Recent Storm Damage Posts

If Your Pipes Freeze, SERVPRO of Oak Lawn Is Here For You!

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Many different things can go wrong that can cause your pipes to freeze, but at the end of the day, the result is really the same; a disaster that you don't need, don't want, and don't have time for! Chicagoland is known for extreme temps, and with extreme temps comes the real possibility of your pipes freezing. Check out this article on several ways that your pipes could end up freezing, and if disaster does strike, don't go it alone! Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Oak Lawn. We are faster to any disaster and will make things "Like it never even happened."

https://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/three-frozen-pipe-scenarios-and-what-went-wrong-in-each_o

Ask The Experts: Things You Can Do To Prevent Frozen Pipes

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

The cold weather is upon us, and with cold weather comes the threat of frozen pipes! Below are several things you can do to help prevent frozen pipes and the water damage that comes with them.

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

Should your pipes freeze, or should disaster strike your business or home in any other way, give the professionals at SERVPRO a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Can Assist With Flood Damage

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

The primary concern for a homeowner after a natural disaster is to restore their property as quickly as possible. Flooding is not uncommon and can cause havoc in the lower levels of your property. Removing that water needs to be done quickly to limit losses. As a rule of thumb, the longer water is allowed to saturate structure, structural components, or personal possessions the more likely permanent damage is to occur.

When flood damage in Oak Lawn properties occurs, you need to know that your restoration provider can mobilize equipment quickly. SERVPRO uses local technicians and provides them with the tools from our nearby warehouse. As a company with access to national resources, our water extraction equipment is top of the range and capable of dealing with any size disaster.

The quickest way to remove standing water is by a gas-powered submersible pump. These are linked to an open sewer point which allows us to remove an unlimited amount of floodwater. However, if your home relies on a septic tank, a gas-powered pump cannot be deployed. Your SERVPRO technician can quickly use other measures if this is the case.

A practical solution when pumps are not possible to deploy are extraction units. For large amounts of water, SERVPRO can bring in truck-mounted extractors. These industrial equipment are capable of removing more than 100 gallons of water before needing to be emptied and minimize the risk of damages to carpets, fittings, or upholstery.

Where flooding is deemed as less severe, we use portable extractors. Fabrics can be up to 50% weaker when wet so a deft approach can be useful in mitigating loss, particularly on carpets. These are comprised of a vacuum element used in combination with heat. Your technician can repeatedly use an extractor over the surface without risking damages and ensuring your home dries quicker than with dehumidifiers or rapid air-movers.

For fast response to a home emergency, contact SERVPRO of Oak Lawn today at 708-239-1444

SERVPRO Can Help After A Storm

8/6/2020 (Permalink)

We can never really comprehend the volume of water that is shed from the structures we inhabit until storm damage opens a portion of it to the elements. This type of catastrophe must have a swift, professional response. Hiring a company like SERVPRO that specializes in flood damage and overall disaster remediation is the key to a successful outcome.

Here is a typical storm damage scenario: torrential rains and high winds buffet your home for hours. Nearby tree limbs fall, break windows and cause a corner of the roof to collapse. The breach allows water to rush in through your attic and to the floors below, leaving you with flood damage throughout your Oak Lawn home. As the storm begins to weaken, you realize the safety of your family and the structure of your house require a professional response. Leaving even a portion of your home open to the elements risks more water damage, invasion by pests, or unauthorized personnel.

SERVPRO can meet your immediate need to temporarily secure and protect the storm-damaged structure, and prevent further damage or unauthorized entry with board-up and roof tarping services.  Then the process of mitigating and remediating the interior can begin. 

Expect the SERVPRO team to take the time to create a firm plan outlining all the jobs that must be completed to prepare your home for re-construction. Standing water on every level of your home must be pumped out or extracted with powerful vacuums. The majority of the water collects in the basement or lowest level, so immediate attention focuses there, but SERVPRO's properly prepared and trained technicians examine every inch of the dwelling for flood damage.

