Recent Posts

How Small Leaks Can Damage Your Champaign/Urbana Property

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a leaking pipe Small leaks like this can quickly turn into larger issues.

When you think of severe water damage, the first images that come to mind are probably severe flooding with cars floating down the street and a basement fully immersed in water. Rain and flooding do cost business and home owners tens of millions of dollars in repairs annually, but a slow and persistent water leak can also lead to catastrophic damage if not addressed in a timely manner. We explore the consequences of allowing a slow leak to continue.

Structure Damage

Your Champaign/Urbana business or home relies on wood and metal materials. Water can weaken wood and corrode metal. Over time, this weakening can lead to floors buckling and walls and ceilings collapsing.

Sheetrock is also prone to water damage. The gypsum materials in sheetrock can act as a sponge, drawing in the water and weakening the walls. This is also prime breeding ground for mold growth.

Untreated brick and concrete are also susceptible to damage. Continued exposure to water can cause cracks and erosion. If the water freezes and then thaws out, the damage left can be severe, requiring expensive and extensive repairs to the foundation.

Flooring and fixtures

Water can weaken the backing of your carpeting and rugs and make them more susceptible to damage. Additionally, carpeting is not intended to get wet and can attract mold, mildew and insects when it is not dried out right away.

Constant leaks can also cause corrosive damage to metal fixtures such as sink and shower heads. The constant water can cause decay over time to rubber gaskets and cause the water pressure to decrease.

In the bathroom, an unattended leak can lead to loosening tiles in your shower or countertops. Leaks in the kitchen can lead to buckling floors and discoloration.

Mold & Other Pests

When water is allowed to remain stagnant for any period of time, it begins to attract mold, insects and germs. If a wet environment is allowed to remain in your business or home, airborne pathogens and mold will be attracted to it.

Financially Devastating    

Water damage becomes especially expensive when attempting to sell your building or home. It’s better to be proactive now, than to wait until your building or home is already on the market. Home inspectors are trained to look for water and mold damage and will document their findings, no matter how big or small, in their pre-sale inspection report. Potential buyers can use this report to offer substantially less than your asking price or, worse yet, abandon the deal altogether because they feel the building or home is too much trouble to repair.

We can determine the scope of your water damage at any stage. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration.

If you suspect you have a leak call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana today at 217-355-0077

10 Things You Should do to Keep Rain Water Out of Your Champaign/Urbana Home

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Here are 10 things you should do to keep rain water out of your Champaign/Urbana home.

  1. Increase Grade: The ground around your home should be sloped away from your property to divert water. It's a very simple process, borrow dirt from three feet away from the structure, and toss it against the side of the structure creating a slope.
  2. Clean Rain Gutters: You should clean your gutters annually. A clogged gutter can send rain water running down the exterior wall, which can result in water entering interior walls. 
  3. Divert Down Spouts: At the local hardware store you can purchase a black plastic corrugated hose that fits around the base of the downspout. This hose carries water away from the structure, preventing water from seeping into the foundation.
  4. Roof Maintenance: You should have your roof inspected every 5 years. Your roof is the first line of defense, with one tear in a rubber membrane or crack in a tin roof, or a compromise in the plywood structure of the roof can be disastrous for the interior of your structure.
  5. Window Repairs: Proper window installation and maintenance is very important. Modern windows are fitted with well and drains to help guide water outside of the house. Improper caulking can be disastrous by sending water into the structure instead of draining it away.
  6. Sweep Away Debris: During spring and fall especially, you should sweep outdoor surfaces weekly. Sweep patios and door well to prevent debris from clogging exterior drains. 
  7. Expand Exterior Drains: By expanding the surface area of exterior drains decreases the likelihood of clogging the drain.
  8. Construct a Swale Ditch: Constructing a ditch and filling it with landscaping rock can help divert water away from the structure, especially for yards that are extremely flat.
  9. Exterior French Drain: For structures on a slope, an exterior French drain, including a subterranean ditch with a black perforated corrugated hose, can be used to divert surface water away from the structure.
  10. Install a Sump Pump: When all else fails, installing a sump pump may be the solution. You will need to dig a well through the basement or slab of structure. The well may be up to 7 or 10 feet deep. As the water table increases, a sump pump activates and transports water away from the structure. 

If you have water damage concerns due to rain water please feel free to give SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana a call, we're always here to help (217) 355-0077.

Reduce the Risk of Fire in the Kitchen

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Image of flame on kitchen stove Large flames like this can result in fire damage to your kitchen.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says 6 out of 7 cooking fires occurred while the cook was out of the kitchen, and 2/3rds of these fires happened in the first 15 minutes of cooking. This means that it is imperative that you ALWAYS watch what you’re cooking. If you’re using the stovetop, stay in the kitchen and watch closely. Also, experts recommend setting a timer periodically to remind you to check the oven.

