Standing Water Is A Water Damage Disaster
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
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.
- 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
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
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!
If you’ve decided to get serious about doing some summertime cleaning, you might want to stop and think about what you are actually about to do. You may have the purest of intentions of wanting to clean your furniture, but you might actually end up causing more harm than good which can actually make stains worse than they were before. Most likely you’ve learned through experience that certain stains just won’t go away, which can certainly be frustrating. Before you jump in and get your hands dirty, take a step back and sort things out before you clean.
Sometimes Cleaning Can Do More Harm Than Good
Store bought cleaning products are meant to be used by everyone, meaning they do not require the extra care and knowledge necessary to safely use professional-grade cleaning products. These products may work great in some instances, but sometimes you need to call in a pro to really get the job donewithout making matters worse.
The fact is that some stain removers and detergent products can actually damage your fabric or make existing stains even worse. Certain cleaning products contain harsh agents such as bleach or alkaline, which can actually produce unwanted side effects such as staining or discoloration. If you plan on doing things yourself, make sure you do your homework and closely examine your fabric types and cleaning products to make sure you don’t end up making things worse than they were before.
Most Modern Furniture Comes with a Cleaning Code
Hopefully, you didn’t throw out all of that paperwork that came along with your new sofa or other furniture, because most modern furniture is accompanied by a cleaning code. Even if those papers are long gone, the good news is that this information is typically also found on a label underneath your cushions or can be found online. These cleaning codes will provide you with valuable information that you can use to determine which type of cleaning methods to use on your furniture.
Before you grab any old cleaning product to clean that unsightly stain on your couch, make sure you take a minute to review the following codes.
- W-code = The fabric can be cleaned using water or other water-based cleaners. W-code furniture is the easiest type for most people to clean without the help of professionals or potentially hazardous chemicals.
- S/W-code = Indicates water-based cleaners, as well as dry cleaning methods, are safe to use, as long as you make sure not to saturate the fabric in water.
- S-code = No water or water-based products should be used to clean this furniture. It is strongly advised to bring in the professionals because an S-code means that special machinery must be used.
- X-code = This code is quite rare for furniture, but can still often be found on shades and blinds. X-code furniture should not be cleaned with water-based cleaners and should only be gently brushed or vacuumed.
SERVPRO Methods are More Effective
Stains on upholstered furniture can sometimes be very difficult to remove with common, readily available consumer products. Difficult stains may necessitate the assistance of cleaning professionals. Our team here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana will already know which cleaning products are best for your type of furniture and the specialized care it requires. Thinking before you start to clean can be very important when it comes to protecting your furniture and fabric. Sometimes doing things yourself can be the right way to go, but if you want to make sure you’re protecting your furniture investment you may want to play it safe by bringing in SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana. Call one of our friendly staff today at 217-355-0077! We are here to help!
Firefighters Are Heroes
firefighter fighting a fire
Since 1678 firefighters have been saving the lives of Americans. Although their techniques have changed since then, firefighters are still saving thousands of lives nationwide each year. This is very heroic, no dispute here, but is this the only thing that makes a firefighter a hero? Not by a longshot and here is why.
Firefighters Are Heroes Because They Run Towards the Danger
Fires and explosions make most people flee and run away or stand by and watch. Not true for a firefighter, they run towards the fire. When disaster strikes, firefighters are one of the first officials to reach the scene. Even in medical emergencies, firefighters are responding to the call. It takes raw courage to be a firefighter. They know that there’s a chance that things might not go their way. They have family and friends they hold dear just like all of us, but they push through anyway. General Norman Schwarzkopf once said, “True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that’s what courage is.”
Firefighters Are Heroes Because They Never Give Up
On average, firefighters will work 10, 24-hour shifts per month. Firefighters don’t get holidays or their birthdays off. When you’re with your family around the Christmas tree waiting for Santa, firefighters are out there keeping you safe. While your family is enjoying the fireworks on the Fourth of July, firefighters are standing guard to keep you safe. The threat of coming into contact with Covid-19 does not deter them, they still work tirelessly to keep you safe.
Firefighters Are Heroes Because They’re Also Scientists
Not every fire starts with a match. In some cases, fires start when certain chemicals collide or when an electrical wire gets too hot. There are six known classes of fires. Some include gases, liquids, metals, and oils . Each one requires a different approach and it’s up to the firefighters to decipher which type of fire they’re dealing with.
