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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Out of the Ashes? What Can and Cannot Be Saved After a Fire

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

A house fire is a horrific event. Even if everyone in the home makes it out safely, the physical damage on the structure will be intense. That pain will only be matched by the acute mental and emotional anguish endured by those living there.

There are many factors that will determine what, if anything, can be saved once the flames are extinguished. Our technicians at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana are often surprised by what survives even the most intense fires. Books, wood furniture, tools, certain types of pottery and stoneware might have a life after the blaze. Even pictures and important family documents have been found fully intact under piles of ash and debris.

How does fire damage things and what needs to be thrown out?

Visible fire damage is not hard to spot. What will not be as evident is what has been impacted by extreme heat and flames. Even if there is no apparent physical damage, get rid of certain materials, including:

  • Insulation
  • All food that was in the house (both perishable and non-perishable)
  • Cosmetics
  • Medication
  • Cleaning supplies

While these kinds of items might have avoided visible fire damage, they may have come in contact with toxic chemicals. Combustion, the process of something burning, releases harmful chemicals like hydrogen cyanide, sulfur dioxide, and tar.

You cannot eat food that has been exposed to heat or the chemicals produced during combustion. Medication, cosmetics, and most cleaning supplies also react negatively with heat and must be discarded. Burned insulation no longer insulates, and it is impossible to clean the accumulated soot and smoke odor. However, our SERVPRO technicians remove the top three to four inches of insulation in case the problem only involves residue deposits.

How we can help?

Fire affects ALL materials at the site. Meticulous and detailed scoping is necessary before deciding what to throw and what, if anything, can be kept. Our SERVPRO technicians consider three main factors:

  • Can it be restored?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What is the sentimental or monetary value of the item?

After a thorough inspection of your property, our technicians can assess when items can be restored. Restoration, not replacement, is always what we strive for initially in an effort to save your belongings and to save you money.

What is a Moisture Meter?

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Technician using a moisture meter Technician using a moisture meter to take a reading

If you’ve ever had a restoration team repair flood damage to your home, you’ve probably encountered some sci-fi looking devices that the technicians pulled out and occasionally told you were saying something significant. It’s understandable if you wondered whether these are actually high-tech tools or just gimmicks meant to fool you into paying a contractor.

One of these mystery tools is called a “moisture meter” and today we want to explain them a little better so you know what our technicians are looking at. 

Obviously we can only vouch for our own technicians’ honesty, but we can re-assure you that moisture meters are a legitimate piece of technology used throughout the industry. In fact, consumer-grade moisture meters are widely available at hardware retailers or online.

How Do Moisture Meters Work?

There are two main types of moisture meters: resistance meters (pin meters) and capacitance meters (pinless).

Pin meters have two small sharp detectors that are inserted into wood. They detect moisture by measuring the electrical current that travels between the pins. This is a fast and proven method of measuring moisture in wood, but it will slightly damage the material that’s being inspected.

Capacitance meters are good for using on materials that can’t or shouldn’t be penetrated with pins. They work by creating an electromagnetic field that is affected by the moisture in the material.

How Do Technicians Use Moisture Meters?

Your SERVPRO technicians will make an initial moisture reading during their first visit to your building. At that time they’ll make a determination about the best drying method depending on the moisture level and material that’s being restored, and then they’ll get the restoration process started.

Every day after that, a technician will visit your site to take follow-up readings. They’ll use the same moisture meters on the same material to ensure consistency, so if they used a capacitance meter on the wall during the initial inspection, they’ll use a capacitance meter in every other reading.

If you have experienced water damage, contact SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217)355-0077. 

Sump Pump Maintenance For Your Champaign/Urbana Home

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

A sump pump is one of the most important parts of basement plumbing equipment. It makes sure that any accumulated water in your home and around its foundation is promptly pumped out and away from your home to a storm sewer or containment pond, so it doesn't allow your basement to flood, damaging your possessions. At least, that's what it is supposed to do. If your sump pump is not regularly and properly tested, then you can't guarantee that it will come through when you need it most.

  1. Inspect the pump and its outlet pipe

Start the inspection by listening. If there is excessive groundwater around the foundation, the pump should turn itself on, pumping out the water and turning itself off again. Next, remove the cover and look inside the sump pit. If the level of water is low, there is a high chance the pump is working properly. Examine the sump pump for any signs of external damage, as well as any obstructions or debris in the surrounding pit. You will also want to see if the outlet pipe that carries water from the pump to outside your home is free of any blockage. And the check valve is working properly.

  1. Check the electrical components

Your sump pump should be plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, which protects it from a potential short while it is submerged. Consider getting yourself a battery-based backup pump for your sump pump that will kick on if your primary sump pump fails.

  1. Test the sump pump

Test your sump pump by pouring in five gallons of water. The pump should then turn on once the water level reaches a predetermined level below the basement floor. If the pump doesn’t turn on, it could be either clogged or damaged, and you should call a licensed plumber for help.

  1. Clean and maintain your sump pump

The typical lifespan of a sump pump is 10 years but if your sump pump is running often, you should consider replacing it every 5 to 7 years. Inspect and test your sump pump at least once a year. To be safe, check your sump pump before a big storm hits your area.

If you experience a loss due to your sump pump failing, don't hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217)355-0077.

Indicators of Water Damage in Your Basement

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Technician reading moisture levels A SERVPRO technician reading the moisture levels in a basement

A basement is a versatile, utilitarian space for many homes. You can get creative and finish it up for extra living space or a mother-in-law apartment, you can turn it into a man cave or a she-shed or you can use it to store those old trophies from high school you just can’t bear to get rid of.

However basements come with a built-in risk, namely the risk of water damage. This is due to the fact that they are built into the ground and thus surrounded by moisture at all times. Even the healthiest home is prone to intake some of that moisture at some point.

While it’s not a guarantee that you’ll come up against this problem, it’s certainly more likely than not, and you should know what to look for regarding basement water damage. Below, we will look at some of the signs that water damage is present in your basement—should you realize you need further action, we’re right here to assist anytime.

What to Look for to Assess Water Damage

Unpleasant, musky odors. The water that gets into the basement could very well be clean water, but give it a little time to marinate and seep into the carpet, and it will begin to give off the familiar eau de basement. Many people assume this is just how basements smell, but that’s not the case. This smell will only arise when mold and mildew are present in the environment, a sure indicator that your basement is damp. Even if you can’t see mold yet, your nose is trying to tell you to find where water is coming in.

Flaking paint on masonry or walls. Yes, the paint can may say that it’s waterproof, but what that really means is that it will hold off the signs of a water leak longer than regular paint, but it will eventually give way, revealing an even bigger, built-up problem. If you’ve got bubbles and cracks, you’ve got a water issue.

Foundational cracks. Water damage over time can cause a fault line to form in your foundation. Cracks can show up in the floor, the ceiling or in your walls, and they often indicate that uneven pressure is being applied to your home’s structure, possibly due to a cracked foundation. Hairline cracks are no big worry, but if they become larger, they should be examined immediately.

If you notice any of these issues or are dealing with a water loss, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217)355-0077.

Why Disaster Planning Is Important For Commercial Buildings

12/21/2021 (Permalink)

Do you know why most businesses shut down when hit by a disaster? It is because they do not have an emergency plan to deal with these disasters. Among the businesses that survive, almost all of them have a working and effective emergency plan. This is why planning for a disaster is extremely important for commercial buildings.

Importance of Disaster Planning For Commercial Buildings

Protecting a commercial building from natural disasters is just as important as protecting the place that you live in. If the building is not prepared to face these disasters, its whole operation will shut down. As a result, the business will face huge losses as well. According to an estimate, 50% of the businesses shut down when a natural disaster hits them because they do not have an effective plan to deal with these disasters. Not investing in an emergency plan is one of the huge mistakes that businesses make. It can cost you a lot more than you ever imagined.

So, if you do not want your business to be among the 50% that shuts down, you need to make sure that the commercial building where the operations of your business are taking place has an effective emergency plan.

What Will Happen to Your Commercial Building If You Do Not Secure It?

When your office is building is secured against disasters, it will ensure the smooth operation of your business. Want to know what will happen to your business if you do not take the necessary steps to secure it against disasters? Keep reading then.

  • Your Building’s Exterior Will Get Damaged

The exterior of the building will be the first thing that will get damaged when hit by a storm. Therefore, it is extremely important that the roof, doors, and windows of your commercial building are prepared to face any unsuitable weather. If you have not reinforced the doors and the windows with any sturdy form of protection, make sure that you invest in it.

  • The Inventory And The Equipment Will Get Flooded

In areas where flooding is common, you must take the necessary steps to keep the office warehouse secure and dry. If you have not taken any preventive measures for it, it can cost you greatly as many important inventories are kept in the warehouse. When the level of the water will rise, the entire inventory will get damaged. Additionally, the equipment placed on the ground level will get damaged as well. This is why you need to keep the place secure and dry.

How To Ensure That Your Commercial Building Is Safe From Disasters?

To make sure that your commercial building is ready to face any unpleasant circumstances, you need to keep it maintained. Evaluate all the systems of the building on regular basis. Make sure that the heating, conditioning, and ventilation systems are working effectively.

You can also partner with an expert company that will help you ensure that all the features of the building are in working condition and the safety equipment is installed correctly or not. So, if you need expert advice, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217)355-0077.

3 Water Heater Noises That May Indicate a Problem

12/21/2021 (Permalink)

The water heater in your Champaign/Urbana home can be a vital piece of equipment when it comes to providing your family with hot water for cleaning and bathing. Despite its importance, you may not give it much thought unless it acts up. The sounds a unit makes can be an indication of a problem, and there are several different noises you can listen for if you suspect a malfunction.

1. Screaming

This sound can be startling, especially if it happens suddenly. However, there is usually no cause to be alarmed. A screaming water heating unit may have loose valves that need to be adjusted or tightened. You may be able to chase down the noise by listening closely when someone turns on the water in the kitchen or bathroom.

2. Banging

Noisy pipes can be common in older homes, and banging sounds that emit from your water heater usually occur if the unit is not bolted down properly or if pipes move or jerk suddenly when the water in your home is turned on or off. Over time, this movement may cause damage to the pipes or the tank itself. You can prevent these problems by bolting down the pipes and the tank or by updating your home's plumbing.

3. Crackling or Popping

If you hear crackling, rumbling or popping as your water heats up, this may be a sign that sediment has collected inside your unit. This can be especially true of older units or those that have never been serviced. Having your heater inspected and cleaned can improve its efficiency and ensure that small problems do not get any worse.

If your water heater is noisier than usual, it may be trying to tell you something. Having the unit inspected and maintained can keep it running like new and quiet any troublesome noises.

Fixing Leaky Pipes in Your Champaign/Urbana Home

12/20/2021 (Permalink)

It’s no secret that water damage is bad, not only can it cost a lot of money to fix if left unmitigated, but it can also lead to the growth of potentially harmful molds that can cause health effects. Mold needs water to grow and can grow quickly if things like leaks and water damage aren’t fixed quickly, and that’s why it’s important to check for leaky pipes, and if you find one, it’s important to know how to fix it.

  1. The first things you can do when fixing a leaky pipe is see where the water is coming from. If it’s coming from a loose coupling nut (the thing that holds pipes together), then it’s pretty easy to grab a wrench and tighten the nut, fixing your leak.
  2. If the leak is caused by a crack in the pipe itself, you will need to use plumber’s tape, self-fusing silicone tape, or epoxy putty to fix it. These are easy to apply, just make sure the water is turned off then wrap the pipe if you’re using tape, or just apply putty to the pipe and give it some time to dry.

After fixing the pipe, make sure to clean up any standing water, and check back every day or every few days to make sure there is no more water or leaking.

If you’ve had water damage or mold growth due to a leaky pipe, call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217) 355-0077 and our professionals with take care of everything.

Storm Safety Tips in Champaign/Urbana

12/13/2021 (Permalink)

We often see cumulonimbus clouds in the sky in Champaign/Urbana as we gaze east. These clouds can produce thunderstorms. Although thunderstorms are typically about fifteen miles in diameter and last about thirty minutes, they can be dangerous.

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana responds to storm damage emergencies throughout the year and has seen the damage strong winds can cause to structures. Here are some thunderstorm facts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

Severe Thunderstorms

  • Severe thunderstorms produce large hail or winds of at least 58 miles per hour
  • Some wind gusts can exceed 100 miles per hour and produce tornado-like damage
  • When a severe thunderstorm threatens, stay inside a strong structure
  • Mobile home occupants should go to a more permanent structure

Lightning

  • All thunderstorms produce lightning
  • Get inside a building or enclosed vehicle
  • If caught in an open area with lightning around, crouch down immediately! Out your hands on your knees, but do not lie down on the ground.
  • Do not use a telephone or electrical appliance. A nearby lightning strike can travel through the phone or power lines right into the home.
  • Avoid seeking shelter beneath lone trees

Call Us Today!

When you have a storm damage emergency, SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is on-call and ready to respond 24-hours a day. Call us today at (217)-355-0077.

Why SERVPRO? Let's hear what our Customers have to say!

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, we pride ourselves on our professional and respectful production team members. We aim to give our customers peace of mind when they experience an unfortunate disaster. Here is what some of our local customers have to say about our services:

“Had water in the basement. Tried drying it up myself first but ended up needing to call SERVPRO after talking to insurance. They were out the next day with fans and even did the construction work on the drywall repairs. Very happy with the service”

-Terry L

“SERVPRO was very professional and courteous while dealing with our wet basement after a flood. They told us everything every step of the way. We will definitely use them if needed in the future.”

-Jennifer M

“High quality work. Friendly and very professional workers.”

-Roy J

“Taylor with SERVPRO came out and gave us an estimate for a tough clean up job. We also had another company give one that was not just higher, but also seemed out of line and "overkill" for the job. Their representative was ok but didn't seem as knowledgeable and honest. Taylor was friendly, professional and courteous and we felt confident about what he said would be needed. The job was done quickly and the results were great! All of their staff were a pleasure to work with and if we ever need such services again, we will definitely use SERVPRO!”

-Jay N

Understanding How SERVPRO Helps With Claims and Disaster Response

12/6/2021 (Permalink)

No business owner has the time or wants to deal with a disaster. The interruption alone creates enough complications. Instead of dealing with claim services on your own, wouldn’t it be better to have someone to help you through the process? A disaster response company, such as SERVPRO, is a perfect partner for dealing with the aftermath and stress. These companies help business owners and operators, like you, in at least three ways.

3 Ways SERVPRO Helps with Claims 

  1. Rapid Response

After a fire, flood, or any major crisis, you need a rapid emergency response. The increasing damage does not stop after putting out a fire or turning off the water. You must remove all contributing factors. Mitigation companies do not waste any time getting to your facility and putting a stop to the crisis. After the first responders move out, the mitigation team moves in.

  1. Intermediary Between Insurers and Clients

The claim services department of nearly all insurance companies does not make the process of filing easy. You must adhere to numerous rules and cross every T and dot every I. As an emergency relief partner, SERVPRO can help mediate between the insurer and yourself, making the process more comfortable for everyone.

  1. Preparation and Prevention Tips

The primary reason to call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is to mitigate and restore your building. However, another benefit of the partnership is getting a property assessment. Expert mitigation practitioners will walk you through different preparation and prevention suggestions, ensuring your awareness of potential problems and how to circumvent them.

No business owner can afford extensive business interruption. Hiring a professional mitigation and restoration service can limit the recovery timeline. However, a company will also receive a partnership with claims services and future planning beyond a quick response. Having a knowledgeable and responsible team to help you through a crisis is priceless and often necessary to ensure a smooth recovery.

Smoke Alarms In Homes Save Lives

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Image of Smoke alarm being tested Regular testing of your smoke alarm can make all the difference during a fire

When installed and properly maintained, smoke alarms can dramatically reduce the risk of injuries caused by fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

Compared to reported home fires with no smoke alarms or automatic extinguishing systems (AES) present, the death rate per 1,000 reported fires was as follows: 

  • 35 percent lower when battery-powered smoke alarms were present, but AES was not, 
  • 51 percent lower when smoke alarms with any power source were present but AES was not, 
  • 69 percent lower when hardwired smoke alarms were present but AES was not, and 
  • 91 percent lower when hardwired smoke alarms and sprinklers were present

The National Fire Protection Association also recommends the following:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and in every bedroom. Do not install the smoke alarm where it could be blocked or damaged.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen and shower to prevent false alarms. They should be at least around 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
    Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. 
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year, though twice would be best. Daylight savings times in March and November can be good dates to set for this.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. Newer alarms on the market also offer carbon monoxide detection as well as voice alarms, which have shown to be more effective in waking children up.

Flood Odor and the Removal Process

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Flood water is typically a mixture of overflowing rivers and sewage loss. It is no surprise, then, that floods leave behind a significant odor when they recede, especially when you consider the addition of mold growth. For most homeowners, the elimination of the smell is the most substantial part of the removal process; however, it can be overwhelming to figure out just what to do. The following four steps should help ease your mind.

1. Wet Vac and Dry Flooded Areas

The first step to removing the odor in your home is the same as the first step for restoration: remove any excess water and dry flooded areas thoroughly. To speed up this process, you’ll want to have on hand several wet-vacs, industrial fans, and air movers. In addition to these tools, you should open up all doors and windows to help ventilate your home.

2. Remove Affected Materials

Beyond removing excess water and drying out damaged areas, you’ll want to remove all affected materials, including carpeting, draperies, drywall, and insulation. Any of these items that are left and may contain moisture can lead to further mold growth, which will contribute to both the odor and other health effects.

3. Steam Clean and Disinfect Everything

Once your home is thoroughly dry and affected materials have been removed, it is time to clean and disinfect everything. You will want to rent steam cleaners and purchase several mops and rags. You can begin by mopping all the floors and wiping down all walls with your choice of disinfectant. You can follow this by steam cleaning any remaining carpeting, draperies, or furniture. After you have done all the scrubbing, you should also disinfect any plumbing fixtures and ductwork.

4. Call an Expert

There is no reason to have to go it alone.

The odor that occurs after flooding is a combination of sewage and mold growth. While it may seem unbearable and resilient, the steps above should help you remove the odor and restore your home to some degree. If you are unable to get rid of the odor yourself, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217)-355-0077

How Can a Champaign/Urbana Office Remove Fire Odors Before Reopening?

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Can Handle Any Size Fire Damage Cleanup in a Champaign/Urbana Business

One of the biggest post-fire cleanup concerns property owners have is regarding the time frame needed for restoration before reopening. SERVPRO technicians can estimate the downtime necessary to enable a safe reopening for the business.

The odors left behind after fire damage in a Champaign/Urbana business can be significant; because soot can be caustic to surfaces and airborne particles can cause issues, it is crucial to get them removed before reopening.  SERVPRO technicians have a multi-layered approach to fire clean-up, which includes:

  • The use of professional cleaning agents on surfaces
  • Controlled demolition techniques as needed
  • Odor control applications to remove fire scents from the structure and contents

SERVPRO Has a Large Tool Box of Equipment and Products

SERVPRO techs have different types of fire odor removal processes depending on the part of the business getting treated. Hydroxyl generators are beneficial for eradicating airborne particulates that cause pungent odors. This method of odor control is safe for use around people and plants. When the technicians use thermal fogging to neutralize odors, the building needs to be cleared of people, and the technician wears protective clothing. The heated solutions permeate porous items such as reception area furnishings and carpet, where it latches onto smoke molecules and eradicates them. 

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana has the training and experience to handle any size fire damage mitigation in commercial properties. The technicians work fast and efficiently to get your business back to, "Like it never even happened."

What Is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned?

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

Unforeseen events, such as dangerous weather, accidents, equipment failure, or threats to our health - both natural and manmade - are going to happen. And as a smart business owner you know it is vital to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and that’s where SERVPRO comes in. 

SERVPRO has always been committed to getting the homes, businesses, and possessions of our clients as clean as possible, no matter what type of event might have occurred. We are experts at handling contamination that can come about from flooding, air quality issues that develop after a fire, and biohazards both natural and manmade, just to name a few. 

Due to the events over the past year we have chosen to add the statement “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” to our communications to let our clients and the general public know that SERVPRO is the company they can go to in the event that they are experiencing any threats to their health or safety.

What is “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned”?

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is our defensive proactive viral pathogen cleaning program; it goes far beyond standard janitorial cleaning practices. With many years of experience in biochemical spill remediation and decontamination, you can trust SERVPRO to bring a higher standard of cleanliness to the places you do business.

Our trademark cleaning system is grounded in our unique 3 C’s:

  • Consult: Not all businesses are the same, so we’ll tailor a bespoke cleaning program based on the unique needs of each facility.
  • Clean: Based on the agreed plan, an expert deep clean is initiated using our proprietary EPA-Approved Hospital-Grade cleaning solutions and always adhering to the leading level of cleaning and decontamination standards set by the CDC.
  • Certify: We place digital emblems and other collateral to represent our commitment to the comfort and security of our employees, customers, and communities.


SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana  is a team of industry professionals who maintain high-quality standards in every area. Our technicians are highly trained and certified. In areas ranging from commercial property cleaning to document restoration, you can be assured that you are getting the best in the business when you work with us. We handle crime and trauma scenes, biohazards, sewage spills, contamination, mold remediation, and more. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!

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

Hardwood Floor Repair? SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana can do that

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Hardwood floors look stunning when running throughout commercial businesses, but they come at a price. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to keep your business’ hardwood floors in good condition for as long as you can. Water, fire, storm, and other kinds of damage can all negatively affect the quality of your business’ hardwood floors. However, sometimes, there’s no way to predict a flood, fire, or storm that will threaten the integrity of your hardwood floors. Luckily, SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is standing by, always ready to help.

How Are Hardwood Floors Damaged?

Damage to hardwood floors is usually instigated by intense heat or excessive moisture. Your business’ hardwood floors can be exposed to these elements in fire, water, or storm damage. If the damage is significant, they may require replacement.

Heat Damage

When exposed to intense heat, hardwood floorboards tend to shrink, which can cause gaps to form in the floor. On the other hand, if your floors have sustained solely soot or smoke damage, they can often be salvaged and restored. In order to prevent hardwood floor damage due to heat, be sure to prevent the temperature from climbing too high inside of your commercial business.