OTHER FIRE PREVENTION TIPS INCLUDE

  • Roll up sleeves and don’t wear loose fitting clothing that could catch and open flame or heating element
  • Ban children and pets from a 3-foot “safe zone” around the stove
  • Keep the stove and oven clean, turn pot handles in to avoid spills and cleanup any messes when appropriate
  • Keep potholders, dishtowels, oven mitts, food packaging and other clutter off and away from the stove.
  • Clean cooking equipment thoroughly because built-up grease can catch fire.
  • Don’t over heat your oils, and wait for grease to cool before disposing, tossing hot grease in a trashcan could turn into a disaster


Smoke detectors are your first line for defense against a fire disaster situation so make sure you have one installed in or near the kitchen and make sure it’s working properly. 

IF A FIRE DOES HAPPEN, CONSIDER THESE SAFETY TIPS

  • Close the door behind you to help contain the fire and get out of the house.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

People often try to put out cooking fires themselves with a fire extinguisher or even water. NEVER use water on any grease fire. Store fire safety equipment in a cabinet or under the sink – it is important to have a fire extinguisher close by as well as a box of baking soda or salt for grease fires. The first step you can take is turning the stove off and having a lid handy to put over the pan. You can also smother the fire with baking soda or salt. If the fire is in your oven just close the door and turn off the heat. Done improperly your cooking fire can spread to other parts of the kitchen. Any time you are unsure of how to combat a fire your best option is to leave and call your local fire department!

CREATE AND PRACTICE A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN
In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly.

Practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year, more often if you have small children. 

Some tips to consider when preparing this plan include:

  • Find two ways out. Visit each room of your house and find two ways out, including windows and doors. Make sure all escape routes open easily so you can get outside, and install emergency release devices on any security bars on doors or windows. Practice feeling your way out in the dark and with your eyes closed.
  • Involve children in planning. Consider having your children help create a fire evacuation plan. Draw a map of the home and have children mark two exit routes and the locations of smoke detectors. Make sure your children know NOT to hide from firefighters or other first responders.
  • Choose a meeting spot. Decide on a meeting place outside, such as a neighbor’s house, mailbox or stop sign. It should be in the front of the house so emergency responders can see you when they arrive. Agree not to go back into the house after you leave.
  • Have a backup plan. If the planned exit routes are blocked and it’s not possible to leave the house, close all doors between you and the fire. Place a towel under the door and go to an exterior-facing window. Call the fire department to report your location.


Whether you’re trying a new cooking technique or cooking your signature dish the way you have countless times before; practicing these important safety tips can help you to avoid major mishaps that could lead to smoke or fire damage.

If your home does experience fire or smoke damage, give SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana a call at 217-355-0077.

Why Choose a Mold Remediation Company With IICRC Certification

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

Why Choose a Mold Remediation Company With IICRC Certification

Having a certification is not necessarily required by your insurance company when dealing with mold removal, but most insurers do prefer it. When you hire a certified mold removal company in Champaign/Urbana, there are several distinct advantages.

Confidence
Safety
Knowledge

Confidence
What homeowner does not want to have confidence in the remediation company they hire? Mold certification through the IICRC lets you know that the company understands the industry standards for mold removal. Sure, any company can tell you that it has the experience and knowledge, but the certification lends credibility to the statement. There is a reason that insurers prefer to work with certified mold remediation companies.

Safety
Two ideas stem from training with the IICRC: standards and safety. Any person or business completing certification training will learn the industry standards for the safe removal of mold from residential properties. Care goes into the preparation of safety protocols also because employees are undertaking a potentially dangerous job. The practices for mold containment and removal help individuals learn the necessary steps to protect themselves, homeowners, and the property from further contamination. 

Knowledge
Certified mold experts are knowledgeable professionals. They know how to test for and identify the different species of mold, allowing them to prepare an appropriate removal strategy. Experts understand the ease at which mold spores can spread throughout a property, so they take care to dampen infestation to limit separation from the colony. Hiring a certified removal professional will help to ensure your home does not needlessly combat chronic mold infestations, as they will help assess and identify problems and solutions with your residence. 
While certification is not always mandated in insurance policies, hiring a certified mold removal company is strongly advised. Mold remediation can present significant risks if not properly handled and removed, so why risk the cleanup with an uncertified professional? Look for companies with an IICRC certification.

What Makes Storm-Related Flash Floods So Dangerous

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

Image of flooded street Flood waters can rise quickly and unexpectedly.

