Recent Posts

Electrical Safety During a Flood

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

There are many risks associated with flooding.  One of them is the danger associated with your electrical system.  It is critically important to treat all electrical appliances, equipment and outlets with caution.  Here are a few safety tips: 

  • Never step into standing water that has covered electrical outlets or devices-the water could already be charged with electric current.  
  • If there are downed power lines in your area, you should avoid them and notify your local power company.
  • Avoid areas where there are sparks or if you hear popping or buzzing noises. 
  • If you smell something that resembles plastic burning, this could indicate an electrical fire.

After any flooding event, you should consult a certified electrician to determine the extent of damage to your electrical system.  

Sewage Cleanup in Oak Lawn

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

A sewage backup in your home or business can be a stressful nightmare.  In just a matter of minutes, your home can be suddenly overwhelmed with water contaminated with waste and bacteria.  When a sewage backup or overflow happens, cleaning it up quickly is very important. 

Our technicians are certified to clean up sewage backups safely.  They will do so with the following steps: 

1. Remove sewage and water. By utilizing special equipment including commercial grade vacuums and pumps, toxic water is safely removed from the premises. 

2. Removing contaminated property. Our crew will safely remove any items that have been affected by the sewage water. This may include furniture, carpet and any other items the contaminated water may have touched.  

3.  Drying out the home. Professional-grade air movers will be brought in to dry out any affected areas. 

4. Sanitizing. By doing a thorough cleaning of the affected areas, this will help prevent the spread of anything harmful that may have been in the contaminated water. Proper treatment of the areas is also necessary to prevent mold growth.  

If your home has been affected by a sewage backup and you need assistance, call us today (708) 239-1444

Commercial Fire Cleaning in Chicago Ridge

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO for Your Chicago Ridge Commercial Fire Damage

Commercial fire damage is one of the most devastating experiences that a business owner can experience in Chicago Ridge. In addition to doing severe damage to the structure of the building, fires can lead to excessive, standing water on the property as well as mold invasions. For these reasons and more, business leaders find it difficult to recover from a natural disaster or man-made accident. This is even the case when the business owner is an industry expert who manages the daily operations prudently. However, learning more about commercial fires and how fire damage remediation specialists can assist you is the first step towards limiting damages and preserving your equilibrium in the face of the disaster. Gather information you need regarding how to grapple with a fire by reviewing the data outlined below:

Fire Threats. There are several factors that can place a commercial property in harm’s way leading to burning and fire damage.  Some of these include:

  • lightning strike
  • electrical fire
  • blown fuse, overloaded circuits
  • an adjoining business fire

Preventing Commercial Fire Damage and Strategies You Can Use:

In addition to purchasing business interruption insurance, there are several strategies you can implement to decrease the impact of fire damage to your Chicago Ridge business. Some of them include:

  • Avoiding the storage of flammable items on site
  • Check your smoke alarms regularly to ensure they are functioning properly
  • Have your fire extinguishers in accessible areas
  • Implement a fire evacuation plan
  • Turn off appliances and machinery when no one is on site.
  • Ensure all machinery is in good condition
  • Have backup drives for computers
  • Important paperwork should be kept in a fireproof safe
  • Use a cloud for document back up storage

Call SERVPRO today for your commercial fire damage. We are here 24/7 365 days a year.

Spring Maintenance

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

Spring is just around the corner! Many homeowners believe that spring maintenance is just about cleaning.  Of course, spring cleaning is a big part of a spring home maintenance schedule, but overall maintenance of the structure and appliance is also important.  All homeowners love to see spotless windows on the first sunny 70 degree day, but don't forget your roof and the ice dams that may have formed over the winter.  

Spring Maintenance Checklist

  • Gutters and downspouts: Check your gutters and downspouts for leaves and debris that have collected over the fall and winter. You can also run a hose on your roof and check for proper drainage.  If you happen to find a leak, dry the area and make sure it is sealed up properly with caulk or epoxy. 
  • Siding: Clean your siding to prevent mold from growing.  Check any wood surfaces for weathering and pant chipping. If wood is showing through, sand the area, prime and paint.  
  • Exterior Caulking: Inspect caulking and replace if deteriorating.  Recaulk areas if needed. 
  • Window Sills, Door Sills, and Thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges or replace if you need to. 
  • Window and Door Screens: Clean your screens and check for holes.  If you have any holes that are bigger than a quarter, patch the holes or replace the screen.  Otherwise you might end up with bugs in your home when your windows are open. 
  • Deck and Porches: Check your railings on your deck and porch to make sure they are not loose.  

By following some simple home maintenance tips each season, you can ensure your home is running properly year round. 

