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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Why SERVPRO? Fire responding to your home or business

3/14/2021 (Permalink)

Our SERVPRO team has a fast response to get mitigation work started quickly in your fire-damaged home or apartment.

Preparedness is one of the main focal points of effective restoration and recovery that our SERVPRO team can provide to fire-damaged Chicago homes and businesses. Despite how overwhelming and severe these conditions might seem, staying prepared to mobilize to these emergencies can help us to begin mitigation and emergency services at critical times.

Regardless of how widespread fire damage might be, our fast response in emergencies can help to limit the time that restoration takes and the out-of-pocket expenses for our customers. We can ensure that we have a prompt response to crises that threaten your residence by encouraging more and more of our technicians to pursue Fire & Smoke Restoration (FSRT) certification. Qualified technicians available 24/7 ensure a fast response to your emergency and that mitigation and emergency services get started as soon as possible. Some of these include:

    •    Temporary construction solutions (board up, tarping)
    •    Extraction and drying of extinguishment water damages
    •    Clearing airborne contaminants (soot, ash, debris)
    •    Removing fire debris and damaged structural elements

What Does it Mean to Chase Fires?

While this term has taken on a negative connotation in some circles, to our restoration team, it means staying ahead of changing conditions in the city to be ready for whatever customers might need. We ensure that we learn about active fires in the area to begin preparing to respond to them as though we have already been called. This ‘chasing’ often occurs when insurance providers notify us of an active blaze and their intention to get our team involved in both the damage assessment and the restoration of the residence. There are advantages to our professionals chasing emergencies and staying ahead of severe conditions, including:

    •    Preparedness
    •    Faster Mitigation
    •    Effective Content Management
    •    Less-Costly Restoration

What Does My Insurance Company Need to Approve a Claim?

In many ways, insurance companies look to the expertise of restoration professionals to provide the necessary information about a loss incident. This effort begins with job scoping. Our SERVPRO project manager, crew chief, and the customer can all work together to determine vital information that can help with the restoration and recovery of the fire-damaged structure. This job scoping involves unique practices such as identifying pre-existing conditions and potential health hazards for restoration. In addition, all job scoping after a fire loss entails:

    •    Cataloging Damage
    •    Assessing Contents
    •    Estimation

We share this information with your insurance adjuster directly. After a fire, the last thing that you need to do is run around trying to jump through insurance hoops and meet the often-lofty demands of your insurance provider to secure a damage claim. We can work directly with the company to make the entire process more efficient.

What Makes SERVPRO a Wise Choice for Restoration?

There are many reasons that area homeowners might want to consider SERVPRO for their restoration requirements after a fire. One of these reasons is our fast response. With pre-stocked trailers filled with mitigation equipment for surface cleaning, deodorization, and other vital efforts, we can often reach your address within hours of the first notice of loss.

Additionally, our professionals have several levels of experience and knowledge of ever-changing industry standards. We strive to provide results that exceed your expectations, and much of that can get attributed to training and coursework provided by standard-setting organizations such as:

    •    IICRC – Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification
    •    ABRA – American Bio-Recovery Association
    •    OSHA – Occupational Safety & Health Administration
    •    NDCA – National Duct Cleaning Association

What About Repairs and Reconstruction?

Not surprisingly, many restoration companies do not offer reconstruction as part of their recovery packages. With a full division of qualified residential contractors in-house on our roster, we can provide a comprehensive restoration solution embodying mitigation, restoration, and reconstruction. With fire damages, structural breaches can be all over. Man-made holes allow better access for first responders to fight the fire but need to get temporarily sealed and permanently repaired. Our contractors can help.

Fires might be devastating for many structures, but it does not have to indicate a total loss. From mitigation and restoration through reconstruction and repair, you can count on the experience and the response of our team. Give us a call anytime! We are faster to any disaster and here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

When Water Damage Becomes Your Reality, Call SERVPRO of South Holland/Dolton/Riverdale

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage can close the doors of a business enterprise.  It may be a retail store, a doctor's office, an apartment complex, or even a big-box store. Disruptions to normal business patterns lead to loss of goodwill and revenue.  Consider calling in a professional water damage restoration company like SERVPRO to limit your losses. 

It is important to stay calm when water damage happens and to not try and go it alone. SERVPRO of South Holland/Dolton/Riverdale has the experience, expertise, and the equipment to get you back to "Like it never even happened." We have been doing this a long time and have seen many situations that most business owners will never face, and it is those experiences that we can draw from to help limit your downtime and get you back to your preloss condition. Give us a call today!

Why SERVPRO? The Equipment, Experience, and Expertise You Need

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Water extraction is probably not something that home and business owners spend a lot of time thinking about.  This service usually only becomes necessary in an emergency situation.  This may happen after a heavy rainfall or a burst pipe or sewer drain overflow. This is when the removal of water becomes critical. 

SERVPRO of South Holland/Dolton/Riverdale is ready for action when water damage strikes. We have the equipment to get the job done, and the experience that is necessary to get it done, fast, right, and get you back on your track to normalcy! Give the professionals at SERVPRO a call today! We are faster to any disaster and we are here to help! 

Ask The Experts: What Are Some Dangers of Fire Damage?