Following the removal of the water, SERVPRO's certified workers take moisture measurements of structures, air, and possessions as a post-disaster baseline. Drying goals shortly emerge from their skilled computations, and the recovery spotlight now shines on achieving appropriate moisture levels to minimize permanent damage to wood, metal, and fibers, among other things. Commercial air movers and low grain refrigerant dehumidifiers are precisely placed where needed to dry out the structure, flooring, floor coverings, walls, ceilings, and belongings.

Contact SERVPRO of Oak Lawn for your flood damage needs. Hiring a competent and well-seasoned remediation team is only a call to (708) 239-1444 away. 

SERVPRO Acts Fast To Save Your Furnishings After Flood Damage

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

No matter where you live, you should not ever think that you are completely safe from flooding. Even in Oak Lawn, heavy rains can cause area floodwaters that can enter your home and uproot your daily life. It can happen fast like in the case of flash floods or give you more warning as waters in the area slowly rise before overflowing their banks.

No matter how the floodwaters came into your home in Oak Lawn, the flood damage left in their wake can be devastating. The longer the water sits in your home, however, the more damage is done. Knowing whom to call ahead of time in a disaster like this is essential in salvaging your home. Our staff at SERVPRO are ready to help you anytime you need us.

One thing that is likely affected in your home from the flooding is upholstered furniture. Several problems happen when water affects upholstery. Framing is made of wood and is subject to swelling and cracking. The framing joints weaken from this, plus water can cause glues to break down, creating damage to the furniture.

If the fabric is dry-clean-only, spotting from the water can occur. The whole piece of furniture may need wetting to avoid water lines. Often, dust covers on furniture also bleed when wet, and if it sags, it can stain your flooring or carpeting. Upholstered buttons have metal backs that rust and also cause staining. SERVPRO staff can follow spot removal procedures in these cases. We also keep in mind that wooden furniture legs can stain carpeting and that once dry, the stains are almost impossible to remove, so we attempt to clean the stains while it is wet.

Mold growth can also be an issue, so we use dehumidifiers and air movers to dry everything rapidly. The furniture stains are all treated first, and we also wet the whole piece if needed. Furniture is extracted with the right extractor and an upholstery tool, and zippers and buttons are dried to avoid rust. We put wax paper between the zipper and cushion to prevent the transfer of rust, and furniture pads around metal buttons. We also tent cushions and place air movers and dehumidifiers as we need to.

SERVPRO of Oak Lawn carefully dries out your furniture when your home floods so that everything possible is salvaged.  Call us right away at (708) 239-1444 when you experience flooding so we can help you avoid additional damage. 

Storm Damage Restoration In Oak Lawn

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

When storms and heavy rains cause damage to properties, flooding becomes a significant risk. Leaking roofs, blocked gutters, cracked pipes, and downed trees can all cause major problems for homeowners. This is not like regular water damage either, as storms are categorized as severe and require urgent restoration work from the experts.

Category III water damage is potentially hazardous, as it contains dirt, debris, bacteria, and possibly chemicals. If a storm puts pressure on sewer lines, for example, they may back up and flood the house. If this happens bacteria, and other toxins will contaminate soft furnishings, walls, and ceilings. This is why storm damage in Oak Lawn homes is such a stressful process. Sometimes, the only option is to destroy heavily soiled items. This is the last resort, however, and the experts at SERVPRO can use many different techniques to salvage your possessions. Keep reading to find out more about the items that we rescue on a regular basis.

Porous Materials
These are the hardest items to clean after storm damage has contaminated them. If the water intrusion is severe and rugs, carpets, sofas, or other soft furnishings have become completely saturated; they may need to be destroyed. If we cannot thoroughly dry and clean them, in a way that eliminates the bacteria, it is safer to remove them permanently.

