Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

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]

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. 

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]

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]

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.

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)

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)

Why SERVPRO Air Quality 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.

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.

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

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.