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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How to Avoid Frozen Pipes

1/3/2022 (Permalink)

Once the summer temperatures fall and cooler weather settles in, there are many possible causes of water damage for business owners to consider. One of the most important situations to avoid is the damage that happens after freezing temperatures lead to broken pipes.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

Before jumping into the steps to take after the damage has happened, consider some steps you can take to protect your pipes and, hopefully, prevent them from breaking:

Identify areas of possible weakness, such as pipes that are exposed to the weather, pipes in unheated parts of the building, and unprotected pipes along exterior walls.

Drain water from hoses and pipes that won't be used during cold weather, such as the sprinkler system.

Remove exterior hoses and store them inside. Drain hoses and pipes before storing them for the winter.

Add insulation to exterior walls, basements, and other cold rooms in the building.

Consider products such as pipe sleeves and insulated covers. These protective covers could provide just enough warmth to keep water running when it's needed.

Remember that water expands when it freezes, so when the water in a pipe becomes cold enough to freeze, there's a lot of pressure from the inside of the pipe. The steps you can take to prevent broken pipes are effective ways to avoid a lot of water damage.

Keep Your Pipes Warm During the Winter

There are several other steps you can take to protect your property. These include setting your nighttime thermostat to a temperature above freezing, letting a small amount of cold water drip from the faucets during very cold weather, and opening cabinet doors to allow heated air to flow freely around the pipes. If your business is going to close for several days or longer, turn off the water to the building. Otherwise, you may return to serious flooding and the need for expensive water cleanup.

Respond to Frozen Pipes

Sometimes, in spite of your efforts, the pipes may still freeze. Even if there's no obvious damage, you may find that just a small trickle is all you're getting from the faucet. This is a clear sign that the pipes are frozen:

Leave the faucet open and begin looking for the section that's frozen.

Use a space heater, electric heating pad, or another gentle source of heat to treat the frozen section of the pipe. You could also warm up some towels to wrap around the pipes. As you slowly thaw the ice inside the pipes, you'll see a stronger flow of water from the faucet. Don't ever use any open flame, blowtorch, or propane heater to warm up the pipes.

Continue applying gentle heat until you have full water pressure from the faucet.

If you have one frozen pipe, there's a good chance that there are other clogged areas in the pipes. Test all of the faucets on your property.

If a burst pipe has caused serious water damage, contact local cleanup and reconstruction professionals. The sooner you respond to flooding and damage, the better you can avoid further expense and inconvenience.

What To Do If There Is Water In A Light Fixture

1/3/2022 (Permalink)

A flood from a busted pipe or supply line leak can affect more than just the surrounding area. This is particularly common when the faulty water source is on the second story of your home. Not only can it cause water damage to the flooring and walls around it but also to the ceiling under it. Here are a few tips for getting the water out of the light fixture on your lower floor effectively and efficiently.

2 Tips To Deal With Water in a Light Fixture

1. Stay Safe

Your gut reaction may be to open up the fixture and just let the water drain out. This is not advisable until you have taken the necessary safety precautions:

  • Shut off water to stop flooding.
  • Flip breaker to cut power.
  • Don rubber gloves and boots to neutralize residual charge.

Draining the fixture is one of the first steps toward taking care of the water damage to your lower floor. If you choose to touch the light before the restoration team arrives, make sure you are doing it safely.

2. Call Professionals

If the leak in your home has flooded two floors, you need water damage repair that goes beyond amateur abilities. When water has made its way into a light fixture on a lower level, you probably have quite a bit of ceiling damage on top of everything that needs mitigation on the higher floor. You need a team that has the experience and expertise to address the whole problem. As soon as you know there is an issue, call local water restoration specialists. They can assess the problem, propose solutions and provide an estimate of how much time and money it will probably take to fix it.

Water damage doesn't always stick to one area of your home. The more water involved, the farther and faster it can spread. It may even flood a lower floor, including the ceiling and light fixtures. Use the appropriate safety precautions and call for the help you need.

Causes and Prevention Tips for Wintertime Fires

1/3/2022 (Permalink)

Outside of a home with trees and snow in the winter. Practicing prevention is the best way to reduce the chance of a fire, however if you do experience a loss contact SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest

Wintertime fires are a big concern for individuals due to their statistical likelihood of occurrence.

House fires occur the most in the winter, and the increased risk makes it important to understand the causes and prevention tips in order to stay safe and fire-free this season.

Reasons for the High Rate of Winter House Fires

An Increase in Cooking
At any time of the year, cooking is found to be the leading cause of house fires in the country, but this holds especially true for the winter season. Because there are many holiday meals, occasions for baking and a general increase in cooking in the winter, it is important to exercise caution at any time the oven or stove is in use.

The Risk of Heaters
Using extra heating methods in addition to the central heating unit is quite common, but it can increase the fire risk if safety precautions are not taken. Heating is the second-highest fire cause during the winter months, typically due to unsafe fireplace use and the use of heaters that do not have automatic safety switches to prevent a fire from starting.

Candles and Decorations
While the safety of decorations is not something commonly thought of, during the winter months, it becomes gravely important. Open flames from holiday candles can quickly spread if left unattended, and electronic lights and other décor can overheat or spark if they are not well-maintained.

Preventing Winter Fires From Occurring

The many things that can contribute to a winter fire are important to note, not so that they can be avoided but so they can be completed safely. By understanding what is behind these fires and following the below prevention tips, individuals can do a better job at being fire-safe:

  • Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years.
  • Always monitor open flames.
  • Select space heaters with automatic shut-offs in case they tip over.
  • Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
  • Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.

Can Your Belongings Recover From Mold Growth?

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growing in a petri dish Call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest at (708) 483-8636 with mold remediation questions!

How To Recover From Mold Growth?

Moisture and high humidity can attract mold spores into your home, where they can grow across a variety of surfaces. While mold commonly grows on building surfaces like drywall and carpeting, it can also affect your belongings, such as clothing and furniture. Mold cleaning can be difficult; however, before you throw items away, you may want to learn about which could be saved by different types of professional cleansing processes and which cannot. 

1. Throw Away Porous Items 

Most porous surfaces can absorb water and encourage further mold growth. As such, some items like mattresses, thick rugs and stuffed toys that already show signs of mold damage are usually not salvageable. If your child has a favorite stuffed toy that you want to attempt to save, ask your remediation technicians if they have any mold cleaning processes that may help. You may want to remember, however, that porous items affected by black mold are usually considered unsalvageable because this type of fungus is particularly hard to eradicate. 

2. Freeze Documents and Books 

If you have important documents and books that developed mold, place them in sealable plastic bags and store them in your freezer. Freezing these items can inhibit further mold growth and protect them until they can be inspected by an expert mold remediation and restoration company. This can salvage items like original birth certificates, wedding albums and baby books. 

3. Set Aside Moldy Clothing 

If you have favorite items of clothing that have been affected by mold, ask your remediation technicians about what type of options you have for salvaging them. Wet, dry and immersion cleaning may all be possible, especially for leather jackets and shoes. Some companies have access to an Esporta Machine, which cleans soft contents by removing tough odors, dirt and mold in a way that even commercial-grade units cannot. 

Mold can have a devastating effect on your home’s contents. However, professional mold cleaning processes may be able to salvage your treasured possessions, even if you believe they are beyond repair.

Things To Do Before Help Arrives

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

If your home or business has water damage, you can do some things before help arrives.

Make sure that the building or home is safe.

SERVPRO of Lincoln Wants You to Remember:

  • Waterlogged materials are very heavy
  • Wet surfaces are slippery
  • Make sure electrical power is off before you handle devices
  • Make sure you are standing on dry area before you turn on the electric power

SERVPRO of Lincoln suggests that you:

  • Remove excess water with mops and/or towels
  • Wipe water from wood furniture or other items
  • Remove wet cushions. Prop them upright to dry
  • Hang up rugs to dry
  • Place foil or blocks between furniture and wet carpeting
  • Turn on dehumidifiers or air-conditioning if it is safe
  • Move colored items from wet carpeting
  • Move artwork to a safe, dry place
  • Move loose items from the floor or counters
  • Start drying items ASAP
  • Remember that mold starts growing within 24 hours
  • Stay away from rooms that have sagging ceilings.

Halloween Fire and Safety Tips

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

For kids, Halloween is often one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. Dressing up, trick-or-treating, candy, parties, hayrides and corn mazes make for great fun and amazing childhood memories. Unfortunately, Halloween has become a holiday with increasing numbers of home fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), decorations were the first item ignited in an estimated average of 860 reported home structure fires every Halloween between 2009 and 2013. These fires resulted in an average of 13 million dollars in direct property damage per year. At such a high cost, it’s crucial that you take the necessary steps to help prevent a fire from igniting in your home this season.

To help you enjoy a safer holiday, follow these important Halloween safety tips from the experts at SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest.


Use these tips to help prevent your Halloween decorations from catching fire:

Pumpkin Safety

The traditional jack-o-lantern features a smiling or spooky face that’s illuminated from within by a candle. Placing candles inside a cleaned-out pumpkin is a fire hazard. In fact, any lit candle left unattended is a Halloween fire hazard. If they’re inside pumpkins, they can tip over, ignite surrounding materials and cause a fire. To stay safe, use a battery-operated candle or LED light to illuminate your festive pumpkins.

Candle Safety

Using paper bag luminaries or lining a mantle, porch stairs or windowsills with lit candles can create an eerie effect for Halloween night. However, this type of decorating is a fire hazard and poses a risk of injury to you and your guests. To help prevent a fire from decorative candles, replace them with battery-operated, no-flame candles that still provide the same spooky ambiance.

Decoration Safety

Some decorations, both inside and outside of your home, can be dangerous if left near a heat source. Straw, hay bales, corn stalks and other dry materials are flammable. To protect your home from a fire, keep these decorations away from any kind of heat source, including fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, candles and outdoor fire pits.


Halloween has the potential to bring plenty of residents through your lawn. To help keep trick-or-treaters and their parents safe, check that your yard is properly maintained and has adequate lighting. Before night falls, complete these tasks:

  • Remove large amounts of debris, including leaves or sticks, to help reduce the risk of trips and falls.
  • Check that the exterior lights are working properly, including any path lights or Halloween decorations.
  • Ensure that steps and railing are secure, if necessary.

By following these tips, you can help keep everyone safe. We hope you have a happy and fun Halloween this year!

