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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Where’s The Water Shut-Off Valve?

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

In an emergency, you may have to shut off the water to your home. For example, freezing or thawing may cause a water pipe to break. Water pipe breaks are also common with most types of natural disasters (winter storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more).  Take some time to locate your shut-off valve before an emergency strikes so that you will be better prepared to act quickly if needed.   

Where’s The Water Shut-Off Valve?
1. Look for the water shut-off valve where the water line enters your house. If you still have a copy of the home inspection report from the purchase of your home, the location of the shut-off valve may be included in the plumbing section of the report.  In most homes in Piatt/Dewitt Counties, the water shut-off valve should be just inside the house where the water line enters through your home’s foundation or exterior wall. 

  1. Often the water shut-off valve is a quarter-turn ball valve. If that’s what you have, turn the valve a quarter of a turn until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe. Or your home may have a round handle that you turn clockwise until you can’t turn it anymore. Don’t have a master shut-off valve in your home? Have one installed by a plumber.   
  2. Another water shut-off option is closing the municipal water meter shut-off valve. This valve, if you have municipal water, typically is in your front or side yard. Look for a round metal lid or box close to your property line. It’s often 24 to 48 inches from the curb or fence line.

Don’t reach into the meter box until you inspect the area for debris and rodents. You may want to wear gloves. Once inside the municipal water meter box, you’ll need pliers or a specialty tool to turn the valve. Turn it until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe.
 
Shut-Off Valves For Single Rooms
Sometimes you only need to shut off the water to one room. Most newer houses have shut-off valves at every sink and toilet. Your water heater may have several shut-off valves. If your issue is one leaking sink, just shut off water to that sink. If you know the water heater is leaking, just shut the valves to it off.

If you have a young relative who has recently moved out on their own for the first time, share these tips with them.  Landlords may also want to make sure that all of their tenants are aware of the location of the shut-off valve. 

If you suffer any type of water damage, call SERVPRO Of Piatt/Dewitt Counties, at 217-935-2992.  [JB]

Surgical Water Restoration

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

Imagine you come home for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon and you walk into your living room covered with 8 inches of water.

What do you do?

Who do you call?

Do you call your family, friend, a local contractor, or Water Restoration Company?

What is the difference?

There are many differences between contractors and Water Restoration Companies. Here are a few:

  • A contractor’s job is to replace everything that is affected. This will include all flooring, walls, cabinets and even furniture. SERVPRO is certified in drying water damage to industry standards. We will not remove materials unless it is necessary. This prevents further interruption to your daily life.
  • A contractor will have to replace all of the materials they took out of your home. This can take weeks waiting for material decisions, insurance approval, shipping, and installation time. SERVPRO’s average drying time is only 3 days. We have crews available 24/7/356 and someone to monitor your job daily.
  • Replacing flooring, drywall, and all of your furniture is expensive. Restoring your home is a lot less expensive than replacing everything in your home.

When you call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties you can expect a First Responder on site within an hour and your home to be restored quickly by certified, professional technicians.  

Reach us anytime day or night at (217)935-2992 for your emergency service needs.

[JB]

Science of Drying

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

The knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. Your first reaction will be to grab towels and a mop to clean up the water, maybe even a fan or two. Our professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties will inspect to detect everything that is wet, measure how much moisture is in the wet materials, monitor whether the materials are drying properly, and also speed up the process by using professional drying equipment. 

We use the latest technology and tools; The SERVPRO DryBook allows us to capture and track the steps of a restoration project according to industry best practices and standards. This will ensure that your restoration is done properly and efficiently as well as improving results and restoring your property faster! 

Reach us at the office anytime day or night at (217)935-2992.

[JB]

Water Damage Timeline

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

 48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

 More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically.  Replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and contaminants can pose serious risks to occupants. 

Reach SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties anytime day or night for any of your emergency service needs at (217)935-2992.

Maintaining your HVAC and Avoiding Poor Indoor Air

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Make sure the HVAC in your home or office is checked regularly to avoid poor indoor air quality.

