Recent Posts

How Worried Should I Be about Dryer Fires?

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Every year, firefighters respond to nearly 14,000 home fires caused by clothes dryers. Dryer fires are responsible annually for 7 non firefighter deaths, 344 injuries as well as $233 million in property damage.  27% of home dryer fires are caused by an accumulation of lint, which is why cleaning your dryer lint trap regularly is crucial. 

To prevent fires, clean the dryer’s lint screen after every load. But don’t stop there. Lint can accumulate in your dryer’s vent coming off the back of the dryer. Having the line that goes out the back of the house should also be cleaned on a regular basis. If your dryer is taking longer to dry clothes, it’s an indicator you may a have a clogged line. Certain dryers have indicators that detect a clogged line but they may not pick up on partial blockages. 

Never let your dryer run while you are away from home or going to bed. 

To clean your dryer’s vent and duct follow these steps. 

  • Unplug the dryer and turn off the gas if applicable. 
  • Slide the dryer away from the wall. 
  • Don’t over stretch the gas line.
  • Disconnect the vent from the dryer.
  • Vacuum out the line and the backside of the dryer. 
  • In the winter check for drifting snow that may block your outdoor vent. 
  • Reconnect everything and slide dryer back.

Following these few safety rules will keep you and your family safe for years. 

Why SERVPRO you say?

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

If you have ever had a disaster in your home whether it was flooding and water damage, fire or smoke damage, discovering mold in a hidden corner, or you have a bat infestation in your attic you might wonder who among all the restoration and clean up companies to call. SERVPRO has 30 years of experience, highly trained certified technicians, 24-hour emergency service, locally owned and operated, and a trusted leader in the restoration industry.  If you don’t believe SERVPRO is the best, check out these testimonials left by some of our customers! 

“I had a kitchen fire which pretty much resulted in an entire home remodel from studs up.. They were very professional and patient through the entire process. I say this was key because there were lots of disputes with the Insurance company as to what they were going to pay and not pay. These disputes dragged on and the serve pro team was a true advocate for me and made sure at the end I was taken care of and happy with the results!! They took care of all the contractors and all I had to do was pick colors, cabinets, fixtures, etc... “

 “I cannot Thank SERVPRO enough for helping my aunt through a terrible experience.  Over the cold winter her pipes burst and the family owned farm that has been around for generations flooded.  I live over two hours away, and having a company answer my call really early on a weekend and assure me everything would be ok was amazing.  They sent a crew out right away and to my surprise they were able to save family heirlooms that have been around for over a century.  They were so kind to my aunt and kept her informed about the steps they were taking.  This company saved my aunts home and preserved the priceless belongings.  I hope you don't experience a disaster, but if you do, SERVPRO will definitely make things better.  Like the commercials say, "Like it never even happened."

As you can read, SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is here to help!  Call one of our friendly staff today at 217-355-0077 today.  MM

SERVPRO Can Help Your Business

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana is trained to adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitization standards.

SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana is the leading professional in restoration and cleaning. Provides a multitude of different services for any commercial business. We are equipped to handle any job small or disaster. Here are just some of the services we will gladly provide in your time of need.

Restoration:

  • Fire, smoke and soot
  • Water removal and dehumidification
  • Catastrophic storm response
  • Move outs and contents restoration
  • Contents claim inventory services

Cleaning

  • Air ducts and HVAC
  • Carpet, upholstery, drapes, and blinds
  • Ceilings, walls and hard floors
  • Odor identification
  • Deodorization

Whether you need your carpets cleaned or need help with water damage from a terrible pipe burst, SERVPRO will help your business. SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana can be at your place of business to give a pre-estimate for the work needed. If you have any questions, please give us a call at (217) 355-0077. 

Fire Damage Repair and Restoration

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Repair and Restoration

Fire and smoke damage is especially destructive. In many instances your Mankato or Owatonna property will also suffer from water damage from firefighting efforts. Our trained technicians have up to thirty years of experience in fire & smoke damage restoration. We have specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications that allow us to restore your home or commercial property to pre-fire condition. Immediate action and a fast response can limit damage, prevent further damage and reduce restoration costs. Our teams are prepared with strategically located equipment in case of fire emergency in your area.