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Fire is a terrifying disaster that property owners can experience. Even after putting out the flames, the smoke residues may continue to destroy the valuable items and building materials in your Chicago property. Fortunately, when you contact SERVPRO technicians within 48 hours, we can inspect your property and restore it to its former glory.

What are some of the dangers of fire damage?

If you delay fire damage restoration in your Chicago property, secondary damage may begin to occur. Smoke residues, soot, and the water used to fight the flames can significantly ruin your home. Water can cause your wooden floor to bend and warp. It may also weaken structures such as support beams and lead to mold growth. 

The structures become vulnerable and can collapse since they cannot hold the weight. This can lead to severe injuries to the property’s residents.

After a fire loss, contact SERVPRO immediately to mitigate the fire damage. We can quickly restore your property to its pre-damaged state. "Like it never even happened."   

Ask The Experts: How Do You Determine The Severity Of Fire Damage?

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

How do you determine the severity of the damage?

Our team of restorers has certifications from the IICRC, Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification to conduct fire damage restoration. We use cutting-edge techniques and advanced equipment and tools that effectively handle fire loss incidents of any magnitude. To determine the intensity of fire damage in your property, we: 

Inspect the property for smoke and soot damage

Use a dry-cleaning sponge to locate the affected areas.

Use wood crème paste to test wood furniture with a heavy concentration of soot.

Inspect the HVAC unit and ducts for odors, damage, and contamination. 

Once SERVPRO technicians get to your property, we begin mitigating the fire damage immediately to prevent substantial repair costs. Our restorers can remove valuable items from the affected area to access every corner of your property. We can keep you informed during every step of the mitigation and restoration process. 

How do you clean the affected property?

Cleaning the affected area helps in removing odors. Our highly trained technicians can use various techniques and cleaning agents depending on the surface. We can use a liquid crème cleaner such as stain scrub, a mild abrasive product to clean surfaces made of stainless steel like kitchen appliances. 

After the cleaning process is complete, the charcoal-like odor may persist. We can use several air scrubbers to remove the odors depending on the size of the affected area. The units pass the contaminated air through filters, which remove 99.99 percent of particles. The machines release clean air into the property. 

So if fire damage hits your home or business, give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

When Water Hits Your Home Or Business, SERVPRO Is Here For You!

2/12/2021 (Permalink)

Even if you only notice a small leak from the plumbing in your Chicago office, you need to ensure all moisture gets removed as soon as possible. Failing to locate and dry out all moisture pockets can create hidden damage that becomes costly in a short period. SERVPRO features highly trained water restoration technicians (WRT) that quickly get to the heart of the water damage. From there, we work on drying the office and ensuring relative humidity levels get back to normal.

When you call water restoration companies in Chicago like SERVPRO, you have a broad range of services available to you. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your business will see little or no downtime. You can count on us for:

  • Emergency water damage mitigation
  • Content management services
  • Rapid water removal
  • Drying and dehumidification
  • Controlled demolition and reconstruction services

Rapid, efficient mitigation is the key to avoiding costly damages and working to preserve as much of the structure of your office space as we can. Waiting too long to have a crew get started can further damage building materials and create the perfect atmosphere for mold and bacterial growth.

Why Should I Choose SERVPRO?

For commercial and residential applications, we feature a Green Fleet of vehicles loaded with the latest tools and equipment. Our staff is comprised of IICRC-certified technicians with all the industry knowledge to ensure your business is back up and running faster than any DIY methods can achieve. 

When you need help from water restoration companies, you can trust that SERVPRO will be there in less than four hours after your initial phone call. We are faster to any disaster! We will make things "Like it never even happened."

When disaster strikes your business, SERVPRO is here for you!

2/12/2021 (Permalink)

The work done in commercial property and offices need focus and energy daily to stay running efficiently even when everything is going well. The last thing any business needs is a broken pipe or some other water intrusion disrupting your day to day and costing you valuable time. That is why hiring professionals like SERVPRO to assist with the water cleanup and restoration is one of the best moves you can make. 

Here at SERVPRO we know that the major concern for water cleanup in commercial buildings is speed. That is why we focus on arriving on the scene as quickly as possible, gather information on the loss, and taking measures to mitigate the water as quickly as possible. We focus on drying down your building and preventing odors or mold growth from cropping up. We do all this while making sure to communicate the process and status of the drying process to you and your company. Our whole goal in commercial water restoration is to make the process as brief and clear as possible for you and your company so you can get back to focusing on your work as soon as possible. 

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to use our equipment, experience and expertise to get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Ice Dams Are Brutal, But SERVPRO Can Help!

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

When you live in the Chicagoland area, you are used to extreme temperatures! It can be cold, really cold, hot, or even polar (sometimes it can seem like all of these in 1 day!), and with this comes the real danger of ice dams. When snow falls, then melts, then freezes rapidly, it can create a scenario where water from the outside, leaks into your living space and can create a very annoying, but potentially pricey, water damage event. Check out this link to the Building Science for more info about these pesky ice problems and then give us a call should disaster strike! 

https://www.buildingscience.com/documents/insights/bsi-046-dam-ice-dam

Why SERVPRO? We take care of your water damage in Chicago.

