Recent Storm Damage Posts
The Right Sump Pump for Your Dekalb Home
Spring is here and for 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.
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How to Prepare for a Dekalb Storm
Everyone enjoys the spring and blooming flower 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.
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The importance of Proper Drainage for Your Dekalb Home
From intense wind, heavy snow fall, and rain showers, your Dekalb home endures a lot of storms throughout the year. When these storms hit, your gutters are busy at work. Their job is to control the flow of rainwater which protects your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape. Unfortunately, they can also be at risk for causing serious additional problems if they are not maintained.
If your gutters are not maintained after enduring Dekalb's storms, you can easily be at risk for potential water damage which can cost thousands of dollars. Since the job of gutters is to carry water away from the home’s foundation, it cannot do its function without clear paths. Clogged gutters will eventually overflow onto the foundation of the home. And depending on the amount of water and condition of the foundation, water could seep into your basement or crawl space. Clogged gutters can also pose a weight strain on your roof and fascia. This could cause your roof to collapse and causing damage to the shingles of the roof and exterior of the house.
A routine cleaning of your gutters can prevent damage to your roof, exterior, foundation, and save you a lot of money in damage repairs. By setting aside a couple of hours, follow these steps to easily clean them yourself and ensure they are functioning properly:
- Protect your hands and keep them dry by wearing latex gloves
- Begin cleaning near the downspout
- Clear large debris such as leaves and twigs by hand
- Remove and clean downspout strainers
- Flush out the gutter with your garden hose. Start at the opposite end of the downspout
- Check the downspout for any lodged debris and remove any remaining debris
- Use a pressure washer to remove any mildew and dirt from the gutters
If your Dekalb home has experienced water damage, be proactive by partnering with SERVPRO of Dekalb County to dry out the damaged area. We are the water restoration experts and you can count on us to remove and repair water damage. We are a 24-hour service and can respond to the call at any time. To schedule an estimate or have any questions, call (815) 758-3900.
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Secure Your Shingles from Dekalb Storms
The spring season is right around the corner which means Dekalb is about to endue many storms. We never know the severity and frequency of mother nature in Dekalb, but inevitably, a lot of homeowners end up dealing with property damage as a result from storms. Roof shingles must withstand intense elements and are at risk to becoming damaged following heavy winds or hail. Although you cannot control the weather, there’s still a lot you can do to protect your home so it can endure the weather’s brutality.
The weather in Dekalb can cause shingles to become damaged or completely torn off. Once it becomes damaged, it is important to quickly replace it because once it breaks free, your Dekalb home will become vulnerable to more damage. You can avoid further damage by securing the shingles on your roof. The first thing you can do to secure shingles is to properly nail them to your roof. Did you know there should be at least six nails or staples to hold each shingle? When roofers install the nails or staples, the edges should also be overlapping.
When shingles begin to bend or curl as they settle, use roof tar or another adhesive to reaffix the shingle to the roof. To apply roofing tar, manually brush or spread on the desired area. It can be used anywhere that a spray-on sealant is used. Be sure to also cover the nail with a protective silicone or roofing cement so that the nail head does not become a source for leaking.
Lastly, another way to protect the roof shingles on your Dekalb home is to use sealant spray. This is to be used where shingles leak around flashing, gutters, or vents. Similar to acrylic sealants, but this spray comes in a can and is intended for smaller areas. Sealant spray does a great job filling in cracks where the shingles meet flashing around chimneys, vents, or skylights.
If your home is in need for new shingles, there are an overwhelming amount of options to choose from. A new roof can last you decades, so be sure you like the color or style you choose. To narrow your search, here are the three primary types of asphalt shingles:
- 3-Tab Shingles are the most basic and economical choice. They are lightweight and can last a couple decades in the right conditions.
- Dimensional Shingles have a reputation for being very durable and can last at least 30 years. According to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer Association, they are the most popular choice today.
- Luxury Asphalt Shingles have the Dimensional appearance but are more affordable than slate or cedar alternatives.
If your Dekalb home has experienced water damage from a missing or damaged shingle, SERVPRO® of Dekalb can bring your home back to preloss conditions. We are the water mitigation experts and will minimize your home’s water damage. We are here to service your needs 24-hours a day. For any questions or need to schedule an appointment, call our office: (847) 758-3900.
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Spring hit this shopping area hard
Spring in Illinois is know for some crazy weather and last year was no different. A sudden micro burst happened and a local strip mall was effective. It did considerable damage to the roof for the entire structure and due to that quite a bit of rain came into the businesses. The agent for the building was also the agent for many of the businesses. He contacted the SERVPRO of Dekalb team right away. They contacted a roofer and they together put together a plan to tackle the job. The team went right to work and spoke with the individual business owners to walk them thru the plan for their business. The team worked many long hours and days to make the customers happy. In what seemed like no time the businesses were back and ready for business. The building repairs were completed and all were very pleased with the end result.
