Recent Posts

STORM DAMAGE RESTORATION IN THE MIDWEST

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

Living in Illinois, you know this summer we've experienced severe storms, seemingly one right after another.  Severe storms may become dangerous and it is crucial to know the different types of storm damage and how they can impact your home. Leaving your home left untreated after damage from pounding rain, hail, lightning, tornado, high winds, or heavy snow can lead to water damage, mold, and structural damage.  A rapid response by SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is critical to reducing the safety risk and secondary damage from weather.

There are three ways storms can damage your home.  Lightning storms can occur at any time. These storms bring the threat of fire and structural damage.  During a lightning storm, even if your home is properly equipped to handle lightning, it is still possible to have damage to electrical wiring, appliances, antennas, satellite dishes, cable or telephone lines, and steel framework and more.  Always stay indoors during the storm unless there are signs of a fire.  Flooding presents a serious risk to your home and to your safety.  When it comes to structures, flooding can lead to dangerous contamination and water damage to drywall, support beams, and foundations. There is a risk for mold within the first 24 hours of a flood so it is vital to extract water and have a professional begin mitigating immediately.  Finally, high winds can occur virtually anywhere. Thousands of storms and hurricanes hit the U.S. every year.  Severe winds are defined as exceeding 50-60 mph and include downdrafts, downbursts, tornadoes.  Damage from the wind can be widespread and affect not only your structure, but surrounding landscaping and asphalt. Be aware of the potential for falling trees, poles and damaged power lines.  A storm may damage your home including windows, siding, and roofs.  In the most extreme scenarios, roofs can be blown completely off.  In the case of a tornado, a warning should be given on TV or radio. The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement.  If there is no basement available, seek shelter in an interior room without windows since windows may shatter and spray glass.  Remain under shelter with a radio until you receive notice that the tornado has left the area.  With floods, there is usually some indication if one is imminent, especially if you live in an area susceptible to flooding.  Make sure to have copies of important documents that could be destroyed in a flood, such as birth certificates, social security cards, and deeds.  Finally, thunderstorms generally don't cause much damage except for being loud, but when they do they can be hazardous.  To avoid potential damage, make sure to trim any large limbs near your house.  Secure any outdoor objects to keep them from blowing away.  Unplug electronic devices prior to a storm to prevent a surge from destroying them.  Should a storm damage your home SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is here to help!  Call one of our friendly staff today at 217-355-0077.   

What to Do After a Commercial Fire

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Should your business experience a fire, the damage can be devastating.  In addition to issues created by flames and soot, the business can suffer more loss due to water damage created by firefighters trying to douse the blaze with water.  Mix in the smoke odors and you are looking at a lot of issues to deal with after the final flame is extinguished.  Don’t despair. When a fire impacts your business, the best thing to do is to follow the following steps that will help you get things back to normal as quickly as possible.

  • Contact your insurance company– Call your insurance provider ASAP.  Informing them as quickly as possible will help with the claims process.  Even while firefighters are still battling the blaze, placing a call to your insurance company is a good idea.  SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana can assist you with this.
  • Take notes and document the damage. Once the fire is out, don’t remove anything. Instead, take stock of the damage and document it with pictures, videos, and lists of what you lost in the blaze. Don’t move anything or try to salvage items before your insurance adjuster gets there. Simply documenting the damage and preparing it for your insurance company is what is needed at this point.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana. We know that getting your business back on track as quickly as possible is crucial to its survival.  At SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana our employees are certified experts who know exactly what needs to be done to get your business back on track following a fire.   Other damage restoration work we can do for you and your business includes Commercial Water Damage, Board Ups, Content Restoration and, and Biohazard Restoration.

To get in touch with SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, simply call one of our friendly staff at 217-935-2992 at any time and we will send someone over to help you with what you need.  We are here to help!

