Recent Posts

Who's hungry, for food and knowledge?

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

General Who's hungry, for food and knowledge? FREE lunch and FREE knowledge; who could ask for anything more?

Would you and your coworkers like to know more about mold?  Or like to know the best practices when it comes to a sewage backup?  Or what to do after a fire loss?

Now, no one PLANS to have a disaster of any magnitude strike their place of business, but wouldn't you feel better knowing what to do in case something DOES happen?  Or, perhaps ways to prevent such incidents from occurring in the first place.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank would love to come out to your facility and discuss any of these topics (and more), and we'll even bring lunch for those in attendance.  And it's all FREE!

Simply call today at 708-430-3600, and we can schedule a date and time convenient for everyone.  These presentations could be as short as 15 minutes, or we could present for an hour if needed.

Removing water to speed up drying process

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Removing water to speed up drying process The carpet looks wet. Padding? Walls? Insulation? They ALL could be wet too.

Water.  It could be pleasant to look at, such as fountains or waterfalls.  It’s also necessary, like to bathe, wash clothes or dishes, and used as a power source.  Water also is needed to help us survive, as in consuming water and cooking.

But, unnecessary water, such as flooding, seepage, plumbing malfunctions, and sink overflows are not only a nuisance, but can also be dangerous.  Tackling unwanted water in your home or business should be addressed as soon as possible, to help cut down the possibility of secondary damages.

Standing water is much easier to remove than simply waiting for evaporation.  Scientists say it’s 1200 times easier.  Imagine taking two identical washcloths.  Soak both in water, and lay them both flat to dry.  But, wring as much moisture from one washcloth before laying it down.  Which washcloth will be dry first?

If you suffer a water damage in your home, do you know where all the water goes?  Is the carpet wet?  If so, then perhaps the padding underneath is soaked.  Is the carpet next to a wall wet?  Then, your wall structure could be wet as well.  Water can wick up drywall as fast as an inch per hour.  Now the insulation inside that wall cavity might be wet as well.  And the wood studs might have captured some moisture too.

If you have water damages in your home, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank.  We have meters and thermal imaging cameras to find water and moisture hidden in ceilings, floors, and behind walls as well.  Peace of mind starts by calling 708-430-3600.

Machine used to get rid of odors

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Machine used to get rid of odors Another machine to help eliminate odors.

Mother Nature cleans the outside air by using a process called hydroxyl.  SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank can replicate that process indoors by using a hydroxyl generator.

A hydroxyl generator would be used to combat odors from: fire and smoke damages, deceased body situations, sewage losses, skunk or pet odors, etc.  Any time you need aggressive odor removal, this machine will do the trick.

A hydroxyl generator creates radicals (molecules) that temporarily changes the molecular property of nearby air for less than two seconds.  These radicals attack the odor causing particles and help cleanse the air.  Because these radicals only exist for less than two seconds, they need a constant stream of air passing through the generator to completely eradicate the offending odors.

Also, because the radicals last less than two seconds, it’s safe to have people, plants, and pets in the work area.  Insurance companies and homeowners both like this aspect; there is no need to shelter elsewhere when using the hydroxyl generator.  Another machine used in restoration purposes, ozone, has radicals that last much longer, and is thereby unsafe to use in areas where people, plants, or pets are around.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank has all the latest techniques and equipment to mitigate fire or water damages, remediate mold, or handle any type of cleaning necessary to get you back to normal living again, as soon as possible.  A call to: 708-430-3600 will get the process started.

Local Youth Center has sewage damages

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Local Youth Center has sewage damages Raw sewage causes business disruption to a local youth center.

When storms cause raw sewage to flow back into a youth center, that youth center calls the mitigation experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank.

Recently, heavy rains overwhelmed a south-side sewer system, and raw sewage came up through the drains, toilets, and sinks of a neighborhood youth center.  A couple of inches of this foul-smelling water and muck threatened to close the facility for several days.

Fortunately for this youth center, they had the foresight to have a SERVPRO ERP, or Emergency Ready Program, in place.  They knew the protocols necessary and the people to call, to get the center up and running as soon as possible.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank received the call mid-morning, and just after noon we were on site doing all what was necessary to mitigate the sewage.  Even though two hallways and several rooms were affected, we were able to finish the job in the same day!

If your business does not have an ERP in place, the next disaster could cause your business to be closed longer than necessary.  To start the process of protecting your business, call 708-430-3600 and set up a meeting.  Most businesses take less than an hour to get the information needed to complete the ERP.

Will my air purifier prevent mold?

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Will my air purifier prevent mold? Air purifiers can help eliminate single mold spores, but will not prevent mold growth.

