Beyond Sandbags: Exploring Alternative Flood Protection Methods
When your home suffers from a flood, there are many alternatives to sandbags to protect your property from flooding.
Sandbags have long been a traditional way to protect homes and businesses from floodwaters. However, sandbagging can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and may not always be effective. Fortunately, there are alternatives to sandbagging that can provide effective flood protection. In this blog, we'll explore some of the most popular alternatives to sandbagging and discuss their benefits.
Flood barriers are a popular alternative to sandbags. These barriers are made of lightweight, flexible materials, such as PVC or rubber, and are designed to be easily deployed in the event of a flood. Flood barriers are typically easy to install, require little maintenance, and can be reused multiple times.
Water-filled barriers are similar to flood barriers, but instead of being filled with sand or another heavy material, they are filled with water. These barriers are typically made of durable, puncture-resistant materials and can be easily transported and deployed in the event of a flood. Water-filled barriers can be an effective alternative to sandbags, as they can be quickly and easily installed and removed.
Flood gates are designed to protect against rising floodwaters by creating a barrier across doorways and other openings. These gates can be made of a variety of materials, including aluminum, steel, and PVC, and can be easily installed and removed. Flood gates can be an effective way to protect homes and businesses from flooding, especially in areas where sandbagging is not practical.
Flood panels are designed to cover openings such as doors, windows, and vents. These panels can be made of a variety of materials, including aluminum, steel, and polycarbonate, and can be easily installed and removed. Flood panels are an effective way to protect against floodwaters and can be a good alternative to sandbags in areas where flooding is a common occurrence.
Inflatable dams are designed to be quickly inflated in the event of a flood. These dams can be made of a variety of materials, including rubber and PVC, and can be easily transported and deployed. Inflatable dams are an effective way to protect homes and businesses from flooding, especially in areas where sandbagging is not practical.
Sandbags have long been a traditional way to protect homes and businesses from floodwaters. However, sandbagging can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and may not always be effective. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to sandbagging that can provide effective flood protection. Flood barriers, water-filled barriers, flood gates, flood panels, and inflatable dams are all effective ways to protect against floodwaters. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, consider these alternatives to sandbagging to protect your property and belongings.
Mold Home Testing Kits: How Accurate Are They?
Proper mold testing and remediation should always be done by qualified and experienced professionals.
Mold is a common issue that can occur in homes and can pose serious risks to the structure. One way to determine the presence of mold in your home is by using a mold home testing kit. These kits are readily available in stores and online, and they claim to provide accurate results. However, it's important to understand the limitations and accuracy of these testing kits before relying solely on their results. In this blog, we will explore how accurate mold home testing kits are and what factors to consider when using them.
Understanding Mold Home Testing Kits
Mold home testing kits typically come with instructions and components for collecting samples from suspected mold-infested areas in your home. The samples are then sent to a laboratory for analysis. The laboratory will provide results indicating the type and concentration of mold present in the samples.
There are two main types of mold home testing kits: surface testing kits and air testing kits. Surface testing kits involve swabbing or tape-lifting samples from surfaces with visible mold growth. Air testing kits involve collecting air samples from the indoor environment to measure the concentration of mold spores in the air.
Factors Affecting Accuracy
Sample Collection: The accuracy of mold home testing kits largely depends on the proper collection of samples. If samples are not collected correctly or from the appropriate areas, the results may not be accurate. It's crucial to follow the instructions provided with the kit carefully and collect samples from areas with visible mold growth or areas where mold is suspected.
Mold Types: Mold home testing kits may not be able to accurately identify all types of mold. Some kits may only detect certain common types of mold, while others may not detect less common or hidden mold species. The accuracy of the results also depends on the sensitivity of the testing method used in the laboratory.
Mold Concentration: The concentration of mold in the samples can also affect the accuracy of the results. Mold home testing kits may provide a rough estimate of mold concentration, but they may not provide precise measurements. The concentration of mold can vary depending on factors such as the location, time of day, and weather conditions.