Moisture Damage

While intense heat causes hardwood floors to shrink, excess moisture causes floorboards to expand, as they absorb the water. In their expanded state, hardwood floorboards can buckle, become concave or convex (also known as cupping and crowning), and even come loose. Another danger when hardwood floors are exposed to moisture is mold growth. The moisture residue stemming from water damage or high humidity levels inside of your commercial business can both produce ideal breeding grounds for mold. Moisture damage and mold growth can both be prevented in your commercial business by maintaining low humidity levels indoors. Should you discover mold growing on your hardwood floors, be sure to give us a call and take advantage of our Commercial Mold Remediation services.

Let Us Be Your “One-Stop-Shop”

While we’re known here at SERVPRO for our commercial mitigation and restoration services, it is important to note that we also offer an extensive list of building services, such as hardwood floor repair. We take pride in being our customers’ “one-stop-shop”, as they can trust us to take care of the entire job from start to finish, instead of complicating the process by going through multiple companies. We understand that damage of any kind to your commercial business, whether it be water, fire, storm, or mold, disrupts business and interrupts schedules. Trust SERVPRO to make it “Like it never even happened,” after any emergency by letting us handle both the mitigation and rebuild processes. Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana today at 217-355-0077 or check out all of our building services to learn about the many ways in which we can help restore your business after an emergency.

Taking An Interest in Safety

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of the decontamination trailer Inside of the decontamination trailer

SERVPRO® of Champaign/Urbana would like to thank Corteva Agriscience and Lt. Brian Ball for including us in their emergency decontamination response training at the St. Joseph Production Facility. We were able to sit in during the unveiling of a new emergency decontamination trailer.

This trailer can be brought to worksites and is a useful tool in the event of a contamination. With onboard showers, the trailer allows affected workers to quickly begin the process of decontamination, right in the fields. The Corteva Agriscience team explained the proper procedure for decontamination and showed all of the equipment involved in the process.

 Lt. Brian Ball, the Regional Hazardous Materials Team Leader, explained how firefighting crews use this same equipment when they are dealing with hazardous materials. After hearing about all of the situations where a tool like this is necessary, it makes perfect sense why Corteva would want to own one and to have their staff trained on using it. Thank you again to Corteva and Lt. Ball for involving SERVPRO® of Champaign/Urbana. We are excited for the new decontamination trailer and we hope you never have to use it.

Why choose SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana?

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Fast Response

 We take pride in our fast response time. When our customers need us the most we respond quickly in order to mitigate further damages on their property. Our team is trusted by insurance carriers, property owners, and property management companies as we have a proven track record working with them bringing covered residential and/or commercial properties back to preloss conditions after experiencing a property disaster. 

Trained Technicians

The insurance process can get a bit confusing for those who have not experienced a property loss. During this process, proper documentation is vital to the overall outcome of your claim. Working with an IICRC certified technician will ultimately provide the best claims experience. We understand the standard when it comes to restoring your property. We stand by our customers to ensure they get access to all of the services their policy covers. With proper documentation and standard compliance, we can bring your property back to preloss condition without issue.

National Resources

What makes SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana so great? Well, that's an easy answer. Our access to resources. Did you know SERVPRO has more drying equipment in its network than any other restoration company on the planet? With almost 2000 franchises across the nation, we have access to more tools and equipment for any size project. Imagine someone calling our office to perform a one million square feet water extraction.

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. 

Who do you turn to for help SERVPRO

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

What if you had fire damage and need repair and restoration to a Commercial or Residential building? You may possibly need a board up, contents cleaned and stored. If it is not a total loss, you would need to remove soot, clean, and
deodorize.

Storm came through with lots of rain and high winds and left water in your
finished basement. Your contents are floating and your small shop vacuum cannot keep up. The water is wicking up the painted drywall and may have gotten into the insulation.

All the above has happened while you were out of town for 2 weeks and the moisture in the walls and flooring has caused mold.


There is only one phone call that can make this all go away, SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana (217) 335-0077. Our highly trained and caring Technicians will take care of you. SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many national and local insurance companies. So when there is disaster call the grandmaster- SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana

What to do during a power outage

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Power Outage Power Outage

When unexpected weather strikes and causes it is important for everyone to be prepared for a power outage that may last for several hours or days after a heavy storm.

Before a Power Outage:

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, casa, and first aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery-powered devices.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door is located and know how to operate it.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your community.

During a Power Outage:

  • Avoid using candles which can cause fires. Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors.
  • Only use generators away from your home, and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system. Consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing a generator.

After a Power Outage:

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures of 40*F (4*C) for two hours or more. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • If food in the freezer is colder than 40*F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medication having spoiled.
  • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. 
  • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.

The science behind drying a space

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Drying Science Drying Science

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its pre loss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana is trained in the science of drying and follows strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of secondary damages, like mold. If your home or business suffers water damage, SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor weather the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment

What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are we, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material—but only if the air is, indeed, drier. The only problem is, nature takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana has the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces, inside walls (pictured below), and much more. SERVPRO also uses state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying process of your home or business.

SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana has the professional trained staff and equipment to help make your water damage “Like it never even happened.”

Why SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana for commercial cleaning services

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Cleaning

SERVPRO offers the unique value of a one-stop resource for all your commercial and damage repair needs. First and foremost, we offer a variety of cleaning services, including:

  • Air Ducts and HVAC
  • Biohazard and Sewage
  • Trauma and Crime Scene
  • Carpet and Upholstery
  • Drapes and Blinds
  • Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
  • Odor Removal and Deodorization
  • Vandalism

 When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana for prompt service. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look it's very best. In addition, if our commercial cleaning team finds signs of damage from water or mold during our services, we can not only alert your business promptly but can work with you to address the situation, regardless of how substantial the damage is.


Call us here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana for help with all your commercial cleaning needs. We are experienced in cleanup after water and fire damage, and mold remediation is one of our specialties! Our phone number is (217)355-0077.

Crawl Space have Water ?

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

Crawl Space Crawl Space

Finding water in the crawl space under your house is more than a mere inconvenience.  Standing water and even high humidity under the house can cause mold to grow, which poses a significant threat to the health of your family.  When the ground beneath your house gets soaked with water, rising moisture and water vapor increase the humidity below your home, potentially causing lasting damage.  The presence of water long-term can make your beams or posts rot, weakening the structure of your home.  Another detrimental effect of standing water below your house is the potential proliferation of pests such as carpenter ants and termites.  Water in the crawl space underneath your house has several possible causes.  It may be a result of poor drainage, sewage backup or even heavy rain.  However the water got there, the important thing is to quickly find the source and get to the bottom of the issue.

To check for water pooling under your house, find the opening to your crawl space.  This may be a hatch outside in the exterior wall surrounding the crawlspace or a hatch in your floor, perhaps inside a closet or scullery.  It is recommended that you wear old clothes, as you may have to lie down to move around in the narrow space.  Take a flashlight along  with you as you take a close look at every area of your crawl space, including the ground below and the floor of the house above.  Check for any sign of puddling or standing water on the ground.  On the wooden posts and structural members overhead, you may notice wood rot or discoloration caused by mildew.  In some homes, the crawlspace can have narrow spots or corners that will require you to be agile in your movements.  Be sure to check along every wall and enter every corner to ensure you do not miss any section of your crawlspace.  Should you find standing water, it's crucial to figure out the source of the water intrusion.  Could it be a leaky pipe under the floor of the house, or groundwater that seeps up from the water table or flows in from the ground outside?  Groundwater entering your crawl space is more likely at particular times of the year, especially during rainy seasons.   If you inspect your crawl space and notice water after a spell of wet weather, this may be the reason.  In many parts of the country, the water table is quite high, and the rainy season can cause water to rise up into standing puddles in low areas of the crawlspace.  If the water in your crawl space does not appear to be related to the weather or changing seasons, you may have a leak on your hands.  If you notice that the standing water is directly under a bathroom or plumbing fixture in your home, you are most likely dealing with a leak in your plumbing.

Water in your crawl space is a sign of a potential leak.  Even a little water could be an indication of a serious problem with your plumbing, which could cause severe water damage to your home and chronic health issues for your family.  If you notice water in your crawl space, it is best to call to investigate the problem and act immediately. SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is here to help!  Call one of our friendly team members at (217) 355-0077 today!  MM

Repair or Replace ?

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

water damage water damage

Water damage is one of the many problems that we don’t want to experience in our home or office.  Besides the damage water can cause to your furniture and upholstery,  the clean-up process can be intense.  Should you experience water damage due to a busted pipe or storm, don't do all the clean-up yourself.  Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, we are here to help!  Water can penetrate through the materials inside your home or office.  The more these materials absorb water, the more damage it can cause.  SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is the restoration company to call for many reasons.

  • QUICK EXTRACTION OF WATER

Our team is highly skilled and trained to assess the condition of your property, take the damaged items out, clean up the area, and restore your property back to the original condition in a short period of time.  On top of that, going into an area with water damage can be risky especially if electrical outlets or wires have come in contact with water.  This poses a real danger of fire or electrocution.  Our experienced staff  have handled many water damage cases and are best suited to spot potential hazards.

  • REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE AND LOSS

Minimizing the damage caused by the incident is one of the major advantages of hiring SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana. A quick response can go a long way in saving your property. We can dry out and clean your property faster; reducing the possibility of mold growth and mildew.  They can also help you determine which of your belongings are still salvageable and which needs to be set aside for your insurance agent to review.

PREVENTS HEALTH RISKS

When there is water damage, there is the possibility of bacterial growth and contamination which may cause infections and other health risks.  Using SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana will not just restore your property back to its original condition, but will also make sure that your health is not at risk. 

HELPS DEAL WITH INSURANCE ISSUES

Water damage incidents can be overwhelming.  You need to make sure that your property is protected, ensure that you and your family’s health is protected, and file an insurance claim.  Using SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana will help ensure  that your plate is not too full of the things that you need to do. We can even assist you in filing your insurance claims as well as talk with the adjuster. 

CLEAN AND RESTORE YOUR PROPERTY

The main reason why you would want to SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is that we have the ability and capacity to clean up the damage caused by water in your property quickly. We have the right equipment and tools to detect and dry moisture, even in the places that you can’t easily see or find.  Give one of our friendly staff a call today at 217-355-0077!  SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is here to help!  

Winter Storm Damage What To Do

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Even if the blizzard was so destructive that damage occurred to your home regardless of all the preventive measures you had taken, there is no room for panic. Just keep your wits about you and make no hasty decisions. SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is here to help get your life back like it never even happened.

First, ensure the safety of all family members; make sure no one enters a damaged area in a desperate attempt to rescue any of your household items. No property loss is comparable to having a loved one injured. Find shelter where everyone will be safe and warm, like an intact room in your home or a neighbor’s, friend’s or relative’s place if the damage was extensive or some danger (such as fire hazard) lurks in your residence.

Contact your insurance agent immediately after the storm is over. Have a representative of the company come over for estimates at the earliest opportunity and ask for required documents. Provide all the relevant information and gather convincing evidence of the ruins caused by the winter storm.  

Take photos and videos of any water damage inside your home or wind damage on the outside, before you have touched anything. Rescue your provisions from the basement or your belongings from a flooded room before they are completely ruined. Then, make the necessary repairs to prevent further damage by draining water, covering broken windows, block leakages, etc.

If the damage to your home is substantial, contact SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana at 217-355-0077 we are here to help in your time of need to get you back in your home and life faster.

12 Days of Safety

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

12 Days of Safety 12 Days of Safety

On the first day of Christmas, there was a sight to see, a four-alarm that engulfed our Christmas tree. The holidays are a joyful time to spend with family and friends, but a careless mistake could put a real damper on your festivities. Every year, an average of almost 300,000 adults sustain injuries during the holiday season! Make it your aim to avoid becoming a statistic—stay safe this season and all year long, starting with these twelve days of safety tips.

1. Never leave a burning candle unattended

On the first day of safety, we remind you to extinguish any lit candles when you leave the room, your house, or go to sleep. According to an NFPA study, candles start more than one-third of all home decoration structure fires, and most of those fires occur in December. 

2. Turn off tree lights, decorations, and portable space heaters when away or asleep

Did you know that there are more than 25,000 residential fires a year caused by space heaters and more than 200 caused by tree lights and decorations? On the second day of safety, we remind you that in order to avoid these tragedies, be sure to unplug all of your lights, decorations, and portable space heaters when not in the same room. 

3. Never throw wrapping paper in the fire

On the third day of safety, we remind you of three reasons why you should never burn wrapping paper: 

  1. Traveling embers. Paper burned in the fireplace may release small pieces which can land on a rug or carpet, setting it on fire. These smoldering fragments could even float up the chimney and out onto your roof or lawn.
  2. Flame height. Flames from burning paper tend to burn higher than wood flames. They could reach combustible material in your fireplace, causing a chimney fire.
  3. Toxic fumes. When ignited, paper with colored print or glitter can release harmful gases.

4. Only use outdoor and indoor lights as indicated on their packaging

On the fourth day of safety, we remind you to always use lights certified by an approved testing facility, such as UL or ETL. Outdoor-use lights are specifically made to operate safely in cold and wet environments, while indoor-use lights are tested to ensure they won’t cause a tree fire. 

5. Don’t overload circuits, extension cords, or electrical sockets

On the fifth day of safety, we remind you that overloading circuits, extension cords, or electrical sockets could cause a fire. Space out your decorations so they’re not drawing electricity from one outlet. Never plug multiple extension cords together and always use polarized or three-prong cords rated to handle the electrical current your devices need. 

6. Never leave cooking or baking unattended

Most people don’t realize that cooking fires are the number-one cause of home fires and that, as reported by the NFPA, unattended cooking equipment is a factor in one-third of reported home cooking fires and half of the associated deaths.  On the sixth day of safety, we remind you to be especially careful when you’re using the stove or cooktop and while frying foods. Always stay in the kitchen—even if you’re baking or roasting—and set a timer to remind yourself to check on cooking food.

7. Poinsettias and mistletoe are poisonous, so be sure to keep them away from children and pets

On the seventh day of safety, we remind you that although poinsettias are unlikely to cause serious problems if touched or ingested in small amounts, they could still cause an itchy rash or intestinal upset. However, other holiday plants are highly toxic, such as mistletoe, holly, or amaryllis. Keep them all out of reach from children and pets.

8. Check your smoke detector battery

On the eighth day of safety, we remind you that smoke detectors should be tested regularly and the batteries replaced at least once or twice a year. Mark your calendar to check your alarm during the holidays. A working smoke alarm cuts your risk of home fire death in half.  

9. Water backup and damage  

With so many holiday gatherings this time of year, your bathroom may be getting more use than normal. Toilets can only handle so much with a single flush, so with bigger jobs, try flushing the toilet twice. If it isn't toilet paper, it shouldn't be flushed down your toilet.   

10. Choose a fire-resistant artificial tree and be sure to water a natural tree daily

On average, 240 house fires are caused by Christmas trees each year. To prevent this from happening to you, we remind you on the tenth day of safety to exercise caution when placing, decorating, and maintaining either kind of tree. Position your tree at least three feet away from a heat source and remember to keep natural trees hydrated.

11. Maintain wood burning fireplaces and chimneys

Nothing is cozier than relaxing by the fire, but it’s especially important to keep your wood burning fireplace clean because creosote—a flammable smoke residue and serious fire hazard—can build up inside. Use the holiday season, like the eleventh day of safety, as a reminder to clean your fireplaces, flues, and chimneys before using them. 

12. Don’t share holiday plans or vacations on social media

Social media is a great way to share what you and your family are doing for the holidays. However, if you are leaving your home for an extended period of time, we remind you on the twelfth day of safety not to put your plans or pictures on social media until after you return. You could be unintentionally inviting thieves to break into your house while you’re away. 

From our SERVPRO family, we wish you a wonderful, warm, and safe holiday. For all your emergency needs SERVPRO is #HereToHelp

Happy Holidays from all of us at SERVPRO!  

Candle with Care

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Candle Safety Candle With Care

Candles may be pretty to look at but they are a cause of home fires — and home fire deaths. Remember, a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn.

Candle FACTS:

  • December is the peak month for home candle fires.
  • More than 1/3 of home candle fires started in the bedroom
  • Three of every five candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle

If you do burn candles, make sure that you...

  • Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Keep candles at least 1 foot away from anything that can burn.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily.
  • Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
  • Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down, discard before it gets too close to the holder  
  • Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.
  • Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage.

Should disaster strike and you become a victim of a home fire, call SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana at 217-355-0077 we are Here To Help and Faster To Any Disaster.

Winter Storm Damage

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Winter Storm Winter Storm

Cold weather poses a distinct challenge to property owners. Ice, snow, and sleet can play havoc with your roof, siding, driveways, and walkways. Illinois’s frequent freeze and thaw cycles can lead to frozen pipes, leaks, and other property emergencies. We even have to deal with the occasional unseasonal warm up, followed by thunderstorms and tornado warnings. Winter storm damage is nothing to laugh about — and quick action to deal with the damage is essential to protecting your investment in your property.

Common Types of Winter Storm Damage You Might Face

It’s easy to imagine getting snowed in or having to deal with slippery surfaces due to ice, but there are actually many potential emergencies caused by winter storms. It’s a good idea to know some common disasters you might be up against before a storm arrives.

  • Flooding— Cold snaps and freezes can damage pipes and cause them to burst, leading to water damage and flooded areas that need emergency restoration.
  • Fires— Whether it’s due to unattended fireplaces, improperly cleaned chimneys, or space heaters plugged into overloaded outlets or left too near flammable objects, fires can often happen during a winter storm.
  • Roof leaks— Frozen ice that melts, ice dams that block drainage pipes, heavy snow and ice breaking through shingles, hail strikes, and even high winds from winter storms can all be harsh on your roof, leaving your property exposed to moisture damage.

SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana has helped hundreds of commercial business owners and property managers deal with disasters related to winter storms. Years of storm restoration projects — even on our very own property — have taught us that when property owners plan ahead and know what to do fast, it lessens the effects of the disaster. Call SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana at 217-355-0077 let us make your disaster "Like it never even happened."   

Soot Happens

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

The damage caused by soot can result in smoke marks, streaks and discolorations of walls and ceilings as well as health issues. Soot travels quickly and penetrates deep into surfaces.  Bedding, personal belongings, clothing, furniture, walls, ceilings, floor coverings, heat ducts, window blinds and all other surfaces that come in contact with soot can also be affected.  Unless proper cleaning takes place, soot can often bleed back through cleaned surfaces, causing further damage and at the least, requiring the surface or item to be re-cleaned.

How do I clean it up?

  • Never assume that simply painting over the soot will solve the problem.  If not cleaned properly, painted soot will bleed through within 6 months or less.  Attempting to remove soot from painted surfaces could actually smear and grind the particles further into the surface.  Proper equipment, like a dry chemical sponge, is often used to remove soot.
  • The home or office HVC cold air return duct can actually distribute soot particles, causing damages throughout.  Special air duct cleaning is often required.  HEPA air scrubbing equipment is often needed as soot floats and contaminates rooms that have been previously cleaned.  This recontamination is referred to as “Fall Out”.
  • Clothing, curtains, bedding, carpets, upholstery often need extensive cleaning using Infused Ozone Gas and other products that break down soot.  Pressurized Ozone and Hydroxyl chambers are typically needed after the cleaning process to remove the strong odors caused by smoke and soot.
  • Wallpaper can streak unless a dry chemical sponge is used first.   Even then, due to the paper based materials, wallpapers are often damaged beyond repair.  We will give you a quick assessment of the damaged items and area and secure the areas that are not affected to prevent contamination.  SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana will secure and move contaminated items to a separate location for proper cleaning and deodorization.  We can even clean damage to the structure or even repair/replace as needed!  

Our Biggest Tip.

The biggest mistake many home and business owners make is attempting to clean up the damage themselves or ignoring it completely. Contact SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana who has 30 years of restoration experience and has a highly trained staff and are properly equipped in removing soot damage.  Talk to one of our friendly staff today by calling 217-355-0077, we are here to help!

We Are Coronavirus Cleaning Services and Biohazard Experts

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Here to Help® and Ready to Respond

What Is Coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to respond to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now spread internationally. While the virus is termed coronavirus, the sickness that results after infection has been termed COVID-19. COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic, which is a global outbreak of a disease.  Symptoms can range from very mild to severe, contact your doctor for direction.

For specialized cleaning services, including the new Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned defensive pathogen cleaning program, call us today at 217-355-0077.

Expert Level Cleaning Services

SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana is uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC.  We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants and our staff has gone through extensive training in order to perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection.  Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for the cleanup process, and disposal of waste.  The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, handrails, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables.  After cleaning, it is safe to return to the cleaned area 15 minutes after the cleaning ends.

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus.  Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.  We also use proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as proper face protection, biohazard suites, gloves, facemasks/face shields and even respirators.  We also use the latest equipment such as Foggers and Electro-Static Sprayers to quickly and effectively clean your business, school, church or factory.

Best Practices to Minimize Your Risk

Cities and states are taking increasingly drastic measures to curb the severity of the pandemic, including the closing of bars, restaurants, and public venues.  In some areas, officials have issued “shelter in place” orders in order to compel residents to stay in their homes and limit movement.  To further protect yourself, minimize your exposure with the following tips:

Practice Good Hygiene

    • Clean hands with sanitizer and wash your hands frequently
    • Avoid touching your face and cover coughs and sneezes
    • Disinfect “high touch” surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, tables, doorknobs, and handrails regularly
    • Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning

At The Office

    • Stop shaking hands – use other non contact methods of greeting
    • Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible
    • When not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces
    • Disinfect “high touch” surfaces like desks, keyboards, light switches, doorknobs, and telephones
    • Consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings
    • practice social distancing

Stay Home if...

    • You are feeling sick
    • You have a sick family member in their home

Coronavirus is serious and is very contagious.  Disinfection and sanitization can literally prove to be a life saver.   With all the uncertainty out in the world these days, SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana is here to give you peace of mind.  Our team is highly trained.  We use the latest equipment and follow updated CDC guidelines.  Give our friendly staff a call today at 217-355-0077, we are here to help!

