Recent Water Damage Posts

Keep standing water away from foundation

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

Ensure that water runs AWAY from your home's foundation, otherwise you risk it entering your home.

As we experience a wet Spring, with its persistent rains and damp weather, now may be a good time to make sure that water runs AWAY from your home's foundation.  Standing water next to your foundation may find its way inside your home.

Make sure that the landscaping grade runs away from your home, carrying its possible flooding water with it.  If you see standing water next to your home, figure out ways to greatly reduce/eliminate the problem.

  • Are the gutters and downspouts clean and functioning properly?
  • Are there mounds of garden dirt or mulch preventing water to flow away from the foundation?
  • Are there foot traffic spots worn down so that they need to be built up again?

Anything you can do to reduce the amount of standing water next to your foundation will greatly reduce the chance of it entering your home and damaging structure or contents.

If you notice that water has invaded your castle, don't panic.  Simply call the water clean up experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We can come out and inspect the damaged area(s), come up with a game plan that fits into your budget and schedule, and then enact that plan.

Heavy rain overwhelm your sump pump?

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

Sump pumps and even a Shop Vac were no match for Mother Nature's fury in this homeowner's basement.

Has the heavy rain during the latest "once-in-a-lifetime-storm" completely overwhelm your sump pump?  You're sure that the sump never quit, it just couldn't keep up with the deluge of rain outside.

It seems that the Spring and Summer storms are accompanied by an inch per hour rain rate (an inch per hour is okay for snow rates, but it's pretty heavy for rain).  If the ground was already saturated from previous storms, the water has to go somewhere, and it usually finds its way into homes and businesses.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank is already prepared to help your situation.  We have extraction equipment, to get rid of standing water plus water that's trapped in carpet and padding.  We also have several types of fans, to blow against structure and/or contents, sending moisture up into the air, where it's captured by dehumidifiers, ready to remove that moisture.  SERVPRO also uses anti-microbial solutions, to help reduce the chance of mold colonizing.

Many homeowners try to do the work themselves, but because the water got in so quickly and affected so much, and because they don't have enough equipment to adequately dry everything, they develop mold, whether it's in the walls or under the carpet.

Don't try to be a hero.  Call the water experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600 and schedule an inspection.

Excess moisture can cause damages too

3/4/2022 (Permalink)

Excess water and moisture has warped this drawer front.

Everyone knows that standing water can cause damages when inside your home.  That’s why you extract or mop up the water.  But what happens to the water you cannot see?

Drywall is very porous; it can absorb and hold a great deal of moisture.  Carpet and padding also can hold a lot of excess moisture.  Even wood furniture can hold moisture in its cells.  You can try and remove as much moisture as possible, but you may not know the proper techniques to do so.

Just ignore the problem?  Leaving excess moisture in walls, carpet, padding or furniture can eventually turn to mold issues, and who wants that?

If your home had enough water to cause you to mop or extract, and if any of the above came in contact with that water, you probably want to call the water experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank!  We have the proper meters and cameras to show exactly what is dry and what remains full of moisture.  We also have the proper equipment to pull that excess moisture from structure and contents, thereby greatly reducing the possibility of mold colonizing.

Call us anytime at 708-430-3600.  We’ll set up an appointment to come out, inspect the damaged areas, and come up with a game plan to return your home back to normal ASAP.

Differences/Similarities between frostbite and water damages

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

This ceiling may look dry, but the meter shows that water is hidden within.

Now that cold weather is upon us, we often hear the weather anchors on TV warn us about frostbite.  What exactly is frostbite?

Frostbite is when the water in your tissue’s cells freeze, causing damage to the surrounding areas.  Most people get frostbite in the hands or feet, because as the body cools, it restricts blood flow to the outer extremities, making them more susceptible for frostbite.

In order to prevent frostbite, limit outdoor exposure, wear clothes in layers (helps hold in the heat), and retreat to warmth once you feel winter’s sting in your extremities.

But what does frostbite and water damages have in common?