As the winter chill melts away with the warmth of the sun, that can only mean one thing – the scorching hot days are around the corner. The new season is not just for spring cleaning, it is also a great time to check the HVAC system in your home and office. Checking it twice a year (the fall and the spring are the best times) will extend the life of your unit and will let you breathe better air. If the ductwork of your home or business has not been checked in a while, the air quality can be poor and lead to:

  • Odors
  • Dirt and debris
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Other contaminants

Our professionals routinely clean and inspect heating, ventilation and air conditioner unit (or the HVAC). Give us at SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties, 217-935-2992 to have one of our experts go out and inspect it before those heat waves come.  [JB]

Cleaning Your Air Ducts, Is it Really That Important?

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

Ever think about what inside your air vents could look like?

Did you know that, in certain circumstances, Duct Cleaning can increase your efficiency by up to 40%? That's a lot of money back into your pocket every month. Duct Cleaning is a process that can differ depending on each air system we come across, but the end result is the same... clean-air, and more healthy home and atmosphere. We use special equipment to ensure the safety of the air quality in your home. This includes special filters, ventilation equipment, containment barriers, and more. (For safety reasons, professional duct cleaning is often performed when your home is unoccupied, such as nights and weekends)

Here are some preventative actions you can take to reduce your need for Duct Cleaning.

  1. You should be changing your air filter on a regular basis.
  2. Try to always maintain good housekeeping practices, including regular cleaning/dusting to reduce the likelihood of contaminants.
  3. Have your duct-work routinely inspected, and regularly schedule professional maintenance.

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties

(217)935-2992

24-Hour Emergency Service

Independently Owned and Operated

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

When Vandalism Strikes, Here's What To Do

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Unwanted graffiti can be a hassle to clean without the professionals on your side.

The sad fact is that graffiti happens all the time. It can be a senior prank in high school or out of sheer intentional mischief. Whatever the reason was, it decreases the overall beauty of the school or office building. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties have a few suggestions when you first discover the graffiti.

DO:

  • Vacuum any glass particles that may have ended up in carpets and upholstery
  • Hose down or wash any egg damage from the building exterior as soon as possible
  • Save any containers with the ingredients of spilled inks, cosmetics, and paints
  • Make sure to keep a record of all damage when possible. Pictures work best to document everything.

If you are in need of commercial cleaning services, give us a ring at 217-935-2992.  [JB]

Competitive Restoration Prices

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to pricing for the restoration work we provide, you will never find hidden costs or misleading fees.

You will always get the great quality work SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties is known for at a reasonable price. When we create estimates for our customers, we use the exact same program that insurance companies use. This program shows us the different services we offer and provides us a dollar amount.   

With 29 years of experience under our belts, it is safe to say we are seasoned. We have the knowledge to know where the loss of your disaster came from and what we need to do to fix it. As a nationally (and internationally) known and respected brand, you can trust that you are in the best hands to handle the emergency.

Don’t be tricked with other companies claiming cheaper prices. Oftentimes, we receive “fix-it” jobs left from the other guys. We understand how frustrating it can be to have a company work on your home, just to have to call us to finish what they started.

There are many businesses out there claiming they have the greatest quality work at the cheapest prices. With SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties on your side, you will receive honest quality estimates and honest quality work ALWAYS. Give us a call at 217-935-2992 and we will work with you every step of the way.   [JB]

Why SERVPRO? Because We Do It All!

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

We worry about your restoration emergency so you don't have to.

From start to finish, you will see that SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties will take care of your restoration emergency from start to finish. A fire, for example, can wreak havoc not only on your home or office but your precious time and checkbook too. There is no need to worry. Not only do we possess the experience, but the equipment and talent on our team to make sure the disaster looks like it never took place. After removing any drywall that is burned and unsalvageable, we will make sure your home down to the studs is clean and smelling great. Besides any demolition that needs to be done, we will begin reconstructing your home back to the way it was. This includes painting your walls as well. It will be like an entirely new room in your home.   

If you have recently experienced a restoration emergency, let our team here at SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties take care of everything so you don’t have to. We will always work with you each step of the way and make sure you are satisfied. Give us a call at 217-935-2992 for more information.  [JB]

How To Stay Safe During a Flood

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How To Stay Safe During a Flood 24 - Hour Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Prepare a portable flood kit in your Piatt/Dewitt Counties property

Flooding poses risks to residents of Piatt/Dewitt Counties, as well as first responders. The following flood safety guidelines are helpful when preparing for flood conditions.