Unfortunately, accidents still happen. In the event that a fire broke out in your home, call on the experts at SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest. We’re available 24/7 every day of the year to get your home back to normal after a disaster. With the proper expertise, tools and innovative equipment, we can restore your home fast. Learn more about our residential fire and smoke damage removal services before the unexpected happens.

How Long is Too Long to Wait to Call SERVPRO...

9/8/2021 (Permalink)

How does SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest determine how to handle smoke damaged items?

Temperature, whether the fire is smoldering or blazing, as well as materials burned, each affect necessary cleanup measures differently. To make matters worse smoke particles can easily penetrate any crack and crevice. When not handled properly, particles will leave a smoke odor behind that lasts months after a fire. Proper ventilation, consistent debris removal, proper cleaning and immediate odor neutralizing efforts are critical to saving as many of your belongings as possible. However, timing is THE most crucial component of successful smoke remediation.  

Are you running out of time?

The IIRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), a globally recognized leader in all types of remediation, identifies these time windows:

  • Within minutes
    Porous materials and synthetics must be immediately addressed to prevent permanent discoloration.
  • Within hours to days
    Wooden furniture, flooring, painted walls, and clothing can become permanently stained if not addressed within hours to days of damage, and metal surfaces will at this point begin to rust, pit, and corrode, requiring refinishing or replacement.
  • Within weeks
    Prolonged soot exposure will embed itself in the fibers and surfaces, resulting in a longer, more costly restoration with a higher likelihood of replacement.

What Makes SERVPRO Stand Out?

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

As a restoration company, our aim is to be the trusted resource among clients. We ensure that we follow industry standard protocols. Our staff members go through IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration) training to be best prepared for all the services we offer. They are also certified with OSHA, Lead, and Asbestos awareness. We maintain a large inventory of equipment for residential and commercial work. The extensive list was added to this past week with more equipment being sent to our team. Air movers, dehumidification equipment, air scrubbers, specialty drying equipment including desiccants and generators all help complete the work in a timely manner. Lastly, our team members utilize technology and client documentation to make sure that everything is recorded properly. Our proprietary software that documents and records all the essential information is needed to make sure that these pieces are easily accessible. 


8/27/2021 (Permalink)

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important in a disaster event. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

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. We can handle any size disaster!

Call us at (708) 483-8636!

Commercial Cleaners Create a Safer and Healthy Workspace

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

Safety is a priority for a business owner for their employees and customers. The right janitorial company can play a crucial role in preventing workplace injuries and illnesses. It can also help keep your business in compliant with health and safety regulations. When a customer or employee walk into a facility a key factor to prevent an injury or an illness is to make sure the following items have been done:

Help prevent slips, trips and falls inside and outside your building:

  • Parking Lots and Sidewalks – Check for potholes, uneven walkways, broken parking blocks. Properly mark any changes in elevation of walkways. Correctly mark all parking spaces.
  • Inside Building: Install non- slip mats in front of doors to wipe wet feet. Place same mats in front of ice machines, sinks and drinking fountains. If there are wet floors, place caution signs.

Proper Lighting and Electrical Components:

  • Make sure all emergency lighting is installed and checked regularly to make sure they are working. All exit signs are always visible and illuminated.
  • In bathrooms and kitchens should have ground fault breakers. Make sure workstation outlets are not overloaded which could cause a fire.

Cleanliness of Workspace:

  • Daily disinfecting of bathrooms and cafeterias to stop cross-contamination of the spreading of germs from colds and flu.

Emergency Fire Equipment:

  • Make sure all fire alarms, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are hardwired with a battery backup and are checked on a regular basis.
  • Check fire escapes to make sure they are functioning and clear of any objects or debris.
  • Sprinkler System is up to code and has been inspected and records kept on file.
  • Portable Fire Extinguishers should be kept on each floor of the building and easily accessible. Teach each employee how to properly use an extinguisher. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS: Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism. Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

A safe workspace keeps employees productive, attract customers, and protects your business from potential lawsuits. Keeping employees and customers safe isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also important for your business. 

Tips for Disinfecting Your Office

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

Keeping a clean office environment should be a priority for your company. This will prevent the spread of germs and keep people healthier year-round.

Here are four tips for disinfecting your office:

1.) Wipe surfaces in one direction.

If you wipe a surface one direction and then go back the opposite direction, you are going to spread the germs right back on the surface. A swift wipe in one direction will be most effective in removing germs from a surface.

2.) Make sure you're using the right chemicals.

Make sure you are using the right chemicals for disinfecting. Each cleaning product should be labeled with its intended purpose. 

3.) Make sure you get to all of the high-tough areas.

High-touch areas should be at the top of your list for disinfecting. This includes things such as chairs, stair railings, telephones, restroom surfaces and coffee pot handles/dispensers.

4.) Make handwashing a priority in your business.

Stressing the importance of handwashing in your office will go a long ways in preventing the unnecessary spread of germs.

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. However, we offer fogging and deep cleaning of commercial space to keep you and your business healthy!

Call us at (708) 483-8636!

How To Prepare Your Home For A Storm

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

Quick guide to preparing for a storm

    • Ensure your drains and gutters are clear of debris to prevent blockages.
    • If safe to do so, check your pipes and water tanks are insulated to prevent freezing and that the release point of overflow pipes is not obstructed. Ideally, you'll have a regular maintenance program in place.
    • Cut back trees and branches to minimize the risk of falling branches.
    • Secure loose fences.
    • Check that roof tiles and aerials are secure if you can do this safely. It may be worth seeking professional advice.
    • Make sure garden furniture and ladders are secured in case of high winds or locked away in the shed or even inside your house.
    • When you know a bad storm is on its way with warnings about gale-force winds and floods, make sure children, pets and your family and neighbors are safe. Make sure you're indoors when it hits and don’t try and repair damage during a storm.

Always be cautious when undertaking any task that you're not fully familiar with as you could injure yourself or those around you, seek professional help where required.

So make sure you're storm ready. Secure loose objects such as ladders and garden furniture. Close and secure all windows and doors. Check on loved ones before a storm strikes, but once it arrives, stay indoors. Do not try to drive or move around outside near trees or buildings that could collapse.

If you experience storm damage give us a call at (708)483-8636.

5 Household Appliances that Can Cause Water Damage

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

When thinking about areas in your home that are prone to water damage, you should think about these 5 appliances that can cause the most leaks in your home. 

1.Refrigerator- In terms of leaking coming from a refrigerator, there are two likely culprits. The first being a blocked defrost drain. This drain can be blocked with food particles or other debris and can eventually lead to water leaking from the refrigerator. Make sure to check this area of the refrigerator if you are experiencing a leak. Also, the water supply line that feeds water to your ice machine could leak. Make sure to check connections. 

2.Dishwasher- Another appliance that is prone to leaks is a dishwasher. While there are many different mechanical problems that could cause leaks, like a faulty float switch or a clogged drain, a common leak from a dishwasher is when the wrong detergent or too much detergent is used. 

3.Washing Machine- Washing machines have many things that could cause leaks. If you notice a leak coming from your washing machine, make sure to check all connections (inlet and hose) and also the floor drain, which could be clogged. Check your owners manual, unplug the washing machine and turn off the water main. Troubleshoot all possible areas where the leak could be coming from. 

4. Water Heaters- The main leaks relating to water heaters are due to a malfunctioning temperature and pressure relief valve, a leaky plumbing connection or corrosion in the water tank itself. You can test the valve by flushing water through to clear any debris. If corrosion is the problem, you will need to replace the water heater. 

5.Toilets- Toilets overflow because they have clogged drain or because the float is malfunctioning, which allows too much water into the tank. If plunging doesn’t solve the problem, the problem may be in the pipes outside, which would require a professional plumber. 

If you have experienced water damage in your home, please contact SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest at (708)483-8636.

Top 10 Fire Hazards in the Home

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

While the expert team of SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest is here to help if you experience a fire disaster below you will find the top 10 Fire hazards in the home.

1. Electrical Outlet Issues

The top cause of House Fires in the United States stem from issues with electrical outlets. In 2020, we are using more electronic devices than ever, and doing so we oftentimes are using too many on a single outlet. To help prevent fires be sure to not exceed your voltage on a single outlet in your home.

2. Outdated Home Wiring

Household wiring should be checked routinely to avoid circumstances that trigger major fire damage in your home. Often times wiring that is outdated, worn, or even compromised from animals can cause fire hazards in and outside your home.

3. Decorative Lights

With Halloween and Christmas right around the corner, be sure to take the proper precaution when using decorative lights including outside lights, plugs, surge protectors, extension cords, and turning off your Christmas Tree Lighting when you are not home to minimize risks.

4. Hair Products

When in a rush, do not forget to unplug your styling products. A simple mistake can result in huge damages. Make sure that your curling iron and hair dryers are off and placed on heatproof material to help reduce the chances of a fire.

5. Toasters

Proper care of your toaster can help to prevent house fires. Crumbs inside the toaster can be dangerous as they can cause sparks which leads to hazardous problems in the kitchen. Make sure to clean your toaster routinely.

6. Candles

We all love candles and aromas however we need to be cautious of placement and be sure to put them out prior to going to bed or leaving the house. Always try to place candles in holders that prevent them from falling on surfaces or tabletops.

7. Washer & Dryers

Washer and Dryers are a leading cause of fires. Routine maintenance and cleaning can help to prevent fire hazards by cleaning filters and vents as well as the outside vents of the home.

8. Smoking

If you are a smoker or someone smokes in the home, try to do so outside. Always keep lighters and matchsticks out of reach of your children as this is one of the top causes of home fires.

9. Dust in Electric Sockets

This is a recurring process as the dust piles inside electrical sockets and if not cleaned regularly may ignite and result in fire hazards.

10. Electric Blankets

While they do wonders to keep us warm in the winter, Electric Blankets can cause fires. Be sure to use an electric blanket that doesn’t have too much wear and tear. When not in use, do not fold the blankets as it helps prevent electrical issues that lead to fire hazards.

Should you experience home fire damage, let the experts at SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest help restore your home “Like it never even happened.” With our 24/7 emergency dispatch, we will have someone on-site quickly to access the damage and help you in your time of need.

