Recent Posts

Remediating Mold Damage from Homes in the Chicago Area

11/14/2022 (Permalink)

The side of a green SERVPRO van Mold can appear in plain sight, or you can smell the musty presence of mold behind cabinets and walls. In either case, contact SERVPRO to investigate

SERVPRO Provides Expert Mold Advice and Remediation for Local Residents

Mold is a microorganism. It exists in almost all environments but often in the benign form of a mold spore. Only when these spores grow and reproduce can they become a problem for homeowners. Like most living things, spores require specific growing conditions, including a food supply, adequate temperature, and water. While spores are impossible to remove from an environment entirely, remediation can help to reduce the impact of mold and return your home to a normal condition.

We offer expert mold damage remediation to Chicago residents all year round. Lab-testing microbial growth can often be a time-consuming and inconclusive venture. The noticeable symptoms of a microbial infestation, such as a distinct musty odor, are usually enough to justify professional remediation. Remediation is a staged process that begins with an inspection of damaged areas. The inspection phase can often require temporarily lifting floors or using borescopes to analyze wall and ceiling cavities to observe how far the mold has spread. Since mold requires a source of moisture to grow, an infestation often stems from a pre-existing moisture problem. Some moisture problems are consistent such as a leaking pipe. Other moisture problems can arise from insufficient insulation, causing condensation or roofing gaps that allow rainwater. Mold can also grow from a one-time issue like a spillage that goes unnoticed for several days. 

Different Types of Moisture Problems and How They Connect to Mold Remediation 

  • If surfaces are still wet, the moisture problem stems from a consistent flow of water. It is vital to fix the leak before beginning the remediation process. 
  • If moldy surfaces are dry, it may have been a one-time issue. A chemical cleaning solution can be very effective in these circumstances.
  • A mold that appears during certain times of the year can often indicate insufficient insulation. A vapor barrier can often correct these issues and prevent recurring growth.

The first goal of a mold remediation technician is to correct the source of the issue. Dealing with the moisture problem first ensures that the fungi do not grow back during or after the remediation service. Once the source of the problem is isolated and corrected, we can begin to work on the existing damage. Remediation techniques often disturb moldy areas, releasing spores into the environment. Correctly preparing the room or property by sealing off certain areas, establishing clean rooms, and decontaminating areas are essential to stop spores from spreading. Generally speaking, the removal of microbial growth is achievable through anti-microbial chemicals, physical agitation, or by disposing of the infested material altogether. Whether materials need to be disposed of depends on the porosity of the material and the cost of replacement. Porous materials are generally more susceptible to infestation than their denser counterparts.

Equipment for Aggressive Agitation and Cleaning of Microbials

  • Metal scrapers and steel wool can help scrape mold from dense surfaces.
  • Like Hardwoods or lumber, Dense organic matter can often be sanded down and refinished to remove exterior mold. 
  • Blasting equipment- sand, soda, or ice- helps eliminate molds without causing excessive damage to the surface beneath. Soda blasting can be ideal for valuable materials with exterior mold.

Tackling mold can be tricky without expertise. Contact SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City for mold remediation at (773) 337-3900.

How Chicago Residents Can Restore their Homes after Water Damage

11/14/2022 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO technicians installing plastic to protect contents from water damage in an office Our entire team stands ready to provide professional cleanup and water damage restoration services day or night in Chicago.

SERVPRO Assists with Water Cleanup in the Chicago Area

Most water intrusion events occur due to appliance malfunction or problems with your home's internal drainage. Although, severe weather conditions cannot be ruled out as a potential threat to structure and contents. Reducing the impact of water intrusion relies on drying the property as quickly as possible before cleaning and restoring the existing damage.

In Chicago, restoring water damage is a highly specific task best handled by professional restoration technicians. SERVPRO technicians use a range of strategically placed equipment in affected areas to maximize drying efficiency during the drying phase. A technician may use pumping equipment or water extractors for liquid water, which are far more effective than fans, natural air circulation, and air-moving devices. Dehumidification is also an essential tool to dry a wet home. Unlike other equipment designed to shift or evaporate liquid water, dehumidifiers focus on removing water vapor from the house. Without dehumidifiers, evaporated moisture in the air can re-condense onto surfaces and promote unwanted secondary water damages like mold growth. Dehumidifiers come in two categories: a refrigerant, which removes moisture through cooling air to the dew point, and a desiccant, which uses a Silica gel to chemically separate water molecules from the air.

