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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Shortcuts versus proper protocols

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

NOT the proper way to do a packout.

Shortcuts.  They may appear to be the easy solution at first.  But, upon reflection, what seemed like the easy way wasn’t so easy after all.  Sometimes, protocols must be followed, not only because it’s the only way to completely finish the job, but keeps those involved safe during and after the process.

Take for example the woman in Dixon, IL, who was arrested for carpooling with her kids, kind of.  She bought them an inflatable pool at the local store, took it to a friend’s house to use their compressor to blow it up, then found it wouldn’t fit inside her car.  So, she put the pool on top of the car, but she had no straps to tie it down, so she put the kids in the pool on top of the car and tried to drive home.

A man in Ottawa, Canada didn’t have a booster seat for his 18 month old daughter when he went to the liquor store, so he used a case of beer as a booster seat.  The cops issued the man a ticket for an improper booster seat.

Here at SERVPRO, we understand that protocols are set for a reason; they get the job done while keeping those working on the job, and those who will inhabit the home afterwards, safe from harm.  Shortcuts are tempting, but we know the consequences could be costly.

Trust the team that is on the preferred vendor lists for many insurance companies: SERVPRO.

Have you developed a fire escape plan?

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

NOW is the time to develop a fire safety plan, be it at work or at home.

You’re sitting in your easy chair, watching TV and having a lemonade.  The kids are playing upstairs in their rooms.  Suddenly, the smoke detector goes off.  Do you know what to do?  Do the kids know what to do?


You’re at your desk at work, checking emails from the weekend.  Suddenly, the fire alarm goes off.  Do you know the safest route out?

In either case, being unsure of what to do or where to go may cost valuable seconds, seconds that could mean being injured instead of being safe.  If there was a plan in place, and posted (if not practiced), this situation should have a favorable outcome, healthwise.

No one plans to have a fire at work nor at home.  But, you still need to be prepared in case it does happen.

At home, know the safest routes out from any room in the house.  Know the place safely outside where the family should meet.  And make sure the kids know the basics as well.

At work, if your business does not have a safety officer, you should take it upon yourself to know the quickest, safest routes outside.  If you are several floors up, know that the elevators should be avoided, and alternate routes have to be chosen.  Have a designated location where you and your coworkers can meet.

In case of a fire, getting out and safe should be your only priority.  Fighting the fire should only be done if it endangers you or someone you know is trapped.  No one needs to be a hero; leave the firefighting to the professionals.

Motel fire has room boarded up

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

Keeping visitors out of a room that has been affected by fire, and also keeping the elements out, are key to the cleaning process.

Recently, a local motel had a small fire, confined mostly to one room.  The fire department, in their zeal to extinguish the fire, gave the two rooms adjacent water damages as well.

SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank was called out, and we boarded up the room that suffered the fire damages.  Any water damaged rooms were quickly extracted, dried, and sprayed with an antimicrobial, so those units could be used by the business.

The reason we board up a room that has been subject to a fire is several fold:  It keeps unwanted visitors from entering a potentially unsafe room.  It also keeps soot particles from damaging other unaffected rooms.  And, in this case, it also protects the room from the outside weather, possibly causing even more secondary damages.  

There are many stages to cleaning up after a fire.  Keeping the area safe and secure is first and foremost.  Then you have to think about the physical cleaning and deodorization processes.  And finally, putting the structure back to preloss conditions.

SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank is an expert at cleaning up after fires, whether they are confined to a single room, or an entire building.  Plus, we are available 24/7/365.  Simply call 708-430-3600 to get the process started.

A very wet start to 2019

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Don't wait until the water is this high before calling SERVPRO!

Through May 31st, the year 2019 has been much wetter than normal.  In May, Chicago had its wettest May EVER, and we had measurable rain on 21 of the 31 days (plus two days we had fog/sprinkles, but nothing measurable).

2019 so far:

  • Jan Averages 1.75” we had 1.96”
  • Feb Averages 1.63” we had 2.81”
  • Mar Averages 2.65” we had 2.09”
  • Apr Averages 3.68” we had 6.02”
  • May Averages 3.38” we had 8.25”

So, on average, we should have had 12.09” instead of the 21.12” that actually fell; that’s 174% of normal to date.  And, according to averages, August is the wettest month, with an average of 4.62” of rain.

In case you were wondering, our wettest year in Chicago ever was in 2008, when an astounding 50.86” fell.  And the wettest month here ever, was August 1987, when 17.10” of rain fell.

SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank is ready for all types of water damages, from flooding to pipe breaks to sink or bathtub overflows.  We have the equipment, manpower, and knowledge to not only get the job done quickly, but get it done correctly!  Plus we are available 24/7/365.  Call us at 708-430-3600 today, and we’ll come out to make it “Like it never even happened!”

Infamous fires throughout history

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

No one plans to have a fire, but if it happens, SERVPRO is ready to help!

Some of the more famous fires in history:

  • Rome 64 AD.  Approximately 70% of Rome burned, and no, Nero did not fiddle while it burned.  The fiddle wasn’t invented for another 100 years.  But, Nero did build a huge palace for himself on the ashes in the best section in town.
  • Great Chicago Fire Oct, 1871.  250 people lost their lives, and 17,000 structures were lost.  People knew they were going to lose their houses, so they dragged the furniture into the street to try and save it.  It only made the fire spread faster, and clogged the streets so Fire Departments and ambulances couldn’t get through.
  • Great Boston Fire Nov 1872.  Only 20 were killed, and just 776 buildings were lost, but this fire still brought Boston to its knees.  This fire practically took out the entire business district, and no one could work for quite some time.
  • Iroquois Theater Fire Chicago Dec 1903.  Just one month after it opened, a fire started above the stage, blocking the exits of the top two levels of the balcony.  602 people lost their lives.
  • Our Lady of the Angels School Chicago Dec 1958.  This fire started in the basement less than an hour before school was to let out for the day.  By the time some teachers knew what was happening, it was already too late, as exits were blocked by fire and heat.  92 children and three nuns perished, some from injuries resulted from children jumping from upper floor windows.
  • The Camp Fire California Nov 2018.  By far the largest wild fire in California history, this fire consumed about 240 square miles, killed 86 people, and destroyed 18,804 structures.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral Paris Apr 2019. Built in the 12th century, and repaired many times since, this structure was still mainly wood, metal, and stone.  And even though they have a fireman on site 24/7/365, the fire still spread too quickly to save the spire and one of the towers.  Current estimates state that repairs to the cathedral will take 20 years to complete.

What do these fires (and really all fires) have in common?  Not a single person planned on having a fire at that time.  Fires come with no warning whatsoever.  With storms, the weatherman can predict danger ahead of time, but not with fires.

If you had a fire in your home or business, not only will you have water damages (or fire extinguisher dust for much smaller fires), but also soot will travel and accumulate in areas far away from the actual flames.

Call the experts at SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We have the knowledge and experience to know where to look and the best way to clean it, if it can be salvaged.

The speed of water

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

The carpet needs to be extracted quickly, and standing water removed, so the walls can be dried properly.

How fast is fast?

  • Speed of light: 670,616,629 mph
  • Speed of sound: 767 mph
  • Indy car: 237 mph
  • Skydiver: 122 mph
  • Bobby Hull slapshot: 118.3 mph
  • Aroldis Chapman fastball: 105.1 mph

But how fast is water?

If we’re talking about how fast water falls, most raindrops fall at a rate of 20 mph.  Drizzle, with its smaller drops, falls at a rate of 4.5 mph. 

Now, how fast does water go UP?

Water, whether it’s clean water from a pipe break, or raw sewage water, will wick up (be absorbed into) drywall at a rate of about 1-2” per hour.  So, if you discover water in your finished basement, or in your bathroom, and let it sit overnight, it may have wicked up 8-12” or so.  This moisture must be removed as soon as possible otherwise mold becomes a distinct possibility.

Call SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank.  Uniformed crews will go to your house, extract any standing water, and begin setting up air movement equipment.  Besides the proper equipment, we have the protocols in place to quickly remove moisture from drywall, carpet, wood framing, etc., so it greatly reduces the chance that mold can colonize and grow.

Don’t delay – call today!  708-430-3600.

Commercial disruption kept to a minimum

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

Doing our best to keep business disruption to a minimum. Moving all this paperwork would have caused delays for this worker.

I have yet to see any business include in their budget a water damage or fire loss.  No one PLANS for it, but it still happens.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank is aware that any commercial client needs to be 100% operational to be profitable.  We do our very best to work within guidelines set forth by the property manager to do our work while staying out of the way as much as possible.  When a local hotel had a water loss that affected the breakfast area, we arrived every morning at 5:00 to move drying equipment out of the way until breakfast was over, then returned and replaced the equipment.

Sometimes, though, disruption is inevitable.  We clearly define to the property manager what we have to do, timelines and deadlines, and work out a schedule that works for both parties.  

Every job brings new challenges, and we are ready to work with you to get things back to preloss conditions as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If you have suffered a loss, and wish to have a company come out, one that has expertise in every kind of loss, along with attention to details, then give us a call at 708-430-3600.

Ingredients to a fire

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

It takes the right ingredients to create a fire.

Question:  When is a fire like a cake?  Just like a cake, fires need certain ingredients to complete.  Remove just one of the ingredients, and it just doesn’t work.

The ingredients fires need are:  fuel, heat, oxygen, and an ignition source.

Fuel:  anything combustible, like paper, wood, dry grass, fabrics, etc.  Generally, anything that can burn easily.

Heat:  A fire needs the proper temperature range to not only start, but also to keep going once it has started.

Oxygen:  Like any living creature, fire needs the right air mixture to burn.

Ignition source:  Matches, lightning, a toaster, etc.  Anything to bring a fuel source close to its combustion point.

Once a fire has started, people fighting the fire have to control or eliminate one of the ingredients to stop the fire.  In church, an acolyte places a cup over a lit candle until the candle has used up all the available oxygen.  Crews fighting wildfires start a fire break; fires well ahead of the main fire, to rob the main fire of fuel.  Firefighters throw water on fires, to help lower the temperatures and possibly disperse some of the fuel.  Water also turns to steam, and it may disrupt the air mixture just enough to rob the fire.

There are other blogs on this site that deals with what type of fire extinguishers you need, as well as the different types of soot and residue left behind after a fire.