Follow Evacuation Orders

Residents should stay apprised of flooding risks and prepare to evacuate as soon as an order is issued. Plan ahead by assembling a portable flood preparedness kit that includes the following items:

  • First aid kit 
  • Non-perishable food
  • Water
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Sleeping bags
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares

If a homeowner plans to stay at home, he or she should gather most of these items and store a home preparedness kit above the anticipated flood level. Stock up on enough food and potable water for several days.

Protect Yourself

Flood water may contain chemicals, heavy metals, and pathogens. People should avoid drinking or making direct contact with this water. One of the most essential flood safety measures involves exercising caution near moving water. A person can easily lose his or her footing in six inches of moving water and vehicles may float in 12 inches of water. 

Tips for First Responders

First responders should take additional precautions. Here are three of the best safety tips:

  • Avoid electrical components
  • Get immunized
  • Wear personal protective equipment

Responders can reduce electrocution risks by avoiding downed power lines and making sure that the electricity has been shut off in any flooded structures they enter. Exposure to disease is another preventable risk. The Center for Disease Control recommends a tetanus booster for all disaster relief workers and the Hepatitis B vaccine for medical care providers. Relief workers should wear insulated and watertight electrical hazard boots, hip waders, waterproof work gloves, and eye protection. Respirators may also be necessary.

These flood safety suggestions can help to keep residents and first responders safe. Homeowners should contact a damage mitigation and restoration company if flood waters breach residences located in Piatt/Dewitt Counties.

Contact SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties for all your storm damage needs. Reach us anytime day or night at (217)935-2992.

Soda Blasting – Everything you need to know

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Soda Blasting involves one of the softer abrasive blasting materials, rating an average 2.4 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness (1-10). Most abrasive blasting cabinets aim to maximize abrasive recycles and minimizing dust collector service, and for this reason, most sandblasting uses harder abrasives like plastic and glass beads. Soda blasting is the exception, a one-time-use abrasive, used for special applications when recycling abrasive is not important.

Soda Blasting: The Good

The main advantage of soda blasting is it’s a cost-efficient, single-use abrasive. Although recycling abrasive is the name of the game for most abrasive blasting applications, there are a few special applications not needing to recycle abrasive. Onetime use abrasives are used for applications like ship cleaning that require huge amounts of abrasive – it typically takes one million pounds of abrasive for an average ship – or maybe a smaller amount for the back bed of an old truck. Additionally, soda is the primary abrasive to clean oily parts because once it removes the oil; the abrasive doesn’t cycle back through to hit the part again. Soda is also water soluble making sure no abrasive remains in critical bearing areas!

Six Rules for Soda Blasting Success

  1. Always use a direct pressure abrasive delivery system that uses lower blasting pressure to maximize abrasive velocity without reaching maximum soda impact velocity
  2. Never blast using more than 30 to 35 psi pressure when using direct pressure delivery
  3. Always use a ghost flow out the nozzle to prevent Soda flooding and or slower cleaning
  4. Use equipment designs that understand the proper use of soda and collection of spent soda
  5. Know that soda used at higher pressure will surface etch and change part metallurgy.
  6. Exceeding maximum impact velocity will simply create a failed soda blasting cabinet with a failed dust collector.

Soda Blasting: The Bad

Because soda is now so popular, manufacturers and retailers are offering sub par quality soda blast cabinet to make a quick buck. They do not know the nuances of soda as an abrasive nor do they understand its limitations.

Yes, soda has important characteristics, but it’s not a magic bullet. Soda cannot be recycled the way other abrasives like steel shot, steel grit, silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, garnet, and ceramic, glass or plastic beads. Being that soda is so soft; it explodes into tiny fragments upon impact with the object being blasted. Additionally, soda abrasive doesn’t work harden the part being cleaned because it’s meant to be used a low abrasive velocity.

Soda Blasting: The Ugly

Today, because of the need for a soluble abrasive like soda, you see everyone selling soda blasting cabinets. Unless you have very few parts to blast or blast only a few times a month for minutes all these blasting cabinets that are supposed to contain the soda will soon be the biggest mess you could possibly imagine all with failed dust collectors.

