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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Dehu! What is it?

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Dehu! What is it? Call SERVPRO Piatt/Dewitt at (217)935-2992, for all your Dehu needs.

As water damage restoration professionals, we need professional-grade equipment that helps us tackle the toughest of jobs and deliver outstanding results for our clients. A powerful dehumidifier is a key component in our suite of tools. But what does a dehumidifier do? 

Conventional dehumidifiers are designed for most water-damage remediation projects, and they can easily be transported from job to job and loaded and unloaded from a vehicle. They condense water vapor by passing air over refrigerated coils, and a heat pipe prevents frost from forming. This type of Dehu can also be used in your home for moisture management. It helps to keep moisture levels more comfortable in humid environments, and helps ward off musty odors. 

We use machines called LGR Dehumidifiers. LGR stands for low-grain refrigerant, which is a fancy way of saying these dehumidifiers provide maximum power in removing moisture from the air. How do they work? LGR dehumidifiers feature a double cooling system that lowers the temperature of moisture-filled air once inside the machine. This leads to more condensation that forms on the coils inside the machine, which in turn leads to more moisture pumped out and less moisture in the air that is returned to the room.  

Now for my favorite Dehu! 

The Phoenix Dry Max! What is special about the Dry Max? It's tiny compared to its brothers and sisters, but it still packs the same punch! It has an integrated handle and wheels as well as on board storage for the power cord and condensate hose! 

Frozen Pipes

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

Learn How to prevent water pipes from freezing and How to thaw them if they do freeze

Why pipes freezing are a problem

Water has a unique property in it that it expands as it freezes. The expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basement and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

How to protect pipes from freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturers or installers directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store used hoses outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape”, “heat cable”, or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspapers can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

How to prevent frozen pipes

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to make any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nightline temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit

How to thaw frozen pipes

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a froze pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begin to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipes will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electrical hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too.

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

Protecting Your Undamaged Property

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

General Protecting Your Undamaged Property Cardboard and shoe covers used to protect flooring

SERVPRO® does everything possible to prevent the homeowner's property and contents from becoming dirty, dusty or damaged during the demolition/ mitigation process. Covering furniture and contents completely with plastic, and isolating the area with a containment barrier before the demolition begins, helps to prevent dust and debris from getting into the cracks and the crevices. Our technicians wear foot protection to prevent them from tracking dirt into the home.  To protect flooring a path of cardboard, plastic or cloth is placed over the unaffected areas that lead from the work area to the exit door. This keeps other areas of your home cleaner and prevents the tracking of dust and debris throughout the home. When carpets are cleaned, corner guards are used to protect the walls and block/ pads are placed under the furniture to ensure there is no damage to the furniture from the moisture of the freshly cleaned carpet.

Emergency Tips: Fire/Smoke Damage Do's and Don'ts

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

Do

  1. Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet. 
  2. Keep hands clean; Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  3. Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  4. If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help.
  5. Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances, and then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant. 
  6. If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  7. Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
  8. Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.

Don't

  1. Attempt to wash any walls to painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  2. Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  3. Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios,etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service. 
  4. Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water (may be contaminated)
  5. Turn on ceiling fixtures of ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage. 
  6. Send garments to dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor. 

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt today with any of your Fire and Water damage needs at (217) 935-2992.

How to Remove Mold from Basement Walls

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to removing mold from a basement wall, there is no one answer. There are a lot of factors that go into determining if you can remove the mold and how to do it. But before we dive into determining if mold can be removed from a wall, we first must understand what mold is and how it grows.

What is Mold?

Mold is a living organism, or more precisely, it is a fungus. It tends to grow in dark and damp environments and it feeds on cellulose. Cellulose is an organic material that can be found abundantly in drywall, cardboard boxes, carpets, wood, clothes, and curtains. You won’t usually find mold on metals and plastics since they don’t contain cellulose. A quick look around your basement and you can see that there are many places where mold can grow if the conditions are right.

Can Mold Be Removed from Walls?