The water in your cells is hidden; you know it’s there but you can’t see individual drops or pools.  In many cases, that’s the same for water damages.  Oh, you may see standing water from the pipe break or flooding, but most of the damage is hidden within walls, ceilings, or flooring.

Just like with frostbite, if water damages are left untreated, it could develop into something worse.

The biggest difference between the two?  With frostbite, you want to gradually warm the affected area with warm (not hot) water.  With water damages, you want it discovered and dried as quickly as possible.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank is the water expert.  We have the technology (meters and cameras) to find hidden water, and the equipment to dry all affected areas.

Suffered a water damage?  Call 708-430-3600 any time to schedule an appointment.

Water damage caused by storms

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Storms are unpredictable, but your service shouldn't be! Call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank!

Weather seems to have migrated to the extremes: extreme heat, extreme cold, excessive rain, huge snows, violent winds, droughts, etc.  Hard to protect yourself and your property 100% from every one of these.

There are many ways water can get into your home or business.  Heavy rains that overwhelm the sump pumps.  Melting snow that finds the tiniest cracks in your foundation.  Ice accumulating on your roof, causing water backing up and under your shingles (ice damming), just to name a few.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank has dealt with all of these, plus pipe breaks, sewer backups, bathtub overflows, etc.  Our experienced crews know the best procedures to get you back to normal living as efficiently and quickly as possible.

We will walk through and assess the damaged areas, discuss what needs to be done, and set a schedule to perform our magic that works within your parameters.  Everything is explained beforehand!

So, if your property has suffered some sort of water damage, whether it be by storm or other natural occurrence, simply place a call to the experts at: 708-430-3600 and set up that initial inspection.

We're available 24/7/365, so you'll always talk to a live operator, never an answering machine.

Heavy rains cause water damages inside your home

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Not sure if the umbrellas are keeping these people dry.

There’s an old adage: ‘Be careful what you wish for’.

We are currently in the midst of a drought.  Some areas are worse off than others.  But generally we do need the rain.

Storms today can be fast and furious.  They drop enormous amounts of rain in a relative short period of time.  Last month, storms that rolled through the area dropped more than an inch of rain in less than 15 minutes.  And recently, in China, they experienced 18 inches of rain in just 24 hours.

In either case, the rain rate was too much for sewer systems and your sump pumps to keep up.  And, that water has to go somewhere.  It usually ends up in the lower levels of buildings.

Take the time now to check in and around your home for areas prone to flooding.  Should I leave that cardboard box full of the family photo albums on the floor, or should I store it in a safer place?  That wash machine is very close to that drain.  Should I be safe and put it up on bricks?

Taking a few minutes now could save you a lot of aggravation (and money) later.

If you do suffer from water damages inside your home, call the water experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank.  We have the proper equipment and protocols to get any size job done right!

The water you don't see can cause the most damage

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Sure, you can see the iceberg. But how much is hidden from view? Water damages can be similar.

Water.  Like most things, too much of a good thing can be bad.

We need water for our lawns and plants to grow, but if we get too much, flooding.  And that's just the water you CAN see.

It rains for days in a row, and the ground is so saturated, it can't hold any more water.  It has to go somewhere.  Somehow, some way, it works inside your building and floods your lower level.

You can see the large puddle on the floor, but how much is hidden in the walls?  Or floors?  Or contents?

If you have carpets, you probably have a pad underneath.  That pad acts like a sponge, collecting and holding gallons of water until, after enough time has passed, it has a chance to dry on its own.  But, that moisture may have made its way into the walls and/or ceiling, so there's still a lot of moisture to contend with.

Drywall walls and ceilings are very similar; holding onto moisture for long periods of time until nature has enough time to equalize the moisture content in the air and structure.  By then, mold may have already started.

SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank has meters and cameras that can detect even the slightest bit of moisture.  It can point out where that moisture has travelled, whether its into another room or a previously thought of unaffected wall.

Don't take chances.  Call the water damage experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank.  708-430-3600. 

Will Chicago have record May rains?

5/2/2021 (Permalink)

Take action now to help prevent water from ruining your belongings and your day.

May.  When you think of the month of May, you probably think about Mother's Day or perhaps Memorial Day.  But for the last couple of years, in Chicago it means record rains.

