Recent Posts

The amount of content in a space can delay water damage mitigation

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

Lots of content Basement filled with content

We get the call from a homeowner that they have water in their basement from a pipe break. They innocently inform us that "there is a lot of stuff in the basement." We get there and we cannot even walk into the affected area because it is filled with boxes, plastic containers and other content. 

Unfortunately in these situations, we are limited in what we can do. We will need to have someplace to move the content to for the duration of the mitigation and rebuild (if necessary). It is not unusual that if the basement is that filled, there may not be anyplace to move the content. We may need to call to have an onsite storage container brought to the house. This may require a permit from the city. We will also need to have additional staff to move the large amount of content. It is not unusual that we would need to order a dumpster as well, since delays in removing the content can and will contribute to further damage to the structure (drywall, trim and flooring) as well as to the content. 

Another issue may be that if the insurance coverage is limited, there may not be enough coverage to cover all of the expenses in this situation. 

If you find that your basement is looking a bit packed, you might want to schedule a garage sale to get rid of some of the content. You should also schedule a call to your insurance agent and discuss the extent of coverage you have for the basement to make sure there are no surprises. 

At SERVPRO if DeKalb county, we have seen it all!!

Mold in your car? Really?!!

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in car Cleaning mold out of your car

Having a water damage in your Sycamore home and the possibility of mold is an upsetting thought. What about the possibility of mold within your vehicles?

The current production of vehicles is quality checked and inspected so interior problems are very rare. Yet, it is possible to have mold in your vehicle.

Do you know how to detect if you have a problem in your vehicle? Frankly, it is tough to determine. Our DeKalb area climate is very wet in spring; heavy potential storms in summer and fall and, winters are cold and snowy. During the long winter months, we track snow and ice into our vehicles from our shoes and boots. This equates to a lot of moisture in your car. 

The same rules apply to our vehicles as with our homes: "You don't have a mold problem; you have a moisture problem."

Be aware of your car's environment. Do a quick inspection, especially after heavy rains. Check for signs of wetness on carpeting, your dash, seats, or headliner. Listen for signs of water accumulation in the duct work (usually noticeable when you turn, and you hear sloshing). Finally, do you smell a musty odor in the car?

If you find you have a moisture problem in your vehicle, check to see if there was a recall from the manufacturer to remedy the potential mold issue. SERVPRO of DeKalb County is very experienced in mold remediation of vehicles. Call our office for additional information: 815.758.3900.

For more information about DeKalb:

Mold in your house

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in home Mold on drywall

Mold. This small word can put a large scare into the eyes of an Dekalb county homeowner. It should because not only does mold look disgusting, it can also cause health effects to you and your family. Did you know there are different classifications for mold?

  • Allergenic
  • Pathogenic
  • Toxigenic

There are possible health effects when you discover mold in your Dekalb home so it’s important to know how to approach each type of situation. Please consider the following of what to do and what NOT to do when you battle mold in your home:

What NOT to Do

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on mold

What to Do

  • Stay out of affected area
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans
  • Contact SERVPRO of Dekalb for mold remediation services

Contacting SERVPRO of DeKalb is the best thing you can do for your mold issues because we are able to identify the source of what is causing mold growth and remediate the issues. A common mistake when dealing with mold is only cleaning up the visible mold and calling it a day. Until you fix the source of moisture that is feeding the mold, it will continue to come back no matter what.

Luckily, mold remediation is a cornerstone of our business so you can ensure we will provide you with quality solutions to treat the problem. We are a 24-hour services and ready to service your needs whenever you need us. Feel free to call our office with any questions or schedule your service today (847) 758-3900.

Learn more about DeKalb.

Training is essential to having crew that can get the job done right!

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

Training Some of our workers receiving training at the SERVPRO Corporate Training complex

Each SERVPRO franchise values training and SERVPRO of DeKalb County is no exception!