If you have suffered fire or smoke damage, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank. 708-430-3600.  We have the expertise to make it “Like it never even happened!”

Sump pump maintenance

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Take a few minutes now to ensure your house is protected from storm damages.

Sump pumps are a fairly reliable piece of equipment, something you don’t often think about, until the time it doesn’t work properly.  Regular maintenance can help extend the life of your sump pump, plus give you piece of mind when the next storm event happens.

Sump pumps last an average of 10 years; some last longer and some don’t last that long, depending on how often and hard they have to work.  If your current sump pump is older than 10 years, perhaps you should seriously think about getting a replacement.

Here are a few things you should do at least once a year to ensure your sump pump works properly.

  • Check the wiring and the plug. If the wiring looks worn, or the plug has trouble staying plugged in, consider a replacement.
  • Check for debris in the sump pit. Occasionally, debris can get into the pit, causing the float mechanism to be blocked, and may create an unwanted issue later on.
  • Remove the sump pump from the pit and clean the bottom grate. During normal operation, strong suction from your sump may pull small stones up from the bottom and get wedged in the grate.
  • Make sure the pump is sitting upright. After checking for debris and the bottom grate, place the sump pump back in the pit, sitting as upright as possible.  You want to avoid the pump tipping when storm water starts to flow into the pit.
  • Add water to the pit to check for normal operation. Using a five gallon bucket, add water to see if your sump pump both starts when it should, and shut off when it should.  Any deviation from normal, think about replacing the pump.  If you have to shake the pipe to either get the pump started or stop, replace the pump.
  • Finally, check the outlet piping to make sure it is connecting properly, and not leaking anywhere.

If you have a backup sump pump, and/or back up power source, take a moment to check and make sure they are working properly as well.

If you suffer water damage from sump pump issues (sump pump not working or couldn’t keep up with extreme rain rates), call the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We can extract the water, dry contents and structure, and check for possible mold.

Boiler malfunction creates moderate damage in local apartments

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

This laundry room was one of several that was hit by water damage.

A boiler malfunction in a local apartment complex caused moderate water damages to three units, plus the laundry room, three hallways, two stairwells, as well as the boiler room itself.  Even though this occurred on a weekend, SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank was out there, extracting water, cutting some moldy walls (from a previous water damage that was not mitigated properly), and drying out flooring, structure, and contents.

SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank is 24/7/365, and is aware that any commercial property (retail, industrial, sports complex, etc) must be mitigated as soon as possible to reduce down time and possible loss of revenue.  We can work as a separate unit,  or work along with your existing maintenance staff to get the job done as quickly and completely as possible.

No job is too small or too big.  SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank is part of a network of local SERVPROs, all who can assist if the need arises.  So, if you suffer a loss in one room, or greater than 100 rooms, one call can do it all!

If you are a property manager, you'll want to load our number into your phone right away: 708-430-3600.  From then on, you'll be secure in the knowledge that if something does happen to your facility, experienced help is simply a phone call away.

Lightning facts and myths

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning can travel far outside of the storm.

An average lightning bolt has enough power to light a 100-watt bulb for more than 3 months straight.  It also has enough power to send Doc Brown and Marty McFly in a DeLorean from 1955 to 1985 (in the movie Back to the Future).

“Width of your thumb, hotter than the sun”.  The actual bolt of lightning is about the width of your thumb (or about the size of a nickel).  It looks larger because it’s shrouded in intense light.  The heat generated from a single bolt is about five times the temperature of the surface of the sun, >30,000 degrees.

Approx. 60 people are killed each year in the US from strikes.  Most of those killed and injured are participating in/attending sporting events.

There are approximately 1800 thunderstorms happening any minute of any day throughout the world, generating more than 1.4 billion lightning strikes per year.


Myth:  If I crouch, I avoid getting struck by lightning.  Although lightning does normally hit the tallest object in the area, it can jump to other objects, like from a tree to a fence.  If you are outside, you are still in danger of being struck.

Myth:  I am safe under a tall tree.  A tree may protect you from some rain, but it offers zero protection from a lightning strike.

Myth:  Lightning never strikes the same place twice.  Lightning bolts are nature’s way of trying to even out the electrons in an area, delivering positive charges to a negatively-charged object.  But, that doesn’t mean once a bolt hits it will not hit again.  Buildings, mountains, and other tall objects may be struck many times in a single year.

Myth:  It’s not raining, so I’m safe from lightning.  A bolt can travel many miles outside of a thunderstorm, so just because it’s not raining yet does not mean you are safe from being struck.

Myth:  If I remove metal (watch, jewelry, etc), I won’t get struck by lightning.  Lightning is NOT attracted to metal, so having no metal around you does not make you any safer.

Myth:  Rubber tires on a car protects you from lightning strikes.  A car is a safe place to go if you cannot get inside before a thunderstorm, but not because of the tires.  The metal body around you is the answer.  It gives the bolt an avenue towards the ground that protects you.  If you happened to be touching metal when a strike hits your car, you will be hit as well.  Also, rubber tires will not protect motorcycle riders either; they are just as susceptible to be hit as if they were standing outside.

Myth:  I saw a person get struck by lightning.  I cannot touch him for fear I will be electrocuted as well.  The human body cannot hold electrical charges, so a person struck is safe to touch.  Help them as quickly as you safely can.


Myth:  I am 100% safe inside a home.  Being inside a building is the safest place to be during a thunderstorm, but there are still ways you can get hit.  Being in a shower or bath is one; the bolt hitting your house can travel through the water pipes and find its way to you.  If you are on a corded phone or video game, the lightning can travel through the wiring and get to you.  And stay away from windows as well, as lightning going down siding may jump through a crack around the window and hit you.

Myth:  I have surge protectors on all my electronics, so they are safe.  Surge protectors are great for a minor sudden surge in electricity, but are no match for the power of a lightning bolt.  It’s best to unplug such devices before the storm comes into your area.

Spring storms = SERVPRO's busy season?

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank gets calls year round, not just in Spring.

It’s Springtime again, and here at SERVPRO we get asked all the time if Spring is our “busy” season.  While it’s true, the transition from Winter to Spring gives us many opportunities for helping people with disasters, there really isn’t a “busy” season nor a “slow” season.

When the calendar gets close to Spring, melting snow, or rain over frozen ground, threatens water damages in many homes and businesses.  But we can get water damage calls just about any month of the year.

  • When extreme cold weather hits the area (like a polar vortex), frozen and burst pipes could be the result.
  • Freezing and thawing weather, or ice storms, can cause ice damming issues, causing water to back up your roof, under shingles and then work its way into your home.
  • Repeated heavy rains can cause localized flooding in susceptible areas and could finds its way into your home.
  • Sudden, extreme downpours with huge rain rates can overwhelm sump pumps and cause minor flooding issues.
  • High winds may cause loose roof shingles to come off, thereby allowing precipitation to find a way inside.

On top of all that, there are many ways you can suffer non-storm related water damages, such as: bathtub or sink overflows, pipe leaks, water heater malfunctions, aquarium leaks, condensation issues, etc.

If you have suffered any type of water damages, call SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600 right away to set up an inspection.

Spring storms are the norm

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

Don't let this happen to you. Prepare now.

Well, it’s Spring here in the Midwest.  That means it can be 70’s one day, then in the 40’s the next, followed by another stretch of 70’s. 

The old adage: “If you don’t like the weather in Chicago, wait ten minutes!” isn’t too far from the truth.  The weather can change in a hurry here.  It can be sunny and warm in the morning, cloudy with big storms in the evening, and did they mention a possibility of snow tonight?

Most people take precautions when they hear storms are approaching.  They bring in their tender plants from the outside, move the patio furniture closer to the house so it won’t blow away, and reattach the downspouts that blew off from the last storm.  But, did they take any precautions inside?

Heavy rain in a short period of time can overwhelm a sump pump, even when it’s running properly.  That water has to go somewhere.  It spreads out across the floor in your basement or lower level, causing water damage to anything susceptible it touches: drywall, carpeting, boxes, shelves, etc can all be damaged by this water.

Take time NOW to get ready for that possibility.  Remove boxes and store them in a higher place where they won’t get hit with the water.  Roll up throw rugs and put them in a safe place, along with any contents on the floor.

If you do get hit with water in your lower level, just call the experts at SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank.  We can extract the water, dry out the structure, check for hidden moisture in walls, ceilings, or flooring, and spray an antimicrobial to all affected areas.

Put this number in your phone NOW!  708-430-3600.  We are available 24/7/365, and have equipment ready to do the job!

Use caution in smoke filled rooms

4/2/2019 (Permalink)

Avoid or limit moving through heavily smoke damaged rooms such as this.

You've had a fire.  Luckily, no one was injured.  But, several rooms in the house suffered smoke and soot damage.

Your first reaction is to start going through your belongings, to see how much damage they have incurred during the fire.  You start moving boxes around and rummage through drawers and closets.

But beware!  Going from room to room could drag soot particles into rooms that did not have any initial damage.  Repeated walking in soot-filled rooms could also embed the smoke particles into the carpets and flooring, making them harder (if not impossible) to clean.

Also, touching the walls, whether on purpose or by accident, could cause the smoke particles to stain the drywall permanently, because of the oils in your fingers.  

We understand that you are in a hurry to check the status of your belongings.  But just haphazardly checking items from room to room can cause more secondary damages than necessary.

Calling SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank and scheduling an inspection is the correct option.  We can walk through the home with you, assess the damaged areas, recommend options that you can do safely, and set up a cleaning plan.

Don't delay!  Call us today!  708-430-3600.  

I've dried the structure; will mold go away?

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Moldy spots on the wall, but how much is hidden inside the wall cavity?

So, you've had a water damage.  Your walls got wet, perhaps some carpet as well.  A couple days pass, and you notice a small amount of mold on your drywall.

The water damage was fixed, and you're pretty sure the walls are now dry.  You can still see the mold spots, but do not smell any of that musty smell you normally get when you have active mold.  Is the mold now gone?

The answer is no.  Mold does not simply go away.  

Once it has eaten into the drywall, wood, cardboard, paper, or anything organic, it will stay there until physically removed.  If the musty smell has gone away, it simply means that the mold has gone dormant.  Once the moldy areas encounter more moisture, the mold will re-energize.