We have a rental that was recently unoccupied. We had a neighbor checking on it on a regular basis. Unfortunately we still got hit with a broken pipe. The basement ended up with about 2 feet of water in it one late Sunday night. We called SERVPRO of DeKalb County and they came right out. The took care of the water in no time and started the drying process within that first visit. They had equipment set up for the next three days and dried the area in the time frame explained to me.We had a nice dry basement with a nice fresh smell to show potential tenants within a few days. We were impressed with the speed at which the crews worked and their knowledge.
Roof leak from ice storm
Our local library contacted SERVPRO of Dekalb County after a recent ice storm. They had a spot on the room on their 100 + year old building that didn't handle the ice very well. They had water in the lower level soaking the carpet, walls and contents in their break room. They were very happy that it didn't effect any of the reading materials as the children's section of the library is closest to the area. SERVPRO went right to work and start the drying process. The staff of the library said they hardly notice any disruption in their day and we very impressed by the SERVPRO crew. They were back to using the entire building in just a matter of a couple of days. The roof is also tarped and ready for replacement in the spring.
Get the bread and milk! The storm is coming
We live in the upper midwest and the winters can be brutal. We recently had a rather extended extremely cold period along with snow. We thought we had prepared but we still had situations with snow and ice damns. We couldn't get to the roof or window wells in our home because the snow just kept coming. We had water running down the walls in our second floor and our basement for days as did our neighbors. We had freezing and thawing pipes for weeks too. It was a mess until we called SERVPRO of Dekalb county. Our neighborhood had been hit be a tornado in 2011 and we had all experince with them before thru that situation. Their crews came out, surveyed the situation and got right to work. They had a plan of action for each of us and kept us informed throughout the process. We all were happy and back to normal withing a few days. We are now ready for the next crazy weather that Mother Nature throws at us.
The great storm of the century
Spring of 2012 started out as any other season. Residents of Northern Illinois were ready to get out and about after a long hard winter. In early April it started to rain and it rained and it rained and it rained. It looked to never going to stop. SERVPRO of Dekalb county crews were ready to go and go they did. In a matter of days hundreds of calls came into the local franchise. They started early morning and just didn't stop. So much rain and so many homes effected. Crews worked day and night to help as many as they could. After about a week or so they had gotten thru the list of customers and helped each of them get back to enjoying spring.
April of 2015 an E5 Tornado blew thru Northern Illinois and the small town of Fairdale. The small town was devestated. SERVPRO of Dekalb County was called in to help. The crews diligently went thru the residential area helping and offering some comfort to the residents. Many residents homes had items in them that were not theirs and had blown in from other homes. The small town suffered the loss of one of it's elderly residents. SERVPRO crews were in the area for several days and helped as many of them as they could. Residents remarked at the professional job the crews did and were thankful that they were there. So much was lost from that storm but SERVPRO certainly did what it could to help.
Crazy Fall Storm
We recently had a freak fall tornado in our area! We had severe roof damage to several homes in our area. We thankfully were not home when it happened but that only made damage get worse until we arrived home. We had a foot of water in our main level by the time it was all said and done. Our agent told us to call SERVPRO of Dekalb County to come help us. They came right out when we called and one of their technicians explained the whole plan while the other crew members got right to work. My husband is usually a very tough customer to contractors and at the end of our conversation he was completely satisfied that they knew exactly what they were doing! We had to stay in a local hotel for a couple of days (which our kids loved) but we are home safe, sound and dry now.
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
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
What in the world is an Ice Dam
Pretty But Troublesome
It's a cold winter morning and you look out the window and see the long pretty icicle's hanging down from the roof but they are masking an issue. Those icicles have formed a big ice barrier and the edge of the roof creating what is called an ice dam. It is important to get rid of the ice dam as soon as possible. If its a warm day it will likely melt that day and may not be too much of a problem but often another storm hits and the ice builds up more. All this ice pushes on the shingles and eaves and can allow water to get underneath them as the water is left standing behind the ice dam and cannot get to the eaves to flow away from the house. All of these things do a fair amount of damage to the shingles and can allow water under the shingles. The water will then get into the roof area where you will now have water in your attic which can lead to further issues with water damage and left untreated as the weather warms possibly mold issues as well.
They Are Treatable
- Temporary solutions include using heated cable that is made for just this issue. Also they make roof rakes for getting the ice down if you live in a single story home
- Permanent fixes include venting eaves and ridges and also adding insulation to change the roof temperature so that ice is less likely to form.
Have you suffered damage from an ice dam and now have water or mold in your attic? We can help. Call SERVPRO of Dekalb County at (815)758-3900
When storms hit
SERVPRO of Dekalb County 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.
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 our 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 SERVPRO of Dekalb County (815)758-3900
Winterizing your vehicle
The Dreaded Dead Battery
Most of us have gone out to start our vehicle in the winter to hear the car start to turn over slowly then nothing as the battery dies. Your heart sinks as you realize you are not heading to wherever you had planned on going to. Well here are some tips you can use to help avoid winter time issues.
- Check the brake fluid levels. All fluids move slower in winter and brakes are no exception
- A 50/50 water and antifreeze is recommended. They now make premixed if you are unsure about the mix ratios.
