Rainy Season Again
As winter closes we have the spring thaw of all the snow saturating our yards. Shortly after the thaw we start getting our spring rains right behind it without much of a chance for our yards to let the water get further down into the water table or to dry by the sun. All this water with no place to go then means these next rains will not soak down into the yard. This is a big part of those of us in the Midwest that will have the rain puddles all over are yard. Well there are a few ways the water can then get into your home. Your sump pump may go out or a crack in your foundation. It could be possibly that the puddles and water got high enough it came in through the basement windows. The two key things to do is figure out how it got in and fix that and to get the water out as quickly as possible. Water in your basement damages your basement space and will raise the moisture level in the house making it more prone to having a mold problem. We have the expertise and equipment to remove that water and make it "Like it never even happened."
Water Damage? Call SERVPRO of Dekalb County at (815)758-3900
More rain. More moisture.
Beware of mold
The spring rains bring the blossoming of the trees and flowers and the eager anticipation of warmer weather but it also means more moisture in the air. The two things that greatly increase the forming of mold is moisture and a warm environment. With the spring rains and the fact that the days are getting warmer gives it that environment. Inside our homes we tend to have less of a moisture content because of being sheltered from the environment but if we end up with a flooded basement or water damage in the home it increases that moisture level in the house. This is why it is so important to get the water restoration done as soon as possible. All that extra moisture and the fact our house is warm provides a good environment for mold to start. Our technicians can some in and remove that water and lower the moisture level in the home and check for mold as well. As an extra precaution within the home if you know your home retains moisture or you live in a place that has lots of rainfall is to just use a dehumidifier to help keep moisture levels in check. However if you have a fair amount of water it will take more equipment which we have. We can come in and remove that water and it will be "Like it never even happened."
Water Damage? Call SERVPRO of Dekalb County at (815)758-3900
Spring rains and flash floods
Rain, Rain and More Rain
In the spring we have a lot of rain. It may be almost every day of the week at times. That is a lot of water. It is also a lot of potential for our houses to end up with some of that water getting inside. We can take a few precautions to help with keeping the water out.
- Clean gutters out as the may have leaves in them from the fall
- Make sure downspouts run a good distance from the house
- If heavy winds have come through make sure no branches blew off a tree and broke a window in a room you don't go in often
- Check the basement after storms to make sure water has not come in
If water has come in. It is important to remove the water as soon as possible. Our technicians are trained to do just that and are happy to help return your home back to normal so you could say it was "Like it never even happened."
Water Damage? Call SERVPRO of Dekalb County at (815)758-3900
Muddy carpets in your business?
Heavy rains make muddy conditions
Well as spring hits we look forward to the trees starting to bud again and the leaves to form and all the flowers starting to come to life again and of course the warmer weather. As any in the Midwest region here know that also means April showers as they say. Truth is it is usually March, April, May showers and all that rain means mud. And of course muddy shoes on customers that come in to your business. Well we here at SERVPRO of Dekalb County can take care of those muddy carpets for you. The problem isn't the first customer that tracks in the mud it is that multiple track in mud and it dries and then others step on it and the dirt then crumbles because the mud dried and gets further into the carpet. We use multiple processes depending on the type of carpet, how it is constructed and dirt or spot levels. We have spotters that are very effective at removing stubborn spots. Our Hot water extraction can get to those deeper layers and moisten and suck up those chunks of dirt that have been ground in. We would love to show you how great your carpets could look again with our carpet restoration services.
More Questions or Need Your Carpet Cleaned? Call us at SERVPRO of Dekalb County (815)758-3900
Heavy rains doesn't mean less fires
More water is not less fire
I have noticed this personally talking with people over the years and it is a common misconception is in the spring there is less fires because of all the rain. We tend to think what would be considered logically which is that all that extra moisture means trees are wet, our homes are wetter on the exterior and that the wood in our homes has more moisture in it from the extra moisture in the air. There is some truth to that as those that live in humid climates and warmer climates will find their doors swell and won't shut all the way but that doesn't stop the common causes of fires. Statistically there is no month that really just dominates the statistics as being the fire heavy month. The truth is it breaks out pretty even from month to month and that is because of the common factor in many home fires. The most common causes is Cooking, Heating, Candles, and Smokers. The heat is generally off during the summer but Cooking is generally regarded as the #1 cause of fires. Also smokers don't just smoker certain months and we tend to burn candles throughout the year as well because we love the smell of them. So yes there is more water but the most common causes of home fires are done throughout the year and we should be cautious of all those causes throughout the whole year. As an extra precaution if you do not have a fire extinguisher may I suggest getting one and let all family members know where it is. Not sure what one to get? Your local fire department would be more than willing to assist you in this area. And I truly hope you never need to use it. And many won't but if you should suffer damage from a fire our fire restoration technicians can help you throughout the process and get you home restored "Like it never even happened."
Fire Damage? Call SERVPRO of Dekalb County at (815)758-3900
Winter time is when a lot of people will use their fireplace to help warm up the house. A fireplace can be economical and produce a fair amount of heat. Other people like it as well. I know when I go out of my house and smell someone using a fireplace in the area I get that "Ah someone has their fireplace going" feeling and think about how relaxing it is to sit in front of a nice fire in the fireplace. However the fireplace does need to be maintained and used properly to prevent fires and other issues.
- Always use a screen guard. The screen will keep some of those popping embers from making it out away from the fireplace
- If you have glass doors on the fireplace have them open as closed smothers the fire and creates extra creosote in the chimney
- Have the chimney inspected each year for cleanliness and animals that may have nested. They do make caps to help keep them from getting in yet let the smoke get out. If the smoke can't get out then the carbon monoxide from the fire can't get out which can be life threatening. There are around 4000 deaths a year from carbon monoxide poisoning and a majority of these are from poorly vented fireplaces or fireplaces with the vents or flues closed.