1/21/2021 (Permalink)

Homeowners are no stranger to water damage. Whether a pipe bursts behind a wall or rain creates roof leaks that need fast resolution, the technicians at SERVPRO have industrial-grade equipment and years of expertise in the field. Emphasis is placed on effective mitigation to preserve property, assets, and structural integrity for homeowners.

Water-related disasters do not operate on a regular 9-to-5 schedule, and neither does SERVPRO. If you have water damage in Chicago occur late at night, on the weekends, or even during the holidays, you can expect swift service that addresses your needs thoroughly. Immediate response to disasters ensures that further damage is mitigated through tried-and-true methods and the use of advanced equipment.

Why SERVPRO?

Fast response and excellence in service are just the tip of the iceberg when a SERVPRO team comes to your home. Fully-certified disaster cleanup professionals can restore structures and property with the help of equipment and materials that can prevent warping, buckling, and cupping of sheetrock, drywall, and hardwood flooring. The team also handles charity work, aiding such organizations as the Sertoma Centre and the Children's Museum in Oak Lawn. 

Top-of-the-Line Techniques & Tools

Because water damage is fast-acting and invasive, extraction starts when the SERVPRO team reaches your property. Technicians use a variety of industrial-grade tools to maximize precision and safety in ways that consumer fans, spray cleaners, and wet/dry vacuums cannot. These items include:

Advanced water detection methods, including the use of infrared cameras, hygrometers, and moisture sensors, to ensure thorough removal of moisture. These tools even allow technicians to evaluate damage behind walls and ceilings, or under floors.

Portable and truck-mounted extraction pumps to handle both small and large-scale disasters and facilitate faster drying.

Commercial-grade drying equipment, including air movers and dehumidifiers. These items work together to pull moisture off of surfaces and into the air. Moisture is then absorbed so it can be replaced with warm, dry air.

Tools for deodorizing and cleaning the air in your property, including thermal foggers and OSHA-approved antimicrobial cleaning agents that are designed to address odors and contaminants caused by water damage.

The team at SERVPRO is dedicated to bringing you reliable service all year round. We're Faster to Any Size Disaster so your home can be restored to its preloss condition. 

Why SERVPRO? We are faster to any disaster

1/21/2021 (Permalink)

Protecting a Chicago apartment building after a flood means that we have more than just one family and property to consider. With some substantial buildings offering more than a dozen units on the ground floor alone, the fast and confident response by our SERVPRO team can help to reduce the irreparable damage and loss to these residences. Roof damages and other structural breaches can affect units on every level of the building, making the emergency services we provide vital to containing flood damages and the severity of this situation.

As you might expect with any severe storm system that could impact the area, flood damage in Chicago homes and apartments must get addressed as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. We know that you do not have the time to hunt down several subcontractors for every individual need your apartment has after a loss, and that is why we have become a comprehensive unit for flood and water recovery. We have skilled structural drying technicians, as well as in-house contractors that can oversee controlled demolition, temporary construction solutions, and full-scale build back as necessary.

From the time that our emergency response team first arrives, water could be pouring in through structural breaches that must get addressed by our contractors. We can begin with damaged properties inside of the structure to remove at-risk contents from the unit to a safer location within the apartment or our nearby SERVPRO facility. Because we might help out more than one resident in the building simultaneously, we can meticulously catalog and label contents to ensure that they get stored appropriately in our warehouse.

Extraction is also one of the pressing needs of your apartment under certain conditions, and this can sometimes happen before the rest of the mitigation is set to begin. Given the severity of potential flooding, allowing standing water or excessive moisture could lead to further complications, material deterioration, or the production of mold colonies.

We always seek to keep costs low and restoration times to a minimum for our customers. With an emergency response to flooding in your apartment, our SERVPRO  team can help to reduce what irreparable damage might otherwise result. 

The difference between mitigation and restoration

1/16/2021 (Permalink)

When massive quantities of water enter your Chicago home, there are two primary objectives that restoration services aim to achieve. Mitigation of losses and restoration of the property. Mitigating losses means preventing further harm to the property through water exposure, absorption, trespass, and theft. Restoration is the recovery of contents and structure to return your home to its preloss condition. Flooding events can be extremely volatile and very stressful for any homeowner. SERVPRO can organize these two objectives on your behalf to ensure a smooth, transitionary experience from flood loss to preloss.

What residential floods have category three contamination?

  • Raw sewage or backups from the waste-line beyond the trap that is category three regardless of appearance
  • Overflow floodwaters from rising seawater, rivers, and streams which enter the property
  • Contamination in water intrusion that comes from wind-driven rain, including cyclones and hurricanes

How are category three water emergencies brought under control?

An initial inspection during the flooding cleanup of your Chicago home is when a qualified technician determines the extent of water contamination. Our crew chiefs can communicate directly with you about potential hazards and avoid all contact with these potentially toxic waters. SERVPRO can often arrange, under extreme conditions, for an indoor environmental professional (IEP) to assess your home for any lasting dangers that could occur from category three contamination. Generally, water must be extracted, while many building materials or assembly must be removed and replaced with clean materials. Affected structural areas that remain can often benefit from thorough disinfection and decontamination.

What factors affect restoration or replacement?