STORM DAMAGE RESTORATION IN THE MIDWEST

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

Living in Illinois, you know this summer we've experienced severe storms, seemingly one right after another.  Severe storms may become dangerous and it is crucial to know the different types of storm damage and how they can impact your home. Leaving your home left untreated after damage from pounding rain, hail, lightning, tornado, high winds, or heavy snow can lead to water damage, mold, and structural damage.  A rapid response by SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is critical to reducing the safety risk and secondary damage from weather.

There are three ways storms can damage your home.  Lightning storms can occur at any time. These storms bring the threat of fire and structural damage.  During a lightning storm, even if your home is properly equipped to handle lightning, it is still possible to have damage to electrical wiring, appliances, antennas, satellite dishes, cable or telephone lines, and steel framework and more.  Always stay indoors during the storm unless there are signs of a fire.  Flooding presents a serious risk to your home and to your safety.  When it comes to structures, flooding can lead to dangerous contamination and water damage to drywall, support beams, and foundations. There is a risk for mold within the first 24 hours of a flood so it is vital to extract water and have a professional begin mitigating immediately.  Finally, high winds can occur virtually anywhere. Thousands of storms and hurricanes hit the U.S. every year.  Severe winds are defined as exceeding 50-60 mph and include downdrafts, downbursts, tornadoes.  Damage from the wind can be widespread and affect not only your structure, but surrounding landscaping and asphalt. Be aware of the potential for falling trees, poles and damaged power lines.  A storm may damage your home including windows, siding, and roofs.  In the most extreme scenarios, roofs can be blown completely off.  In the case of a tornado, a warning should be given on TV or radio. The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement.  If there is no basement available, seek shelter in an interior room without windows since windows may shatter and spray glass.  Remain under shelter with a radio until you receive notice that the tornado has left the area.  With floods, there is usually some indication if one is imminent, especially if you live in an area susceptible to flooding.  Make sure to have copies of important documents that could be destroyed in a flood, such as birth certificates, social security cards, and deeds.  Finally, thunderstorms generally don't cause much damage except for being loud, but when they do they can be hazardous.  To avoid potential damage, make sure to trim any large limbs near your house.  Secure any outdoor objects to keep them from blowing away.  Unplug electronic devices prior to a storm to prevent a surge from destroying them.  Should a storm damage your home SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is here to help!  Call one of our friendly staff today at 217-355-0077.   

What to Do After a Commercial Fire

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Should your business experience a fire, the damage can be devastating.  In addition to issues created by flames and soot, the business can suffer more loss due to water damage created by firefighters trying to douse the blaze with water.  Mix in the smoke odors and you are looking at a lot of issues to deal with after the final flame is extinguished.  Don’t despair. When a fire impacts your business, the best thing to do is to follow the following steps that will help you get things back to normal as quickly as possible.

  • Contact your insurance company– Call your insurance provider ASAP.  Informing them as quickly as possible will help with the claims process.  Even while firefighters are still battling the blaze, placing a call to your insurance company is a good idea.  SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana can assist you with this.
  • Take notes and document the damage. Once the fire is out, don’t remove anything. Instead, take stock of the damage and document it with pictures, videos, and lists of what you lost in the blaze. Don’t move anything or try to salvage items before your insurance adjuster gets there. Simply documenting the damage and preparing it for your insurance company is what is needed at this point.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana. We know that getting your business back on track as quickly as possible is crucial to its survival.  At SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana our employees are certified experts who know exactly what needs to be done to get your business back on track following a fire.   Other damage restoration work we can do for you and your business includes Commercial Water Damage, Board Ups, Content Restoration and, and Biohazard Restoration.

To get in touch with SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, simply call one of our friendly staff at 217-935-2992 at any time and we will send someone over to help you with what you need.  We are here to help!

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Selecting the right fire extinguisher

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher Fire Extinguisher Knowledge

Getting the right type of fire extinguisher is very important for your home or business.  What is the right type?  The most common fire extinguisher is a stored pressure fire extinguisher.  However, there’s another type of fire extinguisher, cartridge-operated, that we will discuss in this blog.  A cartridge-operated extinguisher looks and functions differently than a stored pressure extinguisher.  It’s important you understand the differences in these extinguishers so that you can safely and accurately use the fire extinguisher in the event of an emergency.

Operating a Fire Extinguisher

A stored pressure extinguisher has the agent and pressure mixed in the same container inside of the extinguisher.  A cartridge-operated extinguisher has just powder/agent inside and there is a separate pressure cartridge that has to be activated to pressurize the extinguisher.  The way these extinguishers are manufactured affects the way they are operated.  A stored pressure extinguisher can be operated by using the PASS method.  The cartridge-operated extinguisher has an added step.  Since there is a pressure cartridge, you’ll need to activate the cartridge first, which immediately adds pressure to the inside of the extinguisher.  Once the cartridge has been activated, you can then aim, squeeze, and sweep to extinguish the flames.

Inspection & Maintenance

The inspection and maintenance are different for both extinguishers.  A stored pressure fire extinguisher has a quicker inspection process, only taking about ten steps. They need an internal examination every six years and a hydro-static test every twelve years.  A cartridge-operated fire extinguisher has a longer inspection process, with about 43 total steps. There is a hydro-static test needed every 12 years, but a 6-year internal examination is not required.

Both types of extinguishers should be inspected every month by an appointed individual at your facility. The monthly inspection is done to ensure the extinguishers:

  • Are in their designated locations
  • Are accessible
  • Instruction labels are legible
  • All seals and tamper indicators are sound
  • There are no signs of corrosion, damage, leakage, or clogging

You will need to keep a written record of each manual inspection.

Why Choose a Cartridge-Operated Extinguisher?

This is a common question asked because cartridge-operated extinguishers are extremely unfamiliar to the public.  However, cartridge-operated extinguishers do well in facilities with low temperatures or places exposed to adverse conditions.  While cartridge-operated extinguishers are more durable, they are also heavier.  They have fewer accidental discharges, but tampering with the agent is possible since the pressure is not stored inside of the extinguisher.  Newer cartridge-operated extinguishers include an indicator, so you’re aware when pressure has been activated; however, it is not required.  The pressure gauge on a stored-pressure extinguisher is still considered an advantage.

Should you have the unfortunate chance of having a fire at your home or business give SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana a call today at 217-355-0077.  Our friendly staff is here to help with 30 years of experience in the restoration business!

STORM DAMAGE RESTORATION IN THE MIDWEST

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Restoration Storm Damage Restoration
Living in Illinois, you know this summer we've experienced severe storms, seemingly one right after another.  Severe storms may become dangerous and it is crucial to know the different types of storm damage and how they can impact your home. Leaving your home is left untreated, damage from pounding rain, hail, lightning, tornado, high winds, or heavy snow can lead to water damage, mold, and structural damage.  A rapid response by SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is critical to reducing the safety risk and secondary damage from weather.

There are three ways storms can damage your home.  Lightning storms can occur at any time. These storms bring the threat of fire and structural damage.  During a lightning storm, even if your home is properly equipped to handle lightning, it is still possible to have damage to electrical wiring, appliances, antennas, satellite dishes, cable or telephone lines, and steel framework and more.  Always stay indoors during the storm  unless there are signs of a fire.  Flooding presents a serious risk to your home and to your safety.  When it comes to structures, flooding can lead to dangerous contamination and water damage to drywall, support beams, and foundations. There is a risk for mold within the first 24 hours of a flood so it is vital to extract water and have a professional begin mitigating immediately.  Finally, high winds can occur virtually anywhere. Thousands of storms and hurricanes hit the U.S. every year.  Severe winds are defined as exceeding 50-60 mph and include downdrafts, down-bursts, tornadoes.  Damage from the wind can be widespread and affect not only your structure, but surrounding landscaping and asphalt. Be aware of the potential for falling trees, poles and damaged power lines.  A storm may damage your home including windows, siding, and roofs.  In the most extreme scenarios, roofs can be blown completely off.  In the case of a tornado, a warning should be given on TV or radio. The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement.  If there is no basement available, seek shelter in an interior room without windows since windows may shatter and spray glass.  Remain under shelter with a radio until you receive notice that the tornado has left the area.  With floods, there is usually some indication if one is imminent, especially if you live in an area susceptible to flooding.  Make sure to have copies of important documents that could be destroyed in a flood, such as birth certificates, social security cards, and deeds.  Finally, thunderstorms generally don't cause much damage except for being loud, but when they do they can be hazardous.  To avoid potential damage, make sure to trim any large limbs near your house.  Secure any outdoor objects to keep them from blowing away.  Unplug electronic devices prior to a storm to prevent a surge from destroying them.  Should a storm damage your home SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana  is here to help!  Call one of our friendly staff today at 217-355-0077.   

Bio-hazard cleanup

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Bio-hazard cleanup can become a necessity at any time.  Though incidences of drug manufacturing certainly require professional bio-hazard cleanup, that isn’t the only time. Though there is a significant amount of overlap between bio-hazard cleanup and trauma cleanup in Seattle as they are often one and the same, there are many non-physical tragedy related instances in which bio-hazard cleanup is required. In these instances, it can really make a difference acquiring the services of professional bio-hazard cleanup professionals. This is most noticeable in instances involving burst pipelines and fecal contamination. 

Why SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana to cleanup?

  • Training – In order to get the proper certifications to perform professional bio-hazard cleanup, technicians must pass a number of classes and undergo rigorous training.  They know the proper methods for handling contaminants and can do so without the risk of illness a non-trained individual would encounter.  They also have the training required to clean your property thoroughly and ensure that it remains legally and safely habitable.
  • Experience – Along with this training comes 30 years of experience in the restoration business. We know what different situations require and are prepared for each and every one.
  • Equipment – Not only does a non-trained individual not have the experience and training of a technician, but they also don’t possess the proper equipment either.  Depending on the contaminant, different protective measures may be required.  Cleaning up a powdered contaminant requires different equipment and products than an airborne one and the radically different properties of contaminants mean that using the wrong cleaning agents can fail to properly clean an area and harm future inhabitants.
  • Removal – There are specific places that bio-hazards need to be taken to. Not just anyone can bring it in, and quite often specialized receptacles are required just in order to transport it. Specialized licenses are also required to transport items like medical waste, and a non-trained individual could face steep fines or even jail time for illegally transporting, dumping, or attempting to remove hazardous materials.
  • Legality – In addition to the transportation of bio-hazardous materials, it is often illegal to open an area to the public if it hasn’t been professionally cleaned by professionals. This is especially true when it comes to habitable places like hotels and houses. Depending on the instance, failing to have this done can result in fines and jail time.

Now that you know why calling SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana is so important. Don’t hesitate to call 217-355-0077 and speak with one of our friendly staff today!  We are here to help!

Board-ups, we got you covered!

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

Should your building ever be damaged by fire, you need to secure it quickly and safely to avoid any further damage.  With 30 years of experience in providing top notch restoration services, you can count on SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana to respond quickly with emergency tarping and board-up services to keep out the elements and unwanted guests.  We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.   We are here to help guide you through this difficult time and get your business back to operational.

We will board up any damaged windows, walls or doors to prevent further disruption and ensure the security of your property.  We also provide tarping for damaged roofs.  When shielding the compromised areas, we help prevent further damage to your building.  With SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana, you can feel confident knowing that we bring 30 years of experience to your property restoration, with a solid commitment to guiding you through the process from start to finish.  We have the expertise, equipment and dedication to handle the entire project, from initial damage assessment through site cleanup and preparation and rebuilding to preloss condition.  Through it all, we’ll strive to minimize disruptions, answer all your questions and guide you through the process.  Questions about our services?  Call one of our friendly staff here at SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana today at 217-355-0077.  We are here to help!

Standing Water Is A Water Damage Disaster

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

Water Standing After Flood 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

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

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.

In Minutes

  • 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

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

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

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

Dogs laying on the bed 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!

Summertime Cleaning

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

Summertime Cleaning Summertime Cleaning

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

6/12/2020 (Permalink)

firefighter fighting a fire 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

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

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

ID tags

Proof of vaccinations and any medical needs

Grooming accessories

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

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

House Fire House Fire

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.

Homemade Ashtray

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.

Linseed Oil

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.   

Glass Jars

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.

Microwaving Underwear

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?

5/24/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Trucks at Fire 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

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Broken Pipe Broken Pipe

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!

Raccoons are so cute, BUT not in your business!

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Raccoons Raccoons

Raccoons are cute and fun to watch.  However, they are very destructive when they are living in your attic.  Here are list of problems that can be caused by wild animals in an attic:

Nesting materials and food debris throughout the attic

Odor problems inside the home

Parasites, roundworm, and other pathogens

Pheromone scent that can attract new wildlife

Lots of feces and urine in the insulation

Growth of mold on contaminated attic areas

It is important to act as soon as possible when you have confirmed that you have guests in your business.  You would need to call someone to clean, decontaminate, and restore the attic to its original state. This is just another job for SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana.  These Professionals will do the following in complete Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  1.  Vacuumed animal droppings throughout the attic and or insulation.
  2. If the insulation has high concentration of droppings /remove the insulation and replace with new after cleaning and sterilizing.  
  3. Larger debris must be picked up by hand.  
  4. Nesting material such as sticks, leaves, and etc. used for nesting.  Keep in mind that often the nesting materials are often full of parasites. 
  5. Clean with an antimicrobial  

When unexpected guests come your way, remember to call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana (217)-355-0077. 

Is it safe to stay in a house with smoke damage?

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Confined Fire Damage Confined Fire Damage From Microwave

Is it safe to stay in a house with smoke damage?

In short, the answer is no.  No matter how big or small the fire that caused the smoke damage, it is a major health risk.  Whether it’s the result of a large house fire or a small fire that was contained to one room there are very real dangers to consider.

It’s easy to assume that the smoke from a fire that only affected one appliance and didn’t reach any other rooms will be contained to that area.  For example, if the microwave caught fire and was dealt with quickly,  it’s not unreasonable to think that the upstairs bedroom wouldn’t possibly be affected by smoke damage. Unfortunately, this isn’t entirely accurate.

While smoke seems to dissipate quickly, it is incredibly invasive.   It will find its way into all manner of places around the home,  using whatever means possible.  Sometimes this means you’ll find smoke damage within HVAC vents, sometimes you’ll find the most smoke damage behind walls.  Often it can be found in household furnishings and it’s not uncommon to find smoke damage within light fittings and electrical sockets.  Even if you cannot see any smoke there could be still be smoke particles which you cannot see.   This is what is so dangerous as it’s the smoke particles which are a health risk.

What is smoke damage?

Smoke damage is the physical damage caused by smoke that’s generated by a fire, not the damage caused by the fire itself.  Caused by the remnants of the fuel that fed the fire, smoke does not destroy items like fire does.   Instead, it coats objects in soot and odor.

The composition of smoke is complex,  but often results in a greasy layer making it particularly difficult to remove.   Even so, no matter how small or large the fire, smoke will want to travel to cooler areas and will use whatever means available to get there.   This can include ducts, wiring, pipes, or any other crevices.  This means that smoke has often reached places you cannot even see.  While smoke may seem to dissipate quickly the quick cooling of the particles leave a film and odor able to penetrate the contents of a building and its structure.

Can fire smoke damage make you sick?

Fire damage is heat damage and is what causes objects to melt and burn.  Smoke damage doesn’t destroy items like fire damage does.   However, they are both incredibly hazardous to health.  The number one cause of death related to fires is smoke inhalation.   This occurs when the products of combustion are inhaled during a fire.

Smoke is a mixture of heated particles and gases and it’s impossible to predict its exact make up.  The items burned, temperatures reached and the amount of oxygen available all play a critical part in determining the type of smoke produced.   For example, wood fires create a completely different kind of smoke to protein fires.

Not only can smoke inhalation cause burns to the respiratory system, but it can cause further complications which can result in death or permanent damage. Coughing, vomiting, nausea, confusion and sleepiness are all signs of smoke inhalation.  During smoke inhalation, you have more carbon monoxide in your lungs which prohibits oxygen into your body.   Prolonged exposure to smoke inhalation can result in death or permanent brain damage.

Health risks of staying in a smoke damaged house

Many people might think that the health risks of fires are removed once the fire is put out, sad to say, this isn’t entirely accurate.  Smoke can be incredibly toxic. Tar and carbon are just two of its common byproducts, but smoke can also contain heavy metals and other toxins.   If these are breathed in over a period of time, they can go on to cause health implications.

Breathing can become difficult if staying in a smoke damaged house.  Lungs and sinuses can be affected directly making breathing hard.  Residual particles in clothing and furnishings can irritate the skin, which normally cannot be treated with lotions.   Sometimes, these skin irritations can be severe.  To be safe, even if you cannot see any smoke damage it’s vital that you have SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana come in and complete a thorough clean and decontamination of the entire property.  

Summary

It’s not just the immediate fire that’s a risk to your health.   Staying in a property that’s had a fire, whether you can see smoke damage or not, is a risk to you and your family's health.  Give SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana and speak to one of our friendly team members today at 217-355-0077!  We are here to help!

Mother Nature Hits Again

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Shingle Damage Due to a Storm Shingle Damage Due to a Storm

When Mother Nature hits, it can hit hard, and your home is often in the path of destruction.  Storm damage can cause expensive long-term problems when repairs aren’t carried out quickly.  High winds, heavy rain, flooding, and even lightning can all cause damage to your home.  From water running down roof beams into the walls to debris damaging windows, there are many ways a storm or tornado can damage your property.  The sooner the damage is assessed, the quicker you can see the need for repairs – and start the insurance claim process.

Ten Steps to Check Your Home for Storm Damage

1. Check for Debris on the Roof

Tree branches and other debris can cause large problems to a home particularly the roof.   A damaged roof can cause big problems, even if the impact site is only small.  Water may leak in during the storm and may be unseen for some time until it pools and becomes a big problem. Clear any debris you can, if you can access it safely, and inspect the roof shingles for damage.

2. Look for Missing or Broken Roof Shingles

Scan the roof thoroughly.  Are any shingles missing or slipped from the storm?  A shingle that’s still on the roof but has slipped can still be a cause of water damage.  Cracked shingles, if you can see them, are also a sign of weather damage to your home.  This could indicate a larger impact from debris, too, which may have affected other parts of the roof.

3. Inspect Your Chimney Flashing and Gutters

The metal flashing around your chimney can come loose or been damaged during the storm.  This could mean that there is the potential for water damage inside your home.  Water runs underneath the flashing, down the chimney or roof beams, causing dampness.  Gutters may also come loose or blocked during the storm.  A blocked or loose gutter is a sign that your roof may not drain properly.  Water pools on the roof can weaken the structure and cause water damage.

4. Assess Water Stains on Interior and Exterior Walls

Can you see any clear damp patches either outside or inside your home?  Hard and heavy rains can cause water damage as water runs into small cracks in the walls.  Exterior walls can take a few days to dry out, so by checking over a three day period will help you catch these cracks.

5. Check Exterior Walls for Holes

A classic sign of storm damage is a spider-web pattern of cracks that radiate out from a central point.  This indicates an impact has occurred on the outside wall.  Smaller signs of damage include chipped paint or plaster or minor holes in a stucco exterior.

6. Check Your Windows

Your windows may not be clearly broken by the storm, but give them a second look.  Small cracks, glass panes that are loose, or even damaged window frames can all lead to much larger problems.  Look for signs of water inside your windows, as this indicates a small leak that could be a big problem.  Check also for damage caused by flying debris or high winds to your window frames. Dented or cracked frames can cause your window to become loose and a hazard.

7. Scan Your Soffits

When you get an opportunity where you can safely access your soffits,  look closely at the surface.  Any dents, cracks and paint chips caused by hail or debris may be a sign of a bigger problem underneath.  If you see a dent or crack in your wooden or PVC soffits, inspect the area in more detail.  Is the soffit loose? Has water been drawn into any areas it shouldn’t? Make a note of the dents and paint chips you can see: the more there are, the greater the chance of costly underlying damage.

8. Investigate Your Outbuildings and Fencing

When you’re checking your property after a storm, don’t forget any outbuildings or fences. Walk around your outbuildings and check for signs of water damage. Check windows and frames and make sure doors haven’t been damaged by high winds.  Take a walk around your perimeter fencing.   Make a note of any damaged or missing panels, or of damaged posts that will need to be replaced to secure your boundary once again.

9. Assess Trees and Pylons on Your Property

Check any pylons on or adjacent to your property for signs of damage caused by high winds. Slack or broken cables, or tilting pylons, are all cause for concern.  Call the utility supplier as soon as you notice any problems, do NOT attempt to approach downed power lines.  This can cause serious injury or even death.  You should also check out the trees on your property for loose branches that pose immediate danger to vehicles or your home.

SERVPRO of Champaignn/Urbana is here to help!  We can help with everything from tarping a roof to water clean up and much more. If you think your home has suffered at the hands of nature, give SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana a call at 217-355-0077.  Our friendly and caring staff are here to help get you and your family back to normal. 

See What Our Customers Have to Say

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Customers Water Loss Customers Water Loss

Have you ever experienced a disaster in your home such as fire or smoke damage, flooding and water damage, discovering mold, or even have a bat infestation in your attic?  You might wonder who among all the restoration and cleanup companies to call. Dave and Suzie McGuire started their SERVPRO franchise in 1990 and have 30 years of experience, highly trained certified technicians, 24-hour emergency service, are locally owned and operated, and are a trusted leader in the restoration industry. Since their beginnings, the McGuires, through both hard work and building trust with the communities they serve, have grown from one territory to four territories covering 13 counties. Don’t believe SERVPRO is the best? Check out these testimonials left by some of our customers!