Now that we know what mold is and how it grows, can it be easily removed from your basement walls? Well, it depends on what your walls are made of and whether they are painted. If the mold is growing on painted drywall or painted concrete, then you may be able to wipe the mold off. You can use a household cleaner that is made to remove mold and spray it down, scrub it off, and wipe it clean.

If the mold is found growing on unfinished drywall, then you might have a problem. Due to the porous nature of the drywall, the mold may be embedded into the drywall and won’t be able to be wiped clean. It is usually best to remove the drywall with the mold and replace it with new drywall.

With unfinished concrete walls, you obviously can’t easily remove and replace the concrete walls like you can with drywall. With concrete walls, you will want to scrub off any mold you can see and then soak the area with a mold cleaner. The cleaner should soak into the concrete and kill off any mold or mold spores that are hiding out underneath the surface.

Household Cleaners May Not Be Good Enough

If you walk down the household cleaners aisle at the grocery store or look up DIY mold cleaning solutions on the web, you’ll notice there are a lot of solutions and recipes to clean/kill/remove mold. While these may seem to do the job at first, most do not re-mediate the mold problem. Weeks later, the mold can return. Even the mold that has been killed can be harmful to one’s health if not removed. A quick search on the Internet shows some recommend a bleach solution while others say that it isn’t effective or healthy. So what is one to do?

Other Problems That You Need to Be Aware before Cleaning Mold

If you do try to clean or remove mold from your walls, be sure to wear ventilation to protect yourself. Inhaling mold can possibly be dangerous to your health especially when you do not know what type of mold you are dealing with.

Another problem with trying to clean mold on your own is that by scrubbing and cleaning and removing it, you may be unknowingly spreading the mold spores elsewhere. If you are scrubbing mold off a wall, the mold spores can quickly and easily become airborne and travel to other parts of your basement and home. Think of mold like a cup of fine flour. If you throw that cup of flour in the air, the tiny bits of flour can travel easily through the air and spread everywhere. Mold spores are even tinier (can’t be seen by the human eye) and can spread even easier and farther.

What’s the Best Way to Remove Mold from Basement Walls?

If you discover mold growing on a wall or walls in your basement, the best thing might be to call a professional mold remediation team like the team at SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt counties. The mold remediation team at SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt take to contain the mold, remove the mold, clean the contents, and restore your basement. They will also identify the cause of the water or moisture and either stop it or provide a solution to stopping it so that it doesn’t cause mold growth in the future.  

One last piece of advice if you discover mold in your basement, is to leave it alone. If you disturb the area, the mold spores can become airborne and spread elsewhere. Give SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt  a call at (217) 935-2292 anytime if you find mold in your basement.

Water Damage? We've got you covered.

1/12/2019 (Permalink)

Imagine discovering that your home has cracks in the foundation and water from a recent rainfall has saturated your crawlspace. Not only is this a soggy situation that needs cleaned up, but also there is a high probability that mold could form on the affected structure. You need a team to service that can do it all. 

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt counties is who you want to contact. We will first remove the insulation and any debris. Drying equipment can be set if drying is needed. Next, the structure will need to be cleaned and treated to prevent mold. Finally, new insulation will be installed along with laying down a vapor barrier. 

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt at 217-935-2992 to schedule an estimate today

Is Your Business Prepared for an Emergency?

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Is Your Business Prepared for an Emergency? Be prepared for a flood or fire damage in Piatt or Dewitt counties with an Emergency Ready Profile.

Be prepared for a flood or fire damage in Piatt or Dewitt counties with an Emergency Ready Profile.

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt is here to help you get a plan in place for free!

Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.

Schedule and ERP

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt can put together an Emergency Ready Profile for your business for free. There are no contracts or obligations, we just want to help your business. Preparation is key for making it through any size disaster. Schedule an appointment today with SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt by calling (217) 935-2992.

Commercial Cleaning Services

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Commercial Cleaning Services Let SERVPRO handle all your Commercial needs!

Commercial Cleaning Services

SERVPRO of Piatt and Dewitt counties can help clean and protect your investment.