And remember, there can be more mold INSIDE the wall that you can't see!

If you know someone who suffered a water loss (pipe break, roof leak, sump pump failure, etc), and you tried to dry it yourself, and now you have a possible mold issue, call the experts at SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We will come out, assess the situation, give you options to fit your budget, and answer all your questions.

To what extent does water damage structure?

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water is a powerful thing.  It can move cars off the road.  It can put out fires.  It can also damage of lot of your belongings when it unexpectedly comes into contact with them.

Pictured below is the bottom floor of an apartment building.  The pipe broke on the third floor, and water not only damaged the third floor, but if flowed down the wall and through the floor into the second floor, and then migrated into the bottom floor.  At each level, the water spread out on the floor/ceiling before working its way lower.

You’ll notice from the picture that a portion of the ceiling had to be removed, the wall on the right had to be removed, as well as the carpet and pad.  Wet insulation had to be taken out as well.  You’ll also notice that only the affected areas had to be removed; unaffected areas were left as before.

When SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank gets called out to handle a water loss, we know how to check for water migration, as well as the proper techniques in drying the materials that can be saved.  If you have suffered a water loss, and need that type of expertise, then call today at 708-430-3600.

Frozen pipes damages Chicago commercial buildings

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Water damaged cabinet in this commercial property created mold. Call us ASAP to keep this from happening to you!

We hear it every winter:  “We’ve been here twelve years, and we’ve never had a pipe freeze before!” OR: “We took almost every precaution, and the pipes still froze!”

When cold weather invades the area, there’s always a danger to have frozen pipes.  Any time the air temperatures plunge to the -25 to -30 range, some frozen pipes are almost inevitable.  This winter, with its cold November followed by a warm December, then followed by a brutally cold January, SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank saw its share of commercial frozen pipes. 

Hotels, banks, condominiums, and even apartment buildings were not spared from the winter’s wrath.  And with any commercial job, SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank will make every effort to keep them open and operating as efficiently as possible as we dry and disinfect.  We understand that even a dollar of lost revenue that could have been prevented is a dollar too much.  We also know that taking shortcuts now can lead to a different kind of disaster later on, like mold.

If your home or business suffered from any kind of water loss (broken pipe, leaky faucet, water heater malfunction, etc), call the experts at SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We’ll come out, assess the damage, and create a plan to keep you up and operating while we systematically extract, dry, and disinfect.

Prevent frozen pipes this winter

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around piping.

Water damages can be very expensive, not only in terms of cash but also the objects that get damaged and have to be discarded (collectibles, photos, etc.).  With winter upon us, here are a few tips to help prevent your pipes from freezing:

  • Open cabinet doors around sinks. This allows warm air to circulate around the water pipes.  This greatly reduces the chances that those pipes will freeze.
  • Leave a trickle of water running, especially on pipes that are on an outside wall inside your home. Moving water cannot freeze, so as long as the water continues to flow, your pipes will not freeze over.
  • Check insulation around piping. In areas that tend to get very cold, like crawl spaces, wrap water lines with insulation.  There are many types of pipe wrap, and can be found at any hardware store.
  • If you are going away for an extended period of time in the winter, do not shut your heat off. Leave the thermostat at a minimum of 55 to provide enough adequate heating to keep indoor pipes from freezing.
  • Place a spigot cover over your outdoor spigot. These are generally made of foam, and provide a layer of insulation from the brutal cold winds of winter.  You can find these at any hardware store, and they cost a couple of bucks.

If your pipes have frozen, do NOT use a blowtorch or any excessive means to thaw the pipe out.  The recommended way to thaw out your pipes is with a hairdryer.  The ice in the line has probably expanded the piping.  A slow, gentle thawing should not put any more strain on the material.  The rapid thawing using a blowtorch may cause the welds to fail, creating yet another problem.

If you discover that a pipe has burst, shut the water off and call a plumber, then call the water cleanup experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank.  We can dry your structure, contents, etc.  708-430-3600.

A Midway hotel has a pipe break

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO quickly on the scene of a hotel pipe break.

During a recent cold snap, SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank received a call from one of the hotels near Midway Airport due to a burst pipe in a ceiling, causing water damages in several rooms.  We received the call because this hotel had the foresight to prepare an ERP, or Emergency Ready Profile, this past autumn.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank had a crew on site in about an hour, extracting water, moving wet furniture, etc.  We understand that it’s imperative for a business like this to be fully operational as quickly as possible; areas and rooms closed do not make money.

Hotel management prioritized the areas that needed to be available first, and we made every effort to accommodate these wishes.  Keeping the client in the loop and happy are goals we strive for with each and every job.

If you suffer some sort of damage: water damage, soot or smoke damage, mold, or anything else that needs to be cleaned up, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank, who will put your best interests in mind when planning and executing the restoration process.

Call us 24/7/365 at 708-430-3600.  SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank – your LOCAL source for damage restoration!

Can I paint over mold?

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

Though it's tempting to simply paint over mold like this, the better way is to remediate it properly.

Everyone looks for the quick, easy solution.  So, after you discovered you had a water damage due to a leaky pipe, you fixed the pipe.  Unfortunately, mold started to colonize and grow where the leak was.  Now you’re wondering if you can simply paint over the mold.

If you are seeing mold on drywall, all you’re seeing is the exterior of the wall.  What about the interior wall cavity?  The framing?

Painting over the mold hides the mold, but does not eradicate nor remediate the mold.  It can trap moisture behind/under the paint, giving the existing mold more moisture to work with. 

If you just bought or rented a house, signs that someone has painted over mold in the past are:

  • Bubbled, cracked, or chipped paint.
  • Water staining has returned.
  • Signs of mold coming through the paint. Active mold can actually eat through the paint.
  • Musty smell has returned, especially on humid days.

Steps to properly remediate mold are to:

  1. Correct the water issue.
  2. Remove all moldy materials (affected drywall, for instance) where mold cannot be removed cost effectively.
  3. Dry all remaining structure thoroughly.
  4. Spray an anti-microbial to help prevent mold growth.
  5. Repair all damaged areas.

Or you can:

  1. Call SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600. We are the mold experts!

Water damages ceiling in a commercial building

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage caused this drop ceiling to collapse.

A faulty pipe lead to an extensive water damage to a commercial property's ceiling.  Several ceiling tiles were too wet to stay up, and fell to the floor.  This area was unusable until the water leak was fixed and the area disinfected and cleaned up.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank was called in, and with the use of our specialized tools, we determined exactly where the water migrated and which walls, floors, and ceilings were affected.  Meeting with the building manager, a plan was put in place where SERVPRO could work AND that portion of the building could remain open and productive.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank knows how important it is to keep commercial properties running at 100%, so we will work with the manager to be able to perform our tasks while staying clear of the day-today operations as much as possible.  If an area does have to be closed, we make every consideration to do our work causing the least interruption possible (after hours, weekends, etc).  We're here to help, not get in the way.

If your business suffered any type of disaster (fire, smoke, water, mold, etc), call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We have your best interest in mind!

Moisture found under tiles

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

Checking for, and finding, moisture where the homeowner was sure there wasn't.

A homeowner had a slow refrigerator leak that went undiscovered for quite some time.  He shut the water off, moved the fridge, and mopped up the water sitting on his tile floor.  But, he was concerned about moisture inside the walls, so he called SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank.

The homeowner's concerns proved true; there was water inside the walls.  But, he was amazed to find that we discovered moisture under his tile floor as well.  He was also surprised to find out that the water migrated through the wall into a closet on the other side.  Left to dry on its own, mold growth was a definite possibility in this case.

Checking for water migration is just one of the protocols that SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank knows to do on all water damages.  It only takes a few moments to rule in or rule out certain areas, when using the proper inspection tools.

If your home or business has suffered from a water loss, be it large or small, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank.  Call 708-430-3600 and you will talk to a live person 24/7/365.  Peace of mind is simply a phone call away!

SERVPRO uses the proper tools and equipment

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

It can be unwise and unsafe to rig up solutions yourself. Call the experts!

You wouldn’t use a hand grenade to kill a mosquito, would you?  Sure, it may be fun, but I think you’d do more damage than what it’s worth.  How about using a water pistol to put out a house fire?  Of course not!

So, if you have suffered a water damage to your home, then why would you use some rigged up solution to just “get by”?  SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank has all the proper tools and equipment, each one SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to properly mitigate your water damage.

No more ruining bath towels trying to mop up sewage water.  Forget using box fans to try and dry saturated drywall or carpets.  The only tool you need is your phone; pick it up and dial: 708-430-3600.

Here at SERVPRO, no matter what time of day you call or even what day of the week, you’ll talk to a live person, never an answering machine.  We’ll get the necessary information needed to begin the mitigation process, such as:

  • Where did the water originate from?
  • When did you discover the damage?
  • What rooms were affected?
  • What structure or contents were affected?

Once onsite, we will stabilize the situation, then begin to make your water damage “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank helping the community

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Bob Wehn Sr delivering a check to Burbank Fire Chief David Gilgenberg, after a recent fundraiser.

Making the community better.  That is SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank's mission. 

Whether it's ringing the bell for Salvation Army during the holiday season, or helping the Bridgeview Chamber in collecting food and toy donations for their annual Food & Toy Drive, or working with homeowners who have suffered water or smoke damage, we are here to grant aid as best as we can to as many as we can.

Local schools are another facet that SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank supports.  We performed a free ERP, or Emergency Ready Profile, evaluation to each of the Burbank schools in District #111.  We are a part of their Career Day, with marketing rep Rick Gauger as a speaker to the kids.  We also support St. Baldricks fundraiser each year.  We attended the Argo High School Higher Education Foundation's casino night at Toyota Park.

SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank is now involved in two local chambers; we have a director on the Bridgeview Chamber, and is also a member of the Bedford Park Clearing Industrial Association.

Each year, we host Continuing Education classes for the insurance industry, granting them free courses to help them retain their licenses.

If you want a company that believes in YOUR community, then SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank is the right choice!

Chicago Midway Hotels complete ERP

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

The Midway Airport hotels are now better prepared for any disaster.

Recently, the hotel complex near Midway Airport completed an ERP for each hotel.  What's an ERP, you ask?