3 Steps To Repair The Envelope Of Your Building

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Find Moisture Leaks

Wear and tear, damage from pests, missing roof shingles, and sagging doors and windows could all provide a way for moisture to get into your building. A visual inspection may be enough to find out how water is getting into the building. Inspect flashings, edges of doors and walls, expansion joints, and everywhere that one material meets up with another material. Remember that some water damage, such as black mold growth, can't always be found with a visual inspection. Once or twice a year, you should schedule professional inspections.

Contact Repair Professionals

Sometimes property owners are tempted to ignore leaks until substantial problems arise. This can become a very expensive mistake. Instead, it's best to contact professionals with the training and supplies necessary to repair existing rain damage and prevent more water from getting past the building envelope.

Improve Preventative Measures

One area of damage is usually a sign that there's widespread damage. It's rare that one spot of damage is an isolated occurrence. A single gap between the window corner and the exterior wall should prompt you to update the sealing around all of the windows. Make sure that routine maintenance and professional inspections are scheduled consistently throughout the year.

The best way to protect the protective envelope of your building from rain damage is regular inspections and repairs completed by water damage repair and reconstruction professionals. Be proactive when it comes to protecting your building from expensive damage.

Keeping Your Home Safe from Storm Damage

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Storms can come upon us without much warning. Yes, we watch the news, but bad weather is still unpredictable, so we need to take steps to keep our homes safe from storm damage.

An inspection of your home’s premises is a really good idea to conduct before inclement weather hits. A leaky roof or windows can cause big problems during extreme conditions such as a snow storm or heavy rains. Do all your exterior doors and windows fit correctly? When’s the last time you took a look at your roof to see how things are looking up there? These are all great questions to ask yourself.

Loose shutters and rain gutters can present a real problem in high winds, as can unstable large trees. It might be a good idea to trim back trees and bushes with large heavy branches that are not in good condition, so that windows and vehicles are not in danger of storm damage in windy conditions.

Many homes in older cities have drainage ditches at the front of the property. Take time to inspect this area and remove debris or dirt that might obstruct the flow of water from a heavy rain. A clogged drainage ditch can cause a lot of damage by flooding your property during, or even after, a storm.

Your family is very precious to you. In the event of a storm, do you have a system in place that will help you to get information to everyone in case of a weather emergency? Most of us use our cell phones to communicate these days, but in the case of a bad storm, your cell phone service could be at risk. You might consider installing a good old-fashioned landline, just in case. If you or a family member gets stuck at work or out doing errands, families will worry, so it’s vital that lines of communication stay open.

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. We can handle any size disaster!

Call us at (708) 483-8636!

Commercial Remediation

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Remediation

Fire damage is especially devastating for a business or commercial property. In addition to the fire damage and smoke damage, significant water damage from firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur. Every hour spent restoring your business to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business.

Every fire damage situation is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. When various materials burn, the soot they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedures. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.

Commercial Mold Remediation 

Besides causing a major business interruption, mold damage can present a serious health risk for people exposed to your commercial property. Mold infestations can be caused by minor water damage intrusions, like a slow roof leak or loose plumbing fitting. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you suspect your property has a mold damage problem, call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest, who will respond quickly and work fast to manage the situation.

Commercial Water Remediation Commercial Mold Remediation 

There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when an emergency arises in your business, SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest we’ll be there fast with the help you need. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial to prevent further damages to your business. Even a delay of a few hours can greatly increase the result of water damage. 

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (708)483-8636.

Flood Damage and Pack-out Procedures

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Sustained rainfall can result in groundwater flooding of your property. Not only do high standing water levels exert significant pressure on your walls and flooring, but they can also carry high levels of contamination. As a homeowner, you may be able to deal with clean water emergencies yourself. However, floodwaters carry with them infectious waste, which can be harmful to your health.

You need professional assistance from trained technicians to overcome flood damage to your home. At SERVPRO, we run a unique out-of-hours emergency service for victims of groundwater, flash flooding, or storm-related events. We will ensure that your property and contents sustain as little harm as possible. We strive to reduce the expense of your claim by using our advanced equipment and professional expertise to repair the damages quickly.

In severe flooding scenarios, it may be necessary to store your contents at the separate facilities while work is undertaken. Separate storage can frequently mitigate against further losses while we work to restore the structure itself. When a pack-out service is necessary, SERVPRO technicians take an inventory of your possessions, their condition, and the rooms to which they belong. This ensures you are covered in the unlikely event of transit damages.

One advantage of a pack-out procedure is that it can significantly reduce the timeframe of your property restoration. Less furniture provides greater access to all areas of your home's structure. This access can be helpful should we need to perform structural or cavity drying as well as demolition of non-salvageable materials. Once your property has been returned to a sanitary condition, we can use our automated inventory to put furniture and possessions back where we found them.

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. We can handle any size disaster!

Call us at (708) 483-8636!

How SERVPRO Handles Commercial Loss

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

When it comes to commercial restoration, property managers want to leave nothing to chance. That's why they rely on professionals like SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest.

What sets us apart from other restoration companies is our skilled technicians and the advanced equipment we use to take care of any-scale disaster. This use of professional equipment allows us to restore your commercial property or retail business back to its preloss condition quickly, reliably, and more effectively.

Here are some of the unique tools we have to restore your property:

  • An infrared camera may be used to identify hidden water locations for the thorough removal of moisture that is hidden from the naked eye.
  • Sensitive moisture meters/detectors, hygrometers, and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation.
  • Submersible and gas-powered pumps for continuous pumping of high-level water from events like floods. 
  • Truck-mounted and portable extraction units perform efficient water removal.
  • High-speed air movers cause moisture to evaporate at a faster pace.
  • Industrial grade dehumidifiers pull the water vapor from the air.
  • Trailer mounted generators and desiccants (Large Commercial Air Dryer) provide power and large scale drying capabilities.
  • Air Scrubbers that are able to filter the air of contaminants and fumes.
  • The use of Thermal Foggers and environmentally-safe Deodorization Agents to leave a pleasant scent upon use.

You can count on SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest to take care of any size loss you may have, so you can put your commercial business back in order and get you back to doing what you do best--serving your customers!

Give us a call at (708) 483-8636.

What NOT To Do After A Flood

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

During a storm, flood water can invade your home and cause considerable damage to your property. However, your main priority should always be to get yourself, your family members, and your pets to safety. Once the storm has passed, you can return to assess the damage and begin the cleanup process. Here are four things you should not do when returning to the site of a flood.

1. Make Contact With the Water
Floodwater can contain many different types of contaminants including bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and debris. Help protect your skin from harmful water by wearing rubber boots and gloves and keeping your hands and face from making contact with the water. If contact occurs despite your best efforts, wash immediately with soap and clean water.

2. Enter Standing Water 
After a flood, homes, yards, streets, and other areas can be covered in standing water. Powerful winds often accompany heavy storms, so it is not uncommon to find downed powerlines after a storm. Since water from a flood is usually murky, you cannot always tell what lies beneath the surface. If the water has been electrically charged, you could experience an electric shock if you enter a flooded home. Rubber boots will help protect against the risk of electrocution.

3. Let the Water Sit
The longer water sits, the more time bacteria have to multiply. When items are left to sit in water for long periods of time, the structural integrity of those items can begin to break down. The water should be safely extracted as soon as possible. By cleaning the water faster, you can help to lessen any water damage to your home. Since mold can begin forming in as little as 24 to 48 hours, it is important to begin the drying process as soon as the water has been extracted.
By following a few precautions, you can help keep yourself safe from the dangers of floodwater.

If you have experienced a flood or any type of water damage, a professional flood restoration company can help get your home back to its pre-flood condition. Give our team a call at (708) 483-8636 for an assessment.

Get Control Over The Hidden Water Damage

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Getting control over hidden damages

Do you know that water leaks can highly affect the sale of your home? What's more, they can be a concern for new home buyers. However, most homeowners are usually unaware of the hidden leaks. With cracked pipes, leaking spigot and broken seals water will easily creep into some places it isn't meant to go. The end results will be more visible damages which include rot, damaged flooring, and blistered paint.

A minor water leak can increase your repair bills. But the good news is that you can easily prevent such situations. Noticing a sagging ceiling above your dining room table is easier. When looking for water damages you have to remember that these damages rarely turn up at the water source.

Some damages to expect

- Mold and mildew growth. With water leaks, you should also expect an unhealthy environment.

- Permanent water damages to carpets, wood, wallpapers, furnishing and paint.
- Contaminated systems – including the ductwork.
- Insulation and drywall which need replacement and removal.
- If there is water trapped somewhere in your house, poor airflow will become a major problem.

But don't worry, our technicians are always ready to check out problems and offer solutions. Avoid drying the water and assuming that nothing happened. The sneaky leaks could come back and cause more damages.

Purpose of Flood Cuts

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Cut out dry wall with exposed frames Heavy storms can lead to severe flooding damage.

A heavy storm can cause a significant amount of damage to your home. Lightning can strike trees, causing them to fall on the house and tear up the roof. High winds that pick up debris can lead to broken windows. The main concern during a storm, however, is likely flooding. If a weather event in the Chicagoland area leaves behind a lot of standing water in your home, flood restoration specialists may have to make a flood cut to remove all the damage.

When Is a Flood Cut Necessary?

A flood cut is the method the cleanup team uses to tear out materials that can't be salvaged. Technicians will probably need to use a flood cut if the water damage meets certain criteria:

  • High levels of contamination
  • Suspected damage in hard-to-reach areas
  • Compromised structural integrity of the wall

Flooding from a storm almost always leads to a flood cut because the water is contaminated. If the standing water in your home comes from a clean sources, however, technicians may try to save the wall, even if there is a lot of water.

How Is a Flood Cut Measured?

When removing drywall, the mitigation team wants to make sure that it tears out all the damage. Specialists typically make a flood cut at least 12 inches above the spot where the water damage ends. This ensures that any unseen damage is also removed.

What Happens After the Flood Cut Is Made?

Once the cut is made, the technicians remove the drywall. They take out all the damaged material, including any damp insulation behind the wall. Before they rebuild, they have to make sure the area is clean and dry so that no secondary damage occurs.

If a storm causes flooding in your home, it may take more than simply removing the water and wiping down surfaces to complete the repairs. Technicians may have to make flood cuts on your walls to remove all the damage.

How to Put Out An Electrical Fire

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

Chord plugged into outlet on fire An electrical fire can be devastating! Follow these tips to make sure that you and your loved ones stay safe!

Electricity is a hidden danger to the residents in your community. Because it is so frequently used, most people tend to underestimate the risk potential and dangers that come with electrical fires. 

