Recent Posts

Beware of overloading power strips

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Recently, the team at SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie responded to an emergency fire loss in Kenilworth,IL caused by an overloaded power strip. The customer had 11,(yes 11) plugs in a power strip designed for 5 plugs. There were multi plug adapters plugged into each one of the sockets. Not surprisingly, the power strip was overwhelmed and shorted out causing a fire in the home office.

This is yet another example of a loss that could have been avoided by the proper intended use of an electrical device. Please take care not to exceed the recommended number of plugs to be used when employing power strips, or multi plug adapters,the results of not doing so can be catastrophic. Luckily, in this case no one was injured and the fire was able to be extinguished quickly. Next time, someone else may not be as fortunate.

If you have fire restoration or cleanup to deal with, please call the professionals at SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie at 847-600-0102. 24 hours a day/7 days a week we are available to help.

Mold and Homeowners insurance

8/21/2017 (Permalink)

A question that we often are asked here at SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie is "Are there insurance plans that will cover you from the cost of a mold remediation project?"

So,does homeowners insurance cover mold? The answer is....Sometimes.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold?

Homeowners insurance does not usually cover mold damage. That being said, there are some instances where the cost of mold remediation can be covered by the insurance carrier. These instances generally occur when the source of the mold is due to an incident that the homeowners insurance policy does cover. For example, if mold has grown due to an accidental pipe break, sump pump failure, or water that's been used to put out a recent fire has caused mold to occur, your homeowners insurance could possibly cover the mold damages. On the other hand, if mold has grown due to improper maintenance practices such as on-going high humidity content or a continuous leak(such as a roofing or foundation leak), homeowners insurance will likely not cover the damages.

How To File a Homeowners Claim for Mold

The first step in filing a claim is to call your insurance carrier as soon as the suspected mold is discovered to inform them of the damages and the source of the issue. Once you speak with your insurance carrier and they provide you with the next steps, you can begin to gather the evidence. You can do this by taking several pictures of the source of the issue, as well as any apparent mold growth. Keep in mind that mold only needs 24-36 hours to begin to grow. It is also a very good idea to contact a licensed and IICRC certified mold remediation contractor and have them come out for an assessment. The professionals at SERVPRO WWS provide a no cost inspection of your property in order to determine the source of the problem, and recommend what course of action may need to be taken. We can also work with your insurance carrier to determine if the necessary coverages are available to you.

Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie at 847-600-0102 if you suspect mold growth in your home.

Why work with an IICRC certified firm??

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

General Why work with an IICRC certified firm?? This level of damage requires real professionals....IICRC certified professionals

SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie 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 Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie

SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie (847-600-0102) 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 us at 847-600-0102 today for any and all of your restoration needs.

Every fire burns differently

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Every fire burns differently Smoke and soot finds its way everywhere in a fire

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 Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie 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 – 847-600-0102

Fire damage requires professional claeaning protocols

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire damage requires professional claeaning protocols Certified technician removing soot from walls and ceilings

Fire Damage Repair Should Be Done With Professionals

We here at SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie are your fire and smoke damage professionals!! Call us at 847-600-0102 if you are dealing with fire and/or smoke damages.

With responsive and precise fire damage repair, even the worst disasters can be put in the past. Roaring flames have been one of man’s greatest enemies since the dawn of history, and though it’s easier to handle these days, it can still cause havoc if it gets out of control. Not only can the flames cause enormous damage, the ash, soot and smoke residue that remains will make the home almost noxious to live in. Both can create irritating odors, discolor walls or ceilings and cause breathing issues if there is a high concentration of ash left over.

Professional fire damage repair will remove the ash and smoke residue left behind. This has to be done quickly because ash is acidic and will cause materials to deteriorate if allowed to sit for long. Restoration professionals work hard to provide a thorough cleanup.  This will include treatment of every surface that is affected by ash and soot. This includes cleaning down walls, ceilings, furniture and countertops. Ash and smoke will almost always be present in the vents and ducts as well, as they are quickly taken up by the HVAC system. Professionals will access the home’s ducts to clean them out as well, preventing either from entering the home once again.

Upon eliminating all of the ash, soot and smoke, the home will quickly be free of any lingering odor.


When you need fire and smoke damage restoration services

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage When you need fire and smoke damage restoration services This type of damage requires professional restoration service

Reputable fire restoration services can help out even in the direst of circumstances, and they should be contacted immediately after the flames die down. The acidic ash residue left behind by the disaster will make a bad situation even worse if it is not removed within a few days, and the only way to do so is with a thorough cleaning. This isn’t an undertaking that home or business owners are equipped to handle on their own, and professionals like the ones at SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie have access to special equipment and cleaning  products to make the job much easier. Call our office at 847-600-0102 to make sure your damage is properly remediated

Fire restoration services are equipped to respond quickly to a disaster and have the manpower to approach a full-scale cleanup. During cleanup, the technicians will treat walls, ceilings and anything else that has been affected by ash. If smoke odors are present, and they usually are, they will also require removal to make it possible for people to inhabit the building once again. Smoke odors, though, are extremely hard to remove and can’t be done with standard equipment. Fortunately, experienced firms keep thermal foggers and other sophisticated odor removal equipment on hand to counter noxious smoke odors. They can reach into all parts of the home, including inside floors and walls.

