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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

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

What happens during a snow storm

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Stay Safe During a Winter Storm

- Staying Safe During a Winter Storm or Blizzard

Stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. If you feel too warm, remove layers to avoid sweating; if you feel chilled, add layers.

Listen to a local station on battery-powered radio or television or to NOAA Weather Radio for updated emergency information.

Bring your companion animals inside before the storm begins.

Move other animals to sheltered areas with a supply of non-frozen water. Most animal deaths in winter storms are caused by dehydration.

Eat regularly. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.

Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration. Drink liquids such as warm broth or juice. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine, a stimulant, accelerates the symptoms of hypothermia. Alcohol, such as brandy, is a depressant and hastens the effects of cold on the body. Alcohol also slows circulation and can make you less aware of the effects of cold. Both caffeine and alcohol can cause dehydration.

Conserve fuel. Winter storms can last for several days, placing great demand on electric, gas, and other fuel distribution systems (fuel oil, propane, etc.). Lower the thermostat to 65° F (18° C) during the day and to 55° F (13° C) at night. Close off unused rooms, and stuff towels or rags in cracks under the doors. Cover the windows at night.

Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone.

- Staying Safe Outside

If you must go outside, protect yourself from winter storm hazards: Wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens or gloves and a hat will prevent the loss of body heat.

Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from severely cold air. Avoid taking deep breaths; minimize talking.

Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.

Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses much of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly away from the body.

Stretch before you go out. If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. This will reduce your chances of muscle injury.

Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a vehicle, or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and the hard labor may cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia.

Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks. Slips and falls occur frequently in winter weather, resulting in painful and sometimes disabling injuries.

If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation if possible. About 70 percent of winter deaths related to ice and snow occur in automobiles.

Driving in Winter Conditions

Check your vehicle emergency supplies kit and replenish it if necessary.

Bring enough of the following for each person:

- Blankets or sleeping bags

- Rain gear, extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks, and wool hats

- Newspapers for insulation

- Plastic bags for sanitation

- Canned fruit, nuts, and high energy snacks (Include a non-electric can opener if necessary)

- Warm broth in a thermos and several bottles of water

- Keep a cell phone or two-way radio with you. Make sure the battery is charged.

- Plan to travel during daylight and, if possible, take at least one other person with you.

Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your vehicle gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

Before leaving, listen to weather reports for your area and the areas you will be passing through, or call the state highway patrol for the latest road conditions.

Be on the lookout for sleet, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and dense fog, which can make driving very hazardous

- If You Become Stranded

Stay in the vehicle and wait for help. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards (91 meters). You can quickly become disoriented and confused in blowing snow.

Display a trouble sign to indicate you need help. Hang a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and raise the hood after snow stops falling.

Run the engine occasionally to keep warm. Turn on the engine for about 10 minutes each hour (or five minutes every half hour). Running the engine for only short periods reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and conserves fuel. Use the heater while the engine is running. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and slightly open a downwind window for ventilation.

Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.

Do light exercises to keep up circulation. Clap your hands and move your arms and legs occasionally. Try not to stay in one position for too long.

If more than one person is in the vehicle, take turns sleeping. If you are not awakened periodically to increase body temperature and circulation, you can freeze to death.

Huddle together for warmth. Use newspapers, maps, and even the removable floor mats for added insulation. Layering items will help trap more body heat.

Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Severe cold can cause numbness, making you unaware of possible danger.

Drink fluids to avoid dehydration, which can make you more susceptible to the ill effects of cold and to heart attacks.

Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Shoveling snow or pushing a vehicle can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.

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

How to prepare for a winter storm

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

To prepare for a winter storm you should do the following:

  • Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit: ?Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.

Sand to improve traction.

Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.

Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.

Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

  • Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.
  • Download FEMA’s Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at: www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smart phone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

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

How to save on heating costs

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

How to Save on Heating Costs

Any season is a good season to save energy costs. With winter approaching, however, it’s even more critical as prices for home heating fuel are as volatile as ever.

The strategies below will help you save energy, save money, and stay comfortable during the cool fall and cold winter months. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the winter.

If you haven't already, conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings.

Also check out no-cost and low-cost tips to save energy during the spring and summer.

Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun

  • Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
  • Cover Drafty Windows
  • Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
  • Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
  • Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.
  • Adjust the Temperature
  • When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.
  • When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature. 
  • If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.
  • Find and Seal Leaks
  • Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
  • Find out how to detect air leaks.
  • Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes.
  • Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
  • Find out how to select and apply the appropriate caulk and weatherstripping.Maintain Your Heating Systems
  • Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters: Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently. Find other maintenance recommendations for wood- and pellet-burning appliances.
  • Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace
  • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
  • When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly--approximately 1 inch--and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
  • If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
  • If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
  • Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
  • Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
  • Lower Your Water Heating Costs
  • Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands. Find other strategies for energy-efficient water heating.
  • Lower Your Holiday Lighting Costs
  • Use light-emitting diode -- or "LED" -- holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays. Learn about the advantages and potential cost savings of LED holiday light strings. Find manufacturers and brands of ENERGY STAR® certified decorative light strings.
  • Source: https://energy.gov/energysaver/fall-and-winter-energy-saving-tips

National Clean out your Refrigerator Day!

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

National Clean out your Refrigerator Day!

The timing is perfect for this day as Thanksgiving is coming soon. We will need room for all of the upcoming leftovers.  This job may be dreaded by many, but it is an important task none the less.  Due to our hectic and busy lifestyles, the cleaning of the refrigerator gets neglected, hence the creation of National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day.  There may be a surprise or two found at the back of the shelves. Things are often pushed back as new food is put in the front and gets forgotten.

REFRIGERATOR CLEANING

STEP 1: UNPLUG YOUR REFRIGERATOR

STEP 2: EMPTY ALL CONTENTS

STEP 3: USE A SPONGE, TOOTHBRUSH, AND CLEANING SPRAY TO CLEAN SURFACES

STEP 4: CLEAN DOWN THE EXTERIOR OF THE FRIDGE

STEP 5: RELOAD WITH THE FOOD YOU WANT TO KEEP, DISCARDING EXCESS OR EXPIRED FOOD

The Dangers of Water Intrusion to your Commercial building

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

The Dangers of Water Intrusion to your Commercial building

Water intrusion may be more severe in commercial buildings than in a residential setting and the effects more extensive. Many commercial structures have a larger volume water entering the premises through plumbing supply lines and at a higher water pressure. The quantity of outgoing sewage is greater than a typical residence, as well. Also, commercial buildings tend to be of larger square footage than a home, so entry points for water intrusion through areas like the roof, exterior walls or windows are commensurately greater in number, as well.

Water intrusion in commercial buildings can damage high-value equipment like computers and also building services such as HVAC, lighting, elevators and security equipment. Common long-term consequences of water damage like the growth of toxic mold may be even more problematic than in a home due to the larger occupancy of a business or other commercial enterprise. When a greater number of people with a wider range of sensitivity are exposed to mold and bacteria spores, health impacts may be significantly magnified, perhaps leading to an enforced closure of the facility until the situation is fully remediated.

Typical issues from water intrusion in the commercial environment include:

  • Water from roof leaks penetrating through ceilings. Chronic leakage through the roof may proceed unnoticed for long periods, hidden by suspended ceiling panels or in electrical or HVAC service areas above.
  • Ruptures of water supply lines typically release clean (white) water. Sewage backups or leaks in drain pipes release toxic (black) water that may be a biohazard and require evacuation of the premises.
  • Flooding from external sources can result from heavy rains, storms such as hurricanes, rapid snow melt or local overflowing lakes or rivers.
  • Moisture intrusion through the building envelope is typically subtler. Humid outdoor air may be drawn in through structural cracks and gaps. Over a period, chronic dampness forms in spaces like wall voids, unventilated attics and service areas, spawning hidden mold growth that persists unseen.

For professional remediation of water intrusion in commercial buildings and its secondary damages such as mold growth, contact SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 847-469-6982

Water Damage to Commercial Buildings

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage restoration not only restores a building. It restores jobs and income to the people employed there, products or services to customers, and a healthy environment for everyone who utilizes the structure. If it’s not done right, or on time, the ultimate result can be the closing of a facility, relocation elsewhere, and severe impact to a private business or public organization’s bottom line. Because the scope of water damage in commercial settings is frequently wider and more extreme than in a residential scenario, water damage remediation specialists with experience specific to commercial buildings are positioned to provide effective emergency service when the need arises.

Here’s a typical protocol utilized in commercial water damage restoration:

    • All areas contacted with water is inventoried, including affected building materials and furniture. Any wet carpet must be located and identified.
    • Wet ceiling tiles may be removed and discarded after the event. Ceiling tiles usually are not salvageable.
    • A moisture meter should be utilized to check for water-damaged drywall. Disinfection and mold control techniques may need to be initiated.
    • Wet electrical components are assumed to be hazardous. A qualified maintenance technician or electrician should cut off power to affected areas. Inspection by a building inspector or electrician is required to determine the need to replace wet wiring, circuit breakers, outlets and light fixtures.
    • Upholstered furniture wet by flood water, roof leaks, or sewage should be discarded. Furniture contacted by drinking water can be air-dried if done within 24 hours. Laminate or hardwood furniture can be cleaned with a disinfectant solution and reused; particle board furniture may be discarded.
    • Carpet contaminated by sewage must be disposed. Carpet wet by drinking water or rain water through roof leaks may have water extracted and then be sterilized.

For experienced commercial water damage restoration, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda.

Ladder Safety Tips

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Every year, according to one estimate, some 164,000 people land in the ER because they scrambled up a ladder without heeding the accident-avoidance rules. Keep yourself safe with these ladder safety tips.

Avoid the shakes.

Station your ladder on dry, level ground. If you are working at the roofline, extend it several feet above the point of contact. Secure the locks.

Angle carefully.

Measure one fourth of the ladder’s length. That’s how far the ladder’s base should be from the wall.

Wear good shoes.

They should have nonslip soles that are fairly rigid.

Stop short.

No matter how tempting, don’t step on the top three rungs.

Don’t overreach.

Keep your hips centered between the side rails. Leaning sideways is very dangerous.

what to do after a hurricane

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

What to Do After a Hurricane:

Continue listening to the local news for the latest updates.

Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.

If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.

Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.

Stay out of any building that has water around it.

Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.

Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.

Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.

Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.

Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.

Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.

Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/hurricane#Recover

Lake County Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

10/9/2018 (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 Mundelein/North Wauconda 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 Mundelein/North Wauconda 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 – 847-469-6982

Restoring Your Mundelein/North Wauconda Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

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

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

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

About SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda

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

Truth About Lightning

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

There are many Myths out there about lighting. A lot of people believe that lighting doesn’t strike the same place twice, when in fact it is more likely for lighting to strike the same place twice. Reportedly, the Empire State building is struck 23 times a year! It is also believed that rubber tires on a car can protect you from lightning. however, it is not the tires that protect you, it is the metal roof and metal sides that keep you safe. Another misconception about lighting is that people think of a big lighting bolt coming down from the sky killing people, but that is actually quite rare. A stroke of lightning can contain 20,000 ampere or more of electrical current, and when that hits the earth, that electricity spreads out in the ground and can be potentially deadly. For a person standing on the ground affected by the current, it can travel up one leg, through your body and down the other leg. Along the way, it can potentially stop your heart or arrest your breathing. If you are near a tree when the tree gets struck by lightning, the lightning can bounce off the tree and strike you! It is important to know the truth about lighting so you can be prepared and keep safe!

For more information, visit http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/myths.shtml

Mundelein/North Wauconda Smoke and Soot Cleanup

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 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) 469-6982

National Preparedness Month, What You Can Do!

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Five steps to prepare for a disaster:

  1. Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency.
  1. Make a plan for what to do in an emergency. Be sure to practice your plan twice a year and ensure everyone understands their responsibilities and works together as a team.
  1. Build an emergency supply kit. Stock your emergency kit with enough food and water for three to seven days. Include a weather radio, flashlight, batteries and first-aid items. Also place a set of multi-purpose tools, copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies), cell phone chargers, blankets, and emergency contact information in the kit. Be sure to keep some extra cash on-hand in case ATM machines are not functioning due to damage or loss of power.
  1. Develop a home inventory. Supplement this inventory with photographs or video and store this information in a safe place.
  1. Make sure your smartphone is set to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts. America’s wireless industry is helping to build a Weather-Ready Nation through a nationwide text emergency alert system, called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which will send messages to your phone during and warn you when weather threatens. For more information, visit http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation.

For more useful information, visit ready.gov.

Source:http://www.accesshomeinsurance.com/its-national-preparedness-month-be-disaster-aware-take-action-to-prepare/

Mundelein/North Wauconda 24Hour Emergency Water Damage Services

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 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) 469-6982

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 Mundelein/North Wauconda 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 Mundelein/North Wauconda

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 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 knowledge to restore your property.

Working Fire Alarms save Lives!

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.

More than one-third (38 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.

The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. For more on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda

•Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.

•Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.

•Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

•Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps," the battery is low and should be replaced right away.

•Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Source: www.NationalProtectionAssociation.com

Do you have a mold problem in you Mundelein/North Wauconda Home

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Does Your Mundelein/North Wauconda Home Have A Mold Problem?

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (847) 469-6982

August is Family Fun Month!

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

August is Family Fun Month and with 31 days until September, there is still plenty of summer fun to be had.

Family fun doesn’t need to be extravagant, it can be anywhere, any time. And you don’t need to go far to have fun.

31 Ideas to Celebrate Family Fun Month:

  1. Go on a picnic

  2. Visit a water/amusement park

  3. Take a trip to the local children’s museum

  4. Take a ferry ride

  5. Play a game of charades

  6. Run through the sprinklers at the playground

  7. Make s’mores

  8. Put a jigsaw puzzle together

  9. Go see a movie…Disney PLANES opens August 9th!

  10. Go on a treasure hunt

  11. Play hide and seek

  12. Play miniature golf

  13. Go to the beach and build a sand castle

  14. Play Marco Polo at the pool

  15. Walk along a boardwalk, indulge in hotdogs and cotton candy

  16. Build an indoor fort, tent or teepee

  17. Have a water balloon fight

  18. Sit around a campfire and tell scary stories

  19. Go through your childhood pictures and share a special memory with your child

  20. Go on a bike ride

  21. Be a tourist in your own town and visit a popular attraction

  22. Blow bubbles (better yet make your own!)

  23. Go to an arcade and play video games

  24. Go horseback riding

  25. Spend a Saturday morning in your pajamas, watching cartoons and eating cereal

  26. Go for Sunday brunch

  27. Toss a Frisbee around

  28. Roll down a grassy hill

  29. Spend an evening star gazing

  30. Go to the zoo or aquarium

  31. Take a family photo and/or use the Disney Story app to share your family fun memories with others.

    No matter where you live or what your budget is – there is something here for every family.

     One of the best parts of parenthood is reliving your childhood with your kids and creating lifelong memories. Take these 31 days to spend time with your kids, talk to them but most all –  enjoy them.

    Source:https://www.babble.com/kid/august-is-family-fun-month-31-ideas-to-celebrate/

Jobs that can be Biohazardous

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda professionals are trained to safely and effectively removed bio-hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes, and offices.

Blood-borne Pathogens

SERVPRO Mundelein/North Wauconda remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Trained SERVPRO technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.

Methamphetamine Labs

Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda can clean and restore your property and contents.

Arson and Vandalism

SERVPRO is recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. SERVPRO also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.

Sewage Backup

Sewage backups and black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits- these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO remove the sewage, contaminants and moisture, disinfecting as they clean. SERVPRO help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.

Call us today for more information

847-469-6982

Does your Homeowners insurance cover mold

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

By Les Masterson Posted : March 2, 2017 

Homeowners insurance covers mold damage if it was caused by a "covered peril." Otherwise, an insurance company will likely not cover mold damage. There are exceptions, which we will get into later in this article.

Let Insurance.com help you find affordable home insurance now.

Home insurance policies usually don't cover mold that resulted from a preventable water leak, flooding, or high humidity.

Home insurance companies also typically don't pay for maintenance issues that insurers think a homeowner should have prevented. Insurers expect homeowners to proactively take care of those problems before they need to file an insurance claim.

Home insurance covers mold if a "covered peril" caused the mold. In that case, your home insurance policy will likely pay for repairs and clean-up.

Here are some of home insurance's covered perils:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from plumbing, heating, air conditioners, sprinkler systems, or household appliances
  • Frozen pipes

Let's take a look at some real world examples. When home insurance will likely cover you:

  • An ice dam forms in a roof gutter during a rough winter and water backs up under your shingles. The water leaks into your attic, soaks your attic floor and insulation, and creates mold.
  • A pipe bursts in your home and dumps gallons of water on the floor and saturates drywall while you're at work. Mold begins to form before you call.
  • A washer hose springs a leak and damages behind your washer. The washer hose isn't old, you stop the leak, and report the damage immediately, but not before mold forms.

These are "sudden and accidental" incidents. Insurance companies typically cover this type of damage. In fact, non-weather-related water damage is one of the most common home insurance claims and one of the most expensive.

When home insurance will likely NOT cover you:

Your basement pipes freeze and burst. You don't notice it for a few weeks. Now, you have a few inches of water on your floor and mold growing. 

Broken shingles on your 40-year-old roof allows water into the attic. Water saturates wood and insulation and leads to mold in the attic.

Mold forms in your shower. You don't think much about it until one day you notice that it's really unsightly and you're concerned about whether it's making your family sick.

In these cases, an insurer will likely not cover the damage. Why? An insurance company expects you to take care of your house. That means properly ventilating the bathroom, replacing an old roof, and checking your basement regularly.  An important reason to stay on top of home maintenance.