There are numerous things that we can do before getting to this point. Most carpets can be ‘floated’ and dried, by lifting the material a few inches from the ground. High powered fans or air movers are then inserted beneath the carpet and used to circulate clean air. Often, curtains and drapes can be washed with biocides, so that the bacteria is killed off.

Structural Components/Décor
In very severe cases, when storm damage has caused extensive flooding, portions of the drywall and flooring may need to be discarded and replaced. The SERVPRO team can advise you on the next best steps if this is deemed necessary. Where stormwater has intruded only moderately, there will be stains on the bottom of the walls. These can usually be cleaned with detergents and biocides.

industrial strength cleaning products and disinfectants are a good way to make sure that damp walls and ceilings don’t grow mold. If this happens, they’ll become a lot harder to salvage, as mold eats away at wood, drywall, and fabrics.

If you are dealing with storm damage and need help right away call us today (708) 239-1444

Storm And Flooding In Chicago Ridge, IL

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

While flooding represents one of the most catastrophic events that can happen to a home, it can also make for some very peculiar situations. We deal with dozens of flood damage cases in Chicago Ridge every year, and every once in awhile, something happens that truly surprises our seasoned technicians.  

Storm floods can bring in all sorts of items and debris from the outside, and while this makes storm flooding extremely hazardous, it also allows for a fascinating insight into what goes into the neighborhood around us. Here are some of the strangest things we have seen in flooded homes.

Entire Trees

More than once, we have seen an entire tree or bush make its way inside a client's home in Chicago Ridge thanks to flood damage.  While large and well-rooted trees usually stand fast in the face of overwhelming deluges, smaller trees and large bushes can become uprooted as floodwaters inundate the soil around them. Eventually, when the flood hits home, it may send the plant crashing through the front door, making for a messy but thankfully easy-to-fix situation.


Auto Parts
 
What happens when a vehicle gets picked up by floodwaters, or something gets knocked off? Tires and mirrors have to end up somewhere, and sometimes that somewhere in the interior of a home. Seeing auto parts strewn about the area can be jarring at first, but should make for a good story later on. 

SERVPRO of Oak Lawn provides professional flood damage mitigation and restoration services to locals whenever disaster strikes.  Call us for more information on our services (708) 239-1444.

24/7 365 Days A Year Emergency Service

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Oak Lawn is available at any time, day or night, to assist you with your water damage. Beginning with your call, our office staff will aid you every step of the way, helping you assess the best course of action and all of your mitigation needs. You can rest assured when you call our office that you are getting an actual person and not an answering service. From there, our technicians will will restore your home with professionalism and dedication, focusing on accomplishing their goals and doing the best they can to make the lives of those affected a little less hectic.  Our water removal and cleanup process also provides validation and documentation that your property is dry. 

If you have experienced water or flood damage call us today (708) 239-1444

Storm Damage From Sump Pump Failure In Oak Lawn, IL

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Over the weekend in the Chicago area we were hit with some heavy storms leaving a lot of damage. 

When it is raining outside, we recommend taking a minute to check and make sure your sump pump is working. 

  • Does your sump pump have power? Make sure that it is plugged in and the breaker has not tripped.
  • Check the float and make sure it is free of any debris and away from the side wall so that it works properly. 
  • Also check the inlet in case there is debris that could prevent it from pumping out the water. 
  • Is the pump working? You can easily test this by filling the pit with enough water to reach the float so that it triggers it to start running. 
  • Last thing to check is the area where the sump pump drains. It should drain away from the foundation so that it does not leak back in. 

By taking a minute to check these few things with your sump pump, this can save you from having water damage in your home. 

In the event you do find yourself with water damage, call SERVPRO of Oak Lawn today (708)239-1444 we are here to help.