“SERVPRO recently cleaned my parent’s home when they were getting ready to sell.  The carpet was well worn with many stains, but my parents did not want to replace the carpet just to sell the condo. SERVPRO came in and did an amazing job making the carpet look almost good as new!  My parents were extremely pleased because the cost of cleaning the carpet was considerably less than replacing it.  Thank you SERVPRO.” - Strange (Piatt/DeWitt)

“We had a large water damage that resulted in having to gut most of our home.  The staff from SERVPRO was so great.  They were the 1st people to come in and make us feel like everything would be ok.  Our personal belongings were treated with care and each step of the process was explained along the way.  Thank you for giving us some peace during a very hectic time in our lives!  - Poggendorf (Champaign/Urbana)

“My Aunt lives down in Weldon on the family owned farm a little over two hours from me.  Over this really cold winter her pipes burst and her house experienced a ton of flooding.  Being so far away I needed someone I could trust to help her with this mess.  I called SERVPRO and from the moment someone answered the phone they assured me everything was ok.  They sent a crew out and were able to clean up the disaster the bursting pipes made.  I couldn’t believe that they were able to save so many heirlooms that have been in the family for over a century.  My Aunt felt so comfortable and they were really sweet to her helping to ease her anxiety.  I can’t recommend this company enough.  Thank you for taking such great care of my Aunt and restoring her belongings.” - Schmidt (Piatt/DeWitt)

“In May of last year we had a house fire which caused serious damage to our home.  SERVPRO secured the property immediately and then handled the clean up and the reconstruction.  8 months later we were back in our home which was beautifully restored and actually looked better than it had before the fire!  There was a few early problems with the contents, but SERVPRO stepped up and made things right.  The cleaning people were kind, supportive and professional during a difficult time and the construction people are amazing.  Our house is 100 plus years old and they recreated details that matched it’s age and style.  They are artists!  The slogan “Like it never even happened,” isn’t exactly right… More like “better than before it happened!”  Thanks SERVPRO team!! - Lake (Champaign)

“After having two other companies come to our house for water damage in our first floor ceiling, they deemed it necessary to tear out/put holes into the ceiling to dry the drywall and then have it repaired and repainted.  All in all… both companies gave us estimates of $1,500-$2,000.  Travis of SERVPRO came out and gave us an honest and more thorough check of our issue.  He was the only one (of the 3) to go upstairs to check a couple rooms (since that was the known source of the water coming into the ceiling).  After looking at everything, he gave us a more honest and ethical solution to our issue.  I couldn’t be more appreciative of his honest estimate and the professional integrity he showed my wife and I.  He went above and beyond to give us piece of mind that the issue was going to be taken care of and resolved.  We couldn’t say enough good things about this experience.  We will definitely be using SERVPRO for any other future needs and services.” - Mast (Urbana)

Should you find your home in need of a restoration and clean-up company do yourself a favor and call SERVPRO today!  Call 217-935-2992 and speak with one of our friendly staff today! 

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana attends Ribbon Cutting for the new Haymakers

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Ribbon Cutting at Haymakers Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting at the new Haymakers

Networking with other businesses in our service area is very important to the success and growth of an organization.  SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana takes this seriously as we know that connecting with other businesses and professionals in the area is vital to our community growth and business growth.

As a result, the employees at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana are proud to say that we are members of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce.  Two of our marketing professionals attended a recent Ribbon Cutting at the new Haymakers to meet other professionals interested in networking and expanding their customer contacts and welcoming the new business to town.  This latest event on February 21st, 2020 at a local Champaign convenience store allowed professionals to meet other people and share information about the company they work for and the role they play.

If you are a person who feels that using local businesses is important to our community and helps in growth and development, then you should contact us.  When you have water damage, fire damage, need help with deodorization, or mold contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at 217-355-0077.

How to Handle Damaged Belongings After a Flood.

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

If your building was damaged during a storm, the items inside may have been affected as well. If this is the case, it can be problematic to determine how you should proceed. If you are unsure about how your possessions should be treated, the following content cleaning information may help you.

  1. Curtains and Other Fabrics

Because these materials are spongy, they can absorb a lot of water. This can be especially difficult when black water is involved. It carries a high level of contaminants such as waste, mud and bacteria that can be difficult to remove. While you may be able to salvage some porous items with a thorough cleaning, some of them may need to be thrown out.

  1. Hard Surfaces and Non-Porous Items

Content cleaning for objects with hard, non-porous surfaces is usually much easier. Because the contaminated water is not absorbed, you don’t need to worry about bacteria lingering beneath the surface. With these items, scrubbing them with an anti-bacterial cleaner will likely be enough to sanitize them.

  1. Artwork and Paper Items

These items can be important and sometimes irreplaceable, so it can be upsetting when they are damaged in a flood. The good news is that they are not necessarily ruined beyond repair. A professional service will likely have access to high-quality equipment that will be able to dry these items and remove the bacteria and other contaminants.

  1. Electronics and Equipment

Like spongy materials, electronics can be difficult to save if they have been damaged by contaminated water. For the best results, you should have them taken to a professional like SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana right away for inspection. Do not attempt to use these items before you know it is safe as you may cause more damage.


If your items have been damaged by contaminated water, then the best thing to do is have content cleaning done by a professional. A cleanup and restoration service can salvage many of your belongings and can perform any necessary repairs on your building as well feel free to call SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana anytime at (217) 355-0077.

(SB)

We Are Cleaning Experts

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

Here to Help Here to Help

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at 217-355-0077.

Difference Between Fire Classes

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Different Classifications of Fires The Different Classifications of Fires

The fire classification system is designed to categorize fires into groups based on the type of fuel involved. Each fire class is represented by a letter of the alphabet (with the electrical which are simply referred to as “electrical fires”) and an icon. This helps users to select an appropriate fire extinguisher in the event of a fire.

Class A Fires

  • Solid Combustibles
    • Fire involving solid combustible materials such as wood, textiles, straw, paper, coal etc.

Class B Fires

  • Flammable Liquids
    • Fire caused by combustion of liquids or materials that liquefy such as petrol, oils, fats, paints, tar, ether, alcohol, stearin, and paraffin.

Class C Fires

  • Flammable Gases
    • Fires caused by combustion of gases such as methane, propane, hydrogen, acetylene, natural gas and city gas.

Class D Fires

  • Flammable Fires
    • Fires involving combustibles metals such as magnesium, aluminum, lithium, sodium, potassium and their alloys. Combustible metal fires are unique industrial hazards which require special fire extinguishers.  

Class F Fires

  • Combustible Cooking Media
    • Fires involving particularly hot or deep oil and grease fires, such as deep fat fryers in commercial kitchens or overheated oil pan fires in homes. Normal water-based extinguishers with large droplets would cause an ‘explosion’ of stream and carry burning oils and fats from the container. Equally, a CO2 extinguishers jet would carry burning oil out of the container and also would have in-sufficient cooling effect to stop reigniting. Wet chemical extinguishers, on the other hand, lay a cooling foam layer on top of the burning fat/oil and react with the liquid, stopping air supply to the fire.

Electrical Fires

  • Electrical Appliances
    • Fires involving electrical appliances such as computers, electrical heaters, stereos, fuse boxes etc.

Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana for any of your fire needs, 24/7 at (217) 355-0077.

Common Sources of Water Damage in a Commercial Building.

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

For a commercial property owner, unforeseen water problems can be a big issue. Luckily, a water damage professional can help you assess, clean, and repair damages from any flooding or leaks you may have. Here are a few of the most common water problems a business may face from leaking pipes to foundation cracks.

1. Pipe Breaks

A pipe break can occur in a number of ways. Over time, the pipe can age and loosen in its fittings, or extensive use can lead to pinhole leaks. Extreme heat or cold can also affect a pipe’s reliability. A blocked pipe can lead to pressure buildup and eventually burst.

2. Plumbing Backup

Blocked plumbing can even lead to a toilet backup or sink overflow. When a pipe is blocked, water can take the shortest path out regardless of its intended flow path. Blockages can occur from a number of things, including the buildup of water minerals over time inside a pipe or someone pouring a solidifying material, such as plaster or grease, down a drain.

3. Weather

Extreme weather conditions can also lead to leaking pipes. Cold temperatures can cause the water in pipes to freeze and expand. The extension puts pressure on the pipe and can create a crack or even cause it to burst altogether. If you know cold weather is coming, you can check with a local professional about what preventive measures to take.

4. Foundation Cracks

Foundation cracks can also become a problem leading to water damage. Water can seep through any cracks and pool, leading to further issues such as mold. Any cracks should be investigated and assessed as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.

Water damage can happen to a commercial property. Fortunately, a professional can fix the damage caused by leaking pipes, foundation cracks, backed up toilet, or weather, and help you repair your property. If you have any water damage call SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana anytime at (217) 355-0077.

(SB)

Fire Damage Restoration, Are You Prepared?

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

An incident that requires fire damage restoration can happen unexpectedly, but that doesn't mean you can't be prepared. During a fire, the safety of you and your family matter first. Knowing what to do during and after the event will help to keep your family, and your property as safe as possible. Here are some tips to help during a home fire.

Fire Damage Restoration 

Getting out of your home

Small flames can grow into a large in as little as 30 seconds, and it only takes a few minutes for black smoke to fill the house. Along with the intense heat of a fire, what some people may not realize is how dark a room can become due to the thick smoke. 

To be prepared you should:

  • Practice making your way out of your house without the ability to see
  • Locate multiple ways out of each room in your home
  • Have a folding ladder in upstairs rooms to escape out of windows 

Once the fire has been eliminated

Caution should always be taken entering your home until the restoration process is complete. Before entering your home again, be sure to check with the fire department to ensure it is safe to re-enter. Upon doing so, be mindful of any possible structural damage, and collect as many valuable documents and records as possible.

Contacting a Fire Damage Restoration Company

As soon as possible, call your insurance company. Keep in mind that your insurance company may have a national account they suggest, but you don’t have to use the company they suggest. After that, be sure to call a restoration company. Fire damage restoration varies in the time it takes to complete depending on the extent of the damage. The aesthetics is just the beginning of what's necessary to restore a home. Soot can be very hazardous to your health and is best handled by a professional. There is also the risk you could be exposed to electrical elements that should be professionally handled. 

If you have experienced a fire and need fire damage restoration, don't wait, call SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana anytime at (217) 355-0077.

(SB)

Removing Kitchen Water Damage

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Frozen or Leaking Pipes Causing Problems in your Kitchen

Winter can be a trying time for pipes in any home. Whether you are stressed with pipe leaks, frozen pipes, or other plumbing concerns that come from the weather during this season, it is crucial to address them quickly. All it takes is a hole as small to pour hundreds of gallons of water into your home each day.

If the kitchen of your home has suffered water damage, IICRC certified SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana technicians are ready to restore your home to a pre loss condition. These disaster mitigation experts are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, because disasters do not occur on a 9-to-5 schedule.

Signs of Damaged Pipes in Your Kitchen

Winter can be a risky time for pipes, so keep an eye out for the signs of frozen or damaged plumbing in your kitchen:

  • Temperature. The most significant factor that determines whether pipes can freeze is whether the weather is at or below freezing temperatures. Have your plumbing inspected for potential exposures as soon as possible, ideally before the first frost or the next dip in temperatures.
  • Frost. Check exposed pipes for frost accumulation on the outside of the pipe, especially under the kitchen sink. This is a common warning sign that the pipe is frozen.
  • Water. If water is not coming out of the faucet and there is either no water or only a slight trickle, the pipe supplying the water to that faucet might be frozen.
  • Odors. One of the biggest giveaways of a blocked or frozen pipe comes in the form of strange smells. Because blockage prevents the travel of water through the pipe, the only way for odors to move is up through drains.

How SERVPRO Can Help

The most crucial step technicians take before establishing drying goals and extracting water from your home is measuring moisture with a variety of advanced tools. If you have a pipe leak behind an exterior kitchen wall, for example, technicians can use ultraviolet cameras to detect moisture behind visible surfaces that might be affecting structural materials such as studs, insulation, and drywall. 

Other measurement tools, including penetrating and non-penetrating sensors and meters, are consistently used throughout the cleaning and drying process and compared with the ideal relative humidity for various materials.

SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana can ensure that your kitchen looks, "Like it never even happened." You can call (217) 355-0077 for a cleanup that begins within hours!

(SB)

Urbana Fire Kids Christmas Party

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Kids at Christmas Party Kids Enjoying the Christmas party

T’was the week before Christmas and all through SERVPRO, the decorations were hung with the SERVPRO sleigh loaded with gifts. All that was needed was firemen Phil, Urbana Fire Department (UFD) version of Saint Nick.

We here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana love being involved in the community, whether it’s a Parade during the Holiday seasons or partnering with local programs. Each year our local Walmart and Meijer donate approximately 10 gifts cards to the UFD. With this donation the UFD contacts all Urbana schools and requests their recommendation of two to three families in need of a little help financially with Christmas gifts such as toys, clothes, shoes, and more.

What does the evening look like?

Families show up at SERVPRO around 5:30 pm. They start the evening with pizza, juice boxes, and water. The parents then head for their local Walmart or Meijer according to the gift card they were given. They will then meet with a Fire Fighter and Store associate who will walk around the store with the Parents. The Fire personnel and store employee help with the calculation on the purchases to stay within the designated amount, along with making sure the gifts are for the kids and purchases don’t include big ticket items like electronics.

Crafts, a bounce house, and so much more go into making this an enjoyable experience for the kids. Stations are set up throughout the warehouse for groups of 5 to move to during the night. Our staff of employees volunteer their time to help these kids have a great night. Some are at each station to give directions on what the kids will be able to do and oversee their area, while others are the group leaders and assists the children on their crafts , games, and getting them from one station to the next. We also have employees distributing the foods and drinks, along with treats and prizes for the homemade gift bags for each kid to take home. And don’t forget the Elves! Wondering around all night are our SERVPRO elves keeping an eye on the kids to report back to Santa.

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana Thanks the Urbana Fire Department and the families involved for allowing us to be a part of this annual event. If you would like to know how to donate or volunteer with us next year, Contact our office at (217) 355-0077 or the UFD Fire Marshal Phil Edwards at (217) 384-2445.

4 Tips for Making a Flood Insurance Claim

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

4 Tips for Making a Flood Insurance Claim

If your home has been damaged in a flood, then you will need to make a flood claim to help cover the costs of repairs. Addressing the situation in the right way will help you get through the process more easily and with less stress. The following tips may help.

  1. Call Right Away

When making a flood claim, it is important to contact your insurance company as soon as you can. Waiting too long to do so can cause your claim to be denied, as many policies require you to make a report within a certain time period. Filing your claim sooner also allows you to get the process started and finished more quickly.

  1. Go Over the Details

While you may have read over your policy when you purchased it, you probably haven’t spent much time studying it since then. Look over it carefully so you know what to expect and what is expected of you.

  1. Start on Mitigation Quickly

It can take some time for your insurance adjuster to arrive to inspect your house, so don’t feel like you need to wait to start taking care of the damage. In some cases, waiting too long to begin mitigation and allowing the damage to worsen can cause your insurance claim to be denied. To avoid this, contact a cleanup and restoration company to start work right away.

  1. Document Any Damage

While you don’t need to wait for your adjuster to begin cleaning up, you should make sure you have evidence of the damage. Take photos of affected areas and belongings and set aside items in a safe location. The restoration company can help with this task before they begin working on repairs.
Filing a flood claim might seem like a complicated process, but keeping a level head and following these steps can make it go more smoothly. If you are uncertain about anything, don’t hesitate to SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana anytime at (217) 355-0077.

(SB)

Our Certified Technicians Have The Training And Equipment Necessary After A Water Damage Disaster

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Addressing Heater-Related Water Damage in Champaign-Urbana

In many homes, the water heater is one of those fixtures that homeowners count on to always work. With regular checkups, these items can last as long as 8 to 12 years with minimal issues. Leaks from loose valves, old connectors, or damage to the tank are factors that contribute to these appliances being one of the top five causes of water damage. 

If your home has experienced water damage our SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana technicians are always available to clean up the damage and restore your home to a pre loss condition. These technicians strive to provide homeowners with clean up services that use cutting-edge technologies and scientific theory to restore structures while minimizing repair and replacement costs for homeowners when possible.

Preventive Maintenance for Water Heaters

Keep these items in mind for maintaining your water heater throughout its lifespan:

  • Monitor the pressure relief valve. This valve is typically located on the top or the side of the heater. It opens automatically if the pressure is too high. To check it, gently lift the valve after placing a bucket under the discharge pipe to collect any excess water. If the valve does not release any water, replace the valve. 
  • Periodically drain sediments from the tank. Allowing sediment to build up without regular draining can affect the lifespan of your water heater and increase your energy costs. To fix this, open the drain valve and let the water run until it is free of sediment. Releasing 2 to 3 gallons is usually enough to flush out of the system.
  • Keep an ear open for gurgling, groaning, and similar noises. These noises are typically signs of air entering the system as water drains from it. If you have trouble closing the drain valve after checking on your heater, drain the tank, unscrew the old valve, and screw in a new one instead. Restart the water heater by opening the shut-off valves and letting the hot water run at the nearest faucet to remove air from the system. After that, you can turn the power back on or relight the pilot.

SERVPRO Removes Water Damage Fast

After SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana comes to your home to evaluate the water damage they can get to work measuring moisture levels and extracting water from the affected area with extraction wands, wet/dry vacuums, mops, squeegees, and other materials. Afterward, the area can be prepared for drying with air movers and dehumidifiers. These systems work together to remove moisture from surfaces and accelerate drying with the introduction of warm, dry air.

SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana strives to serve residents by being Faster to Any Size Disaster. Call (217) 355-0077 today for speedy disaster cleanup.

(SB)

3 Differences Between Flood Damage and Storm Damage

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damaged Home Storm Damaged Home

3 Differences between Flood Damage and Storm Damage

If your Champaign-Urbana building is damaged during a storm, you might think that all of the water damage falls into one category, but this is not necessarily the case. Flood damage is actually a bit different from other types of damage caused by water. The following are a few distinctions.

  1. Where the Water Comes From

Perhaps the easiest way to determine whether you are dealing with flood damage or other water damage is to figure out where the water is coming from. Generally, if the water comes from above, then it is regular water damage. This can include leaks and broken pipes. If the water is rising up from the ground, then this is always considered flood water.

  1. The Level of Water Contamination

A lot of the water involved in storm damage is considered to be category 1 or clean water. Water from damaged pipes or supply lines also belongs to this category. Flood water, on the other hand, is category 3 or black water. This means that it is highly contaminated and should be avoided. This is because water from a flood mixes with sewage and other contaminants on the ground. Anything that it touches, including home contents, will need to be thrown away or thoroughly sanitized.

  1. Whether It is Included in Your Insurance Policy

Another important difference between damage from a flood and damage from other water sources is that flooding is usually not included in your basic insurance policy. If you want coverage for this type of damage, then you will need to purchase a separate flood policy. Whether you are dealing with clean water or flood damage, you will need to have it taken care for quickly to avoid further damage to your building. Moisture of any type can contribute to weakened materials or mold growth. SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana can remove the water and perform any necessary repairs.

Call us at 217-355-0077 at any time. 

Why you want SERVPRO on Your Side After a Fire.

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

The chill of winter is here and with it, an increased risk of fire. The Red Cross reports that the rate of home fires increase in winter months due to factors such as space heaters, Christmas lights and increased use of fireplaces.

While we all hope a fire will never happen to us, planning for what to do in case it does is wise. This includes creating a fire escape plan for your household but also choosing what restoration company to work with to mitigate the damage. By deciding this in advance, you will be able to better react should a fire occur.

Choosing a fire restoration company is one of the most important things to look at, a fire restoration company is who will be able to restore your house and its contents to the pre-fire state. That is why we utilize three methods of deep-cleaning to ensure your life can resume like normal. Our trained technicians of SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana can handle:

Structural Cleaning

Fire damage can seep into every aspect of your home, even requiring the structural elements to need thorough cleaning. By doing a pretest, we will determine the extent of the damage first thing, then begin cleaning the required surfaces with the recommended equipment and cleaning solutions. This can involve cleaning soot deposits off surfaces and preparing walls for repainting by preparing the surfaces to adhere to paint.

Content Cleaning

What fills your home is just as valuable as the home itself, which is why we promise to take care of your belongings and restore what we are able to. We can clean and deodorize area rugs, furniture and upholstery in most cases, utilizing either wet or dry cleaning processes. All other belongings that are eligible will also be restored to pre loss conditions, including electronics, furniture, clothing and more.

Deodorization Services

Fire can leave behind tenacious smoke odors, but it can also leave behind hazardous soot particles that can lead to health issues. Instead of utilizing artificial fragrances to mask the odors, we are able to go to the source and remove them by utilizing air scrubbers and other tools. With a variety of deodorization methods available, we will work with you to find what is best for your situation.

If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out right away! You can call us anytime at (217) 355-0077.

(SB)

Sewer Problems at Work? The Pros Take These Immediate Actions

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

It’s not uncommon for an office building to experience flooding. This can be the result of many factors, such as a broken pipe, a poor foundation, or insufficient drainage. Another culprit is when the sewer backs up. In many ways, this can be the most troublesome and require the most extensive attention. If this happens in your Champaign/Urbana, workplace, you need to start the sewer cleanup process without delay.


Your Responsibilities


If sewer problems have brought flooding into your building, you could be dealing with the harmful black water.

To maintain the safety and well-being of your staff, and to avoid additional problems, you need to do the following:

• Evacuate the affected area and stay area.
• Take photos of the sewer backup and the damage it caused without getting too close to the water.
• Call your insurance company and provide them with the photos.
• Call a reputable sewer cleanup team to start the restoration and sanitizing process.


The Assessment


One of the many advantages of calling a professional crew is that it not only has the equipment and expertise you need, but it can arrive on the scene quickly—usually on the same day as your call. The technicians will start by evaluating how badly your office was damaged, whether it was due to a flooded toilet or something more complex such as a sewer line break.

Water Removal

Using safe methods, the team will extract the water from the floors, furniture, walls, and other areas. The company has specialized tools to thoroughly remove all water.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Getting rid the water is only part of the sewer cleanup job. The team will also use powerful chemicals and disinfectants to ensure that the area is completely sanitary. This will enable you to once again use the space.



Don’t trust just anyone to take care of the sewer cleanup in your workplace. The best companies will make sure your office is returned to its pre-flood state.

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana - (217)355-0077

Drip, Drip, Drip

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Prairie Wind water loss Prairie Wind water loss

Drip, Drip, Drip   

Not a good sound to hear anytime of the year. The day after Christmas is even worse.  A local senior housing facility had a sprinkler head malfunction in the early hours of December 26. First call was to SERVPRO to attack the issue. Several rooms and a long hallway were saturated with water. 

These water losses are tough for any business. A water loss in a senior center presents special problems.  This water issue disrupts their lives, from being displaced from their rooms to a dining hall in some instances being flooded. 

This is also very disruptive to the staff since the residents' daily routine has been interrupted. They want things back to normal as quickly as possible. The staff also has to deal with the additional hazards present from equipment being placed to dry carpet out. 