  • Material porosity which can affect how quickly absorption of contamination occurs. Once absorbed, most materials need demolition and replacement.
  • Water absorption through the building assembly which is often dictated by the time of exposure to contamination
  • The expense of replacing materials versus restoration possibility. Some hardwoods, metals, or plastics can recover from even category three contamination.

Category three water emergencies can pose a severe threat to your health and home.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened." 

Why SERVPRO? We know CLEAN!

1/16/2021 (Permalink)

The CDC website, as well as numerous DIY articles and how-to blogs, offer good advice about how you can clean and disinfect your own environment. These are correct and helpful suggestions. However, if you have an essential business that has remained open, perhaps it’s time to step up your level of protective cleaning. Companies everywhere are looking to do this to build their employee and customer confidence in the level of cleanliness (and safety) of their facilities.

Cleaning Ideas for Locations that are Closed in Marquette Park 

For businesses that have been closed, there will come a time when they reopen. Before facilities re-open, they will need to be cleaned and made ready for employees and customers to return. In addition to cleaning and disinfecting, being closed or open for limited hours is an opportunity to do carpet cleaning, HVAC cleaning, and other projects that will help contribute to the overall sense of well-being of your employees and customers. As professionals, we perform these services, and we do it faster and better than your in-house.

SERVPRO trained technicians have years of experience and certifications in general cleaning and for handling all types of biological remediation, including disinfection against MRSA and SARS, trauma scene cleaning, sewer backups, and mold. We are also better equipped with powerful, industrial-strength machinery, designed to handle jobs of any size. We know how to handle this virus cleaning and we have the resources to do it right, including:

  • Knowledge of CDC guidelines and OSHA requirements
  • Profession equipment to the job right
  • Advanced Hospital-Grade cleaning products
  • Flexible work hours 
  • Human-power to get it done
  • Cost-effective strategies
  • Consultation and advice

Cleaning offices with a spray bottle doesn’t cut it. We are available for consultation to develop a plan that is best for you and your facility.

Why SERVPRO? 24/7/365, we are always here for you

1/16/2021 (Permalink)

No matter how water damage could come to be inside of your Chicago home, the way that you handle the situation is essential to successful remediation. From the moment that water begins to pour into your home, every moment counts. Quickly getting expert help could save your home from further damage and save your wallet from more expenses. 

To paint a clearer picture of how you could excellently handle the situation, imagine a scenario where your kitchen sink caused water damage to your Chicago bungalow. You come back from putting a load of laundry to wash and find that the water supply line broke. There is a puddle of water across your kitchen floor, and it is growing frighteningly fast. 

To start, shut off the water in your home to prevent even more damage. However, while you are doing that, you should reach out for professional services, like SERVPRO, to send representatives to your home. You may wonder why you should. After all, it's a puddle; you can clean it up with a mop and some towels, which, for the most part, is true. However, water has a habit of sneaking into every nook and cranny that it can. It is easy to miss out on pockets of water that could be hiding beneath the stove or the toe-kicks of your counter. Leaving excess moisture in your home could lead to mold damage, which can cause health effects. 

Here at SERVPRO, we have the equipment to find every pocket of water that may be hiding in your kitchen. Our water damage restoration technicians are highly qualified and are certified by the Institution of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC.) Furthermore, they are trained to use advanced equipment that has been specifically designed to address the water damage inside your home. From heaters, air movers, dehumidifiers, moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras, we have the tools to find and remediate the water damage inside your home. Trust SERVPRO to help you, We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

If water damage strikes your house, never wait to get help. We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Mold Removal & Employee Safety

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

If you find mold in your building, you should have it removed as soon as possible. In most cases, you will likely not want to close your business entirely during the mold removal process as this can result in lost profits. It is important, however, to keep the safety of your employees in mind. The following are a few ways that you can help prevent them from having to work in a contaminated environment.


1. Use Containment Methods During Removal
While mold removal is being done, the workers will likely set up containment areas to keep the mold from spreading throughout the building. This will help keep the areas where employees are still working clean.


2. Provide Protective Items
If the area has been contained but you are still concerned about the safety of your employees, you may feel better if you provide them with some protective gear. Face masks will help prevent them from breathing in any contaminated air. Investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter is an option as well. These remove black mold spores and other impurities from the air, ensuring the area will be safe to work in.


3. Have Employees Work From Home
In cases of extreme mold growth, you may not feel comfortable having your employees come into work. If this is the case, you can always have them work from home. Depending on the severity of the contamination, removal can take more than a week, so closing the business during the process is not ideal. While there may be some limitations when work is done this way, it might be better than your other options.


When you need to have mold removal done, it is best to hire a professional mold remediation specialist. They will have the necessary training and experience to clean the area without creating a more hazardous environment for your employees. They will get the job done as quickly as possible, so you can get back to work sooner.

So give us a call today! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Ask The Experts: What needs to be done after a water pipe break at your business?

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Dealing with water damage at your business can be difficult. Whether age, damage, or cold weather is causing bursting pipes, taking quick action could reduce repair costs and save valuable inventory. Once a pipe break occurs, there are a few steps you can take to protect your commercial property and its contents.

