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Lake County Residents: SERVPRO specializes in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Lake County Residents: SERVPRO specializes in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

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 several reasons why your Lake County 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 -847-469-6982

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 Mundelein/North Wauconda 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 s500 IICRC Restoration Standards

•Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready to Help 847-469-6982

The Water You Don't See

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

With any leak, it’s the water you don't see that can cause the most damage. When you experience a water damage, make the right choice. A mop and common household cleaning products may not be enough for the unseen water intrusions. While the surface may seem dry, the water you do not see can contain bacteria, or cause mold, rot and other unseen damage.

DID YOU KNOW...The insurance industry estimates that approximately 90 percent of household damages stem from water-related occurrences. The most commonly reported cause is leaky or broken pipes and plumbing fixtures.

AVOID WATER DAMAGE FROM APPLIANCES

Home appliances are considered a leading cause of preventable water damage. By implementing a simple inspection and maintenance program, homeowners can reduce their risk significantly:

  • Dishwasher - Periodically check around the base of the dishwasher, as well as the water supply line under the sink.
  • Refrigerator - For refrigerators with ice makers, periodically check the hose connection attached to the water supply.
  • Washing Machine - Hoses should be inspected regularly for wetness around hose ends, as well as for signs of bulging, cracking or fraying. Hoses should be replaced every three to five years.
  • Water Heater - While the service life of the standard water heater is 10 to 15 years, water heaters should be inspected routinely for signs of leaks or tank rust. Water heaters should be located next to a floor drain or placed inside a drain pan piped to the floor drain.

So before risking the value of your home or further damage by attempting to clean and dry it yourself, or if you want to be sure that a past event is not creating problems today,

CALL SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 847-469-6982. We have the tools and the knowledge to help you with your Water Damage needs.  

Renters Insurance

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

Renters Insurance

Why do so few renters have insurance? One explanation is that many people incorrectly assume they are covered by their landlord's policy. Another reason is that people underestimate the value of their belongings. If you add up the value of just your clothing and electronics, it probably wouldn't take long to get into the thousands of dollars. One more often overlooked reason is liability: If someone is injured in your house – a friend, neighbor, or the pizza delivery person – they could sue you. Even if you thought you didn't need insurance, here are six good reasons why you should get a renter's insurance policy.

  1. It's affordable.

The average renter's insurance policy costs $187 a year, according to 2011 figures reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in 2013. Your actual cost will depend on factors, including how much coverage you need, the type of coverage you choose, the amount of your deductible and where you live. If you're in Mississippi, for example, you'll pay the most (average $252 a year); if you live in North or South Dakota, you'll pay the least (average $117 a year).

  1. It covers losses to personal property.

A renter’s insurance policy protects against losses to your personal property, including clothes, jewelry, luggage, computers, furniture, and electronics. Even if you don't own much, it can quickly add up to a lot more than you realize – and a lot more than you'd want to pay to replace everything. According to esurance.com, the average renter owns about $20,000 worth of personal property. [L2]

Renter's policies protect against a surprisingly long list of perils. A standard HO-4 policy designed for renters, for example, covers losses to personal property from perils including:

Damage caused by aircraft

Damage caused by vehicles

Explosion

Falling objects

Fire or lightning

Riot or civil commotion

Smoke

Theft

Vandalism or malicious mischief

Volcanic eruption

Weight of ice, snow or sleet

Windstorm or hail

Damage from water or steam from sources including household appliances, plumbing, heating, air conditioning or fire-protective sprinkler systems

Note: Losses resulting from floods and earthquakes are not covered in standard policies. A separate policy or rider is required for these perils. In addition, a separate rider might be needed to cover wind damage in areas prone to hurricanes. And renter’s insurance policies don't cover losses caused by your own negligence or intentional acts. For example, if you fall asleep with a lit cigarette and cause a fire, the policy most likely will not cover the damage. To learn more, read Eight Financial Safeguards If Disaster Strikes and the Hurricane Insurance Deductible Fact Sheet.