Laboratory Analysis: The accuracy of mold home testing kits also depends on the quality and reliability of the laboratory performing the analysis. Not all laboratories may use the same testing methods or have the same level of expertise in mold analysis. It's essential to choose a reputable laboratory for accurate results.
False Positives or Negatives: Mold home testing kits may also produce false positives or false negatives. False positives occur when the kit detects mold even if there is no significant mold growth, while false negatives occur when the kit fails to detect mold even if it is present. These inaccuracies can lead to unnecessary worries or overlooking a mold problem.
Mold home testing kits can be a convenient tool for detecting the presence of mold in your home, but their accuracy may vary depending on various factors. It's important to use these kits as a preliminary screening tool and not solely rely on their results. If you suspect a mold problem, it's best to consult with a professional mold inspector or remediation company for a comprehensive assessment and accurate results. Proper mold testing and remediation should always be done by qualified and experienced professionals to ensure the safety of your home and its occupants.
8 Essential Steps to Take When Filing a Fire Insurance Claim
File an insurance claim when your property suffers from a fire loss.
Fire insurance is the most basic type of property insurance. It covers your home, its contents and any other structures on your property from fire damage. Fire insurance also protects against lightning strikes and other natural disasters that can cause fires such as floods or earthquakes.
You should have fire insurance because a house fire can be devastating to your finances and emotional wellbeing.
Filing an accurate claim helps ensure that insurers stay honest about paying out claims fairly when people need them most.
Step 1: Gather Information
The first step in filing a claim is to gather all of the documentation related to your insurance policy, including:
- Contact information for your insurance company and agent.
- The name of your policyholder and any other people covered by the policy (if applicable).
- Documentation of the fire itself, such as photographs or video footage taken at the scene, as well as receipts or invoices for repairs made after the incident.
Step 2: Contact Your Insurance Company
The next step is to contact your insurance company and let them know about the fire. This can be done by calling their toll-free number, emailing or visiting their website. Provide them with all of the information you gathered in step 1 so they can process your claim quickly and accurately.
Step 3: Schedule an Inspection
The next step in the process is to schedule an inspection with your insurance adjuster. This will involve providing them with information gathered in step 1, as well as allowing them access to the site of your fire damage so they can assess its extent and determine if it qualifies for coverage under your policy.
If you need help scheduling this appointment, contact us today!
Step 4: Prepare an Inventory
The next step is to prepare an inventory of all items damaged or destroyed in the fire. This includes make, model, serial numbers and estimated value.
Step 5: File the Claim
After you've gathered all the information you need, it's time to file the claim.
The first step is submitting your claim to your insurance company. You can do this by phone or online; either way, make sure that any supporting documents are attached before submitting them. Include:
A detailed description of what was lost in the fire (for example, "a 40-inch flat-screen TV")
An inspection report from an approved third party who has inspected and assessed damages caused by the fire (this will help determine how much money they will pay out)
An inventory list detailing everything that was damaged or destroyed as a result of this incident
Step 6: Wait for Approval
Once you've filed your claim, the insurance company will review it and decide whether or not to approve it. This process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. If the claim is approved, you'll be notified by mail or email that your check is on its way.
If the company doesn't approve your claim right away, don't panic! They may require additional information or documentation before making a decision about whether or not they will pay out any money for damages caused by fire damage at home or business premises.
Step 7: Receive Payment
Once you have submitted your claim, it is important to be patient. The insurance company will review the documentation and make a decision about whether or not your claim is valid. This process can take several weeks, so don't worry if you don't hear back right away. Once they approve your claim, they will send payment for the damages caused by the fire.
Step 8: Make Repairs
Once the payment is received, you can use the money to make the necessary repairs to your property. If you don't know how much it will cost, ask an insurance agent or contractor. They can help you figure out what needs fixing and how much it will cost before making a claim.
5 Steps to Take If Your Dishwasher Leaks: A Guide to Fixing the Issue
Leaking dishwashers are a common problem that can leave your kitchen with a water loss.
A dishwasher is a modern-day convenience that saves us a lot of time and effort in the kitchen. However, like any other appliance, it can encounter problems from time to time. One of the most common issues that a dishwasher can face is leakage. A leaking dishwasher can cause water damage to your kitchen floor, cabinets, and even the walls. Therefore, it is essential to address the issue as soon as possible. Here are some steps to follow if your dishwasher leaks.