Shut Off the Main Water Supply

Once you realize a pipe in your building has burst, it is wise to locate and turn off the main water supply valve. This can reduce the amount of flooding that can otherwise occur. You may want to be aware of the location of the shutoff switch beforehand so you can stem the flow of water as quickly as possible. If you rent your commercial space, ask your landlord about the location of the main water supply valve and alert any managers to its location in case a bursting pipes emergency takes place when you are not present.

Seal Off Affected Areas

You can reduce water damage to adjacent areas by shutting or sealing off doors. For example, if a pipe burst in a restroom, you can seal the bottom of the door with towels to prevent water leakage. Ask your employees and customers to clear the area so you can be assured flooded rooms remain secure until professionals can examine and fix broken pipe components.

Call in a Water Damage Remediation Service

A burst pipe can cause a great deal of trouble in a matter of minutes; however, other issues, such as mold growth and warped building materials, can be prevented by calling a flood control and remediation service to inspect and repair your property. Water damage can be common during cold weather snaps, so it is a good idea to have a working relationship with this type of service if you own a business.
One or more bursting pipes at your business can have serious consequences to your equipment or inventory. Knowing which immediate steps to take afterward can help you minimize damage and the cost of future repairs.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened." 

Things Not To Do After A Storm

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

It’s one of many homeowner’s worst nightmares: a large storm or local disaster has flooded your neighborhood. Many who experience flooding for the first time are unprepared and uninformed, not knowing what to do after the floodwater has covered the streets or entered their home. To help you prepare, whether you’re facing a flooded home now or foresee its possibility in the future, here are three things not to do after a flood:

1. Remain in your home. For you and your family’s safety, if water has entered your home, it’s important to leave and not reenter until the flooding has subsided. In a flood’s immediate aftermath, the risk of rising water is still imminent due to the possibility of more rain, a compromised levy or busted dam. Find refuge outside the flood area, whether it be in a hotel, a loved one's home or a public shelter.

2. Touch the water. Flood water can be contaminated with any number of bacteria, sewage and/or chemicals that can be harmful to your skin and health. It’s also imperative to avoid standing water to minimize the risk of electric shock from electrical lines and equipment touching the water. If you must enter or be around the water for any reason, protective clothing such as rubber boots should be worn.

3. Fix it yourself. Repairing flood damage in a home can require a large number of construction materials, professional knowledge and skill to ensure the damage is fully repaired and any mold is removed. Instead of trying to take on the job yourself, it’s best to save time and additional headaches by contacting a water damage repair and restoration company.

For any homeowner, flood water is certainly an unwelcome sight. Knowing what to do, or not do, in this type of disaster is imperative to keep you and your family safe and to begin the restoration process successfully.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to use our expertise, equipment, and experience to get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Fire Debris Removal Workers In Chicago Describe Restoration Methods

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Anytime something burns inside your Chicago home, items inside the building may need to be removed and replaced. If the flames torch your building materials or contents, it could become necessary to call in a professional fire debris removal company such as SERVPRO. The number one goal when arriving at your residence is to use specific methods to save items preventing replacement as much as possible. However, in some situations, your structural components or other items can get damaged to the point where they need to be removed and replaced. When a situation like this occurs, it is wise to save the fire debris removal for the experts.  

When rebuilding a fire damaged home, we take specific safety measures. During any fire debris removal project in Chicago, our SERVPRO technicians always put safety first. Before we begin any work, we inspect your home for both potential dangers and to figure out the extent of the damage. If there are any structural issues or other problems that could pose a hazard to any of the building's occupants, then we perform steps to mitigate the possible danger. For example, should burnt items pose a fall hazard, we take them down.  We also temporarily support the compromised building's structure while demolition procedures take place.  

After our SERVPRO experts deem the fire damaged building safe for you, your family, and our staff, we commence mitigation efforts. First, we run tests to see how burnt your building materials and contents got. For instance, if charring is found into the drywall and past its surface, then most likely it needs removal. If your studs show torching deeper than a quarter inch, then sections of your building's skeleton needs discarding.  

After disposing of the unsalvageable contents and building materials, we take measures to prevent the spread of unpleasant aromas created by smoke and charred materials. If anything ever burns inside your house, call SERVPRO any day of the week!

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Ask The Experts: Keeping things efficient after a fire

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Overcoming a disaster to impact your Chicago residence might feel overwhelming. With widespread damages affecting multiple areas of your house, it is often challenging to know what you need or where to begin putting the pieces back together. With professional restoration services, experienced technicians can help you to assess the full scope of the damage and to lay out a plan to bring your home back to preloss conditions.


An example of an overwhelming situation in your Chicago home is combating fire damages. With so many different threats happening all at once, no homeowner gets prepared for the work that has to happen to bring their property back to the way it used to be. When our SERVPRO franchise says We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster, this is precisely the kind of situation that we meant.

Once the first responders have left your home, you have to start making calls. The first of these would be to your insurance provider to let them know about the incident and start getting the ball rolling on filing a claim. Restoration work like ours is often a result of insurance claims, and our team of experienced technicians and staff work directly with the insurance provider and adjuster to expedite the claims process to get your home restored as promptly as possible.

While this insurance company is going to need some physical proof of the claim that you are filing, usually photographs, this is another situation where our SERVPRO professionals can take over. There are many threats and potential hazards in a home after a fire that our experienced professionals have the equipment to face. Our estimator can provide these required images to your insurance adjuster as part of the full inspection required in the estimation process.