In May 2018, 8.21" of rain fell, setting a record for the month.  It lasted a whole year, because in May, 2019, 8.25" of rain fell.  A new record, at least for a year.  May 2020, 9.51" of rain hit the area.

Will this May be another record setter, or will the dry weather of 2021 stay in place for another month?

Here at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank, we are already prepared for the former - record rains.  We have extraction equipment, fans for drying contents, structure, and flooring, dehumidifiers to take moisture out of the air to aid in drying, and antimicrobial sprays to help prevent mold growth.  We have lots of equipment and crews at the ready.

You too can make preparations now.  Are there boxes and/or contents on your basement floor that would be damaged if they got wet?  Are your gutters and downspouts clean and ready?  Do you have our phone number already inputted into your phone?  (If you answered the last question as "NO", then here is our number: 708-430-3600.)

Watch those weather forecasts, but if the worst happens, and you suffer some water damage, give us a call and we'll do the rest!

Are you ready for the Spring rains?

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

This ceiling looks wet, but we have digital meters that will help us pinpoint exactly where the water is, and isn't.

The Chicago area was hit with more than a year's worth of snowfall in a three week period in February, 2021.  Also, we saw several consecutive days where the temperature never hit the freezing mark.

With the frozen ground, and a lot of potential snowmelt, are you ready if we get hit with a Spring thunderstorm?

If you can do it safely, check your gutters to ensure they are clean and debris free.  The heavy snowfall and ice storm may have loaded your gutters with lots of leaves and other debris that will clog if we get rain.

Check your basement (or lower level) for boxes or contents that would be damaged if they got wet, and move them to a place of safety.  Like the old adage goes: "Prepare for the worst and expect the best".

If your home or business does get hit with water damages, don't get too excited.  Call the water experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We will not only handle the stress for you, but also dry your home out and we can even put it all back together again.  Remember our motto: we "Like it never even happened."

Water damages in the bathroom

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Easy to see that water has damaged this bathroom.

Outside of the basement, the bathroom has probably the most instances of water damage in the home.  Pipe leaks, tub overflows, toilet backups, drain backups, even excess moisture can cause water damages.

How can I identify possible water damages?

Starting at the top, look for water staining or mold on the ceiling.  This could be from: roof leak, pipe leaks hidden in the walls or ceiling, or even too much moisture from improper ventilation (like during showers). 

On the walls, look for more water staining, or paint that has bubbled up (from moisture trapped under the layer of paint).

On the floors, look for trim that has warped and is pulling away from the wall.  Hardwood floors may begin to buckle and cup when introduced from excess moisture.  Carpet in an adjoining room may be wet.

The floor below (if there is one) may show some water staining on the ceiling. 

And generally, if there is a musty smell, it could mean that mold could be hidden in the walls and/or ceiling. 

If you suspect that you may have water damage, call the experts in water damage mitigation.  SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank.  708-430-3600.  We are available 24/7/365 for your emergency needs!

Chicago snow records

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

When snow melts, it has to go somewhere. If it ends up in your home, call us to help!

This winter, there has been a bit of a snow drought in this area.  In fact, areas in the deep south have had more snow than we experienced.

Chicago has had six days in January that had a foot or more of snow fall on a single day:

  • Jan 2, 1999     18.6"
  • Jan 6, 1918     14.4"
  • Jan 13, 1979   16.5"
  • Jan 26, 1967   16.4"
  • Jan 30, 1939   14.9"

But, has Chicago EVER (since records started in 1889) had a January day when NO snow has ever fallen?

The answer is:  NO.  Not even close.  The record for the least heaviest snowfall on a specific day in January is on the 28th, and the most fell in 2003, where a meager 2.4" of snow fell.  And that's the record for the most snow to fall on that day!

In fact, the very first day in the calendar year in which no snow in Chicago has fallen is May 5th.

When winter begins to wind down, and warmer temperatures occur more frequently, whatever snow that has fallen begins to melt, mixing in with rain, and causing water damages to homes and businesses.  The good news is that we are here to help!