In fact, one-third of all home structure fires stem from an electrical source, and because they tend to be difficult to identify, they are usually much more dangerous and destructive than other types of fires. Here at SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest, we want to share what you should do if an electrical fire starts in your home.


1. Cut off the electricity. If the device that is causing the electrical fire is found, and you can reach the cord and outlet safely, unplug it. 

2. Add sodium bicarbonate. If the fire is small, you may put it out by smothering it with baking soda.

3. Remove the oxygen source. It may also be put out by removing the oxygen source with clothing or a heavy blanket if the fire is small and it is safe to do so.

4. Don’t use water to put it out. Water is a natural conductor of electricity and if you throw water on an electrical fire, you can get shocked or electrocuted. Also, water may enable to fire to spread by conducting electricity throughout the room and potentially igniting flammable materials.

5. Check your fire extinguisher. Electrical fires are a Class C fire, which means that you will need an extinguisher that is appropriate for this type of fire. Most residential fire extinguishers are multi-purpose and labeled ABC, but it is crucial to verify this before using it on an electrical fire. 

Keep These Tips Handy

In an effort to keep you and your loved ones safe, please keep these tips handy for combatting an electrical fire in the event of an emergency Knowing how to respond quickly could be the difference between a small fire and a devastating disaster. For fire restoration, call SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest at 708-483-8636.

Can Wood Furniture Get Restored After Fire Damage in a Home?

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Room with severe fire damage Fires are one of the most stressful events homeowners endure. SERVPRO is always available to restore your home.

SERVPRO Techs Have Specialized Training to Handle Fire Damage to Both Chicagoland Properties and Contents

After a fire occurs in a home, it is not unusual to find all the room's possessions piled in the center and drenched, which is a common tactic used during fire fighting to control the blaze, and in some cases, it saves items from permanent damage. 

SERVPRO technicians work hard for Chicago residents with fire damage in their homes. Not all wood furniture gets created equally, and the construction materials can determine the outcome after exposure to the high heat and water. The techs inspect each piece and look for:

  • Irreparable damage to the joints from heat.
  • The need for cleaning away soot and smoke damage.
  • Swelling from water damage with potential to get corrected through drying.
  • Deterioration in composite wood furniture.

Once inspected, the techs use their proprietary cleaning agents and methods to restore the furniture with restoration potential. Any item ruined beyond the point of repair only gets disposed of with the homeowner's approval. 

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest at (709) 483-8636 is the restoration services company local Chicago residents trust with their fire damage cleanup needs. 

What are the Two Main Types of Flood Damages?

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

A foot of water in side a home. When storms hit, SERVPRO is standing by to restore any damage.

SERVPRO Professionals Handle Any Size Flood Damage in Chicagoland Properties

When heavy storms impact the area, the result can be more water than the city drainage can handle, and flooding may occur. As long as the water is outside the property, there are no significant issues. 

If flood damage occurs to a property, two main types of floodwater wind up in a home. The first is clean water from a damaged roof that allows rainwater or snowmelt into the house. As long as this gets extracted and dried within 24 hours, there are little to no health hazards. When groundwater such as from the river enters a home, it can hold a host of contaminants and debris, meaning people and pets in the house should not come into contact with it. 

SERVPRO technicians have the equipment to safely handle this type of water damage cleanup, including: 

  • Personal protective gear 
  • Professional biocides for water treatment
  • Extraction equipment to move large amounts of water quickly

SERVPRO of Oak Park-river Forest at (708) 483-8636 is available any time of the day or night for flood damage cleanup.

How Soon Should Commercial Water Removal and Restoration Services Begin After a Pipe Break?

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Office hallway with carpet removed and air movers placed. Water disasters may stop business totally. Call the professionals at SERVPRO for the water mitigation services for your company

When there are plumbing issues that cause commercial water removal needs in a Chicagoland property, the answer is the cleanup efforts need to begin as quickly as possible for more than one reason. 

Water Does Not Age Well

Unlike a fine wine, water gets worse and sometimes more dangerous with age. Even clean water from an interior pipe in a building can create larger issues if it sits for too long before it gets removed. SERVPRO techs routinely run into problems such as: 

  • Harmful bacteria in water allowed to degrade.
  • Larger migration area requiring extraction and drying.
  • More significant damage to building materials due to a delay in cleanup efforts.

Local businesses trust SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest at (708) 483-8636 with their commercial water removal needs in their Chicagoland properties.

Power Outages Can Cause Damage To Your Home or Business

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

A summer thunderstorm can be fun to watch from a safe distance. The warm air, the rolling sound of the thunder in the background and the streaks of lightning that light up the night sky is like natures version of fireworks. But of course, with a thunderstorm, the chance of a power outage is always a possibility.

Normally, a short power outage is no big deal, but the longer the power is out the potential for damage to a home or business increases. For example, homes that take on water during storms generally, have a sub-pump that removes the water from the basement before damage can occur. Without power, this pump will not work allowing water to fill up the basement. Or if you rely on air conditioning to keep your home or business from getting too humid, a power outage can quickly lead to mold growth.

If you do run into any of these issues contact our office. We can help you to repair water damage and remove mold.

What Water Damage Remediation Steps Restore Chicagoland Apartments?

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

Pealing paint and water damage spots on ceiling. SERVPRO handles all sorts of water damage restoration needs for your home. No job is too big or small for us. Call now!

Our SERVPRO professionals have leading tools for extraction and drying Chicago apartment buildings.

Water damage can occur from multiple sources, making it critical to have a team of restoration professionals capable of handling both the water removal services and emergency services water damage that your property requires. With apartment buildings and high-rises typically seen in the Chicagoland area, the methods and measures for flood restoration and extraction must change to suit a greater distance to drain points and the need for pumps to reach several stories from the ground floor.

Our ability to handle water damage in Chicago apartments can be critical for repairing leaking roofs from storms or basement flooding cleanup. Our team of Water Restoration Technicians (WRT) can help with:

  • Basement flooding
  • Emergency services water damage
  • Water damage remediation
  • Burst pipes
  • Ceiling leaks
  • Flood restoration

Here To Help

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Crew members in PPE cleaning an office. SERVPRO can help keep your office clean.

SERVPRO® of Oak Park-River Forest professionals offer cleaning services including the removal of biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business.

SERVPRO is being called on by numerous businesses and community leaders to perform the necessary bioremediation services to clean, disinfect and sanitize their properties. All of our cleanup practices are in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CDC and local authorities. If you are interested in inquiring about our services we’re here to help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while life gets back to normal in the communities we all call home. Call 708-483-8636.

Business Owners Can Count on SERVPRO for Specialty Cleaning

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Man in hazmat suit cleaning office SERVPRO provides several cleaning services for your business.

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest is known for its expertise in restoration and recovery from disasters but we also provide non-emergency services, such as cleaning services. When we clean commercial properties, the surfaces are not merely clean; they are “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.”

A New Standard of Clean

We are happy to provide maintenance cleaning services for commercial clients, which include restaurants, automobile dealerships, healthcare providers and others. We also have extensive experience in cleaning biohazards, vandalism and graffiti, and crime or trauma scenes.

The recent pandemic has increased awareness of the necessity for both proactive and disaster-response cleaning.  

Call us at (708) 483-8636 to schedule an appointment. We will develop a cleaning plan designed for the needs of your business. Cleanings can be scheduled as little or as much as needed.

We are always available for emergencies

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest is available any time 24 hours a day to respond to an emergency. Remember to call (708) 483-8636.

Unseen Water can cause Damage to your Home or Business

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Unseen water causes some of the most invasive damage that can happen to a structure, and the longer the water damage goes undetected or unresolved, the higher the repair costs will be. This is because water, when left to its own devices, will seep and soak into everything in its path. Floors, subfloors, floor joists, drywall, insulation, are just some of the areas that water can travel. After the water leak is identified and corrected, there may be several structural repairs that will need to be addressed.

Fortunately, SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest has extensive experience mitigating water damage, and we have a team of highly trained water restoration technicians available 24 hours a day to respond to your call. Residents and business owners know that they can count on us to quickly and safely restore their water-damaged property to preloss condition quickly and efficiently.  

If your home or business needs water damage restoration services, SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest can help. Call us at (708) 483-8636.

Extension Cord Safety Tips

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

hand holding up extension chord that is plugged into wall Extension cords can be a fire hazard when used improperly.

An extension cord can come in handy from time to time to help you solve a temporary power issue, however they should not be used for a long-term solution.  Extension cord misuse can cause damage to your home or business.  According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) here are some tips to keep your extension cords safe:

  • Do not overload extension cords or allow them to run through water or snow on the ground.
  • Do not substitute extension cords for permanent wiring.
  • Do not run through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors.  If cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard.
  • Do not use an extension cord for more than one appliance.
  • Make sure the extension cord or temporary power strip you use is rated for the products to be plugged in.
  • Never use a cord that feels hot or is damaged in any way.  Touching even a single exposed strand can give you an electric shock or burn.
  • Never use three-prong plugs with outlets that only have two slots for the plug. Do not cut off the ground pin to force a fit.  This defeats the purpose of a three-prong plug and could lead to an electrical shock.

If you experience Fire Damage, please call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest at (708) 483-8636.

Stay Warm and Safe As Temperatures Drop

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Fire place in a living room If you do experience any damage from a fire or smoke emergency, please call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest at (708) 483-8636.

During the winter months in the Chicagoland area the outside temperatures begin to drop, and we spend more time indoors. With this being said, a warm cozy fireplace is often a place for families to gather to stay warm and cozy. Here are a few heating safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to prevent heating fires from happening.

Stay warm and safe this winter!

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

Document Restoration

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Stack of paper documents Call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest for any document restoration needs. 708-483-8636

In the aftermath of disaster, some of your most valued contents—documents, photographs, and books—could be lost forever.  As a leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest knows that timely mitigation is the key to recovering damaged possessions.  With years of experience and state-of-the-art technology, SERVPRO’s restoration professionals will help you recover your paper goods before it is too late.

We offer the following for Document Restoration:

  • Innovative: we use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing
  • Secure: managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance
  • Digital: we use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents
  • Flexible capacity - we can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs
  • Full Service: we offer a range of services including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization

What You Can Do To Help Your Home After a Fire

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your belongings.  SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest can help you mitigate your fire damage and prevent further problems. SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest provides quick response time,  services ranging from fire, smoke and sook removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration.