Training of our staff new and old happens each and everyday at the franchise. We know that each client and situation is different. Whether its online training or in person training its all valued in the office. SERVPRO has an extensive learning management system that allows us to refine the training needed for each employee. There are organizations that we can send our employees to get independent certification training to ensure that our we current with the latest developments in our field.

Franchise owner Margaret Jackowiec has over 19 years of owning a SERVPRO franchise and has over 21 years in being a small business owner. She knows that training is a valuable tool to make happy customers but also in retaining valued employees.

When an employee feels confident in their day-to-day responsibilities they perform better. The training available from the franchise is not limited to just the outside crew. The office staff also is offered many different pieces of training online or in person.

Keep your DeKalb home safe while enjoying your fireplace

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

Fireplace Cozy fireplace

Fireplaces can add the ambiance of warmth and tranquility to your Dekalb home on a chilly Sunday morning. It is important to remember if you don’t take care of your fireplace, your warmth and tranquility, can quickly turn into a nightmare. And it can all start with the cleanliness of your chimney.

One of the best ways to prevent a disaster is to keep your fireplace clean. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 30% of heating fires are a result of unclean chimneys and equipment. This is due to a substance called creosote. Creosote is a byproduct of wood combustion that consists mainly of tar. Traces of this substance are found in the smoke that rises from open flames. When smoke is rising to the top of your chimney, it will mix with cold air and water to solidify and stick to the chimney liner. Creosote is not something that fixes itself either. It grows in a self-perpetuating cycle since it accumulates when there is lack of ventilation. This is a huge hazard because creosote is extremely flammable and can cause a destructive, deadly house fire.

            Creosote forms naturally, so there is no way to completely avoid it while using your fireplace. Small amounts of presence of creosote is not the issues, it’s the buildup of this substance that is problematic. There are three stages of creosote buildup and here is how you can appropriately respond to each stage to get the best cleaning. When you decide it’s time to clean your chimney, ensure you use a trained professional.

  1. State One- A small amount of creosote is present and has a thin, flaky texture. At this stage, the coating can easily be brushed away by a technician using a specialized brush.
  2. Stage Two- A medium size amount of creosote is present which consents of more tar and soot. At this stage, it is a little tougher to remove the substance. To remove it, it would be most beneficial to use a rotary loop tool attached to a drill.
  3. Stage Three- A large amount of creosote is present which is very concentrated. It can feel either sticky and oily or hard and shiny depending if the coating is fresh. At this stage, it may actually be more cost-effective to simply replace the chimney liner than try to clean it.

Although there is no way to completely avoid creosote, you can take simple actions to slow the process of its buildup. Consider the following tips:

  • Only use dry, seasoned wood in your chimney. This is wood that has been left to dry for at least 6 months
  • Never burn artificial logs because they produce more combustion byproduct than regular wood
  • Make sure your fire has an adequate amount of air
  • Schedule an annual chimney cleaning and inspection

Unfortunately, sometimes disaster still happen despite taking the steps to prevent an accident. If your Dekalb home has experienced a fire due to creosote buildup, don’t feel you’re in this alone. We are the certified fire restoration experts and know how to bring your home back to preloss conditions. You can count on us to immediately assess the damages and begin the remediation and restoration process. For services or any questions, call our office (847) 758 3900

Learn more about Dekalb

Keep your home protected from basement floods

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

Sump pump Sump pump

We have had lots of heavy rain in Dekalb, that means much more rain fall for your homes to endure. Rain can bring beautiful flowers but can also be dangerous if your home is not properly protected. One of the most important ways to protect your home is to install a quality sump pump and maintain its proper function. Sump pumps can make the difference between a wet and dry basement after a storm in Dekalb.

Did you know according to American Society of Home Inspectors, more than 60% of American homes suffer from below-ground wetness? This is why it’s so important to have a sump pump for your home’s basement. They are installed in the lowest part of a basement or crawl space. It has a huge job to keep your basement dry and prevent it from flooding. When water flows into the sump pump pit through drains, its job is to pump that groundwater out of the pit and away from your Dekalb home. Your basement is able to stay dry because the sump pump is moving the water away the pit.