Storm Damage In Oak Lawn

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Storms can happen at any time since as we all know the weather in the Oak Lawn area can be unpredictable to say the least. Being prepared is a must so here is our recommended list:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cellphone battery back up charger
  • Canned food
  • Manual Can Opener
  • Bottled Water
  • Blankets
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Battery Power Radio

Having these items may help keep panic at a minimum.  Keep these items in a safe place you can go in the event of any type of storm.  If you have a basement, or possibly in a bathroom closet if you do not have a basement. The canned food should have a long shelf life so be sure to check expiration dates at least once a year and replenish your supply if necessary. Also be sure to regularly test your batteries. 

Hotel Storm Damage

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Oak Lawn, we understand that keeping your guests satisfied is your top priority, and you can rest assured that you are ours.  When disaster strikes at a hospitality facility, the help of a specialized team is critical in assuring that normal operations resume as quickly and safely as possible.  Whether the cause is a coat hanger on a sprinkler head or a natural disaster, we work to efficiently isolate the damaged area so that basic functions can continue normally, and guests can enjoy your services with minimal impact.  Our professionals are trained to work with your management and maintenance teams to prioritize spaces and make sure that all areas are restored to your complete satisfaction. 

Our experience in the hospitality industry has given us the ability to provide a variety of detailed services for the following hospitality facilities: 

  • Hotels
  • Convention Centers
  • Casinos
  • Resorts
  • Entertainment Venues
  • Banquet Halls

If you need assistance at your facility, call SERVPRO of Oak Lawn today (708)239-1444

The HIdden Dangers of Flood Water

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

When more than a couple inches of rain falls, sometimes the sewers cannot keep up. The result is large areas of water building up. A lot of times you will see people walking/wading through this deep water. There are many dangerous reasons why you should not walk through the water.

One reason flood water is dangerous is because it is a mixture of sewage water and chemicals. The water picks up everything and anything a long the way. This can include human or animal fecal matter, gasoline, oil, and other substances that can cause serious illness, rashes, or chemical burns on your skin.

Another hidden damage can be the contents in the water. The water can easily pick up small items like rusty nails, broken glass, or sharp branches. Since the water is typically dark and dirty looking, you cannot see what is lurking under the surface. By walking through the water, you are more likely to have a sharp object cut you and then the dirty water can enter the wound which can result in serious illness or infection.

Flood Damage Contamination in Oak Lawn

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Flood damage can bring contaminated water into your home, SERVPRO works quickly to remove the water and restore your home.

These last few months the Oak Lawn area has seen a significant amount of rainfall. This has caused flooding in some low lying areas.  

Flood damage in Oak Lawn from storms also brings the threat of contaminated water. The soil is the most common contaminant, but other sources include something as simple as the water a flood pushes back through a washing machine. The additional risk to a home increases the cost of cleanup and makes the remediation and restoration services SERVPRO provides more critical than if the water was clean.

The first step we take is to lift property off the floor. When contaminated water is in the carpets, sofas and other furniture have to be placed on blocks or taken out of the home. It helps water to drain from the property items, increase airflow around them and also prevents furniture from leaving stains on floors and carpets.

We start to clean Items with surface contamination immediately, and then we inspect all property again to determine the right method. We prefer to use brushes to remove as much of the contaminants as possible if it does not spread it or damage the surface. It is effective on hard surfaces but less effective on upholstered furniture or delicate fabrics like heavy drapes or curtains.

Remediating the effects of a flood can be difficult but SERVPRO of Oak Lawn is here to help! We have the equipment, training, and experience to help you through the procedures.  

Call us today (708) 239-1444

Winter Weather Is Here!

11/15/2018 (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. 

National Preparedness Month - Flood Damage

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

Being prepared for a flood can help protect your home and family.

One of the most common natural disasters in the U.S. are floods according to Ready.gov. Flooding can result from a number of different circumstances including:

  • Severe storms
  • Snow melting
  • Prolonged periods of rain
  • Clogged sewer drains
  • Overflows of dams or water systems

Some areas in the U.S. have a higher risk of flooding and are considered flood zones.  In a flood zone, water can rise without warning and occur all throughout the year.  It is crucial to prepare for floods before they can cause damage to your business or home. 

