Recent Water Damage Posts

Winter Water Damage

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

Winter can be freezing and snowy, more often than not it’s just rainy. But that does not mean that winter weather can’t still take a toll on your home and property. We at SERVPRO of Oak Park-River Forest want to make sure you know the correct steps to take to prevent damages to your home and more importantly disruptions to your life. Ensure gutters are clean & secure, leaves & debris that accumulate damage gutters and can lead to roof problems & water damage. If winter and cold weather take their toll on your home, make sure to call the team with the knowledge and experience to make it “Like it never even happened.” 

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.