After subduing the flames, firefighters are tasked with finding the cause. They discover the starting point of a fire by using their knowledge of fire and deductive skills. They use their scientific knowledge of chemistry, physics, and engineering to deduct where and when a fire started. Besides pinpointing the origin, firefighters can also determine if a fire was accident or arson. Honing these skills can help prevent future fires.
Firefighters Are Heroes Because They Inspire Others
Think about all the little boys and girls on Halloween strutting around town in plastic red firefighter hats. Even when you were young, there was always one classmate or friend who wanted to be a firefighter when they grew up. Firefighters are inspirational. Every day they face new dangers and every day they find ways to fix them.
It takes a special kind of person to become a firefighter. They throw themselves out of windows, run through burning buildings and cut people out of cars. Firefighters see and experience things that affect them both mentally and physically. Despite this, they continue to do what they do.
Firefighters Are Heroes Because They Do More than Fight Fires
Being a firefighter means more than just battling blazes. Firefighters save people. Whether you’re hurt, stuck in a car, or stuck in a building, firefighters are there to help. They answer the call in every catastrophe. They even act as emergency medical technicians in some situations. Firefighters care for the sick and injured. They rescue pets, pull animals out of trees, and are very active in their communities. You could make a case that they are the glue of the community.
Firefighters also work to prevent future fires from happening. They install fire alarms, create fire regulations, and teach children fire safety. Firefighters work tirelessly to ensure that their community is taken care of. Because being a firefighter isn’t about the glory or the money, it’s about how many lives you can change. We here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana are so grateful for our firefighters who work tirelessly to make a difference in our communities.
Emergency Evacuation Kits
An emergency evacuation kit should contain the documents and personal items needed to maintain yourself and your family for up to a week in the event of an emergency evacuation. Your kit may look very different from your neighbor’s kit, depending on the number of children, pets, and advance preparation for such events. The following are suggestions of what you may need in your emergency evacuation kit.
Emergency Evacuation Kit Basics
The American Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and FEMA all recommend that water, food, a flashlight, appropriate batteries for your accessories, a first-aid kit, and a battery or hand-operated radio be included in your evacuation kit. Regardless of the size or needs of your family, here is a list of additional items that should be included in every evacuation kit.
Along with bottled water, pack a small filtration system for an unlimited water supply
Pack solar device chargers and solar lights (similar to those used in landscaping)
Flashlights are good but LED headlamps free up your hands
Emergency whistles (one for each family member)
7 days of nonperishable food (don’t forget the can opener)
7 days or more worth of under garments and socks
Multiple days worth of prescription medication
Surgical or dust masks
Maps of your area and of your destination
Cash or traveler’s checks (without power, ATM machines are rendered useless)
A tool kit that includes a sharp knife, pliers, tweezers, electrical, and duct tape
An extra set of house, car, and safe keys
Charged two-way radios (walkie-talkies)
Add extra bandages, gauze, sanitizing washes and burn cream to your first-aid kit
Note: For items like clothing, food, cash, batteries, etc., use watertight resealable bags to keep them dry until needed. Part of your evacuation plan should include how you intend to reach out-of-town family members and/or friends.
Evacuation Kit Items for Infants and Children
During an evacuation, special attention should be given to the needs of your children. Older children in their teens may want to prepare an evacuation kit of their own. Consider the following:
Infant formula, diapers, wipes, pacifier, extra bottles
Water (1gallon per day, per child)
Nonperishable food and snacks like energy bars, jerky, and trail mixes
Multiple changes of clothing
Mylar blankets (regular blankets and sleeping bags can get bulky and overwhelming)
Extra glasses, medication, inhalers, and other medical or individual necessities
Evacuations can be extremely stressful for children. Take the time to practice or run an evacuation drill. The more your children are familiar with what they need to do, the less difficulty you will have getting them to do it.