How Drying Equipment Fulfills Restoration Objectives

  • Water extractors and pumps transport liquid water out of the property
  • Air movers and fans evaporate moisture from wet surfaces
  • Dehumidification removes evaporated moisture from the air to prevent recondensation

Restoring a property to its pre-incident condition includes the home structure and your belongings. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also states that returning a property to a habitable condition includes fixing essential parts of the home, such as electric or water supply. SERVPRO has several methods for restoration after water intrusion. Your home restoration includes dry cleaning wet clothing or fabrics and sanitizing surfaces to protect them from potential microbes like bacteria, mold, and viruses. In some cases, repainting walls, replacing carpets, and cleaning upholstery is necessary to restore the home to its preloss condition. Our goal is to make your water damaged home appear “Like it never even happened.”

How We Restore Home and Contents After Water Intrusion

  • Packing out specific clothing, textiles, or belongings for special cleaning services such as Esporta washing
  • Either drying or replacing floor materials, including wood, carpet, and concrete
  • Spot cleaning to remove watermarks and stains from upholstery

Water damage is an urgent issue for homeowners. If water remains in the home, it can quickly stagnate or cause secondary damages. Using a tried and tested formula for drying, cleaning, and restoring your home is the surest way to prevent unnecessary losses. Our team holds qualifications from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certifications (IICRC), a nationally accredited and recognized institution. By combining training with equipment and commonly accepted protocols and recommendations, we can ensure your home does not become permanently damaged by faulty appliances or water leaks. 

Homeowners can also benefit from our specialty cleaning services for sentimental or high-value belongings. Typical belongings reserved for specialty cleaning are essential documents, sculptures, paintings, and other artwork. Some of our practices for restoring these items include rapid freeze-drying that can help to prevent further damages occurring to belongings that are wet or otherwise have significant exposure to water. There is the option to have an art curator and specialist restore water damaged high-value artifacts.

Homes in Chicago can recover quickly from water intrusion with the right services and equipment. Contact SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City for quoting water damage cleanup and restoration at (773) 337-3900.

Recovery from Fire Damage for Chicago Residents

11/14/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO trailer and SERVPRO truck in a driveway Our technicians use a combination of devices and machines to pluck smoke and soot particles from your home in Chicago.

SERVPRO in Chicago Has Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians for Any-Size-Disaster

Fires affect millions of homeowners each year. Common causes are unattended stoves or malfunctioning electronics. Damage can include smoke staining, odor problems, and charring. Our role is to make sure your home returns to a preloss condition while minimizing inconvenience to your everyday life.

When fire damage affects your Chicago home, it is vital to enlist a qualified restoration service for assessment. Fire and smoke restoration technicians (FSRT) can use their training to reduce the turnaround time of restoration. One method is by understanding how smoke moves through a property which allows us to find and assess the most likely areas where soiling conglomerates. Convection, for example, is a rule of thermodynamics. It dictates that hot air rises above cool air. When this process occurs, it generates air movement as hot air replaces cold air. In an enclosed environment, this air displacement creates pressure that drives hot smoke into the upper portions of the room. Typically, the areas with the most damage in any fire scenario are the ceilings directly above the flames. The driven smoke can push into cooler surfaces, increasing the number of smoke deposits in your home. In some situations, it can even bond soot particles to surface material.

The Impact of Surface Temperature on Fire Damage

  • High-temperature smoke attracts to cold surfaces.
  • High concentrations of smoke residue are typically found on cooler external walls, windows, and inside furniture or cupboards.
  • A professional must assess heavy soiling on interior surfaces before introducing water or other cleaning methods.

Carrying out a time-efficient initial assessment can be very helpful in reducing the stress of homeowners facing a fire damaging disaster. Our one-four-eight policy ensures that we arrange a service with you within one hour of notification of loss. We can send expert technicians to your property within four hours and produce a working estimate for you and your insurance adjuster within eight hours. Returning burnt homes to a preloss condition is most efficient following a thorough pre-test of different smoke residues and their response to cleaning efforts. We can then make informed choices about the necessary equipment, methodology, and time frames for restoring your home. SERVPRO always prioritizes essential areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms, to ensure you can get back to a semblance of normality as quickly as possible.  

Cleaning Products Versus Cleaning Equipment

  • Mechanical equipment can include pressure washers for building exteriors and rotary machines to dislodge dry soots from furniture or upholstery.
  • Household water-based cleaning products like detergents are less effective against some types of soot; that is why we provide specially formulated industrial-strength cleaners and solvents. 
  • Dry cleaning solvents use chemicals to break down wet or stubborn soot but inadvertently damage some materials. We pre-test to ensure there is no exacerbation of the fire damage.