ERP stands for Emergency Ready Profile.  It's a free service that SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank provides for all commercial properties.  It consists of:

  • A brief history of the building (when it was built, year of renovations, etc).
  • Pictures and descriptions of where the emergency shut valves are, who has access to them, and if keys or codes are needed.
  • Pictures of entrance ways and exits.
  • Emergency contact information, complete with after-hours phone numbers.
  • Contact information of all vendors you use.
  • Pictures of any special equipment used in your company's operation.
  • Pictures and descriptions of any fine art or antiques located on the property.

The Emergency Ready Profile can be geared to any type of commercial property: retail, industrial, warehousing, service oriented, etc.

Your company may have a contingency plan, which is good for when a disaster strikes, but does very little to help get you back up and running again.  If your company does not have a free ERP, give SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank a call at 708-430-3600 right away, to schedule a walk through your facility.

Discovered water in your Chicago home?

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

You've worked hard to obtain these possessions, let us work hard to save them!

It's taken years to get the basement looking like you have always wanted.  Drywall has been put up.  Carpet on the floors.  Pictures on the walls.  An entertainment center with a large screen TV to relax and get away from it all.

And then you came downstairs, and found that the carpet's wet.  And not only by the steps, but just about everywhere.  Where did this water come from?  Is it still getting into the basement?  What can I do?

Call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank!  We have the equipment necessary to find exactly where the water migrated, check any walls and/or ceilings to see if they have been affected, and take precautions that furniture is protected from any further damages.

Once we know what all has been affected, a plan is instituted to begin the drying process.  We need to dry the area(s) as quickly and efficiently as possible, to inhibit mold growth.

We work with most insurance companies, so the drying process meets their standards as well.

So, whether the water came in from the outside or from a source from inside your home, we are ready to put your life back together again.

Call us today!  708-430-3600.

We can handle any job size!

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

Whether your home suffered a cracked water line that leads to your refrigerator, or was impacted by a hurricane (like the home shown below, from Hurricane Michael), or anything in between, SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank has the resources to handle it!

Of course, any disaster that befalls your home we can handle, be it fire, smoke, water, or mold.  But, if needed, such as in the case of a large commercial property loss where the business needs to be up and running as soon as possible, we can call our network of SERVPRO professionals so that the job can be done right and as quick as possible.

The SERVPRO network is far reaching; that's why we are down in the panhandle of Florida helping out the local SERVPRO franchises there get homes, businesses, and lives back together again after the devastation of Hurricane Michael literally tearing apart the entire region.

If your home or business suffered any type of damage, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank at 708-430-3600 today.  Then, you can relax, knowing the industry leader in restoration and remediation is on the case.

SERVPRO.  As close as your phone, and available 24/7/365.

Use caution when deep frying turkeys

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

Take extra precautions during the holiday cooking season!

The holiday season is fast approaching.  Images of a golden brown turkey, stuffing, cranberries, corn, and other items on the dinner table will always bring a smile to your face.  And, I'll bet if you close your eyes, you can still smell the pumpkin pie fresh from the oven, cooling in the kitchen.

But, all these preparations take a lot of work.  And cooking fires are the number one cause of fires during the holiday season.

SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank almost always get a call from a cooking disaster on Thanksgiving or Christmas.  And many times it's from deep frying a turkey.

Here are some safety tips:

  • Always place your deep fryer away from your home, garage, decks, and even trees.  If there's a flare up, you don't want to inadvertently catch anything nearby on fire.
  • Make sure the ground the deep fryer is on is level.  Uneven ground may cause tipping once the turkey's weight is added to the fryer.
  • Make sure your turkey is COMPLETELY thawed.  Any part of the turkey still frozen will cause dangerous flare ups.
  • Make sure the turkey is dry.  Any moisture or drops will cause flare ups.
  • Use heavy duty oven mitts when handling the turkey or the fryer.
  • Have a fire extinguisher (or 2) handy and close by.
  • Have our number, 708-430-3600, already inputted into your phone, in case you need us for any fire or smoke damage.

Musty smell in your Chicago home?

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Some mold is easy to see, while there might be mold behind the walls as well.

We've all experienced it.  Go down into your basement, crawl space, or even up into the attic and you encounter a musty smell.  Some days it smells worse than others.

That smell most likely is active mold, and it is currently flourishing.  It can be out in plain sight, or it can hidden in walls, ceilings, or even under your flooring.

When mold is active, it consumes wood, paper, cardboard, or fabrics, and it is throwing off this smell.  If conditions cause the mold to go dormant (like take away moisture), little to no smell can be detected.

Mold has to be physically removed to help prevent further growth.  Cutting out affected drywall, for instance.  But care must be taken with these pieces as to not cross contaminate other areas of the home.

Call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank.  708-430-3600.  We have the knowledge and experience necessary to help get rid of your mold problem.  We can tackle the actual mold and odors, all while protecting you and your home from further exposure.

Don't risk you or your family's health by trying to do it yourself.  Call 708-430-3600 today and schedule an inspection.  After SERVPRO is done, you'll be able to breathe a sigh of relief!

October is Fire Prevention Month

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

No one plans for a fire, but you can plan FOR a fire.

In October 1871, there were many fires burning in the Midwest.  The largest and deadliest was NOT the Great Chicago Fire, even though the folklore is deep with that fire, with a cow supposedly kicking over a lantern.

Since 1922, the U.S. has observed a Fire Prevention Week, the second week of the month.  In 2000, we added a Fire Prevention Month.

Are you prepared for a fire, either to prevent one or escape one if one starts?  Here are a few helpful tips to keep your family safe:


  • There should be one on every level of your home.
  • It is recommended that there be one in every bedroom, and at least one outside of sleeping areas.
  • Smoke alarms should either be mounted in a ceiling, or no greater than 10" from a ceiling on top of a wall.
  • Try to keep smoke alarms at least 10' from cooking areas, as there would be numerous false alarms.
  • They should be cleaned periodically, and the batteries changed regularly.  A good rule of thumb: when you change your clocks in the spring and fall, also change the batteries in your smoke alarms, and clean the to keep dust and grease away from openings.


  • There should be one on every level of the home, plus the garage if you have one.
  • There should be at least one in or near the cooking area.
  • Fire extinguishers come in different purposes, so make sure you have the proper type.  Type A = all purpose, while type K = kitchen use.  There are other types as well.
  • When using a fire extinguisher, remember PASS - Pull pin, Aim at base of fire, Squeeze trigger, Sweep from side to side.


  • Have an escape plan, where there's at least two exits from every room.
  • Have a meeting place outside, and away from the house, so everyone can be accounted for.
  • Practice this plan with children, so they know what to do if a fire alarm goes off.

Water hidden in/behind walls

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water pooling on the floor is easy to see.  Water sitting in carpet is easy to feel.  But what about water in and behind walls?  Or ceilings?  Or floors?

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank has all the proper tools to check for moisture behind walls, under flooring, or in ceilings.  And we don't have to make inspection holes.  

Moisture meters are designed to check or moisture where you suspect it may be.  In the picture below, the wall looked dry; there wasn't any obvious signs of it being wet.  But, the meter shows that the window well indeed leaked, and the wall is very wet.  If not properly mitigated quickly, mold will soon colonize and grow in the affected wall cavities.

Thermal imaging cameras are also used to help confirm what the moisture meters have found.  They also can help detect where the water migrated, especially under flooring.  You can read more about thermal imaging cameras on a previous blog:  www.SERVPRObedfordparkburbank.com/blog/post/41700/water-damage-restoration/finding-hidden-water-damages

We also utilize another meter designed especially for wood studs, checking the moisture content in the framing.  We need to ensure that all structure, framing, walls, floors, and ceilings (and any affected furniture) are dry, preventing any mold from growing.

If you suffered any water damages, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We have the detection methods and drying procedures to make your property good as new.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank helping Midwest flooding

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

The trucks are staged, and ready to roll!

In August, SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank made a couple of short trips, one to Iowa and another to Wisconsin.  Both trips were to help businesses and residents with flooding issues, due to repeated heavy rains.

The first trip was to northern Iowa.  Wave after wave of heavy rains caused widespread flooding in many areas.  Within hours of the call for assistance, SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank was on their way.

A few days after returning from Iowa, central Wisconsin got hit with heavy downpours, with more than a foot of rain falling in about a day's time in areas just west of Madison.  Again, just hours after the call came in, SERVPRO was back out on the road.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank prepares for storms, but not quite in the same manner you would do at home.  Sure, we make sure nothing of value is at risk from getting storm water damage inside our building.  We also prepare for the next call, be it from the Storm Team directing us to visit a hard hit community, to having the necessary equipment and tools to handle water or sewage that infiltrated your home or business.

If water has invaded your home or business, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank 24/7/365 at 708-430-3600.

Prepared for the next storm?

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Equipment at the ready, awaiting your call!

It seems lately that we are having “Once-in-a-lifetime” storms just about every year.  Hurricane Harvey is a prime example.

Now, no one can prepare for 50” of rain in just a few days.  But, are you ready for 10” of rain?  5” of rain?  Even 1” of rain? 

These are just a few of the things you can do now to prepare for the next storm:

  • Are your gutters clean and free of debris?
  • Do you have downspouts to direct water away from your foundation?
  • Did you remove any low spots along the sides of your home, so water will not pool there?
  • If your home is susceptible to flooding, are your appliances and furniture in lower levels raised up on blocks?
  • Did you remove all cardboard boxes from your lowest level?
  • Are all your irreplaceable items stored in a safe, dry place?

If you said yes to all these questions, then you are prepared for the next storm event.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank is also prepared for the next storm event, and the one after that, and the one after that.  We have machines at the ready to extract standing water, dry structure, and dehumidify inside air.  We have meters and cameras to check for hidden moisture, behind walls and under floors.

If Mother Nature was an uninvited guest inside your home, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We’re ready for that call!

SERVPRO Bedford park/Burbank helps Bridgeview Chamber

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Part of the Bridgeview Chamber Executive Board along with volunteers pose at the golf outing.

Recently, SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank helped the Bridgeview Chamber during their biggest fundraiser of the year, their annual golf outing.  Our Marketing Rep Rick Gauger ran the closest to the pin contest.  There were other contests as well, such as longest drive and lowest score.