The problem is that some retailers sell cheap slag and soda to blast cabinet operators. Often, the operator thinks the soda can be recycled and runs the machine in excess of 60 psi in a siphon delivery system or 30-35 psi in a direct pressure delivery system. This causes the abrasive to explode on impact, severely reducing visibility and simultaneously creating tiny particles that are sucked into the dust collector – leaving the cabinet kaput.

Pro Tip: If the dust collector gets packed with soda abrasive, the blasting cabinet fails, it’s that simple. 

Media Blast offers three duty cycle soda cabinet models: the Blizzard Soda Blast Cabinet, the N-200 Soda and the Pro Soda. Each is matched to a specific usage – recreational to industrial. Each model provides users an environmentally friendly clean part with its original finish intact, free from trace oil residue. If you think soda blasting is right for your application, Media Blast can supply you with a soda blast cabinet with superior visibility that keeps soda out of the dust collector to ensure your needs are met with minimal machine maintenance.

Learn more about SERVPRO and Soda Blasting by contacting our Piatt/Dewitt Counties office at (217)935-2992! Any time day or night, someone is ready to take your call. 

Have you Considered upgrading your commercial HVAC system?

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

If you are a business owner you know how important it is to have a fully functioning HVAC system.  If you don’t your employees and customers will let you know.  It will be hot or cold and you really are trying to keep it going and keep people comfortable.  Maybe your HVAC system is older and not functioning properly?  You may be thinking to yourself that is too expensive… but in the long run, it may be worth it.  

Here are five reasons to consider upgrading your HVAC System from

Increase Energy Efficiency

Lower operating costs should be one of your biggest goals. Even if it isn’t as much of a priority now, there’s still time to resolve to change now that the New Year has begun. One fantastic way to increase energy efficiency is to upgrade your current commercial HVAC system. Did you know that a newer system can allow for smaller energy consumption – by about 30%, in fact.

Maintain Your Good Reputation

Many businesses depend on a stellar reputation to ensure that they thrive. Reputation is important for your public image, especially in the customer service sector. Aside from downtime that could rob you of future profits, an uncomfortable building environment due to an aging HVAC system can also harm customer and client perception of how you run your organization. 

Make and Keep Employees Comfortable

When the interior of your building is kept at reasonable temperatures, your employees will be comfortable. When employees are comfortable, they will be happier and more motivated. When they aren’t distracted by the office being too hot or too cold, they can focus on getting more work done, improving their overall productivity. Don’t overlook the importance of indoor air quality, either. How often are your employees missing time from work due to being sick? A little-known condition called sick building syndrome exists, and if this syndrome goes unaddressed, it could affect how your business is perceived throughout your industry and cause highly-qualified candidates to find employment elsewhere when you are actively recruiting.

Reduce Repair Costs

Newer commercial HVAC systems will have better warranties attached to them. Whether you choose to overhaul your existing system with brand new components or only add the latest technological advancements to the framework that is already in place, these warranties can help you avoid paying significant repair costs when such repairs are needed.

Begin Switching Refrigerant Now

The refrigerant that is most commonly used in many older models of commercial HVAC systems is being eliminated. R-22 refrigerant will be fully prohibited in January of 2020, and if you think that’s still plenty of time to have your current supplies replaced, remember it’s just two years away.

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties

(217)935-2992

24-Hour Emergency Service

Independently Owned and Operated

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

3 Fire Hazards to Avoid This Spring

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

Spring time is such a fun, beautiful time of year. Stay safe out there!

The weather is warmer, the trees are blooming, and my allergies are killing me. Spring has officially sprung! That being said, there are still a wide variety of fire hazards that you should watch out for, even during the warm months.