Turn off the power and water supply
The first step is to turn off the power and water supply to your dishwasher. You can do this by turning off the circuit breaker that powers your dishwasher or unplugging it from the wall socket. Also, turn off the water supply valve that connects to your dishwasher. This will prevent any further damage and keep you safe while you try to fix the issue.
Identify the source of the leak
The next step is to identify the source of the leak. Check the dishwasher's door seal, pump, hoses, and valves for any cracks, holes, or loose connections. If you cannot identify the source of the leak, it is best to call a professional plumber or appliance repair technician to help you.
Clean up the water
Once you have identified the source of the leak, you need to clean up the water. Use a mop or towels to soak up the water on the floor and around the dishwasher. If the water has seeped into the cabinets or walls, use a dehumidifier to dry the area thoroughly.
Fix the issue
If the leak is due to a loose connection, tighten it. If there is a crack or hole, replace the damaged part. In some cases, the issue may be with the door seal or the pump, and you may need to replace them. If you are not confident in fixing the issue yourself, it is best to call a professional.
Test the dishwasher
Once you have fixed the issue, test the dishwasher to ensure that it is working correctly. Run a cycle to see if there are any leaks. If the problem persists, it may be a more significant issue that requires professional attention.
In conclusion, a leaking dishwasher is a common problem that can cause water damage to your kitchen. By following the steps above, you can identify the source of the leak and fix the issue. If you are not confident in fixing the problem yourself, it is best to call a professional to avoid causing further damage. Remember to always turn off the power and water supply before attempting any repairs.
Flood insurance - Do I really need it?
If you live in a flood zone, give SERVPRO a call today after a rain storm
Flood insurance is a type of coverage that you can purchase alongside your regular homeowner's policy. It helps protect against damage from flooding, which can be very costly due to the amount of water involved and the potential for mold growth in your home. Flooding occurs when stormwater, sewage or other fluids are pushed into homes by rain or melting snow.
Flood insurance is not required by law.
Flood insurance is not required by law, so you're free to buy it or not. However, if you live in a flood-prone area and your home is at risk of flooding, it's probably worth considering purchasing coverage so that you don't have to pay for damage out of pocket.
The required amount of coverage depends on where you live. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires homeowners in designated high-risk areas to carry flood insurance, other residents may be able to purchase coverage through their homeowners insurance policies or private companies with whom they do business.
Flood zones are designated areas where flooding occurs regularly and frequently. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identifies these areas using data from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
If you live near a dam or lake and have been told by local authorities that there is potential for water release from the dam/lake, then it is recommended that homeowners purchase additional coverage through their existing homeowner's policy or through an optional rider on their homeowner's policy called "risks not otherwise covered."
Two types of Floods
There are two types of floods: "100-year" events and "500-year" events--and this has nothing to do with how often they occur! A 100-year event means it has occurred once every 100 years over time; whereas a 500-year event means it has only happened once every 500 years over time.
Your best bet is to talk to your insurance agent about whether you need flood insurance and how much it might cost you.
Questions to Ask
There are many questions to ask when considering Flood Insurance such as:
- What kind of coverage do I have? Is it enough?
- How much does it cost? What are my deductibles and premiums, if any? Do they vary based on location or other factors (like how high my home sits above sea level)?
- Does my policy cover all types of flooding, or just certain types like storm surge or riverine flooding; how does this affect my premium costs because some types are more common than others in different parts of the country; what is excluded from coverage under this type of policy; am I eligible for any discounts available through NFIP programs such as Preferred Risk Policyholder Program (PRP)
If you live in a flood zone, above a dam or lake, or near a river, you should strongly consider buying flood insurance. It's not required by law and most homeowners policies don't cover flood damage. If you have a home that is effected by flooding, you could potentially spend thousands of dollars out of pocket that insurance could have covered. You may also want to talk with an agent about whether or not this type of coverage makes sense for your situation
How To Prepare For Days Without Power
During the winter, power outages are an increased risk.
