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National Preparedness Month 2020: Learn What to Do in the Aftermath of Disasters

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Two firefighters with a fire hose fighting against a large fire. While there is much to do in the aftermath of a disaster, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start.

When your home suffers damage from fire or water, it can be a devastating experience, especially if the damage is particularly severe. While there is much to do in the aftermath, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. This blog aims to guide you in the right direction in the aftermath of a disaster.

Take Care of Yourself and Family

Your local disaster relief service, such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army, can help you find temporary shelter, as well as food, clothing, and medicine. Also, make sure to take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest and do not be afraid to ask for help; you do not need to do this alone!

Help Your Pets

Do not bring your pets into your home if cleanup and repairs are still occurring. If possible, try to leave pets with a family member, friend or veterinarian if you are visiting or cleaning your property. 

Security and Safety

Do NOT enter a damaged property unless the fire department says it is safe; roofs and floors may be damaged and could collapse at any time. The fire department will also need to make sure utility services (water, electricity, and gas) are safe to use. If they are not safe, your utilities will be left turned off or disconnected; DO NOT try to turn them back on yourself. 

Contact Your Insurance Company

To ensure your damages are covered, it is important to contact your insurance and schedule an inspection. In addition, your property may have immediate needs such as boarding up windows and doors, extracting flooding, etc.; your insurance company can help to coordinate this with vendors who offer emergency services 24/7/365, such as SERVPRO.

If you do not have insurance, there are organizations that can help, such as:

  • American Red Cross
  • Religious organizations
  • Public agencies, such as the public health department
  • State or municipal emergency services office

Finances

Get in touch with your landlord or mortgage lender ASAP. Contact your credit card company to report credit cards that were lost in the incident and request replacement. Save all of your receipts for any money you spend; these may be needed later by the insurance company to prove any losses claimed on your tax return.

Handling the Damage

Call a company that specializes in cleaning and/or restoring personal items, such as SERVPRO. Whether you or your insurer buys this type of service, be clear on who will pay for it. Be sure to ask for an estimate of cost for the work and agree to it in writing. 

SERVPRO can:

  • Secure your home against more damage
  • Estimate and repair damage to your property and renew items of personal property
  • Store repaired household items until needed

24/7/365 Services

SERVPRO of Elk Grove/E. Schaumburg/Itasca/Roselle and SERVPRO of Palatine/Rolling Meadows are ready to respond 24/7/365 to your emergency.

Contact (847) 593-3055 for service that is Faster to Any Size Disaster!

National Preparedness Month 2020: Prepare for Disasters

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

3 firefighters on top of the roof of a home engulfed in flames. Take steps now to limit the impacts fire disasters can have on you and your family.

September is National Preparedness Month, which promotes family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. Take steps now to limit the impacts disasters can have on you and your family. This blog focuses on just one of the many hazards you will need to prepare for: 

Home Fires

In a matter of minutes, a home fire can turn life-threatening. A small flame can quickly grow into a major fire, engulfing your home in flames or filling it with black smoke and poisonous gases. Be proactive in ensuring the safety of you and your family in the event of a fire disaster.

    1. Check your smoke alarms: Test your batteries monthly, and replace batteries at least once a year. 
    2. Create a fire escape plan: Every second counts when a fire occurs. Plan out every possible route outside of your home and practice it with your family.
    3. Check fire sprinkler system: If your home has a fire sprinkler system, have it inspected regularly to ensure it will function properly when it matters most!
    4. Copy important documents: Make digital copies of documents and records such as birth certificates.

Check out Ready.gov for further tips and information on fire safety. This website also provides valuable safety tips on other disasters such as floods, hurricanes and tornadoes, as well as the current pandemic.

In the event of a fire disaster, SERVPRO is here for you 24/7/365. Call us today at 847-593-3055!

National Preparedness Month 2020: Disasters Don't Wait. Make Your Plan Today.

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Green logo for FEMA and ready.gov: "Disasters Don't Wait. Make Your Plan Today. National Preparedness Month 2020" National Preparedness Month (NPM) is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year.

We at SERVPRO are proud to be a member of the National Preparedness Month Coalition and are committed to helping the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in their efforts to promote the importance of preparedness planning. National Preparedness Month (NPM) is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. As our nation continues to respond to COVID-19, there is no better time to be involved this September.

Each week of September has a different theme revolved around different aspects of being prepared. This week's theme is "Make A Plan." One way to do this for businesses is through SERVPRO's free Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). This valuable tool can help minimize business disruption from disasters through establishing an immediate plan of action and streamlining the decision-making process. To learn more about the ERP, check out our blog

Another way SERVPRO can assist you is through our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned (CSC) program targeted toward protecting the health and safety of you and your employees. We can work with you to establish a plan of action in the event your property is exposed to COVID-19, and we also offer preemptive cleaning services to proactively treat your property. To learn more about CSC, click here.