1.Grills: Whether you’re cooking burgers for the family event or grilling up kabobs for dinner, you will inherently deal with a fire. Most are gas grills, which presents an even greater risk. In fact, the NFPA (https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/US-Fire-Problem/Home-Grill-Fires) reports that an average of 9,600 home fires is caused by grilling each year. Here are some fire safety tips for the grill:

  • Always check for any potential fire hazards before firing up the grill.
  • If the grill does not light the first time, let the gas dissipate for at least 5 minutes before attempting to light the grill again.
  • Be sure the grill is clean before using to get rid of oil and gas residue.
  • Make sure the grill is set up in an open, outdoor area and keep it a good distance from the house and railings.
  1. Dryers: This is a fire hazard year round. In fact, the leading cause of clothes-dryer related fires is a failure to keep the lint baskets clean. Lint is combustible. Lint causes fires. It takes seconds to clean out the lint basket, so just make a habit of it when you get your clothes out of the dryer. If you have space for a clothesline in the spring and summer months - use it! There’s nothing better than fresh, air dried clothes. The NFPA also recommends cleaning out the vent pipe at least once a year so lint or other flammable particles do not get stuck in the vent pipe. 
  2. Outdoor Fire Pits and Bonfires: The necessary safety precautions for an outdoor fire pit are pretty obvious, but keep these in mind when you’re having a party on a cool spring night.
  • Always have an adult present around a fire. Never leave children unattended! 
  • Always have a bucket of water or a water hose available nearby if things get out of hand. 
  • Build the fire away from homes, porches, low-hanging trees, or any other fire hazards. 
  • Monitor the number of leaves, pine needles, paper, and other contents are fed into the fire since these items catch fire quickly and result in high flames and floating embers. 
  • Always put the fire out completely before leaving the fire unattended. Don't expect it to die down on its own!

We are always Here to Help when you need us. Call us at SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties any time at (217)935-2992.  Happy Spring!

Tips for Preserving Personal Items After a Flood

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Time is of the essence when it comes to safeguarding valuables submerged in flood waters. Mold formation can begin within 48 hours of immersion, and contaminated "black water" can carry dangerous chemicals and pathogens. It's a good idea for homeowners in Piatt and Dewitt counties to learn about content cleaning before disaster strikes. Here are a few tips on what can and can't be salvaged, and how to minimize damage to precious belongings. 


Unsalvageable Items 

Unfortunately, most porous materials that have come into contact with black water cannot be saved during the content cleaning process. This includes:

  • Furniture items
  • Carpeting and padding
  • Particle board cabinets
  • Portions of drywall or insulation that have been immersed. 


Microscopic toxic chemical compounds and fungal spores can pose a serious risk to a home’s inhabitants. Non-porous items, on the other hand, may be able to be sanitized and kept.

Immediate Steps To Take After Storm Damage

Legal papers, photo albums, artwork and other precious items that cannot be replaced might be saved, especially if you act quickly to minimize further damage. 

Papers, artwork and photographs should be separated and removed from albums and frames and placed on plastic screens or hung using plastic clothespins (contact with metal or other types of materials could cause irreparable damage). Photos can also be gently rinsed in clean water before drying. To salvage important books, insert a paper towel every few pages to soak up harmful moisture. 

It is recommended that you air dry items indoors. Open windows, air conditioners, fans and dehumidifiers can all help to increase airflow and reduce drying times. Avoid using heat during this process, such as irons or hair dryers, as they can cause further damage. 

If the black water contamination is especially severe, or if mold is already present, you may want to leave the bulk of your content cleaning to a professional flood restoration team in Piatt and Dewitt counties. 

Give SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties a call at (217) 935 2992. We are available 24/7 to service any of your damaged needs. (LB)

Duct Cleaning Tips for your Business

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Keep Your Employees Safe

HVAC system cleaning in your business and the importance of the health of your employees. There are many factors that will affect the air quality in your business and the main one is your air ducts and how they need to be cleaned. 1 out of 6 people suffer from allergies do so because of the direct relationship to fungi and bacteria in the air ducts systems. When the correct steps are taken it will improve productivity in your employees and the workplace.

Top Seven Reasons to Clean Ducts:

  • Mildew and Mold growing from moisture
  • Smoke from cigarettes or chemicals
  • Water and fire restoration
  • Allergy relief and asthma
  • Reduce Dust and particles from spreading
  • Improve energy efficiency
  • Insects and rodents

In most cases, your business and your home rarely open the windows or doors to help provide air circulation resulting in some of these reasons causing poor air quality. When your HVAC system is clean it doesn’t have to work so hard to maintain the temperature desired resulting in more money in your pocket. Have your ducts and system cleaned and inspected each year to make sure your business is running smoothly. If your business needs help cleaning up after a fire or water damage SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties is here to help.