Monies raised for this fundraiser went to the Chamber's Scholarship Fund, which aids local kids pay for their college tuition.  Besides the golf, there were many raffle prizes.  This year's golf outing was the best fundraiser the Chamber has had in many years.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank is always willing to help the community!  Whether it is volunteering at a church, helping local Chambers, or cleaning up after storms, you can count on SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank to lend a helping hand.

SERVPRO has guaranteed pricing and protocols

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

Can you pick out the commercial building that was prepared for the storm?

SERVPRO Corporate has sat down and struck a deal to certain commercial accounts, setting up specific pricing and protocols established and agreed to by both parties.  This ensures that the same consistent and even service is given to those commercial properties, whether it was called into the local SERVPRO franchise (like SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank) or to the SERVPRO National call center.  Water, fire or smoke damages, or any restoration or mitigation services needed, are included.

So, whether you own, manage, or insure a commercial property, you can rest assured that your commercial property will be given the best quality service, the quickest response times, and fair pricing.  There won’t be any wasted time haggling about procedures or pricing.  Just let SERVPRO do its thing to get you back to normal ASAP.

If you’re interested in checking to see if your commercial property is already on the list, call SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.

How to clean cigarette smoke

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Cigarette smoke has turned this white cover gold.

What can you find in cigarette smoke?  There are some toxic compounds, and some compounds that are carcinogenic.  The most abundant compounds found in cigarette smoke are: tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide.  You will also find traces of acetone, ammonia, benzine, and formaldehyde.

A person who smokes will not leave a great deal of smoke damage to walls, furniture, drapes, etc, from just ONE cigarette.  But, over time, the smoke accumulates on these objects, and will continue to stain until it is cleaned.

Tobacco smoke will adhere to all surfaces it touches, leaving a sticky, yellowish-brown substance where the smoking has taken place.  SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank can clean years of accumulated smoke residues.  Also, along with the cleaning, SERVPRO will also deodorize the affected areas.  In the end, it will feel clean, smell clean, and be clean!

If you know someone who needs smoking residue removed, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.

Who's hungry, for food and knowledge?

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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!

May is Building Safety Month

4/29/2018 (Permalink)

Large or small, we can handle it all!

May is 2018 Building Safety Month, as sponsored by the ICC, or International Code Council.  Also, May 13 - May 19 is Preparing for Natural Disasters Week, something that we here at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank feel strongly about.

This is the 38th year that the ICC has designated May as Building Safety Month.  And, according to their website:

"All communities need building codes to protect their citizens from disasters like fires, weather related events, and structural collapse.  Building codes are society's best way of protecting homes, offices, schools, manufacturing facilities, stores, and entertainment venues."

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank believes that preparation is the key.  That is why we have been working with commercial clients using the Emergency Ready Program.  You can read about the ERP in another blog on this website: (SERVPRObedfordparkburbank.com/blog/post/34308/commercial/free-program-for-commercial-clients).

If you are a property manager or owner, take a few minutes to look around your facility and ask this question: "Are we ready if a fire, storm, or other unforeseen event would strike?" Whether the answer is a yes or no, make sure you have our phone number plugged into your phone: 708-430-3600, because we are ready to take your call and assist you, regardless of the event!

Build an emergency kit

4/26/2018 (Permalink)

This time of year, the weather itself adds to the list of disasters that can befall you.  Tornadoes, severe storms, lightning strikes all can hit around your home, many times with very little notice.

Be prepared at your home or business for that unexpected disaster, with an emergency kit.  You should have enough supplies in your kit to last at least three days.  Some of the suggested items:

  • Three day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Plastic utensils and plates
  • Bottled water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • First aid kit plus a dust mask
  • Prescription medications
  • Hygiene products
  • Sleeping bag and/or blankets
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Phone charger
  • Change of clothes
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Whistle/Glow Stix to signal for help
  • Unique supplies for an infant or senior citizen (if necessary)
  • Extra cash
  • Tool to shut off utilities (wrench, vice grips, pliers)
  • Manual can opener, if you have canned food
  • Garbage bags, for sanitation and to possibly wear

Have these items (and more, if you have any specific needs) at a handy place, if you need to leave in a hurry or to shelter in place.

For more information about emergency kits, check out Ready.gov.

Tornado facts

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

Tornadoes strike anywhere, even in a city!

Our cool weather this late winter/spring has kept severe weather away from the area so far.  But, did you know we are in the heart of tornado season?

Illinois has had tornadoes strike every month of the year, as early as January, and as late as December 23rd (Merry Christmas!).  Though the vast majority of tornadoes strike in the March, April, and May months.

The time of the day doesn't matter either, but the 3:00 - 7:00 pm time slight is slightly favored.  Tornadoes after dark are the worst because you cannot see them coming.

The weather service has greatly improved getting watches and warnings out to the public.  If you watch the Weather Channel, they even tell you DAYS in advance where the prime areas might be.  On our Twitter page, we even keep you apprised of possible hazardous weather.

Some tornado myths have been debunked:

  • Do NOT open your windows.  Scientists thought that the uneven pressure caused homes to collapse, which is doesn't.  Take that time to take shelter instead.
  • Stay in the southwest corner of your building.  The thinking was that most tornadoes move southwest to northeast, and the southwest corner would be the safest spot.  Find a secure spot in your lowest level.
  • A tornado will not hit the same community twice.  Tell that to the people of Codell, KS, who suffered a tornado on May 20th in each year of 1916, 1917, & 1918!

The strongest tornadoes can hit wind speeds of >300 mph, be two miles wide, and travel >20 miles on the ground.  The infamous Tri-state tornado, March 18, 1925, traveled >200 miles and lasted three hours! 

SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank traveled to Massachusetts!

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

Snow Storm in the Northeast area!

It wasn’t a good start of the year for many Massachusetts residents, the beginning of January of 2018 we were asked to travel to the state of MA as a lot of people had water damage due to broken pipes and Ice Daming damage in their homes due to freezing temperatures.

Some customers had no electricity or heat available, these conditions made the restoration process a little difficult, but as soon as these issues were resolved, we immediately started the demolition/drying process.

Unfortunately, after we left town a couple more snow storms hit the northeast area. 

SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Bubank has the capability to travel to any part of the country, thankfully we count with professional employees and specialized equipment to assist to any size disaster in the United States

It's grilling season again!

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Keep the fires INSIDE the grill!

If you’re anything like me, you LOVE BBQ grilling.  There’s nothing as delicious as food that has been prepared on an outdoor grill.

As you get your grill and apron ready for another mouth-watering season, please remember these safety tips:

  • Do NOT use an outdoor grill indoors. That includes the basement, garage, or any structure that can catch fire.
  • Never leave your grill unattended. Accidents, such as pets or a gust of wind can cause the grill to tip over, and ignite nearby items on fire.  Also, keep young children away from grills.
  • Clean your grill when an accumulation of grease appears. Grease fires start quickly, and can get out of hand just as quickly.
  • If you are using charcoal, ensure that every coal is completely out before attempting to remove it from the grill.
  • If you are using propane, make sure all fittings are secure before lighting the grill.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher nearby, in case fire spreads outside of the grill.
  • Place the grill where the smoke will not enter an open door or window. Smoke from a grill can stick to door frames, walls, etc, and then catch other pollutants.

Have a safe grilling season, from your friends at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank!

Mold in the attic

4/1/2018 (Permalink)

The attic is one place where mold can grow, but how often do you get up there?

Sometime during the winter, you had a roof leak.  Perhaps it’s because of missing shingles, or perhaps you had some ice damming.  Either way, water invaded your attic.  And since you were unaware of its presence, it was left to dry on its own.  But before it could dry, mold started to grow.

You had the windows and doors open for a couple of really nice Spring days, and then closed everything up when the rains came.  Once everything was closed up, you noticed a slight musty smell in the upstairs bedroom and bath.  Upon investigation, you found the culprit; mold in the attic.

The roofer came in and repaired the roof.  The roofers did a great job repairing/replacing only what was needed.  You’re convinced the roof will not leak again.

A couple of months later, that moldy, musty smell returned, especially after another rainstorm.  You check the attic area, and cannot see any obvious wet spots.  But the smell is worse there.

Even though you spent a great deal of money on the roof, you failed to get rid of the mold in the attic.  In essence, you treated the symptom and not the disease.

That musty smell means you have active mold, mold that at this minute is eating drywall, insulation, paper, cardboard, anything and everything it can.  You need to call in the mold experts.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank has the experience and expertise dealing with mold.  We know what can be treated and what needs to be removed.  We even have treatments that can help prevent mold from occurring again.

If you suspect mold has infiltrated your home, call us at 708-430-3600 and set up a no-obligation inspection.  You’ll be glad you did!

Preventing mold in storage areas

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Many times there's more mold hidden behind the walls than hat you can see.

It’s time to put away the winter clothes and get out the summer gear, and get ready for some fun in the sun!  But, the storage area you put the summer clothes in now has a musty odor, and you can see some mold staining on a few of the clothes.

But, don’t make the same mistake this season, pack the winter clothes away carefully and perhaps avoid a repeat in the fall.  Here are some tips:

Don’t pack wet/damp clothes or items away.  Anything damp will not dry quickly in the confined space of a closet, attic, crawl space, or any storage area.  Ensure that everything to be packed away is completely dry.

Don’t pack items too tightly.  Air currents help prevent mold from finding a cool, damp place to hide, and then colonize.  Try to leave space in between hangers in a closet, and don’t pack plastic tubs full to near overflowing.

Keep closet/storage areas doors open (when possible).  Just like above, you need air to circulate as much as possible.  So, if you have the doors and windows open on a nice, Spring day, also open your closet doors and dresser drawers, to let the air circulate in those areas as well.

If you see mold, or smell a musty odor, do NOT ignore it.  Mold will not simply go away; it will go dormant until another shot of moisture triggers it again.  Mold can be dormant for many years.

If you think you may have a mold situation, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank.  We can come out and inspect the areas, and, if you do have mold, give you options on how to combat it.