Spending extra time and resources to clean and disinfect your office or warehouse space is something you don't always have time to do. Turn to the professionals, to let us handle the everyday wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When dirt, odor, and moisture problems go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you need to call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt for prompt service.

We specialize in all commercial cleaning services, from removing an odor problem to deep cleaning flooring and carpets; you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt can work around your regular business hours so there will be no disruption or downtime for your office. From general cleaning of workspaces to heavy cleaning of warehouse walls and ceilings, we have specialized training, products, and equipment to get your commercial property clean and safe. A clean office promotes employee health and safety, production and overall happiness. A clean business keeps customers coming back.  

SERVPRO of Piatt and Dewitt counties wants to help keep your facility clean and a place where people want to work and shop. We have service agreements that range from weekly cleaning services, quarterly, or by the call. We'll work with you and around your schedule and cater our services around your needs. 

Our commercial cleaning services include:

Biohazard and Sewage

SERVPRO employees are trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly following OSHA and health regulations. Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous and is best left to the professionals. Our employees are equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, we can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean and safe workspaces.
 

Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

Accidents and crime scenes often have blood or other biohazard contaminants that may pose a severe health risk. Our highly trained service professionals will respond immediately and safely clean and disinfect any trauma or crime scene with empathy and respect.

Carpet and Upholstery

 A good rule of thumb is to have your carpet and upholstery professionally cleaned every 12 months. Protect your investment by calling us to clean and maintain your carpet and upholstery. Ceilings, walls, and floors are exposed to dirt, dust and other contaminants from inside and outside. Whether they need general maintenance cleaning, or heavy cleaning from smoke or fire damage, SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt has the expertise to do the job right the first time. 

Odor Removal and Deodorization

 We have several different types of deodorization techniques. One of our Production Managers will discuss with you the method that will be most beneficial for your property. Masking the odors and other shortcuts are not what we do. We fully address the source of the odor so it doesn't return. 

Vandalism and Graffiti

 SERVPRO offers emergency services for board up due to broken windows or damaged structure. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed promptly. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, we also clean driveways, sidewalks, asphalt, metals, glass, wood, plastic and masonry.

Emergency Water Removal for Piatt/Dewitt County Residents

1/1/2019 (Permalink)

Water Removal in an Emergency

Water pipes are often not insulated in the home, particularly when traveling into cellar spaces or through garages. Plumbing systems are suitably robust. However, as they age, they become more susceptible to temperature changes or pressure. These elements cause the materials to expand and retract which, over time can loosen connections or split the pipes. When that happens, water can leak rapidly and require extraction. 


It is rare that homeowners own the type of equipment needed to perform extraction themselves. Water removal in Piatt/Dewitt counties require industrial scale equipment to get the job down fast and reduce the likelihood of permanent damage. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties have an emergency call line that operates 24 hours a day and can send a trained technician to your property within four hours of notification of loss. 

Generally, when standing water is over two inches high, it needs to be pumped. We use gas-powered fully submersible pumps to help remove excess water before moving in with extraction wands to treat saturated carpets or floorboards. When water levels are below two inches, we may not need to use pumps and move straight onto extraction equipment. 

The primary technique for removing excess water is to extract. Extractors come in various sizes and can be scaled to depending on the extent of the spill. If the water is below five gallons, we can use portable extractors which are nimble and precise. Where there is extensive spillage, truck-mounted extractors can be brought in with storage tanks of more than one hundred gallons. A SERVPRO technician can access either type after inspecting the affected area. 

Extraction equipment uses a vacuum component to help lift water from saturated carpets or fabrics. These need to be managed carefully as aggressive usage can damage carpets which are up to 50% weaker when drenched in water. SERVPRO technicians are trained to perform light, repeated pass overs that reduce the pressure put on wet materials and mitigates against further damages. 

If you need rapid water extraction, contact SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties at (217) 935-2992.

What to Expect with a Commercial Fire Damage

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial What to Expect with a Commercial Fire Damage So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need

Fire damage can be very overwhelming for a business or commercial property. At SERVPRO® we understand the importance of getting you back to your pre-fire condition quickly. Not only may you experience fire, smoke, and soot damage, water damage caused by firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur, also.