How to Get Ready for Power Outages
During the winter, power outages are an increased risk. Ice on power lines, snapping trees, and more can break or down power lines and render your area without electricity for a time. Here’s how to prepare!
Store drinking water and food
If you're going to be without power for an extended amount of time, you'll want to make sure your water supply is stocked up. Storing drinking water in plastic bottles is a great way to ensure that it stays clean and safe. You can also store food in plastic containers or bags so that it will stay fresh longer—just make sure those containers are sealed tightly before storing them away!
When deciding what food items will be best suited for storage, consider canned goods (with airtight lids) as well as non-perishable foods like dried fruit or boxed cereals with no added sugar or preservatives. It's also wise to keep an eye out on expiration dates: if anything looks like it might not last another year after being opened, throw it out before the power goes out!
Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics.
Turn off the gas supply to your home. The next step would be turning off the electricity supply to your home. After that, switch off the propane supply at its source in case there are leaks in pipelines or tanks with no pressure relief valves.
Take care of your pets.
Taking care of your pet is a big task. The first thing you must do is make sure that they are safe and comfortable during power outages. Cats, for example, may get freaked out by the dark and will run away if they can't find their way around; dogs may become aggressive or destructive if they're bored or upset. Here are some tips:
- Make sure your pet has plenty of water.
- Make sure your pet has access to shelter from hot temperatures or cold weather conditions.
Prepare to stay cool – or warm.
If you live in an area that is prone to extreme weather, be sure to prepare for the worst. If your home has natural gas service and your area experiences a heat wave, turn off the pilot light on your heater and make sure all gas appliances are turned off, so they don't spark a fire when electric service returns. Similarly, if you have air conditioning during a cold snap, make sure that it is off before electricity is restored so as not to cause any damage or leaks.
Have enough blankets (and maybe even an extra sleeping bag) ready in case temps drop below freezing at night; remember that wearing layers will help keep your body heat regulated too!
Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home.
If you have a gas stovetop or oven, never use it to heat your home. This is because any open flame can be dangerous and should be avoided. If you don’t have a portable generator, consider using a portable heater instead.
You should get things to prepare for a possible power outage
To prepare for a potential power outage, you need to have a plan in place. You should start by making sure you have plenty of batteries on hand. Have some candles and flashlights as well in case the power goes out at night.
With these things in place, there are steps you can take if the power does go out:
- If there is no immediate danger (like in the event of an earthquake), stay inside your home or building until officials tell people that it's safe to leave their homes. Do not try to walk around outside unless absolutely necessary!
- If there is immediate danger (like during a hurricane), find shelter immediately and stay there until officials tell people it's safe to leave shelter. Make sure everyone knows how they are getting home after school or work, so they don't get separated from each other if anything happens while traveling back home.
Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming storm or just want to be prepared in case of an emergency, these tips will help you prepare your Bloomingdale, IL home and family for a power outage.
How To Properly Snake a Clogged Pipe
The main benefit of using a pipe snake is that they are much easier to use.
How to Snake a Pipe
Don't panic, even if you don't know the first thing about plumbing, it's easy to learn how to snake a pipe. A snake is just a metal coil that can be inserted into your pipes and then turned to push debris further down the line. Once any debris has been cleared out of the way, you can use your faucet again. Here's what you need.
Go to the hardware store and get a pipe snake (this is just a metal coil you can feed down your pipes).
A pipe snake is a metal coil that you can feed down your pipes, much like a snake. They're relatively inexpensive and should be available at your local hardware store, but if you don't have one on hand, it's worth going out to buy one for this situation.
If you've got yourself a pipe snake, all you need to do is feed the metal coil down the pipe until it reaches where the clog is located. Then, pull back on the handle of your tool while pushing forward on it at the same time (this will allow the clog to pass through).
The main benefit of using a pipe snake over something like drain cleaner (which can damage your plumbing) or plunging (which requires special equipment) is that they are much easier to use and require no special training or skill level whatsoever.
Put the snake into the pipe and turn its handle.