  1. Your landlord might require it.

 Your landlord's insurance covers the structure itself and the grounds, but not your belongings. A growing number of landlords require tenants to purchase their own renter's insurance policies, and they'll expect to see proof. This could be the landlord's idea, or it could be an "order" from the landlord's insurance company – the idea being that if the tenants are covered themselves, some responsibility can be shifted away from the landlord. If you need assistance finding or obtaining coverage, your landlord may be able to help.

  1. It provides liability coverage.

 Liability coverage is also included in standard renter’s insurance policies. This provides protection if someone is injured while in your home or if you (or another covered person) accidently injure someone. It pays any court judgments as well as legal expenses, up to the policy limit.

Most policies provide at least $100,000 of liability coverage, and between $1,000 and $5,000 for medical-payments coverage. You can request (and pay for) higher coverage limits. If you need more than $300,000 of liability coverage, ask your insurance company about an umbrella policy, which can provide an additional $1 million worth of coverage for about $150 to $300 a year.

  1. It covers your belongings when you travel.

 Renter's insurance covers your personal belongings, whether they are in your home, car, or with you while you travel. Your possessions are covered from loss due to theft and other covered losses anywhere you travel in the world. Check your policy or ask your insurance agent for details on what constitutes "other covered losses."

  1. It may cover additional living expenses.

 If your home becomes uninhabitable due to one of the covered perils, your renter's insurance policy may cover “additional living expenses,” including the cost associated with living somewhere else temporarily, food and more. Check with your policy to find out how long it will cover additional living expenses, and if it caps the amount the company will pay.

The Bottom Line

 Renter's insurance provides coverage for your personal belongings, whether they are in your home, car or with you while you're on vacation. In addition, renter's insurance provides liability coverage in case someone is injured in your home or if you accidently cause injury to someone.

Be sure you understand what your policy covers, and ask your agent about available discounts, deductibles and coverage limits. For example, be sure you know whether your insurance provides replacement cost coverage (RCC) for your personal property or actual cash value (ACV). The first will pay to replace your 15-year-old carpet, say, with a new one, at current market rates, while the second will only reimburse you for the value of a carpet that's 15 years old. RCC costs more.

Source: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/082714/6-good-reasons-get-renters-insurance.asp

Winter Weather- Stay or Go

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Stay or Go

STAY:

  • If stuck on the road to avoid exposure and/or rescue is likely
  • If a safe location is neither nearby or visible
  • If you do not have appropriate clothing to go outside
  • If you do not have the ability to call for help

GO:

  • If the distance to call for help is accessible.
  • If you have visibility and outside conditions are safe.
  • If you have appropriate clothing.
  • Once the storm has passed, if you are not already home, follow instructions from your local transportation department and emergency management agency to determine which route will be safest for you to get home. Drive with extra caution.

Dress for the Weather

  • If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat. A hat will prevent loss of body heat.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

Stranded in a Vehicle

If a blizzard traps you in the car:

  • Pull off the highway. Turn on hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window.
  • Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter. Be careful; distances are distorted by blowing snow. A building may seem close, but be too far to walk to in deep snow.
  • Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion. In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers, and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with passengers and use your coat for a blanket.
  • Take turns sleeping. One person should be awake at all times to look for rescue crews.
  • Eat regularly and drink ample fluids to avoid dehydration, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Be careful not to waste battery power. Balance electrical energy needs - the use of lights, heat, and radio - with supply.
  • Turn on the inside light at night so work crews or rescuers can see you.
  • If stranded in a remote area, stomp large block letters in an open area spelling out HELP or SOS and line with rocks or tree limbs to attract the attention of rescue personnel who may be surveying the area by airplane.
  • Leave the car and proceed on foot - if necessary - once the blizzard passes.

Source: https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

Here Are Some Helpful Tips to Stay Toasty Warm This Winter season!

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Here are some helpful tips to stay toasty warm this winter season!

  1. Dress in (up to 3) Layers

Layering insulates the body by creating pockets of warm air around it which ensures that it keeps a core temperature of 98.6 °F. According to proper layering etiquette, you should dress in as many as three layers depending on how cold it is, and what you'll be doing outside: a base layer, a mid-layer, and an outer layer.

