Recent Posts

Winter Storm's punishment to your roof.

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

Snow safety Winter storm

In Illinois we get every end of the spectrum when it comes to weather. Up until recently it’s been cold with some flurries—but February seems to want to make itself known. Hopefully we can get through another Winter season without our homes taking on major damage.

However, hope alone doesn’t work. We have to prepare our homes and be ready for what to do if the ugliest of situations do occur. SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac is the largest restoration company in the area, we take caring for your home seriously! Read on for important tips to keep your home safe and warm and to prevent winter damage this season. 

Always keep Snow build up at a minimum.

Roofs are engineered to handle all sorts of elements. Everything from rain to hail to snow to extreme heat-proper maintenance can keep your roof and your home safe and dry. Snow, rain, and debris commonly collect on your roof- especially in flatter areas.

But this doesn't mean that snow buildup won't become a problem on pitched roofs. The best way to protect your roof from snow damage is by investing in a good quality snow rake. A snow rake is a simple tool that allows you to remove excessive snow buildup from your roof. This can all be done while standing safely on the ground.

To use, gently pull the rake towards you down the slope of your roof, being careful to stand away from falling snow and debris. This simple tool is a proactive way to protect your roof in the winter months. Never use any type of defrosting material on your roof-it can damage your shingles and/or other roofing materials.

If you hold off on using a snow rake, make sure your gutters have been properly attached and your downspouts cleared. This way as the massive amounts of snow melt and run down your roof-it will properly drain away from your house and prevent further damage from water on your foundation.

 Remember to remove Ice Build-Up to Prevent Ice Dams & Winter Damage 

Just as much as you keep an eye out to remove snow build-up, you should also keep an eye on your roof for ice build-up. Ice can be especially dangerous when left accumulating for too long. The biggest areas of ice accumulation are the gutters. While icicles may look beautiful and like a normal sign of winter, they are a major threat to your roof. You can easily prevent icicles from growing by simply knocking them down with a broom or any other safe device that gives you plenty of clearance while cleaning the Ice.

We do strongly advise you to use caution when removing ice from your roof. If you whack an icicle too hard, you could potentially wipe out your entire gutter if you knock it too hard. Gutting your gutters of icicles is especially important in preventing what is perhaps the worst winter worry when it comes to your roof: ice dams. If you notice an ice dam forming it is important to address the issue right away. An ice dam is essentially a large clump of ice near the edge of your roof. If left long enough an ice dam will freeze your gutter and block snow from naturally falling off your roof.

You can prevent ice dams from forming by first staying on top of snow and icicle build-up. Make sure that water can flow freely from your gutters as ice begins to melt. Use an ice pick to gently chip away at large clumps of ice-safely-, removing them piece by piece from your gutter. As always, remember to stand away from your roof to protect yourself from falling objects. If you're not sure how often you need to clear away snow and/or ice from your roof, check the weather forecast. If it looks like your area will be getting six inches of snow, this is generally a good time to get your home ready.

As always, SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac is here when that unwanted water finds it way into your home.  Our experienced and professional team is ready to help you with all your home’s needs.

Where does the Water go?

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Drain Where does the water go?

Where does all the Water go?

Have you ever been in the shower and then find yourself wondering where is all this water going? Is this the same water I drink? How do they get the soap out? SERVPRO can help explain where it goes once it swirls down the drain...and how that can affect you as a home/business owner.

The Drain

If you're connected to a sewer system, your water is moving through a network of pipes and turns that increase in size the closer they get to a wastewater treatment plant. Every drain in your home is connected to a pipe that moves used water from your house to a sewer in the street. That includes every toilet, shower, sink, washing machine, dishwasher, and anything else that uses water connects to one singular pipe. This is true for every home around you as well and every home's pipe then connects to another, larger pipe which collects water from other streets, then another that connects neighborhoods….. and so on.  The system continues until the water finally makes it to the wastewater treatment plant.

If you are not connected to a sewer system, your water drains into a septic tank. In the tank most of the solids settle out while the liquid water will go on to flow through underground pipes that have holes drilled into them; those holes allow the water to seep out and into the ground. This particular system of pipes is called a leach field. Safely dispersing out and leaving what has to be professionally cleaned in the tank.  

