Recent Posts

Smoke detectors can save your life!

11/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke detectors can save your life! This little item can alert you to danger!

As Autumn transitions into Winter, now is the time to make sure you have working smoke detectors in your home.  Why?  Because there are so many ways your house can host a fire:

  • From having a burning log rolling out, or a missing screen allowing sparks to fly out, and catch the rug or carpet on fire.
  • Tipping over and catching anything flammable nearby on fire.
  • Portable heaters. Placing them too close to drapes, bedding, etc.
  • Many kitchen fires occur around the holidays, as people prepare more and larger meals.

Some smoke detector safety tips:

  • Ensure you have smoke detectors on every level of the house, particularly near sleeping areas.
  • Do NOT take out the batteries. Studies have shown that 46% of home fires in the US are in homes with smoke detectors, but had the batteries removed.
  • Explain to children what a smoke detector means, and what to do when it goes off, especially at night.
  • Test smoke detectors monthly. Pick a date (like the 1st), and test each month on that date.
  • Replace smoke detectors every 8-10 years.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke detector when you change the clocks in the Spring/Fall. And as your changing the batteries, also take your vacuum and clean the dust from around the detector.
  • Some smoke detectors now have lights to highlight your exit routes.

Check with your insurance carrier to see if they have discounts for having one or more smoke detectors in your home.

Smoke and soot particles can travel far from the actual flames.  If your home has suffered some smoke damage, call SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600, and we will come out, assess the damage, and clean and disinfect all the affected rooms and materials.

Using containment when battling mold

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Using containment when battling mold Using containment to keep unaffected areas safe from mold and dust.

As you were putting away the seasonal clothes, and getting ready for the next season, you smelled a musty smell in the room.  Upon investigation, mold is discovered behind the drywall and on the framing.

Before tearing out the affected materials, SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank sets up containment to prevent the unaffected areas of your home from getting contaminated with a barrage of mold spores.  Keeping the spores contained reduces the chance of having mold spread to unaffected areas.

Containment is simply a plastic barrier that divides the areas that free from mold growth from the areas where the work will be done.  This way also, people will be able to utilize these areas without risk of ingesting an elevated amount of mold spores.

As the affected materials are removed, mold spores will fly off and drift around, looking for another easy target to settle and colonize.  SERVPRO also uses an machine to capture those loose mold spores, called an "Air Scrubber".  These machines have a series of filters that clean the air of mold spores, particulates, dust, and other debris floating around.  The air goes in contaminated, and comes out >99% clean.

SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank takes great care in keeping the occupants safe, and also preventing secondary damages in your home.

If you suspect you have mold in your home or business, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank (708-430-3600), and we'll come out and investigate.

Winter home heating tips

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Winter home heating tips Some common sense tips to keep you warm and safe this winter season.

Old Man Winter is fast approaching, bringing cold, snow, and miserable weather along with him.  The following are a few home heating tips to keep you safe and warm this winter season:

PREPARATION:

  • Clean out your fireplace, placing the ashes in metal containers.  Always keep these containers away from your house.
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional annually.
  • Have your heating equipment checked by a qualified heating professional yearly.

DURING THE HEATING SEASON - GENERAL:

  • Never use a stove to heat your home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.  Pick a date (the 1st, the 5th, or whatever) and check your detectors that day each month.

DURING THE HEATING SEASON - FIREPLACES:

  • Keep a 3' zone around fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood stoves.  Keep items that could burn away from this zone.  Explain to children the meaning of the zone to keep them safe.
  • Ensure fireplaces have a screen to prevent sparks or hot ash to fly out and catch the rug, drapes, or furniture on fire.
  • Ensure fire is out, and ashes cool before attempting to clean fireplaces.  Place ashes in metal containers.

DURING THE HEATING SEASON - SPACE HEATERS:

  • Place space heaters on a stable surface, like the floor.  Do not put space heaters on a tray table or ledge, where it can easily tip or fall.
  • Turn off space heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Keep pets away from space heaters.

And remember, if you are burning candles this winter season, keep anything that can burn at least 1' away from a lit candle, and extinguish all candles when leaving a room or going to bed.

Stay warm and safe this winter season, from your friends at SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank!