Preparing for a flood

When there is a threat of severe weather, being prepared beforehand can help keep you and your family safe. 

1. Be aware of your risk.

There are areas that are more susceptible to flooding than others. You can check Fema.gov by entering your address. 

2. Have an emergency kit.

Emergency kits should include essentials like food, water, flashlights, extra batteries and medications.  It is recommended to have at least a 3 day supply just in case you are stranded or have to leave your home with little or no warning.

3. Keep informed. 

You community has a weather warning system that you should subscribe to so that you will receive updates in real-time.  Also, you can sign up for alerts from the Emergency Alert System and the National Weather Service.  If you are notified in advance of a flood watch or advisory, you may be able to prepare you home in the event of significant damage. 

4. Have an evacuation route planned. 

Your local community may already have pre-determined evacuation routes and shelters in place.  If not, you should plan your own route.  Try to have more than one exit route out of your neighborhood in the event roads are closed. 

5. Protecting your home.

Unfortunately, most standard insurance policies do not cover damage caused by floods.  You can contact your insurance agent to determine which additional coverage you may need in the event of a flood.  

While being prepared can help protect your family, it is also important to know what to do after a flood

If you experience flooding in your home, call SERVPRO of Oak Lawn today (708) 239-1444.

Storm Damage In Your Oak Lawn Business

8/3/2018 (Permalink)

The last thing anyone wants to think about is a storm causing damage inside their business.

Some commercial business owners treat property issues as part of doing business.  Flood damage can destroy inventory, stock, supplies, office furniture, documents and electronic equipment as well as cause structural damage.  Also, there could be potential health issues arising from contaminated water and possible mold contamination. SERVPRO suggests the following to help mitigate water damage to your business facility. 

In many cases, flood damage results from the effects of a storm.  There are several types of water damage that can result from storm surges. Some of them include:

  • Building displacement or damage
  • Mold growth in commercial properties within walls or HVAC systems
  • Damage to coastal rail lines, highways, or roads resulting in less accessibility for transportation
  • Loss of business, closed doors means lost commercial cash flow, less rent, and loss of customer traffic 

How to Save on Flood Damage Restoration


Have a flood insurance program. By purchasing business interruption insurance, you can gain reimbursement for a claim and lessen the impact of no revenue stream and thus lower your total costs. SERVPRO is recognized as a preferred vendor by many insurance and management companies. We can help speed the process of water damage restoration. The best way to reduce or prevent damages generated by storm surges is to implement strategies before the onset of hurricane season. Here are some strategies you should implement:

  • Build higher. If you own your commercial building, consider the value of finding the property's base flood elevation and building above it. Hire a structural engineer to offer a plan to reinforce your commercial property.
  • Place valuables higher. If your building contains more than one floor, be sure to move valuable assets, technical equipment, and computers to the second floor.
  • Invest in preventative installations. Be sure to install some back-flow valves in the property's sewer lines. These valves will prevent city sewage from flowing into your property in the event of a storm surge. Have available access to water surge barricading materials such as sandbags. Also, be sure to elevate electrical systems such as extension cords above the region's flood level. You can also utilize cinder blocks to raise your appliances and most valuable assets above anticipated flood levels.
  • Select fast-drying material. Carpeting and wet drywall are susceptible to damage from mold. These porous-surfaced building materials normally require discarding after flooding due to contaminants and mold growth. Build or replace with stone products, tile and noncardboard backed gypsum materials. 

To ensure your Oak Lawn commercial property can withstand water damage resulting from floods be sure to implement the strategies outlined above.  Post flooding, the most urgent action is to extract the standing water from the premises. Our company has the equipment, training, and expertise to dry out your building, repair material damage, clean, and sanitize your business. Our IICRC-certified professionals are skilled in thoroughly restoring your property to its previous safe, sanitary condition. "Like it never even happened." Let's get you open for business.