Although the sump pump has a huge responsibility, most people hardly think about their sump pump until it’s too late. If a sump pump were to fail during a big rain event, your basement could face extensive water damage. To keep your valuables safe from the risk of a flood, it is important to pick the best sump pump system for you. There are four types of sump pumps to consider:

  • Primary sump pumps are the most common type found in many residential homes. They even come in two different models. The main difference is the pump’s location. The first one is a submersible pump, which is put under water in your sump pump basin. On the other hand, pedestal pumps are positioned with the pump motor out of the water, above your sump basin. When choosing between the two, pay attention to these factors: Sump pit size, Power needed, length water needs to be pumped, and your budget.
  • Battery Backup sump pumps provide you added insurance in the case of a power outage. Not only is this unit used during a blackout, but also can be used if the main pump fails for any reason. New technology has evolved this unit to communicate with users via text or email if there were a failure.
  • Combination sump pumps are a combination between a primary pump and a battery backup. This combination provides you protection not only under normal circumstances, but also during a power outage as well. Besides proper flood insurance, this combination can be considered the pinnacle of home flood protection.
  • Sewage pumps are not like traditional sump pumps although they could be used for this purpose. Their primary design is to pump sewage waste and effluent from a home to a septic system. This sump has an option to be installed in a septic tank itself or in a separate pump chamber.

Unfortunately, sometimes accidents still happen and basements flood. If your basement has water damage from a flood, don’t handle this alone. Call SERVPRO of DeKalb. We are the water mitigation experts who are trained to solve disasters like this. To schedule an appointment or have any questions, call our office: (815) 758-3900.

Learn more about DeKalb.

Protecting your home from Fall storms

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

Storm clouds Storm front moving in!!

Everyone enjoys the fall and the changing of colors in Dekalb, but what people do not like is the variety of harsh weather conditions that come during this season. Your home takes a beating during storms, so it is very important for you to maintain and protect them. Luckily, there are plenty of preventative measures homeowners can take to help reduce damage if and when a severe storm hits. Consider the following tips to keep your home safe this season:

  • Trim and maintain your trees. They are a risk to possibly damage your home’s exterior or break a window. When heavy rain hits Kane County, it also gives the possibility for trees to be uprooted from the ground as well.
  • Secure your fence. Ensure your fences are fully secured to prevent them being lifted from the ground.
  • Secure furniture. Patio furniture is a lovely touch for your backyard. Unfortunately, heavy winds can cause items like chairs and toys to be moved. This poses a possible risk to damage either your furniture or your home’s exterior. You can prevent this by anchoring furniture or moving items inside.
  • Check your gutters. Gutters need to remain clear at all times. Clear gutters allow water to flow away from your home. If they are not maintained, it can cause water to overflow and create leaks. There is also a risk for your roof to collapse from the built-up pressure. Set a couple of hours aside to clean gutters and make sure they are properly working.
  • Protect your shingles. Make sure your shingles are secure to endure storms in Elgin. If they ever become loose, you can repair each shingle with either roof tar or sealant spray.
  • Stock a basic emergency kit. Intense storms in the Dekalb County area can leave you without electric, water, gas, or sewage for a few hours or even days. Stock your family’s emergency kit without enough food, water, and supplies to carry everyone through at least three days. A basic emergency kit can include: Water, food, and flashlight.
  • Create an emergency escape plan if there if there is a fire from lightening strike.
  • Know your policy. It’s critical to read and understand your insurance policy. Be sure to frequently examine your property to ensure there are no physical or liability hazards.

If your home has been damaged by a storm, SERVPRO of DeKalb can take of any needs you and your family have after a disaster. Don’t feel alone during this stressful time. We can take the stress out of fixing any water or fire damage from storms. We are a 24-hour service and are “Here to Help” whenever you need us. For services and any questions, call: (815)- 758-3900.

More about DeKalb.

Keeping up with any leaks in your home

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe Leaking pipe.