Air purifiers have improved in many details over the years.  They can reduce/eliminate dust particles, pollen, bacteria, as well as mold spores.

There are two types of air purifiers: Active and Passive types.  Active air purifiers use ionization to clean the air.  Passive air purifiers use filters to capture particulates traveling through the air.  There are some newer models that perform a combination of both.

Ionization occurs when the purifier creates negative ions, allowing the airborne particles to be attracted to a plate or grid, similar to static electricity.  These particulates can be cleaned off at a desired time.

Most purifiers that use filters use HEPA filters, or High Efficiency Particulate Air filters.  These filters, first designed in the 1940’s for use on the Manhattan Project, collect very tiny particles moving through the air.  How tiny?  Particles as small as .3 microns are captured by the series of filters.  To put that size in perspective:

  • A human hair is approximately 60 microns wide.
  • Mold spores range from 3-10 microns wide.
  • Red blood cells are about 5 microns wide.

Remember, mold spores are everywhere; they are on the trees, bushes, and plants outdoors, and get carried indoors each time a door or window is opened.  This also means that mold spores are trapped behind paneling, drywall, under carpets, etc inside your home.  Once excess moisture triggers those mold spores, colonies will begin to develop.

So, even though air purifiers have improved indoor air quality, it doesn’t mean it sterilizes the air completely.  If you have suffered a water damage, or have excess condensation in a particular area, mold will continue to be an issue.

If you suspect you have mold in your home or business (a musty smell could mean you have mold actively growing), call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600 and schedule an inspection.

Using a box fan to dry structure?

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Using a box fan to dry structure? Box fans will not dry this carpet and walls quick enough to prevent mold.

Eventually, it will happen to almost all of us.  A storm rips through the area, causing heavy rains and power outages.  Since the sump pump has no power, the rain fills the pit and then overflows into your lower level.

Years ago, the lower level was the basement, where there was a cement floor, water heater and furnace, the old refrigerator, and a sanitary tub for the washing machine.  But today, lower levels are now completely finished, with carpeting, drywall, electronics, furniture, exercise equipment, and etc.

Because of the storm, the carpeting got wet, and the water transferred over to the walls, getting them wet as well.  You hope that putting a box fan down there to dry the carpeting and the walls will be good enough.

To prevent mold, all wet items (contents and structure) MUST be dried so mold will not grow/prosper.  One or two box fans just aren’t enough to do the job properly.

At SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank, we use fans specifically designed to dry the structure with enough speed and power to help prevent mold growth.  These fans, in conjunction with dehumidifiers, remove moisture from the structure and the air in the room to keep mold in check.  Also, we have to get air movement inside wall cavities to prevent mold growing there.

When it comes to water damages in your castle, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We’ll set up an inspection, assess the damaged areas, and give you an estimate of the cost and time needed to make it "Like it never even happened.”

Are you prepared for the next disaster?

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Are you prepared for the next disaster? Is your business ready for the next storm, or fire?

You’re at work.  You’re in the office at your desk, or in the warehouse hard at work, or in the breakroom having lunch.  Suddenly, the fire alarm goes off.  Or the tornado sirens go off.  Do you know where to go or what to do?

Your business should have an emergency plan in case either of these situations occur.  The plan should include: a safe place to congregate, who is in charge there, and a way to communicate once the all clear has been sounded.

Once all employees are accounted for at the assigned meeting place, the next question is:  Are there needed supplies available?  Is there a first aid kit?  Bottled water? Fire extinguisher?

Keeping employees safe should always be the number one concern.  Having a well-designed plan is vital, not only in business but also in case of emergencies.  Also, ensure that all employees are aware of that plan, and exit routes must be clearly marked.

Now, the all clear has been sounded, and employees are allowed back into the building.  But, parts of the building has suffered some sort of damage, whether it’s smoke damage from the fire, or storm damage.  Is there a plan in place to take care of this problem?

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank has a plan, called the Emergency Ready Profile, or ERP.  The ERP is designed to kick in at exactly this point.  It sets the wheels in motion to get your business running at 100% again, and as soon as possible.

The ERP is a free app for your electronic device, and management shares it with only those employees who will need the information necessary, so it’s safe and secure.  This ERP lists contact information for anyone that may be needed at this point.  Calls can literally be made as damage assessment is still be collected.

If you would like more information about this totally FREE service, please contact SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  Until then, ask yourself this question: Are we ready?

Ways to prevent mold growth

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Ways to prevent mold growth Having moisture levels in check helps prevent mold growth.

Mold is everywhere.  Mold is on the trees, bushes, and plants outside.  Mold spores use air currents to travel, so each time you open a door or window, mold spores are entering your home.