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Selecting the right fire extinguisher

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher Fire Extinguisher Knowledge

Getting the right type of fire extinguisher is very important for your home or business.  What is the right type?  The most common fire extinguisher is a stored pressure fire extinguisher.  However, there’s another type of fire extinguisher, cartridge-operated, that we will discuss in this blog.  A cartridge-operated extinguisher looks and functions differently than a stored pressure extinguisher.  It’s important you understand the differences in these extinguishers so that you can safely and accurately use the fire extinguisher in the event of an emergency.

Operating a Fire Extinguisher

A stored pressure extinguisher has the agent and pressure mixed in the same container inside of the extinguisher.  A cartridge-operated extinguisher has just powder/agent inside and there is a separate pressure cartridge that has to be activated to pressurize the extinguisher.  The way these extinguishers are manufactured affects the way they are operated.  A stored pressure extinguisher can be operated by using the PASS method.  The cartridge-operated extinguisher has an added step.  Since there is a pressure cartridge, you’ll need to activate the cartridge first, which immediately adds pressure to the inside of the extinguisher.  Once the cartridge has been activated, you can then aim, squeeze, and sweep to extinguish the flames.

Inspection & Maintenance

The inspection and maintenance are different for both extinguishers.  A stored pressure fire extinguisher has a quicker inspection process, only taking about ten steps. They need an internal examination every six years and a hydro-static test every twelve years.  A cartridge-operated fire extinguisher has a longer inspection process, with about 43 total steps. There is a hydro-static test needed every 12 years, but a 6-year internal examination is not required.

Both types of extinguishers should be inspected every month by an appointed individual at your facility. The monthly inspection is done to ensure the extinguishers:

  • Are in their designated locations
  • Are accessible
  • Instruction labels are legible
  • All seals and tamper indicators are sound
  • There are no signs of corrosion, damage, leakage, or clogging

You will need to keep a written record of each manual inspection.

Why Choose a Cartridge-Operated Extinguisher?

This is a common question asked because cartridge-operated extinguishers are extremely unfamiliar to the public.  However, cartridge-operated extinguishers do well in facilities with low temperatures or places exposed to adverse conditions.  While cartridge-operated extinguishers are more durable, they are also heavier.  They have fewer accidental discharges, but tampering with the agent is possible since the pressure is not stored inside of the extinguisher.  Newer cartridge-operated extinguishers include an indicator, so you’re aware when pressure has been activated; however, it is not required.  The pressure gauge on a stored-pressure extinguisher is still considered an advantage.

Should you have the unfortunate chance of having a fire at your home or business give SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana a call today at 217-355-0077.  Our friendly staff is here to help with 30 years of experience in the restoration business!

STORM DAMAGE RESTORATION IN THE MIDWEST

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Restoration Storm Damage Restoration
Living in Illinois, you know this summer we've experienced severe storms, seemingly one right after another.  Severe storms may become dangerous and it is crucial to know the different types of storm damage and how they can impact your home. Leaving your home is left untreated, damage from pounding rain, hail, lightning, tornado, high winds, or heavy snow can lead to water damage, mold, and structural damage.  A rapid response by SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is critical to reducing the safety risk and secondary damage from weather.

