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September is Preparedness Month

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

General September is Preparedness Month Examples of Kits and Tools

Where you live, Mother Nature also lives.

Make a Kit

Why should you stockpile food, water, and other supplies?  Because bad things happen.  You never know when disaster will strike.

Whether it is a Snow Storm, Ice Storm, Hurricane, Wildfires, Tsunami, Tornado, Earthquake, Sand Storm or Flooding, you should always be prepared.  This goes for humans and pets alike.

A first aid kit should always be available in all areas; Home, Car, Boat, etc.

Emergency kits should be kept at all times.  If you wait until you need it, it is a sure bet others have beaten you to it.  Grocery stores may be empty.  The power grid, water/gas lines, transportation, fuel, and highways may all be broken or shut down.  FEMA is NOT responsible for providing you food and supplies.  It is your responsibility to provide food, water, and other supplies for at least the first three days of a disaster.  In extreme cases, you could be on your own for up to several weeks or even months. 

Basic 2-3 day stockpile for your home:

Food should not be a concern because most people typically have more than 2-3 days worth of food on hand, and could go that long without eating if necessary.  The biggest need is having sufficient water on-hand.  You will need 1 gallon of water per person per day.  Use tap water in six-gallon water containers, and/or use buckets with lids.  To purify, either boil the water, add 8 drops of bleach per gallon or water purification tablets.

6-8 week stockpile needs for more severe disasters:

Buy bulk items of food having a long shelf life.  You could buy and store your own rice, beans, pasta, and other dry or canned goods.  Another alternative if you do not want to have to worry about shelf life of the food, you can buy Freeze-dried & Dehydrated foods.  The shelf life for this type is around 25 years.

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers
  • Replace expired items as needed
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as family's needs change
  • You can also purchase already prepared Emergency Kits.  Costco, Amazon, Survival, and Sporting Goods stores, just to name a few.  Do your research.  Another alternative is to make your own.

    These kits, based on the supplier, include food that has a shelf life between 15-25 years.  Search for reviews with respect to the taste of the food.  We do not think you want to eat cardboard.  The food should taste good especially if you have children.

    The typical survival kits include supplies such as matches, cord, space blankets, water pouches, compass, multi-tool, etc.  Some also include a water filtration system, hand crank flashlight/radio/cell phone charger.  These kits are great in case you have to evacuate your home.  You may have to pack a can opener, toilet paper (I suggest wet wipes), towels, etc.

  • Family Communication Plan: Who to call-Family/Friends in and out of state

Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person.  It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing and/or programmed into their cell phones.

         No Cell or Landline service?  Purchase  2-way radios (a.k.a Walky-Talkies).  We would suggest one that is long range.

  • Utility Shut-Off: Where and how to shut off the water, power, and gas
  • Escape Plan: When, where, and how to bug out to if your home or city becomes too dangerous.  Choose two places to meet in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire.  Right outside your home outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate 
  • Safety Skills: How to provide CPR, dress a wound, properly prepare water, set up temporary shelters, start a fire, etc.

What might other stuff be worth stockpiling?

  • Fire: lighter; matches
  • Fuel: extra propane tanks; kerosene; gasoline; wood
  • Light:flashlights (hand crank?); candles; lantern; wicks
  • Cooking: vegetable oil; cook stove; cast iron pans
  • Flavoring: salt; sugar; honey
  • Protein: tuna/chicken cans; boxes of oatmeal; dry milk
  • Carb's: dry pasta w/cans of tomato sauce; crackers; dry cereal
  • Toiletries: buy large Costco quantities for everyday use, always have spares
  • First-Aid¹: band-aids, vitamins, iodine (f/radiation), rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide
  • Drugs: aspirin, analgesics, antibiotics, antifungals, antihistamines, antivirals, and steroids
  • Water:buckets w/lid; bleach; filter (Britta?); identify local source 
  • Power: batteries; rechargeable batteries; a solar recharger
  • Weapons:(for defense) shotgun, pistol, rifle, ammo, bat, machete, sword, nun-chuks...
  • Shelter: tarp; stakes; rope; twine; sleeping bag; blankets
  • Seeds: if extreme TSHTF then start your own vegetable garden 
  • Help/Barter: buy more of the above than you need to help neighbors and for trading

Source: ready.gov, redcross.org, Fema.gov

Cigarette Smoke Damage

8/17/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Damage The entire first floor of this home had thick yellowish-brown, sticky residue throughout caused by years of heavy cigarette smoking.

SERVPRO® of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie professionals are often asked if they are able to remove cigarette or tobacco smoke odors.

The EPA says that Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is the mixture of smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, plus the smoke exhaled by the smoker.  It is a complex mixture of over 4,000 compounds, more than 40 of which are known to cause cancer in humans or animals, and many of which are strong irritants.  We normally refer to ETS as “secondhand smoke.” 

The smoke from tobacco clouds the air and sticks to every surface of the area.  People can also see, smell, and feel a yellowish-brown, sticky substance that is on all surfaces and furniture in areas where smoking has taken place.  This extremely hard to remove residue discolors painted surfaces and plastics.  It can permanently change the appearance of wallpaper, blinds, paint, and many other items in the area.  The smoke can penetrate into furniture, carpets, walls, windows, and every other nook and cranny in the area.  In addition, the building’s HVAC system will carry the smoke odor and the residues throughout the structure. 

The result of long-term smoking in enclosed areas is much the same as that of an actual fire.  Unfortunately, one difference is that the smoke from a fire is sometimes much easier to remove from walls or other surfaces than tobacco smoke.  Removing tobacco residue can be challenging. 

Cleaning all surfaces will be necessary to remove contaminants and odors.  The cleaning process will always include deodorizing agents to help with that process.  Even after thorough and successful cleaning, it is usually necessary to seal surfaces with a sealant designed to lock in the very last of the stains and odors.  It is important to recognize that a normal “primer” is not sufficient, and a product designed to seal odors and smoke residue is required.

The “soft” items in a home such as upholstery, bedding, window coverings, clothes, etc. will need special attention.  Fabric absorbs odors very well.  They can be very difficult to restore successfully and may require outside specialists. 

After SERVPRO® of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie professionals have finished the cleaning, it may be necessary to use specialized, professional equipment to help remove the very last of the odors.  This will often involve hydroxyl generators or ozone generators.  Both are professional equipment that creates molecules, which can follow the smoke into tiny spaces, and both processes effectively destroy the malodorous particles.

As with every property loss, SERVPRO® of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie will bring your property back to a preloss condition. 

Souce: BrightPink

We are ready to help 24/7/365

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today – (847) 600-0102

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

Your name and contact information

Your insurance information (if applicable)

The street address of the water-damaged home or business

When did the flooding or water damage occur?

What caused the water damage (if known)?

Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie

SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie 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. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the proper knowledge to restore your property. If you experience a water event in your home or business call SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie at (847)-600-0102 right away.

Think you see mold? Do's and dont's

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

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.
  • Call the Professionals at SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie at 847-600-0102

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 at 847-600-0102

We are an IICRC Certified firm

5/11/2018 (Permalink)

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 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 for more information in regard to the services that we can offer

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.

Source: http://www.IICRC.org/blog/tag/fire-damage-clean-up