Recent Posts

3 Differences Between Flood Damage and Storm Damage

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Flood waters in a crawlspace Flood waters in a crawlspace of a home

If your Piatt/DeWitt County building is damaged during a storm, you might think that all of the water damage falls into one category, but this is not necessarily the case. Flood damage is actually a bit different from other types of damage caused by water. The following are a few distinctions.

  1. Where the Water Comes From

Perhaps the easiest way to determine whether you are dealing with flood damage or other water damage is to figure out where the water is coming from. Generally, if the water comes from above, then it is regular water damage. This can include leaks and broken pipes. If the water is rising up from the ground, then this is always considered flood water.

  1. The Level of Water Contamination

A lot of the water involved in storm damage is considered to be category 1 or clean water. Water from damaged pipes or supply lines also belongs to this category. Flood water, on the other hand, is category 3 or black water. This means that it is highly contaminated and should be avoided. This is because water from a flood mixes with sewage and other contaminants on the ground. Anything that it touches, including home contents, will need to be thrown away or thoroughly sanitized.

  1. Whether It is Included in Your Insurance Policy

Another important difference between damage from a flood and damage from other water sources is that flooding is usually not included in your basic insurance policy. If you want coverage for this type of damage, then you will need to purchase a separate flood policy. Whether you are dealing with clean water or flood damage, you will need to have it taken care of quickly to avoid further damage to your building. Moisture of any type can contribute to weakened materials or mold growth. SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt County can remove the water and perform any necessary repairs.

Call us at 217-935-2992 at any time.

3 Steps To Take After A Fire

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

house fire working house fire

A fire in your Piatt/DeWitt County home can be devastating. There are people who can give you the assistance you need to rebuild your house if this happens. To expedite the fire restoration process, you will need to file a fire claim with your insurance company. Take these three steps right after the fire happens to make the process go more smoothly.

  1. Call Your Insurance Agent

The company that provides your fire insurance is the first call you should make after the flames have been put out. This starts the claims process. An adjuster comes to assess the damage and determine how much the insurance company will pay. The longer you wait to contact your insurance company, the higher the chance that your home will sustain damage that won't be covered.

  1. Vacate Your Property

You may be tempted to start cleaning up the moment you hang up from the call with your insurance agent. Fight this urge and leave damage mitigation to the professionals. Instead, take pictures of the damages so that you have an accurate record of them. You may also consider making a list of items that need to be replaced and the approximate replacement cost. This can help you when you are filing your claim, especially if the fire restoration cleanup starts before your adjuster arrives.

  1. Protect Your Home

It's likely that the fire that ravaged your home also left it vulnerable to the elements and unwanted guests. When fire remediation specialists arrive to start the smoke cleaning process, they will likely board up the parts of your home that normally would be closed to intruders, animals or bad weather. This can prevent further damage and save you the time and expense of extra repairs. Fire damage to your home can seem overwhelming. However, these are the few primary steps needed to start the fire restoration process.  SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt County is ready to work with your insurance agent to return your home to preloss condition.  Call or ask for SERVPRO at 217-935-2992, 24/7

Drip, Drip, Drip

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Prairie Wind water loss Prairie Wind Water Loss

Not a good sound to hear anytime of the year. The day after Christmas is even worse.  A local senior housing facility had a sprinkler head malfunction in the early hours of December 26. First call was to SERVPRO to attack the issue. Several rooms and a long hallway were saturated with water. 

These water losses are tough for any business. A water loss in a senior center presents special problems.  This water issue disrupts their lives, from being displaced from their rooms to a dining hall in some instances being flooded. 

This is also very disruptive to the staff since the residence daily routine has been interrupted. They want things back to normal as quickly as possible. The staff also has to deal with the additional hazards equipment being placed to dry carpet out presents. 

Our goal at SERVPRO is to not only make it “Like it never even happened,” but to do it quickly as we can. 

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt at 217-935-2992 for all your water loss needs!

Act Quickly

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

house fire SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt County act quick to all fire calls

Fires can be devastating when they occur.  It is crucial though when a fire strikes that you get the restoration process started immediately.  The longer that it is put off the harder and more repairs will be needed. This also means the price of repairs goes up as well.  SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt County specializes in fire damage and restoration.  Contacting us is the first step in getting the restoration underway. SERVPRO will try to save as much of your home and personal belongings that we can. Remember that safety comes first, so if there’s no way to safely gain access into your home, stay out until SERVPRO professionals arrive. On arrival we perform a thorough cleanup using our industrial-grade products and equipment, such as dry cleaning soot sponges to remove loose soot and specialized vacuum filters to clean carpet and upholstery.  Unfortunately fires happen, but when they do make sure you act quickly to get the damage cleaned up. SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt County takes fire damage and leaves it "Like it never even happened." Call SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt County for your fire restoration needs anytime at (217) 935-2992

When Should You Not Use Drain Cleaner?