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Piatt/Dewitt Counties commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. When the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services: Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties.

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Piatt/Dewitt Counties. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7  at (217)935-2992!

Plants can do what for my home?

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

There are over 26 different kinds of plants that clean air

Sure, that potted fern is pretty, but can it really spruce up the air quality in your home? Studies by scientists at NASA, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Georgia and other respected institutions suggest that it can.

Plants are notoriously adept at absorbing gases through pores on the surface of their leaves. It's this skill that facilitates photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light energy and carbon dioxide into chemical energy to fuel growth.

But scientists studying the air-purification capacities of indoor plants have found that plants can absorb many other gases in addition to carbon dioxide, including a long list of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Benzene (found in some plastics, fabrics, pesticides and cigarette smoke) and formaldehyde (found in some cosmetics, dish detergent, fabric softener and carpet cleaner) are examples of common indoor VOCs that plants help eliminate.

These VOCs and other indoor air pollutants (such as ozone) have been linked to numerous acute conditions, including asthma and nausea, as well as chronic diseases such as cancer and respiratory illnesses.

Indoor Plants Help with Removing Harmful Compounds from the Air

An indoor plant's ability to remove these harmful compounds from the air is an example of phytoremediation, which is the use of any plant — indoors or out — to mitigate pollution in air, soil or water.

Indoor plants remove pollutants from the air by absorbing these gases through their leaves and roots. The microorganisms that live in the soil of potted plants also play an instrumental role in neutralizing VOCs and other pollutants.

While most leafy plants are adept at purifying indoor air, some of the plants that scientists have found most useful in removing VOCs include Japanese royal ferns, spider plants, Boston ferns, purple waffle plants, English ivy, areca palms, golden pothos, aloe vera, snake plants and peace lilies.

Clean Air is important when it comes to your home where you and your love ones spend most of your time. If these tips didn’t help you achieve the clean air you were hoping call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties and schedule an appointment for us to clean your homes Air Ducts to make sure your air is running clean.

Reach us 24/7 at (217)935-2992. (LB)

What is your Exit Plan?

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Every second counts during a fire. In a matter of moments, a small flame can turn into a major fire, making it critical to be prepared by having an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan for your family. 

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily. 

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floor. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used. 

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan. 

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.

Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals. 

Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime. 

Escape Planning for Your Business

Although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency situation. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan. 

Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan. 

Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times. 

Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.

Tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties 

Bus: (217) 935-2992

Fax: 9217) 643-2812

3813 N. Cunningham Ave. Urbana IL 61802

LB

What to do when your water heater leaks

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What to do when your water heater leaks SERVPRO is a 24/7 Emergency service, call us anytime for any and all water damages your home may have. Reach us at (217)935-2992.

Imagine: You have just awakened from a well-deserved, refreshing night’s sleep. Feeling mellow, you stretch, sit up, put your feet down and… Cringe. Your feet are sopping wet! Anxiety rising, you prowl around the house to investigate and find that the water’s source is a leaking water heater in your utility closet. With dismay, you see that the broken water heater is unleashing torrents of water into your home, and the entire bedroom wing is flooded with several inches of water.

Now you need to make some important, urgent decision. AS a homeowner, you fear water damage nearly as much as fire damage. How will you deal with the failed water heater, the water now flooding the house, and all the damage that water is causing?

Act Fast

Water damage mitigation specialists would most likely advise the following immediate, crucial procedures:

  • Turn off the water heater, preferably at the circuit breaker.
  • Turn off the water supply, either at the leaking water heater of at the whole-house water supply
  • Drain the water heater
  • Contact your insurance company

Engage a professional water damage mitigation company without delay.

Bring in the experts

Because a failed water heater can cause significant water intrusion into the home, affecting floors, carpets, walls, and furnishings, professional intervention offers the most effective path to pre-flood conditions. Water repair specialists will extract flood water, dehumidifying and drying out the premises with state-of-the-art equipment and practiced expertise. They will perform a thorough inspection of carpets, floors, and walls for an incursion of mold or mildew and eliminate those dangers. They will likely remove any items that cannot be salvaged and dispose of them. They will thoroughly clean and sanitize the affected areas of your home and may even perform any needed repairs or reconstruction.

