Recent Posts

Content Restoration after Fire Damage

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

CONTENT RESTORATION

From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, we at SERVPRO Champaign/Urbana will treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.

Key Issues

  • Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
  • Contents inventory
  • Determine replacement and restoration
  • Pack
  • Ozone treatment
  • Cleaning
  • Odor removal
  • Secure
  • Return

Contents Inventory

  • We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
  • We carefully pack all salvageable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
  • Unsalvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.

Contents Valuation

We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for pricing of non-salvageable inventory items.

Restoration

  • Thorough cleaning
  • Proper handling of all electronics
  • Photographs and artwork
  • Fabrics
  • Clothes
  • Memorabilia
  • Antiques
  • Soft goods
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Appliances
  • Surfaces
  • Odor Removal  (JB)

Should I or Should I not?

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

'Tis the season for colds and flus

Will you catch pneumonia if you go outside with a wet head in winter?? Ever wonder what are really health tips and what are old wives' tales? Well this article from WebMD answers those questions about some common practices we do to try and keep us germ free.

Use hand sanitizer: Worth it

“Hand sanitizers have gotten better in recent years,” explains Charles Gerba, PhD, a germ expert and environmental biologist at the University of Arizona. Look for one that contains 60% alcohol. That's the amount needed to kill germs. 

You don’t have to overdo it, Gerba says. Use it once or twice during a typical day, as well as after using public transportation, when you get home, or before you eat (if you can’t wash your hands).  

Wash your hands constantly: Not (necessarily) worth it 
Turn off the faucet with a paper towel: Worth it

“The faucet handle is the most contaminated surface in a restroom,” Gerba says. Using the same towel to open the restroom door on the way out is also a good idea. 

Skip the hand dryer: Worth it

These machines aren’t only annoyingly loud, but they could be hazardous to your health. Studies find that a jet air dryer spreads 1,300 times more germs than paper towels . Use paper towels if available, or air dry your hands.

Use a paper toilet seat cover: Not worth it

The porcelain throne is actually one of the cleanest spots of a public restroom because they’re often cleaned with disinfectants, Gerba says. 

If it gives you peace of mind, go for it, but that thin piece of paper isn’t going to do much good, since fluid can go right through it, says Philip Tierno, PhD, microbiologist and clinical professor of pathology at New York University. But chances are good you’re not going to come in contact with anything that can infect you, he says. 

Touch elevator buttons with your knuckle or sleeve: Worth it

The ground-floor button, which everyone touches, can get especially grimy, Gerba says. 

Avoid shaking hands or hugging people who appear ill: Worth it

Explain that you’re not being rude; you’re protecting your health. Both experts say they avoid touching friends and relatives who are sick, especially if they’re coughing and sneezing.

Keep your fingers off your face: Worth it

Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with germy hands is a surefire way to get sick. And you may be doing it more than you realize. One study found the average adult touches their face about 16 times per hour.

Bring your own yoga mat to class: Worth it 

Doing downward dog can deliver plenty of health benefits, but your yoga mat can also be a prime place for germs, Tierno says. Make sure to clean it with antibacterial wipes after every use.

Wipe down gym equipment: Worth it

Working out can play a role in boosting your immune system, but exercise equipment is pretty dirty. One study found the virus that causes the common cold is present on 63% of gym machines. Protect yourself from germs as you work out by wiping gym equipment with a towel before using it. (Tierno suggests using your own towel and marking an X on the “dirty” side.) 

Wear a surgical mask on airplanes: Actually worth it!

It’s not overkill, Tierno says, especially if someone behind, beside, or in front of you is sneezing and coughing. Any further away, you’re probably safe.  (JB)

Water Leaks Can Cause Mold Damage

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana to help you through the process of re-mediating mold.

Water Leaks Can Cause Mold 

A leaky faucet in your home can be very annoying, but it has the potential to be much more than an annoyance. The moisture caused by leaks can make your home into the perfect environment for spring mold growth. Mold spores may cause health effects and can grow rapidly if you fail to notice a leak shortly after it starts, especially in humid climates. Knowing the risks that mold presents and quickly fixing your water leaks can help to protect your home from mold growth. 


About Mold Growth

Mold growth will begin in areas of your home that are wet. The mold spores will land on moist surfaces and then start to germinate. The materials on which mold can grow include:
• Sheetrock
• Tile
• Painted surfaces
• Carpet
• Wood

Indications of Mold Growth Due to Water Leaks

If you see black and white spots in the area of the leak, this is a sign that you have mold. Kitchens and basements are some of the areas in your home where there is a high risk of mold growth as these areas are prone to leaks. It is therefore important that you properly maintain your plumbing fixtures.