As a homeowner, you want to restore the damages to your residence as promptly as possible following an instance like a fire. Unfortunately, there are often a lot of steps in between the disaster and its completed restoration. Let our professionals at SERVPRO  help you to navigate this process and work as efficiently as possible to restore your home to preloss conditions.

So call us today! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Ask The Experts: The finer points of tackling smoke and soot damage

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Basement fires are unique, often encountering different sets of problems and consequences as compared to fires started elsewhere in the home. While the tight space and underground nature of basements often prevent the worst of the fire from spreading across the house, other elements of fire damage can be shared or even more intense than the same damage in other regions of the house. Here are some of the similarities and differences between basement fires and those started elsewhere in the home.  

How Basement Fires Differ From Other Fires in Chicago 

Although fire damage in Chicago basements is typically more contained than that from fires started elsewhere in the home, other types of damage can be even more severe and widespread. The most glaring issue is smoke; smoke tends to rise and travel through air ducts and HVAC, spreading around the house and requiring intensive cleaning operations. HVAC cleaning is one of our most needed services, often for this reason. Additionally, there are often more hazardous and flammable materials stored in a basement than elsewhere in the home, leading to more significant potential dangers and disaster for the home. However, ultimately, the confined and below-ground nature of most basements protects much of the home from significant damage.  

How Basement Fires are Similar to Other Fires in Chicago 

Basement fires, while more contained than other fires, are still devastating and damaging due to their flames and spread. Ash and soot commonly coat walls and surfaces and requires heavy scrubbing. Objects and materials burned through and require treatments or perhaps replacement. A basement fire resembles fire elsewhere in the home and requires much of the same restoration work and equipment.   

Trained Technicians Can Help Minimize Chicago Area Fire Restoration Costs 

Many homeowners believe they can clean up after Chicago fire damage themselves after their home has gone through a fire, and there are soot and smoke to clean up. That is unfortunately not ever a good idea, as cleaning up soot and smoke damage needs professionals for the job. 

Hiring Chicago Restoration Professionals 

A house that has been burned in a fire, first of all, is not safe to spend time in or even enter. The integrity of the floors and walls are in question besides other hazards. It is crucial to keep out of the home until a professional tells you it is safe. 

While undertaking the cleanup of soot and smoke damage from a house fire should not be done by yourself, you need to get professionals, like SERVPRO, there as soon as you can. If left untreated, smoke and ash cause discoloration, corrosion, and lingering offensive and powerful odors. Specifically, ash can cause damage and discoloration almost immediately, and the damage could be permanent and irreversible. Anything made of plastic can start discoloring in just minutes. Metals can quickly corrode and tarnish, and fiberglass starts yellowing. 

If you get fire remediation specialists quickly enough after a house fire, we can mitigate or eradicate the ash and smoke damage from the fire, plus stop any further property damage. If you do not get us in early, unfortunately, the damage worsens, and the repair costs start to skyrocket in just a few weeks. 

Knowing Which Area Professionals to Hire 

Numerous companies claim to be restoration specialists in fire damage near Chicago; however, they might not have the proper training and certification to do the job correctly. Companies who are registered, recognized, and have gotten their certification from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification have taken the necessary coursework to gain their extensive certification. 

What Trained Professionals Will Do 

Fire remediation specialists like SERVPRO, who have gone through the right training and certification, first identify all of the materials that have been affected. We then locate the source of odors is if possible. We are thorough and identify items that can be cleaned and salvaged, which need replacing. Then they'll start the cleanup process by taking out any ash residue that has built up. After we've cleaned the ash, they can find the odors' sources more efficiently, which we'll then treat with special detergents made to neutralize the odors. After we treat the materials that were fire damaged, we'll be sealing them up to stop odors from emitting into your home in the future. 

Experiencing fire damage in Chicago can be scary and disconcerting. Never fear! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Helps Chicago Business Owners Empty Their Premises After Fire Damage

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Chicago business owners know how inconvenient a fire can be. It can be challenging to get a business back up and running after ablaze. Naturally, you want as little disruption to your operations as possible.


One of the biggest questions facing Chicago business owners after fire damage is whether they need to remove items from their business premises. It can be challenging to know whether furniture and equipment should be tossed, moved out, or left in place when surveying the aftermath of a fire.

Thankfully we are here to offer help and advice.

Will SERVPRO empty my premises?

Our teams will assess the situation on-site and advise you on whether or not to empty your premises. The process of clearing your premises is known as a pack out. Depending on the situation, you may have several options:

    •    Only move items that are directly in the way of cleanup operations, perhaps to an undamaged room
    •    Leave furniture and equipment in place if it is not damaged and not in further danger from cleanup operations
    •    Arrange to have office supplies and furnishings moved out to a safe location until the fire damage restoration process is complete

How can SERVPRO help with a pack out?

There are several ways we can help you with a pack out:

    •    We will advise you whether our staff are the best choice or whether it would be better to co-ordinate with an independent moving company
    •    We can liaise with your insurance adjuster
    •    We can often clean items ahead of packing them up which means they are returned to you “Like it never even happened.”
    •    We have checklists and procedures on hand to make sure all items are logged and stored and returned safely

We recommend all businesses take part in our Emergency Ready Plan. You can use your ERP profile to provide vital information for staff, our teams, and anyone else involved in the event of a disaster. Because you prepare your ERP before disaster strikes, you do not have to worry about tracking down insurance details or the chain of command when trouble hits.