Even though the aftereffects of a leaking water heater can seem formidable, turning to a professional water damage mitigation company in Piatt/Dewitt counties, will result in the prompt restoration of your home’s pristine condition and the corresponding alleviation of your worry and anxiety. (LB)

4 ways to protect yourself during mold removal

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 4 ways to protect yourself during mold removal Need help with Mold removal call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt counties at (217) 935-2992.

How to protect yourself during mold removal

If your company in Piatt/Dewitt counties is suffering from mold growth, you’ll want to take swift action to remedy the problem. In the event that you’ll be present during any or all of the mold remediation process, make sure you take the proper precautions to protect yourself from any side effects of the mold.

1. Use a Face Mask

An air-purifying respirator will protect your lungs from any mold spores in the air. This piece of equipment should be the number on item on your shopping list when dealing with mold growth. Face masks come in both disposable and reusable varieties and are offered with different efficiency levels.

2. Get good eye protection

You’ll want to make sure you have eye protection. Regular glasses won’t cut it; you want wraparound safety googles that fit snugly against your face to prevent any spores getting into your eyes. If you find yourself near moldy drywall, particular moldy drywall that has been cut or torn, dust could fly into your eyes if you are not wearing the proper eye protection. You also want to prevent any chemicals from entering your eyes.

3. Wear Disposable gloves

Gloves should be worn when you are in the vicinity of mold. They can be latex, vinyl, or rubber. Ensure they fit properly, as the wrong size can lead to mold spores sneaking in. Always take off your gloves before leaving the site of the mold remediation and never touch your eyes or nose while wearing them.

4. Cover Everything

Wear a special covering over you clothing, shoes, and hair. Disposable suits are available. You should still change and wash your clothing upon leaving the site. You don’t want to spread mold growth via your clothes or shoes.

By following these four safety measure, you should be able to protect yourself while mold remediation professionals remove mold from your Piatt/Dewitt county business. Hiring experts to handle very step in the removal process is often the economically smart option; they have the advanced equipment needed to get the job done quickly and correctly, and you won’t need to be around the mold at all.

Busting Mold Myths 101

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Its name evokes images of green rot. Mold is a menacing pollutant existing naturally in the environment. But it's the last thing you want growing in your Piatt/Dewitt Counties home.

Like most people, you probably know that indoor mold ruins homes and threatens health. And you might agree that the first step to eliminating mold is locating its sources.

But do you know where to look for mold? Or even that using a popular disinfectant to clean it can do more harm than good? Chances are, you've been duped by these mold myths that should be laid to rest:

  • A Clean Home is Mold-Free.

A dirt-free home is no guarantee against mold infestation. Mold thrives in closets, dark corners, and drywall, a common construction material in homes today. Its microscopic spores sail through the air, so you can't see them or know where they land.

  • Your home has no moldy odors.

It's true that gasses produced by mold give off a musty odor. But it's false to assume that having no odor means your home isn't infested. Not all molds produce smells. And if mold is lurking in a basement, its smell doesn't enter the air you normally breathe. It's there, and you never knew it.

  • Your home's basement never floods.

Wet basements are a major source of mold. But they're just one of many in your home. Other mainsprings for mold are humidifiers, leaky pipes, dryers that vent indoors, bathrooms and cooking areas that aren't ventilated, even carpets in a basement.

  • Bleach can remove mold.

A powerful disinfectant, bleach wipes away mold on glass, metal, or plastic surfaces. But while its chlorine component doesn't penetrate to the sources of mold in drywall and wood, the water contained in bleach does. And--you guessed it--that water lingers beneath the surfaces, providing more than enough food for mold to grow.

Want to know more about mold damage? Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties today - (217) 935-2992!

Spring season = Flood Season

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Spring season = Flood Season SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties is ready 24/7 for all your water emergency needs.

While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains and severe weather, which can increase your flood risk. During the rainy season, we are at high risk for flash flooding, which can occur rapidly within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall. 

As one of the most common hazards in the United States, it's important we prepare for the potential disaster that flooding can cause. Even if you are located in a low-risk flood zone remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future.