Our goal at SERVPRO is to not only make it "Like it never even happened," but to do it quickly as we can. 

Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at 217-355-0077 for all your water loss needs!

Water Damaged Business Documents Need Restoration

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Professionally Salvages Water Damaged Docs 

Commercial Water Damage is very devastating, especially when there are paper records that have been damaged. Hard copies are sometimes needed along with digital files during the course of doing business. There are steps that you should implement when trying to preserve your damaged documents. 
 
1. Start with the assessment of the present damage by inspecting the area well to aid in the determination of what type of equipment and work will be necessary in order to repair the damage to the structure, documents, and records. The inspection must be done thoroughly, but quickly. Focus on determining the type and extent of the water damage, items that have been affected, and what can be salvaged by professional commercial water damage experts. And take photos to substantiate initial water damage. It sounds like it is more prudent to call in SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana to restore both the structure and your relevant business documents.
 
2. Be sure to call your insurance provider to make arrangements for an adjuster to assess the water damage and set up the claim. Ask for a recommendation to restore your business space along with rescuing your documents. SERVPRO comes highly touted as a premier company that has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to mitigate water damage losses. We can also help with the insurance paperwork and the claims process to ensure your fair recovery value. 
 
3. It is wise to freeze records that have been heavily water-logged. This is the most proven method of stabilization. This process should be done at approximately minus 20 degrees F if possible. Rapid freezing will prevent additional damage from immediately occurring and will allow more time for the drying process and the actual restoration later. 
 
4. There has been much proof that the most efficient way to dry water-damaged papers and documents that have been frozen is to put them through the process of pressurized freeze-drying. The process is called "Lyophilization." This causes the water molecules to crystallize more rapidly that are in and on the papers and documents. By decreasing the pressure in the  Freeze Drying Chamber the frozen water (crystals) will change from the solid phase of water directly to the gas phase--water vapor. This sublimation process enhances the chances of salvaging valuable documents in bulk. 
 
5. After the documents, records and papers have been freeze-dried, they must be handled delicately and cautiously until they have had the necessary time to acclimate to their environment again. It is rather imperative to make sure that they are stored in a space that is well-ventilated and even air-conditioned. SERVPRO can restore most water damaged commercial documents to get your business back in order "Like it never even happened."

We Use Advanced Drying Equipment and Techniques

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana invests in the latest technology and equipment because it helps us restore your business and documents more quickly and to minimize cost. Call us for all your Champaign/Urbana water damaging events to your business 24/7 at (217) 355-0077

Homeowners Prefer to Restore and Not Have Replace Water Damaged Hardwood Flooring!

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO’s Training and Equipment Leads to Appropriate Water Damage Remediation

When your hardwood floors become saturated from a leak or appliance malfunction it is hard to be patient during water removal and drying. It can take several days or more to return all affected flooring moisture levels to normal. Our training and experience in balancing the variance in moisture levels between the surface walked on, and the sub floor is one of the reasons why engaging our services during drying can protect your property.

Start at the Top

Water damage to floors requires the removal of visible water quickly. Pumps and extractors take care of collective surface water, but water migration between strips and planks is a concern. As water trickles through, it soaks the plywood or sub floor. Selecting efficient strategies to remove water below the surfaces is essential, why our team’s training and experience come in handy, negative air pressure floor mat systems can suction water from several levels. Air moving equipment aimed at the sub floor if there is access from beneath is another option.

Collect Moisture Data to Update Drying Goals

When working on a hardwood floor project, information about the moisture content of unaffected flooring in other areas of the house must be collected. Every home has a unique moisture level. In fact, when carpenters install a new hardwood floor during initial construction or a remodeling project, best practices dictate that the materials be delivered to the location and acclimate for a few weeks to adjust to the home’s regular moisture readings, avoiding shrinkage or distortion when finally installed. Accurate moisture meter readings sampled by our skilled technicians are why SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana delivers successful results.

Achieving a Balance Needs Professional Evaluation

When the top layer of hardwood flooring reduces to approximately 10 percent moisture content, this typically meets the drying goal. A problem arises if the sub floor still holds significant levels of moisture, the problem presented is that more drying techniques need to address the sub floor wetness, but the strategies cannot over dry the surface. Achieving this balance requires the skills of highly-trained technicians and continuous monitoring; this is why SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana is a reliable partner for navigating these difficulties.

Comprehensive training, state of the art tools, and dedicated technicians are why SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana is a premium, water damage recovery provider. Call (217) 355-0077 immediately when floors experience water loss for the best results.

(SB)

Winter storms cause frozen pipes

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

The assisted living hallway set up with SERVPRO air movers.

With certain areas of Central Illinois reaching lows of -15, old man winter let us have it. Extended periods of sub-zero temperatures bring on the dreaded frozen pipes, frozen pipes, of course, lead to broken pipes, which in turn lead to water damage. Depending on how long the water is allowed to run through your house, this could cause some serious damage.

We have learned to adapt to the cold weather temperatures in most cases. Unfortunately for an assisted living facility, the main water line for the sprinkler system, located on an exterior wall froze and broke. Within a matter of 48 hours, SERVPRO was able to have the residents back into their respective rooms.

Don't let a winter disaster, like this one, affect your comfortability this winter. Call your emergency service professionals at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, (217)355-0077.

Keeping your home safe during the winter months

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Whether you’re a recent homebuyer, new to the Mid-Western winter months, or just want to cover your bases heading into the holiday season: It’s important that you make sure your property is well taken care of. Putting together a thorough checklist ensures your home will be well-prepared for the inevitable sub-zero temperatures. This short read will put your mind at ease, protect your home, and hopefully keep your money where it needs to be…in your wallet!

  • Making sure your doors, windows, and any other outside passage for air are correctly sealed ensures your furnace doesn’t work overtime heating the air coming from outside. When it comes to your electricity bill, sharing is NOT caring!
  • Add extensions to all of your downspouts. This will prevent water from pooling around your foundation. Water will expand when frozen, and this will lead to damaging your foundation and further expense.
  • Drain water out of sprinklers, hoses, faucets, and an exterior water source. Like we already mentioned, the frozen water will expand and will cause major damage.
  • If you will be using your fireplace, make sure you have a chimney sweep inspect your chimney. Also, make sure to dispose of any fire hazards that could turn your small fireplace into a big bonfire! Make sure your fire extinguishers are up to date and inspect them to make sure they are functioning properly.
  • Make sure your insulation is well maintained and any possible leaking of air is plugged. Keep your warm air in and the cold air out!
  • Because heat rises, reverse your ceiling fans. This will push the warm air in your house down instead of pulling it up.

Following these tips to ensure a safe home during the upcoming winter months will have you enjoying your holiday season as you should be. Give your home the best present it could ever ask for, protection.

For any disaster service needs, trust in SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana to take care of you. Reach out to us anytime day or night at (217)355-0077. Here to help make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

Happy Holidays from your friends at SERVPRO.

What are the Best Flood Prevention Strategies for Commercial Business.

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding may seem inevitable, but a few preventative measures can reduce the severity of the situation. From the choice of location to structural improvements, here are three of the top flood prevention strategies.

Look Over Flood Maps and Data before Building or Buying

If you build or buy a commercial property located on a flood plain, you will probably need to obtain flood insurance. Most business insurance policies do not include flood coverage, which is available through the National Flood Insurance Program or private insurers. You should also determine whether the risk of flood at a property will undermine the overall value of your investment. Factor in the presence of local flood prevention connections such as detention basins, retaining walls, sea walls, or tide gates before you decide.

Flood Proof a Commercial Property

Flood proofing involves the use of barriers, pumps, and seals to make a building watertight up to typical flood levels for the location of the property. Depending on the ratio of benefits to costs, some of these improvements may qualify for federal grants. In addition to these improvements, you should also consider the warning time that you can expect to have at this location. Regularly test flood proofing and emergency systems as well as the reliability of the flood panels, floor slab, openings, and walls.

Use Classifying and Undergrowth Strategically

Classifying can prevent water from accumulating around the foundation of a building, where it may lead to basement leaks or structural damage. Undergrowth can also break up the flow of moving water and help to reduce erosion. Drainage and flood waters should be directed away from the building, if at all possible.

These flood prevention strategies can help you make more informed decisions about a commercial property. If you need flood cleaning services, contact a storm and water damage Restoration Company like SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana.

(SB)

Water Removal and Restoration

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Can Help Reduce the Impact of Water Damage in Your Champaign-Urbana Home.

When water spills occur in Champaign-Urbana it can lead to widespread damages unless the right actions are taken immediately. Water is a natural solvent that causes a wide range of materials to worsen, especially when left exposed over extended periods. A professional water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana has the skills and other resources to deal with the issue dropping the overall impact it might have on your property.

Working Faster

Time can be a friend or foe after water damage, taking long before responding to an incident creates an opportunity for secondary damages like mold and degradation of building materials and contents to add to the restoration service. Our SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana crews work faster because we have the necessary resources. Because we’re faster to any size disaster, we can often salvage hardwood flooring from permanent damage with the use of drying mats and injecti-dry equipment. Customers always appreciate it when our team can cut costs, deconstruction, and restore their homes to pre loss condition as quickly as possible.

Using Superior Techniques

Fixing water damage takes skill, especially when saving wet items. Issues such as the setting of stains, mold development, and damage to electrical appliances can drive the cost of restoration higher because such items have to be replaced. Our SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana technicians use various approaches, such as freezing documents to halt deterioration, then drying them through sublimation. We also quicken the drying process of wet areas by regulating temperature, air movement, or isolating them by creating drying chambers.

Identifying Potential Long-term Issues Early

Some effects of water damage can have long-term implications if not addressed. An issue like moisture can lead to health effects in the future due to mold development. Our SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana technicians can anticipate mold development by drying all materials to normal levels. We have many moisture detection devices which help us identify whether there is any hidden moisture that might cause future problems.

Water loss incidents can have far-reaching effects. Call SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana at (217) 355-0077 to help clean up and dry your property, restoring the pre loss conditions "Like it never even happened."

(SB)

Water & Gym Floors Don't Mix Well

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever had a kickball hit a sprinkler head?  Hopefully the answer is "NO."  Unfortunately, one of our clients has and we want everyone to be prepared if it happens to them.

As with any water emergency, call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana immediately.  We will arrive and start set up and drying out immediately.  

 1. We will set up a containment to keep the area closed off.

2. We will rise the temperature inside the containment to well over 90 degrees to get the  humidity down to as close to 0 as possible.

3. Fans will be put out and drying mats will be put down. 

4. We will monitor very closely for the next 48-72 hours and get the floor back flat and usable again.

With all water emergencies, it is very important to get started immediately.  The sooner we take action, the better the chances are of us being able to save the floor. Being able to save the floor will save the facility from having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new floor.

If you ever find yourself in this position, please call SERVPRO of CHAMPAIGN/URBANA at 217-355-0077 and we will make it Like it never even happened

Deal With Storm Damage in Your Residence Through Prompt Restoration

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage in your Champaign-Urbana home is no joke, we will help you!

Storms bring about the worst weather conditions, including strong winds, heavy downpour, and the sounds and sights of thunder and lightning. Strong winds can bring items like branches and debris crashing into your home, which can lead to structural damage like busted doors, broken windows, and cracked walls. Rainwater can also enter your living spaces, causing indoor flooding.

Once the storm is over, your home can be soggy and damaged, and your possessions could be heavily saturated. You, therefore, need to deal with the flood damage to make it inhabitable again. Prompt restoration can prevent the long term effects of flooding, such as:

Mold growth -

Mold spores can grow into colonies quickly after they are exposed to water. They can grow in damp materials after 24 to 48 hours. Mold can cause health issues to the occupants of a home and a strong, musty scent.

Fungal decay in timber -

Wood is prone to attacks from fungi. Ventilation and drying to wooden structures helps prevent fungi outbreaks.

Damp staining -

Floodwater may transport minerals in solution while moving through a building. The minerals can then get deposited on the floor and wall finishes, remaining there after the water evaporates.

To restore your home after a flooding incident, you need the right equipment, protective gear, and know the appropriate way to clean up, dry and sanitize the property. Therefore, it is advisable to entrust the restoration work to SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana. Once we arrive at your home, we can inspect the destruction we are dealing with and provide you with an estimate. After that, we can proceed with the restoration process.

We remove scattered debris immediately to make it easier to assess and work on your home further. If there is standing water in your home, we can drain it out using portable or truck-mounted pumps. At times, our technicians use disinfectants to sanitize contaminated water before pumping it out.

We are cautious when pumping out high levels of water from crawl spaces and basements because the highly saturated soil adjacent to walls and foundations could collapse as a result of hydrostatic pressure. We dispose of the extracted water in a sanitary sewer system or at appropriately licensed disposal facilities.

Our SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana technicians also dry a home effectively using air movers and dehumidifiers. After the restoration process, we perform a final inspection to ensure that you are happy with the result. Through the final inspection, we can know if we have missed anything important and confirm that your property is safe and secure. When you need flood damage restoration services contact SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana at (217) 355-0077 for help. We have the expertise to make the damage seem, “Like it never even happened.”

(SB)

Common Sources of Water Damage in a Commercial Building.

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Owning and running a building in Champaign-Urbana means that you have a lot on your plate. SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana is here to take some of that pressure away!

How Do You Do That?

Drainage

Bathrooms and kitchens in a place of business get a lot of traffic. This means that your drains and toilets are doing a lot of work, so you should do what you can to keep them flowing and avoid overflowing. Have maintenance check on them regularly and consider conducting a camera-scope inspection every so often. Some tips to avoid a clogged toilet:

  • Buy thin toilet paper.
  • Post signage about what can go in the toilet.
  • Provide plenty of labelled waste receptacles.

Pipes

First, you should look into what type of pipes you have. If they are older, they might be copper or galvanized iron. These materials are prone to damage and don't usually last long. Please consider replacing if this is the case. Regardless of material, it is important to check them for corrosion or leaks as often as possible, because even the smallest drip can accumulate. Winters can also be hard on pipes, so be sure to keep your building warm enough to avoid freezing and broken pipes.

Fire Sprinklers

Sometimes your sprinklers can be triggered to go off without a fire- a warm light nearby or burnt food in the microwave can do the trick. This can cause water damage especially if not taken care of right away. You should have a water damage restoration company such as SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana picked out so you can move forward right away with water repair should something like this happen. Especially if the incident was above a carpet, this may eventually turn into a mold problem.


There's a lot to keep track of in a large building. If you know what to add to a regular maintenance routine and some simple preventative measures, your life could be made a lot simpler.

(SB)

Fire damage causes mold?

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage to your facility could lead to a serious mold problem.

The current technique of suppressing fire is lots of water. Mold needs three things to begin its growth, a source of food, moisture, and warmth. High humidity accelerates mold growth. There's a food source in the dust bunnies around your house and you're going to have some moisture in your house after the fire has been put out. This makes your home a perfect place for mold growth, and that can start in as little as 48-72 hours.

SERVPRO understands that when you have a fire, there is a time crunch for potential secondary growth as well. Call us at SERVPRO in the event of ANY kind of loss.

24-Hour Emergency Services

(217)355-0077

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Lightning Strike surges power, causes fire

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

This picture shows the view of a basement stairwell. The fire impacted three levels of the home. A lightning strike to a tree in their backyard created a surge to the direct power line going into the home.

With three floors affected by the fire, there was a significant amount of water in the basement. The water that the fight fighters use to save your home and most of the belongings ends up saturating most of your home, especially the impacted area. This leads to other problems that can arise like mold, structural damage, and other foundation problems. When the drywall in your house becomes saturated and no drying process is started, and this goes for everything in the house, you can compound your problem to find secondary grown beginning to grow. This can take days, to weeks, to months depending on the conditions.

SERVPRO's number one goal is to put the victims of such a tragedy back into their homes as quickly as possible, and this homeowner called the right people to get the job done. From our fully staffed construction team to our staple in water mitigation, SERVPRO is capable of handling ANY size loss.

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana

(217)355-0077

24-Hour Emergency Services

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Independently Owned and Operated

Smoke Detectors

9/2/2019 (Permalink)

You really can never be too prepared.

Fires can happen anywhere, at any time...under the right conditions. The preventative measures you take prior to a potential fire loss could save your home, or more importantly your life!

Replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year is a must. A good rule of thumb is when you change the clocks change the batteries in the smoke alarms, this will provide consistent battery life in your detectors.  This gives you a chance to check your smoke detectors to make sure they work properly. Put an evacuation plan together. Make sure your loved ones and those living with you know what to do in the event of a fire. Having a central location to meet once everyone is outside is a great plan.

After you and your loved ones are safe, call SERVPRO to make it "Like it never even happened." Reach us in the office 24/7 at (217)355-0077, we are always here to help you in your time of need. 

Smokewebs

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, Your fire and water cleanup and restoration professionals!

This isn't your typical Halloween decoration. In fact, these are not made from cobwebs at all. This is what is known as "Smokewebs."

Smoke webs occur when the ionization process of burning synthetic materials (rubber, plastics, etc.) create charged particles that tend to cling to certain surfaces. These charged particles will attract to themselves repeatedly and form "chains" of soot. Smoke webs are especially common in low heat or smoldering fires which produce "wet smoke." The webs are common in stagnant air spaces such as the corners and edges of ceilings or cabinets.  Soot from synthetic materials is tacky, pungent, and smears very easily with conventional cleaning products. Our Production Staff uses professional grade chemicals specifically designed for smoke and soot produced by any material.

No matter how big of fire damage, you should always contact your local SERVPRO. We'll make it "Like it never even happened." Call us 24/7 at (217)355-0077.

Water damage in a commercial property

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

Minimally invasive water extraction.

Flooding and water damage events at Champaign/Urbana commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana

(217)355-00077

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

24 - Hour Emergency Service

Independently Owned and Operated

Champaign/Urbana Some and Soot Cleanup

8/5/2019 (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 Us Today – (217) 355-0077

Fire=Soot

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire disasters not only cause FAST damage but it also causes lasting damage. When you have a fire in your home or business it is not just the flames that are dangerous, it is the smoke as well. We have specialized trained employees who take their time to make sure there are absolutely no remains of soot on your personal belongings after your fire disaster.

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

We here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana know how devastating water, fire, mold, or asbestos disaster can be and we are dedicated to helping you get through it. Give us a call today at (217) 355-0077. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana’s Tips for Handling a Flood Damaged Home

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Tips for Handling a Flood Damaged Home

Floods due to natural disasters such as storms, hurricanes or tornadoes are any property owner’s worst nightmare.  Severe water damage can wreak havoc on your Champaign/Urbana property and leave it in a miserable state.  Apart from the structural damage, a disastrous flood can cause secondary damage if the restoration is not started promptly.

Thankfully, here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, we have a team of experts who can help you restore your beautiful home after a flood or a variety of other water damages.  Although you cannot be fully prepared for any natural disaster, you can have a plan in place. Here are a few things that you should do, if a natural disaster causes flooding in your home. 

Ensure your safety

Your and your family’s safety is the single most important thing during and after a natural disaster.

Always try to stay out of standing water.  You never know what bacteria or obstacles are under the water. So stay out of the water as much as possible.

Make sure that you are safe and dry and do not try to do anything that puts you at risk of injury or bodily harm.  Safety comes first; everything else can wait. 

Contact professionals as soon as possible

Seeking professional help is the next most important thing to do after a flood. Make sure that you have the contact number of SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana handy, and contact our expert disaster management team as soon as you can.  The best way to limit the extent of damage and ensure restoration is swift action.

As soon as you call us, we will dispatch a team of experts to access the situation and develop a restoration plan.  The priority is to get the water out of the property once the water has receded.

Call your insurance company

Take many pictures of your flooded home, if you can, and contact your insurance company.  You can ask your insurance adjuster about the things that are covered under your policy. SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana technicians can help you with documentation and protocol.

Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217)-355-0077 to talk to one of our technicians to discuss your situation. We are here to help you get back to your home as soon as possible.

Champaign/Urbana Residents: We specialize in flooded basement Cleanup & Restoration

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

Residential basement flood due to a heavy rainstorm.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Champaign / Urbana basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - (217) 355-0077

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use the s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (217) 355-0077

What To Do When Making a Insurance Claim

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

What To Do When Making a Flood Insurance Claim

Most homeowner’s insurance does not offer flood coverage. However, if you have a separate flood policy for your home, then you will want to file an insurance claim if your home has been damaged. The process can sometimes be frustrating or confusing, so use the following tips to get through it more smoothly.

  1. Call Your Insurance Agent

The first step in filing a flood claim is calling your insurance agent. In some cases, the company can deny your claim if you have waited too long to contact them. Getting the process started right away will prevent this. 

  1. Take Pictures

After you have contacted your agent to begin the process, you should take photos of any areas of the house that have been flooded. Be sure to photograph any affected items as well. This will help the insurance company determine the extent of the damage. Keeping a list can be helpful as well.

  1. Set Aside Affected Belongings

Once you have taken pictures and documented the damage, you don’t need to wait for the insurance adjuster to arrive to begin moving your items. If you allow them to sit in the water, the damage will only worsen, so you should relocate them to a dry area quickly.

  1. Prevent Additional Damage

If the insurance company does not believe that you have taken the necessary steps to prevent further damage, this can affect your flood claim. It is a good idea to call an emergency cleanup company like SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana to do repairs, but you can start on remediation before they arrive. Along with moving affected items, you can board up areas and place tarps to prevent the water from spreading.


Making a flood claim may not always be the simplest process, but there are things you can do to make it easier on yourself. Following this advice will help move it along more quickly and ensure you get the most that you can from your policy. You can call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana anytime at (217) 355-0077.

(SB)

IICRC Certified Firm

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration, and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana

SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana Today! Reach us anytime day or night at (217)355-0077, we are always here to help!

"Like it never even happened!"

Tips for Dealing With Water Damage at Your Commercial Property.

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Whether you are dealing with a busted pipe or toilet overflow, water damage in your commercial building is never fun. When this happens, there are so many things to think about and people often become overwhelmed and miss some important steps. Preparing your team and yourself ahead of time and having proper protocol in place can make a big difference. Be sure to follow these guidelines when dealing with this type of problem.