Preventing Mold Growth after Fixing Leaks

If you discover a water leak, have it fixed as soon as possible to minimize the potential for mold growth. After the leak has been fixed, use a mild detergent to wash the area and then allow it to dry completely. After it has dried, thoroughly wipe the area with bleach to kill any spores present. Boric acid is also effective at killing mold spores and can be used as a substitute for bleach. Be sure to keep kids and pets out of the area while handling chemicals.

Get Professional Assistance

If there is a part of your home that is prone to water leaks, contact a plumber. If there are hidden problems that are causing leaks to recur, you may not be able to find them yourself. A licensed plumber who is experienced at finding and fixing leaks will be better able to find and fix the issues. Your plumber will also be able to advise you on how to maintain your plumbing to prevent water leaks and mold growth in the future.

Understanding Mold

Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all molds from a home or business. 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.

Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana today to schedule a mold estimate. You can reach us 24/7 at (217) 355-0077. (LB)

Are You Ready For Severe Weather?

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Severe weather is unpredictable and SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana wants you to be safe no matter the season! Below are some severe weather readiness tips to help guide you, no matter what type of disaster you may encounter.

Weather Radios: Weather radios are the most reliable way to receive notifications of severe weather in your area. Although cellular phones, weather apps, social media as well as wireless emergency alerts (WEA’s) are what the majority of us depend on to keep informed, the truth is those devices can have their limitation during severe weather and can be interrupted. Mobile devices rely on towers and those towers can be damaged and cease to function during sever weather. A weather radio, WITH CHARGED BATTERIES is the most reliable way to be informed of severe weather. Be sure to properly program your weather radio so you only receive the alerts you want for the counties you want.

Emergency Supply Kit: Having an emergency kit can be a life saver. Most emergency management agencies recommend supplies for up to three days. The following is a list you can use as a guideline:

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a weather radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
  • First Aid kit
  • Whistle to signal help
  • Clothing, blankets
  • Dust mask or bandannas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and duct tape
  • Wrench or other tools to shit off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents. (Copy of insurance policy, bank account info, identification, etc.)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in waterproof case
  • Cash

 Make family plan: Make sure all members in the household are aware where they are to go in the event of severe weather. If for some reason the family is separated in the event of a severe storm, have a meeting place established as to aid in finding each other amidst devastation.

Not All Water Damage Is Treated The Same!

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

To most homeowners Champaign/Urbana water damage is all the same. It is a nightmare situation that disrupts daily routines and makes life rather difficult. It is destructive, cruel, and costly to put right.  Whether the flooding is from a burst pipe or a blocked drain, it’s all the same right?

Well, in reality, there are some crucial differences to be made.

The information below explains the main types of water damage and could help you identify the problem quickly if it ever happens to you.

Category One: Clear Water 

This water is the cleanest, most non-toxic form of water damage. It is potable water, perhaps directly from the tap. It is unlikely to cause you any harm, even if you are exposed for some time. Nevertheless, even clean flooding can lead to electrical and structural faults, so it is safer you to call in the experts for repairs. Clean water comes from things like a broken water supply line, tub or sink overflow with no contaminants, appliance malfunctions involving water-supply lines to name a few. However, once clean water leaves the exit point, it might not remain clean after contacting other surfaces or materials.    Although it is considered the "safest" of the categories, it can degrade to category 2 or 3 if left untreated.

Category Two: Gray Water 

Gray water damage is a little bit more serious and requires a speedier removal process. This is because it may contain potentially unsafe levels of chemicals, microorganisms, or dirt. Examples of Cat 2 water include, but are not limited to: overflow from dishwashers or washing machines; overflows from toilet bowls with urine; seepage due to hydrostatic pressure and broken aquariums.   

If left untreated, it can quickly degrade into category 3.

Category Three: Black Water

Cat 3 water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents.  Cat 3 water can include, but are not limited to:  sewage; toilet back flows from beyond the trap; flooding from seawater, rivers or streams, ground surface water or other contaminated water entering the indoor environment.  

It is important to use experts like those at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana who are very skilled in the safe handling of black water and will use breathing filtration apparatus and protective clothing to eliminate the risk of sickness. They will also contain the affected area so that no dangerous materials are allowed to escape during the restoration process.