In order to help prepare you for the possibility of a flood, SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties offer the following tips:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk
  • Install check-valves to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your facility
  • Seal basement walls and floors with waterproofing compounds to prevent seepage through cracks
  • Always keep your gutters and downspouts clean to allow water to flow freely
  • Prepare a flood evacuation plan
  • Know how to safely shut-off utilities
  • Keep insurance and vital records in a water-proof box
  • Have a portable radio to listen for important current information

When your facility sustains water damage from flooding, you should call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties immediately at (217) 935 -2992. The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. Our team has the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of water damage.

Who Can You Trust to Restore Your Business After Fire Damage? SERVPRO Of Course!

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Who Can You Trust to Restore Your Business After Fire Damage? SERVPRO Of Course! No matter how severe the damage is, our team will restore your business.

Assistance Helps Speed Up Recovery after Commercial Fire Damage in Piatt and Dewitt Counties

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 are taken immediately restoration starts can quicken, or hamper the speed of recovery after commercial fire damage in Piatt and Dewitt Counties. 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 Counties to assist. You can reach us at (217) 935-2992 any time.

Blood Borne Pathogen Clean Up in Piatt/Dewitt Counties

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Bio-hazard Clean up in Piatt/Dewitt Counties

Bio-hazard Cleanup and Restoration

Related Cleaning Services

  • Air Duct and HVAC
  • Bio-hazard
  • Odor Removal
  • Sewage and Toilet Overflow
  • Trauma and Crime Scene
  • Vandalism and Graffiti

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties professionals are trained to safely clean and remove bio-hazardous substances and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties professionals are here to help transform any unsafe environments back into clean, safe homes and offices.

Need Bio-hazard Cleanup? Call Us Today (217)935-2992

The decontamination of a home or business due to trauma, sewage backups, chemical spills, hoarding, or other bio-hazards can be both dangerous and emotional. Specialized training and experience is key when choosing a cleanup company to resolve these circumstances.

The SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties professionals provide cleanup and recovery services for many bio-hazard situations. These include the following:

  • Sewage Backups
  • Crime Scene Residue
  • Suicide/death accidents
  • Homicide cleanups
  • Blood cleanup
  • Accident cleanup
  • Hoarding scenes
  • Animal waste/remains
  • Chemical Spills
  • Tear gas cleanup
  • Meth lab cleanup

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties for all Bio-hazardous cleanups at (217)935-2992 today. 

How to Repair a Leaking Toilet Tank

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

8 Steps to Fix a Leaking Toilet

When you find water pooling near your home’s toilet in Piatt/Dewitt Counties don’t panic. Check to see if the leak is coming from the tank or the base. If the leaking toilet is at the tank, you can easily fix it with the following eight steps.

1. Shut off the supply water.

The tube below the tank is connected to a valve. Simply turn the valve until the water is off.

2. Remove the tank’s water.

Use a small container to bail the water out of the tank. Once most of the water is gone, use a sponge to absorb the last of it.

3. Loosen the tank’s bolts.

Using an adjustable wrench and screwdriver, loosen and remove both of the tank’s bolts. This will ensure easy removal of the tank.

4. Lift the tank from the base.

Very gently move the tank from side to side until you feel it lift. With the help of a friend, lift the leaking toilet tank and lay it on its side so you can access the bottom.

5. Eliminate the leaking retaining washer.

Remove the washer by turning it until it comes loose. If it is tight, use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the rubber piece. 

6. Clean the remaining rubber.

Use something hard to scrape the remains of the gasket from the hole and surrounding area. Make sure the area is clean.

6. Install the tank’s new gasket.

Insert the new gasket into the hole and turn until it is tight. Make sure it turns easily because there is a danger of cross threading.

7. Replace the tank’s bolts and nuts.

Reinstall the nuts on the bolts by hand, making sure they are snug, but not overly tight.

8. Reattach the tank to the base.

Move the tank into position on the toilet base. Gently tighten the nuts and bolts until the gasket looks snug in the base. This will prevent a future bathroom leak.

You have just repaired your leaking toilet. However, if you don’t want to do the job yourself, consider calling a water specialist team to do the job quickly and efficiently. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt counties is ready to help 24/7, Call us at (217) 935-2992. (LB)

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.

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!  

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.

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