best to call a professional plumber to assess the situation and potentially repair and help prevent any damages. If you would like to try to take matters into your own hands, here are some helpful tips:

  • Avoid using open flames, heat guns, etc. to thaw your pipes. 
  • Pipe bursts occur not just because of frozen water, but from increasing water pressure as ice builds up. Relieve water pressure on your lines. Ways you can do this are turning off your water supply or trickling your faucets. Water may still freeze, but allowing pressure to escape can help prevent pipes from bursting.
  • If you are able to visually access pipes along your walls, look for swollen areas or frost. If you see any, turn up the heat throughout the building.
  • Use space heaters to provide extra heat in particular areas (though do not leave such appliances unattended).
  • If you need to target specific areas, a hairdryer, heating pad, or simply a cloth wet with hot water can be applied.

In the unfortunate event your home or business experiences water damage caused by a frozen pipe, please give us a call! SERVPRO operates 24/7 and offers quick emergency response time to effectively mitigate any further damage. (847) 593-3055

Trained, Experienced, and Compassionate Staff

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

A man in a SERVPRO uniform inspecting a damaged wall with a female homeowner. From our technicians to our office staff, each one of our team members aims to provide the restoration services you need with a compassionate smile.

At SERVPRO, it is one thing to have staff who are highly qualified and experienced in restoration. We are IICRC-certified, and our work is based on standardized restoration techniques used across the industry. However, it is important that we not only offer quality work, but also quality care. 

We understand the difficulties a water or fire loss can bring to you and your loved ones, and we aim to work alongside you and help you navigate through these stressful times. From our technicians to our office staff, each one of our team members aims to provide the restoration services you need with a compassionate smile. 

SERVPRO is ready and available 24/7 to provide you with the restoration services your property needs. Do not hesitate to give us a call! (847) 593-3055

Holiday Fire Safety Cooking

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

A pot on a lit stove, with a towel that was left on the stove beginning to catch fire Did you know that Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are peak days for home cooking fires?

The holiday season brings family together for good times and good cheer, but it could also be a hectic time. Did you know it also brings a higher risk of home cooking fires?

In 2016, there were around 1,570 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving day alone, with unintended cooking being the leading cause of incidents. In almost half of all reported home fires and injuries, cooking equipment was involved.

Keep your home and your family safe this holiday season by following these safety tips:

  • Check to see if your smoke alarms are working by pressing the test button.
  • Keep an eye on your food! Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop. Do not leave home with a turkey cooking in your oven.
  • Make sure your stovetop is free of any potentially flammable objects (towels, paper, cardboard, etc.).
  • Keep children under age 5 away from the stove.
  • Be sure electric cords from kitchen appliances (such as coffee makers, plate warmers, mixers, etc.) are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of children.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters in a cabinet up above, out of reach of children.
  • When in doubt, just get out! Do not try to fight any fires that may grow out of control. Ensure your safety by leaving the house, and call 911 as soon as you are a safe distance away from the fire.

SERVPRO of Elk Grove / E. Schaumburg / Itasca / Roselle / Palatine / Rolling Meadows is ready 24/7, even on holidays, to respond to any emergency disaster. If your home has suffered from fire damage, call us! (847) 593-3055

Snowvembruary: Winter Weather Records in Chicagoland

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Chicago landscape in the background and the frozen lake in the foreground, with large icicles along the shoreline In the unfortunate event your property experiences a winter weather-related disaster, SERVPRO is ready and available 24/7 to take care of you!

We are more than a month away from the "official" start of winter, yet the weather in the Chicagoland area is already proving this year's winter season will be one for the books. Yesterday was the snowiest November 11th on record in Chicago, and today is the coldest November 12th on record. After this, the temperatures will slowly climb back up, which could potentially cause the snow to melt at a rapid pace. If you are a homeowner, make sure you are ready for any potential water damage or floods, including checking to make sure your sump pump is in working order, any foundation cracks or window cracks are sealed, gutters are cleaned out, etc.

In the unfortunate event your home or business property experiences a winter weather-related disaster, SERVPRO is ready and available 24/7 to take care of your needs! Do not hesitate, give us a call at (847) 593-3055!

Prepare Your Elk Grove Home For Severe Winter Weather Now!

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

Copper pipes frozen, with ice and large icicles forming around them Preparing your home for winter weather now can help prevent frozen pipes in the future.

It is never too early to begin preparing your home for winter weather. As we've seen in the Chicagoland area, temperatures have been dropping and snow has already begun falling. Before you know it, heavy snowfall will hit, and temperatures will drop below freezing. Now would be a great time to ensure your home is well-prepared against winter weather damage. These are just a few tips and things to watch out for to help prepare your property and save you time and money in the long run.

  • Closing gaps: Any opportunity to close any sort of leak or gap from doors and windows could make a big difference in maintaining temperatures inside your home. Caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows is a simple, cheap way to prevent further, costlier damage down the line.
  • Insulation: Making sure exterior walls are insulated from the inside is especially important once the temperature drops. Water lines that run along exterior walls are especially at risk of freezing. In addition, having insulation installed in the attic can help further maintain a warmer temperature inside your house.
  • Thermostat: Once temperatures drop, it is wise to keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature, warm enough to help keep pipes from freezing. Whatever additional heating costs this creates will still save you a lot more money from flooding repairs!
  • Maintenance: A few items that are easily overlooked are your furnace, water heater, and gutters. Furnace filters should be replaced monthly, and furnaces themselves should be serviced every 1-2 years to help keep them running efficiently. If you have an older water heater, it may not have the proper insulation; unless instructions for your unit advises you against additional insulation, it wouldn’t hurt to cover the unit with a blanket of insulation. Finally, clogged and dirty gutters will not properly redirect water once the snow melts. Having your gutters cleaned, whether you hire someone to do so or not, can help prevent water damage from occurring inside your home.
  • Insurance: Now would also be a great time to review your policies. You may find your coverage may not be extensive enough to cover damages caused by sump pump failures, natural floods, etc. Checking your policies before disaster strikes can spare you from financial stress in the long run and give you peace of mind.

In the unfortunate event of a disaster caused by winter weather, we at SERVPRO are ready and prepared to help. Call us 24/7 at (847) 593-3055 to begin water damage mitigation services right away!

Call SERVPRO for Fast Response Time to Storm Emergencies

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Workers in orange jackets moving large stacks of green drying equipment Our storm team beginning to mobilize and place drying equipment throughout an 80,000 sq. ft. commercial property.

While we are a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO is a nationwide service provider with the resources and expertise necessary to tackle any size disaster. With over 1,700 franchises across the United States and a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby, SERVPRO is ready 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to emergencies. From severe flooding to catastrophic fires, SERVPRO has seen it all and our technicians are trained and experienced to handle whatever is thrown our way. 

Pictured is one such instance of a large loss emergency in Schaumburg that SERVPRO responded to. After an 80,000 sq. ft. commercial property flooded out, we immediately mobilized a storm team consisting of 50 workers to extract standing water, remove any wet, salvageable materials, and place over 600 pieces of drying equipment to ensure no further damage occurred. Because of our quick response time, the entire structure was dried within a week. To see more from this job, check out our video highlighting the job process. 

SERVPRO is ready to respond to any size disaster, large or small. In the unfortunate event you experience home or business damage related to a storm, do not hesitate to call us! (847) 593-3055