Tasks to expect from the professionals:

  • Detailed Cleaning – to remove excess soot or other contaminants from impacted areas through HEPA vacuuming and dry sponging.
  • Selective Demolition – to remove unsalvageable materials or property.
  • Pack Outs – to remove salvageable personal property from the affected area for off-site cleaning and storage.
  • Air Flow Management – to remove airborne contaminants and soot and to reduce offensive odors
  • Deodorization – to remove or mask offensive odors and return the affected area to a usable space

SERVPRO® of Piatt and Dewitt counties will respond quickly and manage the fire restoration project through to its completion. We have the training, experience, and equipment to manage your commercial fire damage and get your property business-ready.

We are here for you 24/7. Give us call at (217)935-2992 for all your commercial fire damage needs.

How To Care for Gym Floors

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning How To Care for Gym Floors Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt for your gym floor inspection and cleaning today.

How To Care for Gym Floors in Piatt and Dewitt Counties

Gym floors are an important part of schools, churches and recreation centers. They are used for various events throughout the year and regular maintenance is important to keep them in good condition. While you want them to look nice it is also important for them to be safe for use. Unkempt floors in disrepair can be hazardous as well as unsightly.

Daily Maintenance

  1. It is important that gym floors be swept daily with a dust mop. Dirt and dust buildup will scratch the finish of the floor when it is walked on and can create a slipping hazard.
  2. Vacuum all walk off mats daily to ensure that the dust and dirt does not transfer to the gym floor.

As Needed Maintenance & Preventative Measures

  1. Use a damp mop once or twice a week to clean the gym floor and prevent dust.
  2. Ensure that there is no standing water left on the gym floor. Excess water on the floor can damage the wood
  3. Ensure that all tables and chairs have felt pads or use a floor covering to protect the gym floor.
  4. Walk-off mats are a great way to minimize the amount of tracked in dirt and water. These are placed at the entries and help absorb debris and water that would otherwise be tracked onto the gym floor.

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties at 217-935-2992 to learn more about our cleaning services or to schedule an inspection. Our Team would love to help ensure that your gym floors are in great shape!

Commercial Cleaning and Restoration services in Piatt and Dewitt Counties

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Cleaning and Restoration services in Piatt and Dewitt Counties Call SERVPRO at (217) 935-2992 for any of your Commercial needs in the Piatt/Dewitt counties.

When it comes to your business, you need a cleaning and restoration company that provides excellent results while minimizing the disruption to your employees and clients. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt has the expertise and training to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

We are here to help to your business, no matter the size.

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

Commercial Building Restoration Services

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt has the expertise, equipment, and highly trained personnel to handle your commercial water, fire, or mold damage. Most importantly, we are available 24 hours a day to restore your property and get you back to business. Our commercial restoration services include:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Mold Remediation
  • Commercial Storm Damage Cleanup
  • Disaster Recovery Team

Commercial Building Cleaning Services

Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep-cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on SERVPRO to get the job done right the first time. We’ll respond promptly and make your work space look its very best.

Let SERVPRO help keep you warm at the bus stop this winter

12/13/2018 (Permalink)

Community Let SERVPRO help keep you warm at the bus stop this winter Stay warm this winter with the help of your local SERVPRO of Piatt and Dewitt counties.

Staying warm while waiting on the bus is essential. Follow these three steps to avoid being miserably cold when the bus has not yet arrived at your stop.

 1. Plan Ahead

Decide what the shortest possible time is that is necessary to spend waiting outside for the bus. Arrive five minutes early, buses can arrive early and may not wait if you are not in sight. 

2. Dress To Keep Warm

Dressing appropriately for the winter cold means that you are wearing a hat, mittens, a scarf, warm boots, and a warm jacket. Thick clothing and lots of layers are ideal. 