Identify the Source

Cleaning up the mess is extremely important, but if you don't identify the source, the issue will keep happening. One of the most common sources of leak in a commercial building are broken pipes. Besides that, you may be looking at a flooded toilet or roof damage. Getting the problem fixed right away may help you avoid larger issues down the road. 

Take Safety Measures

If you are dealing with contaminated water, you need to take the proper safety precautions. Sewage contains bacteria and viruses and should be dealt with accordingly. Clearly mark the area off and wear the right equipment when cleaning up. You may want to call a professional to come help you in this situation. 

Document the Damage

Do not try to leave the water damage in place for the insurance company to come look at. Instead, you should take photographs from every angle before you begin the water cleanup. Leaving it can actually lead to more problems, which the insurance agents may view as neglect. Be sure to call them as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. 

Depending on the size and severity of the water damage, you may be able to handle it yourself. If you are dealing with unsanitary water, such as a toilet overflow, or if you are at all uncomfortable identifying and fixing the leak, you may want to call a professional water restoration company such such as SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana.

(SB)

8 Tips To Protect Your Commercial Property from Flooding

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Business Safety Tips for Your Commercial Property

Business Owners - This one's for you!

Establishing a Champaign/Urbana business is an exciting venture, but you might not ask yourself, “What if a flood or natural disaster occur?”. Being prepared for anything in life is so important, especially if a lot of money is on the line. Here are important tips for when your commercial property has encountered flooding or storm damage. These tips will especially come in handy if you have a basement in your Rhode Island business.

8 Flood Prevention + Safety Tips for Your Business: 

  1. Develop a Comprehensive Plan – Establishing a simple, straight-forward protocol for when a flood strikes can benefit yourself and your employees. Substantial communication is key.
  2. Consider Flood Insurance – Damages from flooding can get very, very expensive. Damages can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. With insurance for your commercial business, you can have some peace of mind in the case of flash flooding or an unexpected storm.
  3. Inspect Area – Inspecting the area for any signs of water damage during severe rain is a good preventative measure. Looks for cracks and darker spots in the walls, ceilings, and flooring.
  4. Sump pump – Installing a sump pump will prevent water from seeping into the foundation.
  5. Waterproof membrane – Apply a waterproof seal around the areas you think water might enter. Filling in any cracks as well can help.
  6. Back-Flow Valve - Installing this in your main sewer pipe will prevent sewage backup.
  7. Anchor Fuel Tanks – Keep your fuel tanks anchored to prevent them from flowing away, falling over and spilling fuel into the area.
  8. Keep Calm and Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at 217-355-0077 24/7 for your commercial or residential property.

What To Do When a Toilet Overflows in Your Home

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Remove the standing water by using mops

How to React To a Toilet Overflow 

Toilet overflows are a common problem that affects many homes in Champaign/Urbana throughout the year and often result in sewer damage. It can be useful to know how to react to a toilet overflow before one occurs in your home.

1. Turn Off and Remove the Water

To prevent water from spreading in your bathroom and to other areas of your home, it’s often wise to turn off the toilet’s water supply. Generally, the sooner you can turn off the water supply, the less damage that will occur. Once the water has been turned off, it’s normally best to remove any standing water by using mops or towels. Quickly removing water will make it easier to fix the issue with the toilet and can help to prevent mold growth.

2. Unclog the Toilet

After you have taken steps to prevent sewer damage by turning off the water and drying the floor and area surrounding your toilet, you can shift your focus to unclogging the toilet. You can normally fix a clogged toilet with a plunger, but if your plunger isn’t fixing the problem, you may want to consider using an auger. Generally, your toilet should work normally after it has been unclogged.

3. Know When To Call In Professionals

If you are unable to unclog your toilet on your own, if your flooded toilet has caused major water damage or if your toilet commonly overflows, it may be necessary to contact a sewage company that can help to fix the issue. Additionally, it can be helpful to contact water damage restoration specialists if you suspect that major damage has occurred or if there has been standing water in your home for several days.

Knowing how to react to common problems in the home, such as toilet overflows, is useful for every homeowner. Turning off and removing water, unclogging the toilet if you are able and calling professionals when necessary can help you manage the issue and prevent sewer damage.

Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217)355-0077. We are always here to help you with your time of need. Reach out to us 24/7, to make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

Cleaning the Air after a Flood

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a flood is no picnic.  Even after all damaged materials have been removed and the ground floor has been thoroughly dried and cleaned, the smell of mold and sewage can linger for weeks or even months. If your home was recently in a flood, and you’re tired of your home reeking like mold growth and black water, your Champaign-Urbana SERVPRO flood restoration team offers these few odor removal tips that may be of use to you. 

Steps for Cleaning the Air 

Cleaning the air is fairly simple and involves a few common household items.

  • Cat Litter: Cat litter is designed to soak up odors, so place a little bit in each room. Change it out periodically to make sure that it absorbs as much of the residual odor as possible. 
  • Vinegar: Place bowls of vinegar throughout your home, and in just a few days, your home will be smelling as fresh as it was pre-flood. 
  • Baking Soda: In addition to using baking soda on your carpets, you can also use it to zap odors from the air. 

Mold growth can really stink up your home. To get rid of that bad smell, try utilizing the tips above from your SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana water damage team. Call us at (217)355-0077!

How to Clean A Crawlspace

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

In order to keep your crawlspace dry, you must dry it under negative pressure. This means drying through suction, pulling air out, rather than blowing air in. The suction drying technique is achieved by a dehumidifier drying the air in the room at the same time as a turbine creates high negative pressure in the structure. In other words, in order for negative pressure to be present, more air must be removed from the crawlspace that is added to space. If positive pressure is used to dry a crawlspace, exfiltration will occur, pushing particulate and odors into the living space of the structure.

Even the cleanest crawlspace is filled with dust, mold spores, dead insects, or worse. Our SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana professionals uses a manometer to verify the negative pressure.

Why should you call a professional to clean out your crawlspace? For one, crawlspaces are dangerous places that must be entered with the right safety gear. If there is mold or other contaminants present, you must use the correct equipment and chemicals to clean and dry the area.

If you need to inspect and clean your crawlspace, your SERVPRO team of Champaign-Urbana is available 24/7, (217)355-0077.  [JB]

Blood Cleanup Done Right

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Cleanup of Blood Stains Done with Empathy and Care

A blood spill of any type is considered a biohazard. The personal nature of such a spill makes it more difficult for the homeowner or renter as well as the restoration company called in to remediate it. It is not enough to just spray down the contaminated area and then wipe it up.

Blood clean-up in Champaign-Urbana needs a full-service agency. The company you choose must be trained in not just EPA and state cleaning procedures, but one that recognizes the personal component as well. SERVPRO technicians understand that there was most likely a sensitive situation which led to this and they must respect not only the residents, but the person or persons who are no longer present. 

Removing blood stains and congealed, pooled blood require special cleaning agents designed to neutralize pathogens. Trauma examples include HIV, Hepatitis A, B, and C along with other infectious diseases not found in other biohazards. To accomplish this, we use one or more of the anti-bacterial agents in our chemical inventory. 

In addition to the pathogen threat, conventional cleaning agents do not always react well with blood or other bodily fluids. Even if they do successfully clean the surface of floors or walls, there is usually a stain or ring left to indicate where the spill occurred. Such a remainder does not meet our standard of cleaning, and if there is a stain after we finish cleaning, we often recommend repainting or removing and replacing the affected section of drywall, floor or ceiling. 

No matter the cause of the spill, we understand that it is a personal matter. None of our technicians will ask for details beyond what we need to clean and restore your home to its original state. We want to make certain that no one on our team inadvertently says something to the press or your neighbors. 

Clean up after any biohazard is not easy. When it involves a personal issue, the requirement for discretion is almost as important as cleaning up the affected area itself.  SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana wants to help in any way we can as we return your home to its normal condition.

If you need us, call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana today at (217)355-0077.  [JB]

Poorly Ventilated Attics Encourage Mold Growth

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

The main cause of attic mold is improper ventilation. In cold climates, when homeowners heat their homes in winter, hot air usually escapes through the attic.

This occurs efficiently in attics with proper ventilation, but attic mold can occur if the hot air meets the cold surface of the attic roof and creates condensation.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana specializes in mold cleanup and restoration; in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly re-mediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If you see signs of mold call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana anytime at (217)355-0077!

(SB)

4 Ways To Prevent Mold in Your Vacant Rental Property

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

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

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

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.

via http://www.nfpa.org/

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!

[JB]

Tips for Dealing With Sewage Damage

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

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.

(SB)

Residential Lightning Damage Happens More than You Think

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

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

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

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

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

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! 

[JB]

Maintaining your HVAC and Avoiding Poor Indoor Air

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

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:

  • Odors
  • Dirt and debris
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • 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.

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

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.

(SB)

When Vandalism Strikes, Here's What To Do

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

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.

DO:

  • 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.

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

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.

(SB)

Competitive Restoration Prices

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to pricing for the restoration work we provide, you will never find hidden costs or misleading fees.

You will always get the great quality work SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is known for at a reasonable price. When we create estimates for our customers, we use the exact same program that insurance companies use. This program shows us the different services we offer and provides us a dollar amount.   

With 29 years of experience under our belts, it is safe to say we are seasoned. We have the knowledge to know where the loss of your disaster came from and what we need to do to fix it. As a nationally (and internationally) known and respected brand, you can trust that you are in the best hands to handle the emergency.

Don’t be tricked with other companies claiming cheaper prices. Oftentimes, we receive “fix-it” jobs left from the other guys. We understand how frustrating it can be to have a company work on your home, just to have to call us to finish what they started.

There are many businesses out there claiming they have the greatest quality work at the cheapest prices. With SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana on your side, you will receive honest quality estimates and honest quality work, ALWAYS. Give us a call at 217-355-0077 and we will work with you every step of the way.   [JB]

Soda Blasting – Everything you need to know

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Soda Blasting involves one of the softer abrasive blasting materials, rating an average 2.4 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness (1-10). Most abrasive blasting cabinets aim to maximize abrasive recycles and minimizing dust collector service, and for this reason, most sandblasting uses harder abrasives like plastic and glass beads. Soda blasting is the exception, a one-time-use abrasive, used for special applications when recycling abrasive is not important.

Soda Blasting: The Good

The main advantage of soda blasting is it’s a cost-efficient, single-use abrasive. Although recycling abrasive is the name of the game for most abrasive blasting applications, there are a few special applications not needing to recycle abrasive. Onetime use abrasives are used for applications like ship cleaning that require huge amounts of abrasive – it typically takes one million pounds of abrasive for an average ship – or maybe a smaller amount for the back bed of an old truck. Additionally, soda is the primary abrasive to clean oily parts because once it removes the oil; the abrasive doesn’t cycle back through to hit the part again. Soda is also water soluble making sure no abrasive remains in critical bearing areas!

Six Rules for Soda Blasting Success

  1. Always use a direct pressure abrasive delivery system that uses lower blasting pressure to maximize abrasive velocity without reaching maximum soda impact velocity
  2. Never blast using more than 30 to 35 psi pressure when using direct pressure delivery
  3. Always use a ghost flow out the nozzle to prevent Soda flooding and or slower cleaning
  4. Use equipment designs that understand the proper use of soda and collection of spent soda
  5. Know that soda used at higher pressure will surface etch and change part metallurgy.
  6. Exceeding maximum impact velocity will simply create a failed soda blasting cabinet with a failed dust collector.

Soda Blasting: The Bad

Because soda is now so popular, manufacturers and retailers are offering sub par quality soda blast cabinet to make a quick buck. They do not know the nuances of soda as an abrasive nor do they understand its limitations.

Yes, soda has important characteristics, but it’s not a magic bullet. Soda cannot be recycled the way other abrasives like steel shot, steel grit, silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, garnet, and ceramic, glass or plastic beads. Being that soda is so soft; it explodes into tiny fragments upon impact with the object being blasted. Additionally, soda abrasive doesn’t work harden the part being cleaned because it’s meant to be used a low abrasive velocity.

Soda Blasting: The Ugly

Today, because of the need for a soluble abrasive like soda, you see everyone selling soda blasting cabinets. Unless you have very few parts to blast or blast only a few times a month for minutes all these blasting cabinets that are supposed to contain the soda will soon be the biggest mess you could possibly imagine all with failed dust collectors.

The problem is that some retailers sell cheap slag and soda to blast cabinet operators. Often, the operator thinks the soda can be recycled and runs the machine in excess of 60 psi in a siphon delivery system or 30-35 psi in a direct pressure delivery system. This causes the abrasive to explode on impact, severely reducing visibility and simultaneously creating tiny particles that are sucked into the dust collector – leaving the cabinet kaput.

Pro Tip: If the dust collector gets packed with soda abrasive, the blasting cabinet fails, it’s that simple. 

Media Blast offers three duty cycle soda cabinet models: the Blizzard Soda Blast Cabinet, the N-200 Soda and the Pro Soda. Each is matched to a specific usage – recreational to industrial. Each model provides users an environmentally friendly clean part with its original finish intact, free from trace oil residue. If you think soda blasting is right for your application, Media Blast can supply you with a soda blast cabinet with superior visibility that keeps soda out of the dust collector to ensure your needs are met with minimal machine maintenance.

Learn more about SERVPRO and Soda Blasting by contacting our Champaign/Urbana office at (217)355-0077! Any time day or night, someone is ready to take your call. 

Have you Considered upgrading your commercial HVAC system?

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

If you are a business owner you know how important it is to have a fully functioning HVAC system.  If you don’t your employees and customers will let you know.  It will be hot or cold and you really are trying to keep it going and keep people comfortable.  Maybe your HVAC system is older and not functioning properly?  You may be thinking to yourself that is too expensive… but in the long run, it may be worth it.  

Here are five reasons to consider upgrading your HVAC System from

Increase Energy Efficiency

Lower operating costs should be one of your biggest goals. Even if it isn’t as much of a priority now, there’s still time to resolve to change now that the New Year has begun. One fantastic way to increase energy efficiency is to upgrade your current commercial HVAC system. Did you know that a newer system can allow for smaller energy consumption – by about 30%, in fact.

Maintain Your Good Reputation

Many businesses depend on a stellar reputation to ensure that they thrive. Reputation is important for your public image, especially in the customer service sector. Aside from downtime that could rob you of future profits, an uncomfortable building environment due to an aging HVAC system can also harm customer and client perception of how you run your organization. 

Make and Keep Employees Comfortable

When the interior of your building is kept at reasonable temperatures, your employees will be comfortable. When employees are comfortable, they will be happier and more motivated. When they aren’t distracted by the office being too hot or too cold, they can focus on getting more work done, improving their overall productivity. Don’t overlook the importance of indoor air quality, either. How often are your employees missing time from work due to being sick? A little-known condition called sick building syndrome exists, and if this syndrome goes unaddressed, it could affect how your business is perceived throughout your industry and cause highly-qualified candidates to find employment elsewhere when you are actively recruiting.

Reduce Repair Costs

Newer commercial HVAC systems will have better warranties attached to them. Whether you choose to overhaul your existing system with brand new components or only add the latest technological advancements to the framework that is already in place, these warranties can help you avoid paying significant repair costs when such repairs are needed.

Begin Switching Refrigerant Now

The refrigerant that is most commonly used in many older models of commercial HVAC systems is being eliminated. R-22 refrigerant will be fully prohibited in January of 2020, and if you think that’s still plenty of time to have your current supplies replaced, remember it’s just two years away.

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana

(217)355-0077

24-Hour Emergency Service

Independently Owned and Operated

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

3 Important Facts About Black Mold.

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

While some types of mold that exist in your Champaign/Urbana home can be simple to clean up, others can even be dangerous. Of all mold types, black mold, can be the most difficult to eliminate. If you find this fungus growing in your home, it can be important to learn about the possible reasons for its presence and what you can do to remove it. 


1. It Is Not a Surface Fungus 

Unlike other types of fungi, such as mildew, black mold cannot be wiped away easily with a rag and a household cleanser. This is due to the way it grows, as it sinks roots deep into building surfaces like wood and drywall. This makes mold cleanup difficult, especially if the fungus has been present for some time. 

2. It Can Appear Less Than 24 Hours After a Flood 

Black mold can grow rapidly after the introduction of moisture and humidity. For example, if a weather event caused your home to flood, the dirty water can encourage mold growth almost right away. As a result, walls, floors and carpeting may start to show signs of this type of mold as early as that same day. You can identify it by its slimy dark surface, which differs from the type of dry, fuzzy mold you might find on old food. 

3. Professional Removal Might Be Required 

If you are experiencing a widespread infestation of black mold, then it is a good idea to call a mold remediation and removal service such as SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana for help. Not only can professional technicians properly identify the fungus, they can also give you options for removal and the restoration of building surfaces that have been affected. This may give you greater peace of mind that your home can be returned to normal. 

When black mold invades, it can be stressful for you as a Champaign/Urbana homeowner. Knowing as much as possible about this fungus can help you better understand your options when it comes to the cleanup process. If you feel like you have any mold problems call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217) 355-0077.

(SB)

Why SERVPRO? Because We Do It All!

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

We worry about your restoration emergency so you don't have to.

From start to finish, you will see that SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana will take care of your restoration emergency from start to finish. A fire, for example, can wreak havoc not only on your home or office but your precious time and checkbook too. There is no need to worry. Not only do we possess the experience, but the equipment and talent on our team to make sure the disaster looks like it never took place. After removing any drywall that is burned and unsalvageable, we will make sure your home down to the studs is clean and smelling great. Besides any demolition that needs to be done, we will begin reconstructing your home back to the way it was. This includes painting your walls as well. It will be like an entirely new room in your home.   

If you have recently experienced a restoration emergency, let our team here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana take care of everything so you don’t have to. We will always work with you each step of the way and make sure you are satisfied. Give us a call at (217)-355-0077 for more information.  [JB]

3 Ways SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana Can Help With Claim Services.

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

When your Champaign/Urbana business is hit by fire, storm, or water damage a quick emergency response time can make all the difference. However, after the crisis has been averted you may be left with some restoration needs. Choosing a professional restoration service, such as SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, to do the job can be made easier by looking at those recommended by your insurance provider. In many cases they may recommend a company that offers a number of claim services, which can speed the process along.

1. They Can Provide a Claims Inventory Service

One service offered by SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is a claims inventory. This may include both an itemized list, and photographs of any important items that may have suffered damage. Having such a list can help your business go over any items they may need to repair or replace such as inventory, office equipment, or any important documentation.

2. They Allow You to Access Claims Information Electronically

Another important inclusion in the offered claim services is the ability to access claims information electronically. This may include photographs, the notice of loss, job estimates, progress completed, and any new information that may be discovered during the process. This can allow you and your insurance agent to stay up-to-date every step of the way.

3. They Restore Materials Whenever Possible

One aspect the insurance agent may appreciate when working with such a company, is the fact that they try to restore the existing materials whenever possible. Restoration is often cheaper than a full replacement, and in many cases is a fully viable option. This may not only save your company money, but can help your claim as well.

Working with a restoration company recommended by your insurance provider, like SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, will make your restoration process easier. These companies may offer a variety of claim services which can make communicating with your insurance agents more efficient, and help you and your agent stay up-to-date on the information you need. If you have any questions feel free to always call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana anytime at (217) 355-0077, to help with all of your claim services.

(SB)

3 Fire Hazards to Avoid This Spring

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

Springtime is such a fun, beautiful time of year. Stay safe out there!

The weather is warmer, the trees are blooming, and my allergies are killing me. Spring has officially sprung! That being said, there are still a wide variety of fire hazards that you should watch out for, even during the warm months.

1.Grills: Whether you’re cooking burgers for the family event or grilling up kabobs for dinner, you will inherently deal with a fire. Most are gas grills, which presents an even greater risk. In fact, the NFPA (https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/US-Fire-Problem/Home-Grill-Fires) reports that an average of 9,600 home fires is caused by grilling each year. Here are some fire safety tips for the grill:

  • Always check for any potential fire hazards before firing up the grill.
  • If the grill does not light the first time, let the gas dissipate for at least 5 minutes before attempting to light the grill again.
  • Be sure the grill is clean before using to get rid of oil and gas residue.
  • Make sure the grill is set up in an open, outdoor area and keep it a good distance from the house and railings.
  1. Dryers: This is a fire hazard year round. In fact, the leading cause of clothes-dryer related fires is a failure to keep the lint baskets clean. Lint is combustible. Lint causes fires. It takes seconds to clean out the lint basket, so just make a habit of it when you get your clothes out of the dryer. If you have space for a clothesline in the spring and summer months - use it! There’s nothing better than fresh, air dried clothes. The NFPA also recommends cleaning out the vent pipe at least once a year so lint or other flammable particles do not get stuck in the vent pipe. 
  2. Outdoor Fire Pits and Bonfires: The necessary safety precautions for an outdoor fire pit are pretty obvious, but keep these in mind when you’re having a party on a cool spring night.
  • Always have an adult present around a fire. Never leave children unattended! 
  • Always have a bucket of water or a water hose available nearby if things get out of hand. 
  • Build the fire away from homes, porches, low-hanging trees, or any other fire hazards. 
  • Monitor the number of leaves, pine needles, paper, and other contents are fed into the fire since these items catch fire quickly and result in high flames and floating embers. 
  • Always put the fire out completely before leaving the fire unattended. Don't expect it to die down on its own!

We are always Here to Help when you need us. Call us at SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana any time at (217)355-0077.  Happy Spring!

Levels of Commercial Damage in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana handles not only residential damage and restoration but commercial as well.

There are three levels of commercial damage that are considered:

Level 1

Level 1 is a small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.

Level 2

Level 2 is a midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.

Level 3

Level 3 is a large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include, but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.”

Once our team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently, and return your business to operation “Like it never even happened.”®

Reach us at (217)355-0077.

Cleaning Your Air Ducts, Is it Really That Important?

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Ever think about what inside your air vents could look like?

Did you know that, in certain circumstances, Duct Cleaning can increase your efficiency by up to 40%? That's a lot of money back into your pocket every month. Duct Cleaning is a process that can differ depending on each air system we come across, but the end result is the same... clean-air, and more healthy home and atmosphere. We use special equipment to ensure the safety of the air quality in your home. This includes special filters, ventilation equipment, containment barriers, and more. (For safety reasons, professional duct cleaning is often performed when your home is unoccupied, such as nights and weekends)

Here are some preventative actions you can take to reduce your need for Duct Cleaning.