- Check your battery. Many auto places offer this as a free service. Remember short trips do not give your battery much time to charge so it slowly dies. Also keep an emergency jump starter in the car. You can usually find these starting at around $50.00
- Keep tires at the proper inflation level to insure good grip on the road. Also drive at safe speeds since we all know it is easy to lose traction in the winter's slippery conditions
- Make sure oil level is where it needs to be. Again fluids get thick and the engine needs the oil to lubricate the cylinders.
- Check your wipers. Also top off your windshield washer fluid. You don't want to be in traffic and the windows are getting dirty and no way to clean them. They get hard to see through very quickly.
- Keep gas level above a 1/4 tank to keep it from freezing. If you drive a diesel they have additives to help keep from gelling up and also additives should it gel up to liquefy it again
Be safe and drive safe. Your lives and all those others are too important to take chances.
Storm damage to your home? Call us at SERVPRO of Dekalb County (815)758-3900
Snow concerns around your home
- Make sure windows are sealed properly to keep moisture out
- Know where shut off valves are should a pipe freeze and burst
- Have a backup heat source should your heater have issues
- Use towels to lined doors or windows where drafts may be coming in
- Close storm windows to keep heat in and the cold out
- Check the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working
- Clean out gutters and downspouts before winter. They can prevent water from moving away from the house and could cause basement flooding
- Candles are sometimes used for decorations and not just scented candles so keep stuff away from the flames
- Be careful of ice damming. This is when snow melts and moves further down the roof and then freezes again and then build up more on the roof and when it melts the water has no where to go with the ice dam so it gets under your shingles and into your roof causing multiple issues
Do you have need of our Storm Restoration Services? Contact us at SERVPRO of Dekalb County (815)758-3900
Be Storm Ready
Build A Kit
A storm kit set aside can be very handy to have. Often electrical outages aren't that long but severe storms it can be days without electric. Storms have the potential for extended disturbances to your normal life so by having a kit you can at least have necessary items available. Many of us generally have non-perishables liked canned vegetables and dry foods like cereal in our pantries but there are some other items wise to keep in a handy location.
- Several gallons of water
- If don't normally store non perishables a few would be a good idea
- A first aid kit
- Battery powered radio
- Most of us have a cell phone but a battery backup charger would be good. Check or use now and then to make sure it is charged when needed
- A list of safe locations to go in certain situations such as a tornado shelter or a flood shelter depending on your area
- Emergency contacts
Inform the family of the location of your emergency kit and periodically check it and make sure everything is ok. We hope we never need to use our kits but someday may come and it is important that everything is there and working when we do need it.
Storm Damage? Call us at SERVPRO of Dekalb County (815)758-3900
Watch out for hail
An Infrequent Visitor
Most places around the country don't get hail too often so we don't really prepare for it. It usually happens in a storm without warning unless we hear a weather forecast that said it has happened in this storm already. In most storms it is small bb sized hail which is fairly harmless and most of us have been in. However there is larger hail that hits and we need to be wary of it. Once you get to quarter sized hail you are really into the zone where damage can be done. If you know there the storm is going to have this size hail try and get your car covered as it will do a fair amount of damage to your car. There is also potential to damage your shingles and break windows and if it is half dollar sized it likely damaged at least some shingles. Once you get to ping pong ball size hail it can do a fair amount of damage to a home. Also at this size you really don't want to be out in it as it will be quite painful(a bit obvious. Sorry.) If you are in an area prone to hail a couple steps you can take is to put on hail resistant roofing and also to put shutters for your windows on your house.
Hail Damage? Call SERVPRO of Dekalb County at (815)758-3900
Tornado Drills - Not Just For School
The Boy Scout motto. We have heard it many times and it is a good motto for all of us. This doesn't just apply to tornado's but any storms that may come through as they all have potential for problems like electrical outages and although it is rare lightning can start house fires.
- Familiarize your family with your local tornado sirens
- Let the family know the safe zones in the house or community to go to in tornadoes
- Have a location in the house with a flashlight always there
- Keep a list of contacts for the kids to call should they not know what to do that can help talk them through it
- Educate them that if the storm is severe stay away from windows as branches can blow off trees and into the windows
- Have a safe place should the unfortunate and rare occurrence of a fire by lightning happen that everyone can go to while waiting for the fire department to arrive
- Take any other precautions applicable to storm types in your area to keep you and your family safe
Storm Damage To Your Home? Contact us at SERVPRO of Dekalb County (815)758-3900
When you have Storm Damage
WInd damage to roof, windows, and trees from a recent storm .
- Put safety first!
- Contact your insurance agent or company
- If a tree fell on or near your property be cautious around it as the tree can still shift
- Look up at the trees to make sure of no broken limbs just hanging there that could fall down injuring someone
- Be aware of power lines as they may be down in the area creating a hazard
- Listen to the radio for further news reports on the storm and damage
- Check on your elderly or disabled neighbors
- If you leave in your car do not drive through flooded streets. You do not know how deep it may be.
- If you smell gas shut the gas off and contact your gas supplier.
- Again safety first! Look before you act.
Our Storm Damage Restoration Service
Storms can come up with little warning about how powerful and destructive that storm may be. Regardless of the type of storm SERVPRO can handle any disaster. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your storm damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Storm Damage?
Call Us Today SERVPRO (815)758-3900