This can be done in a few different ways, but they all involve inserting the end of the snake into your drain opening until you've reached its maximum length. Then, turn its handle clockwise and feed it down as far as possible.
Once you've reached that point, turn your attention to turning off any valves or water sources nearby so that everything can drain completely. If there isn't a valve in sight and all you have is cold water coming out of your taps, try flushing them out with warm water from a bucket before draining them at full blast through all their outlets.
Insert it about a foot at first, then keep adding more as you move it down.
The first thing you need to do is insert the snake into your drain, but not too far. The idea here is that you want enough of the snake inside so that when you pull on it, it doesn't fall all the way out of your drain. The next step is to gently push down on your plunger and push as much water down your drain as possible. After this has been done, place more of the snake into your pipe until about three feet of it has gone in there. Now pull up slightly on the snake before pushing back down again with more force than before; this will cause even more water from inside where clogs occur to come out through another opening within your pipes. Repeat these steps until no more debris comes out or until it feels like nothing else could possibly be left behind (if there isn't any improvement at all after following these steps).
Keep adding more until the water runs freely.
If you're still not getting any results, it might be time to try a different type of snake. If you have a toilet drain clogged with paper towels and Kleenex, the best tool to use will be one designed for plumbing pipes. But if you're trying to clear out tree roots—the culprit behind most drain clogs in residential drains—you may want to reach for a larger diameter snake designed specifically for that purpose.
We hope we've convinced you to give snaking a go. It's easy, quick, and effective—and if you're like us, you'll be glad for another reason to avoid calling a plumber! If it still sounds intimidating, think about what happened when your toilet was clogged: You probably did some research online or asked someone who knows plumbing for advice. If so, this article fits the bill perfectly: It explains how snaking works in simple terms and provides step-by-step instructions on how to do it yourself.
Fire Commercial Cleanup Process
Soot, smoke smell, and structural damage after a fire can all affect your commercial facility.
When something unexpected happens, you want to be sure that you can quickly restore your business. At SERVPRO of Central Schaumburg/West Bloomingdale, we are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have the training and equipment necessary to clean up any size commercial fire and ensure that it does not cause damage to your building or its contents.
Fire Damages to Your Commercial Building
Fire damages to your commercial building can include soot, smoke smell and structure damage. These are all the effects of a fire that may need to be cleaned. Fire cleanup is the process of cleaning up after a fire has occurred. The removal of debris and rebuilding are also part of this process. Fire restoration is the restoring or repairing of something after it was damaged by fire, smoke, or other means.
SERVPRO of Central Schaumburg/West Bloomingdale is ready to help with a fire in your commercial building by providing 24-hour emergency service, immediate access to water damage restoration specialists who will begin work on controlling moisture as soon as possible and insurance documentation assistance for filing claims on your behalf.
Smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration
What is Soot?
Soot is a residue left behind by incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels. When you burn something like wood, paper or oil in an enclosed space, the smoke generated contains soot particles which get deposited on various surfaces inside your home (such as cabinets, walls, and ceilings).
Call the Professionals to Handle Fire Cleanup in Your Commercial Building.
SERVPRO of Central Schaumburg/West Bloomingdale has the equipment and experience necessary to handle any size fire cleanup in your business.
If your building has been damaged by a fire, don't hesitate to call us. Our professional team will be on site as quickly as possible to remove all traces of smoke and water damage and get your business back up and running as soon as possible.
SERVPRO of Central Schaumburg/West Bloomingdale is Ready to Help with a Fire in Your Commercial Building.
When it comes to fire damage, time is of the essence. You need an emergency cleanup service that can respond quickly and effectively. SERVPRO of Central Schaumburg/West Bloomingdale stands ready to assist with any commercial fire situation. Our trained professionals are ready to come out at any hour of the day or night, even on holidays, weekends and after hours.
We provide immediate assistance when you have a fire in your building so that you can get back to business as soon as possible. A key part of our response is our quick arrival time—we aim for a response within one hour from the time you call us!
SERVPRO of Central Schaumburg/ West Bloomingdale is equipped for any size commercial fire cleanup.