  1. You should be changing your air filter on a regular basis.
  2. Try to always maintain good housekeeping practices, including regular cleaning/dusting to reduce the likelihood of contaminants.
  3. Have your duct-work routinely inspected, and regularly schedule professional maintenance.

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana

(217)355-0077

24-Hour Emergency Service

Independently Owned and Operated

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Water Damage Timeline

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

 48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

 More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically.  Replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and contaminants can pose serious risks to occupants. [JB]

Your Time is Precious

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

When you need it done right and done fast, call SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana.

Did you know when you hire us for maintenance cleaning, you get around-the-clock restoration services built with you in mind? Quality cleaning and quick response - that is the SERVPRO way.

Can't figure out how to get the job done? Call SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana,  at (217)355-007, for all your emergency restoration needs. When you experience a fire, water or mold damage in your home or facility, you need fast response and the expertise to get the job done right, ensuring you can get back into operation as quickly as possible. Through it all, you expect the most reliable information and the very best service at a fair price.  [JB]

Are You Prepared for a Thunderstom?

4/2/2019 (Permalink)

During this time of year in Champaign-Urbana we can experience a lot of rain which can lead to thunderstorms. It’s important to be prepared and have a plan in place. Talk with your family and create an emergency plan for thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes. Think about an emergency shelter and evacuation plan. Below we have a few suggestions to make sure you and your family are ready for whatever happens. 

Protect your electronics

Your electronics can get fried if they are not properly protected. Plug electronics into a surge protector to avoid damage during a storm. 

Prepare for power outages

Have battery-operated flashlights and lanterns in easy to get to places. Check on these items from time to time to make sure the batteries still work, replace them if necessary. Also, think about keeping the refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling. If these food items rise above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more, they should be disregarded. Call your local power company to inform them of the outage and to get information regarding when the power should be restored. 

Stay away from power lines

Do not go near power lines should they fall to the ground, they can be very hazardous. Call 911 if you see downed power lines. 

Go inside when you hear thunder

If you hear thunder, it is likely that lightning is also occurring. Lightning can be dangerous, therefore, make sure to go inside when thunder occurs. 

Seek shelter

There are many different natural elements which can occur and be harmful when outside during a disaster. Therefore, during a storm, it is important to seek shelter and be safe. If your inside, a good place to be is at the lowest level of your home. If you have a basement or storm cellar you can hang out in until the storm passes. 

Keep an emergency kit ready

Consider putting together a kit of things you may want to have on hand during a storm. Items you may want to include would be water, non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets extra batteries, a radio, and a first aid kit. If you have an emergency does strike your home during a thunderstorm, SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana is ready to help get your life back to normal. 

Call us in Champaign-Urbana, at (217)-355-0077 any time day or night, We are always ready to help. [JB]

How To Make an Office Fire Escape Plan

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Every workplace needs a fire escape plan. This plan should be posted throughout a building and shared with all occupants. Be sure to train new employees and perform regular drills to ensure that the emergency escape plan will prove useful in the event of a fire.

Plan Evacuation Routes

Use an accurate floor plan to determine evacuation routes from every room in a structure. It is a good idea to do the following:

  • Identify primary and secondary routes
  • Ensure that routes are reasonable for occupants
  • Obtain equipment such as an escape ladder

Secondary routes may be less than ideal, but they should still be practical. Keep the age and physical condition of occupants in mind. Post the emergency escape plan at strategic locations.

Test Fire Detection and Suppression Equipment

Many commercial properties are equipped with advanced detection and suppression systems. A fire escape plan should include regular tests to ensure the functionality of detectors and sprinklers. Hardwired alarm systems should have battery backups, and it is important to replace batteries that function as a main or backup power source. Make sure that fire extinguishers are of the appropriate class and filled with suppressant.

Keep Track of Occupants

Every business should maintain a current contact list. This list should include these details:

  • Names
  • Contact information
  • Departments

Keep this list in a location where it can be accessed remotely or physically removed in the event of a fire. Every business should have a safe location where employees can gather outside. This place should be far enough away from the structure without being downwind.

An office fire escape plan may also identify which employees are responsible for attempting to evacuate critical contents. It is smart to plan ahead and back up important records off-site. If a fire damages a building in Champaign/Urbana rely on a mitigation and restoration company to resume business as soon as possible.

(SB)

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

We are proud to serve our local communities!

We are proud to be an active member of this community. SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is locally owned and operated, so we’re already nearby and ready to help Champaign-Urbana Illinois residents and business owners with any size cleaning or restoration emergencies.

Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana for any Fire, Water, Smoke or Soot damage in your home or business. Reach us any time day or night at (217)355-0077. Our 24-hour emergency services result in immediate response and fast on job site timing, ensuring to prevent your property from future damage. We are always here to help you in your time of need, no matter the disaster. Let SERVPRO make your disaster "Like it never even happened." [JB]

Professional SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana Technicians Will Root Out Every Place Where Water Has Hidden on Your Property.

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

One of the hardest working appliances in your home is the refrigerator, so when it breaks or suffers a leak, there can be consequences. The water supply line to the ice maker can burst, causing floods that range from slow leaks to sudden breaks. Some are made of copper, and others are plastic. Some are initially connected under the house while others are linked to a wall. A lot of them have a quick connection which is quite prone to flooding. 
 
To prevent flood damage, non-plastic tubing like copper professionally installed with an unoriginal connection is recommended. Huge kitchen floods in your Garden District home can occur from broken ice maker lines in your refrigerator. 
 
SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, a professional flood remediation company, can help you clean up the mess of flooding if your refrigerator water line has broken. You may have several inches of standing water in your home, which needs to be removed as fast as possible. We have the ability and experience to do so. 
 
Before we get there, shut off your water if it is safe, turning it off at the main if needed. Sometimes, there is a shutoff valve behind your refrigerator near the wall. You should also cut off the electricity to the affected rooms. 
 
Depending on how bad the flooding is, your kitchen may not be the only place affected. The water could have spread into your dining room, family room, living room, hallways, foyer, or any other room that is on the same level. 
 
Our first step is to get rid of this standing water. Once we accomplish this, any damaged flooring is taken up so we can dry the sub flooring. The drying process can then begin. We use fans and dehumidifiers, placed strategically around the affected areas to dry your home as quickly as possible. Centrifugal air movers can be set up to dry underneath your kitchen cabinets. We return to your home every twenty-four hours until your home is thoroughly dry. 
 
With SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, you can be sure that you are treated respectfully and that your home is returned it its previous state before the flooding. Just give us a call anytime at (217) 355-0077.

(SB)

Your Family Home and Flood Damage in Champaign-Urbana

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Thorough Flood Damage Cleanup

Most of the time, heavy rain showers and thunderstorms bring pleasant feelings. There are times, though, when flooding is a direct result of these as they pass through the Champaign-Urbana area. Rainfall must have somewhere to go, or downhill areas suffer greatly.

There is always new construction in Champaign-Urbana, and this sometimes leads to flood damage of nearby homes. When the terrain in a section of town changes, it can cause rainfall to collect in areas that cannot adequately handle the amount it receives. The water must go someplace, and as a result, it spreads out and enters homes.

Cleaning up after a flood is a very messy task. Working together as a team, SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana employees restore homes affected by flooding disasters. After removing the majority of the soil brought into your home by the water, slowly but steadily drying out your home is our next goal. As this happens, we remove damaged and non-salvageable items so we can concentrate better on cleaning and sanitizing the rest of your home and its contents.

It is important we thoroughly clean so that everything is sanitary and safe. Microbes can live in barely moist environments, so ensuring that your home is completely dry is also a crucial part of the restoration process. Our cleaning procedures can also include the use of antimicrobial agents to prevent secondary growth. If any of these microorganisms are present, removal of most during the cleaning process happens readily. This is more beneficial than waiting for larger problems to develop and then taking care of them later.

Your kitchen is where you prepare your family's meals and snacks, and having a low level of contaminants and pathogens is vital for keeping your family healthy. We can sanitize every surface in your kitchen to help ensure that no flood-borne diseases can make your family ill. We can also inventory your food items that must be disposed of for you to give to your insurance provider if you choose to file a claim.

Whenever you need us to make it “Like it never even happened.” call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217) 355-0077, regardless of the time of day, 365 days a year. We always answer our phone, so you can speak to someone who can help you right away.

(SB)

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

Winter Storm Events

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Winter Weather 101

A winter storm is an event in which the main types of precipitation are snow, sleet or freezing rain.

Why can winter storms be so dangerous?

Most deaths from winter storms are not directly related to the storm itself.

  • People die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
  • People die of heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.

Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation. Recent observations show that:

  • Of injuries related to ice and snow:
    • About 70% occur in automobiles.
    • About 25% are people caught out in the storm.
    • Majority are males over 40 years old.
  • Of injuries related to exposure to cold:
    • 50% are people over 60 years old.
    • Over 75% are males.
    • About 20% occur in the home.
https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/winter/

We are having some severe weather here in Central Illinois this winter. Make sure you take all the precautions to keep your home or business prepared for the cold days and nights. Call us if you need us!   217-355-0077.  (JB)

Winter Heater Reminders

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

We all need heat when temperatures plunge!  However, special care must be exercised when using space heaters.

Space heaters that require fuel should be handled and used with extreme caution. While fuel-powered space heaters are more efficient at heating a large space, there are certain things you must do to protect yourself from a potential fire. 

Never leave space heaters running without supervision. It's understandable that you do not want to come home to a cold house, but leaving a space heater running unattended is extremely dangerous. Space heaters may overheat which increase the possibility of igniting the fuel and causing a fire.

Here are some helpful tips to keep your home safe:

1: Always make sure the space heater is turned off before refueling

2: Remove the space heater from the residence before refueling. Never refuel inside the house!

3: Allow the space heater adequate time to cool down. Refueling a space heater while it is still hot can cause an explosion. If you spill gas onto one of the hot parts of the space heater, it could easily ignite.

4: Make sure to check if the space heater you are using is approved for indoor use. Most fuel powered space heaters are designed for outdoor use only!

5: Always be sure to double check your home fire extinguishers to insure that they are charged and that the expiration date has not passed.

6: Do not place space heaters on carpets or other flammable fabrics. Make sure the space heater is not in a confined space where it may overheat

7: Electric space heaters should never be plugged to power in a damp room. Humid air can caused the space heater to short, leading to an electrical fire.

8: Always make sure that electric space heaters are directly plugged into an outlet. Extension cords increase the risk of shorting.

9: Before purchasing any space heater, make sure that the space heater has passed safety tests in the United States. The easiest way to tell is to check for an Underwriters Laboratory Label (UL).

SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana stands ready to remediate any incidence of damaging fire.  However, we offer these few watchwords to minimize the prospect of a building fire when using space heaters of any type. (JB)

Document Restoration

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Champaign-Urbana knows timely mitigation is the key to reducing severity and recovery of damaged items especially when it comes to paper goods. Water or smoke damaged paper can deteriorate rapidly.  Without proper handling, valuable files and irreplaceable documents could be lost forever.

Let SERVPRO'S Document Restoration Team help you recover your damaged paper goods before it's too late. Our technicians are trained to use the same advanced technology available as the Library of Congress uses to dry water damaged books.

Vacuum freeze drying is the most efficient and effective way to salvage water damaged documents. This process can recover even the most delicate items, from documents to photographs and x-rays to entire business archives. Your documents will be protected with the utmost care and privacy to keep your documents safe.

For further information, please call SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana217-355-0077. (JB)

Dealing with Smoke Damage Problems

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke damage leaves your property with black marks which can be unpleasing to look at. It destroys the appearance and structure of everything in it. This includes walls, ceiling, furniture and any other item in the affected room. It also leaves the building with an unpleasant odor that is hard to eliminate unless you turn to professionals like us for assistance. We are here to assist any smoke damage victims in the Champaign/Urbana area by offering friendly yet professional services to deal with the disturbing issue and restore your home or business property to its previous state.

We use our experience and high-tech equipment to make sure that we clean and deodorize the building making it a comfortable place to live in. Smoke, due to its nature, can easily seep through the smallest cracks. It is, therefore, hard for you to notice it and this could lead to substantial damages when the issue gets out of hand.

Our team is qualified and has knowledge about how smoke works. This makes us the best option for you. We offer complete cleanup and odor removal in Champaign/Urbana. We do this by following simple yet effective steps as follows;

Removing soot from the household

This is the residue left behind after the smoke damage. It is the action taken after assessing the level of the damage and marking the affected areas.

Determining and getting rid of the source of odor

The smoke smell remains in carpets, upholstered furniture and clothing unless it is eliminated before the cleaning process. We use high-quality additives and chemicals to help break the molecules and get rid of the smell.

Cleaning the room

After deodorizing, it is time to eliminate the smoke spots by doing a thorough cleaning of the walls, carpets and the washable clothes ensuring that they are all left immaculately clean.

If you are having a smoke damage issue in the Champaign/Urbana area, we are the right solution for you as;

  • We are experienced
  • Have the right equipment
  • Certified to do the job
  • We offer emergency restoration services

Do not think twice about trusting us to do the job for you and you will not regret your decision.

For any fire smoke damage issues, call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana. 

217-355-0077 (JB)

Overflowing Storm Drains Can Cause Flood Damage To Homes.

1/31/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana Can Remediate Flooding After Storms or Snow Melts

Rainfall and melted snow provide our lawns with the water they need to grow well, but not all of the water that falls on your property ends up soaking into the ground of your Champaign/Urbana property. Much of it runs off into the street where it travels down to the drainage system.

When a neighborhood contains many trees or other debris sources, homes in the area can become flood damaged. When these drains become clogged, they force the water to either continue down the street or to overflow into yards and parking lots. This can happen in any neighborhood.

We at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana make sure that each one of our customers receives the level of service their own unique needs require. We understand that floods do more than just damage the interior of the home. Flooding also affects the exterior of the home, as well as the yard. No matter where flooding damages your property, or how severe that damage becomes, we handle all aspects of restoration and quickly make it “Like it never even happened.”


SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is always ready to help local families recover from flood damage and other catastrophes that affect their residences. Call us at (217) 355-0077 anytime so we can help your family move forward after a flooding event.

Dangers of Extreme Cold

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service, $2.84 million dollars of property damage was caused by extreme cold in 2015.

Even scarier?  Fifty-three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold the same year.

It is important to be aware of the effect temperatures can have on you.  The two primary conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia.

Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures.  Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness.

Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss,slurred speech, and drowsiness.  If someone’s body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit seek medical attention immediately. 

To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible.  If not, dress warmly in layers and try to keep dry.  (JB)

Construction Services

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Rebuilding after a disaster.

After a disaster damages your home - whether it be a fire, water, or storm - you will need to rebuild and restore. For decades SERVPRO has been known for their ability to respond to a disaster and restore your home to make it "Like it never even happened.”

The first thing you must do after a disaster is take temporary protective measures such as placing roof tarps to prevent additional damage, boarding up to secure the building, and then remove water and debris. Mold, smoke, fire, and water damage all have their own protocol for restoration and our experts know how to tackle each problem.

Once your home or building is secured and the hazards are removed, you can start the rebuilding process; from the structure itself to preserving and restoring the treasured items inside your home - including heirlooms, art, and family photos. The professionals at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana can simplify the restoration process by handling both the initial damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas. Having one qualified company for the entire process can save time and keeps costs low.

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana can provide this continuity by supervising a full range of restoration services that will bring a building back to full functionality.

  • Board Up
  • Carpet Repair and Installation
  • Document Drying
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Drywall Installation
  • Drywall Removal
  • Electrical
  • Electronics Restoration
  • Fine Art Restoration
  • Furniture Restoration
  • General Contracting
  • Hardwood Floor Repair
  • HVAC Services
  • Move Out
  • Painting
  • Plumbing
  • Roofing Services
  • Tree Removal
  • And more!

If you are in need of construction services contact SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana,              217-355-0077.  (JB)

Hoarding: A Serious Situation

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

According to The Mayo Clinic, “A hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty in discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with a hoarding disorder experiences stress at the thought of reducing inventory. Excessive accumulation takes place regardless of actual value.”

Many people with a hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem. Hoarded items are captured which others would throw away, viewing them as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, second-class mail, or packaging. Hoarding can lead to a living space filled with extreme clutter from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present to such an extent that an exterminator may need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread outside the home as well, filling a storage facility, garage, or even yard. SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana encounters hoarding situations in several types of instances. It is not a rare for a fire or water loss to reveal a hoarding problem.

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana will communicate with the insurance company regarding a property owner’s contents coverage, which, after approval, may be packed for prospective cleaning or drying, and stored by SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana to expedite work on the actual fire or water loss at the building structure itself.  SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana may also encounter a hoarding job through a call from a landlord, caseworker, real estate agent, or family member upon the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will learn if they should look for any items of importance in the course of their cleaning. Sometimes family members will personally assist in helping the hoarding relative sort contents as well.

Each case is different and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is committed to helping make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties or with your insureds, call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana for a careful, but thorough response.  (JB)

Air Quality

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

JB

Here are some things to consider from the American Lung Association about air quality in your home:

  • Is anyone smoking indoors? No one should smoke indoors.
  • Can you see or smell mold or mildew? 
  • Is the humidity regularly above 50 percent?
  • Are there leaks or standing water anywhere—kitchen, basement, attic?
  • Are all fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, water heaters, fireplaces) fully vented to the outdoors?
  • Is there an attached garage or basement where cars, lawnmowers or motorcycles are stored?
  • Are household chemicals, paints or solvents stored indoors or in an attached garage or basement?
  • Have you recently remodeled or added new furniture, carpeting or painted?
  • Do you use odor-masking chemicals or "air-freshening" devices?
  • Has kitchen or food garbage been covered and removed?
  • Have you used pesticides recently?

If you have an ongoing air quality issue, call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana for further consultation. We have a staff of professionals, certified in all aspects of deodorization and microbial remediation.

Seasonal Storms Hitting Illinois

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Ready to Help with ANY Kind of Storm Damage

Illinois has a widely diverse and often unforgiving climate, making it on the receiving end of damage from a wide range of dangerous storms and natural disasters. Tornadoes can cause huge damages to entire towns, massive hailstones have been known to destroy cars and smash through roofing, and storms in both the summer and winter have the potential for serious flooding and water damage. Storm damage here varies widely in appearance and specifics, but SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is prepared year-round for all types of natural disasters common in the season. 

 
Tornadoes 
 
Call them tornadoes, twisters, or whatever you like, but these violent natural disasters cause some of the most severe storm damage we see in Illinois. Tornadoes can completely demolish a home, sometimes making rebuilding and replacing the only sustainable option for unfortunate homeowners. However, more commonly, a home may be affected to a mild or moderate degree and only require matching restorations to specific areas of concern. If you are unsure of how long or how much money a tornado restoration could take, be sure to call us for a quote. 
 
Snow and Ice Storms 
 
Snow can still cause significant damage in the coldest months of the year. Snow can seep into foundations, pile up and freeze in the yard, or cause ice dams that directly lead to water damage problems. When regular shoveling fails, SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is ready to help with any damages taken by your home. 
 
Heavy Rain Storms 
 
In some cases, ordinary rainstorms can be heavy enough to cause flooding or other severe damage to local homes, especially in the late spring and summer. A storm may even, bring a massive amount of moisture and destruction. In the event of flooding, make sure your valuables are secured and elevated and try to stay in a safe place or on the upper floors of your home. SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana has helped hundreds in the local area to recover from water, storm, fire, and other types of damage to their homes. For our assistance, just call us 24/7 at (217) 355-0077.

How To Recover From Water Damage To Your Champaign/Urbana Property After A Fire

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Removal After Fire Suppression In Your Champaign/Urbana Home

Disasters occurring in your Champaign/Urbana home often do not exclusively fall into one category of damage or another. Recovering from an instance like a fire in your house requires specialists in the effects of the fire, but might also require those with certifications to contend with water damages and drying efforts as well.

While the fire damage to your Champaign/Urbana home might be more than enough to get overwhelmed as a homeowner when you multiple that with the need for water removal services, you need trusted technicians that can arrive quickly like our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana team. Our rapid response unit is available 24/7 to begin mitigation practices and early stages of restoration work to keep the situation from getting worse.

When it comes to contending with water damages that require extraction, time is of the essence. Our SERVPRO technicians have the tools and equipment to rapidly pull high volumes of water from the affected areas, including two truck-mounted pumps in our Green Fleet. Extraction is not the only point of concern about the need for water removal, as this damage can spread and saturate quickly through materials in the affected region of the property.

Over saturation is a common occurrence in these situations, causing construction materials and surfaces to inflate and alter as the abundance of water warps their composition. If managed at the appropriate times, our professionals can work with air movers and dehumidifiers to pull the moisture from the area entirely, pulling the relative humidity in your home back to acceptable parameters to avoid effects like mold growth.

While a fire in your home might lead to severe effects spread throughout your property, sometimes the methods used to extinguish these fires can also cause effects on their own. Our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana fire restoration technicians has the equipment and training to handle any facet of fire damage that affects your home, and the commitment to fast service that makes the restoration process as efficient as possible. Give us a call anytime at (217) 355-0077.

Don't Let Ice Dams Get You Down This Winter Call Us If Your Champaign/Urbana Home Experiences Water Damage!

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Ice Damming Can Allow Water Damage to Champaign/Urbana Homes

The winter is upon the area, and Champaign/Urbana homeowners prepare for another season with significant snowfall. While many properties are virtually unaffected by the predicted snow to come, other homes are less fortunate regarding the damage that heavy snow staying on the roof of their house can do. Ice damming is among the most significant of the potential hazards that threaten the structural integrity of your roof, and this phenomenon is more common than you might think. 

While the smaller side of the concerns for ice damming on your roof is the weakening of the structure, water damage restoration in Champaign/Urbana maybe required when runoff and melting snow cannot find a means to leave the roof area. Ice damming occurs when melting snow beneath a fresh snowpack reaches the eaves of the roof and freezes at this point. To make matters worse, the condition continues to worsen without physically breaking them loose or having several warmer days to melt the ice. 

Our SERVPRO professionals have helped many of our customers that have dealt with ice damming and the water damages that can result from the incident. As melting snow and runoff have no means of escape from the area, and the weight of the snowpack providing immense pressure on the roof itself, liabilities become exposed and exploited by the present water. 