Frozen Pipe Water Damage In Oak Lawn

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Winter is here! While we have been lucky to have mostly above average temperatures so far, this season, cold weather is predicted in our near forecast. This means it’s time to keep an eye on your pipes when the temperatures do drop below freezing. 

Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Check around your home or business for areas where water supply lines are in unheated areas. Wrap exposed pipes with foam, insulated materials or pipe heating cables. Watch these locations on a daily basis when temperatures is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you are going out of town, and you suspect that temperatures will drop, turn off the water to your home and open all the taps to drain the water system. Set your temperature no lower than 55° F.
  • Unhook the water hoses from the exterior of the home and bring them inside, to maintain their life.
  • Drip your faucets, to reduce the build-up of pressure in the pipes during an arctic blast weather advisory.
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much costlier repair job if pipes freeze and burst
  • Open cabinet doors when temperatures are below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The warm air can circulate around the pipes and prevent the water from freezing.

Popular Locations of Frozen Pipes:

  • Outside wall
  • Under a sink
  • Unheated crawlspace or basement
  • Outside water spigot
  • Swimming pool supply lines
  • Water sprinkler lines
  • Attics
  • Garages

Tips on Thawing Frozen Pipes:

  • If a pipe bursts before it is thawed, immediately shut off the water at the water main to prevent further damage!
  • Frozen but not ruptured? If you turn on the faucet and the water doesn’t come out or comes out in a trickle, your pipes are probably frozen. You need to act quickly to thaw the frozen pipe before it bursts.
  • Identify the frozen water supply pipe.
  • Open a faucet supplied by the frozen line, even if you have not found the frozen spot.
  • To find the blockage, follow the pipe back from the faucet to where it runs through cold areas such as an exterior wall, unheated crawl space or in some cases an unheated basement if the pipe is near an outside wall.
  • Often the frozen area of the pipe will be frosted or have ice on it. If the situation is getting critical the pipe may be slightly bulged or look slightly fissured.

Frozen Pipe Behind a Wall:

  • Leave the main water valve near your water meter open when thawing the pipe.
  • If the frozen pipe is behind a wall or ceiling, you’ve got a challenge on your hands. You have three choices:
  • Turn up the heat in the house and wait.
  • Use an infrared lamp or lamps to heat the wall where you think the frozen area is located. Infrared lamps are better than regular heat lamps because the heat passes through the air without heating it, directing more energy to warming the wall and frozen pipe.
  • Tear out part of the wall or ceiling to get at the frozen section of pipe. Then thaw the pipe as an exposed pipe.

If Your Pipes Burst…

  • Turn off the water supply. Locate your water shut off valve and turn off the main water shut-off valve. You should find this in the basement or where the service pipe enters your home. Drain the system by turning on all your cold-water valves.

What You Can Do to Manage the Damage (until we get there):

  • Water Buckets. If you notice the leak quickly you can catch dripping water in buckets.
  • Make a hole in the ceiling to let water out.
  • Turn off electronics/appliances
  • Open Drawers, closets and cabinet doors to in enhance drying.

 Call us today (708) 239-1444

Save Money With These Tips

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Your home is likely your biggest investment, and requires routine maintenance to keep it in good shape. Some things can be tackled on an annual basis while others should be done monthly. Here is our suggested list to keep your home running smoothly though out the year. 

Monthly

Frequently used items require regular attention.  Clean out your garbage disposal and regularly replace air filters. You should also periodically check your roof for leaks.

Seasonally

A seasonal checklist is easiest during mild weather.  Commit to a few simple things like trimming trees and shrubs away from your home's exterior.  While you are out there, check our gutters and clean out any leaves or debris that can lead to water backup.

Also, take a moment to inspect the weatherstripping that is around windows and doors.  If you see cracks or broken seals, this is an easy replacement that will save money on heating and cooling costs. 

Annually

Inspect all your fire extinguishers and make sure they are up to date and fully pressurized.  Set aside one day a year to do things like schedule a chimney cleaning and have your HVAC system inspected. 

Organizing home maintenance tasks into a manageable schedule can help your prioritize prevention and save you money in the long run. 

Need a Holiday Gift Idea?

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

If you are stumped about what to get your family as a gift this holiday season, we may have the perfect idea.  New smoke detectors! Now, this might not be very exciting but it is important and can save lives and homes. 

SERVPRO knows that smoke detectors are crucial in early fire detection.  According to U.S Fire Statistics, in 2013 there were 1,240,000 fires which resulted in 3,240 deaths and 15,925 injuries.  Losses were recorded at $11.5 billion.  Of these statistics, 60% of them occur during fires in which no working smoke alarm is present.  

While we do not like to think of our family falling victim to a fire, but the truth is we never know when or how a fire can happen.  Most of the time, fires do not start in the most obvious ways and can start due to overheated outlets, old wires or extension cords and many other ways.  