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Clogged Pipes clogged water pipes

When Should You Not Use Drain Cleaner?

You may be tempted to treat a clogged drain with store-bought drain cleaner in Piatt/DeWitt County. However, you should be careful about when and how you apply this potent chemical liquid. There are certain situations in which drain cleaner should never be used, in order to prevent more damage from occurring.

Plastic Pipes

The chemicals in drain cleaner react together to transfer electrons to and from organic substances, causing them to break down. This process also produces heat. That is how they force their way down further into the pipe. These two factors mean that they can warp and eat through piping made of pliable materials, like plastic. The three types of cleaners you should stay away from if you do have plastic pipes are:

  • Sulfiric or muriatic acid cleaners
  • Lye or caustic potash cleaners
  • Bleach, peroxide or nitrate cleaners

Total Blockage

Often, drain cleaners won't be able to clear a clogged drain if there is a solid mass of hair, oil and debris completely blocking the flow of air and liquid. So, if they are used in these situations, the cleaner ends up sitting there above the block. Given enough time, the strong chemicals can deal out some real damage to your pipes, even if they are not plastic or old.

Old Pipes

Old pipes will have a number of the same problems as plastic pipes because they are brittle and delicate. If you discover that your pipes are old or rusting, you are probably better off replacing your plumbing rather than going through sewage cleaning. New pipes are the best way to ensure that one does not burst and you have water damage remediation to deal with instead of a blockage. Most people don't even know there are other options for dealing with a clogged drain. Instead of chemical cleaner, you can try a biological or a mechanical option like a drain snake. Ask your local hardware store for more guidance.  If unwelcome water is present, however, call SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt County at 217-935-2992.

Is Mold Damage Covered by Homeowner's Insurance

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

mold next to exterior windows mold growth next to exterior windows

Is Mold Damage Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?

Once a small amount of water gets where it doesn’t belong mold can start to develop. One certain problem with mold/fungus growth is that it damages, and can eventually destroy, the materials from which houses are made. Some homeowners’ policies may include mold insurance, but it depends on the wording and circumstances.

Your Insurance May Cover Mold Damage Did the mold develop as the natural consequence of a “covered peril”?  This typically includes such things as the following: Fire damage, Storm and lightning damage, Accidental discharge from plumbing and appliances So, if a lightning bolt strikes and damages your roof, allowing water to enter it, that would be covered. If lightning hits a tree, causing it to fall on the roof and encourage fungus growth, the same applies.

There Are Limits, Conditions and Exceptions When experts tell you to read your insurance policy carefully, it is because there can be significant distinctions in the fine print. For instance, even if the mold damage was caused by a covered peril, you won’t be covered if the damage was reasonably preventable – such as knowing about a leak but letting it go for longer than necessary.

Also, a homeowner’s insurance will never cover damages from flooding.  The National Flood Insurance Program provides that. Keeping a higher indoor humidity than normal also could trigger an exception.

Some policies may have a rider or endorsement that specifically does offer mold coverage. However, there are usually limits to the payout, capping damage awards. Finally, any insurance claim can potentially raise the cost of your premiums, so in some circumstances, you may be better off paying a professional mold cleanup company like SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt County yourself to fix the problem.  

When fungus growth does threaten your home in Piatt/DeWitt County, take a good look at your insurance or call SERVPRO at 217-935-2992 for advice. They can answer your questions and take pride in leaving your home “Like it never even happened.”

5 Common Causes to Commercial Fires

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Vet Clinic Building Fire Vet Clinic Building Fire

There are five common causes of fires in Commercial Buildings:

  • Cooking Equipment
  • Heating equipment
  • Electrical & lighting equipment
  • Smoking materials
  • Intentional fire setting

SERVPRO of DeWitt/Piatt County has the equipment, expertise, and experience for fire cleaning and smoke damage.  A power surge affected a local business on Wednesday.  The SERVPRO of DeWitt/Piatt County crews had the business up running on Thursday.  That was a 24-hour turnaround.  The crews used the hepa-vac and cleaned the first floor, basement and boarded up windows.  Crews also packed up all contents in the office where the fire began and deliver to the warehouse for storage.  The remainder of the contents on both levels were cleaned on-site.  The owner of the business was shocked but pleased that they were closed for only 1 day. You can count on SERVPRO of DeWitt/Piatt County and their hard-working crew to be there for you and your business. Call SERVPRO of DeWitt/Piatt County at 217-935-2992 for all your commercial needs. 