Severe weather can be dangerous in many different ways—between lightning strikes, high wind and hail, there are countless ways that storms can cause damage. However, many people are surprised to learn that floods are the most dangerous severe weather incident of all. Floods are second only to heat when it comes to weather-related fatalities in the United States, and flash floods present the biggest risk.

Any type of flooding can be quite dangerous, but when it comes to flash floods, their sudden onset in addition to their ability to impact any area creates a deadly combination. Additionally, because any body of water can overflow during heavy rains, flash floods can impact any area—that is why we encourage people to always be aware of their risks and the top safety tips.

What Makes a Flood a Flash Flood?

A traditional flood will slowly begin to rise, while a flash flood must occur within the first six hours after a storm, but they often happen in as few as three hours. Flash floods tend to be more common in urban areas due to the possibility of blocked storm drains and drainage systems, and they can occur even in areas that are not situated low enough to be a regular flood concern.

What Are the Flash Flood Alert Guidelines?

Because flash floods can come about with little notice, if there is a storm and heavy rain in your area, you should always stay alert to local weather alerts so you have as much notice as possible in case waters near you start to rise.

Officials will issue a flash flood watch for a general area to encourage heightened concern, but if things progress to a warning, you will want to quickly take the proper precautions. If a flash flood emergency is issued, move to higher ground as quickly as you can, as these are rare and deadly conditions.

What Can I Do to Reduce My Flash Flood Risk Level?

It is important to prioritize safety for any severe weather event, but flash floods should be especially revered. Knowing the rules for safety can keep you and your family much safer if the waters suddenly begin to rise:

  • If rain is heavy for an extended period, tune into official weather warning channels.
  • Make sure you have a clear safety plan in place and that your family knows how to execute it.
  • If you come across floodwater, never attempt to cross it by car or on foot.
  • Avoid coming into contact with floodwater, as it can hide electrical currents and contaminants.
  • When evacuating, have alternate routes in mind in case yours is blocked by water.

If your Champaign/Urbana home or business has been damaged due to a flood or other severe weather, you can depend on us. Call us at 217-355-0077.

Business Owners: Plan to Stay In Business

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

We want to keep our local businesses.

Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. As an employer in Champaign or Urbana, having a business continuity plan can not only help protect your company and its infrastructure, but also your employees. Maximize your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.

Ready Business asks companies to take 3 simple steps:

  • Plan to stay in business
  • Encourage your people to become Ready
  • Protect your investment

This year we want to emphasize our encouragement with individuals, families, and businesses to take active steps toward becoming Ready. Let’s work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, places of worship, and neighborhoods are Ready.

Ready Business, an extension of the Ready Campaign, helps business owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses prepare their employees, operations and assets in the event of an emergency. At Ready.gov/business, companies can find vital information on how to get started preparing their organization and addressing their unique needs during an emergency.

Tips to Help Your Business be Ready

  • Update and Distribute Emergency Contact Information to your Employees. Additionally, you can create and distribute a list of important emergency numbers in the areas you do business.
  • Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans.
  • Conduct Office Evacuation/Shelter-in-Place Exercises and Drills. Once completed, evaluate how well they worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
  • Put Emergency Items of Display. Showcase an Emergency Supply Kit in your break room or other high-traffic locations and encourage employees to get their own Emergency Supply Kit for their homes.

When it comes to water, the longer it sits, the worse it gets.

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know that often times, even fire damaged buildings have water damage present?

This is because many times fires are put out with water, but the water damage is often times overshadowed by the fire. Because of this, the majority of SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana jobs involve water in some form or fashion. With water being one of our specialties, we can tell you firsthand how important it is for you to prevent this damage from happening to your home or business!

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

One of the easiest things to do to prevent damage from happening is by regularly looking for leaks, drips and cracks in your water pipes. The next step is to educate yourself and others around you about the dangers of water damage and what to do if it does happen. Do this by learning how to properly cut off water supply throughout the home or building.

IMPORTANCE

Water pipe damage per minute:

A ½ inch pipe can spill up to 50 gallons a minute

A 1-inch pipe can spill up to 210 gallons a minute

A 2-inch pipe can spill up to 850 gallons a minute

A broken pipe can cause more damage than many of us realize. Above are estimates of how much water can pour out of a pipe at any given time. It is important to prevent, then minimize any damage that happens.

The Risks of Flooding in a Champaign/Urbana Restaurant

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Image of high flood waters Flood waters like these can quickly cause damage to your Champaign/Urbana restaurant

Running a restaurant in Champaign/Urbana can come with a list of challenges to maintain your competitiveness with the other eateries in the region. When you factor in situations like disasters, these incidents can derail a business, especially in instances of flooding that do not get addressed quickly. Business owners can benefit from immediately reaching out to the professionals of our restoration team to get mitigation and clean up started quickly.