Damage From Sump Pump Failure In Oak Lawn, IL

7/27/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a basement, your sump pump is often your last line of defense against  flooding.  It works by safely diverting water away from your house and is especially important during times of heavy rain when it puts your home at risk of water damage.  If your sump pump fails, you could find your basement under water.  When this happens, it is important to act fast! Water damage can be a progressive issue and if not dealt with in a timely manner, this could lead to structural damage, mold and much more.

Is My Sump Pump Working? Tips to Avoid Water Damage

  1. It is important to make sure your sump pump is in working order.  Otherwise you risk the chance that It could fail when you need it most.
  2. After heavy rains, check the sump pump inlet screen for any blockages, one of the leading causes of sump pump failure.
  3.  Occasionally, test your sump pump to ensure it is working properly. You can do this by filling the pit with water and watch to see if it is pumped away.  If not, you may have a problem.
  4.  Check the float control to make sure it is free and not restricted or hung up.
  5.  Replace the battery backup every 2-3 years.  The last thing you need is to find out your batter backup is dead in the middle of a power outage during a big storm. 

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Oak Lawn is close by and ready to respond to your flood or storm damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the Oak Lawn community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

When The Severe Storm Rolls Out, We Roll In

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Unexpected emergencies like severe weather call for immediate action. SERVPRO of Oak Lawn knows immediate reaction to the disaster is important to helping you get your life back to normal. 

Utilizing our 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines we strive to:

  • Contact you within 1 hour from notice of loss to arrange for your service. 
  • Be-on-site to begin mitigation services within 4 hours of notification.
  • Provide verbal briefing of scope to you within 8 business hour of on-site arrival. 

Exceptions to our 1-4-8 Service Response times may apply under certain conditions, such as a local catastrophic event or storm situation. 

We also perform pack-out services, which is removing salvageable personal property from the affected area for off-site cleaning and storage.

If you have storm damage to your home or property, call us today (708)239-1444.  Timely mitigation is the key to minimize secondary damages caused by severe storms.  

Water In Your Crawl Space

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

The most common call we get after heavy rains is homeowners who have water in their crawlspace.  A crawl space should not take on water or be damp and needs to be addressed quickly.  A wet crawl space can lead to mold and musty odors.  

A homeowner can get water in their crawlspace from a number of different sources:

  • ground water or rainwater that seeps into the crawlspace
  • cracks in the foundation
  • drainage tile issues
  • gutter or downspout systems are not working properly
  • sump pump failing

If you do have water in your crawlspace, it needs to be removed as soon as possible.  This will help ensure there is not mold growth.  The professionals at SERVPRO of Oak Lawn can help.  Call us today if you have water in your home (708)239-1444. 

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. 

SERVPRO Recognizes National Preparedness Month

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

“Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”

Reminder to Home and Business Owners:

“Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”

Alsip, IL (Grassroots Newswire) August 23, 2017 - September is National Preparedness Month (http://www.ready.gov/September), an annual event sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to raise awareness about the importance of preparing—in advance—for the unexpected. In support of this initiative, Chuck Williams, owner of SERVPRO® of Oak Lawn, encourages Alsip property owners to take the following two steps now to protect their family, home, and business in the aftermath of a disaster.

  1. Review and update your emergency preparedness plan, including business and life continuity plans. If you don’t yet have a plan, use the tools provided by FEMA to get started. (https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan)
  1. Collect and store time-critical information, like the location of shutoff valves, fire suppression system controls, and emergency contact numbers electronically, where it is immediately available to assist first responders.

“Evacuation plans and emergency supply kits help you survive a disaster, but a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan helps you recover from a disaster,” said Williams. “The most effective response to any emergency is a fast response. That’s why having critical system and contact information at your fingertips is so important. A quick and effective response helps minimize repairs and downtime, helping both businesses and families get back on track in less time, with less stress.”