There are three ways storms can damage your home.  Lightning storms can occur at any time. These storms bring the threat of fire and structural damage.  During a lightning storm, even if your home is properly equipped to handle lightning, it is still possible to have damage to electrical wiring, appliances, antennas, satellite dishes, cable or telephone lines, and steel framework and more.  Always stay indoors during the storm  unless there are signs of a fire.  Flooding presents a serious risk to your home and to your safety.  When it comes to structures, flooding can lead to dangerous contamination and water damage to drywall, support beams, and foundations. There is a risk for mold within the first 24 hours of a flood so it is vital to extract water and have a professional begin mitigating immediately.  Finally, high winds can occur virtually anywhere. Thousands of storms and hurricanes hit the U.S. every year.  Severe winds are defined as exceeding 50-60 mph and include downdrafts, down-bursts, tornadoes.  Damage from the wind can be widespread and affect not only your structure, but surrounding landscaping and asphalt. Be aware of the potential for falling trees, poles and damaged power lines.  A storm may damage your home including windows, siding, and roofs.  In the most extreme scenarios, roofs can be blown completely off.  In the case of a tornado, a warning should be given on TV or radio. The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement.  If there is no basement available, seek shelter in an interior room without windows since windows may shatter and spray glass.  Remain under shelter with a radio until you receive notice that the tornado has left the area.  With floods, there is usually some indication if one is imminent, especially if you live in an area susceptible to flooding.  Make sure to have copies of important documents that could be destroyed in a flood, such as birth certificates, social security cards, and deeds.  Finally, thunderstorms generally don't cause much damage except for being loud, but when they do they can be hazardous.  To avoid potential damage, make sure to trim any large limbs near your house.  Secure any outdoor objects to keep them from blowing away.  Unplug electronic devices prior to a storm to prevent a surge from destroying them.  Should a storm damage your home SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana  is here to help!  Call one of our friendly staff today at 217-355-0077.   

Bio-hazard cleanup

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Bio-hazard cleanup can become a necessity at any time.  Though incidences of drug manufacturing certainly require professional bio-hazard cleanup, that isn’t the only time. Though there is a significant amount of overlap between bio-hazard cleanup and trauma cleanup in Seattle as they are often one and the same, there are many non-physical tragedy related instances in which bio-hazard cleanup is required. In these instances, it can really make a difference acquiring the services of professional bio-hazard cleanup professionals. This is most noticeable in instances involving burst pipelines and fecal contamination. 

Why SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana to cleanup?

  • Training – In order to get the proper certifications to perform professional bio-hazard cleanup, technicians must pass a number of classes and undergo rigorous training.  They know the proper methods for handling contaminants and can do so without the risk of illness a non-trained individual would encounter.  They also have the training required to clean your property thoroughly and ensure that it remains legally and safely habitable.
  • Experience – Along with this training comes 30 years of experience in the restoration business. We know what different situations require and are prepared for each and every one.
  • Equipment – Not only does a non-trained individual not have the experience and training of a technician, but they also don’t possess the proper equipment either.  Depending on the contaminant, different protective measures may be required.  Cleaning up a powdered contaminant requires different equipment and products than an airborne one and the radically different properties of contaminants mean that using the wrong cleaning agents can fail to properly clean an area and harm future inhabitants.
  • Removal – There are specific places that bio-hazards need to be taken to. Not just anyone can bring it in, and quite often specialized receptacles are required just in order to transport it. Specialized licenses are also required to transport items like medical waste, and a non-trained individual could face steep fines or even jail time for illegally transporting, dumping, or attempting to remove hazardous materials.
  • Legality – In addition to the transportation of bio-hazardous materials, it is often illegal to open an area to the public if it hasn’t been professionally cleaned by professionals. This is especially true when it comes to habitable places like hotels and houses. Depending on the instance, failing to have this done can result in fines and jail time.

Now that you know why calling SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana is so important. Don’t hesitate to call 217-355-0077 and speak with one of our friendly staff today!  We are here to help!

Board-ups, we got you covered!

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

Should your building ever be damaged by fire, you need to secure it quickly and safely to avoid any further damage.  With 30 years of experience in providing top notch restoration services, you can count on SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana to respond quickly with emergency tarping and board-up services to keep out the elements and unwanted guests.  We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.   We are here to help guide you through this difficult time and get your business back to operational.

We will board up any damaged windows, walls or doors to prevent further disruption and ensure the security of your property.  We also provide tarping for damaged roofs.  When shielding the compromised areas, we help prevent further damage to your building.  With SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana, you can feel confident knowing that we bring 30 years of experience to your property restoration, with a solid commitment to guiding you through the process from start to finish.  We have the expertise, equipment and dedication to handle the entire project, from initial damage assessment through site cleanup and preparation and rebuilding to preloss condition.  Through it all, we’ll strive to minimize disruptions, answer all your questions and guide you through the process.  Questions about our services?  Call one of our friendly staff here at SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana today at 217-355-0077.  We are here to help!