Call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We know how to extract standing water, dry contents and structure, and how to prevent mold from occurring.

Why are fans used to help dry a structure?

8/6/2020 (Permalink)

A series of fans, along with a dehumidifier, set up to dry structure fast.

Your home suffered water damages, whether it was from a leaky pipe, sump pump failure, seepage, bathtub overflow, roof damage, flooding, or whatever.  Once it’s safe to enter that area(s), the first thing you need to do is get rid of the excess water.  Once that’s been accomplished, then you remove wet contents and furniture.  And, depending on what type of water damage you had, some compromised structure may need to be removed (drywalls, ceiling, flooring).  Then, fans are set up to help dry the area.  Why are fans used?

Nature is constantly trying to balance itself.  Wind blows between storm systems.  Fog is released from cool, moist ground into the warm night air during spring and fall.  And nature tries to balance the difference from the drier air and the wet damaged areas inside your home.  Fans are thereby set up to help speed up the process.

As air is forced over and around a wet object, nature will pull some of that moisture to the edge of the material, where it then gets whisked away to join the air.  If there are only fans in the room, the room will quickly become very humid, and the remaining walls and ceiling will begin to condensate.  That’s why when SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank sets up a series of fans to help dry an area, there’s always a dehumidifier strategically placed to collect that moist air and dispose of it correctly, in a sink, bathtub, or even outside.  With that moisture removed from the room, it dries much quicker than if it was left to dry on its own.

If you have suffered water damage inside your home or business, and would like the experts to dry it out quickly and efficiently, call SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.

April showers bring May .... RAIN?

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Walking through a flooded basement with the power still on can be dangerous!

The rain in May should go away!

Once again, the Chicago area is being pounded by heavy rain in May.  In 2018, 8.21" of rain fell, setting a new record for rainfall in May.  That record lasted a grand total of 12 months, as in 2019, 8.25" of rain fell.  As of May 17, 2020, already 7.75" of rainfall has deluged our area.

A few safety reminders:

  • Do not attempt to drive through floodwaters.  You may not know the exact depth of the water.  As little as a foot of water can make a car float.
  • Do not go into flooded basements.  If the water has reached the power outlets on the walls, there is the possibility that electricity is flowing through the water.  Make sure the power is off when trying to venture into a basement full of water.  When in doubt, call an electrician to come and cut the power so you can safely enter.
  • Wet floors and walls, left untreated, can be a harbor for mold growth.  If mold does begin to colonize, you may be able to see some, but mold also grows in wall cavities that you cannot see. 

Call the experts at water damage, SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  After assessing the damage, we can extract standing water, remove wet contents, dry structure, and spray an antimicrobial to inhibit mold growth.

I have water in my basement!

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Finished or unfinished, your basement water damage is right up our alley!

Water.  We all need it to survive, but too much of a good thing can be disastrous.  

If the recent storm caused water to enter your home (sump pump failure, flooding, roof leak, etc), and now you have standing water in your basement, you need expert help in a hurry.  

Water needs to be pumped out/extracted, contents (furniture, boxes, totes, etc) need to be examined and determined if they can be salvaged or not.  Are the walls wet, and if they are, is there wet insulation behind that wall?  Plus, the structure and framing will need to be dried quickly to help prevent mold.

One call to SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank can cover all that needs to be done.  We're available 24/7/365, so we can get out there and begin the process of getting your life and home back to normal again.  We have the tools to check everywhere water may have migrated, the equipment to extract and dry everything quickly, and the know how to do it within your budget and time constraints.

Call us today at 708-430-3600.  In fact, plug that number into your mobile device right now, because you never know when you may need us in a hurry!

Different classes of water damage

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

All water damages are not the same. You would need to treat this water damage differently than you would a leaking pipe.

The different classifications of water damage will determine what items can be salvaged and what items cannot be saved, as well as the drying protocols.  The three classes of water damage are:

  • Clean water - Water that has virtually no contaminates, such as a supply line going to a washing machine.
  • Grey water - Water that has been used, contains some contaminates, but does not have any animals waste in it.  An example would be that same washing machine that overflowed, and soapy water is discharged onto the floor.
  • Black water - This water is the nastiest of them all, a sewage back up or storm flooding.  This water will be highly contaminated.