Restaurants thrive on offering their customers a positive experience from the moment they walk into their walk back out, so flood damage in Champaign/Urbana can substantially hinder this goal. Even in situations where flooding can remain contained to specific areas of your restaurant where it does not entirely hinder production, such as a leaking portion of the roof, addressing the water damage in these areas must happen immediately to avoid costly and destructive effects like mold growth. Our SERVPRO professionals can help.

As you are aware in the food and beverage industry, mold and contaminants are reputation killers and can keep you from serving your customers until you can prove through testing that the situation has gotten sufficiently resolved. Preventing these occurrences beforehand with the application of our high-strength antimicrobial agents to exposed materials, contents, and structural elements can make these wet areas uninhabitable to mold spores in the environment.

Content removal such as the furniture in your dining area and the sophisticated equipment in your kitchen helps to prevent these items from becoming too damaged to preserve. Once the restaurant is dried and cleaned appropriately, we can return these removed items to their original positions. We also utilize specialized equipment and practices to get mitigation started from the time that our response team arrives. With fast water removal and drying solutions for your business, we can get you back up and running quickly after a flooding emergency.

Your restaurant has a reputation to worry about, and too much bad publicity or experiences for your guests can ruin your business model. Let our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana response team help you through flooding emergencies to handle the situation quickly and thoroughly to get you back to business as usual. Give us a call today at 217-355-0077.

Commercial Fire Damage Restoration in Champaign/Urbana

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

After a fire, the interior and sometimes even the exterior smells of burnt materials and smoke odors. These odors can linger for months unless the smoke odor is removed after a fire.

Fire damage restoration in Champaign/Urbana of a commercial structure is a primary focus of all SERVPRO teams, including the building's deodorization and contents. Every fire is different based on the fire's temperature level and the actual materials consumed. We train our fire team specialists to recognize these sources and the techniques required to remove smoke odors after a fire.

Our process includes:

Removal of the source of the odor, including all fire-damaged materials

We clean all surfaces with odor-causing residues with appropriate cleaners such as soap or solvents

We distribute deodorizers following the path of the smoke residue in the building, including other rooms and HVAC systems

Sealing surfaces such as walls by repainting to lock in the odor-causing molecules

Contact SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana for fire damage restoration services in Champaign/Urbana and surrounding areas. We can help 24/7. Call 217-355-0077.

Get your Commercial Ducts Professionally Cleaned by SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Image of duct system Dust can build up in your ducts and cause various issues

Air quality at home and at your place of work has become increasingly important in the last few years. One of the biggest and easiest actions you can take to increase the air quality inside is to get the ductwork cleaned. SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana has been cleaning residential and commercial ductwork in Champaign/Urbana for over 20 years now. We have the experience, equipment, and expertise to clean your ductwork to the highest standard of clean. 

Why should you get your ducts cleaned?

  • Improve air quality: having a lot of dust and particulates in the air reduces the air quality in your building and can cause health issues for employees or customers with sinus or respiratory issues.
  • Increase the efficiency of your HVAC Units: dirty or clogged ductwork puts an increased strain on your HVAC system causing it to work harder and use more energy in order to heat and cool your building. Dust build up can even destroy a HVAC system and become very expensive if you need to replace the system.
  • Reduce Odors: Mold has a musty smell and can sometimes be found on ductwork. Even decomposing dust can have a strong and unpleasant odor.
  • Reduce the duct build up around your building: Dirty ductwork blows dust around causing dust to build up on surfaces quicker and making more frequent cleaning necessary. 

Why SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana should be your duct cleaning choice.

  • Experience: We have worked on commercial duct work in single buildings, strip malls, high rises and manufacturing.
  • We use equipment with HEPA filters to put your duct work under negative pressure when we clean it. The negative pressure is what is recommended by NADCA for duct cleaning and the HEPA equipment ensures an even greater level of filtration for particulates, even mold!
  • No matter how big your project is we can handle it. Even if we need to call in additional people or equipment. We can get the job done.

How do you know if you need a duct cleaning?

  • Musty odors or unpleasant smells with seemingly no source.
  • Large dust build up on supply or return vents.
  • After reconstruction or remodeling there are often elevated levels of harsh dust.
  • If you see an excessive amount of dust building up between cleanings that means there is a lot of dust circulating and a lot of dust and particulates that we can take out of the duct work.
  • NADCA recommends that duct work be cleaned every 3-5 years. 

We can come inspect your building and give you an estimate for what it would take to clean your system today – 217-355-0077