3. Move Around

Doing cardio such as moving your body and jumping up and down helps generate some heat. A yoga chair pose can also generate heat. When standing, waiting for the bus, get in chair pose, bend your knees with your thighs as parallel to the ground as you can get. If you do this with your legs together you will stay warmer, then press your thighs into each other as hard as you can to generate lots of heat. 

6 Tips to prevent pipes from freezing while Tenants are away.

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. Learn these 6 Tips to keep pipes on your property from freezing.

Tip #1: Keep the Heat on

When tenants leave for a period of time, make sure to keep the heat on on your property. Convincing Tenants to leave their heat on while they are away may be difficult, especially if they are responsible to pay for their own utilities. However you should inform them that in order to prevent pipes from freezing the heat should stay on. If pipes freeze and burst it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions. Keeping the heat as high as you normally would if someone was on the property is not necessary, 50 degrees Fahrenheit is a desired minimum temperature to set your thermostat to.  

Tip #2: Allow Faucet to drip

If you are fearful of a frozen pipe, allow the faucet to drip slightly. Pressure is left in the system when allowing the faucet to be open. Pipe bursts are typically a result in the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet. Following this simple step prevents build up, keeping you pipe from bursting.

Tip #3: Keep Interior doors open

Pipes can often be located in cabinets. Any time the temperature drops, it is a great idea to keep those cabinet doors open so the heat in in the rest of the house/apartment can keep the pipes warm as well.  You should also keep all the interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the entire living space.

Tip #4: Seal up cracks and holes

Tenants should consider to caulk any holes or cracks that exist near pipes. Calking both the interior and exterior walls is a must. Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

Tip #5: Apply Heating Tape

Electrical heating tape may be an option to keep from freezing, for pipes that are easily accessible. Heating tape can be applied directly to the pipe. There are two different types of heating tape. One type reacts based on when it senses heat, turning the tape on or off. The other type of heating tape has to be plugged in and unplugged when heat is needed or not needed. These products can be dangerous, similar to a space heater, so be sure to follow each products directions and safety procedures exactly before using.

Tip #6: Add extra insulation

Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as basements and attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Basements and attics are not the only places that may not have the pipes properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure.  You can have pipes fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chance of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

Should you have a water emergency, no matter how big or how small, we here at SERVPRO are ready to help 24 hours a day! Call us today at (217) 935-2992.

Holiday Fire Safety Tips

12/1/2018 (Permalink)

Residential fires during the holiday season are more frequent, more costly, and more deadly than at any other time of the year. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports more than double the number of open-flame fires on Christmas Day than on an average day, and about twice as many on New Year’s Day. And when those fires occur, they do more damage: Property loss during a holiday fire is 34% greater than in an average fire, and the number of fatalities per thousand fires is nearly 70% higher. When the source of the fire is a highly flammable Christmas tree, the toll in property and lives is even greater.

To keep your household from becoming a holiday fire statistic, here are some safety tips to follow.

Cooking

Cooking is the top cause of holiday fires, according to the USFA. The most common culprit is food that’s left unattended. It’s easy to get distracted; take a pot holder with you when you leave the kitchen as a reminder that you have something on the stove. Make sure to keep a kitchen fire extinguisher that’s rated for all types of fires, and check that smoke detectors are working.

If you’re planning to deep-fry your holiday turkey, do it outside, on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet from the house.

Candles

The incidence of candle fires is four times higher during December than during other months. According to the National Fire Protection Association, four of the five most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Christmas/Christmas Eve and New Year’s/New Year’s Eve. (The fifth is Halloween.)

To reduce the danger, maintain about a foot of space between the candle and anything that can burn. Set candles on sturdy bases or cover with hurricane globes. Never leave flames unattended. Before bed, walk through each room to make sure candles are blown out. For atmosphere without worry, consider flameless LED candles.

Christmas Trees

It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to engulf a room in flames, according to the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Standards and Technology. “They make turpentine out of pine trees,” notes Tom Olshanski, spokesman for the USFA. “A Christmas tree is almost explosive when it goes.”


