Recent Posts

Diagnosing a Shower Leak

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Diagnosing a Shower Leak If you have a shower head leaking in your Piatt/Dewitt county bathroom it is time to replace it

Admist the many aspects of maintaining your home in Piatt/Dewitt counties, attending to a bathtub leak can be frustrating without an idea of what to look for. It is important to remember that some signs of damage are easier to distinguish that others; however, confirming the occurrence of a leak is possible with a keen eye and a thorough bathroom inspection.

Check for Telltale Signs

Identifying any immediate indicators of a leak can help determine how best to handle the situation. Giveaway signs may include the following:

  • Pooling water near the shower pan. This is often the result of a shower door with a poor-quality seal and is one of the simplest leaks to repair.
  • Wet spots and dampness on any walls near the shower. If the leak is occurring within the plumbing system, the pipes behind the wall may expel water, thus leaving visible wetness.
  • Water leaking from the spray holes, water may leak from other parts of the fixture. Cleaning the shower head and replacing the O-ring may solve the issue.

Scratch Beyond the Surface

Unfortunately a bathtub leak may cause damage that is not as apparent and may require a more in depth analysis. One critical factor to be aware of is the presence of mold or mildew anywhere in the bathroom; this includes any odors that occur. The flooding underneath the bathroom should be investigated for moisture, dripping, or mineral buildup. Typically, these signs  indicate a leak that may need to be addressed by a professional.

Determine the Best course of Action

Generally a shower pan leak with telltale indicators can be repaired without the need for professional intervention. For more internalized leaks, it is wise to consider contacting a water damage repair specialist for further analysis.

While diagnosing a shower or bathtub leak can be challenging, an informed approach can simplify the process. Understanding what to look for and when to contact a [professional can make a difference in preserving your home.  

If you have a leak in the bathroom, call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties at (217) 935-2992, for all your emergency service needs. (LB)

Why Hiring a Professional Restoration Company to Clean Up After Your Home Experiences a Fire Is the Best Choice

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Why Hiring a Professional Restoration Company to Clean Up After Your Home Experiences a Fire Is the Best Choice Fire damage in Piatt/Dewitt Counties does not have to be a headache.

The principle of cleaning after fire damage in Piatt/Dewitt Counties

Surviving the aftermath of the fire damage can be quite a relief. However, the replacement and repairs can be very detrimental. Luckily, there are some insurance companies out there who would help with the costs. However, dealing with the aftermath does require some skills and expertise. The cleaning process isn’t an easy task. Keep in mind that it requires extensive inspection, identifying types of residues and services, removing the residues and disposal. All this should be taken care of by a fire restoration specialist. After all, doing this on your own can be very dangerous, exhausting, time-consuming, and expensive.

Fire damage in Piatt/Dewitt Counties does not have to be a headache. The situation is mainly because the SERVPRO tech can take care of everything. They can start by inspecting that areas near the source of the fire and see how far the damage has moved through various structures. There are different types of smoke residues, and the SERVPRO specialist can select a cleaning method that can effectively remove these residues. Another thing to note is that the type of surface that has undergone the fire damage may require specialized cleaning method and products that are sale to use on the surface. The fire restoration experts may have to be cautious to preserve the materials or surface during the cleaning process.

Since smoke residues can bind to the surface that they come in contact with, the fire experts can use a dry and wet screening process to release the particles away from the affected surface. The restorer can adequately get rid of the debris and cleaning waste. Once everything is completed, the technicians can walk you through your how to make sure that you are satisfied with the results.

If you are interested in getting a specialist to clean and restore you home after fire damage, then give SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties a call at (217)935-2992 and we can promptly send our experts to your home. (LB)

What are Safe Moisture Levels?

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

One of the most common questions people have about moisture measurement is “What are safe moisture levels in walls, floors, etc.?’

The answer is: “It depends.”

Types of Wall Materials and Moisture.

What constitutes a “safe” level of moisture in a wall will change depending on what the wall is made of. In most modern construction interior walls tend to use a surface layer of gypsum (a.k.a. drywall) because it’s a relatively inexpensive, lightweight, and long-lasting material that’s easy to work with. However, old buildings may use other interior wall surfaces, such as wooden paneling or plaster.

Generally speaking, for drywall, safe moisture content (%MC) would be less than 1%MC. Anything above 1%MC in drywall would indicate a level of moisture that could compromise the integrity of the gypsum board.

Exterior walls may use a variety of materials, from wooden siding, in vinyl, aluminum, brick, and stone of these exterior wall materials, wood is generally the most susceptible to moisture – which is why wood siding is usually treated to resist rain. However, water repellent finishes can only prevent moisture from getting past the surfaces where the wood has been treated. If water reaches an untreated surface, such as the backside of the wood, then it can still be absorbed and can cause problems.

With wood, it can be harder to generalize what a safe amount of moisture is. This is because the humidity conditions can have an effect on what the ideal moisture content of wood can be – not to mention that “safe” moisture levels can vary from one species of wood to the next.

