Recent Water Damage Posts

Flooded Basement! Tips on how to avoid it

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

7 tips to help prevent Basement flooding!

  1. Clean and maintain gutters and downspouts

Cleaning your gutters and maintaining your downspouts is an essential part of maintaining your home. By keeping your gutters free of debris and ensuring downspouts are properly positioned away from the foundation, water from rain and storms will flow freely, rather than pooling up against your home.

Downspouts should direct water at least three feet away from your foundation; in most cases, using downspout extensions or troughs is necessary to achieve this distance. While cleaning your gutters and maintaining your downspouts can be a bit of annoyance, it’s a relatively simple and inexpensive task.

  1. Properly landscape your yard

The slope of your yard or the shape of your flower bed could be contributing to your water issues. Seems crazy, right? Consider this: if the slope of your yard directs water towards your home, water will pool up around your property, and eventually find a way in. Depending on your specific landscaping issue, you may need to regrade your lawn, or even have a French drain installed.

  1. Inspect and repair foundation cracks

Cracks in your home’s foundation can act as an open invitation to water intrusion. To prevent basement flooding or water damage, visually inspect the exterior of your foundation, basement walls and floors on a regular basis. If you come across any cracks during your inspection, fill them with epoxy. If leaking still persists, or you encounter a more serious foundation problem, call a professional.

  1. Practice proper sump pump maintenance

Sump pump failure is the most frequent cause of basement floods. If your home has a sump pump, you’ve already got a great defense in combating mold, water damage, and flooding. However, simply owning a sump pump doesn’t give you a “get out of jail free” card – you’ve got to maintain it too.

If you know a huge storm is headed your way, check to make sure your sump pump is working properly and is plugged in. Also, consider investing in a generator for your sump pump and a replacement to keep on hand, just in case you lose power or the pump fails when you need it most. Keep in mind, if your basement floods as a result of a broken sump pump, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover the damage.

  1. Inspect sewers and clean septic systems

When was the last time you had your sewer inspected or your septic tank cleaned? Skipping out on sewer inspections and septic tank cleanings is a sure-fire way to invite havoc into your home, as clogs, sewer backups and overflows are bound to eventually happen with lack of maintenance.

  1. Install window well covers

Homes with below-grade basement windows should always be protected with window well covers. When fastened securely over your basement windows and latched on to your home’s foundation, window well covers work wonders in waterproofing your basement. To keep your basement bright, look for clear acrylic window well covers.

  1. Get familiar with your insurance

Do you have flood insurance? How about additional coverage for sewer backups? This won't prevent basement flooding per se, but if you don’t know the answer to either of these questions, take a few moments to review the details of your home’s insurance policy.

Source: https://www.angieslist.com/articles/7-tips-prevent-basement-flooding.htm

Water Damage Time Line

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster to Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24-hour a day 847-469-6982

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

•Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.

•Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.

•Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.

•Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

•Drywall begins to swell and break down.

•Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.

•Furniture begins to swell and crack.

•Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.

•A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

•Mold and mildew may grow and spread.

•Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.

•Metal begins to rust and corrode.

•Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.

•Paint begins to blister.

•Wood flooring swells and warps.

•Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

•Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.

•Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

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.

Time to Check your sump pump

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

Making sure your sump pump works now can prevent problems later.

Weather conditions have been dry for more than a year in parts Lake County, and sump pumps may not have run in a while.

However, with the heavy amount of snow still on the ground, the threat of flooding this spring means homeowners should check their sump pump now to make sure it works properly, North Dakota State University Extension Service agricultural engineer Tom Scherer says.

Sump pumps are available in two basic models: upright (commonly called a pedestal) and submersible. Either works well with proper maintenance, according to Scherer.

This is how a sump pump works: The sump is the pit where the pump sits. The sump may be connected to tile that drains the footings of the house, the area under the entire basement or just the area where the sump is located. A sump pump removes the water that drains into the sump.

The pedestal pump's motor is on top of the pedestal and the pump is at the base, which sits on the bottom of the sump. The motor is not meant to get wet. A ball float turns the pump on and off. One advantage with this type of pump is that the on/off switch is visible, so you can see the ball float's action easily, Scherer says.

Submersible pumps are designed to be submerged in water and sit on the bottom of the sump. The on/off switch is attached to the pump.

Pumps have three main types of on/off controls. The first type uses a ball float attached to the pump and connected to an internal watertight switch. The second type is a sealed, tethered float switch with an on/off setting that is adjustable by changing the length of the tether. The third type uses a diaphragm to sense the water level and turn the pump on and off.

Both pump types should have a check valve on the water discharge pipe so water doesn't flow back into the sump when the pump shuts off. Backflow can cause the pump to turn on and off more frequently than necessary, which decreases the life of the pump.

Here is how to check the Sump Pump:

Make sure the discharge pipe on the side of the house is not frozen shut or plugged and it directs water away from the house.

Make sure the pump is plugged in.

Remove the lid (if the sump has one) and use a flashlight to check if the sump is clean and the pump inlet screens are not plugged.

Slowly pour water into the sump. Try to simulate the speed that water normally would flow into the sump. Watch the on/off switch's action and listen to the pump. Make sure the pump turns on and off at least twice. If something doesn't work or sound right, fix it as soon as possible.

If you have a battery-powered backup sump pump, make sure the battery is fully charged. Then shut off the power to the main sump pump and the battery charging system on the backup pump. Pour water into the sump until the backup pump comes on.

https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/news/newsreleases/2013/april-1-2013/time-to-check-your-sump-pump/

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda can assist if your sump pump has failed, and left you with a mess!

Call us at 847-469-6982

Water You Don't See!

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

It may not look like much water, but the cleanup could be way over your head!

A mop and common household cleaning products may not be enough for black water intrusions. Your local SERVPRO franchise professional is trained to safely clean and restore your customer's home, utilizing the following procedures:

  • Identify the source/type of water
  • Measure temperature and humidity for drying analysis
  • Survey the extent of damage and inspect the premises
  • Perform emergency water extraction
  • Move and block furniture
  • Provide floor service
  • Inspect carpet pad/carpet and provide necessary service
  • Apply necessary treatments such as deodorization
  • Utilize drying equipment and monitor drying
  • Dispose of refuse

Each SERVPRO franchise professional is trained and understands how to manage the drying process. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, a structure is quickly and thoroughly dried, which helps prevent secondary water damages such as microbial growth and development.

No matter the size or type of damage, SERVPRO employees are constantly working together as a team to make water damages like they never even happened.

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

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

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

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are several reasons why your Lake County basement could flood, including:

•A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe

•Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home

•Storm sewer backup

•Sanitary sewer backup

•Foundation drainage failure

•Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure

•And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today -847-469-6982

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

•We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week

•We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies

•We Bill the Insurance Directly – One Less Thing for You to Worry About

•Our Technicians Are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques

•We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards

•Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

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

The Water You Don't See

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

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

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

AVOID WATER DAMAGE FROM APPLIANCES

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

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

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

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

FROZEN PIPES

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

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

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

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

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

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

How to Protect Pipes from Freezing

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

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

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

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

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

Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

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

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

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

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

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

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

 

 

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