Ways water can get into your home

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

Just a few examples of how water can cause damages in your home

Water can get into your home many ways, and not just through the pipes.  Just a few examples of ways water can cause damages:

  • Roof leak. Well-worn or missing shingles can allow water to infiltrate the roofing materials, and thereby can damage your upper level or attic.
  • Sewage back-up. Raw sewage can back up through the drains and/or toilets in your home, causing damage, not to mention a terrible odor.
  • Water can find even the smallest cracks in your foundation and find its way inside your home.
  • Bathtub or sink overflows. Although unintentional, filling up a bathtub or sink beyond its capacity can also cause damages to your home.
  • Pipe breaks. Age and everyday wear and tear will cause pipes to have a catastrophic break, leaking or spraying water that many times will go unnoticed for several days.
  • Little or missing insulation in an outside wall sometimes will cause condensation to develop, especially in the Spring and Autumn seasons.

If you have suffered a water damage to your home, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank 708-430-3600.  We have the proper moisture detection and drying equipment to make it "Like it never even happened.”

The science of drying

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

Water invaded your castle? Call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank

There is a science to drying structure, called Psychrometrics.  In a nutshell, it means that there are several factors to take into account when determining how to dry a structure, and just how much equipment would be needed to complete the process.

Some of the factors are:

  • Amount of water needing to be extracted.
    • In the affected area, is there an inch of water that needs to be removed, or several feet?
  • Air temperature.
    • Warm air does two things: it can hold more moisture than cool air, and it also helps the evaporation process. Both are essential in getting the moisture out of structure and into the air.
  • Relative humidity.
    • Outdoor relative humidity can have an adverse effect on the humidity inside the home.
  • Air movement.
    • Air movement aids the drying process, and gets the moisture up and into the air.
    • Now that the moisture is in the air, dehumidifiers can collect that moisture and dispose of it properly.
  • Area size.
    • The size of the area that needs to be dried can vary the strategy. It’s much easier to dry a closet than it is to dry a gymnasium.
  • Material type.
    • Some things dry very quickly, while others cannot. Where drywall takes up to a couple of days to dry, a plastic tote will not.  And what about insulation?

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank are experts in not only drying out structure, but also help prevent mold from becoming an issue.

So, if you have suffered a water damage, fret not!  Call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We can come out and determine the best way to dry the damaged areas in your home.

Ice damming can lead to more damages

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

A pretty scene, but things could be ugly inside your roof.

Icicles hanging from your roof and gutters can be pretty, and the kids love playing with them.  But, seeing icicles hanging from a roof can be a symptom of a much more serious issue.

When your gutters get full of snow and ice, water and ice accumulates on your roof.  The water can work its way back up the roof and under the shingles on your roof, thereby causing water to drip into your attic or any room near the dam.  Water can migrate several feet from the actual intrusion of the roofing shingles.

If you happen to see wet spots in your ceiling close to an outside wall, its possible you have water inside dripping from your roof.  If you see water drops falling from inside your house, then it's conformed you have water intrusion!

Call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank.  We can check for water migration using a thermal imaging camera, so we won't have to make any inspection holes or remove any trim.  Then, we can dry the structure, and spray an antimicrobial to help prevent mold.

Having an air test to check mold levels

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

Collecting an air sample in a room formerly affected by mold.

Sometimes in mold remediation, protocol calls for an air test after the work has been completed, to ensure mold levels inside the home or business closely match the levels outside.  If levels inside the home or business are higher than those outside, the remediation is not complete.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank has an independent company come in and perform the air test.  The tech will collect an air sample outside the structure, and usually do 2 inside.  The samples are then sent to a lab.  Results are generally known in a couple of days.

The tech also uses a thermal imaging camera inside the structure, to ensure all moisture has been mitigated as well I the affected areas.

Making sure the job is done, and done well, is all part of the SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank strategy!  Results you can count on!

If you think you have mold issues in your home or business, call the experts at SERVPRO.  708-430-3600.

Packing out when local realtor suffers water damages

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Files from a local realtor stored securely at SERVPRO.

When a local realtor had a couple of pipes burst during a cold snap, SERVPRO was there to not only extract the water, but dry the structure as well.  But, what about the contents?

Like most businesses, this realtor had lots of paper files stored in filing cabinets. Most stayed dry, away from the water spraying throughout the office, but some files did get wet/moist, luckily, none too serious.

As the structure was drying, SERVPRO packed out the files, putting them in boxes for easy storage and labeled so a single file would be easy to find.  These files are shown stored in our secure warehouse until the realtor's office is ready to be put back together again.  If the realtor suddenly needs a particular file, we can find the boxes that came from that person's office, which cabinet drawer it came from, and presto!

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank.  Ready to help your commercial or residential loss 24/7/365.

Graffiti removal at a Burbank school

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Removing graffiti from a Burbank school.

Some kids don't want to be at school; as soon as the bell rings, they're gone!  But, there are some kids who don't mind being at school, and unfortunately it isn't for studying purposes.

Some kids entered school grounds after hours and spray painted some graffiti on one of the walls.  The school knew just what to do, because earlier in the year they initiated an Emergency Ready Program, a FREE service offered to all commercial clients by SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank.  By checking under the category: Graffiti Removal, they saw that we can handle it.

The same morning of the call, we were on site and beginning the restoration process.  And, in no time at all, the job was complete, without any disruption to the school day!

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank is aware that any commercial client, a school, church, retail or service shop, cannot be shut down unless it was absolutely necessary.  We make every attempt to do our work without hindering the regular work flow at your place of business.

If you would like more information on the Emergency Ready Program,  http://www.SERVPRObedfordparkburbank.com/blog/commercial#34308

If you are a residential or commercial client, and need clean up, restoration, or mitigation services performed, give SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank a call at 708-430-3600 any time 24/7/365.

Smoke detectors can save your life!

11/22/2017 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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:


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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)

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.


  • 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. 


  • 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 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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.

Flooded basement in your Chicago home?

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank has equipment ready to handle your water damage!

SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank is ready to handle whatever Mother Nature has thrown you.  We have plenty of equipment to remove the water and dry out your structure and contents, even if it's more than one room or even more than one floor!

  • Water extraction equipment - to remove the standing water on floors, and pull as much water and sewage from carpet and pad.
  • Moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras - to detect the migration of water under floors and inside wall cavities.
  • Dehumidifiers - to remove as much moisture from the air in affected rooms to speed up the drying process.
  • Air scrubbing machines - to aid in removing mold spores floating in the air of rooms affected by mold.
  • Anti-microbial sprayers - used to help prevent new mold growth on all affected structures.

Being a part of the SERVPRO team means that we work with most insurance companies, with predetermined pricing and protocols, giving you the peace of mind knowing that all our work is approved.

We are available 24/7/365, because we know that storms don't happen only between 8:00 & 5:00 Monday through Fridays.  So stop mopping!  You can reach us at: 708-430-3600.

Home fire aftermath: Do's & Dont's

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Let the professional assess the situation, and come up with a game plan to battle this fire damage.

If your home has suffered a fire damage, here are some Do's & Dont's to help prevent further damage:


  • Limit movement in your home to prevent soot particles getting embedded into your carpet or rugs.
  • Saving the plants?  Wash both sides of the leaves with milk.  Milk neutralizes the acidic soot particles.
  • Carefully wipe soot from chrome on appliances and faucets.
  • Place cheesecloth over air registers to help keep soot in or out of your HVAC system.


  • Touch drywall with your fingertips.  The oil from your hands can set the stain permanently.
  • Try to wash walls, ceilings or other painted surfaces.  Again, this could actually set the stain.
  • Turn on any ceiling fans if the ceiling is/was wet.  The wiring may be damaged, causing an electrical shock.  And, air movement may create secondary damages.
  • Consume any food or medications that may have been affected by flames or heat. These may be contaminated.

SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank has trained personnel dealing with fire / smoke damages.  

From drying structure and contents left behind by the firefighters, to cleaning up fire extinguisher residue, to removing smoke odors, a simple call to 708-430-3600 can get the process started!

Car into building

6/9/2017 (Permalink)

This business wasn't prepared for drive through service.

Accidents can happen anytime and to anybody! And SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank can help you when those situations arise.

What you see in the picture was an unfortunate incident when one of our commercial customers experienced a car crashing directly through the front of their business, taking out a large window and most of the surrounding brick. Thankfully no one was hurt.  SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank responded immediately after the call came in and stabilized the situation, thereby allowing the business to open ASAP.

This is just an example of what we can do, and we board up a lot of businesses as well as homes for many different reasons, no matter the size of the damage. 

Keep in mind we are available for service 24/7/365.  So, if the unexpected has happened to you, call SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank at 708-430-3600.

Cleaning Commercial Vandalism

6/7/2017 (Permalink)

From boarding up broken windows to removing graffiti, SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank is here to get your commercial property back to normal.

We are aware of how stressing and upsetting vandalism and graffiti can be, but SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank can assist you in the unfortunate event that your home or business has been vandalized. Our highly trained cleaning technicians can clean up your property and remove vandalism or graffiti, plus any potential hazards left behind.

The first thing you want to do if you experience any of these issues is to search for professional help. Trying to do the job yourself may make the situation worse, and it can be potentially dangerous!  But remember, the more time that goes by without it being treated the worse the situation can get!

SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank is ready to make it "Like it never even happened."  Simply call us 24/7/365 at 708-430-3600 to start the process right away.

Prepared for the next storm!

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

Waiting until the last minute usually is NOT the best advice.

Preparation is the key for any task to be efficient and cost effective.  Storm damage restoration is no different.

SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank is already prepared for the next storm to roll through the area, no matter when it decides to hit.  We have meters and thermal imaging cameras charged, ready to find any hidden moisture in walls, ceilings, or flooring.  Our extraction equipment is at the ready, prepared to pick up any standing water.  Air movers and dehumidifiers are staged on the trucks, ready to dry out any size water damage, residential or commercial.  

We have seen first hand what damages storms can produce.  We were able to help those so inflicted in Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia, New York, as well as those here in the Chicago area.  Being prepared ahead of time allows us to initiate the battle plan as quickly as possible, thereby keeping secondary damages to a minimum and getting the homeowner or business owner back to normal as soon as possible.

Probably the best preparation you can do today is put our phone number into your phone or mobil device:  SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank  708-430-3600.  If you suffer any kind of storm damage, you can call us 24/7/365, and we will come out, assess the damage, and start the mitigation process.