Here is what you can do until SERVPRO arrives:

*Limit movement in the house to prevent soot from spreading.

*Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and traffic areas.

*Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.

*Do not was any walls or painted surfaces.

*Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.

*Don not clean any electrical equipment.

*Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner.

Call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest at 708/483-8636 for all your fire needs.

What Can SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest Do For You?

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO van SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest offers many services to help make disasters "Like it never even happened."

You have so much invested in your home, choose SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest to help you protect your assets.  Here are the services we provide:

*Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup - Knowing the types of smoke caused by the fire are important to proper restoration.

*Water Removal and Mitigation - Identifying the category of water is important to the type of drying and cleaning is needed.

*Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup - SERVPRO does biohazard cleanups according to OSHA, EPA, state and local health regulations.

*Mold Mitigation and Remediation - We work to control and remove mold while protecting your health.

*Contents Claim Inventory Service - Accurate inventorying keeps costs down and reduces time in job completion.

*Odor Identification and Deodorization - We do everything we can to determine the best way to eliminate odor and find the source.

When you need work done in your home, SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest will provide you with the best service.  We are committed to providing fire and water cleanup and restoration services with the best possible care.

Why SERVPRO Is a Better Restoration System

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo Call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest at 708-483-8636 with any of your mitigation needs.

SERVPRO understands our responsibility to our customers and their insurance professionals.  SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest blends customer service and accountability with proven methods of mitigating damage after water and fire losses.  We do our best to help you customer make it, "Like it never even happened."

Reduce Adjusting Expenses and Improve Prioritization

No need to waste time chasing information on your claim. We identify and prioritize mitigation claims.  We contact the customer and insurance company to get claim approval.  We work with the customer until the insurance claim is closed.

Reduce Claims Loss Expense

Mitigation requires quick action.  The faster our team can arrive on-site to perform water and smoke damage, the better the results.  Within one hour of notice our office will contact the owner.  Within four hours, our team will be on site scoping the loss. An by eight hours, we will have contacted your insurance company for approval to start work.

Exceed Customer Expectations

Customers are naturally distressed why they experience a mitigation loss. Our response time helps reduce this distress.  Our hope is to get the job done quickly and help customers regain control of their lives.

Utilizing Electronics Commerce

SERVPRO created many programs that give our franchise 24-hour access to electronic claim filing.  Digital photographs document the loss and restoration process.  Insurances quickly receive detailed estimates and reports.

Limiting Mold Growth

Controlling moisture is the key to eliminating mold growth.  A prompt response and thorough clean-up and drying prevents the limit of possible mold growth.

IICRC Certifications

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest is an IICRC approved company.  Our technicians take classes in Water Damage Restoration, Carpet Cleaning, Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration and Applied Structural Drying.

SERVPRO offers Professional Carpet Cleaning

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

This has been a year of change, with many people spending more time at home.  Our carpet and upholstery may need a little extra care.

Even the highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time.  SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest can help to clean and maintain your carpet and upholstery. The SERVPRO System offers several cleaning options to match any type of upholstery or carpet.

We also offer a range of specialized cleaning methods:

  • Bonnet Cleaning: A less aggressive method for short piled carpets.
  • Hot Water Extraction: A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.
  • Deluxe Precondition and Rinse: Helps restore deeply soiled areas.
  • Showcase Premier Cleaning: The most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
  • Dry Cleaning: When color-fastness is an issue.

Preventative Maintenance

Carpets act as a filter, trapping dust, dirt, gases, animal hair, and other soils.  All carpet manufacturers agree on actions you can take between carpet cleanings to increase the life span of your carpet.

IICRC states that 79% of soil in carpet is dry soil.  Vacuuming is a key component to proper care and maintenance of carpet.

Preventative maintenance actions include: 

  • Regular vacuuming
  • Spot removal
  • Pilating the carpet to prevent matting
  • Moving furniture to change traffic patterns
  • Using walk-off mats to limit the amount of soil tracked onto the carpet

Professional Cleaning

Our professional cleaning can address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpets.  How often you’ll need professional cleaning depends on soil build-up, traffic, type and color of carpeting.  A good rule of thumb would be to professionally clean your carpet every 12 months.  The best advice is to clean carpets before they become totally saturated with soil.

Please call SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest (708) 483-8636 to schedule an estimate.

Commercial Cleaning Services

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial cleaning and restoration present unique challenges.  You need a company that provides results while minimizing the disruption to your business.  When the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”  We handle all types of commercial industries:

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

When it comes to commercial restoration services, SERVPRO is a leader in the industry. Available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest responds quickly to your commercial fire, water, and mold damage emergencies.  No commercial project is too big!

Need Commercial Services? Call SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest at (708) 483-8636 today!

Caution with Pipes

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Pipe bursting with water Water damage, if left too long, becomes a costly repair.

When a pipe in your home or business bursts, it can cause extreme water damage. Many plumbing companies suggest these are the top six reasons pipes burst:

  1. Freezing
  2. Tree root encroachment
  3. Corrosion
  4. Soil Shifting
  5. High water pressure
  6. Clogs

Most of these scenarios can be prevented through routine inspection and maintenance of your pipes. Water pipes, if not properly maintained and insulated, can become a costly repair later and in some cases can even destroy your home. Moisture attracts mold growth, and water leaks over time can compromise the structural integrity of your home.

When residents discover water damage, they trust SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest to respond to these emergencies 24 hours a day. Our highly trained water restoration technicians will restore your water damage, “Like it never even happened.” Call us at (708) 483-8636.

Prevention is Key

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen pipe covered in ice Winter is not over yet so be sure to keep an eye on your pipes!

During the wintertime, we see the most water losses from pipes that freeze over and then burst. SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest is here to provide you with a few tips this season to keep this from happening.

  1. Let the water Drip from the faucet. Running water through the pipes, even in small amounts, helps prevent them from freezing over.
  2. The thermostat; make sure to keep a close eye on it as the temperature alert threshold for when pipes start freezing is around 20 degrees.
  3. Keep your cabinets open. A good amount of your pipes are under cabinets, so keep the doors open so the warmth of the house can keep your pipes warmer.
  4. Seal all openings around any exposed piping, especially if that opening is letting in cold air.
  5.  Make sure areas such as your basement and attic are well insulated to keep pipes warm. Pipes can also be fitted with foam rubber to help reduce the chances of freezing.

Keep your pipes on your mind this winter. Check them regularly and follow these tips. If you do find yourself with a burst frozen pipe leaving you with water damage, remember the trained technicians at SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest are here for you 24/7. Please give us a call at (708) 483-8636.We're always here to help!

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Give us a call at (708) 483-8636.

The Weather Outside is Frightful

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Two houses while its snowing. Winter can put your home at risk for damage.

Winter. You either love it or hate. While snow is beautiful and puts us in the holiday spirit, there have been winters in the past where it was a little too extreme. Snow storms are a big reality for us in the Chicagoland area and they have potential to do large amounts of damage, as much as a storm during the warmer months. We at  SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest would like to share some tips for protecting you and your home according to the American Red Cross.

  • Prevent pipes from freezing by opening doors and cabinets where they are to expose them to the houses heat. Letting water run through pipes can also prevent them from freezing.
  • Double check that your heat source is clean and in proper working condition.
  • Cover windows with a plastic layer to provide an extra layer of insulation to keep heat from escaping out of cracks.
  • Consider purchasing an emergency heater and a portable generator in case you lose power.
  • Have an emergency kit with food, water, medication, and medical supplies.

We can’t control the weather but if you have water damage from frozen pipes and snow melting or you roof collapsing from snow, call us. We have 24/7 emergency services here to help you.

The More You Know: Mold Remediation

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Mold around window Mold can grow anywhere.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today –   708-483-8636

Fall Leaf Burning

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

Pile of leaves on fire. Home fire safety applies to the yard as well.

As we get further into the Fall, leaves start changing colors and falling from the trees. For many home owners this beautiful season can be overshadowed the constant need to rake their yard. It becomes a frequent task to upkeep your yard and dispose of the leaves. Some people prefer to bag the leaves and have them taken away while others burn their leaves. At SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest, we would like to give some simple tips to those who use the burning leaves method.

  • Check to make sure it is legal in your community. Some townships have set dates for when burning leaves is acceptable or require permits.
  • Create the burning pile on dirt or gravel. Avoid doing it on grass or fields. 
  • Consult weather forecasts on a day with high winds.
  • Do not use gasoline or fire starters to start it.
  • Keep the pile small and slowly add leaves as the previous ones burn to the bottom of the pile.
  • Keep water source near in case of emergency and to dowse embers when finished.

Know that there are safer and less harmful ways that open burning leaves such as closed metal burn drums or putting the leaves is biodegradable bags and giving them to the city. We want to keep people safe no matter what their preferred method is.

What To Expect After You Call Us

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

Three SERVPRO trucks. Let SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest help you after a disaster.

Fast Response Time

When something has been damaged by fire, water, or mold, quick action and response is what is going to make a huge difference in the restoration. SERVPRO is open 24/7 and you can expect someone to contact you back within an hour or two about the emergency. Once we collect the necessary information, we can move ahead to scheduling a team member come out to the site.

On Site Arrival and Inspection

After the initial contact, our team could be on site within four hours to survey the type and extent of the damage. The crew member will inspect the home or building and create an estimate for the best course of action moving forward. You will receive a verbal briefing so that you are aware and understand what the next steps in the mitigation process are.

Moving Forward

When you choose use to do your restoration project, our offices will be in contact to schedule the start of the job. We like to start as quick as possible to prevent further damage, but we understand you have a busy life so we try our best to work with your schedule. We will also work with you and your insurance company throughout the entire process.

Clean Ups After Tragedy With Care

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Crew in personal protection equipment Don't let a biohazard clean up overwhelm you.

When tragedy happens, such as a crime, not many people think about what comes after except those who are left with the mess. When a crime or other event causes a biohazard situation, you need specially trained professionals to come do the necessary job cleanup. We offer the following services at SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest:

  • Crime scene residues
  • Suicide/death accidents
  • Homicide cleanups
  • Blood cleanup
  • Accident cleanup
  • Hoarding scenes
  • Animal waste/remains
  • Chemical spills
  • Tear gas cleanup
  • Meth lab cleanup

Biohazard cleanups can include vomit, blood, or other bodily fluids. It can also be animal waste, used needles, or other anatomical waste. In order to dispose of biohazard material properly, one needs training on how to handle the waste to make sure it does not harm others. Medical professionals are trained on how to dispose and handle needle and hazardous materials. So is our crew. They wear personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the entire job and comply with all laws on how to deal with the hazardous materials.