Pre-testing residues, materials, and equipment is essential to our approach to fire restoration. As a homeowner, you may naturally feel obliged to begin clearing away debris or cleaning walls and ceilings. Some useful techniques for homeowners can be to ventilate the property by opening windows, allowing lingering particulates, ash, and odor to disperse. Another helpful approach can be to vacuum surfaces which helps to remove any non-bonded dry smoke. One aspect to avoid when attempting to assist in smoke removal is introducing water or cleaning products. If the smoke is greasy or wet, introducing moisture can cause further damage by spreading or setting soot. We also recommend staying clear of heavily smoke-damaged areas as foot traffic can drive soot into flooring- especially in carpeted properties. 

We are here to help with your property emergency. Contact SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City for fire damage restoration at (773) 337-3900.

The Challenges of Mold Remediation in Chicago

11/13/2022 (Permalink)

mold growing on the wall next to an electrical outlet When mold spreads, time is certainly of the essence. Contact SERVPRO for knowledgeable technicians and equipment for the mold remediation job ahead.

SERVPRO is Chicago's Mold Damage Specialist

Mold growth usually results from a moisture problem in your property. As water restoration experts, our technicians take extra care to ensure soaking materials are dried quickly to prevent the growth of microbes. But molds can sometimes occur without a significant water intrusion and result from benign problems like slow leaks or insufficient insulation. It may be signs of an internal infestation if you notice grey, black or green spots on walls or ceilings. SERVPRO has expertise in:

  • Mold removal
  • Mold damage repair
  • Mold assessments

The purpose of mold remediation in Chicago is to bring microbes to a manageable level. Microbes exist naturally in all home environments, so it is only when these microbes conglomerate and begin to reproduce that there is a problem. Infestations can decompose household materials and possessions if left alone for long periods. To rectify a mold issue, our technicians begin by establishing containment to prevent the spread of mold. Once containment is set up, we can start the removal process.

Removing mold infestations from the home

  • Porous materials are removed, including carpets, drywall, insulation, and organic fabrics.
  • Non-porous materials are cleaned using High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA) fitted vacuums or wiping surfaces with detergents.
  • Wooden materials are generally salvageable unless long-term exposure has caused dry rot. 

Stubborn infestations may require the usage of more aggressive cleaning methods. These situations can be resolved using steel sponges or blasting and pressure cleaning equipment. The use of agitation in remediation can disrupt mold spores causing them to settle on nearby surfaces. To combat settled spores, it is vital to clean the structure at regular intervals working from top to bottom or pushing spores in the direction of negative air-pressure machines. We recommend allowing several hours between cleaning rounds, allowing spores time to settle, to ensure that all surfaces are cleaned properly.

Microbial infestations rarely go away by themselves. Contact SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / Chicago City for mold remediation at (773) 337-3900.

IICRC Certification: Chicago Water Damage Restoration

10/1/2022 (Permalink)

Chicago Water Damage Restored by IICRC Certified SERVPRO Crews

Whether you experience Chicago water damage due to flooding or a plumbing issue, it's important to hire a team of remediation specialists to get your property back in pre-water damaged condition. As you search for the right team of water damage restoration specialists, make sure that the company has the Clean Trust logo. This logo is a quality certification granted by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). SERVPRO suggests that you learn more about the IICRC and why certification from this company is important.

What Is The IICRC? As a non-profit organization for the restoration, inspection, and cleaning industries, the IICRC serves over 25 countries. Some of the countries include New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States.

IICRC Certification. To obtain IICRC certification, organizations must meet several expertise standards while also conforming to ethical business principles. The list of standards includes:
• Training. Each technician has to have formal training and pass all required tests.
• Integrity and Honesty. The company must offer consumers accurate information while also providing services in a transparent, straightforward manner.
• Education. Each technician has to participate in ongoing educational courses to remain current regarding industry changes, technological advancements, and methodological shifts.
• Complaint policy. Each firm has to have a clear, concise complaint policy in writing. The firm must also agree to the dispute resolution process outlined by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Additionally, the firm must accept recommendations regarding arbitration.

By securing the services from a team of IICRC-certified technicians, you increase the likelihood that you'll be working with a group of trained, experienced professionals who can expedite the water damage remediation process of your Chicago residential property.

Other Considerations. While IICRC certification is important, there are several other factors you should consider when it's time to find your right team of restoration experts. Some of the attributes you should look for in a professional water damage restoration company include:
• an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
• fair prices
• excellent customer service
• 24/7 emergency services
• a 100% satisfaction guarantee

Call SERVPRO Immediately. If you find yourself experiencing substantive water damage to your Chicago home due to fire, water, or some other disaster, it's time to call the professionals of SERVPRO. With our top of the line equipment, fleet, cleaning agents and chemical products, our IICRC-certified technicians will provide you with the detail-oriented, speedy services necessary to get your home back into a dry and safe condition.