Wastewater Treatment…..or pure Magic?

If your water took the sewer system route, it made its way to a wastewater treatment plant. First, the wastewater that you washed down your drains will go through a the primary treatment process, which aims to remove all large particles and debris.

Then, for secondary treatment process, organic matter is removed with bacteria that break down pollutants before the water is disinfected with chlorine to remove the bacteria.

Finally, in some cases, the water goes through one last advanced treatment process to get rid of any remaining pollutants that could go on to cause problems in the area. So, your water flows through all kinds of pipes to the wastewater treatment plant where it is treated, cleaned, and made safe to be reentered into the environment and local bodies of water. The treated water could go on to become drinking water, it may be used to irrigate crops, it could help sustain aquatic life, and it can even end up back in your shower where it all began!

How does this affect you has a property owner?

You may want to check into your local guidelines, but most locations-it is the homeowner/business owner that is responsible for drainage on their property. What can happen if a pipe collapse, gets clogged, back-flows, etc.? Everything that is draining stops and goes back where it was. Odor and drainage can start flowing back into the property instead of away from the property-causing an enormous amount of damage.

The sooner you address any pipe/drainage issue, the less of an impact it will have on your property. But sometimes that sewer system gets clogged and backs into your property. Call the team that’s trained and ready to clean up the mess and make it right. The Team at SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac has the crews ready-24/7-to fix what isn’t right after your pipe is repaired.

Contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac at 309-827-7500 or visit our website at SERVPRObloomingtonpontiac.com for more information.

Don’t feel like you are left with the mess. Call the team to make it right!

Is your Commercial Business ready for an emergency?

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Content Damage What would you do when disaster strikes?

Things to look for prior to hiring a Commercial Restoration Contractor

When your business is faced with water, fire or some other disaster-how do you work to get your livelihood back up and running? Those damages can be easily repaired or could put you face to face with losing a business. When you face any situation of mitigation and restoration, who do you call? Who do you trust?  

It’s time to pick up the phone and call in professionals. However, how well do you know the restoration company you are calling? When looking for restoration contractors, you must remind yourself that you are allowing workers into your space to fix damage to your business. You want workers who are expertly trained professionals with experience. These experts are fully equipped with the latest cleaning instruments and current restoration techniques. Commercial properties expose contractors to an entirely different field of fire requirements, building codes and zoning restrictions. As an owner, you will want to do the research on companies you can trust to follow all guidelines.

 Here are a few things you can do to avoid contacting fake, or unprofessional restoration companies.

Check if Their Website is Genuine

The internet can be a place for scammers and false people. However, it is also a good place to find restoration companies the quickest and easiest way possible.

You will know if the site is from a professional company when you are presented with links to their services. Use these links to research their work, their guidelines as a company.

Some services for commercial restoration include:

  • Sewage Remediation
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Content Restoration and Care
  • Mold Remediation
  • Community involvement

Read Client Testimonials, Check Reviews

Most service companies are turning to social media to keep communities and would be customers well informed. Use their websites, their Facebook, etc. to find reviews and details on services provided. Looking at what previous clients have said about the companies will help you to have an informed decision.

By reading the client’s testament, you get an idea of how this company will handle the situation you are facing.

Call Them Up, It Never Hurts To Ask

Professional workers know what they are talking about; they know the history, and services their company provides, and they know how to solve simple restorations even when they are on the other line. 

If the job was done by unprofessional workers, it may do more harm than good to your property. Instead of fixing the problem, they could complicate the situation with sloppy work, and mess-ups; leaving you in a difficult dilemma.

Ask questions. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions.

SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac is ready. We have the Team. We have the Experience. We have the Knowledge to get the job done right.

SERVPRO has programs set up for Commercial Businesses to have plans in place for emergency situations. Contact us today to help you set up your FREE plan-be ready for anything that happens.

What Causes Window Mold?

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Window Mold How far will the Mold go and what does it do to you?

What Causes Window Mold?

Mold is something, especially as homeowners-we expect to deal with at some point or another. When we deal with our basements or bathrooms, we very often do not think of windows as areas of mold growth. However, window mold can become a large problem for many homeowners. Mold can not only damage wooden window sills but it can pose serious health effects.