The base layer of clothing is the one that's worn next to your skin. It includes form-fitting clothing (like thermal underwear) that provides warmth and keeps you dry. Clothing made of synthetic materials that move moisture away from skin are best. Avoid wearing cotton when possible since it absorbs moisture and can trap wetness against your skin, making you colder.

The middle layer of clothing is meant to insulate the body by keeping heat in and cold out. Wool, fleece, and polyester sweaters, sweatshirts, pullovers, and long-sleeved tops do this job well.

The outer, or shell, layer of clothing includes pants and a jacket or coat. Ideally, this layer should be waterproof, yet breathable.

  1. Keep Dry

No matter how many layers of clothing you wear, they won't do you a bit of good unless they remain dry. An umbrella, weather-proof coat, and snow boots can help with this. (Once clothing gets wet, the moisture evaporates from its surface, causing it to cool and you to feel much colder.)

Not only can rain, freezing rain, or snow dampen clothing, but sweating can too. If you find you've layered so well that it's causing you to overheat, you'll want to remove that thermal top or layering tee.  

  1. Wear a Hat, Mittens, Sunglasses

It's said that as much as 70% of the body's heat is lost through the head. Whether or not you believe this cold weather lore, one thing is certain—wearing a hat will help keep you warmer, if for no other reason than you'll have less skin exposed to the elements.

As for the body's extremities (fingers, toes, and feet), take extra care to keep them warm. They're among the first to experience the effects of frostbite. When it comes to the question of gloves vs. mittens, go with the latter. True, mittens are bulkier, but they keep hands warmer by clustering the fingers together.

And don't forget your eyes! While they aren't necessarily in danger of getting cold, having snow on the ground (if there is any) can actually make the sun's UV rays stronger—so throw on some shades!

  1. Keep Hydrated

While you wouldn't think it, dehydration is a real concern during cold weather. Not only does cold air strip our bodies of moisture because it is drier, but winter winds carry moisture away from the skin's surface through the process of evaporation. What's more, people don't naturally feel as thirsty in winter as they do when the weather is hot.

Drink plenty of water and hot drinks (which offer both hydration and warmth), even if you don't feel thirsty. This will help you stay well hydrated, which makes it easier for you to stay warm. (Being dehydrated makes it harder for the body to concentrate on maintaining a safe core temperature.) One drink you'll want to avoid is alcohol. While a nip or two may give you a "warming" sensation, alcohol actually causes dehydration.

  1. Keep Moving

The more active you are in cold weather, the more heat your body will generate as a result.

If you do plan to sit or stand outside for long periods of time, wiggle your hands and toes every few minutes to keep the blood (and therefore, heat) circulating in these extremities.

Source: http://weather.about.com/od/wintersafety/tp/Cold-Weather-Safety.htm

Winter Safety Tips for your Pets!

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Winter Safety Tips for your Pets!

Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws. To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s health, please heed the following advice from our experts:

  • Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
  • Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
  • Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.
  • Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.
  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
  • Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry.
  • Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
  • Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.

Source: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/cold-weather-safety-tips

FROZEN PIPES

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.

Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.

Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

How to Protect Pipes from Freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations: Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.

Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.

Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.

Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold-water pipes in these areas should be insulated.

Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.

Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold-water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much costlier repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.

Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.

Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.

Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Source: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes

Winter Driving Tips

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

Driving your car while the roads are snowy and icy can be a stressful ordeal. While some vehicles are well-suited for the snow, some are not and require preparation and know-how to keep the car under control.

Get your car serviced regularly. Preventive maintenance is key. Make sure your battery, cooling system, and windshield wipers are in tip-top shape. You'll spend less money servicing your car than you'll spend towing and fixing it if your car gives out while you're on a dark, snowy road.

Buy snow tires or add chains to your existing tires if you live in a very snowy climate. Snow tires have special treads that cut through the snow and allow the vehicle to have better traction. They're also made of a more flexible type of rubber, so that they don't freeze and become hard in cold temperatures. It is best to get snow tires for the drive wheels. For rear-wheel drive, add snow tires to the rear. If your car is equipped with tires that have predominantly thin tread lines, they will clog easily, making steering or getting traction difficult.

