4 Ways To Prevent Mold in Your Vacant Rental Property
During summer months, mold prevention becomes more difficult because hot, humid weather creates the perfect conditions for mold.
In an ideal world, your rental property always has tenants. In the real world, especially in a university town such as Champaign-Urbana, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes a property will remain vacant for weeks or even months, and an empty property is at risk for developing mold growth. In general, this fungus is relatively harmless unless it grows indoors where it creates an unpleasant environment. Follow these mold prevention tips now so that you don’t end up paying more for a mitigation specialist in Champaign-Urbana to perform a cleanup later.
1. Turn off the water and drain the lines.
If you expect a property to be vacant for any length of time, turn off your water using the main shut-off valve and open all the taps to allow water to drain out of the plumbing lines. Especially in the winter months when pipes can freeze and burst, turning off the water eliminates the possibility of plumbing leaks that can cause water damage. Preventing moisture from collecting anywhere is the number one key to mold prevention.
2. Do repairs first.
Before you close the property, have your contractor check for roof and outer wall leaks, clean the gutters and make sure your sump pump is in good condition. Minor repairs can turn into expensive problems later if rainwater is leaking into your building and creating the moist conditions that mold loves.
3. Leave the heat on low...
You may want to save money by shutting off utilities while the building is vacant. However, the money you may save pales in comparison to the cost of paying a mold mitigation specialist in Champaign-Urbana, to restore your property. During cool weather, keeping the heat on low keeps the house from becoming too damp and encouraging mold spores to settle and grow.
4. ... or leave the A/C running.
During summer months, mold prevention becomes more difficult because hot, humid weather creates the perfect conditions for mold. However, keeping the air conditioner running pulls moisture from the air, keeping your property’s environment cool and dry. When new tenants arrive, there won’t be any musty odors or mold problems to contend with.
For more information, call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, (217)355-0077. [JB]
Every Second Counts
In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.
This reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Here are some key messages to employ:
- Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
- Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
Have you contacted your local fire department? See how you can get involved with them and your community to prevent house fires. Sometimes they will have events or give out smoke detectors for your home. Don't think this could never happen to you because it easily could. We don't have control over everything in our homes! Be safe and have a plan!
Contact us at (217)355-0077!
Tips for Dealing With Sewage Damage
Tips For Dealing With Sewage Damage
A sewer backup must surely be among the least pleasant of messes to clean up. The foul odors and the potential for extensive property destruction are just the beginning of the problem. Sewer cleanup requires a lot of time and hard work. Before you get into it, however, spend time doing a bit of research to make sure you get the results you want.
Prevent Contamination From Spreading
- Respond to damage immediately
- Keep family and pets out of the affected area.
- Wear protective clothing and gear while in the area.
- Open windows or doors to provide ventilation, but don't run the air conditioning system.
Whether the backup is the result of trouble sewer line or the result of a flooded toilet in your home, take the same precautions to control damage. For example, before you do any sewer cleanup work, turn off the electrical power to the area.
Tips for Sewage Backup Response
There are several other tips you should use while responding to the sewer backup.
- Don't use the water in your home until you've had a safety inspection. This means turning off the running water for showers and toilets as well as in your kitchen.
- Remove uncontaminated belongings and furnishings from the area.
- Alert municipal authorities to the backup. You may also need to contact the health department, depending on the extent of the situation.
- Call water damage restoration technicians. These technicians have the training and the tools to thoroughly clean and disinfect your home.
- Contact your insurance company and notify them of the spill in your home. Take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes before belongings are cleaned or repaired.
The best option when dealing with sewer cleanup is to let professionals handle the work. After taking immediate action to prevent the spread of damage, call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana anytime at (217) 355-0077.
Residential Lightning Damage Happens More than You Think
Strikes happen an average of twice a year!