Although mold does not typically grow on glass, it can be commonly found between the window panes, along wooden window sills, frames, and along window tracks.

Mold growth in these areas is a result of not dusting windows on a regular basis- along with moisture buildup from humid or wet weather. Dust buildup can quickly block the ventilation of windows, and create an ideal environment for mold growth within your home.

How Can I Prevent Window Mold?

The best way to prevent mold growth along your windows is to make sure the area is clean and dry. Dust around your windows regularly to prevent any buildup. Make sure that your windows are properly sealed and insulated to prevent excess moisture from getting inside and creating the environment best suited for mold growth.

Reducing the level of humidity in your home can also be helpful. Keeping your home cool and the summer with fans or an air conditioner, and using a dehumidifier.

What Should I Do If I Discover Window Mold?

In mild cases, small amounts of window mold can be removed using household detergent.

You can apply it to the problem area. Then scrub it with a brush. You can also use a small amount of bleach to get rid of the mold.

**Be sure to wear appropriate protective gear, including a face mask and rubber gloves, as black mold can be dangerous.**

However, if you find there is a large amount of mold, or it is in areas that are difficult to remove, it is best to contact a professional mold remediation company.

They can remove mold effectively to prevent damage to your windows or health effects.

SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac is here for your Mold Remediation needs. Call our trained and experience team to guide you through the process and provide an estimate on your project.

Don’t forget about your General Cleanings!

1/21/2021 (Permalink)

Carpet Cleaning SERVPRO Team hard at work

We all are busy. Even when we are at home more because of a pandemic-we still don’t seem to have enough hours in the day to detail our homes as we should or would like too. What are some things we forget about? How often do we clean items? What actually needs to be cleaned?

We all know as renters, homeowners, landlords, business owners, etc…. keeping our areas cleaned properly makes for a nice living and work environment. It can be a hassle to do chores. It can be frustrating to realize the items that are unexpectedly neglected. What do you do?

First, Give yourself a break.

You are not alone. Despite what you may believe-no one has their house 100% from top to bottom….at least not on their own and not with a family around for sure! Use the tools that you have at your disposal. This is as simple as printing or using an ap that schedules your cleaning days. The schedule should include daily, monthly, seasonal and yearly cleaning items. A good example is you don’t clean your siding as often as you clean your toilets. So taking a second to not stress over it and develop a plan-gets you past part one.

Second, Make your plan make sense.

If you have 6 bathrooms, it would be really difficult to clean all 6 in one day-on your own-and do anything else. Life is too short to just clean all day. Make a plan-involve those whom live in the household and stick to it. Once it becomes routine-it’s easier.

Third, Always make sure you have supplies on the ready.

Once you are complete with a cleaning rotation-check your supplies-if you are low, add it to your shopping list. This helps keep you on track. That way when you go to clean your windows, you can do more than one window with the cleaner you have. Supplies are essential to the professionals-they are just as important to the individual.

Fourth (and last), Know who to call when it is an item beyond your skills or your products.

When it comes to cleaning carpets, duct work or other specific items-SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac is there to help. When you come across items or areas that need a deeper clean or help removing mold-SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac has the trained staff to complete the job.

Things that need to be routinely cleaned:

  • Washing Machines
  • Curtains
  • Door Frames, Baseboards, Banisters
  • Coffeemaker
  • Under, Over and inside any Appliance
  • Trash cans
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Light Switches, Door Knobs and Handles
  • Shower Curtain and Liner Replacement
  • Toothbrush Holder, Cotton Ball/pad holders
  • Pillows
  • Remotes
  • And many others

No Water Job is Too Big!

1/21/2021 (Permalink)

Washing machine Damage When the water leaks, where does it go?

After noticing her washing machine leaking, a local homeowner decided to call SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac. Our crew arrived promptly and immediately began the extraction process. Good news was, we were there quickly before it could get worse-the bad news was it was far more extensive that they thought. Upon further inspection, our team found that the continuous hard floors in the home showed significant signs of long term water damage.

After taking a few moisture readings and exposing what was under and behind the walls, the crew discovered the subfloor was saturated with water and very brittle. Before we began removing the floors, we removed the homeowner's furniture, keepsakes, and other belongings in the affected areas. The items were packed up and moved to our safe and secure storage space. Once the moveout was complete, our trained team began removing the affected drywall and flooring. Then special drying equipment was set up to dry out the structure.