Knowing what type of water is damaging your property or where it is coming from helps restoration experts to approach the situation in a safe way.

Please contact your local experts at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana anytime at (217) 355-0077.

Preventing Mold Growth

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Keep the humidity between 30 to 60 percent. 

Provide for proper drainage away from building foundations.

Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks.

Keep gutters and drains clear of debris.

Respond to all water intrusions immediately.

Inspect the roof, windows and other areas where water might enter the building and perform necessary maintenance.

Contact SERVPRO® of Champaign/Urbana for assistance after a water damage or if you discover mold. (JB)

Preparedness for Pets

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

After Hurricane Katrina several years ago it was estimated that over 15,500 animals were ultimately rescued. Of the 15,500, only 15-20% were reunited with their owners.

As pets are just as important as any family member to most people, it is important to make them part of your preparedness planning. Several things that you can do to make sure they stay safe during an emergency are:

Build a Pet Emergency Kit

  • Food - At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • Water - At least a three day supply.
  • Medicines and medical records.
  • Important documents - such as registration, adoption and vaccination papers.
  • First Aid Kit.
  • Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies, tag and leash.
  • Crate or pet carrier - Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. There should be enough space for the pet to stand, lie down or turn around in.
  • Sanitation - Pet litter and litter box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, and antibacterial wipes.
  • Picture of you and your pet together - If you become separated, the photo will help as documentation of ownership and help others to assist you.
  • Familiar items - Not only is this a traumatic time for you, but also for your pet. By having some items such as treats, toys, and bedding close by, you can help alleviate stress on your pet.

Most important of all is to include your pet in your evacuation plans and don't leave them behind where they can be lost or injured. It is very important to have your pet micro-chipped. In the event that you do get separated from your pet, it will be much easier for the animal to be traced back to it's owner.

For more information visit ready.gov/animals and remember that SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana, 217-355-0077 knows that not only are your personal items important to you but so are your family pets. Keep them safe and be prepared!  (JB)

Why Hiring A Professional Restoration Company To Cleanup Your Home In Champaign/Urbana Is The Best Choice After A Fire.

2/8/2019 (Permalink)

The Principle of Cleaning After A Fire Damage In Champaign/Urbana

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 of 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 Champaign/Urbana does not have to be a pain because the SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana tech can take care of everything. They can start by inspecting the 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 of Champaign/Urbana 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 safe 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 these particles away from the affected surface. The restorer can effectively get rid of the debris and cleaning waste. Once everything is completed, the technicians can walk you through your home to make sure that you are satisfied with the results.

If you are interested in getting a specialist to clean and restore your home after fire damage,  give SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana a call at (217) 355-0077, and we can promptly send our experts to your home anytime.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

2/7/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana anytime at (217) 355-0077

What To Expect During The Restoration Process After A Water Damage To Your Champaign/Urbana Restaurant

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage To Your Restaurant

Water damage is perhaps one of the worst things that can happen to your restaurant. Not only can the pooled water cause structural and aesthetic damage to your establishment, but the restoration can also take time.

Thankfully, here at SERVPRO, we have a team of experts that have years of experience in handling any size water damage disaster to your Champaign/Urbana restaurant. SERVPRO springs into action as soon as we hear from you and work hard to minimize the damage and keep your doors open. Here is what happens during the initial few hours after we hear from you.

One Hour  
During the first hour of our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana professionals receiving your call, we assemble a team of experts and send them your way.

Four Hours 
Our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana experts reach the site of water damage within four hours of receiving a call from you. We understand that the best chance for a successful restoration is a quick action. Once our technicians are on-site, they walk you through the restoration process step-by-step. They make sure that you understand what to expect after a restoration process. Within the first four hours, our technicians also pretest the restorability of the damage.

Eight Hours 
Within eight hours of our team reaching the site of water damage, the technicians prepare a verbal briefing and communicate it to the concerned person. Once the plan has been agreed upon, our teams start the actual restoration and cleaning process. We use some of the best equipment available to restore and clean the water damage. Our technicians work hard to remove any standing water, clean the carpets and deodorize your establishment. We understand that cleanliness and hygiene is a critical part of restaurant management, and our professionals work hard at ensuring it.

Final Walk-Through 
Your satisfaction is one of our highest priorities. Once the job is done, our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana technicians arrange for a final walk-through to make sure that you are satisfied with the restoration job. After we are done, your restaurant is ready for any inspection from health or related departments.

Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217) 355-0077 today to schedule an appointment