Recent Posts

Restoring You Commercial Property After Water Damage

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at your commercial property are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether you are dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

How to Property Inspect Your Fire Extinguisher

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Home Safety: How to Inspect a Fire Extinguisher

When was the last time you took time to check the fire extinguisher that sits under your kitchen sink? Or the one hanging from a dusty hook in your garage? If you’re struggling to remember, it’s time to check it. Like any other piece of safety equipment, a home fire extinguisher should be inspected regularly to ensure it’s in proper working condition. A fire extinguisher in good working condition is your first line of defense when a home fire erupts.

Ideally, you should inspect your portable home fire extinguishers every month.

Tips for Performing a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Check

Check the label or tag.

Every fire extinguisher, whether disposable or rechargeable, has a manufacturer’s label or tag. Read the tag and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance suggestions.

Check the tamper seal.

If the tamper seal has been broken or is cracked, a disposable fire extinguisher needs to be replaced. If it’s rechargeable, it needs to be serviced professionally. Check the locking or pull pin as well to make sure it’s in the correct position. If the pin missing, the fire extinguisher needs to be inspected or serviced by a professional.

Inspect for physical damage.

Physically inspect the fire extinguisher for obvious damage. This may include but is not limited to dents, corrosion, cracks and obvious leakage. If a fire extinguisher has leakage, it’s no longer under full pressure and may not work properly when you need it most. Check the fire extinguisher nozzle as well, to ensure it’s not clogged by grime, dust, bugs or leakage from the unit itself.

Check the pressure gauge.

Check that the pressure gauge needle indicates the fire extinguisher pressure is in the optimum operating range. Often the correct pressure range will be designated by green on the gauge.

Is the fire extinguisher full?

During your monthly check, lift the fire extinguisher and determine if it still feels full. If there has been a leak, it will feel light, and it won’t have the right amount of pressure to work correctly.

Shake it.

If you have a dry chemical fire extinguisher, it should be shaken once a month during your inspection. This helps prevent the chemical dousing agent from solidifying at the bottom of the unit.

Write inspection date on tag.

Keep track of every inspection date by writing it on the fire extinguisher tag.

Ensure easy access to your fire extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers should always be easy to access if there is an emergency. You don’t want to have to search for it once a fire breaks out. Don’t block fire extinguishers with furniture, boxes or any other items. Everyone who lives in the household should know where the closest fire extinguisher is located and how to use it in case of an emergency.

In the event of a fire emergency, first make sure to get people safely away, then call 911. A home fire extinguisher can be used to put out or control small fires, but it’s still safest to call professional fire fighters before you attempt to control a fire on your own. If you need professional fire, smoke and water damage cleanup and remediation after a fire, call the experts at SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest.

Prevent a Clothes Dryer Fire

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

The following are ways to prevent a clothes dryer fire in your home:

  1. Inspect your outdoor vent. Check to make sure that your outdoor vent flap is not covered by snow or debris.
  2. Do not dry items that have been stained with volatile chemicals. Wash clothing stained with flammable chemicals more than once and do not use the dryer to dry these items, opting for a clothes line dryer.
  3. Don’t leave your dryer unattended. If you need to leave your home, turn off the dryer during the laundry cycle.
  4. Install with care. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the vent pipe. Use a short, straight pipe that is an adequate distance from the wall. Reducing the bends in the dryer vent pipe creates fewer opportunities for lint to gather. Invest in a dryer vent fan if you have to vent your dryer over a long distance. Dryer vent fans increase the airflow through the duct every time you turn on your dryer forcing debris out.
  5. Remove combustibles. Cleaning supplies and other flammable liquids should not be kept near the dryer. In addition, sweep out dust in the areas around and underneath your dryer regularly.
  6. Use a metal dryer duct. Metal ducts are better than foil or plastic ducts for two key reasons. First, unlike foil or plastic ducts, metal ducts do not sag. This is important because sagging ducts contributes to lint build up at low points. Second, metal ducts are more likely to contain any fires that would start.
  7. Read clothing tags and labels. Always use caution when you are drying bath mats, padded bras, and bibs because they may contain rubber that should not be exposed to hot temperatures. Also, if the label instructs you to tumble dry an item, follow the advice and do not dry at hotter temperatures.
  8. After each dryer use, check your clothes. If your clothes do not feel dry or are extra hot after a normal drying cycle, then this may indicate that something is wrong. Before using the dryer again, check for a plugged vent and clean out any lint.
  9. Clean out the lint. Clean out the lint trap after each use and once a year hire a professional to clean out the vent pipes.