During the busy holiday season, take a few minutes to review fire safety with your family. This is especially important if you are entertaining guests in your home. Be sure to test your current smoke detectors to make sure they are working to give you some peace of mind that you do have early detection warnings in place.

Have a safe and happy holiday from your friends at SERVPRO of Oak Lawn! 

Chicago Ridge Commercial Emergency Restoration

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Building Restoration Services

When flooding or fires happen, they may occur at your office or business. Who do you call? Being prepared is the first step and may score you brownie points with your boss if you know the right company to call in an emergency. 

SERVPRO of Oak Lawn is available 24 hours a day to restore your Oak Lawn commercial property and get you back to business. We have the expertise, equipment, and highly trained personnel to handle your commercial water, fire, or mold damage. We can also access the resources of our national network of 1,650 Franchises to handle large commercial projects and major storm events. Learn more about our commercial restoration services:

Winter Storm Preparations

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

More often than not, as homeowners, the last thing we want to do is home repairs.  Not only do they take time (and many of us don't have a lot to spare), but they can also be costly and sometimes tedious.  Small repairs such as changing a light bulb or fixing a leaky faucet can be put off until it is absolutely necessary to fix, but there are some repairs that should never be put off.  Unfortunately, many of these involve major things (and can come with an even more major price tag), but avoiding the two repairs listed below could actually cause bigger problems down the road when the cold freezing temperatures and snow hit us shortly.  

Roof Issues

Every home has a roof.  This is one of the most important parts of any building because it protects what is inside.  The roof is a major player when it comes to keeping up on repairs.  If you notice any leaks, missing or damaged shingles/tiles or any kind of sagging this should be fixed as soon as possible.  Leaks mean water will get into your home and then may lead to mold, structure damage and even possibly fire if it comes in contact with anything electrical.  Missing or damaged shingles can lead to a number of issues if not fixed and create weak spots in a roof  A sagging roof could signify moisture in the attic and could be a sign of poor ventilation, broken or cracked joists, rafters or the ridge line itself.  

Foundation Issues

The foundation of your home is extremely important-it holds up your home's entire structure.  Cracks in the foundation are definitely something not to overlook when it comes to repairs. The last thing you want as a homeowner is for a crack to spread.  Checking your home's foundation in the fall will help prevent water from thawing snow or ice getting into your home in the spring.  

Plumbing Issues

Water anywhere other than in a pipe or sink basin is bad, especially for your home.  Plumbing issues and leaks anywhere in your property should be addressed as soon as possible.  Winter in the Chicago area is known for its below freezing temperatures.  This can sometimes take a toll on the plumbing and pipes in your home.  Checking them now will be a great step towards prevention. 

Water Damage Advice For Oak Lawn

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

Although there is a variety of potential problems that property owners in Oak lawn dread, water damage typically tops the list. Oak Lawn water damage can result from different factors, including heavy rain, snow, natural disasters, a leaky pipe or appliance. Irrespective of the cause, water damage ramifications are issues that residential property owners need to understand thoroughly. To get a basic understanding of what water damage is and how it should be addressed, refer to the following quick reference guide:

Water damage: Identifying Some of The Causes from This Short List.

• leaky dishwashers
• broken pipes
• overflowing washing machines
• plumbing leaks
• foundation cracks or a damaged roof
• floods
• heavy rain

Categories of Water That Cause Water Damage

As water damage restoration specialists from SERVPRO know, there are several categories of water leading to water damage. The concern for the rate of water removal escalates as the Category number increases. Category 1 is clean water, and this is a type of water that poses no serious threat to people. This is drinking water (potable) that is in a place it should not be. Category 2 is gray water, and this type of water is contaminated and can cause illness when ingested. This may be soapy dishwater, standing water on a floor or waste water containing urine. Category 3 is black water. This type of water is unsanitary and dangerous because it contains bacteria that can cause sickness. Black water results from sewage issues and standing water that has been contaminated. This category of water requires immediate water removal.

Water Damage: The Restoration Process

Water damage restoration is an important process. When done expediently by expert technicians from SERVPRO, water restoration enables residential owners to minimize the adverse effects to their personal belongings and lessen or prevent structural damage. However, the efficacy of their efforts is typically contingent upon the amount of water that caused the damage as well as the severity of the damage. These water removal specialists will use special equipment and proven methodologies to control water damage and limit its debilitating effects.

Although water damage can be a difficult situation, securing the services of a professional water damage restoration company like SERVPRO takes the pressure off of you. It allows you to sit back and watch how your home in Hickory Hills is restored to its pre-water damaged condition. If you need our services, we are only minutes away from your property.