Also, the standard homeowners insurance policy does not cover water damage caused by a flood.  Thus if a flood causes water damage that leads to mold, the resulting mold issue would not be covered by your home policy. 

A separate flood policy, will cover mold and mildew, as long as it’s not caused by the homeowner’s failure to inspect and maintain the property after the flood.  That means, once you can get back into your home, you need to start trying to clean up and keep mold from growing or spreading. 

How do I know if my home insurance policy covers mold?

As mentioned earlier, home insurance companies usually don't cover mold damage unless it's directly related to a "covered peril." The good news -- there are exceptions.

Check your homeowners insurance policy to see if there is any language about mold claims. Some insurers offer limited coverage for mold claims. This may mean limiting how much the insurer will pay for a mold-related claim. Or an insurer may increase the cost of a home insurance policy if you have mold-related coverage.

If you don't have mold coverage, you can buy an endorsement to your insurance policy that adds mold coverage. An endorsement is when an insurance company adds additional coverage to a regular home insurance policy, for an additional fee.

Some home policies provide a limited amount of coverage for mold claims.  This can be by capping the amount the insurer will pay, for example at $5,000, or stating that the insurer will only pay for certain services, such as clean-up, and excluding others, such as testing and remediation.

What if my home has had mold problems before?

Insurance companies hate risk. In fact, the insurance industry is all about limiting risk.

Risky homes, such as old homes with old wiring and plumbing, and risky areas, such as high-crime neighborhoods or homes near woods that often catch fire, usually have more claims. Insurance companies don't like paying out many claims.

The same goes for a home with mold or ones with previous mold-related claims. Insurance companies view those homes as risky.

In that case, your insurance company will likely decline a mold endorsement or charge you a lot for that coverage.

That means it might be worth paying for the mold removal yourself.

How do I file a mold damage claim?

Similar to any other home insurance claim, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to file a mold claim.

If you're not sure if your policy covers mold damage, check your home insurance policy or call your insurance company.

Mold grows quickly so take photos and then stop the source of the leak and clean up the water before calling your insurance company. An insurance company expects you to be proactive in fixing problems and avoiding further damage.

Here are the steps to take:

  • Stop the leak. You might need to shut off the water to your home if you have a leaky pipe or patch a hole if there's water coming from your roof.
  • Remove the water with a mop or wet vac. If there's a lot of damage or clean up, call a company that specializes in removing water and clean-up.
  • Remove rugs, insulation, and any other materials that can collect water and become breeding grounds for mold.
  • Open windows and doors and use fans to dry out the area.
  • Wash the area thoroughly. Use non-ammonia detergent and water to clean hard, nonporous surfaces, such as metal, glass, wood, and plastic. Scrub rough surfaces like concrete. Disinfect with water and bleach. Don't mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Wear non-porous gloves and eye protection.
  • Call your insurance company with detailed information as to damages, what happened, and what prevention and clean-up you've done. Document what's damaged, how much you paid for them, and when you bought them. Take photos.

Don't throw the materials away until you call your insurance company. Take photos and keep the damaged materials. An insurance adjuster might want to see the damaged materials. Put them in a garage or another place that's away from your living areas until you meet with an insurance adjuster.

If you are concerned about possible health risks, discuss with your insurance company if there is a need to move out of the house.  If you do need to move out until the mold is removed, determine how much additional living expenses (ALE) your home insurance will provide you.

How to prevent mold

Mold forms and spreads quickly so it's important to prevent mold by reducing moisture.

The Centers for Disease for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the following ways to control mold growth:

  • Control humidity levels
  • Promptly fix leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
  • Thoroughly clean and remove water after flooding
  • Ventilate shower, laundry, and cooking areas

Mold needs moisture and a "food source" to grow. Food sources include insulation, drywall, carpeting, and mattresses.

Mold is most commonly found in places with high humidity. That can include under leaky pipes and appliance hoses, in attics under a leaking roof, and in basements with drainage issues.

Buying mold insurance

If you want mold insurance and it's excluded from your homeowners insurance policy, ask your home insurance company if you can add an endorsement to your policy. An insurer bases the cost on your home and area's risks.

Mold endorsements will cost you more in humid areas and in older homes made with materials more prone to mold. The cost can range between $500 and $1,500 annually.

Source: https://www.insurance.com/home-and-renters-insurance/home-insurance-basics/mold-coverage.html

Educating Children about Fire Safety

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Have you educated your kids about fire safety? Do you know how to talk about fire safety with your kids? 

Here are a few tips:

  •  Keep matches and lighters in a secured drawer or cabinet.
  • Have your children tell you when they find matches and lighters.
  • Develop a home fire escape plan. Practice it with your children and designate a meeting place outside.
  • Supervise young children closely. Do not leave them alone even for short periods of time.
  • Take the mystery out of fire by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Teach children the nature of fire. It is FAST, HOT, DARK and DEADLY!
  • Demonstrate how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothes catch fire.
  • Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house and stay out in the case of fire.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters, but to get out quickly and call for help. 
  • Teach children to check the door knob before opening the door, if it is hot to the touch don't go out there
  • Practice Fire drills at home, so everyone knows how to get out safely

Extension Cord Safety

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Roughly 3,300 home fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring about 270 more.

When extension cords are not properly used, they can overheat and can cause fires to start.

Here are some safety tips to help prevent extension cord fires

  1. Do not overload extension cords with plugs.
  2. Check that they are not damaged. There should be no frayed sockets, loose wires, bare wires, and no cracks.
  3. Never force a fit by cutting off parts from a three-prong plug to fit into a two-slot outlet.
  4. Make sure the extension cords are used for their intended purpose such as indoor or outdoor use.
  5. Do not use a power strip with heaters or fans because they can over heat.
  6. Don’t use a wet extension cord, and don’t keep extension cords near water
  7. When not using the extension cords, keep them unplugged
  8. Don’t have extension cords under carpets, someone could damage it or trip over it

Fire or Smoke Damage Safety Tips

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency?  Call 847-469-6982

What to Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT to Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Be Storm Ready, Be Storm Safe

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Be Storm Ready, Be Storm Safe!

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:

10,000 severe thunderstorms

5,000 floods or flash floods

1,000 tornadoes

2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to

around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, acting and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk

The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of

hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could

impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a

NOAA Weather Radio and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action

Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place. Essentials for an emergency kit would include crank radio, flash light, extra batteries, food, water, blanket, heater, change of clothes, first aid kit. It would be best to have a kit in your car as well you never know if you would be stranded while you were on your way somewhere. Being prepared is the best and only way you should be, helping others by spreading the word is also very beneficial the more people that talk about it

Be an Example

Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with

co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire

others to do the same.

30/30 Rule

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

We've had lots of severe thunderstorms this season in Lake County area.

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda has had an influx of residential and commercial storm cleanup and tree removal request.

Does your family know what to do before, during, and after a lightning storm? Learn the facts and practice your plan.  The 30/30 rule is if there is less than 30 seconds between a flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, seek shelter.  Wait at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before leaving shelter.

Here are some facts about lighting:

  • Lightning’s unpredictability increases the risk to individuals and property.
  • Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.
  • “Heat lightning” is actually lightning from a thunderstorm too far away from thunder to be heard. However, the storm may be moving in your direction.
  • Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
  • Your chances of being struck by lightning are estimated to be 1 in 600,000 but could be reduced even further by following safety precautions.
  • Lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately

There are thousands of deaths a year caused by lighting each year because people are outside at night in the summer months. You should always check the weather when you are going to be outside so you don’t get trapped in a lightning storm.   Technology is the best tool to keep you safe, you can check the weather throughout the evening and night to ensure you will be safe at all times.

Biohazard Clean up

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazard contaminants should be considered very dangerous as they can pose a serious health risk. Sewer backups and flood water are two common biohazard scenarios that can affect homes and businesses. SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to safely clean and restore this type of contamination.

Need Biohazard Cleanup? Call Us Today – 847-469-6982

After any biohazard or sewage contamination in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences.
  • Flood water can contain sewage, pesticides, and other contaminants.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.

What to Do After a Contamination

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
  • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
  • Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.

What Not to Do After a Contamination

  • Don’t leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don’t use television or other household appliances.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

24 Hour Emergency Service

 Biohazards like flood water or sewer backups should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda has water damage restoration specialists and has specific training and expertise to safely remediate biohazard contaminants.

Call SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 847-469-6982

Myths and Facts about cleaning

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

When you just want to clean your house after everyday use you want it to be done quick and easy. Not confusing and hard. These 10 myths about cleaning will be explained to help you clean with a more effective product or to show you that the product you are using doesn't work as well as you thought. Enjoy!

Myth: Newspaper does windows well

Fact: Wet newspaper tears easily and the ink can transfer to window trim, leaving more too clean. Use microfiber cloths to clean glass. They’re the best at cleaning without streaking.

Myth: Coca-Cola belongs in the toilet

Fact: Coke isn’t “it” when it comes to cleaning your toilet bowl. Coke is acidic, so it could be effective at removing hard water stains BUT soda could actually darken stains and the sugar could encourage bacteria.

Myth: Handwashing dishes is better than using a dishwasher

Fact: If your dishwasher is a decade old, this may be true, but today’s models beat handwashing by a mile. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website, using a dishwasher that bears the Energy Star label can save some 5,000 gallons of water, more than $40 dollars in energy costs, and 230 hours in personal time over the course of a year, versus handwashing. And, because dishwashers heat the water to 140°F, they’ll sanitize the dishes, too.

Myth: Coffee freshens garbage disposers

Fact: Coffee grounds may act as a mild abrasive, removing gunk from disposer blades, but baking soda is a better choice: It’s also mildly abrasive, and because it’s a base it will counteract all the smelly acids that we put down the drain.

Myth: Vinegar cleans everything

Fact: Vinegar is an acid, so it can cut through dirt and can kill bacteria, but only if you use it at full or nearly full strength. Most people put a capful in a bucket of water, and that doesn’t do much. The acids in vinegar can damage natural stone and wood surfaces.

Myth: Hairspray removes ballpoint ink

Fact: This may have been true years ago, when hairsprays were formulated with more alcohol (which does remove ink) than they are today, but not anymore. Today’s hairsprays are full of stiffeners and hardeners that will just make the stain worse. Just use rubbing alcohol. It’s far less expensive than hairspray, and doesn’t include any extra ingredients.

Myth: Bleach cleans everything

Fact: Bleach actually doesn’t ‘clean’ anything—because it doesn’t remove soil. It can lighten stains, making things look cleaner, and it kills bacteria, so it’s better as a sanitizer than as a cleaner.

Myth: Feathers make great dusters

Fact: Genuine ostrich-feather dusters do attract dust, but they’re expensive and are generally not as effective as lamb’s wool or microfiber options. Most feather dusters just spread the dust around. Also, they tend to drop feathers which is just leaving you more to pick up.

Myth: Cleaning solutions work instantly

Fact: Nope. We recommend allowing any cleaning solution to sit on the surface for two to three minutes. Always follow the directions on the product’s label. Some solutions, like disinfectants, need a full ten minutes to truly kill bacteria.

Myth: String makes the best mops

Fact: Industrial-style string mops may look impressive, but studies have shown that microfiber mops are about 20 percent more effective at removing dirt and bacteria. String mops are very absorbent, so they’re great at cleaning up big spills, but if you want to make sure you’re not leaving anything behind on the floor, use a microfiber mop.

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda proudly serves you and specializes in fire, smoke, mold, water and biohazard damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. For more information, Call us at; 847-469-6982

Summer Time Safety Tips

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Summertime is the time for Cooking out, Campfires, and Fireworks. It is also a dangerous time for Fires, and with these helpful tips, it will keep you and your family safe to enjoy the season.

Fireworks Safety

The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks.

If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.

Never light fireworks indoors

Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby.

Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.

Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If the firework does not go off, do not stand over it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.

Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If a firework is not marked with the contents, direction and a warning label, do not light it.

Supervise children around fireworks at all times.

Cooking On a Grill Safety (Propane or Charcoal)

Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line.

Do not overfill the propane tank.

Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.

Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and explode.

Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Supervise children around outdoor grills.

Dispose of hot coals properly - use plenty of water to cover the coals, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.

Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced.

 Call 911 or your local emergency number if a burn happens and it needs medical attention.

Campfire Safety

Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves.

Keep campfires small, and don't let them get out of hand.

Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to put on  the fire when you're done. Stir it and douse it again with water, to ensure that the fire is out

Never leave campfires unattended

Floods...When Water Attacks

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Floods, When water attacks

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S., capable of striking almost any river, creek, lake or coast nationwide. They kill about 140 Americans each year and are often more destructive than the storms that caused them — water flowing at 10 mph exerts the same pressure on a structure as 270 mph wind gusts, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Across the country, floods destroy some $6 billion worth of property every year.

Overflowing rivers are behind most U.S. floods, but anything from tsunamis and hurricanes to broken dams and urban runoff can cause one. A single flood may fit multiple categories, but floods are generally classified as one of the following:

Flash Floods

Most deaths and damage from floods are due to flash flooding — "a rapid and extreme flow of high water into a normally dry area, or a rapid rise in a stream or creek above a predetermined flood level," according to the National Weather Service. Flash floods develop suddenly, often in just a few minutes, and while they occur in all 50 states, they're most common in hilly areas with steep valleys, or along small waterways in urban environments. Their speed, depth and element of surprise make flash floods highly dangerous, causing major damage while allowing little time to prepare or evacuate. Heavy rains are the top cause of flash floods, but urban runoff, "ice jams," dam failures and other factors may also be involved.

Slow River Floods

Rising waters may spur flash floods in steep, narrow river basins, but in flatter, wider ones, flooding tends to be slow, shallow and long-lasting. Flat floodplains can remain inundated for days or even weeks, but these floods are at least usually easier to predict than flash floods. Spring snowmelt regularly swells northern rivers, and when big blocks of un melted ice are floating downstream, they can become lodged under bridges or in narrow passages, creating an "ice jam" that sets off a flash flood on top of the slower, pre-existing flood.

Costal Floods

Storms and earthquakes are the two leading causes of ocean floods. Hurricanes push walls of sea water ashore when they hit land, creating a saline flash flood known as a "storm surge." Storm surges are often responsible for the majority of deaths from tropical cyclones, as was the case in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Despite hurricanes' strength, though, deep-sea earthquakes are capable of displacing even larger amounts of water, forming long-range waves called "tsunamis." Tsunamis can push floodwaters many miles inland, as seen after the 2004 Sumatran quake and the magnitude-9.0 temblor that hit Japan in March 2011.

Ground Failures

Some floods attack from below, as the water table rises to the surface and washes away chunks of topsoil. This can cause a variety of ground failures, including "subsidence," or sinking soil, and "liquefaction," a process in which water-soaked sediment loses strength and acts like a liquid. Scientists also differentiate between "mud floods" — a liquid flood that carries up to 50 percent solid sediment loads — and "mudflows" — solid landslides where the downward flow is viscous enough to support large boulders within a wave of smaller particles. Mud floods and mudflows are most common in California and other Western states, since they tend to occur on hillsides burned bare by wildfire.

Lake Floods

Most lakes experience fluctuating water levels, but they usually don't "flood" the way rivers do because lakes typically have outlet streams or rivers to help them drain. But not all lakes have such outlets, and these "closed-basin lakes" are prone to potentially catastrophic floods if their water level rises too high. Glacial lakes — which were carved and filled by glaciers, and make up most lakes in North America — are also at risk of drainage problems, and can undergo dramatic, long-term fluctuations in depth.

Opening the Flood Gates

While rain and snow cause most floods, they're also pawns of broader climatic trends that shape daily weather. Linking specific weather events to these trends is never easy, but climatologists can at least trace the origins of some recent U.S. flood problems to unusually heavy precipitation during preceding months.

Flood Safety

The main rule for staying safe during a flood is to never willingly go near the water, whether on foot or in a car. Just six inches of moving water can knock people off their feet, so FEMA warns against walking through flowing floodwaters, and points out that since even apparently dry land could be subject to ground failure in a flood, it's not a bad idea to use a pole or stick to test the soil before stepping on it. The best place to be is high ground, but if you're in a building when floods arrive, go to the roof or the highest floor, but be careful not to get trapped in an attic or other confined space by rising water.

More than half of all deaths in floods happen when vehicles are swept away, usually in flash floods. Many of the drivers are overtaken before they can react, but people also frequently overestimate their ability to drive through flowing water, often with tragic results. NOAA's "Turn Around, Don't Drown" campaign is aimed at reducing these preventable deaths by raising awareness of how dangerous road flooding can be.

Electrocution is another dangerous side effect of flooding, one more reason to stay away from the water. Avoid and report any downed power lines and electrical wires, and consider turning off your home's electricity and checking around for gas leaks.

Infection and disease can be major problems during a flood as well as long afterward. While water levels are still high, an array of contaminants can be mixed in with the flood, ranging from untreated sewage to toxic chemicals. But even after the threat of water-borne bacteria and synthetic pollutants wanes, respiratory risks arise from black mold and other fungi that flourish in water-damaged wood and fabrics. Anything that got wet from flooding should either be thoroughly cleaned or thrown away.

For more flood advice, see FEMA's floodsmart.gov page, which has safety tips as well as information on the National Flood Insurance Program.

Source: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/translating-uncle-sam/stories/floods-when-water-attacks

Thunderstorms...Be Prepared

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages.

Know the Difference!

Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.

Every year people are killed or seriously injured by severe thunderstorms despite advance warning. While some did not hear the warning, others heard the warning and did not pay attention to it. The information in this section, combined with timely watches and warnings about severe weather, may help save lives.

Be Prepared for Thunderstorms and Severe Weather.

Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms

Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household

Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail

Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm

Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches

Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home

Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods

Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies

Put together an emergency preparedness kit:

- Water—one gallon per person, per day

- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare

- Flashlight

- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

- Extra batteries

- First aid kit

- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

- Multi-purpose tool

- Sanitation & personal hygiene items

- Copies of personal documents

- Cell phone with chargers

- Family & emergency contact information

- Extra cash

Source: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/thunderstorm

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda Can assist if you encounter damage to your property from a Thunderstorm! Please Call us at 847-469-6982

Truth about Mold

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Mold spores are everywhere in our environment and can enter homes easily. Most types of mold grow quickly if they have a water source, an organic food source and temperatures between 60 and 86 Fahrenheit.  With the recent heavy rains and thunderstorms, it has caused a lot of damage to roofs as well as ground water in basements.  We have been extremely busy keeping up with the damage these storms have caused.  some people, who had water in their basements and attics, are now experiencing mold problems.  Mold can begin to grow within 48-72 hours of a water damage issue.  If you have water in the basement or attic your should consider contacting a professional to assess the damage.  The longer it waits the more expensive the cleanup can get!  

Call SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda and we can assist in helping your resolve mold before it spreads! 847-469-6982

Categories of Water

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a water leak depending on where the leak is coming from you might now know what type it is. There are 3 types of water categories that can help you determine what kind of water damage you are dealing with. What color is your water, know the difference!

There are 3 Categories of Water

Category 1- Clean Water

Clean water comes from a clean source such as your sink or shower. Clean water or treated water is the least contaminated type of water damage. By definition, Clean water is “clean” because it doesn’t not harm the human body.  If left untreated it could quickly turn in to a Category 2 or 3

Category 2 Gray Water

Gray water has some contamination that is harmful to the body. It has bacteria and fungi which can cause the water to look gray. If it is not cleaned up in a timely manner, the water will become more contaminated. Dishwasher, or Washing Machine would be an example of Gray Water.

Category 3 water- Black Water

Black water is grossly contaminated water. It is Very unsanitary, it could cause serious illness, and should be avoided. Sources for Category 3 water could be backed up toilet with feces, septic backed up, flooding from rivers and streams

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda are here 24hours a day to assist you with any water damage you may have!

Please Call Us at 847-469-6982

Grilling Safety Do's and Don'ts

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Grill Safety

May is National BBQ Month, with everyone grilling this time of year it is important to remember that grilling can be very dangerous. Below are some do’s and don’ts to keep friends, family, children, and yourself safe!

The Do’s and Don’ts of grill safety:

Do:

  • Keep your grill at least ten feet away from your house.
  • Make sure to keep your grill clean.
  • Always check for gas leaks.
  • Make sure to keep decorations or anything that may be flammable up away from your grill.
  • Always keep a fire hydrant nearby.
  • Keep baking soda near, in case of a grease fire
  • Make sure your grill is on a flat surface
  • If the flame goes out, remember to wait a few minutes before re-lighting

Don’ts:

  • Never turn your gas on when the lid is shut.
  • Do not leave your grill unattended.
  • Never use your grill inside your home.
  • Don’t let children play around the grill
  •  Don't over fill your grill with food-grease could build up and cause a fire

May is National BBQ Month

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

April showers have passed and barbecues are in full bloom. Perfect weather and longer days make the month of May the perfect time to celebrate National Barbecue Month. Whether you think barbecuing requires gas or charcoal, or that ribs should only be parboiled, or if you insist that asparagus must be sautéed with olive oil, it is time to fire up the BBQ.

Quality matters when it comes to barbecue. The graders at the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) certify that meats and other products are of a desired quality. Our grades account for factors such as tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. These are major selling points for any good barbecued foods. When shopping for meats, you can easily identify the USDA grade on most packages.

AMS also has information for people wanting to learn about where their food comes from. Our standards specialists develop marketing claims that provide insight on the animal’s diet, feeding and other factors. Our National Organic Program also has information for people interested in knowing what to expect when products are labeled with a USDA organic seal.

Whether your preference is conventional or organic meats, fruits, or vegetables, National Barbecue Month is a fun time to enjoy some of your favorite foods. Throughout this month and the rest of the grilling season, we encourage you to visit the Food Safety Inspection Service’s (FSIS) site for barbecue safety tips. They offer great advice that will take you from shopping at the super market to safely refrigerating leftovers—if there are any!

http://blogs.usda.gov/2012/05/02/grillin%e2%80%99-and-chillin%e2%80%99-for-national-barbecue-month/#more-39891

Science of Drying

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

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

•Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening

•Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly

•Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment 

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

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda uses equipment to help dry hard wood floors, tough to reach spaces inside your walls and much more. We also use state of the art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific drying process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

The bottom line? Your local SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda  Professionals have the training and equipment to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Little Water Goes a Long Way

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage a Little Water Goes a Long Way

It may not look like much water, but a little bit of water can be a major problem. Any water damage in your house is not a good thing, especially when the water contains potentially harmful bacteria that can affect the health of your family.

Toilet overflows, sewage backups and other dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly messes; these biohazardous damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into the home, as well as the moisture necessary to support their group.

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda understands how disruptive black water damages can be for you and your family. We offer 24-hour emergency response, and under normal circumstances we will have our professionals on site within 4 hours to begin the process of mitigation services. We want to help you gain control quickly while drying, deodorizing, and protecting their home and belongings.

Call us Today!

Tips on Removing Graffiti

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

Regardless of which city or town you go to these days, you'll find signs of graffiti by vandals hoping to cause destruction or draw attention to their message.  It's on office building, homes, apartments, shopping centers and subways.  Graffiti is applied with a variety of materials like paint, spray paint, etching products and markers, which makes removing graffiti difficult.

Options for Removing Graffiti

The best way to remove graffiti is to determine the type of graffiti product that was used and the type of surface it was applied to.  The removal options that follow work the best for removing spray paint, stencils, shoe polish and markers from a number of surfaces.

Glass

Scrape off the graffiti with a razor blade, or try paint thinner and rinse the glass clean.

Masonry

Options include sand blasting or power washing.  Chemical graffiti remover may also be effective for removing graffiti.

Fiberglass/Aluminum Siding

Sparingly apply paint remover to the surface, and rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Vinyl Siding

Small amounts of chemical solvents work well to remove graffiti.  Care should be taken not to remove the vinyl.

Metal

Apply solvents and run it out with sandpaper or steel wool, which works well.  Power washing is another option.

It's best to remove graffiti by testing a small area using your selected method to see how well the process works.

Canine Fitness Month

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

CANINE FITNESS MONTH

During the month of April, Canine Fitness Month focuses on keeping our most loyal companions healthy and physically active.

Like many of their human counterparts, too many dogs suffer from obesity and “sedentarism,” the two most common preventable conditions in the canine and human populations. Too much sitting and too many calories in the form of treats or poor nutrition choices often contribute to weight gain. Besides causing our furry friends to have sore joints, difficulty breathing, a higher risk for cancer, canine diabetes and other diseases, obesity also shortens their lives.

Unfortunately, sedentarism has become the normal lifestyle for many dogs and their people. The opposite of a sedentary lifestyle is movement. Playing, being outside, engaging and moving. Canine Fitness Month encourages us to take a step toward a developing a healthier lifestyle and bond with our four-legged family members.

ALWAYS: Check with your veterinarian to be sure your pet is healthy enough for exercise and find out what kind of diet routine Fido should be eating. Then give some of these tips a try:

  • Get walking! This is the obvious first and easiest exercise for most canine and human companions. One foot in front of the other and the fresh air will do you both good.
  • Try active play. Throw a ball, stick or frisbee in a safe environment, or better yet – run or jog with your pet to retrieve it.
  • Play hide and seek with your pet’s daily allowance of treats. Place them behind doors, under bowls and chairs. Make treating an active reward.
  • For dogs unaccustomed to the game of fetch, use a treat dispensing ball that will interest them in retrieving the ball. It may take time to get them to bring the ball back to you, but once the treat is gone, they will in hopes of more treats. Keep the amounts small and intermittent.
  • Food fitness games. Place an unstable object in front of the food bowl for your dog to step on as they reach for the food bowl to introduce balance activities and limb strengthening as a fun and rewarding game.
  • Raise the floor. Integrating a platform that can be climbed on, or crawled under, during the day is an excellent way to incorporate movement if space is small and the weather isn’t cooperating.
  • Many dogs are shadows to their canine companions, following us around everywhere we go even if it is just to lie down under foot. Take advantage of this when starting a new workout routine. Encourage them to participate when you put in the cardio or yoga video. When you shuffle across the room, grab a toy and lure them to do the same.
  • Incorporate some of your pooch’s well-known obedience drills – like sit, stand, down – into your yoga routine. When you go into cobra, try asking your loyal pal lie down. When you move into downward dog, have him sit.
  • Creating obstacle courses indoors and out is possible the whole year round. With a small amount of equipment or none at all, just moving rugs and chairs around to create obstacles will create a workout worthy of both human and canine. The key is to make movement fun for both of you!
  • Don’t have time? Find a Canine Fitness Trainer or a Dog Walker that can help get the recommended 20-30 minutes your dog needs each day.

Source:https://nationaldaycalendar.com/canine-fitness-month-april/

Do you have a mold problem?

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (847) 469-6982

Time To Spring Ahead

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Friendly reminder: daylight saving time returns at 2 a.m. (local time) on Sunday, March 11, which means it's almost time to "spring" those clocks forward.

Sadly, yes, we'll lose an hour of sleep. But on the bright side (literally), we'll be gaining an hour of evening light through Nov. 4 -- when it's time to "fall" back.

Daylight saving time will be extra special this year, as it marks the 100th anniversary of the event. The tradition of turning clocks forward officially began on March 19, 1918.

Here's what you need to know about the soon-to-be century-old tradition.

When did daylight saving time start?

It was established during World War I as "a way of conserving fuel needed for war industries and of extending the working day," the Library of Congress explained in a post online.

But it was only temporary. The law was repealed about a year later, on August 20, 1919, as soon as the war was over.

"However, the sections of the 1918 law, which had established standard time zones for the country, remained in effect," the library said. "In 1921, Congress readjusted the western boundary of the standard central time zone, shifting parts of Texas and Oklahoma into this zone."

The topic of daylight saving surfaced again during World War II. On Jan. 20, 1942 Congress re-established daylight saving time.

More than two decades later, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Uniform Time Act, declaring daylight saving time a policy of the U.S. and establishing uniform start and end times within standard time zones.

What are the rules?

Daylight saving time and time zones are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) under the Uniform Time Act. Daylight saving begins each year on the second Sunday in March, starting at 2 a.m.

"If a state chooses to observe Daylight Saving Time, it must begin and end on federally mandated dates," the DOT says.

Does everyone turn their clocks forward?

No. Hawaii, most of Arizona, and a handful of U.S. territories — including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands — do not observe daylight saving time.

Why does it matter?

There are several reasons why officials believe daylight saving time is beneficial.

Some say it saves energy, because people tend to spend more time outside when it's lighter out. The DOT claims it also "saves lives and prevents traffic injuries," because visibility is better.

Lastly, the DOT says it reduces crime.

"During Daylight Saving Time, more people are out conducting their affairs during the daylight rather than at night, when more crime occurs," the department explained.

However, some believe the process is a "hassle."

Proponents of scrapping daylight-saving time argue it's generally unnecessary, disturbs sleep patterns and has recently become even more complicated. In 1986, Congress extended daylight saving from a six- to seven-month period and extended it again in 2005 to eight months -- mid-March to mid-November.

"Congress really gave us a wise compromise in 1966 with six months of standard time, but because of the lobbies on behalf of daylight we now spring forward in the middle of the winter," Michael Downing, author of "Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving," told Fox News in 2015.

Disagreements over daylight saving isn't new. In 1965, before the Uniform Act was passed, 71 major cities in the U.S. with a population of over 100,000 were using daylight saving, while 59 others were not.

"People do not like the hassle of adjusting their clocks twice a year," Downing added.

Fox News' Matt Finn and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/03/07/daylight-saving-time-when-and-why-spring-clocks-forward.html

IICRC Certified

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 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 Mundelein/North Wauconda

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 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.

Plan For Your Pets

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe, so the best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. Here are simple steps you can follow now to make sure you’re ready before the next disaster strikes:

Step 1: Get a Rescue Alert Sticker

This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers (we recommend placing it on or near your front door), and that it includes the types and number of pets in your home as well as the name and number of your veterinarian. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. To get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home, please fill out our online order form and allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Your local pet supply store may also sell similar stickers.

Step 2: Arrange a Safe Haven

Arrange a haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:

  • Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities.
  • Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
  • Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
  • Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.

Step 3: Choose "Designated Caregivers

This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility.

When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet if something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet and have successful cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet.

Step 4: Prepare Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits

If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. Even if you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:

  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to also write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
  • The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted under the skin in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters.
  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.
  • Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is, and that it clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your “Evac-Pack” include:
  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include)
  • 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter or paper toweling
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
  • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
  • Photocopies and/or USB of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless)
  • At least seven days’ worth of bottled water for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket
  • Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
  • Especially for cats: Pillowcase, toys, scoop-able litter
  • Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner

You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.

Step 5: Keep the ASPCA On-Hand Always

The free ASPCA mobile app shows pet parents exactly what to do in case of a natural disaster. It also allows pet owners to store vital medical records and provides information on making life-saving decisions during natural disasters. With a few swipes, you can:

  • Access critical advice on what to do with your pet before, during, and after a major storm—even if there’s no data connectivity.
  • Store and manage your pet’s critical health records.
  • Receive a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances.
  • Build a lost pet digital flyer that can be shared instantly on your social media channels.
  • Get the latest and most relevant news about pets and animal welfare.

Other Considerations

Geographic Considerations: If you live in an area that is prone to certain natural disasters, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, you should plan accordingly.

  • Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens. These rooms should be clear or hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
  • Choose easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms and basements as safe zones
  • Access to a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crises.
  • In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.

Special Considerations for Horses

  • Keep a clean and tidy stable and pasture. Remove hazardous and flammable materials, debris and machinery from around the barn’s walkways, entrances and exits. Regularly maintain and inspect barn floors and septic tanks. Inspect your grounds regularly and remove dangerous debris in the pasture.
  • Prevent fires by instituting a no-smoking policy around your barn. Avoid using or leaving on appliances in the barn, even seemingly-harmless appliances like box fans, heaters and power tools can overheat. Exposed wiring can also lead to electrical fires in the barn, as can a simple nudge from an animal who accidentally knocks over a machine.
  • Get your horse used to wearing a halter, and get him used to trailering. Periodically, you should practice quickly getting your horse on a trailer for the same reason that schools have fire drills—asking a group of unpracticed children to exit a burning building in a calm fashion is a little unrealistic, as is requesting a new and strange behavior of your horse.
  • If you own a trailer, please inspect it regularly. Also, make sure your towing vehicle is appropriate for the size and weight of the trailer and horse. Always make sure the trailer is hitched properly—the hitch locked on the ball, safety chains or cables attached, and emergency brake battery charged and linked to towing vehicle. Proper tire pressure (as shown on the tire wall) is also very important.
  • Get your horse well-socialized and used to being handled by all kinds of strangers. If possible, invite emergency responders and/or members of your local fire service to interact with your horse. It will be mutually beneficial for them to become acquainted. Firemen’s turnout gear may smell like smoke and look unusual, which many horses find frightening—so ask them to wear their usual response gear to get your horse used to the look and smell.
  • Set up a phone tree/buddy system with other nearby horse owners and local farms. This could prove invaluable should you—or they—need to evacuate animals or share resources like trailers, pastures or extra hands!
  • Keep equine veterinary records in a safe place where they can quickly be reached. Be sure to post emergency phone numbers by the phone. Include your 24-hour veterinarian, emergency services and friends. You should also keep a copy for emergency services personnel in the barn that includes phone numbers for you, your emergency contact, your 24-hour veterinarian and several friends.

Special Considerations for Birds

  • Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier.
  • In cold weather, make certain you have a blanket over your pet’s cage. This may also help reduce the stress of traveling.
  • In warm weather, carry a spray bottle to periodically moisten your bird’s feathers.
  • Have recent photos available, and keep your bird’s leg bands on for identification.
  • If the carrier does not have a perch, line it for paper towels that you can change frequently.
  • Keep the carrier in as quiet an area as possible.
  • It is particularly imperative that birds eat daily, so purchase a timed feeder. If you need to leave your bird unexpectedly, the feeder will ensure his daily feeding schedule.
  • Items to keep on hand: Catch net, heavy towel, blanket or sheet to cover cage, cage liner.

Special Considerations for Reptiles

  • A snake may be transported in a pillowcase, but you should have permanent and secure housing for him when you reach a safe place.
  • Take a sturdy bowl that is large for your pet to soak in. It’s also a good idea to bring along a heating pad or other warming devise, such as a hot water bottle.
  • Lizards can be transported like birds (see above).

Special Considerations for Small Animals

  • Small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice and guinea pigs, should be transported in secure carriers with bedding materials, food and food bowls.
  • Items to keep on hand: Salt lick, extra water bottle, small hide box or tube, a week’s worth of bedding.

Source: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/disaster-preparedness

Winter Driving Tips

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

Driving in the winter can be harrowing, especially where blizzard and icy conditions crop up seemingly out of nowhere. But new safety technologies are being added to cars at a record rate. Some can even take control of the vehicle to help us avoid crashes.

One such technology that's particularly useful in winter is traction control. This function helps your vehicle? gain traction on snowy, icy or wet surfaces, particularly when accelerating from a stopped or slowed position, or when trying to make it up a slippery hill. Traction control is now standard on most new vehicles.