Commercial Fire Damage

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Fire in office Area Fire in office space

Dealing with commercial fire damage on your own can be devastating & stressful. Our techs can help you and give you peace of mind.

Fires in commercial establishments can be very devastating. Apart from the loss they cause by damaging the structure and contents, they also lead to business closure, which translates to lost revenue. The longer it takes to resume normal operations, the higher the cost of lost opportunities. In the worst cases, the business might even lose customers. We offer restoration services that help commercial establishments recover faster after fire incidents. FSRT certification means our customers benefit from a combination of top-notch equipment and advanced skill sets throughout the restoration process. 

The steps taken immediately restoration starts can quicken, or hamper the speed of recovery after commercial fire damage in Piatt/DeWitt County. Our SERVPRO technicians rely on their IICRC training to do a thorough evaluation before starting the restoration process. Such evaluation helps us establish the primary form of damage. Depending on the materials and items present in the affected area, it could be a case of predominant flame or smoke damage. If it is a case of smoke damage, we need to establish whether wet or dry smoke is the most prevalent. Having such information helps determine the level of agitation, chemical action and dwell time needed for effective cleaning. 

Commercial spaces can present unique size challenges. In a space like a warehouse, the sheer size of the walls, ceilings and other areas that require cleaning can prolong the restoration. In a hotel or office space, the challenge could be large surfaces such as glass windows that require special care to avoid problems like streaking. Our SERVPRO crews use special equipment such as mobile scissor lifts, spotting pad holders and extensions poles when cleaning up vast surfaces saving time. 

Our SERVPRO team considers the entire restoration process to determine how much effort to put into each phase, which also helps save time. For instance, if restoration involves repainting the affected surfaces, we clean to remove debris and neutralize the acids in smoke residue then restore the visual appeal though painting.

Restoring your fire damaged premises should not take too long. Call SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt County to assist. You can reach us at (217) 935-2992 any time. 

Green Slime

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Green Slime on seat Green slime on seat

Do your kids like to play with that green slime? What about in your car? Has any of them ever got it on anything and you can't get it off?

Well, at SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt we have actually had the chance to get to tackle a case of the green slime from a local car dealership.  

The car dealership had a car traded in and one of the backseats was stained from green slime. So, we had the chance to work our magic. After we were done, we returned the vehicle to the dealership ready to be put on the lot for sale.  The dealership was amazed at the work we had done. 

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt at 217-935-2992 for all your stain removal needs. 

Water Damaged Documents Need Restored

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Water logged documents Water logged documents needing restored.

Commercial Water Damage is very devastating, especially when there are paper records that have been damaged. Hard copies are sometimes needed along with digital files during the course of doing business. There are steps that you should implement when trying to preserve your damaged documents. 
 
1. Start with the assessment of the present damage by inspecting the area well to aid in the determination of what type of equipment and work will be necessary in order to repair the damage to the structure, documents, and records. The inspection must be done thoroughly, but quickly. Focus on determining the type and extent of the water damage, items that have been affected, and what can be salvaged by professional commercial water damage experts. And take photos to substantiate initial water damage. It sounds like it is more prudent to call in SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt to restore both the structure and your relevant business documents.
 
2. Be sure to call your insurance provider to make arrangements for an adjuster to assess the water damage and set up the claim. Ask for a recommendation to restore your business space along with rescuing your documents. SERVPRO comes highly touted as a premier company that has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to mitigate water damage losses. We can also help with the insurance paperwork and the claims process to ensure your fair recovery value. 
 
3. It is wise to freeze records that have been heavily water-logged. This is the most proven method of stabilization. This process should be done at approximately minus 20 degrees F if possible. Rapid freezing will prevent additional damage from immediately occurring and will allow more time for the drying process and the actual restoration later. 
 
4. There has been much proof that the most efficient way to dry water-damaged papers and documents that have been frozen is to put them through the process of pressurized freeze-drying. The process is called "Lyophilization." This causes the water molecules to crystallize more rapidly that are in and on the papers and documents. By decreasing the pressure in the  Freeze Drying Chamber the frozen water (crystals) will change from the solid phase of water directly to the gas phase--water vapor. This sublimation process enhances the chances of salvaging valuable documents in bulk. 
 
5. After the documents, records and papers have been freeze-dried, they must be handled delicately and cautiously until they have had the necessary time to acclimate to their environment again. It is rather imperative to make sure that they are stored in a space that is well-ventilated and even air-conditioned. SERVPRO can restore most water damaged commercial documents to get your business back in order "Like it never even happened."

We Use Advanced Drying Equipment and Techniques

SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt invests in the latest technology and equipment because it helps us restore your business and documents more quickly and to minimize cost. Call us for all your Piatt/DeWitt water damaging events to your business 24/7 at 217-935-2992