Storm preparation

10/17/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Storm preparation Advance preparation can limit water damages.

As you watch the weather forecast on Monday, the weatherman says that there will be heavy rain on Thursday and Friday.  Forecasting isn't an exact science, but rest assured you'll get SOME rain those days.

Take a few moments now to prepare for the possible storm.  It could save you time and money in the long run.

Outside:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Ensure downspouts point away from your home.
  • Remove any dead branches from trees, especially if they overhang your house.
  • Clean city drains from around your property.
  • Spot check roof for missing shingles. 

Inside:

  • Check sump pump and back up (if you have one).
  • Make sure nothing of value sits vulnerable on the floor of your lowest level.
  • Ensure all windows are closed and locked.
  • Know the locations of mop, bucket, shop vac, etc, in case they are needed.
  • If possible, raise appliances such as washer, dryer, storage freezer, etc by placing bricks or blocks underneath.

Lately, we have seen rain rates so heavy that sump pumps cannot keep up, even though they are working properly.  A little preventative maintenance now can be the difference between a minor annoyance and a major heartache.

If you have suffered a water loss, call SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank at 708-430-3600, and we will come out, inspect the damage, and give you a battle plan to give you back your normal life again.

How quickly does mold grow?

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How quickly does mold grow? Mold is visible in this photo. But, how about INSIDE the walls?

Mold is naturally occurring.  It's primary existence is to help nature break down dead or decaying organic materials, such as leaves, trees, etc.

Mold reproduces by spreading tiny mold spores throughout the air, to be carried until it encounters a moist or wet area.  These spores are so tiny, you could fit 10-15 spores across the width of a human hair!

Some people have reactions when they encounter mold; sneezing, coughing, illness, etc.  Tom Skilling gives us a mold allergy report each night during his weather segment.

Mold will grow large enough to be spotted with the naked eye in just a couple of days, depending on the amount of moisture present.  Remember, though, that mold can also grow BEHIND walls, wallpaper, or under flooring!

As mold eats and digests the moist organic material, it will emit mycotoxins (that's the musty smell you detect on humid days in your basement or crawl space).  It's these mycotoxins that can make you sick.

Simply removing the moisture source will not kill the mold; it will simply go dormant until it is re-energized by more moisture.  Some molds can go dormant for many years.

The only true way to get rid of mold is to physically remove it.  Care must be taken as to not throw more mold spores into the air and cross-contaminating non-affected areas of your home or business.

The experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank will set up containment as we remove affected items.  We also use machines to clean the air, capturing loose mold spores as the travel through the room.

If you suspect you have mold in your home or business, call us at 708-430-3600 and schedule an inspection.

What's a Flash Flood?

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What's a Flash Flood? Flood waters can devastate your home or business.

By definition, a flash flood is flooding within three to six hours, caused by heavy rain locally, or flooding near rivers, streams, etc with heavy rains upstream.  It can also be caused by rapid snow melt.

Urban areas are prone to flash flooding, due to lack of runoff areas and/or lack of absorption areas.

The following are advisories and warnings, put out by the National Weather Service:

  • Urban and Small Stream Advisory - Low-lying areas, underpasses, streets, and near rivers or streams flooding is occurring.
  • Flash Flood Watch - Flooding possible in the watch area.  Make sure you have an escape route accessible, so if the situation becomes worse, you have  way out.
  • Flash Flood Warning - Flooding is now occurring or is imminent.  Seek higher ground immediately!

At home, make sure you have any valuables off the floor, particularly those in your lowest level.  Move anything that is in danger of being damaged in flood waters to a higher level of your home.

Always remember, safety first!  Do NOT drive through flooded streets, especially those streets that are new to you and you cannot see the pavement.  It takes less than a foot of moving water to pick up a car!  The majority of people killed in floods are those trying to escape in their vehicles.

Heading for Texas!

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Heading for Texas! Just 1 of 3 trucks loaded for Texas!

SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank is proud to be a member of the SERVPRO Storm Team, traversing the United States and helping those who have been affected by large, destructive storms.  Now, we are heading to the deep south, helping the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.

In the past, we have helped those who were hit with Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Matthew, as well as large but more localized storms, like the storms that hit the Midwest (Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio) earlier in 2017.  Our goal is to get them cleaned up and dried out, so those home owners can get back to living a normal life as fast as possible.