Commercial water damages in Chicago

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

If water damaged one room, an entire warehouse, or several floors in your building, SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank is ready to get you back open ASAP.

Ask some business owners to visualize water damage, they will often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down blocks of businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and other weather events. However, many business owners forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. 

Commercial water damages in Chicago are surprisingly common year-round, and they can drastically affect the operation of any business. Here are some of the more typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings:

  1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems 
    There are many older office and retail buildings that still have outdated sprinkler systems working in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause considerable water damage if they fail or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets, and cause disruption of business.
  2. Damaged appliances and equipment 
    Generally more common in restaurants, this cause of commercial water damage can also affect any business that has appliances or equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency. 
  3. Plumbing failure                                   Just like in a home, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails, water damage could be the result. And, unlike a storm, you normally won’t see this coming. 
  4. Sewer back ups 
    Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated raw sewage, which not only can cause health effects but ruin products and office furnishings. SERVPRO has certified AMRT technicians to deal with this type of water damage.

So, if you have suffered a commercial water loss, please call SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank at 708-430-3600 and we will come out ASAP and assess the damage.

Storm Watches vs Storm Warnings

5/26/2017 (Permalink)

Stay informed, and take appropriate action!


Means to “BE ALERT”; severe thunderstorms are possible in/or around the watch area.  The watch area can be large, covering numerous counties or even states, and usually encompasses several hours.  But that doesn’t mean not to be prepared to act in case of a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.  The best thing you can do when a thunderstorm watch is being issued is to stay informed, try to get multiple ways to get weather info. Don’t just rely in one method of weather info, plan for things like power outages or poor reception. And, always keep an eye to the sky.


Means to “TAKE ACTION”; severe weather has been reported in the immediate area and requires prompt action. Warnings usually encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or county) and a shorter time frame, usually an hour.  Be ready to take protective measures. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life/property, so take appropriate shelter immediately.

Encountering mold in your Chicago home

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Mold like this can also be hidden inside the walls!

Winter is finished for another year.  As you put the winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves away, you notice a musty smell in your storage area.  And those Spring/Summer clothes you are dragging out also smell a bit musty.  What you smell is active mold!

Mold spores are floating around everywhere, indoors and out.  When they land on something they can digest (wood, drywall, paper), and encounter a bit of moisture, they start to grow and colonize.  As they eat that substance, they release toxins in the air; that's the musty smell you detected.

If you simply take away the moisture without removing the mold, the mold will simply go dormant and sit and wait for more moisture to energize again and grow.  Mold has to be physically removed to prevent that from happening.

Call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank, and a qualified mold technician will come out, assess the situation, and give you the best course of action.  Waiting or postponing the situation will only bring temporary relief, not a permanent solution.

So, if you encounter musty smells in your attic, crawlspace, basement, or storage area, call SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank right away!

Completing a home inventory

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Storms arrive quickly, so plan now to help save time, money, and heartaches.

Do you have a Home Inventory Ready?


Spring Season is storm season, and it could be the right time to start one! Being prepared ahead of time could save you thousands of dollars, time and headaches, because you will have something to give your insurance company in the event of a disaster.

In the event you suffer storm damages, SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank specializes in the restoration of contents damaged by water, fire or mold.  And, working together with you and your insurance company, we can help make it “Like it never even happened”.

Here a few steps that will help you create your Home/apartment/office inventory:

1- Take pictures. Make sure you take pictures of all your belongings, heirlooms, and prized possessions in every room of your house/apartment/office. Once the pictures are taken, label them with a description, including where you bought each item along with the make, model and serial numbers.

2- Video record it. Video record every room in your house/apartment/office specifying the contents/valuables you record in the video.  Narrate the video as to the particulars of each item.

3- Keep and store an electronic file. Use your computer or mobile device to create and store your inventory list and keep your inventory along with receipts in your safe deposit box, on a disk or at a friend or family member’s home.  You can also email the file to yourself.

Here is a website that is a great place to start:  https://knowyourstuff.org/

You may also utilize this time to purge those items that are no longer needed.

The pitfalls of DIY storm damage cleaning

5/19/2017 (Permalink)

Water not mitigated quickly and properly has caused mold to grow.

Recently, a large complex of storms rolled through the area.  Lots of rain fell.  Your sump pump works fine, but it just couldn’t keep up with the rain rate; the heavy rain simply overpowered your pump.  Now, you have raw sewage in your basement.

You look at your spouse, and say: “Get the buckets and the rubber gloves!  Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work!”  Working through the night, you get as much standing water off the floor and out of your carpet, you open the windows and set up a box fan or two to help dry the area.  It was hard work, but you are satisfied at the job you both did.  Until,…

Several days later, a musty smell begins to move from the basement to areas upstairs.  Was there water you missed?  Did the carpet always smell like this?  And why is the paneling on the wall starting to buckle?

Well, even Superman had an off day!

Sewage water contains bacteria, viruses, and parasites, and that water is now trapped in your drywall, in your carpet, even in your wall framing.  By not getting rid of enough moisture, you have allowed mold to grow, especially in wall cavities.  A relatively simple problem of water damage in your basement has now become water AND mold damages.


The storm is over and you go downstairs only to realize the sump couldn’t keep up with the rain rates, and now you have sewage water in your basement.  You look at your spouse and say: “Call SERVPRO!  They know exactly what to do!”

SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank arrives on the scene.  Affected areas in the walls and flooring are noted, using a thermal imaging camera and moisture meters.  Trained crew members extract as much standing water as possible, then discard affected materials that can’t be cleaned (drywall, carpet, pad, cardboard boxes, etc).  They spray an antimicrobial on the floors, walls, and framing to help inhibit mold growth.  Then they bring in drying equipment, including fans and dehumidifiers, and set them in a pattern that best dries the basement quickly.

SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank is available 24/7/365, and is as close as your phone.  One simple call to 708-430-3600 gets the ball rolling, and before you know it, you’re back living a normal life again.

Trust SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank to be your “superhero” on your next water related damage, be it one room or an entire apartment complex.  We have the knowledge, the experience, to save you time, money, and to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Different types of fires

5/15/2017 (Permalink)

No signs of structural damage, but there is some smoke/soot damage in this room.

All fires are unique, from the different ignition sources to the types of materials and structure affected.  The trained staff at SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank can determine the type of fire and the best way to clean it up.

Different types of soot

A fire that mostly wood and paper products burn will have high heat and will create a dry soot; lots of ash that is relatively easy to clean.  Think of a fireplace once the season is over, and you have to clean the ash that is left over.

A fire that has lots of rubber or plastic products that burn will have a stickier residue with a more pungent smell.  This type of soot is harder to clean, and also tougher to get the odor out.

If you have a fire that has animal fats and/or proteins (like leaving chicken to cook on the stove and then forget about it until it's too late), that fire leaves a very sticky and smeary type of soot that is very difficult to clean and deodorize.

Don't take a chance trying to clean smoke or soot damage yourself; trust the experts at SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank to come out and assess the damage and determine the best course of action.

Finding hidden water damages

5/3/2017 (Permalink)

Thermal Imaging Camera used to detect water damage in a home. The blue areas are wet/moist, while the yellow/orange areas are dry.

During the recent rains, did your home or business suffer a water loss, and now you suspect there might be water hidden behind a wall or trapped in the ceiling?  No need to panic!

SERVPRO of Bedford Park /Burbank utilizes a thermal imaging camera, able to detect moisture behind drywall, paneling, or wallpaper.  This, used in conjunction with moisture meters, enables us to pinpoint exactly where the water travelled, and also confirms which areas have not been affected.  This means we do not have to make inspection holes to see if the insulation is wet, nor waste time to find the path the water took.

With a simple point and click, we can determine the areas that need to be dried, and areas completely unaffected by water, thereby saving time and any unnecessary destruction to the home or business.  And that will save money as well.

At SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank, we strive to make that water damage “Like it never even happened.”  Call us at: 708-430-3600.

Mold in a Car

4/25/2017 (Permalink)

Milk left for months while this vehicle was in storage.

Milk.  It does a body good.  Unless you find it in a back of a vehicle, and it's been sitting there for months.  Six months.

This vehicle was involved in an accident upon returning from a supermarket.  A couple gallons of milk was in the back, and the containers leaked milk all over the back carpet and into crevasses down deep.  The vehicle was stored in an impound lot for months.  Mold grew, and flourished, inside the closed up vehicle.

When the litigation was complete, and it was time to put the vehicle back together again, there was an incredible stench inside, along with mold all along the back carpet.

SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank was called in, and we not only performed the mold remediation, but also deodorized the inside so well, there wasn't even a trace of moldy milk left.

SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank has had some unique calls over the years, but it's hard to find a situation that we can't handle! 

Major causes of home fires

4/11/2017 (Permalink)

This room may not have been directly in the flames, but is covered in soot.

There are about 365,000 home fires every year, continuing a steady decline from the 1970’s, when there were about 723,000 home fires in the US.


Below is the list of causes of home fires in the US:

#5 Appliances.  They account for nearly 14,000* fires every year.  When was the last time you cleaned out the back of your dryer and not just the lint trap?

#4 Smoking.  Smoking accounts for more than 17,000* fires every year in the US.  If you must smoke, extinguish and properly discard your materials.

#3 Electrical.  Electrical fires account for more than 28,000* US home fires annually.  Is that old extension cord frayed or safe?

#2 Heating.  More than 57,000* US home fires are traced back to heating causes.  Space heaters placed too close to combustible objects are just one of the causes.  Fireplace rollouts are another cause.

#1 Cooking.  Cooking fires make up more than 160,000* fire calls each year in the US.  Unattended cooking is one of the major causes of this fire.

Ask yourself these questions:  Are all the smoke detectors in the house working properly?  When did I last test them or change the batteries?  When was the last time the fire extinguishers were checked?

* NFPA figures.

Difference between mold and mildew

4/11/2017 (Permalink)

The room sustained several inches or water damage, and mold was the result in this case.

Both mold and mildew are part of the fungi kingdom, very similar in appearance.  They both need a moist environment to thrive.  They both throw off a musty smell, a telltale sign that you have active mold or mildew.

Mold can be found anywhere in your home or business, living on some organic material (wood, drywall, paper, etc) that is moist enough to have it continue to colonize. It has a root system that gets into the material as it eats it. 