Evacuation Kit Important Documents
The following list of documents will help you to prove your identity, as well as give you access to insurance benefits, medication, finances, and much more:
Notarized copies of everyone’s birth certificates
Copies of passports, identification cards and driver’s licenses
Copies of health insurance cards, current prescriptions, and medical needs
Copies of credit cards and your ATM card
A hard copy of your online usernames and passwords
Copies of your auto and homeowners insurance cards and or policies**
Copies of recent utility bills (to turn service on or off)
Copies of the deed or lease to your home
Notarized copies of wills
Family and emergency contact information (telephone numbers and addresses)
Copies of pet identification and proof of vaccination
Current pictures of your self, your spouse, children and pets in case of separation
The importance of the above-listed documents cannot be overstated. During major evacuation events, you may be away from your home for several days or weeks. The ability to use and manage your resources will help you get back to your home and back to normal quickly.Keep all of your documents, cards, and copies protected in airtight and watertight envelopes, bags, and/or containers. Upload your copies to a cloud service or save them on a memory stick along with safeguarding hard copies in your evacuation kit. Keep in mind that the cloud or a memory stick will do little good during wide-spread power outages.
Evacuation Kit Items for Pets
Your pets are essential to the well-being and happiness of your family. The following items should be included in your (or their very own) evacuation kit:
Enough food for 7 days (don’t forget the bowl)
1/2 to 1 gallon of water per day
Collar, leash or carrier
Proof of vaccinations and any medical needs
Blanket or bed
Note: Pets can feel stress and inherently catch on to your change in mood and/or way of being. When running an evacuation drill, make sure your pets and their evacuation kits are a part of it.
Evacuation Kit Items for The Elderly
In the case of the elderly, the following items should be a part of your evacuation kit or ready to take at a moment’s notice:
Water (1gallon per day) for drinking and hygiene
Special hygiene necessities (adult diapers, denture containers, etc)
Food for a minimum of 7 days (attend to special requirements or needed supplements)
Medications and copies of prescriptions (especially life-preserving ones)
Canes, walkers, wheelchair, and other devices for support and mobility
Books, cards, or activities to occupy time
Identification or medical bracelets or necklaces
Everyone has a different take on what they prioritize when making disaster plans or assembling evacuation kits. Except for newborns and infants, everyone should be allowed to express what they feel is necessary for their comfort during an emergency evacuation.
Emergency Evacuation Kit Maintenance
It is crucial to periodically check prescription medication expiration dates, use by dates on canned goods, battery charge, and the proper functioning of all electronic items. This is the time to update your action plan and remove or add items your family has either outgrown or has come to require. This maintenance should be done bi-annually and can accompany your family’s evacuation drill. If your region is prone to flooding, there are steps you can add to your action plan in the event your home is flooded.
By preparing and keeping up with your emergency evacuation kit, you are positioning yourself to successfully navigate the disruptions of a natural disaster or mandatory evacuation. Without an evacuation kit, you could be left scrambling to assemble vital information, documents, and necessities when you should be moving yourself and your loved ones away from danger.
Causes of Fires
At SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, we’ve dealt with cleaning up fire and smoke damage many times. There have been some very strange, unnecessary, and outright silly reasons that the fire was started in the first place. Fires can be caused by common things (cooking accidents) or completely off-the-wall things (see our list below). Either way, it’s good to know about everything that could create a fire in your home or office in order to uphold the best practices for fire safety. Below are some actual scenarios that are off the wall…
Alcohol + Cigarettes
An Ohio man who was having trouble with bedbugs decided the best way to get rid of them was to spray his infested couch with rubbing alcohol. While he performed this experiment, he was smoking a cigarette. This man obviously caused a house fire and had to be treated for burns.
A family in Oregon decided to cut a hole in their family room floor to use as an ashtray. (Seriously—why not just buy an ashtray?). Of course, this led to problems. The cigarettes and ashes that the family had been throwing into their “ashtray” caused a fire to break out in their basement, which ended up costing thousands of dollars in damage.
This is a mistake that many homeowners make. Linseed oil is one of the biggest underrated enemies of fire safety. It’s used to polish wood, but unfortunately, the oil can also cause fires. It’s safe on wood, but when the oil is left on the rags that people have polished with, it can spontaneously combust causing a fire due to the chemicals building up.
An elderly woman in South Carolina had empty glass jars lined up on her windowsill. When the sunlight was refracted by one of these jars and was concentrated on her window’s curtains, it caused a fire in her kitchen. This occurrence happens from time to time: refracted light fires have been started by glass doorknobs, glass wind chimes, and even glass panes left leaning against walls.