How humidity impacts “safe” moisture levels

The ambient humidity and temperature conditions where your walls are located can have an effect on what could constitute a “safe” amount of moisture in the wall when dealing with hygroscopic materials like wood. If wood wall materials aren’t in equilibrium with their surrounding environment, then they will absorb or let out moisture until they are – which can cause swelling or shrinkage that impacts the look and integrity of the wood.

So, knowing the relative humidity (RH) conditions is a must when trying to determine what  “safe” moisture content for wood wall is. For example, if the temperature in the room is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the RH is 50%, then a “safe” level of moisture in the wall would be about 9.1%MC.

Measure moisture in walls

So, how can you be sure if the walls in a structure have a safe level of moisture? One way to check is to use a moisture meter that is optimized for building inspection world like the BD-2100.

This particular moisture meter is ideal for checking the moisture content of walls because it has reading scales for both drywall and wood that allow for precise quantitative moisture measurements in these materials. A spate reference scale setting can be used for getting qualitative readings of moisture in other wall materials (like plaster).

The BD-2100’s drywall moisture meter readings are accurate in gypsum to moisture content percentages as low as 0.2% and as high as 50%. In the wood scale, the meter can detect moisture accurately over a range of 6%MC to 40%MC. The ability to detect moisture accurately in both wood and drywall makes this device particularly suited for building inspection work.

If you are worried about the moisture levels in your home, call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties anytime at (217) 935-2992. (LB)

Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Different Types of Fire Extinguishers A look at all the different types of Fire Extinguishers.

Water

  • Fire Extinguishers have a Class A rating and are suitable for fighting fires involving solid combustibles such as wood, paper, and textiles. 
  • Electrical equipment should be avoided when using a water extinguishers (unless water with additive are used), as water is a conductor.

AFF Foam

  • AFFF Foam fire extinguishers are highly effective on Class A and Class B fires (the foam agent helps to prevent re-ignition).
  • Some foam extinguishers have been diametrically tested to 35,000 volt (35kv) and can be used on or near electrical appliances. 

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

  • CO2 fire extinguishers were originally designed for use on flammable liquid fires, and therefore have a Class B fire rating. 
  • They are ideal for electrical fires, CO2 is not a conductor and they do not leave behind any harmful residue. 

ABC POWDER

  • ABC Powder fire extinguishers are extremely versatile and can be used on Class A, Class B, Class C, and electrical fires. 
  • They are available in a range of sizes from 1-9 kg and ideal for application in environments containing mixed fire risks. However, there is a risk of inhalation when using powder extinguishers and therefore not recommended for use within small rooms, homes, ad offices. 

Water Mist

  • Water mist fire extinguishers are highly effective on Class A, B, C, F, and electrical fires.
  • The unique design of the water mist extinguishers' supersonic nozzle creates a microscope mist curtain, reducing the oxygen content. Water mist extinguishers are also safe on fires caused by electricity, as the water mist does not conduct electricity and the water mist does not form puddles which could lead to electrocution.

Wet Chemical

  • Wet chemical fire extinguishers are designed specifically for use on fires involving combustible cooking media such as burning oil and fat. 
  • They have a Class F rating and a special lance applicator nozzle. They usually have an additional Class A rating and are normally not designed for use on Class B fires (petrol, diesel, paint, paraffin etc.), although the 31tr Gloria wet chemical firs extinguisher is an exception.  

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt for any of your fire needs, 24/7 at (217) 935-2992. (LB)

Fire Extinguisher Classes

2/6/2019 (Permalink)

The fire classification system is designed to categorize fires into groups based on the type of fuel involved. Each fire class is represented by a letter of the alphabet (with the electrical which are simply referred to as “electrical fires”) and an icon. This helps users to select an appropriate fire extinguisher in the event of a fire.

Class A Fires

  • Solid Combustibles
    • Fire involving solid combustible materials such as wood, textiles, straw, paper, coal etc.

Class B Fires

  • Flammable Liquids
    • Fire caused by combustion of liquids or materials that liquefy such as petrol, oils, fats, paints, tar, ether, alcohol, stearin, and paraffin.

Class C Fires

  • Flammable Gases
    • Fires caused by combustion of gases such as methane, propane, hydrogen, acetylene, natural gas and city gas.

Class D Fires

  • Flammable Fires
    • Fires involving combustibles metals such as magnesium, aluminum, lithium, sodium, potassium and their alloys. Combustible metal fires are unique industrial hazards which require special fire extinguishers.  

Class F Fires

  • Combustible Cooking Media
    • Fires involving particularly hot or deep oil and grease fires, such as deep fat fryers in commercial kitchens or overheated oil pan fires in homes. Normal water-based extinguishers with large droplets would cause an ‘explosion’ of stream and carry burning oils and fats from the container. Equally, a CO2 extinguishers jet would carry burning oil out of the container and also would have in-sufficient cooling effect to stop reigniting. Wet chemical extinguishers, on the other hand, lay a cooling foam layer on top of the burning fat/oil and react with the liquid, stopping air supply to the fire.