We understand you may be feeling confused, stressed, and more than a little vulnerable but rest assured our technicians will treat your family with empathy and your home with great care. We emphasize a fast response and a plan that best fits your needs. We have the resources and expertise to help your family continue to live each day as comfortably as possible. 

Choose SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, a local company that specializes in fire, water and storm damage restoration. We are Faster To Any Disaster and ready to respond to fire, wind and soot conditions in Champaign / Urbana counties, as well as the surrounding communities.

If you are dealing with fire damage, the experienced team at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana ready to respond.

Is Your Water Heater Leaking?

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

A leaking water heater may seem like a small problem, but it can quickly become a big issue if left unresolved.  Standing water can seep through floorboards, sub-floors, and even walls.  It can even cause mold to grow, which may cause health effects in addition to the water damage.  When you notice that your water heater is leaking, you need to address the problem right away.  The things you must do once you realize that your water heater has sprung a leak include: 

Turn off your water main

This will stop the water flow ASAP . Because your tank will still have water in it after you turn off the water supply, you will be able to easily check where the leak is coming from even after the water main has been turned off.

Turn off the power or the gas

You should turn off the gas or power that supplies your water heater with heat.  This will help you properly locate the leak without fear of electrocution or gas leaking. It will also prevent you from scalding yourself on the hot tank.

Wipe down your tank

You won’t be able to find where the leak is unless you wipe down your tank.  Drying your tank with the help of a rag will help you determine whether the leak is located.

Find out where the water is coming from

You need to determine where the leak is in order to properly fix the issue. The puddle may be found at the bottom since it is pulled there by gravity, but the issue may be found higher up.  The areas you need to check include:

  • The cold water intake and the hot water output pipes
  • The pressure relief valve
  • The drain valve
  • The bottom of your tank

You should also check if your water pressure is too high.  That could be the reason your water heater is leaking.  The right inbound pressure for your tank should be at 80 psi or lower.  If the pressure is higher than 80, you should add a pressure reducing valve to your water heater.

Contact SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana. 

After you stop your water heater leak, you need to give us a call.  In the Central Illinois area, the company to call is SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana. We can help you repair the water damage that a leaking water heater can cause to your home.  Give one of our friendly staff a call today at 217-355-0077.  We are here to help!

Why Do Water Pipes Burst?

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Why Do Water Pipes Burst?

No one wants to deal with the damages, expenses, and messes caused by burst water pipes.  What causes these pipes to burst during the colder months? The basic answer is that the water coming into your house from the outside is much colder than it was during the summer months.  The cold water causes your pipes to contract and in weaker parts, can cause the pipe to burst. This happens because the pipe becomes unable to withhold the water pressures inside it. The freezing temperature of water is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The pipes inside your home, however, are protected from exterior freezing temperatures through your home's insulation. What this means is that on days where it is 32 degrees outside, it does not necessarily mean that your pipes will freeze.  Typically, your home's pipes begin to freeze when the outside temperature is at least 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  

How Long Does It Take For Pipes to Freeze and Burst?

As a general rule of thumb, in order for your home's water pipes to freeze, the outside temperature needs to be below 20 degrees for a total of at least six consecutive hours. How long it will take for your pipes to freeze and burst also depends on your home's insulation, and how deep inside your home your water pipes are located.  For example, if you live in a area that usually does not suffer from cold winters, chances are that your water pipes do not have that much insulation to protect them from extreme temperatures.  In such cases, the time that it may take for your pipes to freeze and burst may in fact be lower.

Precautions You Can Take To Prevent Your Water Pipes Bursting:

There are no practical ways of heating the ground temperature around your home, so stopping the contraction caused by the cold water is not something you can control.  While we can't stop the leaks caused by temperature drops, there are things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Here is a list of eight things that you can do to avoid water pipe bursts:

1. Keep Water Faucets Running

If it is extremely cold outside, always keep one or two faucets running slowly. Water moving through the system should prevent the line from freezing.