A teenage boy in Texas attempted to dry his wet underwear in the microwave. The elastic band on the underwear burst into flames and caused significant fire and smoke damage to the kitchen area. What should and should not go into a microwave should be common fire safety knowledge. When it comes to microwaves, avoid putting in cloth, paper, metal, and plastic.
Wall Air Fresheners
Many residents use those amazing smelling plug-in air fresheners. However, use these with caution. There are several dangerous factors associated with them and they have been the cause of many house fires. Many of them are made from very thin plastic and the wall outlets can get extremely hot. If you leave them plugged in for too long, you’re at risk for a fire. If you use them, unplug them at night or when you leave the house.
No matter how a fire starts, know that SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is here to help. Give one of our friendly team members a call at 217-355-0077 today!
After the Fire trucks leave…..then what?
Fire Trucks at Fire
The fire has been put out by the firemen and they were able to save your family and your home. After they leave you walk back into your home onto saturated carpet, tile floors with puddles, charred walls and baseboards, soot, smoke odor and a huge hole in the wall where the fireman entered your home. This is a very devastating time in anyone’s life. This is when you call the Professionals for help. This is when you would call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana (217)-355-0077. The SERVPRO Professionals have specialized in fire and water damage restoration and move quickly to clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition
SERVPRO can do any size board up to secure your home. The board up is important in keeping your home safe and secure until work can be scheduled. The Company also extracts water and has dehumidifiers.
SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana can also take care of not only cleaning your sentimental items but are also equipped with the environmentally friendly cleaning products to clean your walls, carpet, and upholstery. SERVPRO also offers soda blasting. Soda blasting is also environmentally friendly and removes soot, badly charred and other types of residue caused by fire. The procedure may be used on brick, ceramic, glass, mortar, concrete and wood without damage. Along with cleaning it also helps to absorb the smoke odor.
SERVPRO provides equipment for helping with the odor. Air scrubbers, ozones and hydroxyls are 3 pieces of equipment that can be set up for odor. Once the structure has been cleaned and odor free, the Sevpro of Vermilion County also has a Construction Department for the put back.
We are here for you in your most difficult time. All you have to do is call 217-355-0077.
Steps to Take When A Pipe Breaks
It’s the middle of the night. You’re sound asleep and then BOOM a water pipe bursts. There is never a convenient time for this situation, and the middle of the night is definitely not convenient. This may cause many people who have never dealt with it to panic. After all, what do you do when a water pipe suddenly bursts in your home? Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at 217-355-0077 and speak with a friendly team member! We can help walk you the steps to take if this should happen to you.
Shut Off the Water
Go to your main valve and turn the water off. They usually have a stop tap on them. It’s good to know where your water main is in case of emergencies, so if you don’t already know now is a great time to find out. Commonly this is found in the basement or garage, but may be found in other places as well. Shutting it off will stop the water flow. If you find that the pipe that burst is a hot water pipe then close the valve that’s on top of the water heater as well.
Remove Any Nearby Electronics
If there’s anything electric plugged in near the burst pipe that is not in or requires you to be in standing water go ahead and unplug it from the socket and move it away. This will prevent risk of a fire. DO NOT touch any electronics that are in standing water, do not walk thru standing water as there is a real risk of electrocution. Shut off the electricity from the breaker if possible, if not then call an electrician for assistance.
Call A Professional Immediately
Finding a 24-hour service to handle an emergency can be tough, but emergency water damage companies do exist, like SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana. We are fully licensed, highly trained and qualified.
Have Someone Check Everything Out
If there’s significant water damage, it’s extremely important to the health of your home that you have it examined by a water damage professional. It’s also a good idea to have an electrician check to make sure that no electrical aspects of your home were damaged. The owners, Dave and Suzi McGuire, have been building trust for 30 years. They have accomplished this with hard work, having a highly trained staff, meeting commitments and going the extra mile for their customers.
File An Insurance Claim
You’ll need to contact your insurance company immediately to begin an insurance claim for the damage. SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana can help walk you thru this process. We strive to make the entire process from start to finish both painless and seamless for you. Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at 217-355-0077 and speak with a friendly team member today! We are here to help!