Highly-Trained Water Restoration Specialists

As leaders in the water damage industry, we have advanced training and expertise, and a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use our expertise to quickly dry your home and restore it back to pre-water damage condition. Our process includes documentation of the drying process to validate your property is dry. Learn about our water damage training and certificates. Call 24/7 for great service. (773) 337-3900

Fire Damage Restoration Services You Can Count On To Save Your Chicago Home

10/1/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Salvages Chicago Fire Damaged Homes Swiftly

A home fire can be one of the most damaging experiences a homeowner can face, something no one should ever face alone. Fire does not simply cause damage to your home; it disrupts your life, destroys personal belongings, and often leads to loss of fond memories that you can never get back.
 
You can help prevent fire damage in your Chicago area home by learning more about various events that happen in your neighborhood. By discovering more about these incidents, you can eliminate common causes that affect you in your home. Remember, every home is susceptible to fire damage making it necessary for you to understand how to protect yourself properly.
 
Having an experienced, licensed, and IICRC certified fire damage restoration technician on your side would not hurt, SERVPRO can help put the pieces back together after disaster strikes. We can fully manage your restoration process and provide you with any additional services required to return your property to normal working order after an event occurs.  
 
Consider this; fires cause much more than heat and smoke damage. You would need to include water extraction, various types of cleaning, sanitation, deodorization, and many repairs to that list to be more accurate in your evaluation. SERVPRO technicians can provide you with each of these services, including repairs that often include replacement of framing materials, drywall, painting, and finish work necessary to return your home to normal.   
 
It is a firefighter's job to put out fires and save lives, leaving additional damage and water in their wake, they are not concerned with saving the contents of your home. It simply is not in their job description. However, every SERVPRO technician takes the time to address items individually, taking a restore versus replace mentality that often returns damaged items to a quality condition you can enjoy for years to come.  
 
Making the call to SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City puts your home in expertly trained hands that you can count on to put every effort into restoring your home properly after a fire. Learn more about what our technicians can do for you, call our office and begin your homes recovery, today. (773) 337-3900

For more info please visit: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en.html

A REAL 5-Star SERVPRO Customer Review

10/1/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Customer Testimonial


This recent customer left us a perfect score on our survey along with this kindest of testimonials. Now, we all know how "Suspect" perfect scores can be. But, when you earn it, you earn it! Our crew cleaned and mitigated the water damage from her property in Palos Heights and provided reconstruction services. Our customer was distraught when she surveyed the damage inflicted upon her home. Our team understands the stress and fear of recovering personal treasures and possessions after a very significant water damaging event. We spoke with Leona and explained the services from water removal to the final installation of her new kitchen. We are proud to have such happy and satisfied customers. For that, here's a "Shout Out" to our SERVPRO team members, Rosa & Andy, for providing excellent customer care and service to our clients. We are proud to have you both on our SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City team!

Quality Flood Damage Assistance Available in the Chicago Area

9/23/2022 (Permalink)

Flood Damage Assistance

After a flood, things may appear worse than they are, you can recover much of what you see by obtaining the services of a quality restoration company. These technicians clean, dry, and rebuild flooded homes all of the time, enabling homeowners just like you to return to their home sooner than you might think.

When dealing with flood damage in your Chicago area home, play it safe. Never enter your property to take a look around or assess the damages alone. Safety hazards are lingering in the rubble that put you and your family at severe risk, some that only a trained eye can spot quickly enough to avoid. Making it necessary for you to ask for help immediately.

Companies like SERVPRO assist homeowners with recovering from flood damage on their property while also providing recommendations to assist with limiting your losses during any future events. Using the right company can make the difference between preventing or limiting flood damage, or losing your home entirely to the next problem that occurs.

At SERVPRO you and your family come first. We want you to be safe, avoid stressful situations, and concentrate on a more important side of your restoration, your health. Flood situations take their toll on your family both physically and emotionally, once you have expressed your concerns and had your questions answered by our onsite supervisor, leave your restoration in our hands.

SERVPRO can help you floodproof your home as we perform your restoration. Our initial inspection outlines problems that exist providing you with a timeline for recovery and prevents you from being surprised by anything that might arise. We help you rescue your cherished items, restore your furniture, and protect the structural stability of your home.

Our services include the removal of any standing water, getting air moving to reduce moisture caused by condensation and humidity. We clean and disinfect everything found within the affected area, removing debris that makes its way inside. We check for broken or leaky pipes and perform any necessary repairs to help return things to normal, in the most efficient way possible.

Contact SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City for additional information or to begin your home’s restoration, today (773) 337-3900.