SERVPRO offers tools for both commercial and residential property owners to help them minimize damage and recover quickly from emergencies. The SERVPRO READY app stores essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Both home and business owners can download the free app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp. Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of Oak Lawn as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) and storing that profile in the READY app.

“Rapid response from a disaster cleanup and restoration specialist can help the property owner evaluate options, start the insurance process, and take the right steps from the beginning to bring their property back to normal,” said Williams. “Even in the confusion and panic that often surround a disaster, a property owner or manager using the SERVPRO READY app can reach out for expert help right from the scene, using a cell phone.”

SERVPRO® of Oak Lawn specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO® of Oak Lawn, please contact us at (708) 239-1444 or Office@SERVPROoaklawn.com. For more information on SERVPRO® and the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Program, please visit www.ready.SERVPRO.com.

About SERVPRO®

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO® System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

SERVPRO Acts Fast With Water Extraction Services In Chicago Ridge

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is ready to respond to any emergency around the clock.

Water extraction may not be something that home and business owners spend a lot of time thinking about.  Only in emergency situations does this service become necessary.  Sometimes after a heavy rainfall or due to a pipe that burst or a backup of your neighborhood’s main sewer, the removal of water becomes critical.  After large scale disasters, SERVPRO Oak Lawn acts quickly to mitigate the damage caused by water accumulation.  We not only remove the water quickly, but we also work to salvage any furniture or equipment that we can.  The goal of our water extraction services is to help people in Chicago Ridge recover quickly so that they can get on with their lives and businesses. 

No one can predict when a natural disaster is going to strike.  That’s why people call us.  Our team of highly trained technicians to respond to any emergency around the clock.  We are available every day of the year to help businesses and families in our area to recover from water damage and get their life back too normal.  

How to Protect your Property Before, During and After a Flood

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

Acting fast when you have flood damage can help preserve your home.
Protecting Your Oak Lawn Property Before, During, and After a Flood

While fire may be a more common concern among homeowners, your home could in fact be as much as ten times more likely to be damaged by water than by fire. (Floodsmart.gov) Significant sources of water damage to one’s property can come from weather-related moisture or flooding, including flooding from heavy rains, flash floods, dam failures, storm surges and mudflows. In addition, new construction of buildings, roads or bridges can alter the flow of water, increasing the potential for flooding.

Living in a high-risk flood zone can increase the likelihood of experiencing a flood, but being outside a high-risk zone does not mean homeowners are safe; flooding is always a possibility due to causes such as heavy rains, snowmelt and spring thaws.

How to Protect Your Home Before During and After a Flood

There are a number of things you can do to help minimize or prevent water damage to your property. Follow these tips to help prepare and recover from potentially costly flood damage.

Before the Flood:

  • Have your furnace, water heater and other permanent equipment elevated above the expected flood levels of your area.
  • Inspect sump pumps and drains regularly to ensure proper operation.
  • If you own a generator, have a licensed electrician provide a transfer switch to your sump pump so you can operate it in the event of flooding.
  • To help prevent sewage backup, have a licensed plumber install an interior or exterior backflow prevention valve.
  • Keep sandbags on hand to help divert unusually high water away from your foundation.
  • Learn the flood alert signals of your community.
  • Collect emergency building materials if you live in a frequently flooded area. These may include plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, nails, shovels and sandbags.
  • Plan and practice an evacuation route. Designate a place for family members to meet in the event they become separated.
  • Review with all family members how to shut off utilities in an emergency.
  • Plan a survival kit with important documents, including insurance documents, medications and critical items in the event you need to leave your home.

During the Flood:

  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest storm information. If advised to evacuate, shut off all utilities and evacuate immediately.
  • Move to high ground, avoid rising waters and do not walk or drive through any floodwaters.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires.