Faulty Electrical Wiring Can Cause Fire Damage

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Having faulty electrical wiring inside of your shop can be very dangerous because it can cause fire damage. Electrical blazes are some of the most sudden and unexpected fires that can happen; if you are not prepared to deal with the flames, they can do severe damage to your store. Having a fire extinguisher handy is essential, as owning one could turn a fire that has the potential to be disastrous into a much smaller problem.


Fortunately, the fire damage inside of your Chicago salon was kept to a corner of your store with the help of an extinguisher and quick reactions. However, it is vital for you to keep on top of the problem now that the blaze has been put out. In reality, the fight against fire damage has only just begun once the flames are gone. It's crucial to call for professional restoration services as quickly as possible to ensure a smooth and successful remediation.

SERVPRO makes it a priority to work as unobtrusively as possible, so we do not disturb your daily business as we work. No matter the time, our technicians can come to your salon to begin the remediation. Should an accident happen at the end of the workday, our team can work through the night.

Once we arrive at your store, we can investigate the fire damage that impacted one of your salon chairs and hundreds of dollars-worth of professional products. Dip powders, acrylic, and gel products can stain your tile flooring as they burn, causing a molten mess of soot and ash. As we investigate, SERVPRO can select the best method to remedy the fire damage in your shop effectively and quickly.

Our technicians can clean up the ruined products and make a list of what you lost, making it easier for you to file a claim with your insurance company. Afterward, SERVPRO can use chemical cleaning methods to clean the soot and product remains from your tile flooring and walls. SERVPRO can clean your salon chair using a gentle and leather-safe solution in which you repetitively spray and wipe the impacted material.

For a final touch, we can use a hydroxyl generator to address the odor that fire damage leaves behind. The machine neutralizes the individual particles that cause the scent in the first place, effectively removing the odor from your salon. Before we go, SERVPRO can recommend an electrician who can investigate the wiring in your building to help prevent a future accident from occurring.

When storms strike, SERVPRO of South Holland/Dolton/Riverdale is here for you!

12/12/2020 (Permalink)

When Storms Strike, We Are Here for You!

Severe storms occur with relative frequency, but it is important to remember how much damage they are still capable of causing. Homeowners experience billions in storm-related losses each year, making storm damages one of the most common reasons for household insurance claims.

The best thing you can do to mitigate storm damage is to plan ahead. Knowing your recovery plan and what restoration company to use will help you take action immediately and prevent further damages from occurring—which is why we are here 247 to respond.

All Your Damages Will Be Handled
The damage that storms cause is generally not a straightforward issue—structural damage and water damage often go hand in hand and must be repaired in tandem for a full restoration. This is why we make sure our technicians can handle whatever storm damages occur and are fully trained and certified in both structural and water restoration.

You Will Receive a Highly Trained Crew
Because of how important restoration technicians are to the quality of work delivered, we invest heavily in our training and education programs to be sure everyone is up to speed. We adhere to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification industry guidelines, and we offer many seminars, classes and online learning tools so we can offer you the utmost expertise.

Any Size of Disaster Is Doable for Us
We are fortunate to be a locally owned, community-focused business, but we also have the backing of a nation of SERVPRO® locations that we can call upon for help. In the event of highly destructive storms, we can enlist other locations to help us with restoration, ensuring that everyone in the community gets the quick and quality service they deserve.

A Reputation You Can Count On
In our many years of restoration in the community, we have seen many unscrupulous business practices pop up after severe storms. That is why we are proud of our reputation for quality and dependable service and will do everything we can to work with you and complete your restoration without hassle.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Lightning Is Dangerous! You Need To Stay Safe!

12/12/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning is one of the most dramatic aspects of a thunderstorm—and also one of the most dangerous. Lightning strikes can start fires, ruin electronics and cause structural damage, in addition to all the safety hazards they pose to those who are outside during a storm.

Being aware of what lightning is and how it causes damage are important components of staying safe.

Thunderstorms all form an electrical charge, which is what causes thunder and lightning. In technical terms, a lightning bolt is a storm dispelling some of this energy, either into another cloud or to the ground.

When lightning does strike toward the ground, it will usually select an object to pass through, as the atmosphere is a poor conductor. Because of the power and charge behind lightning, this is what can lead to damages.

As lightning travels through a home, it will mainly fuel its energy into the electrical wiring and water pipes, as those make for the best conductors. That is why there are three main types of damages associated with lightning:

1. Fires can break out. Lightning, at around 500,000 degrees, is hot enough to ignite most buildings on impact. Additionally, the damage it causes to wires within the home can lead to electrical fires either right away or later on. If your home has been struck, an electrician or the fire department will typically be able to assess the damage and make you aware of any risks.

2. Electronics may get overloaded. As lightning transfers its charge to the home’s electrical grid, it also channels that energy up any cables connected. This intense burst of power can cause a surge, ruining some electronics. Using surge protectors can prevent this from happening.