How can I prevent mold from growing in my home?  Mold primarily needs two things to grow: a food source and moisture.  Since you cannot eliminate every food source for mold to grow (drywall, paper, wood, cardboard, etc), you can work on keeping moisture in check.

Here are just a few ways you can curb moisture indoors:

  1. Check problem areas inside the home and correct them. Go through your house and identify the problem areas.  Does the basement have seepage issues?  Is there frequent condensation on upstairs windows? Are there water stains on the ceiling, and is the area getting larger? Fixing these issues may cost money upfront, but it can be far less than having mold grow unchecked in your home.
  2. Immediately dry wet areas. Having even small water damages or issues can lead to mold if not dried quickly.  “Leaving it to dry on its own” is never a good strategy.  Whether it’s drying the basement after a storm, mopping up a spill on the carpet, or drying wet clothes from the wash machine are ways to help eliminate excess moisture.
  3. Ensure your home has proper ventilation. Throw open the windows when the weather is nice outside.  Use the vents/fans when cooking, taking a shower, or doing laundry.  The more moisture that gets vented outside means there is less inside for mold to utilize to grow.
  4. Monitor indoor humidity. During the winter months, air that is heated dries out.  That is why some people use humidifiers.  But, if condensation is collecting on the windows near the humidifier, then there is an excess amount of humidity.  Refrain/reduce its use until the condensation disappears.
  5. Improve indoor air flow. To increase the air circulation inside your home, open doors between rooms, open closet doors, open dresser drawers (especially if the dresser is on an outside wall), and move large furniture away from outside walls (where possible).
  6. Check problem areas outside too. If the gutters are full of leaves and debris, rain water or snow melt may back up and cause roof damage.  And even if the gutters are clean, if the yard is pitched so that water runs back towards the house, water may find a way inside your home.  Correct the pitch so water flows away from the structure.

Remember, if you smell a musty smell, that could mean you already have active mold growing in your home.  Call the mold experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600 to set up an inspection.

Major causes of electrical fires

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Major causes of electrical fires Electrical fires can be anything from a minor distraction to a major loss.

Electrical fires in your Chicago home or business can be from any of several sources.

  • Faulty outlets.  If cords plugged into an outlet falls out easily, but doesn't do that anywhere else, that outlet may need to be replaced.  Over time, like anything else, normal wear and tear can cause failure.
  • Light fixtures.  If you use a bulb that needs too much wattage for the fixture to handle, that can cause a malfunction or an electrical fire.
  • Appliances.  Appliances sit in the corner, and you really only think about them when you are using them.  When was the last time you checked the cords, tubing, etc?  When was the last time you cleaned behind that appliance (I'm talking to you, dryer)?  Check the cords, and ensure that all appliances are clean of dirt and debris.
  • Extension cords.  Just like outlets, normal wear and tear can cause failures.  And people tend to overload extension cords during the winter holiday season.  Know the capacity of that extension cord, and do not exceed that number.
  • Wiring.  Wiring in homes >20 years old may not be able to handle the electrical capacity of today's homes.  Today's computers, big screen TVs, microwaves, etc all have more power than their predecessors. Be safe; know how much is too much for the cords, outlets, etc.

If you have suffered an electrical fire, call the clean up experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We can handle the soot clean up and deodorization!

Take actions now to limit flooding's damage

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Take actions now to limit flooding's damage Furnishings lost due to extreme flooding.

You don’t need to be near a body of water (lake, river, or stream) to experience flooding.  Hurricane Harvey is a recent example of that; areas around Houston, TX received 50 inches of rain!

In this area, we can have excessive snow melt, severe storms, extensive power outages, etc., that can cause flooding.  It seems lately that more and more extreme weather is the new normal.

What can you do to protect your property from the hazards of flooding?

  • Know the risks. Is there any part of your property where the slope is incorrect; water slopes towards your home instead of away from your home.  Try to correct that issue as soon as possible.
  • Have an emergency kit already prepared. You can read more about making an emergency kit in another blog on this website, or you can go to Ready.gov for more information.
  • Check your insurance policy. Most insurance policies do not cover floods, or water that doesn’t come up from the drains nor from a broken pipe.  Talk it over with your insurance professional.
  • Direct as much water away from your foundation as possible. Downspout extensions are a cheap and easy way to accomplish this feat.  And keep your gutters clean of debris.
  • Put utilities on blocks if located in lower level.  Place your wash machine, dryer, water softener, etc up on blocks to keep them out of the water in case your lower level sustains flooding issues.
  • Plug SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank’s number into your phone. When you have discovered water damages in your home, time is critical!  By having 708-430-3600 already installed on your phone means you can talk to us while the water damages are still in the early stages.  Our trucks are loaded with equipment and ready to assist extracting, removing, and/or drying out your home as quick as possible!