If you are looking to learn more about Chicago visit https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en.html.

Chicago Fires have Degrees of Damage

9/14/2022 (Permalink)

Inspection and Planning by SERVPRO Can Mitigate Fire Damage

Every fire is different, depending on how fast the fire burns, property consumed, and many other factors. Once extinguished, we determine damage according to three levels: minor, medium, and major.

Each type of fire damage in Chicago homes requires special services. To restore homes to their preloss condition, SERVPRO provides an extensive group of services. Depending on the kind of destruction and to what degree, we develop a restoration plan from these categories.

Mitigation – This first service is to secure the home and prevent more destruction; boarding up windows and doors for example. In one case where there was primarily smoke and soot residue, a homeowner waited overnight to call us. By the time one of our work crews arrived, a raccoon had entered through a broken window in the kitchen and caused several thousand dollars in damage throughout the house. The owner also had to pay another company to trap and remove the raccoon.

Structural Cleaning – If the smoke penetrated through walls and into the crawlspaces, then the beams and framing in a home need cleaning as well. In cases where a company simply replaces drywall and ceiling tiles, smoke odors do return. We wipe down metal and wood frames by hand or use a fogger in places where we cannot physically enter.

Contents Cleaning – Personal property absorbs smoke residue quickly, but can often be cleaned on-site. It may not be possible if the structure is determined to be unsafe or we cannot secure it. If necessary, our technicians pack up property and bring it back to our facility for cleaning and storage until we complete work.

Specialty Restoration – This category covers dry cleaning, refinishing furniture and cleaning electronics and artwork. In one case, a client spent their budget to replace the roof and to contract out the restoration of a 1950s era, reel-to-reel, tape recording, sound system.

Reconstruction – In cases of major damage, structural components (beams, columns, and load bearing walls) become compromised. When this occurs, our technicians place temporary, additional support structures to remove the damaged pieces. If there is too much damage, we may need to subcontract the labor or have the client hire a general contractor.

Restoring a home after a fire can be a long and expensive process. The only way to make it work is to carefully inspect, determine services needed and use one of the most experienced companies in Cook County. SERVPRO of Evergreen Park / South Chicago City is here to help, so call us today at (773) 337-3900 to get started.

Chicago Area info click here.

Insurance for Water Damage in Chicago

9/12/2022 (Permalink)

insurance policy form Trust your insurance carrier and SERVPRO for water damage restoration in Chicago properties.

Different Policies Cover Many Aspects of Water Recovery Mitigation

Most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover particular kinds of water damage to the inside of your home. Several factors will determine precisely what it covers. The type and cost of the homeowner’s policy you carry will determine the deductible, plus any limits to payouts arising from particular claims.

Their different coverage restrictions and premium costs differentiate each type. There are certain kinds of water damage in Chicago that a homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover. Natural flood damage from a source outside has to be covered under a distinct policy for flood insurance. Homes in elevated areas or dry climates away from natural water sources might not need flood insurance policies. However, homes in low-lying areas along lakes, rivers, or oceans could need flood insurance.

Homeowners have three basic types of insurance policies: HO1, HO2, and HO3. HO1 policies need lower premium payments but carry deductibles on the high side and might not cover some kinds of damage to the homes covered by other policies. HO2 policies are intermediate, usually have moderate deductibles, and cover most damages. HO3 policies are the most expensive and generous insurance for homeowners. These policies give you limited deductibles and have a lot of perks that make them well worth their extra cost.

Variations in the Insurance Market

The market for these insurance types is relatively localized. In areas that are flood-prone where there are regular basement floods, flood insurance can be extremely costly. This is also true in the regions which regularly experience severe thunderstorms and hurricanes. The flood insurance market in Florida is regulated to lower the costs out-of-pocket for the homeowners living there.

During a weather event, if your home sustains water damage, a homeowner’s comprehensive policy could cover your repair costs in particular circumstances. You will likely need to show your claims adjuster that the damage happened because of a defect in the construction of your home. This reasoning could explain why water seeped through a window that was sealed improperly or by the structure having a weak point. It is not as likely to be an adequate explanation for water entering the home clearly through an open door or window.

A homeowner’s insurance policy will likely cover water damage associated with faulty appliances or plumbing. This outcome, of course, is not guaranteed, either. Before your provider agrees to pay your claim, you’ll have to state that the flood or leak was the cause of water-carrying equipment that was poorly manufactured or repair work on a shoddy existing water line.

At SERVPRO of Evergreen Park/South Chicago City, we can help you get what you deserve regarding your insurance claim after experiencing water damage. Just call us any time of day or night at (773) 337-3900.