3. Shock waves can damage foundations. A shock wave in the clouds is heard as thunder, but a shock wave when lightning strikes the ground can cause serious damage. The force of these waves is strong enough to compromise masonry and shatter windows, so after the storm passes, a thorough home inspection is recommended.

Don't Let Your Commercial Enterprise Be Closed Up Because of Water Damage

12/6/2020 (Permalink)

When a commercial property suffers from a flooding issue, the business loss isn't just measured in how much water is standing in a manager's office or covering a showroom floor. Every minute that the doors aren't open for customers is lost income and opportunity to grow that business.

Today, as the economy still recovers at one of the slowest paces ever, a business that closes its doors for even just a few days risks closing them permanently. Businesses with water damage rely on SERVPRO to get their doors back open as quickly as possible.

Consider this; flooding on a commercial property usually happens (and isn't noticed) overnight. When your manager or employees arrive to open up, that's when they find the problem. This day and its profits are already lost. To even have a chance to reopen the next day or the one after that, you need to get a professional from SERVPRO in your workplace immediately to find and close off the source of the damage.  If you have done so, that will mitigate secondary water damage and increase the speed of drying out the business.
Our team of trained, IICRC certified technicians begins clean-up within the quickest time possible, often within the hour.

Many state and local laws require that walking areas affected be completely dried off before allowing employees and customers to return. It's a matter of both health and safety issues. If your business can show that there is no other damage that puts either group at risk, then an inspector will gladly allow you to start serving and supporting customers again.

Getting the doors quickly reopened, even if the water damage is minor, can mean the difference between life and death for a business today. If a disaster or a broken pipe has closed your shop or offices down, call our technicians here at SERVPRO! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Ask The Experts: How Do I Get Smoke Odor Out Of My Home?

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke smell can be a very persistent nuisance in your home. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to address the odor, whether it is caused by a fire or cigarette smoke. The following are three common home deodorization methods.

1. Air Purification
In many cases, a simple air purifier will eliminate lingering smoke odor. Unlike air fresheners and candles, air filters trap the smoke particles rather than covering up the smell. Air purifiers are often purchased as standalone devices; however, HEPA and activated carbon filters can be purchased for many HVAC systems and help with whole-home odor elimination. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and change the filters regularly.

2. Ozone Treatment
A more intense method of odor removal is ozone treatment. Ozone machines release ozone particles, which have three oxygen molecules. Due to the chemical structure of ozone, the particles combine with smoke odor particles, creating a new particle that does not smell like smoke. Additionally, ozone itself has a smell that is often described as “clean.” The ability to neutralize unpleasant odors and introduce a pleasant fragrance into the home makes ozone a particularly effective method of dealing with smoke odor. However, ozone can be dangerous if not handled properly, so it is important to hire professional help if you choose this method of home deodorization.

3. Thermal Fogging
Another odor-eliminating technique best left to professionals is known as thermal fogging. With this technique, a fog of deodorizer is sprayed over the affected area. Additionally, the area is heated up, causing porous materials to expand. This allows the deodorizer to penetrate cracks, crevices, and other areas unreachable by different methods.
If your home has a lingering odor from cigarette smoke, a house fire, or fireplace, a professional restoration service can help you with home deodorization. Instead of simply covering up the odor, they can eliminate it so that it does not return.

Give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get things back to "Like it never even happened." 

Ask The Experts: What is Efflorescence?

11/27/2020 (Permalink)

Sometimes when we complete drying in a home or business some concerns arise at a white residue that is left behind on concrete, stone or brick materials. Is it mold? Fungus? Is it dangerous?

Fortunately almost every time (especially when water damage has been dried down professionally by SERVPRO Technicians) it is what is called efflorescence which is a migration of salt to the surface of a porous material. 

Efflorescence is typically harmless to people’s health and is not a structural concern in buildings. The problem arises because mold comes in all kinds of colors including white and sometimes can look very similar to efflorescence. After water damage that has been properly treated it is almost certainly not mold but what if you find it outside of the context of water damage? 

One way to know if you are dealing with mold or efflorescence is that if that white stuff is on a material other than porous masonry or concrete it is probably mold. This is because mold will do its best to grow on any surface whereas efflorescence will only show up on masonry. Typically mold will continue to grow whereas efflorescence doesn’t although continuing water migration through concrete can cause the efflorescence to accumulate. You can also spray some of it with a little water and try to wipe it. If that works you probably are not dealing with mold. 

The best way to know which one you are dealing with is to call the professionals here at SERVPRO! We can tell the difference, and if mold has hit your home or business, we can get it back to "Like it never even happened." 

Expanding Our Family

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Team Zubricki is so excited to expand services to the areas of South Holland, Dolton, and Riverdale. Extending services to these areas have provided us the opportunity to become a part of communities that are rooted in kindness and spending a great deal of time giving back to those in need as well as supporting the many small businesses throughout the area. We are looking forward to offering our time and support to the many community events held yearly. 

The residents and businesses of these areas can rest assured that we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide them with the best fire and water mitigation and restoration services when the need arises. 

Our well trained IICRC certified technicians come prepared to walk home and business owners through the steps needed to get their property back to preloss condition. 

If you have questions about water or fire damage, call us today at  (773) 337-3900.

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