Standing Water Is A Water Damage Disaster

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

Water Standing After Flood water standing throughout the home after flooding

Standing water in your home after a flood is a water damage disaster waiting to happen. In fact, one of the absolute worst things you can do is wait around before taking steps to ensure the quick removal of the standing floodwater. There are many reasons why this is the case and the damage can pile up quickly as standing water is left in your home. According to our water restoration experts at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana there are six of these reasons.  Bacteria. Floodwater is often originally contaminated with bacteria and other contaminants. When there is sewage in the water, specific types of bacteria that are common are E. coli and Salmonella. Even in floodwater that was clean to begin with, however, bacteria will begin to grow in the floodwater given enough time. You should be very cautious about coming into contact with floodwater that contains bacteria so you don’t get yourself sick.  Mold.  One of the problems that become most apparent as standing water remains after a flood is mold. In just a short amount of time, mold can go from beginning to grow to becoming a pervasive problem spreading throughout your home.  Viruses. Stagnant water will allow viruses to breed including the Norwalk virus and rotaviruses. Insects and mosquitoes may also carry other viruses. In essence, viruses are a serious concern from stagnant floodwater that should not be taken lightly. Parasites. The most common parasites in standing water are Entamoeba, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium. These may grow in clean water but are much more common in gray water and sewage. Structural Damage. Standing water poses a serious hazard to the structure of your home. The exposure to the water can ruin drywall, cause wood to swell, and possibly even ruin certain portions of your home so they need to be replaced completely.  Pests And Rodents. Stagnant water can also attract insects and rodents. Mosquitoes may carry malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika fever. Rats, mice, and other small rodents can carry a variety of bacteria and diseases. Not to mention, these pests and rodents are just plain gross and the last thing anyone wants to deal with in their home on top of water damage. 
As you can see, there are many different reasons why letting standing water remain in your home after a flood is a bad idea. Even more than a bad idea, it is also a dangerous one. To avoid these hazards as much as possible after a flood, you should reach out to a water damage restoration company as soon as you can. At SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana we are here to help! Call one of our friendly staff today at 217-353-0077 and let us show you what we can do!

Water Damage Timeline For Your Business

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

One of the services that SERVPRO® of Champaign/Urbana offers is water damage and mold mitigation. When an unfortunate and sudden water loss occurs, time is very much of the essence. Here is a general timeline for a water loss.

In Minutes

  • Water rapidly spreads and penetrates even the smallest of spaces, saturating everything in its way.
  • Water is absorbed into porous materials including drywall, flooring, sheet rock, upholstery, and personal contents.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed causing permanent discoloration on flooring.
  • Paper belongings including photographs, books, and hard copy records become saturated, causing them to expand and become distorted.

1 – 24 Hours:

  • Musty odors appear.
  • Drywall and sheet rock begin to swell and crumble.
  • Furniture begins to expand and fissure.
  • Metal surfaces begin to discolor and blemish.
  • Dyes and inks from textiles and paper goods that are saturated start to run, staining nearby surfaces.

2 Days - 1 Week:

  • Paint begins to bubble.
  • Wood flooring swells and buckles.
  • Mold and mildew start to spore, thriving in the moist environment.
  • Metal begins to oxidize and crumble.
  • Furniture distorts and shows signs of mold growth on surfaces.
  • Doors, windows, and structural studs enlarge and warp.

Longer Than 1 Week:

  • Mold development and structural safety could be a great risk factor to occupants.
  • Restoration time may be substantial (including replacement of affected materials and structural restoration), creating monetary expenses to increase drastically every day it is left untreated.