Here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, we can help you with fire damages caused by lightning strikes. When the lightning hits a residence, it travels through the electrical lines to one of the home’s electrical boxes, which can catch fire. These fires can leave severe damage, including smoke damage to your home. SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana’s mitigation team has the ability to do a chem-sponge technique that is used to clean soot off of the walls. In doing this, SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana can ensure that no fire damage or smoke damage goes untreated. If needed, affected walls in all damaged rooms can be painted after the cleanup is completed and drywall replaced where necessary. Our professional in-house crew use a white-glove treatment on your residence and can complete the entire project quickly; from the first contact to completion. Here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, we are proud to serve the residents of Champaign/Urbana, Illinois, especially when the worst happens. Why chose SERVPRO? Because in the event of fire or water damage, large or small, we’re here to help. Call us in Champaign/Urbana at (217)355-0077. [JB]
Surgical Water Restoration
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 Champaign/Urbana you can expect a First Responder on site within an hour and your home to be restored quickly by certified, professional technicians. Reach us at (217)355-0077! [JB}
Science of Drying
The knowledge of psychrometrics 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 Champaign/Urbana 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!
Maintaining your HVAC and Avoiding Poor Indoor Air
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:
- Dirt and debris
- Other contaminants
Our professionals routinely clean and inspect heating, ventilation and air conditioner unit (or the HVAC). Give us a call at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, 217-355-0077 to have one of our experts go out and inspect it before those heat waves come. [JB]
Why Board-Up After A Fire is Important.
If your property in Champaign/Urbana has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana offers full-service restoration specialists who can also assist in board-up services.
Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire!
- In a commercial setting, there may still be viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment, cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.
- You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition.
- You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out to prevent additional damage. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.
- You want to limit soot damage as well. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.
Talk to our experts at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana to board up any structure, which is always a good strategy for preventing further loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana anytime at (217) 355-0077.
When Vandalism Strikes, Here's What To Do
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 Champaign/Urbana has a few suggestions when you first discover the graffiti.
- 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 217-355-0077. [JB]
4 Steps Toward Safeguarding Businesses From Storm Damage.
4 Steps Toward Safeguarding Businesses from Storm Damage
Even businesses with strong disaster plans are affected by major storms, flooding, or fires. Forty percent of all businesses affected by disasters won't open their doors again. Within one year after the mess has been cleaned up, another 25 percent will fail. This is bad news for just about everyone involved. Fortunately, insurance providers, business owners, and community leaders can take preventative steps before disaster recovery is necessary.
1. Establish Written Business Continuity Plan
These documents should contain the procedures to take when disasters threaten, during disasters, and during the recovery period. For example, if storm damage is severe, business owners may need to relocate the workplace temporarily. Other elements of this plan may include phone trees, information technology procedures, and emergency evacuation responsibilities.
2. Schedule Regular Employee Trainings
It isn't enough to cover these storm response procedures in one workshop. Employees need to be familiar and comfortable enough with the steps that they remember and carry them out with ease. When employees are clear about their individual responsibilities and have performed them several times in non-emergency situations, they are more likely to respond calmly during a disaster.
3. Keep Emergency Supplies Handy
The right equipment and supplies are vital to the success of a disaster recovery plan. Business owners should have first-aid kits, flashlights, and other emergency supplies within easy reach for employees. Other equipment, such as clean water, food, a generator, and even blankets could further safeguard the well-being of company personnel.
4. Store Copies of Key Information in Multiple Sites
During a storm, it may be impossible to access phone numbers through workplace computers. After a flood, in-house copies of insurance policies may have been thoroughly damaged; a hard copy kept in another location could provide needed information. Contact information for cleanup and recovery professionals should be included.
Successful disaster recovery actually begins long before storms hit Champaign/Urbana. Communities, business leaders, and insurance professionals can do their part in protecting residents by providing documents and resources that increase participation in business continuity plans. SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana will be glad to help you establish an emergency plan as well! Call (217) 355-0077 if you would like to set up an appointment.