After the structure was completely dry, we prepped the areas for the restoration process. All during this-keeping our homeowner up to date on what was going on. 

We were able to save most of the structure, rebuild and replace what was necessary in a quickly and timely manor and have the home back to the way it was quickly. 

At SERVPRO, we strive to get you back to where you were....and better. We are here for you and your home. 

"Like it never ever happened."

Be ready when the Storm hits...

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Storm Damage You know who to call

Storm damage occurs all the time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home or yourself. Heavy rains cause flooding, powerful winds cause roof damage, downed trees cause property damage and excessive ice could cause all of the above.  Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards. Always having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.

The quicker you are able to mitigate and repair damage left by a storm-the faster your home and life can get back to what it was….pre-storm.

Take all necessary safety precautions-prior and during a storm….

Heavy winds and rain create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. Furthermore, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health effects. 

Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac to help do basic tasks to secure your property.  If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.

Photograph All Damage…

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated. If you annually photograph things around your house-this will also help to know what is in your home and make the claims process even easier.

Contact Your Insurance Company…ASAP

Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjustor to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made. They can also help to let you know steps you need to take and where to even start.

Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance for Natural Disasters

The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans and/or have photos. Keep a timeline of whom you talked to, what happened and pay attention to what your insurance company can help you with.

When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home and your life.

SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac is here. We provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in board-up, mitigation and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire damage and smoke disaster. At SERVPRO, We make it “Like it never even happened.”

Contact Us 24/7/356 at 309.827.7500

Or visit us at www.SERVPRObloomingtonpontiac.com

What to do when Animal Hoarding leaves its mark...

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Biohazard We clean it properly.....the first time.

Let’s say you have a neighbor, friend or family member that is a person living with several animals.  Although their heart is in the right place with these animals and they picture themselves as a savior to the homeless cats, dogs or whatever- in the community, they can’t quite keep up with all of the needs of the animals. 

Over time, the pet food containers, fecal matter, and urine accumulate into a truly hazardous living condition.  The condition of the animals begins to deteriorate as vaccinations are not administered and disease among the animals begins to transmit.  A neighbor notes the issue and contacts animal control in concern for the animals and their neighborhood. The animals are subsequently removed and the neighbor is now left with an overwhelming home environment that is unhealthy to live in.

Scenes like this are much more common in our communities than many really know-especially now.  Animal hoarding is defined as: excessive acquisition of more animals than could reasonably be adequately cared for by a person on a particular property-and happens frequently.  The National Humane Society estimates that over 250,000 animals suffer and die due to animal hoarding on an annual basis.  Much too many. It doesn’t make sense to most people, that a person would voluntarily take on the volume of animals found in animal hoarding situations.  However, similar to standard hoarding disorders, animal hoarding is typically a manifestation some sort of underlying mental illness. Furthermore-it’s not just animals that can get ill - those individuals also can become ill or worse. The urine and feces left behind in an animal hoard environment can result in a toxic environment for the person left behind.

SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac specializes in the remediation of urine and feces decontamination.  Our technicians provide discreet aide to help restore those in need and to help return their environment back into a safe place for them to live. Our business is to keep the dignity and respect of the client intact as we help to restore their home to a healthy environment.  If you, or anyone you know, needs or would like help with the remediation of animal urine and feces remediation in their home please contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac for a free estimate. “Like it never even happened.”

Contact us today at 309.827.7500 or www.SERVPRObloomingtonpontiac.com. 

Why are Fire Alarms so Loud Anyway?

12/31/2020 (Permalink)

Loud Alarm Keeping everyone protected and aware will keep everyone safe.

What is the Reason that Fire Alarms are so Loud?

If loud sounds damage hearing—why are fire alarms so loud? And is there anything you can do to protect your ears from the noise?

How Loud Are Fire Alarms, Truly?

NFPA 72 lists requirements for fire alarm notification appliances, which take two primary forms:

Audible and Visual

Horns and sirens provide the audible alerts. Sounding off at 65 to 120 decibels (dB) when standing 10 feet from the device. Strobe lights provide the visible alert. Flashing once per second at 15 to 1,000 candelas, depending on the setting.