My Car Does What? is a campaign of the National Safety Council and the University of Iowa to help educate drivers on dozens of new vehicle safety technologies. But remember, you are your car's best safety feature. Take precautions to ensure you arrive safely at your destination.

Check the Weather Before You Go

If the weather is frigid, you're going to want to warm up the car before you drive it. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?, never leave a vehicle running in an enclosed area, such as a garage. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that a car running in an attached garage is never safe, even with the garage door open.

If the forecast looks iffy, wait out the storm if possible. But if you must travel make sure you share your travel plans and route with someone before you leave.

If you become stranded in an unfamiliar area, do not leave your car. Light flares in front and behind the car and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow, mud or any object.

Prepare Your Car for Winter

Besides checking the weather, it's important to have a mechanic check the condition of the following vehicle systems before heading out on the road:

  • Ignition
  • Brakes
  • Wiring
  • Hoses and fan belts
  • Spark plugs
  • Air, fuel and emissions filters, and PCV valve
  • Distributor
  • Battery
  • Tire wear and air pressure
  • Antifreeze level and freeze line

Know What to Do to Avoid a Crash

You've done all you can to prepare your car, you've checked the weather, but suddenly you find yourself driving in a slippery mess. If visibility is severely limited due to a whiteout, pull off the road and don't even attempt to drive farther until conditions improve.

But sometimes water or ice on the road can surprise drivers, even with little to no precipitation. Do you know how to prevent a skid? Would you know what to do if you ended up sliding toward another vehicle or fixed object? If you don't want to end up in a crash like the one in Michigan, AAA offers some winter driving tips.

  • Never mix radial tires with other types of tires
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather
  • Do not use cruise control in wintery conditions
  • Look and steer in the direction you want to go
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly
  • Increase following distance to 8 to 10 seconds
  • Know whether you have antilock brakes, which will "pump" the brakes for you in a skid
  • If possible, don't stop when going uphill
  • Keep your gas tank at least half-full
  • If you do get stranded, don't try to push your vehicle out of snow
  • Signal distress with a brightly colored cloth tied to the antenna or in a rolled up window

Don't Leave Home Without These

In an emergency, in addition to a full tank of gas and fresh antifreeze, National Safety Council recommends having these with you at all times:

  • Properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod jack
  • Shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow and tire chains
  • Bag of salt or cat litter for better tire traction or to melt snow
  • Tool kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Reflective triangles or flares
  • Compass
  • First aid kit
  • Windshield cleaner
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Scissors and string or cord
  • Nonperishable, high-energy foods like unsalted, canned nuts, dried fruits and hard candy
  • Blankets, mittens, socks and hats

Winter road trips – even short ones – are a great way to celebrate with family and friends. Being prepared can ensure a safe and happy time is had by all.

Source: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-winter-your-car-and-you.aspx

How to prepare for a winter storm

12/26/2017 (Permalink)

Prepare in Advance

Assembling an emergency preparedness kit.

Creating a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.

Staying informed about your community’s risk and response plans.

Educating your family on how to use the Safe and Well website.

Download the Emergency App for iPhone >> or for Android >>

How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

Protecting your family

Talk with your family about what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Discussing winter storms ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for young children.

Have your vehicle winterized before the winter storm season to decrease your chance of being stranded in cold weather.

Have a mechanic check your battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer fluid, ignition system, thermostat, lights, flashing hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster, and oil.

Install good winter tires with adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate, but some jurisdictions require vehicles to be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

Keep in your vehicle:

- A windshield scraper and small broom

- A small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats

- Matches in a waterproof container

- A brightly colored (preferably red) cloth to tie to the antenna

- An emergency supply kit, including warm clothing.

Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full so you can leave right away in an emergency and to keep the fuel line from freezing.

Keep a supply of non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery.

Service snow removal equipment before the winter storm season and maintain it in good working order.

Keep handy a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat, water-resistant boots, and extra blankets and warm clothing for each member of the household.

Protecting your pets & animals

Bring your companion animals indoors.

- Ensure that you have supplies for cleanup for your companion animals, particularly if they are used to eliminating outdoors (large plastic bags, paper towels, and extra cat litter).

Create a place where your other animals can be comfortable in severe winter weather:

- Horses and livestock should have a shelter where they can be protected from wind, snow, ice, and rain.

- Grazing animals should have access to a protected supply of food and non-frozen water.

Be aware of the potential for flooding when snow and ice melt and be sure that your animals have access to high ground that is not impeded by fencing or other barriers. You may not be able to get to them in time to relocate them in the event of flooding.

- Ensure that any outbuildings that house or shelter animals can withstand wind and heavy snow and ice.

- Install snow fences in rural areas to reduce drifting snow on roads and paths, which could block access to homes, barns, and animals' feed and water.

Protecting your home

Learn how to protect pipes from freezing

Make sure your home heating sources are installed according to local codes and permit requirements and are clean and in working order.

Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out.

Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide an extra layer of insulation to keep cold air out.

Consider buying emergency heating equipment, such as a wood- or coal-burning stove or an electric or kerosene heater.

- Stoves must be properly vented and in good working order. Dispose of ashes safely. Keep a supply of wood or coal on hand.

- Electric space heaters, either portable or fixed, must be certified by an independent testing laboratory. Plug a heater directly into the wall socket rather than using an extension cord and unplug it when it is not in use.

- Use a kerosene heater only if permitted by law in your area; check with your local fire department. Use only the correct fuel for your unit. Properly ventilate the area. Refuel the unit outdoors only, and only when the unit is cool. Follow all of the manufacturer's instructions.

Consider storing sufficient heating fuel. Regular fuel sources may be cut off. Be cautious of fire hazards when storing any type of fuel.

If you have a fireplace, consider keeping a supply of firewood or coal. Be sure the fireplace is properly vented and in good working order and that you dispose of ashes safely.

Consider installing a portable generator, following our safety tips to avoid home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning

Consider purchasing flood insurance, if you live in a flood-prone area, to cover possible flood damage that may occur during the spring thaw. Homeowners' policies do not cover damage from floods. Ask your insurance agent about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if you are at risk. More information on NFIP is available at www.fema.gov/nfip.

-Right before a blizzard / winter storm

If you do nothing else: Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.

Be prepared to evacuate if you lose power or heat and know your routes and destinations. Find a local emergency shelter.

Check emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications and medical supplies. Keep it nearby.

Be sure you have ample heating fuel.

If you have alternative heating sources, such as fireplaces, wood- or coal-burning stoves, or space heaters, be sure they are clean and in working order.

Check that your fire extinguisher(s) is in good working order, and replace it if necessary.

Bring your companion animals inside and ensure that your horses and livestock have blankets if appropriate and unimpeded access to shelter, food, and non-frozen water.

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

Christmas Fire Safety Tips

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

Holiday Fire Safety Tips

The holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for household fires, so take note of these tips to reduce your risk.

A fireplace screen prevents embers from popping out onto your floor.

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

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

Cooking

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

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

Candles

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

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

Christmas Trees

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

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

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

Decorative Lights

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

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

Kids Playing with Matches

The number of blazes — and, tragically, the number of deaths — caused by children playing with fire goes up significantly during the holidays. From January through March, 13% of fire deaths are the result of children playing with fire, the USFA reports; in December, that percentage doubles. So keep matches and lighters out of kids’ reach. “We tend to underestimate the power of these tools,” says Meri-K Appy, president of the nonprofit Home Safety Council. “A match or lighter could be more deadly than a loaded gun in the hands of a small child.”

Fireplaces

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

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

source:https://www.houselogic.com/home-thoughts/holiday-fire-safety-tips/

Time To Fall Back!

10/30/2017 (Permalink)

DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ENDS

Daylight Saving Time Ends is on the first Sunday in November at 2:00 AM.

Daylight saving time (DST) or summer time is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that people get up earlier in the morning and experience more daylight in the evening. Typically, users of DST adjust clocks forward one hour near the start of spring and change them backward in the autumn.

The practice has received both advocacy and criticism.  Putting clocks forward benefits retail business, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but can cause problems for evening entertainment and other activities tied to the sun (such as farming) or darkness (such as fireworks shows).  Although some early proponents of DST aimed to reduce evening use of incandescent lighting (formerly a primary use of electricity, modern heating and cooling), usage patterns differ greatly, and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory.

Problems sometimes caused by DST clock shifts include: they complicate timekeeping, and can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment, and sleep patterns. Software can often adjust computer clocks automatically, but this can be limited and error-prone, particularly when various jurisdictions change the dates and timings of DST changes.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Make sure to turn back your clocks. Use #DaylightSavingTimeEnds or #FallBack to post on social media.

HISTORY

The New Zealander George Vernon Hudson proposed the modern idea of daylight saving in 1895.  Germany and Austria-Hungary organized the first implementation, starting on 30 April 1916. Many countries have used it at various times since then, particularly since the energy crisis of the 1970s.

source:https://nationaldaycalendar.com/daylight-saving-time-ends-first-sunday-in-november/

How are Hurricanes Named

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Some of the most notorious villains in American history are known by only one name. From Betsy and Camille to Katrina, Ike and Sandy, their legacies are so etched into our collective memory that it only takes a few syllables to recall the terrible days these hurricanes made landfall.

But where do hurricane names come from? Why do we give human names to violent, mindless masses of water and wind? And how do we all agree which name to use? The practice dates back to the 1950s, although people have been naming tropical cyclones for centuries.

Before the 1940s, only the worst storms were given names, usually based on the place or time of year they made landfall: There was the Sea Islands Hurricane of 1893, the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the Miami Hurricane of 1926 and the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, to name a few. Scientists and forecasters often assigned unofficial numbers to tropical cyclones — Tropical Storm One, Hurricane Two, etc. — but the practice of using more memorable and relatable names didn't begin until 1950.

That was the first year when Atlantic tropical cyclones received official names, although they still weren't human ones. These initial names were taken from the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet, so the 1950 season featured such bizarrely named storms as Hurricane Dog, Hurricane Easy, Hurricane Jig, Hurricane Item and Hurricane Love. There was also a Tropical Storm How in early October.

This tradition continued for two years, but it had a glaring flaw: The same list of names was recycled every year, so the 1950-'52 seasons each featured a Hurricane Able through at least Hurricane Fox. That became confusing, so in 1953 the U.S. National Hurricane Center began using female human names, which proved far more successful. Not only did it make storm identification easier, but it helped authorities and news outlets spread warnings — and helped the public pay attention to them.

"[N]ames are presumed to be far easier to remember than numbers and technical terms," the World Meteorological Organization explains on its website. "Many agree that appending names to storms makes it easier for the media to report on tropical cyclones, heightens interest in warnings and increases community preparedness."

The first hurricane names were often inspired by forecasters' wives, but in 1979 men's names were added to the mix. The WMO now oversees the master list of names, which alternates between male and female; six lists are rotated annually in the Atlantic, so the 2015 names will be used again in 2021. But when a cyclone is bad enough, its name can be retired to honor victims and survivors. Seventy-eight Atlantic hurricane names have been retired since 1954, including 29 since 2000. Among the most infamous retired hurricane names are Audrey (1957), Betsy (1965), Camille (1969), Hugo (1989), Andrew (1992), Ivan (2004), Katrina (2005), Ike (2008), Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012).

Here are the names for the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30:

  • Alex
  • Bonnie
  • Colin
  • Danielle
  • Earl
  • Fiona
  • Gaston
  • Hermine
  • Ian
  • Julia
  • Karl
  • Lisa
  • Matthew
  • Nicole
  • Otto
  • Paula
  • Richard
  • Shary
  • Tobias
  • Virginie
  • Walter

The season for tropical cyclones in the Pacific Ocean is generally the same, although it officially begins May 15 in the Eastern Pacific. Naming Pacific cyclones is often more complex than in the Atlantic, with different lists for the Eastern, Central and Western Pacific, as well as for Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the North Indian Ocean and the Southwest Indian Ocean. See the NHC's list of Pacific storm names and the WMO's guide to tropical cyclone naming for more info.

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/blogs/how-hurricanes-are-named-and-why

What To Do After a Flood

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

AFTER A FLOOD

  • Flood dangers do not end when the water begins to recede. If you are evacuated, monitor radio or television news reports and do not return home until authorities indicate it is safe to do so
  • Monitor local radio or TV or contact your local emergency management agency for special information about where to go to get assistance for housing, clothing, and food. Programs are available to help you cope with the stress of the disaster.
  • Use extreme care in areas of downed power lines or natural gas leaks. Wear adequate footwear to avoid cuts from broken glass or nails protruding from the boards
  • If driving, be alert for hazards on the roadway
  • Check for injured victims. Render first aid if necessary. Do not attempt to move severely injured victims unless absolutely necessary. Wait for emergency medical assistance to arrive.
  • When you are allowed to return, remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance
  • Stay alert in areas where flood water have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of the a vehicle. NEVER cross a flooded road or bridge in your vehicle
  • Stay out of buildings that remain in the flood waters.
  • Inspect foundations for cracks or other damage. When entering buildings, use extreme caution. If your home was damaged, check the utilities.
  • Look for fire hazards
  • Do not let children play in or near flood waters, flooded creeks or flood retention ponds. Swift water currents could sweep them away. Avoid coming into contact with the flood waters. The water may be contained with oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Do not wade through the flooded stream to protect or retrieve belongings.
  • Consider your family's health and safety. Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water if you come in contact with flood waters. Listen for new reports to learn whether the community's water supply is safe to drink.
  • Throw away food that has come in contact with flood waters, including canned goods.
  • Pump out flooded basements gradually, about one-third of the water per day, to avoid structural damage.
  • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits an leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewer systems pose a health hazard.
  • do not make unnecessary telephone calls.
  • Take photos or video of the damage to your home and property, and report it to the local emergency management agency.
  • if unaffected by the flood, stay out of the area until local officials allow entry. Your presence may hamper emergency operations.

What To Do During A Flood

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial What To Do During A Flood Lake County Had severe flooding causing a sink hole!

During a Flood

  • Monitor the radio, television or Internet for the latest weather information and evacuation instructions.
  • If advised to evacuate, do so quickly
  • Evacuation is much simpler and safer before flood waters become too deep for ordinary vehicles
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Short cuts may be blocked
  • Move valuable household possessions to an upper floor or another location if flooding is imminent and time permits.
  • If instructed to do so by local authorities, turn off utilities at their source.
  • Many people have lost their lives by attempting to drive over flooded roadways. The sped and depth of the water is not always obvious. There may be hidden portion of the roadway washed out under the water. Two feet of water will carry away most automobiles.
  • You should have your emergency kit available in case you lose power

What to do before a flood

7/7/2017 (Permalink)

BEFORE A FLOOD

Fast Facts

  • Fourteen people died as a result of driving across flooded roads in 2015, 11 of whom perished during the major flood in late December. This was the highest annual number of flood fatalities since records have been kept.
  • Prolonged flooding from creeks and rivers and flash flooding from rain swollen roads and waterways are dangers that too many people ignore, sometimes with fatal consequences. Many flood-related rescues, injuries and fatalities have been the result of people in vehicles attempting to drive across flooded roads.
  • The most dangerous type of flooding is a flash flood. Flash floods can sweep away everything in their path.
  • Most flash floods are caused by slow-moving thunderstorms and occur most frequently at night. The peak time for flash flooding in Illinois is at night.
  • Flooding was a factor in 48 deaths across Illinois since 1995. This is more than the number of people killed by tornadoes during the same period. Most of these flood fatalities involved people in vehicles trying to cross flooded roads.

Before a Flood

  • Know the terms used to describe flood threats:

Flood Watch: This means flooding or flash flooding is possible. Be extremely cautious when driving, especially at night. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or commercial television for additional information.

Flood Warning: This means flooding is occurring or will occur soon and is expected to occur for several days or weeks. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

Flash Flood Warning: This means a flash flood is occurring or is imminent. Many smartphones automatically receive flash flood warnings to alert you about flash flooding nearby, even if you are traveling. Flash flooding occurs very quickly, so take action immediately. NEVER drive across a flooded road, especially if the road is closed by barricades.

  • Purchase a weather alert radio with a battery backup, a tone-alert feature and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology that automatically alerts you when a watch or warning is issued for your county. Know the name of the county you live in and the counties you travel through.
  • It is critical that someone at home, work or wherever people gather monitors weather

conditions, regardless of the time of day. Monitor watches, warnings and advisories in your area using a weather alert radio, cell phone app, local TV, local radio or the Internet. If it is safe to do so, contact family members and friends when you become aware of a flooding situation that may threaten them.

  • Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended outdoor periods and postpone plans if flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • Make sure family members and friends know how to stay safe.
  • Maintain an emergency supply kit. This kit will help your family cope during extended power outages. See page 10 for information on assembling your kit.
  • Keep all of your important records and documents in a safe deposit box or another safe place away from the premises.
  • Insure your property and possessions. Make an inventory of your possessions using paper

lists, photographs and/or videotapes of your belongings. Give a copy to your insurance company. Update your inventory and review your coverage with your insurance company periodically.

  • Consider purchasing flood insurance. Flood losses are not covered under homeowners

insurance policies. Flood insurance is available in most communities through the National

Flood Insurance Program. There is usually a period before it takes effect, so don’t delay.

Flood insurance is available whether the building is in or out of the identified flood-prone

area. Call your insurance company for more information.

  • Know how to shut off electricity, gas and water at main switches and valves. Know where

gas pilots are located and how the heating system works.

  • Have check valves installed in building sewer traps to prevent flood waters from backing

up in sewer drains. As a last resort, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs or basins.