Electrical Fires

  • Electrical Appliances
    • Fires involving electrical appliances such as computers, electrical heaters, stereos, fuse boxes etc.

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt for any of your fire needs, 24/7 at (217) 935-2992. (LB)

Build an Emergency Checklist

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for when a storm hits near you? Use this checklist to build your emergency kit for your necessities during a storm.  

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandannas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt counties is locally owned and operated—so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt at (217) 935-2992 for all your storm damage needs 24/7.

I Pledge, I Matter People. SERVPRO

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Community I Pledge, I Matter People. SERVPRO I Pledge, I Matter!

I Pledge, I Matter

Community involvement is always a very big deal. This can mean many different things to different. Community is all around us, it is where we work, live and play. Community is us!

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties is active in our community and feels that it is not just good business sense, but it the right thing to do. What that looks like takes many forms. We are involved in homecoming and Christmas parades. We are involved with the Area Chambers of Commerce, supporting our community. We do food drives, Trick or Treat safe spaces, go to ribbon cutting ceremonies, pancake and sausage breakfasts and heavily support Shop with a Cop programs by opening up our warehouse to the kids so they can enjoy pizza while participating in dozens of activities we have put together.

Now we are venturing into something new to us. We have started our I Pledge, I Matter program which is a non profit that looks to bring awareness to and advocates for the prevention of teen suicide. Every day 3,041 teens attempt suicide in the US, that’s every day. These numbers are actually going up and resources are stretched thin.

Our intention is to raise money to train teachers, support staff, first responders and counselors on how to spot warning signs in at risk teens. Teens do not interact the same as they once did. They tend to be isolated behind a cell phone or tablet and on to of reduced real interaction they are now exposed to cyber bullying and do not learn coping mechanisms when faced with real life adversity. We want to change this. By training teachers, counselors and first responders to spot warning signs in an ever changing world and what to do afterwards is critical. We can help.

On November 2, 2019 we will be putting on a 10k/5k/1 mile fun run to bring awareness to this problem and raise money for the resources needed to help stop teen suicide. We will also be active with the school systems in exchanging ideas and best practices to help at risk teens. We will post more details as they become available. Working together for a better tomorrow is key! MM

Building the Customer Experience

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

General Building the Customer Experience Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (217)935-2992.

How can we help you?

The interaction between a policy holder and their insurance agent sometimes only occurs during the purchasing of a policy or when they file a claim. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties would like to help bridge that gap through greater involvement that ultimately ensures that the client will be able to take the right action at the right time. That is why SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties is always offering our insurance agents Tips and Advice, High Visibility Water and Gas Shut-Off Tags and Emergency Ready Profiles (ERP). We want to help local agents by providing them with most up to date information, most useful tips and tools.  We are always available to answer questions, offer quotes or give advice within our field. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties is here to help our community! 

(LB)

Be Storm Smart. Be Storm Ready.

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen any time, and anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:

  • 10,000 severe
  • thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,000 tornadoes
  • 2 land falling, deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home or business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt counties for your Storm damage needs at (217)935-2992.

How to Efficiently Extinguish a Grease Fire

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Efficiently Extinguish a Grease Fire If you are unsure if you can safely extinguish any fire, Call 911.

A grease fire can erupt suddenly and spread quickly. To help minimize damage, it’s important to quickly extinguish any kitchen blaze. However, certain actions may be highly ineffective and can jeopardize your safety. For this reason, it’s crucial to understand the appropriate techniques to smolder a grease-fueled inferno.

What Not To Do

There are several procedures that every homeowner in Piatt/Dewitt counties should avoid doing in the event of a kitchen fire involving grease:

  • Fanning the flames with a dishcloth
  • Pouring water over the inferno
  • Transporting the burning pot outside

Each of these measures is counterproductive and may cause flames to spread

Smolder the Flames

Once the stove is off, you should cover the flaming pot with a metal lid or baking sheet. Avoid using glass or ceramic items because the intense heat may cause these materials to shatter.

As an alternative, you can also douse flames with baking soda. However, this technique is only effective against small fires and should not be attempted on larger infernos.

Utilize on Appropriate Fire Extinguisher

If the blaze is no longer contained inside the pot, use a Class B, K or multipurpose fire extinguisher to smolder the flames. Because it contains pressurized water, a Class A extinguisher is not suitable for use on flammable liquids. For safety reason, you should check the label before engaging any extinguisher to verify the type of fire it’s designed to battle.

Call 911

Attempting to battle a large inferno can be extremely dangerous. If flames spread, evacuate the premises and call 911 for assistance.

Be prepared

To quickly extinguish a grease fire, it’s imperative that you remain alert. Keeping a metal lid and fire extinguisher accessible while cooking can help you respond quickly, reducing the risk of a damaging blaze requiring a tedious fire cleanup.

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties for any fire damage emergency needs. Reach us 24/7 at (217) 935-2992.