Our team understands that biohazard situation not only require great care for safety but they also usually require extreme sensitivity. You never know what event occurred that created the need for this type of clean up so it is important to treat each job and customer with compassion and kindness. If you are in need of any sort of biohazard cleanup, call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest at (708) 483-8636.

Hidden Bathroom Water Damage

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

A bathroom with a toilet and bathtub Water damage could be lurking in your bathroom.

The most troublesome water damage is the kind that you don’t notice until after it has already caused other significant damage. Small leaks from pipes can be silent and go unnoticed for extended periods of time. In rooms where humidity levels are already high, such as a bathroom, it can be hard notice extra moisture. In a bathroom, a pipe in the toilet, shower, or sink could be broken. There could be grout deterioration that lets water get underneath tile or the tub. These types of damages can be hard to spot but here are some signs it may be happening to you.

If you can see mold or mildew, that usually means there is a hidden leak. It may not be a sign of extreme water damage, but it is a sign that there is some additional moisture that is aiding the mold growth. It is best practice to call water damage specialists to come look at it.

Bathroom walls are meant to take a splash of water here and there, but they are not capable of handling substantial amounts of moisture. If you see patches, stains, or cracks on the walls and ceiling, that is a sure sign of something being wrong.

If you start to notice an earthy or musty smell it is a very good indicator that there is a hidden leak somewhere. It can also be a sign that mold is growing.

If you experience any sort of water damage, or you suspect there is water damage call SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest at (708) 483- 8636.

Limit Your Buildings Risk of Mold Growth

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growing on white Protect your building and employees from mold.

No one want to hear that they have mold growth in their building. It can be hazardous to your employees and visitor’s health and will cost you money to remove. We would like to give you three tips that could help limit your chance of having mold spore buildup in your building.

  1. Change HVAC Filters

Regularly changing the filter of your HVAC system can help lower the concentration of mold spore in your buildings air. It is also wise to have maintenance regularly check for mold growth in the old filters, drain pans, ducts, or terminal units.

  1. Air Filtration

If your commercial space is able to have an air filtration or purification system running, it could further reduce your risk of mold growth. There are different types of filters that filter out smaller sized particles. While the cheaper options seem more economically efficient, they often only catch dust particles. The more expensive filters can catch the smaller mold spores.

  1. Regular Carpet Cleaning

Carpet and the padding underneath it are porous. These small spaces collect dirt, debris, and small mold spores. If humidity it too high or water that gets on the carpet is not dried properly, a perfect environment for mold to grow is created. To reduce the number of spores, a deep carpet cleaning or HEPA-certified vacuum can be used.

These are just some ways you can help your building avoid mold growth. You do not want to get to the point where you can notice a musty smell meaning possible mold growth. However, it is not the end of the world if mold is present. Call certified remediation and cleanup professionals to resolve it.

Protect Your Business' Pipes

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Public restroom with four stalls Don't let your company's rest rooms cause your more problems.

In commercial buildings, keeping restrooms sanitary and functional are usually top on the priority list. You can never be sure of what or how much of something someone could be trying to flush down the pipes. You may not be able to fully control what happened to the restrooms, its pipes, or septic system, but you can take a few cautionary steps to protect your property.

  • Posting signs in the stalls can be beneficial for you and for visitors. A notice saying a toilet is out of order will keep someone from continuing to add to a problem before it gets fixed. A sign in the restrooms asking to put famine hygiene products into a waste bin will keep them from clogging pipes if they get flushed.
  • If your building bathrooms are frequently used, consider using a thin, single ply toilet paper. Some visitors use thicker wads of toilet paper so having the thinner paper can prevent clogged pipes.
  • Having an appropriate number of trash cans in stalls and by sink will make a huge difference. It gives visitor a better, more polite option for waste than flushing it down the toilet.

These are just few simple actions you can take to help prevent clogs and other water damage from happening to your property. On the chance you do experience water damage from clogged pipes, SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest will be able to assist you get back up and running. 

Storm Power Outage Safety Tips

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning striking a power line. Storms bring more than just water and impact damage.

In the Chicagoland area we experience our fair share of storms. In early August we had a derecho roll through and it brought thunderstorms, tornadoes, and high-speed winds across the Midwest. Many people had damage to their roofs from tree limbs and other flying debris. Even more people were left without power, some for more than a week after. If you don’t already have a generator, it could be wise to think about getting one. They are a handy tool during storm seasons just in case you lose power. The American Red Cross and SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest would like to give you a few safety tips for power outages.

  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any partially enclosed area.
  • To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use it in wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles.  Do not touch the generator with wet hands.
  • Run the generator every few months to make sure it is still functional.

If you experience water or storm damage, call SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest at (708) 483-8636.

Help Protect Your Belongings

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

Content covered in plastic surrounded by drying equipment. We can help protect your home and things from further water damage.

If you are ever unlucky enough to have to suffer through water damage in your home, one of the most important things you can do is act quickly to save your belongings. Your property is important to you and to us so we would like to give some simple tips for caring for materials affected by water.

When carpets or rugs become soaked with water, how long the water sits there is usually the deciding factor in if the material will still usable. The biggest concern with carpets and rugs is mold and mildew growth. If you are able to extract water from the carpet, do so. Or at least dry the area as much as you can before until professionals are able to make it to you.

Mold is also another factor to think about when it comes to drying furniture, clothing, or paper material. To save these from permanent damage, it is best to air dry them. You can take them outside or a room with lower humidity so they dry faster. Be sure to use caution when handling documents, books, photos, or other items that become fragile when wet. They could fall apart.

When is comes to electronics, please use extreme caution. Avoid putting oneself at risk for shock or electrocution by not turning on a device that was exposed to water or is currently wet. If it is safe to do so, you can wipe the surface the items with a towel to prevent more water from getting into the device. It is smart to also have a trained professional look into the interior of the device to more accurately assess how extensive the water damage is and if the device is salvageable.

These are all small things you can do to help save your materials after water damage. To help with more severely damaged items call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest at (708) 483-8636 to have our professionally trained technicians come help.

Best Practices For Candle Use

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

Three lit candles Being safe while using candles with reduce your risk of house fire.

Candles are a popular way to embellish a room. They look and smell amazing. Unfortunately, they are also a leading cause of house fires. We would like to give you few tips for minimizing your risk of starting a candle fire in your home.

Candles Should Not Be Left Unattended

A good first rule when using candles is to not leave them unattended. If you are leaving the house or going to sleep, you should put the candle out. If you are leaving one room to spend time in another, you can bring the candle with you or put it out. Keep an eye on children and pets around candles as they can knock them over or injure themselves.

Keep Candles in Safe Locations

When finding a new spot to place a candle, keep in mind what is near it. If there are flammable liquids, curtains, or bedding near the candle, the flame or a spark has potential of igniting these materials.

Get Proper Candle Holders

It is safer to place a candle in a holder than directly onto a surface. Many candles already come in a safe glass but some require you to place them in a different container. Just be mindful that if a container not designed for the purpose of holding candles becomes too hot, it can break or melt.

Find an Alternative

The best way to prevent a candle fire is to not use a candle. There are so many alternatives for lighting to create a similar atmosphere and alternatives for creating scents. There are even flameless candles if you really love the look of a candle.

These are good tips to keep in mind when using candles to help keep your family and your home safe.

Tips for Preparing Your Home for a Storm

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Some people love to watch storms roll in, while others get nervous for a variety of reasons. You might be thinking about hail hitting your car that is parked outside or what debris the wind is carrying that could damage your house. As much as we wish we could, we cannot control the weather to make it sunny and 75°F every day. Let us give you some tips on how to make your home more prepared for storms to come.

Seal Your Roof

Making sure that your roof is in good condition is an important first step in keeping your home safe from potential storm damage. Roof seams could be sealed with a ‘peel and stick membrane’ or with a polyurethane foam to prevent cracks and leaks. Keeping your roof in good standing now is in investment in your home and the things inside of it.

Secure Your Windows and Doors

High winds put your windows and doors at risk. Doing annual checks for rusty hinges and missing or loose screws can prevent serious damage. Also making sure that your door threshold is in good condition can prevent water from getting into your home through the front door. If you live in places where hurricanes, tornadoes, or other extreme storms can happen, it is wise to invest in impact resistant windows.

Secure Fences

If you live in a home that has fencing, or you are thinking of putting a fence in, it is important to consider how storms may impact them. You need to consider the strength and resilience of the materials and how they are installed. Fences can be struck down by strong winds or debris. Even though the less expensive option for fencing seems like the best choice right now, it might end up costing you more later.

Have an Emergency Plan

Preparation is key when it comes to minimizing loss during a storm. This goes towards your home and your family. Creating a plan with members of your house on how to stay safe can go a long way. Know what the safest place in your home is. Have a kit with batteries, food, and medical supplies. Know important phone numbers. And if you have pets, factor them into this plan as well.

Be Mindful of Loose Objects

After storms, you can usually look out on the street and see trash cans or other miscellaneous objects knocked over on the ground. Anchoring loose objects in your yard such as trampolines, grills, bikes, patio furniture, umbrellas, or inflatable above ground pools will keep them from becoming a risk that could damage your house or your neighbors. 

Common Weather Alerts and What They Mean

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Pictures of lightning, clouds, and a sunset next to each other Keeping up with weather forecasts can help you anticipate storms and be ready for any kind of alert.

Throughout the year, you will see all sorts of weather related information pop up. Alerts used to just be sirens or banners on the bottom of a television screen. Now with so many people having access to smart phones and technology, we are being exposed to more types of alerts. If you get an alert about thunder storms, or tornado watches and warnings, do you know what they actually mean? If not, no problem. Here are some common alerts we might see in the Midwest during the summer and what they telling us.

Watch vs. Warning vs. Advisory

The first important thing to understanding weather alerts is to know the difference between a watch, a warning, and an advisory. If you get a weather alert saying something is a watch, it means that the current weather conditions are looking like that weather event is likely to occur. A weather alert for a watch means that the weather event is currently happening or minutes away from happening. An advisory is used for when a weather condition is not as serious as needing a warning but it still likely to occur.