With efficient equipment designed to reduce overall humidity fast like our industrial-strength dehumidification machines, we can effectively bring moisture levels down to acceptable parameters in the attic space to prevent the growth of mold and fungus. With a licensed contracting division, our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana franchise can assist immediately with emergency board up services and include our professional reconstruction services as part of our comprehensive restoration package that saves our customers time and money.  

Ice damming can happen to any home, even on some that have preventative measures in place to avoid it. If your home suffers water damage, let our experts help you to restore the damaged areas fast. You can reach our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana emergency response team 24/7 by calling (217) 355-0077.

Have You Established An Emergency Ready Profile (ERP)?

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations and Priority Areas.  In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.  

Knowing what to do and who to call in advance and having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and gets you back in the building following a disaster. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet. Simply download SERVPRO's free Ready Plan app to access this information anytime. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you and your businesses are "Ready for whatever happens."

The ERP is a no cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save your business in the future.  Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217) 355-0077 to start your Emergency Ready Profile.

Mold Damage Is Not Enough To Bring Down Your Champaign/Urbana Based Business!

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

Trained SERVPRO Professionals Quickly Remediate a Mold Infestation at Your Place of Business

Prolonged exposure to mold damage may lead to health effects, and that is not good for your employees as a business owner. There are specific guidelines that you need to follow during such incidents for successful remediation so that your Champaign/Urbana business is back to its magnificent days. The timing of the restoration process is so vital to stand a better chance of rescuing most of your items. 
 
The primary cause of commercial mold in Champaign/Urbana is the presence of oxygen and moisture. If you fail to address the accumulation of moisture in your building, there are chances of seeing mold growing on carpets, papers, insulation, and wood. Controlling moisture levels on your property is the key to preventing this form of damage, and that is what our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana team helps you to achieve. We achieve that through dehumidification and setting up space heaters. 
 
Planning the remediation before the work starts is the first thing that our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana team does when working for you. During the planning stage, we assess the extent of the damage and look at the various areas and materials with the mold infestation. Our highest priority is to work towards protecting the safety and health of the occupants. 
 
If we notice that the HVAC system has some contamination, we discourage its use to prevent spreading the spores. We then clean it with antimicrobial detergents to avoid possible mold growth. In some cases, it might be hard to locate the mold when it grows on hidden surfaces. Such places include the underside of the pads and carpets, the back side of wallpaper, drywall or behind furniture. Our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana technicians are careful when dealing with such situations since removing that wallpaper or carpet might lead to the spread of spores to clean areas. 
 
At SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, We're Faster To Any Size Disaster! Call us at (217) 355-0077 anytime.

10 Tips To Make Your Home Safer From Fires

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

It’s an unfortunate tragedy. Your home in Champaign/Urbana has been ravaged by a raging fire. A restoration company has come to the rescue to return your home back to its prior condition. Hopefully you will never experience such loss again, but it is wise to prepare your home in the event of future disasters. Even if your home has never been devastated by a fire, the following fire preparation tips can prove beneficial in giving you greater peace of mind regarding fire safety in your home.

1. Smoke alarms: Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries annually.


2. Prepare children: Teach fire preparation to children, including the dangers of fire. Make sure they know the proper use of 911 for emergencies. Keep matches and lighters out of their reach.


3. Plan where to go: Create an escape plan and make sure everyone in the household is aware of it. Choose an outside meeting spot for all family members to gather upon escaping. Conduct practice drills at least twice a year.


4. Share contact information: Make sure all household members know who to contact in the event that they cannot find each other during a home fire.


5. Educate on proper techniques: Teach everyone in the household to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothes catch on fire.


6. Take action if you smoke: Smokers should take extra precautions, as many residential fire deaths are caused by smoking materials. Avoid smoking in bed, especially while sleepy or medicated. It is better to smoke outside.


7. Handle heaters: Portable heaters should be turned off when not in use.


8. Take care of candles: Candles should be extinguished when not in use, and never left unattended.


9. Store other sources of light: Speaking of candles, consider using flashlights during a power outage instead of candles.


10. Examine the home for other fire hazards: Check the electrical wiring and home heating sources to make sure they are safe.

A home fire is a most unwelcome event, but by taking fire preparation seriously, you and your household can hopefully avoid this happening or, at the very least, be better equipped to handle such an emergency when it occurs, Feel free to call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana anytime at (217) 355-0077.

Mold Remediation vs Mold Removal

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

Many people believe that mold remediation and mold removal mean the same thing however, they are different. Mold remediation is the removal and treatment of the mold, so mold does not regrow in the area. Mold removal is just the removal of mold. Mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours once water gets into your property. Mold spores flourish wherever there is moisture. These spores can rapidly grow into colonies when exposed to water. Sources of moisture or water must therefore be addressed before mold remediation can start, or else the mold may return. Mold remediation is something that SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana are specialists in. When SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana goes out to a mold job, we want to make sure that the entire mold is removed and treated properly so it doesn't come back. If you think that you have a mold problem call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217) 355-0077 at any time.

Community Involvement at its Best!

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

T’was the week before Christmas and all through SERVPRO, the decorations were hung with the SERVPRO sleigh loaded with gifts. All that was needed was firemen Phil, Urbana Fire Department (UFD) version of Saint Nick.

We here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana love being involved in the community, whether it’s a Parade during the Holiday seasons or partnering with local programs. Each year our local Walmart and Meijer donate approximately 10 gifts cards to the UFD. With this donation the UFD contacts all Urbana schools and requests their recommendation of two to three families in need of a little help financially with Christmas gifts such as toys, clothes, shoes, and more.

What does the evening look like?

Families show up at SERVPRO around 5:30 pm. They start the evening with pizza, juice boxes, and water. The parents then head for their local Walmart or Meijer according to the gift card they were given. They will then meet with a Fire Fighter and Store associate who will walk around the store with the Parents. The Fire personnel and store employee help with the calculation on the purchases to stay within the designated amount, along with making sure the gifts are for the kids and purchases don’t include big ticket items like electronics.

Crafts, a bounce house, and so much more go into making this an enjoyable experience for the kids. Stations are set up throughout the warehouse for groups of 5 to move to during the night. Our staff of employees volunteer their time to help these kids have a great night. Some are at each station to give directions on what the kids will be able to do and oversee their area, while others are the group leaders and assists the children on their crafts , games, and getting them from one station to the next. We also have employees distributing the foods and drinks, along with treats and prizes for the homemade gift bags for each kid to take home. And don’t forget the Elves! Wondering around all night are our SERVPRO elves keeping an eye on the kids to report back to Santa.

SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana Thanks the Urbana Fire Department and the families involved for allowing us to be a part of this annual event. If you would like to know how to donate or volunteer with us next year, Contact our office at (217) 355-0077 or the UFD Fire Marshal Phil Edwards at (217) 384-2445. MERRY CHRISTMAS from your friends at SERVPRO!

Cleaning an Artificial Christmas Tree

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

As the holiday season rolls around, it's likely that you'll be pulling your artificial Christmas tree out of storage. About 70 percent of Americans will celebrate Christmas this year, and of those who celebrate the holiday, only about 20 percent of trees are real! Many people recognize the benefits that come with artificial Christmas trees; reliability, easiness, and attractive looks.

After eleven months in storage, however, many artificial Christmas trees both look and smell a little dusty. No matter how well you try to keep the dust out, it always finds a way in.

Dust

One of the foremost necessities in cleaning an artificial Christmas tree is to remove any dust clinging to its branches and needles. Using a static cling cloth, gently wipe it along the branches. The static will pick up loose dust and stop your tree looking drab.

Shake with Salt

If your tree needs something a bit more intensive, salt can actually help! This is a method that is effective for small trees or larger trees that come apart into smaller pieces. Add small trees or tree pieces to a large bag with a handful or two of kosher salt, and then vigorously shake. The salt will act as an abrasive cleaner, scrubbing away any grime that's clinging on tightly.

A Seasonal Sponge Bath

For heavy cleaning, a light dusting won't be enough. At the start of every season, carefully wipe each branch down with a gentle, wet sponge. This will pick up the dust and dirt that settled between the needles while the tree was in storage. Sponging a tree, especially a larger one, can be time-consuming, so plan to tackle this at short intervals or enlist the help of others.

Deodorization

After your tree is clean, you'll still need to deodorize it periodically. You can hide a scented air freshener intended for a car in the branches of your tree to give it a seasonal scent, or periodically spritz the branches with an air freshener to keep them smelling fresh.

Professional Services

Sometimes, home cleaning just doesn't cut it. For more extensive cleaning services around your home, SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is locally owned and operated, and has expert solutions to keep every part of your house clean. Call us today for a free estimate (217) 355-0077

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

12/13/2018 (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.

How SERVPRO Remediates Water Damage in Your Champaign/Urbana Residence

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Uh Oh...Time to call SERVPRO before more damage occurs.

How we Help You Deal with Water Damage in Champaign/Urbana

Water is part of everyday life, so spills can also happen at any time. Although most incidents are easily manageable, some are too widespread to handle on your own. The damage they cause to property requires a systemic restoration process that only a certified WRT, water restoration technician, can manage. If there is a spillage incident in your Champaign/Urbana property, the steps you take once you discover the issue, play a role in determining the outcome. IICRC, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, certifies us, making us the right partner when your property is damaged. 

In all cases of water damage in Champaign/Urbana, taking immediate action helps a great deal. Issues like mold infestation and bad odor that happen within 24-48 hours after the spillage, can be prevented by extracting the water from affected areas or taking other preventive actions. At SERVPRO, we have highly trained crews on standby 24 hours a day. Our trucks have all the necessary supplies including water extractors with different capacities to remove standing water within the first few hours. By using desiccant or refrigerant dehumidifiers, our crews can also dry all excess moisture from your structure before mold develops. 

After a water spillage incident, there is the damage that you can see, and what you might not detect. From casual observation, you can tell that there is standing water on a wooden floor. However, you might not tell how deep the moisture penetrates the wood. By using advanced moisture detection tools such as moisture sensors, our SERVPRO technicians probe the affected material to establish the extent to which the moisture spreads. Moisture meters also help us establish the effectiveness of drying efforts. 

When the spill involves clean water, restoration only requires drying the affected area. However, if the water originates from an appliance such as a dishwasher, it might contain waste materials such as food remains or detergents. In such cases, we clean the affected areas to sanitary levels. Our SERVPRO crew helps you achieve this in different ways. Both the portable and truck-mounted water extractors that we use have heating capabilities of up to 220° F, so it is easy to eliminate different types of soiling on carpets or other fabric materials. We also have pressure washers and a wide range of professional cleaning products. 

A water spillage incident cannot lead to long-term problems when you work with SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana during the restoration that follows. Call us at (217) 355-0077 any time. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster. 

How to Be Proactive about Plumbing Issues in Your Commercial Business

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage in Champaign/Urbana

A broken pipe or cracked water main can be significant plumbing problems for business owners; however, while the plumbing issues can be detrimental for a property, the level of stress and pressure on the business owner can also present risks. It is better to manage property effectively and properly to minimize the chances of one of these major catastrophes.

  1. Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is one of the most important things a building owner can do to protect their property, the tenants, and employees. Preventative maintenance refers to the routine inspection of plumbing, sprinklers, pumps, and drains. While the inspection schedule for any of these items may vary, you may want to aim for at least one full-scale inspection per year.

2. Fix Minor Issues Before They Become Major Ones

While performing preventative maintenance is a wonderful prevention tool, it means nothing if issues are discovered and not addressed. The whole point in performing inspections is to find and resolve issues while they are still small, as opposed to waiting until the issue manifests into plumbing problems that can temporarily close down the business. Fixing these minor issues before they become major ones is just good business sense.

3. Find Backup You Can Count On

As being proactive about plumbing issues involves routine maintenance, it may be in your best interest to find a plumbing specialist in the Champaign/Urbana area that you can rely on and trust. You may want to speak with several companies and individuals before deciding because, as you will likely be doing business together for years to come, you want to feel comfortable in your decision.

If there is ever a plumbing issue rest assured that SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana will be here for you. You can reach us any time at (217) 355-0077

SERVPRO is the #1 Company to Call in Champaign/Urbana When Dealing With Fire Damage!

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Dealing with commercial fire damage on your own can be devastating & stressful. Our techs can help you and give you peace of mind.

Assistance Helps Speed up Recovery after Commercial Fire Damage in Champaign/Urbana

Fires in commercial establishments can be very devastating. Apart from the loss they cause by damaging the structure and contents, they also lead to business closure, which translates to lost revenue. The longer it takes to resume normal operations, the higher the cost of lost opportunities. In the worst cases, the business might even lose customers. We offer restoration services that help commercial establishments recover faster after fire incidents. FSRT certification means our customers benefit from a combination of top-notch equipment and advanced skills sets throughout the restoration process. 

The steps taken immediately restoration starts can quicken, or hamper the speed of recovery after commercial fire damage in Champaign/Urbana. Our SERVPRO technicians rely on their IICRC training to do a thorough evaluation before starting the restoration process. Such evaluation helps us establish the primary form of damage. Depending on the materials and items present in the affected area, it could be a case of predominant flame or smoke damage. If it is a case of smoke damage, we need to establish whether wet or dry smoke is the most prevalent. Having such information helps determine the level of agitation, chemical action and dwell time needed for effective cleaning. 

Commercial spaces can present unique size challenges. In a space like a warehouse, the sheer size of the walls, ceilings and other areas that require cleaning can prolong the restoration. In a hotel or office space, the challenge could be large surfaces such as glass windows that require special care to avoid problems like streaking. Our SERVPRO crews use special equipment such as mobile scissor lifts, spotting pad holders and extensions poles when cleaning up vast surfaces saving time. 

Our SERVPRO team considers the entire restoration process to determine how much effort to put into each phase, which also helps save time. For instance, if restoration involves repainting the affected surfaces, we clean to remove debris and neutralize the acids in smoke residue then restore the visual appeal though painting.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources


Restoring your fire damaged premises should not take too long. Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana to assist. You can reach us at (217) 355-0077 any time. 

Holiday Fire Safety Tips

12/1/2018 (Permalink)

Residential fires during the holiday season are more frequent, more costly, and more deadly than at any other time of the year. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports more than double the number of open-flame fires on Christmas Day than on an average day, and about twice as many on New Year’s Day. And when those fires occur, they do more damage: Property loss during a holiday fire is 34% greater than in an average fire, and the number of fatalities per thousand fires is nearly 70% higher. When the source of the fire is a highly flammable Christmas tree, the toll in property and lives is even greater.

To keep your household from becoming a holiday fire statistic, here are some safety tips to follow.

Cooking

Cooking is the top cause of holiday fires, according to the USFA. The most common culprit is food that’s left unattended. It’s easy to get distracted; take a pot holder with you when you leave the kitchen as a reminder that you have something on the stove. Make sure to keep a kitchen fire extinguisher that’s rated for all types of fires, and check that smoke detectors are working.

If you’re planning to deep-fry your holiday turkey, do it outside, on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet from the house.

Candles

The incidence of candle fires is four times higher during December than during other months. According to the National Fire Protection Association, four of the five most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Christmas/Christmas Eve and New Year’s/New Year’s Eve. (The fifth is Halloween.)

To reduce the danger, maintain about a foot of space between the candle and anything that can burn. Set candles on sturdy bases or cover with hurricane globes. Never leave flames unattended. Before bed, walk through each room to make sure candles are blown out. For atmosphere without worry, consider flameless LED candles.

Christmas Trees

It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to engulf a room in flames, according to the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Standards and Technology. “They make turpentine out of pine trees,” notes Tom Olshanski, spokesman for the USFA. “A Christmas tree is almost explosive when it goes.”


To minimize risk, buy a fresh tree with intact needles, get a fresh cut on the trunk, and water it every day. A well-watered tree is almost impossible to ignite. Keep the tree away from heat sources, such as a fireplace or radiator, and out of traffic patterns. If you’re using live garlands and other greenery, keep them at least three feet away from heating sources.

No matter how well the tree is watered, it will start to dry out after about four weeks, Olshanski says, so take it down after the holidays. Artificial trees don’t pose much of a fire hazard; just make sure yours is flame-retardant.

Decorative Lights

Inspect light strings, and throw out any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When decorating, don’t run more than three strings of lights end to end. “Stacking the plugs is much safer when you’re using a large quantity of lights,” explains Brian L. Vogt, director of education for holiday lighting firm Christmas Décor. Extension cords should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use. Check outdoor receptacles to make sure the ground fault interrupters don’t trip. If they trip repeatedly, Vogt says, that’s a sign that they need to be replaced.

When hanging lights outside, avoid using nails or staples, which can damage the wiring and increase the risk of a fire. Instead, use UL-rated clips or hangers. And take lights down within 90 days, says John Drengenberg, director of consumer safety for Underwriters Laboratories.  “If you leave them up all year round, squirrels chew on them and they get damaged by weather.”

Fireplaces

Soot can harden on chimney walls as flammable creosote, so before the fireplace season begins, have your chimney inspected to see if it needs cleaning. Screen the fireplace to prevent embers from popping out onto the floor or carpet, and never use flammable liquids to start a fire in the fireplace. Only burn seasoned wood — no wrapping paper.

When cleaning out the fireplace, put embers in a metal container and set them outside to cool for 24 hours before disposal. 

Should you have a fire emergency, no matter how big or how small, we here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana are ready to help 24 hours a day! Call us today at  (217)355-0077.

What's Fermenting in the Water Damage Inside Your Champaign/Urbana Brewery?

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Technicians in Champaign/Urbana Discuss The Importance Of Sanitization 

If a water leak ever takes place inside your Champaign/Urbana brewery, there are several types of different problems that could occur. Anytime building materials or contents get wet inside your structure, it is wise to get a professional restoration company like SERVPRO to perform commercial water damage mitigation. If structural components inside your building get saturated, they can lose their structural integrity and fall apart. The presence of moisture can also cause microbes that exist naturally in an environment to activate and form mold. When using a professional company to complete your commercial water damage project, we can take extra measures to prevent secondary problems like mold from happening.  

As soon as any organic materials inside a building get wet, our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana technicians know that we have a 48-hour period to remove all moisture before fungi start to develop. During any commercial water damage in Champaign/Urbana, we utilize specialized equipment and techniques to drop moisture levels to normal conditions faster than two days. We start by extracting standing water and moisture out of heavily saturated materials with heavy-duty extraction equipment. We then set up a combination of air movers and dehumidifiers to change the environment so that it is conducive for rapid structural drying. Once the machines get set up, we use moisture sensors to monitor the progress of our drying efforts.  

When working inside your brewery, we know that cleanliness is vital. Our SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana team can take extra measures to make sure areas like your kitchen or brewing room do not get contaminated. When doing work that could stir up any dust we often seal off areas inside your building that must remain clean and disinfected. We know that the presence of water and elevated indoor humidity can create the right environment for harmful bacteria to form. To prevent harmful bacteria from contaminating your clean working environments, we also complete a final cleaning and disinfecting stage before we finalize your project.  

If you ever notice wet items inside your brewery, call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217) 355-0077 24 hours a day.

Watch Out For The Water You Can't See!

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know it only takes 1 to 2 inches of water to begin damaging your property?  Any type of water leak no matter the size can turn into much larger damage if not treated when discovered.  Unseen water can soak through carpets, walls, and pool on sub-floors causing big problems over time. The faster water is removed the less chance of possible serious damage.  That's why SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is ready to spring into action anytime day or night to prevent these damages.  With the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, the affected area is quickly and thoroughly dried.  This is important to prevent secondary water damage from occurring. Water that is hidden can also contain bacteria and causes mold growth. This can cause rotting along with a big health hazard.  A mop and common box fan will not fully take care of water damage issues.  That's why it is very important to contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217)355-0077 for any water damage recovery.

Immediate Fire Restoration and Why It's Important

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can be a devastating when they occur.  It is crucial though when a fire strikes that you get the restoration process started immediately.  The longer that it is put off the harder and more repairs will be needed. This also means the price of repairs goes up as well.  SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana specializes in fire damage and restoration.  Contacting us is the first step in getting the restoration underway. SERVPRO will try to save as much of your home and personal belongings that we can. Remember that safety comes first, so if there’s no way to safely gain access into your home, stay out until SERVPRO professionals arrive. On arrival we perform a thorough cleanup using our industrial-grade products and equipment, such as dry cleaning soot sponges to remove loose soot and specialized vacuum filters to clean carpet and upholstery.  Unfortunately fires happen, but when they do make sure you act quickly to get the damage cleaned up.  SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana takes fire damage and leaves it "Like it never even happened." Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana for your fire restoration needs anytime at (217) 355-0077

Illini Towers Sprinkler Damage

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

Our Emergency Response Team is ready for your call 24 hours a day.

Unfortunately, water and fire damages don't seem to stick to the traditional 8-5 schedule. SERVPRO understands that when you need us the most, it may not be under normal work hours. That's why SERVPRO is well-equipped to respond to your emergency disaster 24 / 7. That includes weekends and holidays. This location had a sprinkler head malfunction on the 12th floor at 11:30 pm. SERVPRO had crews on site in less than an hour therefore minimizing the amount of water damage to other areas. Time is crucial for a water damage. The longer the water sits, the more the building is prone to secondary growth and structural deterioration. Fortunately, with our quick response time, the need for replacing materials was reduced dramatically which in turn minimizes the cost of repairs. You should always trust SERVPRO in the event of ANY loss. 

Coffee at Tricoci Beauty School

2/27/2018 (Permalink)

Butch, our Sales and Marketing Manager, hard at work during the Urbana Business Association's morning coffee at Tricoci Beauty School.

Our Marketing Team from Champaign hit the road Tuesday morning to join others involved in the Urbana Business Association for coffee at Tricoci Beauty School, located in the strip mall near the corner of University and Cunningham. Complimentary full body and hand massages was a great addition to a phenomenal breakfast. It is always a great opportunity to meet others from the community and to see all of the new businesses trying to pave their own way to success. There's not much better than getting your day started by brainstorming ideas, learning about different techniques to make your business flourish, make new friends, and catch up with old ones as well. SERVPRO looks to be a staple in the community and we will always be involved in the events around town supporting local business.

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