But, it is not just us; SERVPRO corporate will have hundreds of crews from all areas of the Untied States, working to help those flooding victims in Texas, Louisiana, and elsewhere. 

If you wish to make a donation to help the cause, please make sure that you are donating to a legitimate entity, such as the American Red Cross, to whom SERVPRO is a proud partner!  You may text the word HARVEY to 90999, and you just made a $10 donation!  You can also donate to the American Red Cross at your local Walgreens pharmacy.

Bank's in the Waukegan, IL area extremely affected with water damage.

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Bank's in the Waukegan, IL area extremely affected with water damage. Bank's basement in Waukegan flooded due to recent heavy rains and flash flooding in their area.

When it comes to your commercial property, we mean business. You need a company that can minimize the disruption to your clients while delivering superior results and that’s when SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank comes in and takes care of all the damage (Water, Fire, Mold or Biohazard Clean Up).  We have the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Last month, heavy rains and flash flooding impacted the Waukegan, IL area.  A Bank suffered massive water damage in their basement.  The maintenance Manager knew who to call right away, he knew that if he called us, we were going to send our crews to assist them immediately with the problem.  This is who we are, we assist your emergency quickly like if it was ours, whether the damage occurs in a small business building or a big box store, we have the training, experience, and equipment to handle the situation.

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call at 708-430-3600 and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Differences in fire extinguishers

8/21/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Differences in fire extinguishers Not all fire extinguishers are created equal. Knowing the difference can save a life!

There are five different types of fire extinguishers, and each one has a specific purpose.  Let's look at each type:

  • Type A:  This fire extinguisher is for fast burning combustibles, like wood, paper, plastics, and cloth.  This is great to have around your fireplace or in your bedroom.
  • Type B: Best used for flammable liquids, such as gasoline, petroleum, paints, or oils.  You may wish to have this one in your garage.
  • Type C:  For electrical fires.  If you have several motors, appliances, or transformers at your home or business, this fire extinguisher would be best.
  • Type D:  This fire extinguisher works best for combustible metals, such as aluminium, sodium, magnesium, or potassium.  If you have a metal shop, this is one you should have around.
  • Type K or Kitchen:  This is best for cooking oil fires, containing animal or vegetable fats, or grease.  This is ideal for your food preparation areas.

Note:  fire extinguishers must be maintained annually in accordance with local, state, and federal codes and regulations.  Don't take a chance; have your fire extinguisher(s) checked every year by a certified professional.  You can find your local professional in the yellow pages.

In the unlikely event you have to use a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS, which stands for:

Pull the pin.

Aim at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the trigger slowly.

Sweep the spray from side to side.

If the fire is already fully involved, a fire extinguisher should only be used as a last resort.  Otherwise, get out and call 911 immediately!

Once everyone has been accounted for, and the fire is out, remember that SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank is ready to clean up the soot, smoke, and/or the fire extinguisher residue left behind.

Shutting off water to limit damages to your home

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Shutting off water to limit damages to your home Knowing where your shut off valves are will reduce water damages to your home.

You wake up in the morning, and go down to your basement to get something out of the dryer before taking your shower in preparation for work.  As you reach the last carpeted step, you realize something is amiss.  You can feel the wet carpet beneath your feet, and you hear a hissing sound.  You conclude that you have a split water pipe, and everything in your basement is soaked.

You want to stop the flow of water immediately, so knowing the location of and how to use your water main shut-off valve can help prevent more damages from occurring. If you are able to reach the shut off valves carefully (standing water in any room can be hazardous when mixed with electricity), shut off the supply of water to prevent further damages.  If permissible, also turn the power off to the affected room(s).

Now that it’s safe to move about the affected rooms, where do you start?  The longer it takes to remove excess water, the more likely your home is to develop secondary damages. Many problems like mold, rust, corrosion, and biohazards only occur if given time to develop. Making the call to SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank ensures that you receive a level of excellence that reduces risks associated with water damage to your property and protects your family from harm.  

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank will not only arrive quickly, but has the trained staff to efficiently remove excess water, dry out contents and structure, and return your home to its preloss condition.  Make sure our number is programmed into your phone: 708-430-3600, and you can call us 24/7/365.