  • Severe Thunderstorm: There is 1’’ hail and/or winds faster than 58 mph are being produced.
  • Flash Flood: Heavy rain fall is causing rapid flooding of small rivers, streams, creaks, or urban areas.
  • Tornado: Severe thunderstorms are occurring that are producing optimal conditions for a tornado funnel to form.
  • Excessive Heat: Daytime temperatures are reaching above 105°F to 110°F for more than three hours. If happening for multiple days, it is not uncommon for widespread power outages.

You can find more information on the kinds of weather alerts on the National Weather Services website at weather.gov. If you experience damage from severe weather, give SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest a call at (708) 483-8636 and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Our Commercial Restoration Services

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Chicago offices buildings on the river Let us help get you back to business.

When your property is damaged, it is never a fun experience. It interrupts business operations and revenue sources. At SERVPRO of Oak Park- River Forest, let us help you restore and recover from a loss so you can re-open as quickly as possible. We understand the need for immediate response to have trained professionals work to get you back up and running. We can help with any of the following:

  • Emergency/after-hours board-up services to secure your property
  • Water extraction and commercial drying
  • Fire damage mitigation and repairs
  • Smoke and soot cleaning and deodorization
  • Biohazard cleaning
  • Mold removal and remediation
  • Any form of structural damage to your property

Call us for estimates or with your questions at SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest (708) 483-8636.

Common Types of Storm Damage

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

 Worker putting blue tarp over damaged roof Putting a trap over where the storm damage is to protect inside the home.

Even with forecasts, we know weather is not always 100% accurate and it can seem like severe storms will come out of nowhere. When storms blow through your town, they bring all sorts of conditions with them. Here are just a few of the basic types of damage a storm can cause to your home or business:


Storms bring strong gusts of wind that can harm your house in different ways. It can lift the shingles off your roof leaving it more exposed for further damage as the storm continues. Winds can also carry debris. When the debris comes in contact with your home at high speed, it can cause cracks and holes in siding or windows.


Heavy rain fall can cause flooding in the streets as well as inside your home. Water can find its way into your home from the ground level or even a crack in the roof. Water damage that sits too long can pose threats to your home’s structural integrity and potential hazard issues with mold.


Damage done by hail is quite similar to when it is done by wind. The main difference is that hail melts away so the next day it might be difficult to identify the cause. Hail damage can cause cracks and holes in siding or knock away roofing materials. It is also common for hail to shatter or cause chips in a home’s windows.

Having a Disaster Plan for Your Business

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in an office after a flood When your office space experiences a flood, SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest will come get you back to work in no time.

Many businesses and commercial spaces have emergency plans for what to do during a disaster, like a fire or tornado. However, all the preparations in the world cannot stop a disaster from happening so it is wise to have a course of action for what to do after.

Emergency Plans and Kits

When an emergency is happening, it can difficult to think of what to do next. It is important to have a plan in case of an evacuations for a multitude of scenarios. This will keep both you and your staff safe. It is also a good idea to have an emergency kit with first aid materials, food, and water available for those who need while you wait for emergency responders to arrive.

Insurance Coverage 

It is not uncommon to assume that your insurance will protect you from all types of damage that could occur to your business. Some policies do not adequately cover the full range of damage a disaster can cause. This could range from not covering the clean up of smoke and soot damage after a fire to revenue interruption. Understanding your policies and coverage before an emergency happens will help you better advocate for your business when it comes to how you will move forward.

Who to Call for Helping You Recover?

Restoration can be expensive and unfortunately insurance does not always cover all of it. There are options to help you such as disaster recovery loans that can help provide further assistance. When it comes to the actual restoration work, we know that there are plenty of options for you to choose from, but at SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest we guarantee fast and professional service from our trained staff that will help get your business back to preloss condition.

Give us a call at (708) 483-8636.

Tornado Safety Information

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

A tornado funnel touching down in a field. Tornado's are a scary event that it is best to be prepared for.

Here in the Midwest, we are no stranger to the weather conditions that spring and summer bring. From extreme heat waves to damage inducing thunderstorms, we have seen it all. At some point you may even be unlucky enough to experience the conditions perfect for creating a tornado. Whether you are at home or out and about, it is smart to know some information for tornado safety.

Watch vs. Warning

When you see an alert that says ‘Tornado Watch’ is means that the conditions outside are favorable for a tornado to happen. See it as you need to ‘watch’ the weather closely but one has not formed yet. A tornado warning means that one has been spotted or indicated on a weather radar as about to form and immediate action needs to take place. It is a ‘warning’ that one has formed and is close to you.

At Home

If you are under a tornado warning, it is best to get to the basement or storm cellar. If you don’t have one, get to an interior room in the house on the first floor. Make sure to stay away from any windows or doors as they could shatter and harm you. It is smart to have an emergency kit with water, flashlights, batteries, and first aid supplies available.

On the Road

While driving on the road and a tornado warning is happening, it is safest to not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a flat location or ditch to lay low in. Flying debris can cause severe injury so use your arms to protect your neck and head.

Tornado's are dangerous and can cause serious injury or death, so if one is happening, take it seriously. If your home is affected by tornado or wind damage, call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest at (708) 483-8636.

Protecting Your Business

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned table toppers in a restaurant Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by putting the health and safety of your employees and customers first.

As we attempt to find our new normal and move forward in light of the recent pandemic, there are new habits and behaviors we are trying to adopt. We are working on being more diligent with hand washing, using hand sanitizer, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing. These all help slow the spread of COVID-19.

In your offices and businesses, we at SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest would like to help you go that extra mile in ensuring your employees health and safety. We offer a certified cleaning program that is proactive against killing viral pathogens, such as COVID-19. Our trained professionals are experienced in biohazard decontamination and adhere to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention standards.

Whether someone tested positive for the virus, or you just want to be cautious we have cleaning option for whatever your needs are. This includes cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. Many restaurant and businesses are scheduling these deep cleaning regularly so they can give their customers peace of mind.

If you would like a consultation call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest at (708) 483-8636.

Tips for Fire Safety

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

A hand installing a smoke detector Smoke alarms are the early warning system that reduce your risk of personal injury during a fire.

No one is ever prepared for a fire to happen in their home. The financial, physical, and emotional toll they leave behind can last longer than it takes to repair the home. Here are some best practices for fire prevention and safety:

Minimize the Risk

Having safe practices for cooking and heating can greatly reduce your chance of having a house fire. While cooking on a stove top or grilling, be mindful of what is near the heat source and never leave it unattended. Keep flammable things, such as paper, curtains, blankets, holiday decorations away from fireplaces and space heaters. Many homes are also making the switch to candle warmers and flame-less candles to keep open flames out of the reach of children.

Install Smoke Alarms

Did you know three out of five fire related deaths happen in homes without working smoke alarms? They are a crucial part in fire safety. You should have one on every level of your home, outside sleeping spaces, and inside bedrooms. If you or someone in your home is hearing impaired, look into getting smoke detectors that use strobe lights or bed shakers. Make sure to test them monthly and change the batteries once a year.

Create an Escape Plan

Once the smoke alarm goes off, you have one to two minutes to get out of the home so it is important to have a plan and that everyone knows what that plan is. Make sure you know all exit points of you home and try to have two ways to get out of a room. Make sure windows and door open easily and are not blocked. Designate a location away from the home to use as a meeting place in case you get separated. The most important thing is to practice this plan!

Fires are a frightening experience but there are things you can do to lower the chance of one happening and steps you can take to keep you and your family safe in case of does.

There Is Water in My Home. What Do I Do Now?

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage, big or small, can affect your home. Tiled hallway with a large water puddle.

Whether this is your first time experiencing water damage or your twelfth, it is important to keep in mind that acting fast in getting it resolved is vital and can prevent problems from arising in the future. SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest has water damage specialists ready to help you get your space dried correctly and carefully. Here are some useful tips to use at the first notice of water damage:

  • If possible, locate and shut off the source of water. If you are unable to, contact a qualified party, such as a plumber, to come stop the water source.
  • Try to remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or blotting with towels. Never use a vacuum.
  • Place wooden blocks or aluminum foil under the legs of furniture that is on wet carpet. This helps minimize the water damage affecting your fixtures.
  • Move belongings, such as painting, computers, important documents, or anything not yet affected by the water to a dry location.
  • Do not enter the affected spaces if there are live outlets, switches, or electrical equipment exposed to the water. Keep your distance from electrical shock hazards.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures, such as lights or fans, if there is water damage in the ceiling, especially if the ceiling is sagging.

If you have water or flood damage in your home or commercial space, give SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest a call at (708) 483-8636. We want to help you.

The Correct Drying Equipment is Important in Water Mitigaton

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

green dehumifier SERVPRO uses the most up to date drying equipment. This is one of our large dehumidifers.

The IICRC S500 Approach to Determining Equipment Usuage

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification S500 (IICRC) is a non-profit organization that establishes and advances the standards and certifications for the inspection, cleaning, restoration and installation industry.

The IICRC has set a guide in determining the appropriate amount of drying equipment that is needed on a water damage restoration project.  The guide first determines the "class" and "category" of water.

Air movers are used to move air across the wet surfaces which helps accelerate evaporation. One air mover is normally used for every 10 to 16 linear feet of a wall.  Each air mover is pointed in the same direction. In a 12 X 12 room (48 linear feet of wall space), 4 to 5 air movers would generally be used.

Dehumidification is the removal of moisture from the air.  Large dehumidifiers are used to remove the moisture.  The goal of the dehumidifier is to remove a certain amount of pints of water per day.  The IICRC came up with a formula to determine the size and amount of dehumidifiers used.

Using the right amount of air movers and dehumidifiers is important in drying the structure as quick as possible.  After the equipment is set up and running, the damaged area should be monitored every day to assure that the area is drying correctly and that the equipment is running properly.

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest is trained and certified by the IICRC.  We follow the IICRC standards of drying and the amount of drying equipment needed.

Smoke and Soot Damage

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

House with smoke out of windows Do not let smoke damage your property.

Smoke and Soot: The Damaging After effects of a Fire

The smallest of fires, even it isn’t at your Chicago, IL, business or home can lead to smoke damage and soot damage. Although the flames may be gone, the high acidic levels of smoke and soot can penetrate into materials and leave long-lasting effects.