As rain continues to pour in DeKalb County, maintenance on your beautiful home is crucial to keeping everything in working order. Small things such as fixing any leaks can go a long way for our DeKalb home.

By simply fixing any leaks in your roof, window, or pipes, it will prevent further damage such as mold growth. In general, try to clean and dry areas subjected to water within 48 hours to help prevent further damage. If you believe materials are wet and cannot be completely dried, completely remove them to be replaced. It might seem like an extra hassle to completely replace materials, but when left wet, it can lead to additional issues, like mold growth.

We recommend replacing wet insulation with mold resistant insulation. Also consider replacing drywall with boards containing mold and moisture inhibitors. This is a great way to keep your insulation and drywall dry while protecting it from further damage.  Insulation is a very powerful tool because it manages the building’s temperature and moisture. Insulation will support dry, temperature-controlled conditions that inhibit mold growth. Spray polyurethane foam is a great type of insulation for your DeKalb home. It seals cracks, holes, and other defects in the building’s structure. This creates a tight seal and will reduce the air and moisture flow.

Unfortunately, sometimes accidents still happen! When you experience water damage from leaks or other sources, this is when you need to call SERVPRO of DeKalb County to service your needs! We are a 24-hour restoration service who can provide you quality solutions and bring you a peace of mind. To schedule your service or any questions, call our office: (815) 758-3900.

Learn more about DeKalb.

Steps taken to keep everyone safe during Commercial visits

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

Open for business We are always open for business

SERVPRO of Dekalb is being called on by numerous businesses and community leaders to perform the necessary bioremediation services to clean, disinfect, and sanitize their properties. We have helped a tremendous number of offices, hospitals, and education facilities, but that does not mean we are not here for our Dekalb area business owners for our core services! This means we are here for you when your Dekalb business or commercial space experiences a water or fire loss, mold, or damage from a storm event.

At SERVPRO of Dekalb, we are prepared to continue providing our clients with a safe and comfortable experience. To ensure the safety and well-being of our clients and their businesses, we implemented additional steps recommended by the CDC into our job processes. This includes all technicians and SERVPRO employees to wear face masks during client visits. We also place an air scrubber into the affected area to promote clean air in the client’s home. Lastly, every employee has their temperature taken each morning to verify they are eligible to perform work for our clients.

SERVPRO of Dekalb will continue to answer your phone calls, provide estimates, and help with any restoration services you might need. Restoration is defined as essential as our services are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and operation for the people of the Dekalb area. Per our mission, we will be “Here to Help” when you need us most and provide a service that keeps your business functioning. We will continue to monitor this situation with the goal of keeping you and your business, staff, and customers comfortable during these uncertain times.

Whether you need deep cleaning services or water restoration, we are here to service you on your schedule as we are a 24-hour emergency business. If you or your family has any additional questions about our services or protocol, please do not hesitate to call our office: (815) 758-3900.

Learn more about Dekalb.

ERPs will help you reopen after a disaster

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

ERP ERPs are essential for business continuity.

Businesses big or small face a variety of possible disasters every day. Disasters and resulting business interruption can devastate companies. Did you know only 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster ever reopen? And of those reopened businesses, 75% of them had an emergency plan. This proves having an Emergency Ready Profile can be lifesaving to a business.

No one plans on having a disaster hit their business, but fortunately, you can plan for it with an Emergency Ready Profile. This plan includes what to do, who to call, and what to expect, which are key aspects of timely mitigation. More specifically, it includes details such as shut-off value locations and all primary contacts. Timely mitigation will minimize the effects of damages and allow your business to be restored at an advanced rate with minimal downtime.

SERVPRO® of Elgin can provide your business with an Emergency Ready Profile for no charge. In addition, the entire plan will be located on an app. The app not only gives you convenient access, its layout will keep all the information in an organized fashion.

Call SERVPRO of DeKalb today to get your Emergency Ready Profile started: (815) 758-3900.

Learn more about DeKalb.