  • Some all-season tires do not rid themselves of snow properly and become clogged in deep snow. These tires may be unsafe to drive with in extreme conditions.
  • Most tire stores will insist on snow tires or studded tires to all four wheels of a front wheel drive vehicle. The rear tires should have adequate or equal traction as the front tires for proper handling and preventing fish tailing, especially when making turns. It isn't critical to have studs on all four ties of a front wheel drive car, but highly recommended so the traction is equal.

Tis the Season For Safety

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

Tis the Season for Safety

Pretty lights and decorations add to the feel of the holiday season, but if they are not used properly your holidays can go from festive to frightening very quickly. Please see below a few very simple safety tips, which can reduce your risk in your home or business this holiday season.

  • Place Christmas trees, and other holiday decorations at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, and heat vents.
  • Purchase flame retardant metallic, or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that are not easily broken. Keep all live trees moist - check the water daily.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
  • Always extinguish candles before going to bed or leaving the house -- designate a person to be in charge of checking and putting out all candles.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire - potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains ... away from your stovetop.
  • Smoke alarms save lives. Replace batteries at least once a year. Use the test button to check it each month.

After a Winter Storm

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

After a Winter Storm

Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. Access to some parts of the community may be limited or roads may be blocked.

Help people who require special assistance—infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

Avoid driving and other travel until conditions have improved.

Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks from shoveling heavy snow are a leading cause of death during the winter.

Check on your animals and ensure that their access to food and water is unimpeded by drifted snow, ice, or other obstacles.

If you are using a portable generator, take precautions against carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution and fire.

Identifying & Treating Frostbite and Hypothermia

Frostbite and hypothermia are cold-related emergencies that may quickly become life or limb threatening.

Take these steps to avoid frostbite and hypothermia:

Be aware of the wind chill. Dress appropriately and avoid staying in the cold too long. Wear a hat and gloves when appropriate with layers of clothing. Avoid unnecessary exposure of any part of the body to the cold.

Drink plenty of warm fluids or warm water but avoid caffeine and alcohol. Stay active to maintain body heat.

Take frequent breaks from the cold.

Get out of the cold immediately if the signals of hypothermia or frostbite appear

- Frostbite

Frostbite is the freezing of a specific body part such as fingers, toes, the nose or earlobes.

Signs of frostbite:

Lack of feeling in the affected area

Skin that appears waxy, is cold to the touch, or is discolored (flushed, white or gray, yellow or blue)

What to do for frostbite:

  1. Move the person to a warm place
  1. Handle the area gently; never rub the affected area
  1. Warm gently by soaking the affected area in warm water (100–105 degrees F) until it appears red and feels warm
  1. Loosely bandage the area with dry, sterile dressings
  1. If the person’s fingers or toes are frostbitten, place dry, sterile gauze between them to keep them separated
  1. Avoid breaking any blisters
  1. Do not allow the affected area to refreeze
  1. Seek professional medical care as soon as possible

- Hypothermia

Hypothermia is the cooling of the body caused by the failure of the body’s warming system. The goals of first aid are to restore normal body temperature and to care for any conditions while waiting for EMS personnel.

Signs of hypothermia:

Shivering

Numbness or weakness

Glassy stare

Apathy or impaired judgment

Loss of consciousness

What to do for hypothermia:

  1. CALL 9-1-1 or the local emergency number
  1. Gently move the person to a warm place
  1. Monitor breathing and circulation
  1. Give rescue breathing and CPR if needed
  1. Remove any wet clothing and dry the person
  1. Warm the person slowly by wrapping in blankets or by putting dry clothing on the person.

Hot water bottles and chemical hot packs may be used when first wrapped in a towel or blanket before applying. Do not warm the person too quickly, such as by immersing him or her in warm water.

Warm the core first (trunk, abdomen), not the extremities (hands, feet).

Source: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm#Before