For more information on NPM and how to plan ahead for you and your loved ones, check out the official Ready.gov website.

Disasters don't wait, and neither does SERVPRO. Call us 24/7/365 for fast emergency response! 847-593-3055

What are Chem Sponges, and How Are They Helpful in Fire Damages?

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

A hand wiping a dry sponge across a soot-stained wall, leaving a clean trail Chem sponges can pick up deeply embedded dust, soot, and smoke residue from within the surface.

In the aftermath of a fire, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do next regarding all the resulting damages. At SERVPRO, we are highly experienced and certified in fire and smoke mitigation, and we can assist you through the process of getting your house back to preloss condition.

With working with fire damage losses, one of the most important tools in our inventory is the chem sponge. These are unlike any other sponge in that they are used completely dry. Their unique cell structure is made of vulcanized latex rubber, which enables them to pick up deeply embedded dust, soot, and smoke residue from within the surface. 

While chem sponges are powerful cleaning tools, they are also safe to use on basically any surface, including fabrics. They are also gentle enough to use on painted drywall surfaces, ensuring your walls will be cleaned without causing further damage.

Not only will we use chem sponges on soot-damaged surfaces, but we can also use them throughout the structure to check other surfaces outside of the visually stained ones, as soot can travel far and wide. One swipe of a chem sponge can reveal hidden soot that had been embedded deep within a wall surface that otherwise looks completely clean! We want to ensure your property is thoroughly treated, and chem sponges are incredibly useful to help us achieve this goal. 

SERVPRO is ready and prepared 24/7/365 to provide fire and smoke mitigation to your home and help make it "Like it never even happened." Call 847-593-3055!

SERVPROXIDE - Our Proprietary Disinfectant for Residential and Commercial Properties

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

A cartoon scientist in a white lab coat holding a bottle of ServprOXIDE SERVPROXIDE can be used to combat against numerous viruses and contaminants.

SERVPRO is on the forefront of cleaning and disinfecting services, and we pride ourselves on our methods, equipment, expertise, and cleaning products. Our franchise possesses a number of EPA registered disinfectants and sanitizers, one of which is SERVPROXIDE. It is a hospital-grade stabilized chlorine dioxide-based disinfectant and sanitizer that is designed to kill harmful bacteria, viruses and mold on hard surfaces and is an effective sanitizer for soft surfaces. It also carries the EPA's lowest toxicity rating, making it safe for everyday use.

Per the CDC, this product is recommended to be used against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). The product can be applied via electric/pump/trigger spraying or ULV misting. Depending on your needs, either of these methods can be utilized to thoroughly disinfect and sanitize your property. This product can be safely used in many environments, including homes, daycares, hospitals and nursing homes, restaurants, etc. It is also NSF rated (D2), meaning it can be safely applied on food contact surfaces with no rinsing required. 

For more information about SERVPROXIDE and our disinfecting and sanitizing services to combat against COVID-19 (such as our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program), give us a call! 

847-593-3055

What Makes SERVPRO Different From Other Restoration Companies?

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

As businesses begin to reopen, every business owner needs to consider what their next step will be to prioritize the health and safety of their employees and customers. While many regular cleaning and janitorial companies are offering services targeted toward COVID-19, there are various factors you need to consider to ensure the job is done safely and properly. Before choosing a cleaning company, ask yourself:

  • Do they hire quality professionals who are background-checked, certified, and experienced in cleaning up biohazardous situations and environments?
  • Do they use the proper PPE to perform jobs safely?
  • Do they use EPA-approved hospital-grade disinfecting products, and can they provide safety data sheets upon request?
  • Do they adhere to IICRC standards and are they OSHA-compliant?
  • Are they willing to go above and beyond the scope of CDC cleaning protocols?

When you choose SERVPRO®, the answer to all these questions is “Yes.” With over 1,800 franchises across the country, SERVPRO® is the nationwide leader in cleanup and restoration. From our “Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned” program to our industry-leading fire & water damage restoration work, you can trust SERVPRO® to handle any size job whenever you need us, 24/7/365.

Give us a call at 847-593-3055!

Air Movers Get the Job Done

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

A green circular fan shaped like a snail High volume air movers can direct clean, dry air at a high velocity in order to increase the rate of evaporation throughout each affected room.