To minimize risk, buy a fresh tree with intact needles, get a fresh cut on the trunk, and water it every day. A well-watered tree is almost impossible to ignite. Keep the tree away from heat sources, such as a fireplace or radiator, and out of traffic patterns. If you’re using live garlands and other greenery, keep them at least three feet away from heating sources.

No matter how well the tree is watered, it will start to dry out after about four weeks, Olshanski says, so take it down after the holidays. Artificial trees don’t pose much of a fire hazard; just make sure yours is flame-retardant.

Decorative Lights

Inspect light strings, and throw out any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When decorating, don’t run more than three strings of lights end to end. “Stacking the plugs is much safer when you’re using a large quantity of lights,” explains Brian L. Vogt, director of education for holiday lighting firm Christmas Décor. Extension cords should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use. Check outdoor receptacles to make sure the ground fault interrupters don’t trip. If they trip repeatedly, Vogt says, that’s a sign that they need to be replaced.

When hanging lights outside, avoid using nails or staples, which can damage the wiring and increase the risk of a fire. Instead, use UL-rated clips or hangers. And take lights down within 90 days, says John Drengenberg, director of consumer safety for Underwriters Laboratories.  “If you leave them up all year round, squirrels chew on them and they get damaged by weather.”

Fireplaces

Soot can harden on chimney walls as flammable creosote, so before the fireplace season begins, have your chimney inspected to see if it needs cleaning. Screen the fireplace to prevent embers from popping out onto the floor or carpet, and never use flammable liquids to start a fire in the fireplace. Only burn seasoned wood — no wrapping paper.

When cleaning out the fireplace, put embers in a metal container and set them outside to cool for 24 hours before disposal. 

Should you have a fire emergency, no matter how big or how small, we here at SERVPRO are ready to help 24 hours a day! Call us today at  (217)935-2992.

IICRC Is A Must!

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt  is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt

SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Mold Spores No More

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 217 935 2992

Hurricane relief brings Central Illinois Together

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Hard to believe the time has gone by since this disaster.  Seems like just yesterday, guess when an event is so devastating it remains etched in your mind.  Disaster can strike anywhere and SERVPRO is always there to step up, this time however, it was all of Central Illinois rallying around the State of Texas along with SERVPRO in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.  

As a Storm Event, SERVPRO sent a majority of its staff and resources to assist the people in the state of Texas.  The team realizing we would be taking down an extra empty box truck came up with the idea of taking donations of much needed non perishable and food items the day before leaving.  Everyone we contacted quickly stepped up and offered their time and services to make this happen, starting with the Clinton Fire Department and the Superintendent of the Clinton school district.  All the schools, local businesses and the wonderful community, not just from Clinton, but also from Decatur, Bloomington, Moroa, Forsythe, Argenta, Monticello, Mahomet, Farmer City, Lincoln, Atlanta, Mt Pulaski, Bement and more stood and delivered.  We had hoped to fill a box truck top to bottom with goods showing our support for Texas.  We surpassed all expectations, we filled three box trucks!!!!  

It was amazing to watch as donations poured in fast and furious at the First Christian Church in Clinton.  Students came from the High School to volunteer their help sorting, loading and unloading.  The local Police and Fire Department collected items from the many drop off points around town.  A group of preschoolers arrived in a train of wagons to deliver toothbrushes.  It was truly amazing to see people from all walks of life step up to help out people they have never met.  

SERVPRO sent the first truck down with the crew and the owner brought the next loads down soon after.  The items raised went to the First Christian Church in Houston, Texas.  They had set up an emergency food bank and were in need of donations.  The church shared with all the local churches in the area to get much needed relief to those who needed it most.  The first truck load was fully dispersed to the  people that night, and did not sit in a warehouse a single day.  What an amazing experience and we here at SERVPRO take our hats off in honor of all the people of Central Illinois, you did us all proud!  