Water that is undiscovered and is not mitigated properly and quickly can deteriorate and go from one class to another.  Your clean water damage left standing 3-5 days will now be classified as grey water, since it had a chance to pick up microbes, bacteria, etc.  Grey water not properly mitigated will transform to a black water loss in just 2-3 days, again due to deteriorating conditions.

If you have suffered a water loss in your home or business, call the water clean up experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600 right away.  We'll come out, assess the situation, and set up a plan to get you back to normal ASAP. 

Spring water damage preparations

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Spring's floodwaters can happen with little or no warning. Take precautions now!

With Spring around the corner, with its melting snow and storms, probably holds the best chances for water damages in your home.  Approximately 2% of all households will suffer water damages each year; it’s the second most common type of insurance claim, trailing only wind/hail claims.

Are you prepared?  Have you made any precautions so it doesn’t happen to you?  And if it does happen to strike you, do you know what to do?

Do you know what your insurance covers, and what it doesn’t?  The average water damage claim is $7000-$7500, but it can be MUCH higher with the right circumstances:  flood waters, amount of structure and contents affected, length of time water was present, etc.

Water can damage/destroy personal property, such as: photo albums, collections, family heirlooms, etc.  Water can also disrupt lives; even when mitigated properly, the homeowner may not have access to certain areas of their own home once drying equipment has been set.

A few words of advice:

Once flood waters begin to rise, they can rise quickly and with little warning.  Prepare all areas of your home for the possibility of flood waters entering your home.

Document everything.  Take pictures (or video) of anything of value and have it ready just in case those items are damaged.  And be sure to take pictures and document anything that must be discarded for safety reasons before an insurance adjuster can be there.

Be proactive and check water pipes in your house for leaks, splits, or any damage.  Replace any questionable sections.

If you happen to suffer from a water damage, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank. 708-430-3600.

How long are these fans going to run?

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Fans work in concert with dehumidifiers to draw moisture out of the air and help speed up the drying process.

You suffered a water damage.  You called SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank out, and we extracted all standing water, moved furniture on to blocks, and set up some drying equipment.  The fans and dehumidifiers are not quiet, and you're wondering how long they are going to run.

Typically, the fans run for three days.  Same for the dehumidifiers.  In rare cases they may need more or less time to dry.  But why do they need to run for so long?

The fans move the air to help get the moisture that's trapped in the walls, structure, floors, etc.  The moisture gets thrown up in the air, where the dehumidifiers catch the moisture and remove it.  Bringing the overall moisture content down in the room will quicken the overall drying progress.

Thinking of using a box fan?  Box fans do move some air; it'll keep you cool on a summer's night, but isn't powerful enough to help pull moisture out of structure.  You need professional grade air movement, and used properly, otherwise you may end up with a mold problem.

If you suffered a water damage, call the experts at SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank at 708-430-3600.  We have the knowledge and equipment to get the job done correctly.

Rain. Rain. Go away!

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

Should any of this water invade your home, call us 24/7/365 at 708-430-3600.

What a year it's been so far.  Let's recap it:

  • Remember when the polar vortex hit, and we never thought it was ever going to get warm again?
  • Then, in the spring, it rained and rained and rained.  We never thought it would be dry again.
  • The summer heat dried everything very well, but we doubted it would never get cool again.
  • Once the kids went back to school, it started raining again.  Will it ever stop?

Chicago had its 6th wettest September on record, with 7.61", which is 3.21" above normal.

We are currently the second wettest year on record (going back to the 1800's) with 41.69" of precipitation through October 3rd.  If it doesn't rain another drop, we would still qualify for the 25th wettest year on record.  But, somehow I think we will have more rain in the next 13 weeks.

All that water has to go somewhere.  If any ended up inside your home or business, you need to call SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank right away at 708-430-3600.  We have the tools, equipment, and crews to bring your property back to its dry state as soon as possible!

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!”

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.” 

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!