Water damage can happen at any time, and it can be a stressful experience. Pipes can burst, sump pumps can fail, etc. Whatever it is, the good news is that SERVPRO is prepared. With industrial-grade drying equipment, such as our air movers, we can get your property dry before any further damage can occur. 

High volume air movers can direct clean, dry air at a high velocity in order to increase the rate of evaporation throughout each affected room. These come in handy for ventilating entire rooms and drying items such as carpet, pads, drywall, and wooden studs. 

Paired with a dehumidifier, which removes moisture from the air, air movers prove to be invaluable in high-humidity environments. The dry air pumped through our air movers will help move moisture-soaked air toward our dehumidifiers, which promotes a faster drying time.

At SERVPRO, we provide water damage restoration services to Elk Grove Village, Schaumburg, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and all throughout the Chicagoland area. Water damage repairs are carried out with the utmost care by our qualified professionals. We understand that your property and possessions are precious, and we will be sure to do our job safely and quickly. Large or small, we can make it "Like it never even happened." 

Call us 24/7/365 at 847-593-3055 today!

Make Soot & Smoke Odors "Like it never even happened."

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicians using sponges on poles to clean a ceiling damaged by soot. Call SERVPRO to make it "Like it never even happened."

Have you ever walked into an apartment room and could immediately smell a scent of smoke in the air? That's because while many restoration companies can get rid of visual damage, only the most qualified can actually get rid of any lingering scent. We do not solely focus on making things look pretty; we want to make the fire damage "Like it never even happened."

Before any chemicals are even used, our qualified professionals painstakingly dry-wipe every affected surface - and beyond - with chem sponges that lift hidden, deeply embedded soot from within the surface, even if it looks visibly untouched. These surfaces are then wiped and cleaned with degreasing and deodorizing chemicals powerful enough to neutralize odor and clean the toughest stains, yet safe enough that it will not cause further damage to the surface, including painted walls and ceilings. 

We pride ourselves on our restoration abilities, and many of our previous clients are blown away by our ability to eradicate smoke and soot odors. In the unfortunate event your home or business suffers fire damage, call SERVPRO to make it "Like it never even happened."

Call SERVPRO at 847-593-3055 to take care of your fire damage disaster. We are available 24/7/365!

How SERVPRO Handles Fire-Damage Disasters

7/13/2020 (Permalink)

It is an overwhelming experience to deal with fire damage in your property. Trust SERVPRO to lift some of the burden off your shoulders to get you back to the way it was before the disaster occurred. 

  1. Surveying and Pretesting: Before work is started, SERVPRO professionals will survey the site to determine every area that has been affected. This involves visual inspection, as well as the use of chem sponges to spot check areas that may look clean but contain hidden soot. From this inspection, we can draft a full cleaning procedure to address every affected area; however, it is up to you and your adjuster on what we will clean.
  2. Clean/Prep-for-Paint: All surfaces will be dry scrubbed with chem sponges to lift soot from the surfaces, followed by wiping down with degreasing and deodorizing chemicals. Any walls that cannot be cleaned completely can be prepped for paint.
  3. Clothing: Your insurance company might encourage you to clean any affected clothing in your home. If the damage is too heavy or if facilities are not available, we may recommend a local professional laundry and dry cleaners we use to do the work. You may use any laundry or dry cleaner that you wish. It is important, however, that they be familiar with smoke damage.
  4. Personal items: We will separate and save any items which do not clean completely. Our crews will never throw anything out unless you request it. If necessary, we can pack and move items to our facilities for more thorough cleaning.

Call us at 847-593-3055 for 24/7/365 emergency response to make your fire damage "Like it never even happened."

What To Do After a Storm Hits

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

No matter how prepared you may be for the forecast, storm damage to your property can happen at any time. Knowing what to do when the unexpected happens can help save time and money for you, as well as keep you and your loved ones safe.

  1. Take Safety Precautions: Be aware of any potential physical hazards to your property. Is there standing water? Are there collapsed walls or ceilings? Any broken glass or exposed nails? Be careful when traversing through your property. If necessary, arrange an alternative place to live in. 
  2. Document the Damage: If it's safe to do so, take photos of whatever damage has occurred to show to your insurance company. SERVPRO can also do this for you and keep documentation to submit with your claim. 
  3. Contact Insurance: Notify your agent about damage to your home immediately. An adjuster can determine the extent of the damage so payment can be made for the repairs. We at SERVPRO work with many insurance companies to ensure a seamless claims process. 

We at SERVPRO have many years of experience dealing with any size disasters. Our water mitigation services are available 24/7/365 when emergencies strike, and you can count on us to take care of your property and give you peace of mind.

Call us at 847-593-3055 for 24/7/365 emergency service!