- Use only dry wood and not wet wood. Wet wood makes considerably more smoke.
- Never assume the fire is out. Coals can remain hot or smoldering along for days
- Keep a window cracked just a little for ventilation.
- ALWAYS make sure the flue is open
- Make sure you have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your home. People will start a fire but then go elsewhere throughout the house and this is a warning system something is wrong and is for your safety. SAFETY FIRST!
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand and where everyone knows where it is
Be safe with your fireplace. It is a nice thing to have and with a few simple precautions will be trouble free and safe to use. Just like so many things being careful can help prevent accidents. Stay warm and be safe.
Need Fire Restoration? Call SERVPRO of Dekalb County at (815)758-3900
Water damage from snow melting
The type of snow will depend on the water amount in it. A light powdery snow may contain as little as .1 inches of water per 10" of snow which is not a lot. A dense snow like the kind that feel like you went to the gym and lifted weights by the time you are done shoveling is much more water dense and can have up to 1-3" of water per 10". Being we end up with several different types of snow throughout the winter we can't really count on what we will have for ground moisture. The thing is to be prepared for problems when all that snow melts. The ground can be frozen making it harder for the water to get down into it. A particularly snow heavy winter can leave a lot of flooding issues. We can however do some things to help keep the snow melting from flooding our basements.
What can I do?
- Make sure you have eaves that run away from the house so the snow melting on the roof can get it away from the house
- Shovel snow away from the house if you have had flooding caused by snow melt or rain before. 5' Away from the house is recommended
- If you have a sump pump verify it is working
- Check for cracks and leaks in your basement and repair them
If you do get water in the basement it is important to get it out as quickly as possible to avoid water damage and possibly mold growth from the extra moisture in the house.
Flooded Basement? Call SERVPRO of Dekalb County at (815)758-3900
A dangerous situation
It doesn't take long for freezing rain to cause roads and sidewalks to get very slippery. We do not get them regularly but they can be quite bad when we get them. The freezing rain however can bring extra issues depending on severity. Ice on a tree branch can cause the branch to weigh 20-30 times what it normally weighs. The ice weighs down everything else as well including power lines which can cause electrical outages. A major storm back in 2008 knocked out power to an estimated 1.25 million homes in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. However we can be prepared for these unfortunate times that we are hit by an ice storm.
- Be aware if your home insurance covers damage should a broken branch landing on your roof or ice damage to the roof happen
- Have the electric company's number readily available should a line go down near your home
- Consider buying a generator for outages. Never run it in the house! They produce carbon monoxide when they are running.
- Keep non-perishable food stocked for unexpected storms coming in
- If the electricity does go out be aware of how long it is out and be cautious with the food spoiling in the refrigerator should it be out for an extended time
Ice Storm Damage? Call us at SERVPRO of Dekalb County (815)758-3900
Keep falls from happening.
So many ways to fall
Before the customer even gets inside your business falls are waiting to happen. It is important to get the snow or ice removed and get salt or sand down to give the customer grip on their way into your business. Some businesses prefer to do this themselves and a good way to not overload one person is to give several employees each a task such as one shoveling the sidewalk and another salting it. If you choose to hire out make sure it is a reputable company that is always on the ball for getting it done. The last thing you want is shoddy work or worse yet several inches of snow and they are nowhere to be found. Once inside the store if you do not already have carpeting you will want to put down mats or rugs for people to kick snow off on and give them some acquisition steps to change surfaces. Tile in particular gets very slippery when stepping on with snow all over the bottom of the shoes. Being the floor is wet it never hurts to put up the wet floor sign just as a reminder to people. They can be so focused on what they came in the business for that they aren't really thinking about the floor being wet. Also just look around your business for other fall hazards and see what needs to be fixed. If one person slips somewhere be sure another will slip there as well. If you have carpeting and it has been heavily soiled because of snow and salt and dirt being tracked in this winter we can professionally clean it for you.
Carpet need cleaning? Call SERVPRO of Dekalb County at (815)758-3900
Wet shoes creating mold
Tracking snow in
Winter time means snow in the midwest. Walk through any snow and it sticks to your shoes and possibly clothes depending on how deep it is. Of course we go inside and track in the snow which eventually melts. As creatures of habit we tend to take our shoes off in the same spot. If you have a tile floor where you take off your shoes you have a lot less to worry about with mold but many of us have carpeted floors. Being we take our shoes off in about the same place the carpet gets wet and if we have a lot of snow on our shoes maybe enough water that the pad gets wet too. A further problem is maybe the whole family takes off their shoes in the same spot. If this is the case be wary of mold as it never really gets a chance to dry thoroughly as we go in day in and day out tracking that snow back to the same spot which creates a moisture problem for mold to grow and the heat in the house creates a nice warm environment adding to the chance mold will grow.
A Simple Solution
A nice simple way to help avoid this if you do not have a hard surface to take your shoes off at is to create an area right inside the door for everyone to take their shoes off at. Instead of being directly on the carpet grab a cheap rug or mat that can go right inside thew door. The mat could be plastic and dished so the water stays inside. If a small rug it is something that can be washed and/or dried regularly to keep the mold from forming and will keep it from your regular carpet as well. When spring hits it will also keep people from tracking mud into the house. Now getting people to remember to use it - that is the problem if you family is like mine and many others. They may need a few reminders.
Mold issues? Call SERVPRO of Dekalb County at (815)758-3900