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest is IICRC Certified

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest is IICRC Certified SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest is an IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest is an IICRC firm.  The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies.  IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation.  These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated.  The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event.  Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm.  We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property

Beware of Frozen Pipes This Winter

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Beware of Frozen Pipes This Winter Prevention is Key to Preventing a Pipe From Freezing

Winter is here, and in the Chicagoland area that means cold weather and other problems for you home.  One of the main problems during this cold season is frozen pipes. It is easier to prevent pipes from freezing rather than cleaning up after they have frozen.  SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest will always be there to clean up the damage from a broken pipe, but lets stop it before it gets there.

Why Are Frozen Pipes A Problem?

Frozen pipes can be a problem because they block water flow to the affected outlets which poses a problem in itself.  But worse than that, when water freezes, it expands which means that a frozen pipe can burst sending ice and water to surrounding surfaces like drywall.  Fixing and cleaning up after burst pipe can be very expensive.

Preventing A Pipe From Freezing

Their a steps to preventing pipes from freezing:

*Shut off outdoor outlets such as sprinklers and open the valve to drain out the water.

*Check your home for pipes that  may run through an outside wall and insulate those pipes.

*Insulate parts of the home that are cold like the basement.

*Call a plumber that can help spot vulnerable pipes and offer alternative solutions.

Dealing With And Preventing Ice Dams

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Dealing With And Preventing Ice Dams The cause of ice dams.

What Is An Ice Dam?

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off the roof.  The water backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceiling, insulation and other areas.

What Causes Ice Dams?

There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation.  For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof and, at the same time, portions of the roof's outside surface must be above 32 degrees while lower surfaces are below 32 degrees.  The snow on a roof's surface that is above 32 degrees will melt.  As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32 and  and freezes thus causing an ice dam. The ice grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it. The water backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid.  This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof and flows into the attic space.  From the attic it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and destroy those areas.

Prevention

Remove snow from the roof, eliminating the key ingredient to ice dams.  A "roof rake" and a push broom and be used to remove snow.  In an emergency situation where the water is already flowing into the home, make channels through the ice dam which allows water behind the dam to drain off the roof.  This is a temporary solution.

Home Fire Safety

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Home Fire Safety Have an escape plan.

The American Red Cross states that you may have as little as two minutes to escape a home fire.  During a fire, early warnings from a working smoke alarms and a prepared fire escape plan can save your and your families lives.

Top Tips for Fire Safety

*Install smoke alarms on every level in your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

*Test smoke alarms every month.  Make sure to change the batteries if they are not working.

*Make a fire escape plan with your family and practice it.

*If a fire occurs in your home, get out of the home and call for help.  Never go back into a burning home.

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest is there for you with any fire mitigation needs from clean up to content storage.

Mold and Your Home

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold and Your Home Prevent mold from growing in your home.

Mold is found both indoors and outdoors.  Mold can enter your home through doorways, windows, vents and heating and air conditioning systems.  Mold from outside can also attach to your clothes, shoes and bags and be carried inside.

Mold will grow in places that have a lot of moisture, like leaks in your roof, windows or pipes and areas that had flooding.  Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, drywall and wood products.

Control Mold In Your House

You can control mold growth in your home by:

*Controlling humidity levels.

*Fixing leaks in roofs, windows and pipes.

*Cleaning thoroughly after a flood.

*Ventilating showers, laundry rooms and cooking areas.

If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up and mold and fix the moisture problem.  If there is a large area of mold, call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest to remove it properly and safely.

Ice Damning

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Ice Dam Removal Service

What is an ice dam?

An ice dam is the ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof which prevents melting snow from draining as it should. The water that backs up behind the ice dam can leak into the home and cause damage to walls, floors, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. Most ice dams occur on the lowest edge of your roof. 

There are 6 warning signs for ice dams:

1.     Your home has had ice dams in the past.

2.     You see roof ice– icicles forming on the edge of the roof, or off the front edge of the gutter.

3.     Ice is coming through the soffit.

4.     Ice is forming behind the gutters (if gutters are present).

5.     You see ice or water on the exterior wall.

6.     You see water coming through the frame of a door or window.

  If ice dams cause water to leak in your home, call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest.  We will do our best to clean up the mess from ice dams.  Call 708-483-8636.
 

Thanksgiving Safety

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Thanksgiving Safety Deep fryer caught on fire.

For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations.

So keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

Thanksgiving by the numbers
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving.
  • In 2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,570 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.  
Safety tips
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.