Mildew can be anywhere in the home as well, but primarily found in the bathroom. Mildew does not have a root system, so you can find it on tile, say in the shower, living on the soap residue. And since it does not have a root system, it is easily cleaned off. Outside of the bathroom, you will find mildew generally on plants. 

In either case, simply removing the moisture is not the answer; it needs to be completely removed. Without moisture, it will simply go dormant, waiting for another source of moist conditions to energize it again. They can be dormant for years!

If you have any questions about mold or mildew in your home or business, simply call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank and schedule an inspection.

Water damage in the Chicago area

4/5/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank is ready to tackle your water damage!

When you think of water damages, you first think of a flooded basement, with a couple of inches to maybe a foot (or more) of sewage.  And, we get those types of calls.  But water damage can occur from many other sources:

  • Broken or split pipe

  • Sink or bathtub overflow

  • Roof leak

  • Condensation

  • Accident (an aquarium tipped over)

  • Plus many more!

SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank has the tools necessary to pinpoint the damaged areas, assess the damages, and come up with a plan to get you back to a normal life as soon as possible!

From thermal cameras to non-penetrating and penetrating meters, we can find exactly where the water traveled.  No need to make guesses and inspection holes in your walls.

We can extract the standing water, and remove as much as possible from carpet and pad, if necessary.

Fans are then placed, to get the air moving, throwing the moisture up in the air to be captured by large dehumidifiers.  Air movement also helps prevent mold from colonizing.

Once dry, a mold inhibitor is sprayed as an extra defense against any possible mold growth.

So, if you have suffered water invading your home or business, relax.  A call to SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank at 708-430-3600 will make it “Like it never even happened.” 

SERVPRO Bedford Park a sponsor at CYC Fundraiser

3/13/2017 (Permalink)

Chicago Youth Center fundraiser at Wintrust Banking Center in downtown Chicago.

Friday, March 10, 2017, SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank was one of many sponsors of the CYC Fundraiser at the Wintrust Banking Center in downtown Chicago.  CYC stands for Chicago Youth Center, an amazing facility that offers children 3-18 years old for full or half day educational and recreational programs in the South Shore neighborhood.

Their goal at this black tie affair was to raise $90,000 in a single evening with many raffle prizes donated, including several items from the World Champion Chicago Cubs!  Attendees were also encouraged to make personal donations as well.

SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank is proud to support the fine work done at the CYC.  The kids do craft items, learn to play musical instruments, work as a team to build robots, and other tasks that encourage the kids to use their imagination while building team cooperation.

How do I get rid of mold?

3/7/2017 (Permalink)

Materials that get wet an are not dried quickly can develop mold.

Mold is a living thing.  It consumes materials such as drywall, paper, or wood.  As it eats these materials, it sends out mycotoxins out into the air; that's the moldy smell you detected.

Mold needs moisture to stay active.  If you remove the moisture, the mold does not go away, it simply becomes dormant.  Like a bear hibernating, it stays there, waiting for that trigger to awaken it again.  The mold can stay dormant for years, waiting for moisture to jump start it again.  To get rid of mold, it must physically have to be removed.

SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank takes great care in mold remediation.  We set up containment to prevent mold spores from cross contaminating non-affected areas in your home.  We use air scrubbers (a machine used to clean the air) to help collect floating mold spores as we remove the affected materials.  Then we spray an anti-microbial to help prevent mold from returning.

If you suspect you have mold (you see dark spots on materials that sustained some water damage, or you smell something musty in an enclosed area), call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank.  We'll come out and assess the area.

Water in my basement

3/7/2017 (Permalink)

This back up caused water to get the floor and walls wet. It must be dried quickly to help prevent mold growth.

Water can find its way into a home or business in many ways: roof leak, pipe break, sink overflow, sump pump failure, seepage, condensation, just to name a few.  SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank can help extract that water and dry the structure to help prevent mold growth.

Whether you have wet carpeting, a couple of gallons on water on your hardwood floor, or several feet of sewage water in your basement, SERVPRO has the all tools and equipment necessary to get you back to a normal life as soon as possible.  And there's no need to wait until business hours to call; SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank is available 24/7/365 to come out, assess the damage, go over a plan that fits into your schedule, and then start the mitigation process.  Yes, that's right, call us even on the weekends or holidays!

So, if that recent storm caused water to find a way into your home, or you suspect that pipe is leaking behind a wall, or the dog knocked over the fish aquarium, don't hesitate to pick up the phone and call us right away at 708-430-3600.  You'll be glad you did!

FREE Program For Commercial Clients

2/3/2017 (Permalink)

One business had the foresight to prepare before Hurricane Sandy. Can you guess which one?

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank offers a free program for commercial clients to help them prepare in the event of a catastrophe.  This program will help the business limit secondary damages, and start the process to get up and running, thereby shortening down time and the resulting loss of revenue.

The best part of this program is it's a FREE app!  It can be accessed quickly from your phone, tablet or computer.

The ERP, or Emergency Readiness Profile, compiles the information to shut off the water, gas, or electricity in case of emergencies.  It will show in what areas the shutoffs are, and if any special keys or codes are needed.

The ERP also has a list of emergency contacts, from electricians to plumbers to insurance contacts, all to help the process of getting the business up and running again. A closed business makes very little money!

Besides local police and fire numbers, a few of the contact numbers listed are (your categories may be different):

  • Gas Company
  • Internet Provider
  • Sprinkler Company
  • Garbage Collection Service
  • Landscaping Company
  • Local Hospital
  • Many, many more! You can identify which categories are important to your company!

To get started on this FREE program, simply call SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.


What you need to know about cooking fires!

12/2/2016 (Permalink)

Customer contacted us after they experienced a cooking fire. Thankfully everyone is fine and they are letting us to take care of the soot/smoke damage

Is that time of the year! During the holiday season, “cooking” is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Since more fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home it's important to be alert to prevent cooking fires!

Let’s stay safe. Follow these easy safety tips, courtesy of the NFPA National Fire Protection Association:

What you should know 

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stove-top.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stove-top.


If you have a cooking fire

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stove-top. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank help Louisiana.

9/16/2016 (Permalink)

A typical street in southern Louisiana after the flooding Aug/2016.

SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank recently participated in the Louisiana Flooding aftermath.  It was very sad to see so many people lost literally “everything”, but we proudly can say we did everything we could to save what was left of their homes.

Prolonged rain resulted in a catastrophic flooding that ended up leaving houses/businesses under water, mostly in the southern parts of the state of Louisiana.  With an estimated 146,000 homes damaged in the flooding, this disaster was characterized as the worst US natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Thousands of Louisianians were forced into shelters.  To make the situation even worse, most of the affected homes were not insured for floods; what FEMA offered is not sufficient for many families to restore their homes, and many residents are not willing to wait for Federal/Fema help and they had no option than to pay out of their pockets.

For sure this was one of the worst disasters we have provided assistance.  We will drive down the streets of Baton Rouge, LA and Saint Amant, LA and all you would have seen are resident’s belongings dumped in their front yard (Please refer to the attached picture).

Need hoarding clean up help and don't know where or how to start?

7/5/2016 (Permalink)

At one of many homes we have performed hoarding clean up.

With an experienced company like SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank hoarding clean up can be less stressing than what you think.  Hoarding remediation is a specialized service that we offer, which requires special skills and qualities to achieve a successful result. During the remediation process, we can package, transport and even store items while in the process of removing unwanted items. We can provide families a new/fresh start!

Here are some examples of Hoarding signs:

-  Confused about what to keep or where to put things.

-  Difficulty organizing possessions.

-  Collects and keeps a lot of items, even things that appear useless or of little value to most people.

-  Not inviting family or friends into the home due to shame or embarrassment.

-  Being unable to stop taking free items, such as advertising flyers or sugar packets from restaurants.

-  Buying things, they don’t need but because they are on sale.

SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank can assist you with Biohazard, Trauma & Crime Scene Cleanup

4/27/2016 (Permalink)

Don't touch! Leave it to the experts!

SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank is a highly specialized cleaning company that provides bio-harzrdous and crime scene cleanup services to people involved in horrific situations.  We provide the safe and effective cleanup of biohazards such as: blood, bodily fluids and tissue remnants all removed and surfaces disinfected to provide a clean and safe enviroment.

Our dedicated team of cleaning professionals can safely treat any crime scene involving decomposition, biohazardous or infectious wastes and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.  We work together with most of the insurance companies if insurance is used as payment for cleanup.

If you or anyone you know requires professional crime scene cleanup services contact us immediately

If you or anyone you know requires professional biohazard cleanup services contact us immediately 

SERVPRO of Bedford Park / Burbank's new addition.

4/18/2016 (Permalink)

Our new Dodge ProMaster.

Here at SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank, we have highly trained employees for all your water, fire, smoke, odor, mold or biohazard damages needs, but now we can respond to you better with our most recent purchase, our brand new Dodge ProMaster.  It's full of the equipment, tools, and crew members to help your home or business recover from your recent incident.

Keep in mind that unfortunately disasters happen, and at all hours of the day, so call us at 708-430-3600 and our Dodge ProMaster is ready to leave our warehouse to help make it "Like it never even happened."

We thank all our customer for allowing SERVPRO Bedford Park / Burbank the opportunity to grow our business. We truly appreciate it!  And we thank you in advance for trusting us to take care of your next unfortunate incident. 

SERVPRO of Bedford Park volunteers at CYC

4/6/2016 (Permalink)

The group from CYC, along with the volunteers, posing in the lobby of the South Shore facility.

Taken from a letter from CYC's Laura Robinson:

"On behalf of the Board staff, and children of Chicago Youth Centers (CYC), thank you for supporting our South Shore Shake & Stir event on March 18, 2016.  The event celebrated CYC's Rebecca K. Croen Youth Center and the crucial work we do in the South Shore Community.  Thanks to you, and donors like you, the Shake & Stir event netted more than $56,000.  The funds raised will allow CYC to continue offering year-round programming, assuring that children have access to the educational, social, and emotional resources needed to succeed and persist in school, in their daily lives, and ultimately the workforce." 

SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank is always glad to help in any way we can.  We not only help after disiaters, but we try to help the community in as many ways as possible.


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