  • consider measures for flood proofing your home. Call your local building department or

emergency management agency for information.

source:https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/hzd/flds-bfr-en.aspx

Lead Poisoning

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children younger than 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.

Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Other sources include contaminated air, water and soil. Adults who work with batteries, do home renovations or work in auto repair shops also might be exposed to lead.

There is treatment for lead poisoning, but taking some simple precautions can help protect you and your family from lead exposure before harm is done.

Lead Paint:

Lead-based paints for homes, children's toys and household furniture have been banned in the United States since 1978. But lead-based paint is still on walls and woodwork in many older homes and apartments. Most lead poisoning in children results from eating chips of deteriorating lead-based paint.

Water pipes and imported canned goods:

Lead pipes, brass plumbing fixtures and copper pipes soldered with lead can release lead particles into tap water. Lead solder in food cans, banned in the United States, is still used in some countries.

Although children are primarily at risk, lead poisoning is also dangerous for adults. Signs and symptoms in adults might include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Difficulties with memory or concentration
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Mood disorders
  • Reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm
  • Miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth in pregnant women

For more information regarding lead poisoning please go to

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/symptoms-causes/dxc-20275054

June is National Safety Month

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Injuries are a leading cause of disability for people of all ages – and they are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44. But there are many things people can do to stay safe and prevent injuries.

Make a difference: Spread the word about ways to reduce the risk of injuries. Encourage communities, workplaces, families, and individuals to identify and report safety hazards.

How can National Safety Month make a difference?

We can all use this month to raise awareness about important safety issues like:

  • Medication safety and prescription painkiller abuse
  • Driving, biking, and working safely
  • First aid and emergency preparedness
  • Preventing slips, trips, and falls

Everyone can get involved in reducing the risk of injuries. Together, we can share information about steps people can take to protect themselves and others.

Source:https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/JuneToolkit2.aspx

What to do Before, During, and After a power outage

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

We’re more vulnerable to power outages this time of year because of new growth and leaves that are still on the trees, which can pull branches down. Ready, a national public service advertising campaign, gives us these tips to follow before, during, and after a power outage.

 

Before

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternate charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
  • Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full. Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps, if you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
  • If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device, determine a back-up plan.

 

During

  • Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location that has heat to keep warm.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
  • If you are considering purchasing a generator for you home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.

 

After

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • If food in the freezer is colder than 40 degree Fahrenheit and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it
  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.
  • Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods, and other supplies.

 

https://www.ready.gov/power-outages

Save money and energy this spring and summer

4/25/2017 (Permalink)

Spring is here and before we know it, the hot summer will arrive! Below you will find ten inexpensive and practical steps you can take to save money and energy as things begin to heat up:


1.When cool nights allow, turn off the cooling system and open the windows while you sleep.


2.In the hot summer months, set your thermostat to a temperature as high as you can comfortably stand.


3.Use ceiling fans to cool the room that you are in and turn them off when you leave the room.


4.Use the exhaust fan in your bathroom to remove heat and humidity while you shower or bathe.


5.In the hotter summer months, grill outside as opposed to using the oven.


6.Make use of the natural lighting that is provided during the daylight hours.


7.When washing clothing or dishes, avoid washing partial loads, when possible.


8.Air dry clothing and dishes as possible.


9.Instead of taking a bath, take a short shower.


10.Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy; you'll avoid scalding your hands.


 


Put these strategies to work and being to enjoy the savings!

There is no need to Panic

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

There is no need to Panic, SERVPRO Mundelein/North Wauconda is here to help! Most homeowners have no idea where to turn when disaster strikes in their homes. Whether it is water, fire, mold or a bio hazard disaster, SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda has the expertise, resources, equipment, and personnel to handle your situation quickly and professionally. We specialize in emergency response 24/7/365 and are always here to help. We work with all major insurance companies and have program agreements and partnerships with State Farm, American Family, Allstate and many others. This is important as it ensures that everyone will be on the same page and there is an agreed upon process that is followed. It is always our goal to mitigate and restore your property to its original condition or better and make it seem "Like it never even happened."


 


Call us Today-847-469-6982

Time To Spring Ahead

3/10/2017 (Permalink)

Daylight Saving Time Begins History


 


Daylight Savings time had begun in an effort to help save energy and provide workers with more hours of serviceable daylight during the long summer days. Daylight Savings Time was first introduced in the U.S. in 1918. However, it was not until 1966, when the Uniform Act was passed, that all states had to either observe DST or pass a state law to abstain.


 


Daylight Saving Time Begins Facts


In 2017 Daylight Savings Time began Sunday March 12, 2017 at 2:00 a.m. local time. Clocks shifted forward 1 hour, making the local time 3:00 a.m. It ends on November 5, 2017 at 2 a.m., when the time will reverse 1 hour back and will make the local time 1 a.m.


When Daylight Savings Time (DST) begins in the Northern Hemisphere, it is ending in the Southern Hemisphere.


Benjamin Franklin first proposed the idea of DST in 1784. He wrote an Economical Project for the Journal of Paris, wherein he discussed the cost of oil for lamps as well as working while it was dark, and sleeping while it was day.


Daylight Savings Time changes at 2:00 a.m. This time is selected in an effort to provide the least amount of inconvenience to businesses and citizens.


DST always begins on the second Sunday in March, and ends on the first Sunday in November.


Hawaii and Arizona do not use DST. Up until 2006, Indiana only used DST in part of the state.


 


 


Daylight Saving Time Begins Top Events and Things to Do


 


Move your clocks forward 1 hour before bed on Saturday night before the Daylight Saving Time day in March.


Go to bed an hour earlier Saturday night before the Daylight Saving Time day.


Get outside and enjoy the extra hour of daylight.


Replace the batteries in the smoke alarm and carbon dioxide monitors.


Clean out the medicine cabinet. Dispose of all medicines properly.


 


source:http://www.wincalendar.com/Daylight-Saving-Time-Begins

10 places many homeowners overlook when checking for mold

3/9/2017 (Permalink)

These are 10 places many homeowners overlook when checking for mold:


Dishwasher


Unless a dishwasher stops working or needs replacing or servicing, most of us don’t think about it as a potential source for mold. There are two connections under each dishwasher that have the potential for mold and mildew to get started–the water supply and the discharge connection. The water supply needs to be lubricated with the right sealant and properly tightened periodically. The discharge connection involves a rubber hose and clamp, and installing the hose before the dishwasher is installed ensures it is done properly. Hoses wear out over time. If you’re buying an older house, it doesn’t hurt to check the dishwasher connections — especially if there’s an odd smell when you open the door.


Icemaker Connections


Refrigerators often get moved, either for cleaning or other projects. This can weaken or break the water line connection to the ice maker, causing leaks behind the refrigerator.


“It seems like a simple job, so in the real world the plumbing contractor doesn’t install the water line, another contractor does,” Hoffman said. “The connection is a compression fitting and it must be installed properly to ensure there are no leaks.”


 


Washing Machine Connections


When installing a washing machine, always install a brand new washing machine hose, using the rubber washers the manufacturer recommends. Also, use Teflon tape and make sure to tighten the connection with vice grips so there are no drips or leaks. After all, it doesn’t take many drips to create an environment for mold.


 


Hot Water Heater


“Many states have laws regarding the installation of hot water heaters, and most of them involve overflow pans that are piped to drain outside the house. The pan must be tilted ¼ inch to ensure the water does drain. Newer heaters with quick connect connectors should be properly lubricated and tightened so the shut-off valve doesn’t leak,” Hoffman said.


Plastic P-Traps


Under every sink in your home is a “P-Trap,” almost always made of PVC pipe, which expands, and contracts. This process eventually loosens the connection and allows water to leak onto the base of the cabinet. If you look under sinks in every room, you’ll easily spot the stains and discoloration commonly caused by leaking P-Traps. Use Teflon tape to seal every P-Trap and check them periodically, tightening them by hand to ensure their connections don’t loosen and leak. Over tightening PVC can cause it to crack, so be careful.


 


Toilet Connections


“I’m amazed at how many steps the DIY home improvement shows leave out when they explain about how to install a toilet,” Hoffman said. “The base of the toilet is where most mold grows. Toilets should be installed with a horned wax ring, and then the base of the toilet grouted in with tile grout,” he said. “The grout serves as a filler between the bowl and the floor to keep the bowl from rocking. Rocking bowls are the number one reason for the wax ring being compromised, which then allows mold to get a foothold.”


 


Shower Doors


Shower doors should probably be installed by plumbing contractors, Hoffman said. “They know how to keep them from leaking.” Mold growing at the base of the tub may be from leaking or improperly installed shower doors. Shower doors need caulking on all three rails — the two side rails as well as the bottom rail.


Tub


A properly caulked tub isn’t just nicer looking. It keeps water and moisture from dripping down under the tub and causing mold issues. Slab floors can create more problems — especially if installed by a DIY’er. The hole(s) in concrete slabs under tubs should be filled with a liquid tar, or expandable foam insulation to ensure moisture does not wick up from the ground through the slab.


Exterior Hose Bib


If you have a home, you have an exterior hose bib — a place where the water connection sticks out from the house. If you’ve used a hose, you know a poor connection or missing rubber washer, or loose hose can result in water spraying the house. This uncontrolled spray allows water to enter the space between the sidings, or into the wall, leading to mold growth. Make sure all holes, gaps and areas around every outdoor water connection are properly caulked and sealed.


Outdoor Water Sprinklers


Siding is engineered to shed rain falling down, not sprinklers shooting water up. Make sure your sprinklers are well away from the house when turned on. If you have children or teens that are watering the yard or garden, make sure they know not to spray the house with the hose. If power washing your home, hire a professional, or take care that water is not forced up under the siding as you wash.


As a homeowner, if you take the appropriate precautions and are vigilant about upkeep, you should be able to avoid mold, or catch it at its outset. While mold can be a huge problem in homes, even causing health issues, it is easily preventable.


If you suspect mold, Please Call SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 847-469-6982

March is National Nutrition Month

3/1/2017 (Permalink)

National Nutrition Month is an educational campaign focusing on the significance of physical fitness as well as eating nourishing meals. Taking charge of your health contributes to overall wellbeing; as well as losing weight or staying at your ideal weight, which reduces risks of chronic illness such as heart disease and diabetes. The campaign, originally “National Nutrition Week,” was first launched in 1973, with the theme “Invest in Yourself – Buy Nutrition.” The American Dietetic Association (ADA) was an early advocate in getting the message to the public organizing educational events held in schools and health care centers.


 


By the beginning of 1980, due to an intense increase in popularity, the House of Delegates expanded National Nutrition Week to National Nutrition month.


 


ADA is now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and, with more than 70,000 members, is the world’s largest organization of registered dietician nutritionists and dietetic technicians. This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” focusing on exercising regularly and making the best food choices.


 


National Nutrition Month is an educational campaign focusing on the significance of physical fitness as well as eating nourishing meals. Taking charge of your health contributes to overall wellbeing; as well as losing weight or staying at your ideal weight, which reduces risks of chronic illness such as heart disease and diabetes.

February is Heart Month

2/9/2017 (Permalink)

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

 

The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.

 

Make a difference in your community: Spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage people to live heart healthy lives.

 

How can American Heart Month make a difference?

 

We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it — both at home and in the community.

 

Here are just a few ideas:

Encourage families to make small changes, like using spices to season their food instead of salt.

Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of the school day. This can help students start good habits early.

Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.

 

How can I help spread the word?

 

We’ve made it easier for you to make a difference. This toolkit is full of ideas to help you take action today. For example:

Add information about living a heart healthy lifestyle to your newsletter.

Tweet about American Heart Month.

Host a community event where families can be active while learning about local health resources.

Take action: Be the cure! External Links Disclaimer Logo Join the American Heart Association’s national movement in support of healthier communities and healthier lives.

 

Source: https://healthfinder.gov/nho/FebruaryToolkit.aspx

February 2nd is Ground Hog Day

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

Community February 2nd is Ground Hog Day 2017- Ground Hog saw his shadow, so sadly 6 more weeks of winter

NATIONAL GROUNDHOG DAY

 

Will he see his shadow or will he not? That is the question!

 

Groundhog Day is observed on February 2nd, each year in the United States and Canada. For a nice welcomed break during the winter, on this day the groundhog awakens from his nap and goes outside to see if he can see his shadow. It is believed by many that if the groundhog sees his shadow that there will then be six more weeks of winter. If this is so, he then retrieves back into his den and goes back to sleep. If he is not able to see his shadow, the groundhog remains outside to play and people celebrate believing that spring is just around the corner.

The tradition of predicting the length of the remaining winter is intertwined with the Christian holiday, Candlemas. Clergy would bless candles symbolizing the ‘light of the world’ to give to their congregations. Another tradition associated with this day is eating crepes. Germans practiced the art of predicting the winter with a hedgehog until their arrival in the United States when they settled in the hills of Pennsylvania, and the groundhog became the official predictor.

Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania has been chosen as the site for the annual Groundhog Day event. Thousands of people come to the town of Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day for this day of celebration.

Although already a well-known day, Groundhog Day received widespread attention as a result of the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which was set in Punxsutawney and portrayed Roger Rininger as the groundhog.

 

HISTORY

An early American reference to Groundhog Day can be found in a diary entry, by storekeeper James Morris, dated February 4th, 1841, of Berks County, Pennsylvania.

January is National Blood Donor Month

1/24/2017 (Permalink)

January is designated as “National Blood Donor Month” because it is often a challenging time for maintaining the area’s blood supply. Winter weather tends to keep people indoors, discouraging them from visiting the blood center to donate. Illness and holidays can also interfere with donating. Yet winter weather can lead to more traumatic injuries on icy roads and may increase the need for blood. A reduction in turnout can put our nation’s blood inventory at a critical low.

 

Do you ever wonder what makes up blood? Unless you need to have blood drawn, donate it or have to stop its flow after an injury, you probably don't think much about it. But blood is the most commonly tested part of the body, and it is truly the river of life. Every cell in the body gets its nutrients from blood. Understanding blood will help you as your doctor explains the results of your blood tests. In addition, you will learn amazing things about this incredible fluid and the cells in it.

 

Whole blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. All but plasma are made in the marrow of bones, especially the vertebrae, ribs, hips, skull and sternum; these essential blood cells fight infection, carry oxygen and help control bleeding. Everyone’s blood falls into one of four types. Blood types are an inherited trait.

 

Someone needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, and one in ten patients entering a hospital will need blood. Over 500 people need to donate every day to meet the daily needs of the hospitals we serve and be prepared for emergencies. In order to collect the units needed, The Blood Connection must screen between 550-600 people a day for blood, platelet, plasma and double red cell units. Blood is good for only 42 days, so donors are needed every day to ensure a stable blood supply.

 

Interesting facts:

 

MORE THAN 15 MILLION pints of blood are transfused in the U.S. each year

 

EVERY 2 SECONDS someone in the U.S. needs blood

 

Red blood cells can be stored FOR ONLY 42 DAYS

 

LESS THAN 10% of the population donates blood.

 

Where to go to ask questions and start the donating process in South Carolina

 

www.thebloodconnection.org

 

www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood

 

or

 

www.americasblood.org

 

Content Credit: www.thebloodconnection,org

Facts about De-Icers

1/19/2017 (Permalink)

When freezing weather hits, sidewalks and driveways can become dangerously slick. And if you’ve ever gotten out there with a shovel, you know how tenaciously that ice can cling to your driveway! Deicers and anti-icers are chemicals that help to break or prevent a bond between the ice and concrete, making it easier to shovel.

It’s important to remember that these products are not intended to melt large quantities of snow or ice. For thick layers, you’ll still need that snow shovel! Deicers and anti-icers contain chemicals that can be toxic to the environment and corrosive to your driveway concrete, so it’s important to apply them sparingly and according to package instructions.

 

About Deicers

The most common products available to homeowners fall into the category of deicers. Deicers are made of mineral salts and work on the chemistry principle that salt water has a lower freezing point than fresh water. As the salts dissolve, they seep down to form a liquid layer underneath the ice that allows the ice to be easily removed.

While many products contain a mixture of ingredients, the most common deicing chemicals are:

  • Sodium Chloride (Rock Salt): This is the cheapest deicing material, but it has a couple of disadvantages, since it only works down to 15° F, is damaging to concrete and plants, and unhealthy for pets.
  • Potassium Chloride: Works similar to rock salt, is better for areas with warmer winters, and is one of the less toxic options.
  • Calcium Chloride: Works at much lower temperatures (down to -20° F) and is less toxic. One advantage of calcium chloride is that it attracts water and creates heat, which means it will actively dissolve ice rather than sitting on top of the ice.
  • Magnesium Chloride: Has similar qualities as calcium chloride, but works down to about 5° F.
  • Urea: Deicers containing urea or chemical fertilizers may seem good for your lawn, but they’re the most corrosive to concrete and the least recommended of all the deicers.
  • Other Options: There are also a few options for non-chloride based deicers. Safe Paw is an amide-glycol blend that is marketed as salt-free and safe for pets. Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), is a more environmentally-friendly deicer made from limestone and acetic acid.
  • Sand and Kitty Litter: Both provide better traction on ice, but won’t actually melt ice.

 

About Anti-Icers

Anti-icers are applied before snow and ice fall to prevent ice from building on pavement. For homeowners, the most common anti-icers are simply liquid salt solutions (the same as deicers, only in liquid form) that are sprayed onto driveways and sidewalks before a snowfall.

 

 

Other types of anti-icing chemicals are used by maintenance crews to prevent ice on parking lots and roads. These viscous, sticky sprays aren’t widely available for home use

 

Ice Removal Tips

Go Easy: Use the minimum amount of deicer or anti-icer needed. Remember that it’s only supposed to break the bond to make shoveling easier; it’s not supposed to melt it all.