Smoke Detectors

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

 

You really can never be too prepared. Fires can happen anywhere, at any time...under the right conditions. The preventative measures you take prior to a potential fire loss could save your home, or more importantly your life! Replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year is a must. A good rule of thumb is when you change the clocks change the batteries in the smoke alarms, this will provide consistent battery life in your detectors.  This gives you a chance to check your smoke detectors to make sure they working properly. Put an evacuation plan together. Make sure your loved ones and those living with you know what to do in the event of a fire. Having a central location to meet once everyone is outside is a great plan. After you and your loved ones are safe, call SERVPRO to make it "Like it never even happened."

Why SERVPRO

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Sometimes life happens and we are left with something totally unexpected.  Maybe a fire robbed us of precious memories.  Maybe a water pipe broke while we were on vacation.  Maybe a clean-up job is just too overwhelming.  That is where SERVPRO comes into the picture, helping us get back to normal.

Why SERVPRO, one might ask.  We often don't think about about the unpleasantness of fire' water'mold or major clean-ups until it is right there staring us in the face.  SERVPRO does.  SERVPRO is not just your typical run of the mill cleaning company, far from that.  SERVPRO is our neighbor, involved in our community.  The staff is professionally trained so when the need arises they are prepared.  These employees are not just well trained, but are motivated and care about the people they help 24 hours a day seven days a week.    Shelves are lined with specialty equipment for every emergency from industrial dehumidifiers and air scrubbers to air scrubbers and soda blasters.  The best reason to choose SERVPRO however, is its belief and commitment to community.

Often employees can be found volunteering their time and talent at Habitat For Humanity.  They can be found running food drives so everyone can have a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.  You will find them doing relief efforts for storm events like Hurricane Harvey.  They pass out candy with other local merchants on Halloween providing a safe place for our kids to Trick Or treat.  They are in Christmas and  Homecoming parades.  They work hard to bring awareness to preventing teen suicide.  They are active in all aspects of our community, they are our neighbors. Why SERVPRO?  They do all this and much much more, quite well I would add.  

It Starts With An Idea

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Community does not just happen, it starts with an idea and grows.  An idea that brings people from all walks of life together and unites us.  That is a very powerful thing and starts with a simple idea.

After watching the pain that has swept our communities throughout Central Illinois with the rise of teen suicide these last several years we wanted to do something that would help put an end to this horror that effects everyone from rural towns to the biggest of cities.  But what could we do?  We talked to Pastors, Police and Fire Departments, School Officials, Behavioral Professionals and Elected Officials.  What we discovered is that the organizations that deal and support the schools are overloaded.  One official told me that they deal suicide in some context on a daily basis and is surprised the numbers are not higher.  What we discovered is that training and resources are the biggest need.  Kids these days do not process stress and depression the same way we did when we were kids.  With limited resources and training available we have a lot of ground to make up.

SERVPRO wanted to help so we came up with an idea to both raise money and raise awareness to this cause.  We are now in the process of organizing the "I Pledge I Matter campaign" and a 10K/5K/1 mile walk next November.  The Run is to raise money for existing programs that train teachers and professionals that are on the front lines helping our kids.  We have a goal raising $9000 to go to these programs that help our kids and have a direct impact across all of Central Illinois.  We cannot think of a better way to help grow our community than to help our kids through tough and difficult times.  This is a topic that we will blog about quite a bit as this idea grows and takes shape over the next year. 

Do you have mold trouble?

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is naturally occurring and can be found both indoor and out.  This is why mold remediation is so important.  Where mold cannot totally be removed, remediation reduces the spores to its natural or baseline count making the area safe to live and work in. Here are some important key points to keep in mind.

*Mold is present everywhere both inside and out.

*Mold spores are microscopic and drift through the air and may enter your house through windows, doors, HVAC systems.  They may even gain access on your clothing or pet hair.

*Mold spores thrive in wet damp conditions.  These conditions allow mold colonies to grow quickly and spread.

*Mold often produces a heavy musty odor and can produce allergens and irritants.  This can be especially dangerous for small children and senior citizens.

If your home or business has a mold problem let us here at SERVPRO help!  We can inspect and access your property and use our specialized training, expertise and equipment to re-mediate your mold infestation.  Remember the health of the home can translate to the health of those living and working there.