We have been in business for over 20 years, and we're a full-service restoration company. We know how to handle any size commercial fire cleanup. Our technicians are on call 24/7, and they're certified by IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) so you can be assured that your property will be properly cleaned up after every job we complete.
We know that a fire in a commercial building can be devastating, but we are here to help you through it. Our technicians are trained to handle any size fire cleanup, and we offer 24/7 emergency service so there’s no waiting around when you need us most. Call today for more information on how we can assist you with your commercial building after a fire!
4 Ways To Avoid a Fire When Barbecuing
Nobody wants a family picnic ruined by a grill fire
Four Barbecue Fire Prevention Tips
Cooking outdoors is one of life’s great pleasures. However, safety guidelines should always be observed to avoid causing a grill fire. In addition to burning dinner and disappointing picnic guests, you never want your home in Ontarioville, IL, to catch ablaze. Avoid the inconvenience of hiring a residential fire restoration professional by adhering to these four tips.
1. Place Grills Strategically
Anything flammable near an operating grill has the potential to cause danger. Therefore, they should only be used in open spaces. Never rest your cooker beside a wall or fence. Tree branches can also be a hazard. Think carefully about where children and pets are likely to be playing.
2. Stay Clean
Grease accumulates during each instance your grill gets used. Over time, the buildup becomes hazardous. Avoid triggering a grill fire by cleaning yours every time a cooking session ends. Yes, it is laborious, but maintaining a sparkling grill is an essential responsibility for every BBQ pitmaster.
3. Never Abandon a Hot Smoker
When friends are near and drinks are flowing, you may be tempted to leave your station. Allowing meats to roast without a watchful eye upon them is a good way to cause a barbeque fire. Stay close by your grill until the job has concluded.
4. Finish Wisely
Your fiesta may have ended, but fires burn even after the music stops. Coals remain incredibly hot for long after they have been used. Over time, smoking embers can waft toward your home and cause unsightly smoke damage. Always distribute ashes over coals once grilling is done. Gas grills should have their tanks immediately removed and carried away. Avoid leakage by making sure valves are tightly closed.
Nobody wants a family picnic ruined by a grill fire. Besides disappointing guests who desire their meat medium-rare, it’s embarrassing when the fire department alerts the entire neighborhood of your barbequing ineptitude. Avoid these awkward situations by diligently observing proper cookout procedures.
Fire Extinguisher 101: Types and How To Use
Types of fire extinguishers.
Business owners in Bloomingdale, IL, know how important it is to be prepared. When it comes to fire, ensuring a fire extinguisher is available is essential. Depending on the business and the type of fire, not just any extinguisher will do.
Types of Extinguishers
When it comes to flames a kitchen fire is a whole different situation than one set by combustible materials. Depending on the type of business, having different kinds of fire suppression may be necessary. Below are the general classifications of fire extinguishers based on the source:
Class A – Wood, paper or other combustibles
Class B – Flammable liquid or gas
Class C – Electrical fire
Class D – Metals
Class K – Animal fats or vegetable oils cooking fires
Along with the different classifications, there are different materials released to extinguish the flames.
ABC Powder – A multi-purpose type that sprays a fine chemical powder.
Carbon Dioxide – Removes oxygen from the flames, making it suitable for Class B use.
Wet Chemicals – For use on Class K fires and some Class A ones if it is wood or paper.
Water Mist – Emits de-ionized water molecules via a fog-like mist that are attracted to flames and is effective for Class A, B, C and K.
Foam – Mostly used for Class A and B, the foam expands to suffocate the fire.
Clean Agent – A gaseous suppression option for Class B and C fires.
How To Use
No matter which types are best for your business, all are fairly standard to use. Be sure to examine the unit for any damage before use and verify there is a safe exit route in case it doesn’t work. It’s better to be safe and call a fire damage and restoration company for repairs. Once you are ready to use, simply remember PASS:
- Pull pin.
- Aim nozzle at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze lever or handle.
- Sweep the nozzle back and forth.
Since not all fires and risks are the same, understanding how a fire extinguisher works and the different types available ensures your business is better prepared for the unexpected.