The sooner our highly experienced and trained team can get on-site and begin mitigation for the water damage, the better; not only for you, but for the business and contents as well. Give our SERVPRO® of Champaign/Urbana a call at 217-355-0077. We will quickly have your property and contents back to pre loss condition, “Like it never even happened.”

Widespread Mold in Champaign/Urbana Business Requires Professional Remediation

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

One of the most troublesome disasters that affect a high volume Champaign/Urbana businesses throughout the year is not fire and storm damages as much as might think. Developing conditions like mold growth can spread quickly throughout the property and adversely affect your property and its occupants that become exposed to an active colony. The trouble with mold growth in businesses is that these colonies often form where the owner does not go, and so it goes unnoticed and unreported until the spread of these colonies forces their way into the main work areas of the business.

For areas like a crawl space, it is not an uncommon occurrence for mold damage in your Champaign/Urbana business to spread beneath the first floor. With moisture present through precipitation, springs, and other occurrences, remedying its effect on the underside of your business can help to limit the spread of an active mold colony into the main floors of the property. Our SERVPRO professionals can help to assess the materials that are at risk and determine if our mold removal techniques can be as effective as just removing the damaged elements entirely and reinstalling them.

Additionally, our SERVPRO team could install diversion equipment like sump pumps to drain water away from the affected area to prevent pooling. These solutions help to preserve a dry environment that reduces the possibility of mold and microbial growth.

Crawlspace mold can prove hazardous to the structural elements of your business and the occupants inside of it. Give our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana professionals a call if you suspect mold growth or have encountered this emergency in your home. You can reach us 24/7 at 2147-355-0077

National Pet Safety Day

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

Dogs laying on the bed dogs laying on the bed

Many are unaware that nearly 1,000 residential fires a year are started by pets.  We love our four-legged friends, but their natural curiosity can cause a devastating fire, especially when they’re left alone. To bring awareness to this, National Pet Fire Safety Day was created to take place every July 15th.

National Pet Fire Safety Day was created in 2007 by the American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services.  The day is intended to educate pet owners about simple changes they can make that will help prevent house fires caused by pets.  These changes could save your home or even the life of you and your pet.

Be Mindful Of Open Flames

Candles, stoves, and fireplaces should be carefully watched if pets are around.  Besides being curious creatures who will sniff and paw at the pretty flames, wagging tails can also catch embers and knock over candlesticks.

Remove Stove Knobs

This may sound extreme, but having knobs on your stove that pets can turn has caused many house fires. If your dog is tall enough to reach the stove knobs, remove them or invest in safety knobs that won’t turn. This can save a lot of heartache later.

Forget Glass Water Bowls

Trade any glass water bowls for plastic or metal. If a glass water bowl is sitting outside on a sunny day, it can result in a “burning ants with a magnifying glass” effect and cause a fire on a wooden deck or even in the grass.

Use Fire Alert Window Clings

Many pet owners take advantage of fire alert window clings to help firefighters find which room their pets are located in in the event of a house fire.  These window clings should always be updated to include how many pets you have in the house and should be on the window of every room where they are kept while you’re away.

Hide Your Electrical Cords

If your dog is a chewer, secure any electrical cords by covering them up or hiding them. An electric blanket can also be very deadly.  A chewed-on cord can become damaged and spark, creating a risk for fires. Some pet owners even choose to unplug their electronics completely while they’re away, if their pets are big chewers or clawers.

Have A Plan

It’s very important to have an emergency plan in case of house fires, whether they’re started by your pet or not. Sadly, an estimated 40,000 pets die in house fires each year, so it’s absolutely crucial to have a solid plan in place. Practice escape routes with your pet, and be sure to include all members of your family to make sure everyone understands exactly what to do.

Anyone who owns a pet, specifically families with younger children, should take advantage of National Pet Safety Day and go over these safety measures and even have a safety drill to practice.  Questions?  Give one of our friendly staff here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana a call by dialing 217-355-0077 today!  We are here to help!