Rapid Damage

Within minutes of a fire, smoke and soot are already beginning to damage your property. As soon as the fire is out and everyone is safe, making preparations for smoke cleaning and restoration are keys to getting your business back to normal. If left unchecked, the damage timeline can be extensive.

  • During the first few minutes, walls, plastics and porous materials will become stained.
  • Within hours, the acidic properties of soot and smoke can begin to affect metals, grout and other materials.
  • After a few days, stains can become permanent corrosion and rust can begin forming. Porous materials, such as flooring and upholstery, will likely need to be replaced.
  • As weeks go by, without proper cleaning, it can result in the loss of furniture, electronics and other supplies, as well as require more extensive repairs to walls, flooring, ceilings and other structural materials.

The Cleanup

Luckily, staying on the ball and contacting a fire restoration specialist can keep smoke damage from becoming permanent. They will do an assessment of the damage and work with you to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. After the assessment, a professional will have the tools and expertise to begin the cleanup process.
While not everything may be salvageable, the right cleaning process can eliminate the smoke odors. The pros use various methods for cleaning, which will depend on the item, including dry, wet, spray, foam, abrasive and immersion. These professional methods can possibly save electronics, furniture, documents and more.
Instead of dealing with a fire’s aftermath alone, count on a professional to guide you through the process. They can help reduce the lingering effects of smoke damage, making it seem “Like it never even happened.”

Restaurant Mitigation and Cleaning

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen with stainless steel appliances Keep your restaurant clean and disinfected with the help of SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest.

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest has over 10 years in cleaning local restaurants.  We do deep cleaning, water mitigation, fire mitigation and mold remediation.

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest works around your schedule in order to get work done while not upsetting your business flow.

Your business is a reflection of you and your team and makes an impression on customers who enter.  You invest your time and energy to maintain and protect your business, so when you need professional fire and water mitigation work done, call the professionals, SERVPRO.  We are committed to providing fire and water cleanup and restoration services, as well as top quality professional cleaning services for your entire business.

Keep your restaurant clean with the help from SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest.

What Is Mold?

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

blue walls, mold, wood floors This is what mold could look like in your home.
Indoor mold growth is most likely to occur during the fall and winter months.

Molds are a form of fungus. There are many different types, and they can occur both indoors and outdoors.

Molds produce spores, which spread by floating around in the air. Mold spores are present in all indoor environments. There is no way to prevent spores, and they can persist in conditions where mold itself cannot grow.

Mold spores thrive in environments that are moist and warm, so when they land on a damp spot, they begin to grow.

Molds can grow on a variety of different surfaces, including fabric, paper, wood, glass, and plastic. As they grow, they may digest the material they are growing on.

Source: Medical News Today, August 20, 2019

Standing Devices and Idle Appliance Use Up to 39 Gallons of Water a Day

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

2 cell phone and chargers Unplug phone cords after your phone is charged.

It takes water to make electricity. When we waste energy it equals wasted water too. Nearly 25% of all residential power consumed stems from our idle appliances and devices. We can save water and energy by unplugging standing phone chargers and game consoles. Remember to shut down your computer at the end of the day and flip off that power strip. We may need a break from our devices, but our devices won't take a break from drawing energy.


Importance of Smoke Detectors in Your House

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke Detector Check your smoke detector monthly.

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.  We here at SERVPRO want to make sure you stay safe.

Here is what you need to know:

  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. 
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. 
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

Source: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Smoke-alarms

Emergency Ready Programs (ERP) Can Save Your Company After a Mitigation Loss

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

water, racks of food, man Let SERVPRO prepare your business for a disaster.

Having a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is one of the best way to prepare you business for any disaster.  Being prepared minimizes business interruption because a plan is already set in place.

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a no cost assessment of your facility.  Your business will receive a document that contains critical information needed in an emergency event.  This document will help you get back into your building quickly after a disaster.  It outlines shut-off valve locations, priority areas in your business and important contact information.

Do not let your company shut down because of a mitigation disaster.  Call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest and have our representative come out and inspect your business and provide you with an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP).

Winter Roof Damage Problems

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Roof, ice and snow Icicles hanging from your roof and gutters cause damage.

1. Ice Dam Formation

When warm air rises from your heated living spaces, it warms the shingles of your roof and the snow that covers it. This leads to snow melting and dripping down to the colder edges of the roof where it refreezes as ice. Once the ice grows thick enough, it backs up further snow-melt behind it, causing water to seep under the shingles, and eventually into your home through leakage points. Leaks are made the more likely when backed up water freezes and thaws, working its way into nooks and crannies and expanding them. The number one way to prevent an ice dam is by insulating and ventilating your attic, but you can also lower the risk by cleaning out gutters and downspouts in late fall and using a roof rake to remove snow from the roof's edges. You can also install heat trace cables in the gutters to keep melting snow flowing, thus preventing backups.

2. Icicle Formation

Icicles often result from the same kinds of conditions that cause ice damming. While they may seem harmless, they can actually damage shingles and gutters as well as break and fall on those walking below. Eliminating roof-top air leaks and better insulation will reduce icicles as much as ice dams, but you can also carefully dislodge them with your long-handled roof rake or by climbing up near them with a ladder. Be sure the ladder is securely footed, not on ice, and never walk on an icy roof.

Types of Water Category Losses

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Sink and water Overflowing sink is a category 1 water loss.

There are three categories of water. All three of them can cause significant damages to your home, but some are easier to cleanup than others.

Category 1 Loss - Clean Water Source  This loses can come from a broken pipe, sink or bathtub overflow or a broken hot water heaters.  This can be cleaned up easily and as long as the area is dried properly there should be no mold issues.

Category 2 Loss - Grey Water Loss . This comes when water is mixed with chemicals like when a dishwasher overflows or a toilet that has urine in it.  This should be cleaned up but you need to make sure that it is also properly disinfected to kill all the microorganisms.

Category 3 Loss - Black Water Loss and the worse of all three categories.  This comes from sewage back up or water that is mixed with sewage.  This needs to be cleaned up by a professional to make sure it is properly disinfected.  If a Category 2 loss is not disinfected properly it can become a Category 3 loss.

When you have water damage in your house, be sure to know the cause of the water and the category it falls into.

Important Dates for the 2020 Presidential Primary

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

flag red white and blue Make sure to get out and vote on March 17, 2020

How to Vote

Vote by Mail 

All registered voters in Chicago are eligible to Vote by Mail.  Once a mail ballot has been returned to the Board, it cannot be retrieved or withdrawn. 

  • December 18  |Applications for Vote By Mail ballots open
  • March 12  |Last day to apply for Vote By Mail ballot
  • March 17 |  Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day

Vote Early

If you are unable to vote on Election Day or just want to skip the lines, vote early.  Early voting ballots are final. You can also register to vote at every early voting site.

  • February 19  |Early Voting & Registration opens at Loop Supersite
  • March 2  |Early Voting & Registration opens in all 50 wards
  • March 16  |Last day of Early Voting

Vote on Election Day — Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The location of your polling place may have changed. Polling place hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are in line by 7 p.m., you are entitled to vote.

No ID is required to vote in your home precinct on Election Day unless you are voting for the first time and have registered by mail without verification.

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)

white dryer This appliance is very important in every day life but can also be very dangerous if not inspected regularly.

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.

Dryers are the cause of many home fires.  Be sure to check you dryer routinely in order to prevent possible fire.

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest is IICRC Certified

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

IICRC logo 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.

It is important to use an IICRC certified company for all your mitigation needs.

Beware of Frozen Pipes This Winter

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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.


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)

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)

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)

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.

Conditions in the Chicago Area Might Be Right For Mold

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest know how to handle the removal of mold.

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Oak 
Park-River Forest to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.

If you suspect mold, call us today at 708-483-8636

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Oak Park-
    River Forest for mold remediation services.

Hurricane Help

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane destruction...SERVPRO is here to help...

The Carolina's were hit with a massive hurricane in September, 2018.  This picture shows the mess that was left in its wake.

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest travelled to North Carolina to help the local franchises with all the destruction left in the hurricanes path.  SERVPRO franchises stick together and help each other out in times of crisis.

Clean houses rent faster...

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

This room was left in poor condition by renter's after their lease was up.

The picture below is of a bedroom in a house that had renters.  The renter's left the house in very bad shape.  The owner's called SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest to do a deep cleaning.

After SERVPRO was done with their job, the house sparkeled and was rented quickly.

Do not let renter's destroy your property so it is impossible to find new tenants.  Call SERVPRO and they can clean the house from top to bottom and you will have new tenants in no time.

Spring is Coming and SERVPRO is Ready

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

lightening in the sky over buildings Storm hitting the Chicagoland area and surrounding suburbs.

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit the Oak Park-River Forest area, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 708-483-8636

Oak Park - River Forest Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your ome.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 708-483-8636

Chicago's Premiere Commercial Restoration Company

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

Are you a business owner in Chicago or surrounding areas?  Have you experienced a water or fire damage to your offices or warehouse?  SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest has the training to handle all of your remedication needs ranging from a single office to an entire warehouse.  We understand the complexities that come with commercial damages and have experience in quickly remediating your water or fire damage.  The amount of down time can be reduced by quickly calling us at 708-483-8636 the moment you notice the damage.  A quick response allows us to get on-site quickly and then begin the remediation process which may help to eliminate secondary damage.  This helps your bottom line by allowing you to get back to your operations.  If you need us, we are available day or night to help keep your business running after a fire or water damage event.

Here To Help

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest is here to help 24 hours a day. 708-483-8636

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable.  You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time.  We specialize in water damage restoration.

What to Expect

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

*Your name and contact information

*Your insurance information (if applicable)

*The street address of the water-damage home or business

*When did the flooding or water damage occur?

*What caused the water damage (if known)?

*Is there electricity available (on-site)?

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.  From initial and ongoing training at the SERVPRO's corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property

Chicago Summer's Can Produce Heavy Rains

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

A flooded street after a micro burst of rain.

As the heat of the summer continues in the Chicago area, be ready for bursts of rain that can cause flooding.  If flooding does occur, the water is considered contaminated then you will need an expert like  SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest to come out and remediate the situation.  Here are some tips if flooding or other contaminated water finds its way into your home or office:

*Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.  Wash you hands thoroughly after any contact.

*Do not walk through the contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.

*Do not use household fans to dry the structure as air flow could spread contaminants.

*Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene that came in contact with contaminants.

When you have a water damage due to flooding, call SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest immedicately, 708-483-8636.


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