  • Sprinkle Early: The sooner you can apply an ice removal product, the better. Head out right as the snow or ice starts, and sprinkle a thin layer on sidewalks and steps to prevent a sticky buildup.
  • Check Effectiveness: You should see the ice begin to melt within 15-30 minutes. If it isn’t melting, the temperature may be too low for your product.
  • Pellets vs. liquid: Pellets or crystals are best for applying on top of ice, so they can melt their way straight down. Liquids are best applied as preventative measures. Deicing flakes are less effective.
  • Be Aware of Risks: Deicers and anti-icers can be harmful to humans, pets, and your lawn, particularly if over applied. They can also interfere with the freeze-thaw cycles in concrete and damage your driveway, and the liquid layer can increase rusting of iron and steel. To protect your home and loved ones, use these products very sparingly. If deicers and anti-icers are applied properly, it doesn’t take much to get great results

 

Source: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/how-to-use-deicers-and-anti-icers-on-sidewalks-and-driveways/

 

5 Questions about snow answered

1/10/2017 (Permalink)

Snow is one of our favorite parts of winter... except when we have to shovel our way out of it! During all that shoveling, however, I had some questions about snow, and decided to look up the answers. Here's what I discovered!

1. Any time it rains when it's pretty cold, the immediate thought is: 'Will we get any snow? How much?' So, when it rains an inch, how much snow is that?

Well, like the answer to many questions — it depends. The general rule of thumb is that 10 inches of snow equals one inch of rain. But this is not always the case. Snow does not always have the same consistency each time it falls. Sometimes snow is lighter and fluffier than at other times, causing large amounts of snow to equal very little amounts of rain. Other times, when the snow is wetter and denser, the ratio can be a lot closer together. So there will never be an exact amount of snow equal to a measure of rain.

2. What is a Nor'easter? Is it really a storm that comes from the north and from the east?

A Nor'easter is defined by the NOAA as "a storm along the East Coast of North America, so called because the winds over the coastal area are typically from the northeast." Those of us on the East Coast generally define a Nor'easter as "a reason to stay home that day."

It is named for the strong northeasterly winds involved, and the storms "generally northeastward and typically attain maximum intensity near New England and the Maritime Provinces of Canada." Of course, the storms bring plenty of rain, snow and gale force winds.

3. What is the record for the most snowfall in 24 hours in the U.S., and where was it?

You might guess Alaska for this, but you'd be wrong. In 1921, Silver Lake, Colorado, recorded 6 feet of snow over the course of April 14-15. April?! And we thought Nor'easter season was bad.

4. Is it true that every snowflake is different?

We all heard this in elementary school, and my fourth-grade teacher used to compare us (her students) to those unique snowflakes. It made us all feel special at the time, but I think some of my classmates would be dismayed to find out that Nancy Knight of the National Center for Atmospheric Research found two identical-looking snowflakes in 1988. On the molecular level though, according to Caltech physics professor Kenneth Libbrecht, it is impossible for there to be two completely identical flakes because there are so many different layouts of water molecules. Ouch. All this science is hurting my brain. Better stick to lighter snow questions like…

5. Can you eat snow?

Yes, absolutely. Just make sure it’s not "yellow snow," if you know what I mean. (Unless you’re making lemon slushies, of course.) Of course, you don't want to eat snow if you're trying to survive in a snowstorm. Yes, it's a source of water, but it'll lower your body temperature if you eat it directly, and that's worse than dehydration

 

source:http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/questions/5-questions-about-snow-answered

After a Snow Storm or Extreme cold weather

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

  • If your home loses power or heat for more than a few hours or if you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm in your home overnight, you may want to go to a designated public shelter if you can get there safely. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (e.g., SHELTER20472)
  • Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries, medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.
  • Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

 

Learn From Every Storm

 Restock your emergency supplies to be ready in case another storm hits.

  • Assess how well your supplies and family plan worked. What could you have done better?
  • Take a few minutes to improve your family plan and supplies before the next winter storm hits.
  • Talk to your neighbors and colleagues about their experiences and share tips with each other

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

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

12/29/2016 (Permalink)

Winter is here and Frozen Pipes are avoidable. Here are 7 tips to prevent that from happening

 

Outdoor Tips:

 

  1. Wrap outside faucets

 

  1. Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.

 

  1. Disconnect garden hoses.

 

  1. Drain in-ground sprinkler systems.

 

Indoor Tips:

 

  1. Let a stream of water run if the temperature dips below freezing.

 

  1. Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms.

 

  1. Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving home for several days.

National Ugly Sweater Day!

12/16/2016 (Permalink)

Community National Ugly Sweater Day! Lexi decided to participate in National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day!

Tacky, ugly, horrendous, and cheesy. What do these words all describe? Christmas sweaters. 16th December is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day – a day to give back filled with fun, family and friends. Leave your uncomfortable suit and school uniform hanging in the closet and pull out that sweater from Grandma that’s been collecting dust. Ugly Christmas sweaters have been around since the dawn of Christmas, but it wasn’t until recently that they really started gaining popularity.

 

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is a holiday started in 2011 by a group of “ugly Christmas sweater aficionados” that wanted a day to show off our prized sweaters. Every year they spend hours laboriously searching through thrift stores and online markets looking for the ugliest of the ugly. And why do they do this?

 

In the past few years, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has grown substantially and is expected to have record-breaking participation this year. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day recently partnered with Save the Children in their “Make the World Better with a Sweater” campaign. Now holiday participants can be “ugly” for a cause. Last year the campaign had massive success in the United Kingdom and National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day hopes to bring some of that success to the United States. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater on December 16th, encourage others to join, and donate online to Save the Children.

 

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is also an awesome way to get in the holiday spirit. For many people the holidays bring excessive stress. Instead of worrying about the tree looking absolutely perfect and the Christmas lights outside not being hung straight, enjoy spending time with friends and family by throwing an ugly Christmas sweater party and spreading Christmas cheer. Rocking an ugly Christmas sweater is just one festive tradition, you should check out tons of other bizarre Christmas traditions. Whatever it is you love to do, make sure you spend the holidays with those closest to you and have fun.

 

 

Source: http://www.thefactsite.com/2014/11/national-ugly-christmas-sweater-day.html

 

Christmas Tree Safety

12/8/2016 (Permalink)

 

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.

 

Picking the tree

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

 

Placing the tree

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

 

Lighting the tree

  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of light strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

 

After Christmas

  • Get rid of the tree after Christmas. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Source: http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/wildfire-and-seasonal-fires/winter-holiday-safety/christmas-tree-fires/christmas-tree-safety-tips

Winterizing your Home

12/7/2016 (Permalink)

As we enter the cold part of the year in the Northern hemisphere, here are 50 tips for how to winterize your home. If you have a suggestion that isn’t in the list be sure to add it in the comments.

 

winter-main

1.Replace any old or inefficient windows. Windows are one of the major ways heat leaks out of your house.

2.Seal off drafty windows and patio doors with clear plastic.

3.If you have a lot of outside doors that leak air, you can seal a few off using plastic or caulk putty.

4.If your furnace is more than 10 years old, there’s a good chance that it wastes a lot of fuel. Consider upgrading to a newer one.

5.Insulate the hot water lines around your hot water heater and turn down the temperature of the water heater to the “warm” setting (120 degrees F).

6.Consider “blanketing” your water heater with faced fiberglass insulation. (Do not do this if you have a gas-powered water heater)

7.Wrap any hot water pipes that run through unheated areas of the house. Also, you can insulate cold water pipes to help prevent them from freezing during the winter.

8.Replace your furnace filter about every 3 months.

9.Make sure your cold air returns aren’t blocked. Your furnace needs these to operate efficiently.

10.Try replacing the weather stripping around the doors in your home.

11.Use a programmable thermostat to reduce heating costs when no one is at home.

12.Uncover all south-facing windows to let all possible sunlight in your home.

13.Keep all vents and baseboard heaters clean.

14.If you have a fireplace, close the damper when the fireplace is not in use.

15.If the damper is old or doesn’t close well, try putting some insulation in it to seal it off. Just remember to take it out before using it!

16.If you like using a fireplace, consider getting an insert that will direct the heat into your house instead of just sending it up the chimney.

17.Consider replacing all of your lightbulbs with energy-saving CFL bulbs.

18.Install a timer on your water heater so it isn’t heating a whole tank of water when you don’t need it.

19.Install foam insulators behind the face plates of light switches and electrical outlets.

20.Check the insulation in the walls of your home. It might need some work in order to keep heat in efficiently.

21.Plant evergreen trees close to your home to block the winter wind.

22.Reverse the direction of ceiling fans to push hot air downward and delay it from escaping the house.

23.Consider hanging thermal curtains to help prevent drafts.

24.Install a dryer vent seal to prevent cold air from traveling back into your home.

25.There are attachments to vent your dryer inside your home so you don’t waste the heat and humidity. (Don’t try this if you have a gas-powered dryer).

26.Check windows for leaks. Windows with wooden frames often warp and become inefficient.

27.Caulk both sides of the trim around your windows. This is an area where a lot of air can get in.

28.Try not to use space heaters to heat large areas of your house.

29.If you spend most of your time in one room in a large house, consider setting your thermostat low and using a small heater to heat where you are going to be.

30.Remove any window-unit air conditioners.

31.Keep all closet doors closed when possible. There’s no need to heat space that isn’t in use as long as it doesn’t contain water pipes.

32.Make sure that your garage isn’t too drafty.

33.Try to use the clothes dryer for consecutive loads of laundry. This conserves the energy that would be needed to heat up the dryer several times.

34.Replace the caulking around any bathtubs or showers.

35.If your home has folding attic stairs, consider insulating the door with a cover of some sort.

36.If your home has a sliding glass door, check the seal on the bottom to make sure it isn’t letting in cold air.

37.If your water heater needs to be upgraded, consider installing a tankless water heater.

38.Use the oven for baking during colder hours of the day to help heat your home.

39.Install storm doors to help keep out drafts.

40.Use an energy monitor to tell you what appliances are using the most energy. This might help pinpoint areas where you can cut back on energy usage.

41.Make sure that your duct system is working properly.

42.Look into installing a geothermal heating system. While it is a bit expensive, initially, the energy savings provide a long-term cost benefit.

43.Dress warmly when you are inside so that you won’t be tempted to raise the temperature on the thermostat.

44.Make sure that there aren’t any drafts coming in under doors. If there are, consider using a rubber strip to seal them off.

45.If you own a brick home, check the mortar. It may need repair.

46.Replace worn or missing shingles.

47.Seal any cracks in the foundation of your house.

48.Wear socks and slippers. If your feet are warm, you will feel warmer and can keep the thermostat set low.

49.Install a programmable Energy Star thermostat that will lower the temperature at night and when no one is at home.

50.Close off rooms that aren’t used and shut the vents.

 

 

Fight the Flu

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

Don't be fooled, influenza (or, the flu, as we commonly call it) is fairly likely to impact your holidays, as one in five Americans suffer from it every single year. According to Pride Staff, the flu, combined with pneumonia, is the nation's 8th leading cause of death. So what can you do take preventive actions to stop the spread of germs and shield yourself (and others) against the flu?

 

One of the first and most important preventive actions you should take is getting a yearly flu vaccine. Don't know where to get one? Flu.gov has a flu vaccine finder that is very helpful!

 

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. No tissue? Aim your cough/sneeze into the bend of your arm.

 

Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

 

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This, my friends, is how germs are spread.

 

Those are the basics, but what about everyone else? How can you help others do the same? Try these actions:

  • Encourage great hygiene among your family members and coworkers.
  • Put up posters addressing prevention: how to stop germs from spreading, how to recognize cold/flu symptoms, etc.
  • Identify local resources for flu shots and make this information available to coworkers.
  • Stock up on hand sanitizer/anti-bacterial wipes and make these available to others.
  • Wipe down all flat surfaces: keyboards, mouse, phone and common areas daily.
  • Use hand sanitizer after shaking hands with others.
  • Contact your office janitorial service to see if they offer any special treatment or processes to prevent the spread of cold/flu germs.

December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month

12/1/2016 (Permalink)

 

December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month

Holiday Toy Safety Guide

In recent years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has created a robust toy safety system, by requiring testing by independent, third party testing laboratories around the world; enforcing stringent lead and phthalates limits for toys; imposing some of the most stringent toy standards in the world; and stopping volatile and dangerous toys at the ports and in the marketplace before they reach children’s hands. These combined efforts continue to foster the confidence of American families as they prepare to shop for toys this holiday season.

 

Safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season:

Balloons

Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than eight years old. Discard broken balloons immediately.

Small balls and other toys with small parts

For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.

 

Scooters and other riding toys

Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times and they should be sized to fit.

Magnets

High-powered magnet sets are dangerous and should be kept away from children. Whether marketed for children or adults, building and play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children.

Once gifts are open:

  • Immediately discard plastic wrapping or other toy packaging before the wrapping and packaging become dangerous play things.
  • Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
  • Battery charging should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children. Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any mechanism to prevent overcharging.

 

Toy Safety Guides

The CPSC provides free safety alerts, guides, posters, brochures, handbooks and other materials which you can use to help spread consumer product safety information in your community.

  • Choking Hazard: Plastic Film on Toys and Other Children’s Products »
  • Strings and Straps on Toys Can Strangle Young Children »
  • Ingested Magnets Can Cause Serious Intestinal Injuries »
  • Balloons Can Be Suffocation Danger to Kids »
  • Caps for Toy Guns »
  • Electric Toy Safety »
  • Child Safety Protection Act Fact Sheet »
  • CPSC Warns Consumers of Dangers with Toy Chest Lids »
  • Button Battery Safety Quiz »

 

Source: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/2014/Global-System-of-Toy-Safety-Works-to-Keep-Kids-Safe-This-Holiday-Season-Recalls-Down-Port-Seizures-Up-/

Hoarding

11/28/2016 (Permalink)

Hoarding is actually categorized as a disorder of behavior where a person has the inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that end up eventually covering up all areas of their home or living space.

 

Hoarding is categorized as a biohazard due to the substances that might be found in your home, apartment, or commercial building. During hoarding situations there could be a wide range of things you could find from house supplies and magazines to hazardous materials and animal waste or remains. SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda trains our technicians to specialize in hoarding cleanup and restoration. Hoarding cleanup includes not just removal of items but also recovery and restoration of useful and valuable objects.

 

Following the cleanup and restoration process, our technicians will deodorize the scene so eliminate any and all existing odors that could have come from a number of sources. If more cleanup is necessary like, carpet cleaning, mold removal, or water damage; SERVPRO of Renton will handle everything and continue to communicate with you throughout the process.

 

Hoarding Tips:

  • A common problem 2-5% of Americans meet diagnosis requirements
  • Hoarders see objects having significant value
  • Often begins during adolescence around the age of 13 or 14
  • Often environmentally related
  • Depression is often related
  • Most hoarders have Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Consequences are more than a messy home- unsanitary living environment
  • Increased risk of fires for occupants and their neighbors Accumulation of objects

Blocked exits

Unsafe cooking and heating environment – 39% of fires in hoarding homes result from cooking

  • Safety and health risks to people, animals, and the community

 

If you are struggling with a hoarding situation and need help discarding any or all items, SERVPRO of Renton will be there to help you through this process. Give us a call today 847-469-6982 or any questions or concerns

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

11/22/2016 (Permalink)

The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.

 

Safety tips

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

 

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/holidays/thanksgiving-safety

Clean Homes Sells Faster

11/21/2016 (Permalink)

Looking to sell your home? It is a fact: A clean, fresh smelling home will sell faster. Veteran realtors will encourage you to keep your home in top condition for very important reasons including increased market value. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West offers a variety of services to help revive your home to top show condition including carpet and upholstery cleaning, ceiling, wall, and hard floor cleaning, deodorization, and mold mitigation and remediation.

 

One problem many homeowners come across when selling their home is mold. Molds are found in every environment and mold spores reproduce rapidly when moisture is present. An Institute of Medicine study found excessive dampness indoors encourages the growth of molds and other organisms, causing public health problems. The EPA advised that the potential health concerns from molds are an important reason to prevent moisture problems. leading to mold growth. It is especially important to clean up existing indoor mold growth to increase property appeal and retain its value. If a property has experienced a water intrusion, SERVPRO Mundelein/North Wauconda can inspect the damage to see whether moisture has penetrated materials or is allowing mold growth.

 

Prior to listing your property, the following steps can be taken to reduce the potential for moisture buildup or mold growth. Should a water damage event occur, timely response is the key to preventing further damage- act within the first 24 to 48 hours.

  • Correct any water leaks or standing water
  • Remove standing water under cooling coils or air handling units
  • Properly maintain humidifiers, if used
  • Replace wet or visibly moldy insulation materials
  • Steam cleaning and other methods involving moisture should not be used on any kind of duct work
  • Install a ventilation system

 

As a home owner looking to sell your home, you may have trouble spots to address before you list or schedule a home inspection. Whether the problem is a water stain on a hardwood floor or a mildew smell in the basement, rest assured that SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda can get your home in top show conditions and ready to sell. When you decide to sell your home, call us for cleaning and restoration services that will help showcase your property to potential buyers. 847-469-6982

Time to tune up your furnace

11/14/2016 (Permalink)

 

General Tune Up Your Furnace Before the Cold Comes

 

Stay warm this winter with a well-running, efficient heating system.

 

When the temperature dips, you call on your furnace to keep your home cozy and warm. The last thing you want is to wake to shivers in the middle of the night.

 

Before the heating season begins, get your furnace checked out to make sure it’s ready to give you uninterrupted winter comfort. An added benefit is that a well-running furnace uses less fuel, saving you money on heating costs.