As long as a home or business owner selects a certified firm to handle their cleanup, the problem can be eliminated with no further damage done to the building.

Call SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie today at 847-600-0102


Develop your plan for emergency readiness

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Develop your plan for emergency readiness This rehab facility was down for only 4 hours thanks to the ERP being in place

The biggest mistake that your company can make might not be obvious. Failure to prepare for disaster by not having an emergency plan in place not only brings safety into question, but also your company’s reputation.

Many businesses close their doors and lose money for extended periods of time due man made or natural disasters, solely because they were unprepared. Although insurance policies can be helpful, they will not always compensate a company for the money lost during business interruption, nor will they help develop and implement steps to take to reopen as quickly as possible. How fast  a company can get back to business after a natural or man-made disaster will often depend on its emergency preparedness. 

How many rooms can your hotel not afford to fill because you failed to put a disaster plan in place? Where will you house your tenants after a disaster hits your senior living facilities? How will you tell parents and teachers that you can no longer operate your day care facility after a flood/fire occurred on the premises?

If you don’t want to become another business forced to shut down after a disaster call SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie today at 847-600-0102. Let us help you develop an ERP disaster plan, take the time to put it in place, and keep it updated. Your plan must account for both man-made and natural disasters.

Disasters are not always avoidable, but you can always help mitigate damage. That’s where SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie comes in. With our ERP (Emergency Ready Plan), you won’t have to worry about vetting vendors to help lessen the damage to your building. Through the ERP program, we work with you to gather building data, (ie; shutoff locations for electric, gas, and water, locations to park vehicles, preferred elevator access, etc.) which helps us to respond and begin the mitigation process as quickly and accurately as possible.

If you don't have a plan to prevent business interruption, your livelihood could be seriously impacted.  Visit the Emergency Ready Plan website to learn more
Call Will Althouse at SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie to set up a free evaluation of your business today . 847-600-0102

Tips to prevent mold growth in your commercial space

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Tips to prevent mold growth in your commercial space DO NOT TOUCH! this is a job for professionals

For businesses, mold doesn’t just have the ability to damage property. It can also cause adverse health issues in your employees and customers, which can create liability issues for your business. 

Mold thrives in humid, warm, and moisture-rich areas. Wet and porous building materials, humidity above 60%, and consistent moderate to warm temperatures encourage mold growth in the interiors of buildings. Where any of these conditions exist mold can grow. Some species of mold can grow at an incredibly fast rate, sometimes in 24 to 48 hours. If left unattended, mold can cause symptoms of illness in your employees or customers including wheezing, skin irritation, eye irritation, and congestion. In some serious instances mold can also cause shortness of breath, fever, and infection.

How can you prevent mold from growing in your building? The answer is by controlling water and moisture from building up in your interior environment. Here are a few other quick tips to help you prevent mold growth in your building:

  •  Don't install carpets in high-moisture areas such as the bathroom and the basement.

  • If you discover a leak, make sure to have it repaired immediately and remove all affected materials so mold can’t grow on them. Wet cardboard boxes and paper goods are special favorites of mold spores.

  • Have your gutters and downspouts cleaned professionally at minimum once a year. 

  • Keep your building properly ventilated at all times, and with a humidity level under 45%. This will help reduce your risk of mold growth.

If you see or smell any signs of potential mold growth in your business call the professionals at SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie at 847-600-0102 for a free assessment of your facility.

How to properly repair storm damage

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How to properly repair storm damage Recent storms flooded this Wilmette basement with four inches of water

Document the Damage

As soon as you can safely approach your property, you will want to take photographs of the damage that you can use as proof for your insurance company. Make sure to take an inventory of both the interior and exterior of the property, and consult with SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie for any needed inspections. Call SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie at 847-600-0102 and our team of professionals will help you in every step of the process

Repair the Roof if needed

Storms generally affect the roof of homes and businesses the hardest. Once the roof is compromised, water damage can and will  severely affect the interior of the property. Make sure to have the roof inspected and repaired early in the clean up effort so that the remainder of the property is protected from further damage.

Water Restoration is critical

Cleaning up flooded property requires a professional technique to ensure that all affected materials are returned to their original dry standard, or removed if necessary. If your property has been wet for any length of time, it may also be necessary to do a mold inspection since it only takes 24 to 48 hours for certain types of mold to grow. While you can do your part to help, such as removing contents that were unaffected by the storm, it is best to let a professional handle things such as determining whether or not your carpet can be salvaged.

The amount of damage even a short storm can do can be devastating. Yet, it is possible to salvage some types of materials and save a good portion of your property, provided you act quickly. By keeping safety in mind and working with a professional clean-up crew like the one at SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette Skokie you will have your property looking "Like it never even happened."


Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie at 847-600-0102 if you have incurred any storm damage. We are available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week for emergency service.

Be on the lookout for mold!!!

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Be on the lookout for mold!!! Rampant mold growth from sump pump failure

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 Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie 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 Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie 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 remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 847-600-0102