If you see signs of mold please call us today at 1 217 935 2992!  

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water emergencies can occur in many ways.  Sump pump failure, seepage into a basement, roof or window leak, sewer backup and water lines from a refrigerator or dishwasher leaking are but a few of the ways this can happen.  Should this happen a quick response is crucial to prevent damage to the home, your belongings and prevent mold.  We at SERVPRO are here to help out at anytime, day or night.

Water can be tricky as you cannot always see the full extent of water intrusion during a water loss.  This can lead to mold growing on wet insulation, behind drywall, on personal items, underneath laminate flooring and ceiling tiles potentially causing health problems as mold spores are released into the air.  This can also lead to damage to the house itself over time.  

Here at SERVPRO we have specialty equipment that lets us read moisture levels and follow the water intrusion so the whole problem can be solved, not just what is visible on the surface.  We also have specialty drying equipment that quickly dries the affected area and reduces the humidity to optimal levels.  Spraying to prevent mold is also part of our expertise service to ensure you and your families safety.

Should you have a water emergency, no matter how big or how small, we here at SERVPRO are ready to help 24 hours a day! Call us today at 217 935 2992.

Clean Up After a Fire

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are both very invasive and can penetrate every corner of your house and personal items causing hidden damage and smells.  Let us help you, our smoke and fire expertise and experience allows us to inspect and assess the damage so we can quickly develop a plan of action.

Smoke and Soot facts.

*Hot smoke carries to cooler places and the upper levels of the structure.

*Smoke flows around plumbing systems by seeping through holes the piping goes through to travel throughout the house.

*The types of smoke can greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke.

There are two different types of smoke, wet and dry.  Because of this there are different types of soot residue after a fire.  The cleaning procedures will depend on the type of smoke damage.

Wet Smoke-Plastic and rubber

Low heat, smoldering pungent smell.  Often more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke-Paper and Wood.

High heat, quickly burning.  This smoke rises quickly and is very invasive.

Since each smoke and fire situation is a little different, each requires a unique plan of action specifically tailored for specific condition.  We at SERVPRO have the expertise, experience and equipment to get you back to normal and will do so with both understanding and empathy.

If you have a smoke and fire loss, call us today at 217 935 2992. 

Hurricane Harvey Unites Central Illinois

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Disaster can strike anywhere and SERVPRO is always there to step up, this time however, it was all of Central Illinois rallying around the State of Texas along with SERVPRO in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.  

As a Storm Event, SERVPRO of Clinton sent a majority of its staff and resources to assist the people in the state of Texas.  The team realizing we would be taking down an extra empty box truck came up with the idea of taking donations of much needed non perishable and food items the day before leaving.  Everyone we contacted quickly stepped up and offered their time and services to make this happen, starting with the Clinton Fire Department and the Superintendent of the Clinton school district.  All the schools, local businesses and the wonderful community, not just from Clinton, but also from Decatur, Bloomington, Moroa, Forsythe, Argenta, Monticello, Mahomet, Farmer City, Lincoln, Atlanta, Mt Pulaski, Bement and more stood and delivered.  We had hoped to fill a box truck top to bottom with goods showing our support for Texas.  We surpassed all expectations, we filled three box trucks!!!!  

It was amazing to watch as donations poured in fast and furious at the First Christian Church in Clinton.  Students came from the High School to volunteer their help sorting, loading and unloading.  The local Police and Fire Department collected items from the many drop off points around town.  A group of preschoolers arrived in a train of wagons to deliver toothbrushes.  It was truly amazing to see people from all walks of life step up to help out people they have never met.  

SERVPRO sent the first truck down with the crew and the owner brought the next loads down soon after.  The items raised went to the First Christian Church in Houston, Texas.  They had set up an emergency food bank and were in need of donations.  The church shared with all the local churches in the area to get much needed relief to those who needed it most.  The first truck load was fully dispersed to the  people that night, and did not sit in a warehouse a single day.  What an amazing experience and we here at SERVPRO take our hats off in honor of all the people of Central Illinois, you did us all proud.