 

A thorough furnace check-up is best left to a qualified technician. For most homes, a furnace check-up consists of the following steps:

  • Inspect the thermostat for proper operation and calibration.
  • Change or clean the air filter.
  • Check all electrical components and controls.
  • Oil motors as needed.
  • Inspect the heat exchanger for possible cracks, which could allow carbon monoxide into your home.
  • Check the air flow.
  • Check the air/fuel mixture.
  • Make certain that the flues and chimneys are properly connected, in good condition and not blocked.

 

There are also steps you can take to get the most out of your furnace.

  • Change the air filters regularly.
  • Be sure the thermostat is set in heating mode.
  • Make sure your registers and vents are open and free of obstructions.

Veterans Day

11/11/2016 (Permalink)

Memorial Day is often confused with Veterans Day. Why? According to the Department of Veterans Affairs:

 

Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military — in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served — not only those who died — have sacrificed and done their duty.

Veterans Day and Memorial Day have different histories.

 

The first official observance of Memorial Day was May 28, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs:

 

 

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR [Grand Army of the Republic] made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

 

After World War I, the holiday was extended to all soldiers who had fallen in all American wars.

 

On Monday at Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Army Military District of Washington will conduct a presidential Armed Forces full-honor wreath-laying ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknowns, to be followed by an observance program hosted by the Defense Department in Arlington Memorial Amphitheater.

 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Veterans Day has its origins in the early 20th century. In November 1919, one year after the armistice ending World War I went into effect, President Woodrow Wilson declared Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words:

 

 

To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations. …

 

In 1938, Congress approved a bill that made Nov. 11 an annual legal holiday known as “Armistice Day” that would honor the cause of world peace, but it was primarily used to honor World War I veterans. In 1954, after World War II, the law was amended, the word “Armistice” was changed to “Veterans” and Nov. 11 became a day to honor veterans of all American wars.

 

 

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/05/29/why-memorial-day-is-different-from-veterans-day/

 

 

Carpet Cleaning Tips

11/9/2016 (Permalink)

Is your home collecting dirt and germs every time you walk through the door? The answer is yes. Shoes collect bacteria on the soles and can track it straight into your home, but there are a few ways to prevent this. More importantly, there are ways to treat your floor and home if it hasn't been done recently.

 

Problem:

Some of the bacteria that lands on our shoes can cause a decline in our health if not cleaned. In fact, an EPA study shows that unhealthy herbicides can also be tracked in on our shoes. Don't let this scare you because it can be prevented.

Tip:

Try setting a shoe rack in your garage or right when you walk into your home for shoes to be placed. This limits the exposure of these unwanted germs. It is also not a bad idea to clean your shoes once a month. Not only will this help eliminate bacteria, but will also make your shoes look better, longer.

 

Problem:

If you think that your carpet or flooring already has unhealthy herbicides in it, then it may be time for a deep cleaning. Of course this will help kill germs and bacteria, but also get rid of dirt. This is where SERVPRO of Tuscaloosa comes in! How often you’ll need professional cleaning depends on soil build-up, traffic, type and color of carpeting.

Tip:

If you have a steam cleaner, use it to clean your floor. The heat of the water that cleans your carpet will help kill bacteria. If your home is mostly hardwood or tile, grab your mop and the appropriate cleanser to rid your floor of unwanted germs.

 

If you are still unsatisfied, SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda can do the job. The SERVPRO System offers a number of cleaning options to match any type of upholstery or carpet. Call us today

847-469-6982

Restore vs. Replace

11/2/2016 (Permalink)

Restore vs. Replace

 

At SERVPRO we are in the business of restoration rather than replacement - this provides the benefits of not only lower costs but also a smaller ecological footprint. On a more personal level, restoration vs. replacement provides home owners peace of mind, in the event of a loss, that they will be able to make the most of any insurance payments they receive.

 

Why do we focus on restoration?

  • We minimize the amount of building material discarded into landfills.
  • We preserve the original architecture of building structures.
  • Restoration is much more cost-efficient than replacement.
  • Many items cannot be replaced, such as important documents and family heirlooms.

 

In addition to preserving original structures and items, a drive towards restoration can better satisfy a complete return to normalcy when catastrophe occurs. Insurance policies often have limits that cap the amount of a claim - restoration allows for minimizing the costs of returning a structure to its pre-loss condition.

 

SERVPRO works seamlessly with insurance companies nationwide, providing them with restoration budgets that not only meet their stringent guidelines, but provide the homeowner with the best possible outcome.

 

You have a choice when it comes to who to trust with your home after a fire or flood. Choose SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda and let us help you make it… “Like it never even happened.”

 

We can be reached 847-469-6982

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month

11/1/2016 (Permalink)

November Is Senior Pet Month: Consider Adopting an Older Pet

Attention animal lovers: November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and we’d love for you to consider giving a home to an older cat or dog in need. Animal shelters across the country are full of animals of all shapes, sizes, breeds and ages, but senior pets are typically the most difficult to place.

We’ve found that while puppies are adorable, when you choose to adopt an older pet, you know what to expect. Senior cats and dogs are fully grown, their personalities have developed, and many are already trained. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! In our experience, senior dogs are often easier to train than puppies due to their calm demeanor and prior interactions with human companions. Older pets can be great matches for seniors, or those who enjoy a less active lifestyle.

We’re on the brink of the holiday season, and we can’t think of a better time to provide a home for a shelter pet. Visit our Adopt section to find available senior dogs and cats near you, and help one less animal spend the holiday season in a shelter.

 

 

source:http://www.aspca.org/news/november-senior-pet-month-consider-adopting-older-pet

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

10/31/2016 (Permalink)

Halloween Safety Tips

 

Ghost, ghouls and monsters aren't the only things to be afraid of on Halloween. Accidents and mishaps increase dramatically when children trick-or-treat.

To avoid the many dangers children, face while trick or treating, use common sense. Be aware of potential Halloween hazards and take precautions to eliminate them. Consider heading for an indoor Halloween party and bypass any chaos or danger.

Halloween Costume Safety:

  • Wear flame retardant costumes.
  • Make sure your Halloween costume is colorfast so the color doesn't run onto your other clothes if it rains.
  • Try on costumes before Halloween to allow time for altering.
  • Hem your costumes so you don't trip and fall.
  • Apply reflective tape to your Halloween costumes.
  • Avoid cumbersome masks. Use make-up instead.
  • Use only hypoallergenic and non-toxic makeup.
  • Wear comfortable, practical shoes.
  • Double tie your shoelaces so you don't trip.
  • Keep your costume and wig away from candles.
  • Don't carry fake swords, guns, knives or similar accessories that look authentic. Make sure they're flexible and cannot harm anyone.

Trick-or-Treating Tips

  • Plan your route ahead of time.
  • Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods.
  • Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries after dark.
  • Take along money for a phone call.
  • Wear identification that's easy to read.
  • Always trick or treat in groups, accompanied by an adult.
  • Follow a curfew and take a watch with a backlight.
  • Stay on the sidewalks and out of the streets. Cross only at intersections and designated crosswalks.
  • Walk. No running.
  • Don't trample through flower beds and gardens.
  • Watch out for open flames in jack-o-Lanterns.
  • Walk with your head up and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Only visit well-lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses.
  • Don't enter any houses unless you know the people.
  • Carry a spare Halloween bag, in case yours breaks or you fill your original one.
  • Don't approach unfamiliar pets and animals.
  • Don't cut across yards and stay out of backyards.
  • Follow traffic signals and don't jaywalk.
  • Always watch for cars backing up or turning.
  • Review the "stop, drop and roll" procedure in case your costume catches on fire.
  • Never accept rides from strangers.
  • Respect other people and their property.
  • Be polite and say "thank you".
  • Don't eat any candy until it's inspected for tampering under bright lights.
  • Avoid candy that has loose wrappings, is unwrapped, has puncture holes, or is homemade.
  • Small children should not be allowed hard candy they may choke on.
  • Report any suspicious or criminal activity to an adult or the police.
  • Consider having a party instead of Trick or Treating.

 

 

SOURCE: http://www.halloween-website.com/safety.htm

 

Mold Comes in Different Colors!

10/24/2016 (Permalink)

Did you Know mold comes in many colors! When mold first begins to grow, they may start out as one color, then change to another as the colony of mold grows and expands. It is very important to take care of mold as soon as you know that you have it! Call us for more information, we would be happy to answer any questions that you may have

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 847-469-6982

Damaging Winds

10/21/2016 (Permalink)

What are damaging winds?

Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60mph

What are straight-line winds?

Straight-line winds are generally any thunderstorm wind that is not associated with rotation, and is used mainly to differentiate from tornadic winds.

 

What causes straight-line winds?

Most straight-line winds are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft.

 

Are damaging winds really a big deal?

Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes. Wind speeds can reach up to 100 mph and can produce a damage path extending for hundreds of miles.

 

Who is at risk from damaging winds?

Since most thunderstorms produce some straight-line winds as a result of outflow generated by the thunderstorm downdraft, anyone living in thunderstorm-prone areas of the world is at risk for experiencing this hazard.

People living in mobile homes are especially at risk from injury and death. Even anchored mobile homes can be seriously damaged when winds gust over 80 mph. Winds from thunderstorms can cause EF-2 damage.

Source: http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/wind/faq/

 

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda…. are here to help!

847-469-6982

Unpacking Winter Clothes

10/20/2016 (Permalink)

Do you store your cool weather clothes away during summer? If so, this can help!

 

Clothes with a musty smell can usually be taken care of by using one of these common household products.

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Borax

 

Just fill your washing machine with clothes, hot water and your normal detergent. Once full, pour a cup of your selected product in and agitate to ensure its mixed properly. You can use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, a half cup each.

 

For best results dry the clothes outside. A sunny breezy day is best. A place that gets both wind and sun is ideal.

 

Keep in mind, if your clothes smell musty it’s because of mold. You might want to look into that.

What to do during a flood

10/19/2016 (Permalink)

It is important to always be prepared in case of emergency. Here are some tips on how to handle a water damage in your own home.

 

What to Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

 

What NOT to Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

 

We are always here to help! If you are dealing with a water damaged home call our office at

847-469-6982We are available 24/7.

Vandalism Dos's and Don'ts

10/18/2016 (Permalink)

VANDALISM DAMAGE:

DO:

Hose or wash egg damage from building exterior as soon as possible

Blot freshly spilled food from carpets and fabrics with a dampened cloth or sponge (but don’t over wet) Scrape and blot (don’t rub: may damage fibers)

Vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery

Save containers, which reveal the composition of spilled inks, cosmetics and paints

 

DON’T:

Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetics

Operate damaged lamps or appliances

Discard wood chips, broken pieces of furniture, porcelain or other art objects

 

Call SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda and let us help take care of this for you

847-469-6982

After the Fire

10/14/2016 (Permalink)

Every 90 seconds a Residential Fire occurs somewhere in the U.S. When a fire strikes your home SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda is on the scene for you when you need us most: 24/7/365

Timely Response is our promise to you. Within 1 Hour our professionals will be in touch with you to discuss a gameplan for restoration of your home. Within 4 hours of your call a SERVPRO of Mundelein/ North Wauconda professional will arrive at the scene to start mitigation services. Within  8 hours, a verbal briefing of the scope of the job will be ready to be submitted to your Insurance Adjuster.

Our promise to you is to make the process go as smooth as possible! Call us today!

Fireplace Safety Tips

10/13/2016 (Permalink)

FIREPLACE SAFETY TIPS

  1. Burn only dry, split firewood. Avoid chemically treated wood.
  2. Install a chimney cap
  3. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  4. Close damper when fireplace is not in use.
  5. Schedule a yearly fireplace and chimney inspection.

Classes of Fires and Types of Fire Extinguishers

10/12/2016 (Permalink)

Did you know there are different types of fire extinguishers for different types of fires! Not all fires are the same! Listed below are classes of fires and the type of fire extinguisher you would need:

 

Class A: Trash, Wood, Paper

Class B: Flammable Liquids-gasoline, petroleum oil, and paint

                Flammable Gases- propane and butane

Class C: Electrical Equipment- energized electrical equipment such as motors, transformers, and              appliances

Class D: Combustible Metals-potassium, sodium, aluminum, and magnesium

Class K: Cooking Oils- greases, animal and vegetable fats

 

For each class of Fire different fire extinguishers are used listed below are the different types:

Water Fire Extinguishers (red): This fire extinguisher is the cheapest and most widely used. The water fire extinguisher is used for Class A fires

Foam Fire Extinguishers(cream): This one is a little more expensive that water, but can be used for Classes A&B fires.

Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers(blue): This fire extinguisher is a multi-purpose extinguisher, as it can be used on classes A, B &C fires. It works best on Class B fires. The dry powder fire extinguisher will put out a Class C fire, but can be dangerous to extinguish a gas fire without first isolating the gas supply

CO2 Fire Extinguishers (black): are used for class B and C fires. CO2 extinguishers contain carbon dioxide, a non-flammable gas, and are highly pressurized. The pressure is so great that it is not uncommon for bits of dry ice to shoot out the nozzle. They don't work very well on class A fires because they may not be able to displace enough oxygen to put the fire out, causing it to re-ignite.

Commercial Fire Safety

10/11/2016 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO for Fast, Friendly Fire Remediation Services

 

The word “fire” strikes fear in the hearts of most people and for good reason. Whether it’s your home or business it can bring life, as you know it, to a screeching halt.

 

If your business or commercial property caught on fire, don't panic. Instead, call the professionals of SERVPRO® of Mundelein/North Wauconda and let us start cleaning up immediately. Acting right now is the key to limiting damages and expediting the restoration process, and choosing our team of industry specialists is the secret to attaining the services you deserve. All of our IICRC-certified technicians will work with diligence and determination to get your commercial property back in pristine condition, so call us now at 847-469-6982

Knowing which steps to take in the face of a commercial fire can help prevent you from becoming anxious, losing money, and undergoing extensive property damages. To handle fire damage successfully and speedily, implement the following four tips:

 

  1. Call The Insurance Company Immediately.

Be sure that you call your insurance company once the fire is out. This step is important because your insurance agent will work with you to file a claim and determine how much coverage you'll attain for the commercial damages.

 

  1. Contact A Fire Remediation Expert.

In addition to fire, smoke, and soot damage, your business may also suffer from water damage as a result of the firefighting efforts.

 

  1. Assemble Your Records.

In addition to contacting a fire remediation expert, make sure that you assemble your business's essential records. You'll want to have this information with you when you start working with your insurance company. To guarantee that you can have all of your files ready in a safe place, make a point to buy a fireproof safe where they can be stored.

 

  1. Get Permission to Reenter the Building.

Always ask the fire department or another local authority whether you can reenter your building. In some cases, a fire can weaken the structural integrity of the commercial property and make it subject to collapse. This is why you need to assure that reentry is safe for you and your employees

 

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your business to pre-fire condition. Don't ever attempt to handle any of the cleanups, drying, or restoration processes on your own. Doing so could put you at risk of injury and illness.

Don't Wait Check the Date!

10/10/2016 (Permalink)

This week of October 9th-15th, 2016 is the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Prevention Week! This year’s theme is “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,”

According to statistical data from the NFPA, in 2012 an estimated 1,375,500 fires were responded to in the United States. These fires caused 2,855 deaths and 16,500 civilian injuries while costing more than 12.4 billion dollars in damages. Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable.

 

Here are some 10 key fire safety tips that you should adhere to:

 

  1. Watch your cooking – Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.

 

  1. Give space heaters space – Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

 

  1. Smoke outside – If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

 

  1. Keep matches and lighters out of reach – Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

 

  1. Inspect electrical cords – replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.

 

  1. Be careful when using candles - Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

 

  1. Have a fire escape plan – Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

 

  1. Install smoke alarms – install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

 

  1. Test smoke alarms - Test your smoke alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year as needed.

 

  1. install sprinkles – Sprinkles can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving you property.

How to Prepare for a Hurricane

10/7/2016 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is upon us, and being prepared is very important. Listed below is a list to help get you prepared so you can keep yourself and family safe during a Hurricane

  • Listen to the radio to make sure you stay informed on what is going on in your area
  • Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock as needed.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
  • Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Turn off propane tank.
  • Unplug small appliances.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
  • Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
  • Obey evacuation orders.
  • Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

 

If you are a homeowner most homeowner insurance companies don’t cover flooding! Call your insurance company to make sure you are covered!

 

- Recommended Supplies

Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day

Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food

Flashlight

Battery-powered or hand-crank radio - NOAA Weather Radio, if possible (Available at the Red Cross Store)

Extra batteries

First aid kit

Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)

Sanitation and personal hygiene items

Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

Cell phone with chargers

Family and emergency contact information

Extra cash

Emergency blanket

Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

Tools/supplies for securing your home

Extra set of car keys and house keys

Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

Rain gear

If you can build a safe room from the hurricane

 

 

 

5 Categories of a Hurricane

10/6/2016 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is upon us and Right now it is Hurricane Matthew and they are classifying it as a category 4 or 5. Hurricanes are classified into 5 categories based on wind scale! Listed below are the 5 categories and the description of each one and the damage they can cause

Category 1- Sustained winds-74-95mph- Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

Category 2- Sustained Winds-96-110mph- Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

Category 3 (major)- Sustained Winds- 111-129mph-Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes

Category 4 (extensive)- Sustained Winds-130-156mph-Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Category 5 (catastrophic)-Sustained Winds-157mph or Higher-Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

 

SOURCE: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php

 

October is National Animal Safety Month!

10/3/2016 (Permalink)

October is National Animal Safety and Prevention Month; a month dedicated to promoting the safe practices of handling and caring for both domestic and wild animals. Animals play an important part in our everyday lives, even if we don't personally have pets. So it's vital to make sure that they are treated kindly and with the respect and care they deserve.