Prolonged and repeated exposure to loud noises can damage your hearing-That’s a fact.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) states that 85 dB and higher is the danger zone for hearing loss. However-being able to get everyone to safety becomes the task.

Why Do Fire Alarm Volumes Vary?

The goal of a fire alarm is to make sure everyone in the building knows to evacuate. That’s why the NFPA requires fire alarm horns and sirens to sound louder than typical noises.

The precise requirement is 15 dB above the average noise level or 5 dB above the maximum ambient sound-or whichever is greater. This means it may be appropriate to program fire alarm horns to 75 dB for a restaurant or office setting, but an industrial facility with loud equipment may need to sound off closer to the maximum 120 dB level to ensure the sound stands out from other ambient noises.

The high volume requirement for fire alarms accounts for the fact that distance from the horn decreases its perceived volume, and building materials absorb noise, especially if the doors are closed between rooms.

Due to these factors, the decibel level must be high at the source to ensure the sound travels to every corner of the building.

How Can You Protect Your Ears from Loud Fire Alarms?

When you hear the shrill noise of a fire alarm, your first instinct is to cover your ears. This is actually an effective way to defend against hearing loss while you walk calmly toward the exit and make your way out of the building.

More importantly, however, is to create a fire evacuation plan and hold fire drills regularly.

This way, your staff and/or family is confident about what steps to take and where to evacuate in case of an emergency. By planning ahead, you can limit confusion and reduce the time you’re exposed to loud volumes.

Finally, if you think the decibel level of your fire alarm is too high, hire a fire protection company to examine your equipment and make a determination. Your technician will make sure the volume is just right for safety and compliance with NFPA 72. Even though fire alarms can be loud, it’s imperative not to tamper with them. The NFPA has established fire codes that provide maximum safety for buildings in all industries. Disconnecting or adjusting the volume of your fire alarm sirens could result in noncompliance penalties and increased liability or decrease effectiveness.

How to handle water damage and carpeting

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

Check the Padding Can your carpet be saved?

What happens when water affects your carpeting?

So often, a homeowner has water seeping into their home. It varies in amounts and can be from flooding or even broken pipes. Once you clean up the water-you have to remain concerned about mold. 

It doesn’t take much water for mold to grow and do a lot of harm. Flooring is at the top of watching for damage. Cleaning water-soaked carpets and floors is difficult under any conditions, but in the aftermath of a storm or flood, contamination by mud, silt, sewage and mildew, can make the issue so much worse.

Prevent mold growth by drying water damage quickly and effectively.

The sooner you start drying and cleaning after a water damage, the sooner you can stop mold from growing under your carpet. The tools are simple: fans, bleach solution and appropriate cleaners. SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac has all of the equipment and cleaners needed to appropriately cleaned and protected…. with the added protection of a certified trained crew to take care of it. 

Water has to be removed as quickly as possible.

There are machines that can remove water, there are also larger machinery that restoration companies have that can remove large amounts of water much more efficiently. The quicker you remove the moisture, the sooner it can dry to avoid damage.

Use fans to effectively speed up the drying process and a dehumidifier to dry it out.

It can take several days for fans to completely dry a water damaged area appropriately. The good news is that they also help circulate fresh air and eliminate odors. These machines remove excessive moisture, which makes the air feel cooler and limits mold and mildew growth. Any equipment that helps dry out the air and the ground will speed up the drying time for your damaged floors and coverings as well as walls affected.

Steam clean carpet and flooring, sanitize walls/baseboards affected.

Steam clean all carpets to properly sanitize and deodorize. Removing water, drying and cleaning carpets quickly make it possible to save the carpet.  However, water-damaged carpet padding must be replaced. Replacing just the padding is much less expensive than having to re-carpet an entire area.

Anything touched by storm water should be sanitized and cleaned.  Clean all walls, hard-surface floors and other household surfaces with soap and water as well as sanitized. Restoration companies should be able to complete all these services properly.

Finally, Check the furniture

Look for water damage and remove furniture from wet flooring. Water damage can easily be hidden underneath rugs or carpet, so be sure to give your home a thorough inspection if you suspect water damage.

Take great care in repairing your home. SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac is here to help you. We have the certified trained staff and equipment to take care of your home.