2. Direct Warm Air To Cold Areas Of Your Home

Often, the pipes that freeze are located near an outside wall or a window, so be sure to direct warm air to any colder areas of your home. 

3. Leave Your Cabinet Doors Open

If your kitchen sink is on an outside wall, be sure to leave cabinet doors open to allow warm air into the cabinet. This is one of the best ways to prevent burst sink pipes.  

4. Disconnect Your Hose From The Outside Faucet

Be sure to disconnect your hose from the outside faucet. If you leave your hose connected, water is not able to drain out of your hose bib and will freeze and break the device.

5. Install Heat Tape

There is a product called heat tape that can be installed and will warm pipes as needed during cold weather. While you could do this yourself, you may want to consult with a plumber to learn some best practices.

6. Seal Leaks That Allow Cold Air Into Your Home

Seal leaks that allow cold air into your home where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.

7. Check Your Home's Temperature

Prevent temperatures from dropping below 32 degrees in any area of your home where water lines are located.

Implementing the above measures will help prevent your water pipes from bursting.  Should you unfortunately experience a broken pipe, SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana is here to help!  Our highly trained and experienced staff is ready to spring into action 24/7 to serve you.  Call one of our friendly staff today at 217-355-0077.  MM

Space Heater Hazards

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

As colder weather starts to set in, SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana would like to encourage you to practice space heater safety and know the potential risks associated with home heating equipment. Home fires occur more in the winter months than any other time of year. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths and space heaters account for 4 out of 5 home heating fire deaths.

Follow these tips to stay safe while heating your home:

  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 ft. away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.
  • Portable space heaters should be turned OFF every time you leave the room and before going to bed.
  • Never plug a space heater in a power strip.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Never use an oven to heat your home.

For portable electric heaters:

  • Place them on a solid, flat surface, away from high traffic areas and doorways.
  • Use and purchase heaters with an automatic shut off so if they are tipped over they will shut off.
  • Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.
  • Inspect for cracked or damaged, broken plugs or loose connections; replace before using.

Heating Fire Facts:

  • Most home heating fire deaths (86%) involved stationary or portable space heaters.
  • The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (27%) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
  • The leading factor contributing to ignition for home heating fire deaths (54%) was heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding.
  • Nearly half (48%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.

In the case of fire and water damage, SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana and our team of experts  have the equipment, tools, training and expertise to take control of the situation and begin the water and fire damage restoration process before advanced secondary damage begins to take place. 

Winter Storm Prep Before It’s Too Late

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

It's that time of the year again, time to prepare ourselves and homes for the brutal cold of winter storms. It is not something anyone looks forward to but it is best to be prepared.  

Before Snowstorms and Extreme Cold

  • Make a family communication plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Make an emergency kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency.
  • Keep space heater safety in mind: Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes.

Prepare You Home

  • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
  • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
    • Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats
    • Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace
    • Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.
    • Plan to bring pets inside.
    • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in case you lose power.

SERVPRO National Leader Fire Restoration

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana will make the difference in the first 24 hours of a Fire disaster, weather to replace or restore your valuables!  SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana pride ourselves in a quick response and restoring your business to preloss condition. We understand there will be much uncertainty, stress and concerns about the future of the business.

We want to limit the amount of time your business operations and unexpected period of lost productivity and revenue is at risk. We understand that in addition to the fire damage there will be significant water damage from the firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems. Let us ensure your property and belongings are restored.

Here are some tips we would like to share:

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217) 355-0077 for all your fire restoration needs

One Small Leak May Cause Large Damages

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

The ice maker in your refrigerator is a wonderful invention.  It is great to have crushed or cubed ice at the push of a button.  No more ice trays to fill up or empty again.  But, just like everything these days, things can break down.  Ice makers can clog, stop producing ice and perhaps the worst, start leaking all over the freezer and floor. The leak could cause damage to flooring, floor joist, drywall, and even insulation.

Here is a check list to determine why your ice maker might be leaking:

Check the water lines & tighten connections

Break up ice jams

Clear out the condensation drains

Level the refrigerator and ice maker

Check your water filer & Dispenser

If you do find damage call the experts at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana (217) 355-0077.  We are here for you 24/7.