National Animal Safety and Prevention Month was created by the PALS Foundation. PALS is dedicated to helping people and animals coexist in a way that benefits all of nature. They believe that humans must come to know the value of all animals, both domestic and wild, and the important role that they play in our ecosystem.

There are several ways you can participate in National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. Some of them are as simple as being aware of the needs of your own household pets. For example, make sure they are micro-chipped so if they are ever lost, they can be easily found and returned; collars with identification tags are also just as important. Pet proof your home against the possibility of your animals coming in contact with any dangerous poisons or toxins. Put together a disaster escape plan in case you ever need to evacuate your pets quickly from the home. There are plenty of things you can do to take that extra step in making sure your pets are protected in all circumstances.

If you don't have pets of your own, you can still participate in Animal Safety and Prevention Month by volunteering at your local animal shelter. Foster a pet until it finds its new furrever home. There are plenty of animals that have not yet been adopted that would be very appreciative of your time and love. For those animal lovers who don’t have a lot of free time, donating money or much needed supplies to your local animal shelters is always appreciated. This will help to ensure that pets waiting to be re-homed will get all the necessary care.

Plan a trip to the zoo. This is fun for people with or without children. Take the time to educate children about animal care while they're still young. Education helps them gain a healthy appreciation of animals when become adults.

Help promote National Animal Safety and Prevention Month simply by spreading the word. Get involved by contacting your local newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and television stations to see what they're doing to help promote National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. If they currently have no plans to celebrate it, suggest spreading this wonderful message. Just one small effort could bring awareness to much larger groups of people who are readers, listeners, and viewers of these outlets.

National Animal Safety and Prevention Month is a wonderful opportunity to remind people of the importance of animals in our everyday lives. Though it's only one month out of the year, these safety practices should be observed all year around. With better safety practices, we can all lead happier and healthier lives.

Source: http://www.dog.com/dog-articles/national-animal-safety-and-prevention-month/9973/

Did You Know?

9/30/2016 (Permalink)

DID YOU KNOW?

If storm water has entered your structure through the flooding of a creek, stream, or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered black water and could be hazardous to your health!

Please call SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda if you have black water inside your home

847-469-6982

Outdoor Safety Tips

9/29/2016 (Permalink)

If you are caught outside during a storm, here are some tips on how to stay safe

  • If you are in an open area, find a low place such as a ravine or valley.
  • If you are on open water, get land immediately and seek shelter.
  • If you are in a forested area, find shelter in a low area under thick growth of small trees.
  • If you are in a car, keep the windows closed

Emergency Ready Profile

9/27/2016 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes, every minute counts. Here at SERVPRO® of Mundelein/North Wauconda, we help local businesses prepare in advance for building disasters. By creating an Emergency Ready Profile, you minimize interruptions in the daily operations of your business by having an immediate plan of action in place should disaster strike. The Emergency Ready Profile provides immediate contact information and other important details that provide a guide to get your business back up and running after a disaster. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. Be ready and get a free Emergency Ready Profile with SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda.

Emergency Ready Profile

An ERP contains the following:

Action Plan – What to do in what order to ensure the safety of occupants and minimize structural damage.

Contact Info – Phone numbers for emergency services, building maintenance, and key contractors.

Utility Shutoffs – Photos and descriptions of the locations of water, electric, and heating fuel shutoffs. If a key is needed for access, we note who holds the key.

Building Specific Info – An ERP can be customized to add any information specific to your building or industry that helps with your disaster response.

To find out more give us a call! 847-469-6982

Potential Flooding, Know the Terms and be Prepared!

9/26/2016 (Permalink)

Lake County area continues to experience more and more potential flooding situations. Know the terms and be prepared.

FLOOD WATCH - Flooding is possible. Listen to weather radio, commercial radio, or TV for information.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH - Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to weather radio, commercial radio, or TV for information.

FLOOD WARNING - Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

FLASH FLOOD WARNING - A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.

Basic Spot Removal Procedure

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

Basic Spot Removal Procedures

  1. Attend to spills as soon as possible. Older stains are harder to remove. Scrape or blot up excess reside of spot. Always blot; never rub carpet or upholstery fabric. Rubbing may cause irreparable fiber distortion.
  1. We always pretest spot removing solutions in an inconspicuous area before applying to spot to ensure the performance of our procedure and safety of your fabric. We inspect closely for dye transfer or changes in the fabrics appearance.
  1. When attempting to remove a spot, remember, like dissolves like. A water-based stain will dissolve in water-based solution (sometimes water just works!). Oil-based spills need to be dissolved using a solvent solution. SERVPRO makes sure the correct procedures are used.
  1. After removing the spot, we rinse the area blot with an absorbent cloth or towel.

We cannot guarantee complete spot removal, but we’ll do our professional best.

Call us Today- 847-469-6982!

National Grandparents Day!

9/8/2016 (Permalink)

Community National Grandparents Day! www.dominicandunlaoghaire.ie-

September 11th is National Grand Parents Day

National Grandparents Day

National Grandparents Day is held on the first Sunday of September after Labor Day, by honoring grandparents.

Celebration\ Observance

The day is celebrated by gift giving, cards, and family get together to support, and give thanks to their grandparents. Kids will often do school events like art projects centered around recognizing their grandparents. National Grandparents Day is not a federal national holiday, but rather an observance to bring attention, support and thanks for our Grandparents.

History

National Grandparents Day was officially recognized by the US Senate and President Jimmy Carter that the founder of the day was Marian McQuade of Oak Hill West Virginia. They were inspired by her work to educate the youth in her community about seniors and their contributions. On August 3, 1978 President Carter signed the proclamation sent to him from congress to make the first Sunday in September after Labor Day to be Grandparents Day.

SOURCE: http://www.calendardate.com/national_grandparents_day.htm

3 Common Home Emergencies

9/2/2016 (Permalink)

What are the most common household emergencies that can happen? 

1. Burst washing machine hose-as rubber washing machine ages they eventually wear down and burst, causing costly flooding. Consider switching to a stainless-steel reinforced hose.

2. Leaky Roof-Mother Nature is pretty tough on your roof. Regularly check your roof for missing or damaged shingles.

3. Refrigerator Leaks- like your washing machine, the refrigerator is a common culprit in home floods. Ensure your water line is unkinked and in good condition.

If you are faced with a common household emergency, let the professionals handle it!

Call SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda

847-469-6982

September is Preparedness Month

9/1/2016 (Permalink)

America’s PrepareAthon! Encourages Emergency Readiness

Disaster Response and Recovery

by Greg Tucker

This is National Preparedness Month, and there is no better time to make plans for times when things go wrong. A nation as large and geographically diverse as the United States will see many different disasters over the course of the average year – from hurricanes to tornadoes and from wildfires to blackouts – so emergency preparedness is something we all should have on our to-do lists.

“In the aftermath of disasters, Americans come together to show that we are there for each other,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “Preparedness is crucial to ensuring that our country is safe and strong and America’s PrepareAthon! is an opportunity for volunteers to keep our neighbors and communities ready to respond.”

Preparing in Case the Worst Happens

America's PrepareAthon! logo.

CNCS is joining our partners at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to lead the America’s PrepareAthon! campaign across the nation to increase emergency preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions, and other emergency exercises.

The PrepareAthon! will provide individuals, communities, and organizations with action-based guidance to practice the steps necessary to stay safe during a disaster or emergency. The campaign encourages Americans to learn about mitigation measures; and understand community plans, including alerts and warnings, evacuation, and sheltering.

During this event, communities will be asked to choose specific focus areas based on hazards that apply to their region, and many of these efforts will be led by CNCS affiliates and grantees.

One of these groups is the National Preparedness & Response Corps (NPRC), which engages AmeriCorps members to work with the American Red Cross for one-year terms to improve disaster preparedness and response. A CNCS grant has doubled the size of this program during the last two years and greatly increased the capacity of the NPRC to serve at 21 American Red Cross chapters.

America’s PrepareAthon! is just one part of FEMA’s efforts to provide services not just after disasters happen but also to help people prepare for what might happen. The agency supports a plethora of programs and resources to increase preparedness, many of which can be found on its Ready.gov website, as well as promotes targeted events across the nation such as Great American Shake Out drills to promote earthquake readiness.

Source: http://www.serve.gov/servegov-blog-article/america%E2%80%99s-prepareathon-encourages-emergency-readiness

Be Storm Smart, Be Storm Safe

8/18/2016 (Permalink)

Be Storm Ready, Be Storm Safe!

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,000 tornadoes
  • 2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to

around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk

The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of

hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could

impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a

NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action

Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example

Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with

co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire

others to do the same.

If Storm Damage occurs, call SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 847-469-6982

National Son and Daughter Day

8/10/2016 (Permalink)

NATIONAL SON’S AND DAUGHTER’S DAY

Each year on August 11, parents across the United States celebrate National Son’s and Daughter’s Day.  On this day, spend time with the joys of your life, your sons and/or daughters.

Let your children know that you are glad that they are part of your life.  Time passes by very fast and children grow quickly.  Enjoy every day that you have with them and spend as much quality time as you can.

CELEBRATE

Do something special for your children today.  If they are at home, go for a walk or enjoy a local park.  If your children are grown, give them a call and remind them how special they are to you.  Use #SonsAndDaughtersDay on social media.

HISTORY

Our research did not find the creator or the origin of National Son’s and Daughter’s Day, an “unofficial” national holiday.

Source: http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-sons-and-daughters-day-august-11/

When Storms or Floods hit Lake County, SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda is ready!

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Storms or Floods hit Lake County, SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda is ready! Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Lake County

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit lake County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 847-469-6982

Excessive Heat Warning for Lake County Residents

7/20/2016 (Permalink)

Excessive Heat Warning in effect from noon Thursday to 7 PM CDT Friday.

The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued an Excessive Heat Warning, which is in effect from noon Thursday to 7 PM CDT Friday. The Excessive Heat Watch is no longer in effect.

•Temperature: mid 90s Thursday and Friday.

•Maximum heat index values, 105 to 115 degrees.

•Impacts: temperatures this high could lead to heat related illnesses with prolonged exposure. The elderly, small children and pets are especially susceptible. Plan ahead. Have a cool place to shelter from the heat. Avoid outdoor activity during the afternoon.

Recommended actions

Take extra precautions, if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule Strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.

Heat Stroke is an emergency, call 9 1 1.

Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during warm or hot weather when Car Interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.

SOURCE: http://www.google.org/publicalerts/alert?aid=c08fdb5c750d6701&hl=en&gl=US&source=wweather

Make a Disaster Plan for Your Pets

7/18/2016 (Permalink)

General Make a Disaster Plan for Your Pets Photo Credit: apnojaipur.com

Start getting ready now

ID your pet

Make sure that cats and dogs are wearing collars and identification tags that are up to date. You'll increase your chances of being reunited with pets who get lost by having them microchipped; make sure the microchip registration is in your name. But remember: The average citizen who finds your pet won't be able to scan for a chip, but they will probably be able to read a basic tag!

Put your cell phone number on your pet's tag. It may also be a good idea to include the phone number of a friend or relative outside your immediate area—in case you have had to evacuate.

Put together your disaster kit

Use our checklist to assemble an emergency kit for yourself and your pet.

Find a safe place to stay ahead of time

Never assume that you will be allowed to bring your pet to an emergency shelter. Before a disaster hits, call your local office of emergency management to see if you will be allowed to evacuate with your pets and verify that there will be shelters in your area that take people and their pets.

Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to find out if they accept pets. Ask about any restrictions on number, size and species. Inquire if a "no pet" policy would be waived in an emergency. Keep a list of animal-friendly places handy, and call ahead for a reservation as soon as you think you might have to leave your home.

For help identifying pet-friendly lodgings, check out these websites:

  1. Bringfido.com

  2. Dogfriendly.com

  3. Doginmysuitcase.com

  4. Pet-friendly-hotels.net

  5. Pets-allowed-hotels.com

  6. Petswelcome.com

  7. Tripswithpets.com

    Make arrangements with friends or relatives. Ask people outside your immediate area if they would be able to shelter you and your pets—or just your pets—if necessary. If you have more than one pet, you may need to arrange to house them at separate locations.

    Consider a kennel or veterinarian's office. Make a list of boarding facilities and veterinary offices that might be able to shelter animals in disaster emergencies (make sure to include their 24-hour telephone numbers).

    Check with your local animal shelter. Some shelters may be able to provide foster care or shelter for pets in an emergency. But keep in mind that shelters have limited resources and are likely to be stretched during a local emergency

    Plan for your pet in case you're not home

    In case you're away during a disaster or evacuation order, make arrangements well in advance for someone you trust to take your pets and meet you at a specified location. Be sure the person is comfortable with your pets and your pets are familiar with them. Give your emergency caretaker a key to your home and show them where your pets are likely to be (especially if they hide when they're nervous) and where your disaster supplies are kept.

    If you have a pet-sitter, they may be able to help. Discuss the possibility well in advance.

    If you evacuate, take your pet

    Rule number one: If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for your pets. You have no way of knowing how long you'll be kept out of the area, and you may not be able—or allowed—to go back for your pets. Pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost or killed.
    Pledge to take your pet with you when disaster strikes.

    Rule number two: Evacuate early. Don't wait for a mandatory evacuation order. Some people who have waited to be evacuated by emergency officials have been told to leave their pets behind. The smell of smoke or the sound of high winds or thunder may make your pet more fearful and difficult to load into a crate or carrier. Evacuating before conditions become severe will keep everyone safer and make the process less stressful.

    If you stay home, do it safely

    If your family and pets must wait out a storm or other disaster at home, identify a safe area of your home where you can all stay together.

  1. Close off or eliminate unsafe nooks and crannies where frightened cats may try to hide.

  2. Move dangerous items such as tools or toxic products that have been stored in the area.

  3. Bring your pets indoors as soon as local authorities say trouble is on the way. Keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers, and make sure they are wearing identification.

  4. If you have a room you can designate as a "safe room," put your emergency supplies in that room in advance, including your pet's crate and supplies. Have any medications and a supply of pet food and water inside watertight containers, along with your other emergency supplies. If there is an open fireplace, vent, pet door or similar opening in the house, close it off with plastic sheeting and strong tape.

  5. Listen to the radio periodically, and don't come out until you know it's safe.

    After the disaster

    Your home may be a very different place after the emergency is over, and it may be hard for your pets to adjust.

  1. Don't allow your pets to roam loose. Familiar landmarks and smells might be gone, and your pet will probably be disoriented. Pets can easily get lost in such situations.

  2. While you assess the damage, keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers inside the house. If your house is damaged, your pets could escape.

  3. Be patient with your pets after a disaster. Try to get them back into their normal routines as soon as possible. Be ready for behavioral problems caused by the stress of the situation. If these problems persist, or if your pet seems to be having any health problems, talk to your veterinarian.

  4. If your community has been flooded, check your home and yard for wild animals who may have sought refuge there. Wildlife can pose a threat to you and your pet. Check out our tips for humanely evicting wildlife.

    Be ready for everyday emergencies

    You can't get home to your pet

    There may be times that you can't get home to take care of your pets. Icy roads may trap you at the office overnight, an accident may send you to the hospital—things happen. But you can make sure your pets get the care they need by making arrangements now:

  1. Find a trusted neighbor, friend or family member and give him or her a key. Make sure this backup caretaker is comfortable and familiar with your pets (and vice versa).

  2. Make sure your backup caretaker knows your pets' feeding and medication schedule, whereabouts and habits.

  3. If you use a pet-sitting service, find out in advance if they will be able to help in case of an emergency.

  1. case of an emergency.

    Heat wave

    High temperatures can be dangerous. Learn more about hot weather safety for pets.

    The electricity goes out

    If you're forced to leave your home because you've lost electricity, take your pets with you to a pet-friendly hotel. If it's summer, even just an hour or two in the sweltering heat can be dangerous. If you stay at home during a summer power outage, ask your local emergency management office if there are pet-friendly cooling centers in the area.

    If it's winter, don't be fooled by your pets' fur coats; it isn't safe to leave them in an unheated house.

    Plans aren't just for pets

    Disaster plans aren't only essential for the safety of pets. If you're responsible for other kinds of animals during natural disasters, disaster plans for feral or outdoor cats, horses and animals on farms can be lifesavers.

    http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/animal_rescue/tips/pets-disaster.html

Social Wellness Month

7/14/2016 (Permalink)

General Social Wellness Month photo credit: www.alaskanschangingtogether.org-

July is Social Wellness Month!

Celebrate Social Wellness Month by nurturing your social relationships. Volunteer with a group. Call an out-of-state friend. Join a hiking club.

Social wellness means nurturing yourself and your relationships.

It means giving and receiving social support - ensuring that you have friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image.

Social support enhances quality of life and provides a buffer against adverse life events. Social support can take different forms:

• Emotional (sometimes called non-tangible) support refers to the actions people take to make someone else feel cared for.

• Instrumental support refers to the physical, such as money and housekeeping.

• Informational support means providing information to help someone.

Why is Social Wellness Important?

Healthy relationships are a vital component of health. The health risks from being alone or isolated in one's life are comparable to the risks associated with cigarette smoking, blood pressure, and obesity.

Research shows that:

• People who have a strong social network tend to live longer.

• The heart and blood pressure of people with healthy relationships respond better to stress.

• Strong social networks are associated with a healthier endocrine system and healthier cardiovascular functioning.

• Healthy social networks enhance the immune system's ability to fight off infectious diseases.

 SERVPRO OF MUNDELEIN/NORTH WAUCONDA is always here to help?

Source: http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/july-social-wellness-month

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