After the Flood:

  • Listen to the radio and do not return home until authorities indicate it is safe to do so.
  • Once allowed back into your home, inspect it for damage. If your property has been damaged, promptly report the loss.
  • Be watchful of snakes that may have found their way into your home.
  • Throw away all food that has come in contact with floodwaters.
  • Remove standing water as quickly as possible, including from your basement. If your basement is flooded, pump out about 1/3 of the water per day to avoid structural damage.
  • Properly dry or remove soaked carpets, padding and upholstery within 24-48 hours after a flood to prevent mold growth. Discard anything that cannot be properly dried.
  • Wash and disinfect all areas that have been flooded. This includes walls, floors, closets and shelves, as well as heating and air-conditioning systems. Do not energize electrical or electronic equipment that may have suffered water damage without first having a qualified electrician inspect and/or test it.

If you need help with a water loss it is usually best to call trained professionals so you do not experience issues with mold after the loss.  Call us 24/7 708-239-1444. We are here to help. 

Avoiding Water Damage From Sump Pump Failure

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

If your sump pump fails, your basement could begin to fill with water.

If you have a basement, your sump pump is often your last line of defense against flooding.  It works by safely diverting water away from your house and is especially important during times of heavy rain when it puts your home at risk of water damage.  If your sump pump fails, you could find your basement under water.  When this happens, it is important to act fast! Water damage can be a progressive issue and if not dealt with in a timely manner, this could lead to structural damage, mold and much more.

Is My Sump Pump Working? Tips to Avoid Water Damage

  1. It is important to make sure your sump pump is in working order.  Otherwise you risk the chance that It could fail when you need it most.
  2. After heavy rains, check the sump pump inlet screen for any blockages, one of the leading causes of sump pump failure.
  3.  Occasionally, test your sump pump to ensure it is working properly. You can do this by filling the pit with water and watch to see if it is pumped away.  If not, you may have a problem.
  4.  Check the float control to make sure it is free and not restricted or hung up.
  5.  Replace the battery backup every 2-3 years.  The last thing you need is to find out your batter backup is dead in the middle of a power outage during a big storm. 

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Oak Lawn is close by and ready to respond to your flood or storm damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the Oak Lawn community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

Spring Storms Bring Flood Damage

5/19/2017 (Permalink)

Spring storms can hit and leave a large amount of rain

SERVPRO of Oak Lawn has experience restoring homes affected by storms and flooding.  We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques to restore your home or business back to pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit SERVPRO of Oak Lawn can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (708)239-1444

Tornado Warning Signs in Oak Lawn, IL

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

Knowledge is key during a storm

Tornadoes are one of the most feared because their strong winds can cause devastating damage to entire towns.  Tornado winds can exceed speeds of 100 miles per hour and this can easily damage homes and businesses as well as uproot trees and toss cars around like they are a toy.  Since it is possible for a tornado to form anywhere in the U.S., it is important to look for the warning signs of the impending storm so you can get to a safe location. 

The Difference Between A Tornado Watch And Tornado Warning

Your local news will usually put out a tornado watch or warning.  If your area is under watch, this means that your area is experiencing conditions that make it possible for a tornado to form.  You should be on alert if a tornado watch has been having been issued in the event the situation becomes more dangerous. When a tornado warning has been issued, this means there has been a tornado sighted and you need to take shelter immediately.  

Tornado Warning Signs

There are several things you can look for when you know there is a threat of a tornado.  Early warning signs are increasing winds, clouds moving rapidly, and the sky and clouds look green.  Hail is another early warning sign of a tornado and what causes the sky to look the greenish color.

Tornado Preparedness

Knowledge is key to tornado preparedness.  Make sure everyone in your family knows the signs of an approaching tornado and they know what to do.  

During a storm listen to your local news or a weather radio station for updates.  You can also install a weather app on your smart phone that will send you updates.  

Also, you should consider confining pets to a carrier or placing dogs on a leash during a tornado watch so that you can transfer them to a safe room in case the warning is issued.  

Even the most extensive preparation cannot prevent a tornado from causing significant damage to your home.  If this happens it is important to call a storm damage restoration professional immediately to assist you in recovering.