Archived Why SERVPRO Blog Posts
Spring Flooding Risks
The temperatures are rising which means the snow is finally melting! Spring is right around the corner and I’m so excited. However, Spring is usually a rainy season, which means we need to be prepared for floods. FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, mentions the following risks when it comes to Spring flooding.
As the temperature rises, the snow begins to melt quite quickly, but the ground is still frozen and cannot absorb any of the moisture. This causes the water to runoff into streams, lakes or rivers, which can flood.
As it begins to rain during Spring, it’s important to note that several inches of precipitation over just a few hours can oversaturate the ground and overwhelm storm drains.
Flash flooding occurs when there is a rapid flooding of low lying areas in less than 6 hours.
At SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights, we feel it’s important to talk about flooding because just a few inches of water in your home can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Make sure you and your family are prepared for any flooding by having a family evacuation plan, making an emergency kit, and by keeping any important papers in safe places. Also, look into Flood Insurance if you do not have it. According to FEMA, “Most standard homeowners policies do not cover flood damage”.
Enjoy the warmer weather, but be prepared for any flooding possibilities!
4 Major Issues That Hoarding Can Cause
We’ve all seen the TV shows about hoarding, but we are unaware of all the different issues that can arise due to hoarding. So what exactly causes hoarding? The definition of compulsive hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of perceived need to save them. Because of the excess items in the home, there are many different problems that can occur in the home.
What issues can hoarding cause?
Air Quality Issues- Due to the decaying waste products, there usually is dust, odor and ammonia in these homes. These can cause air quality issues and be detrimental to one’s health.
Mildew and Fungus- Because people who suffer from compulsive hoarding have difficulty removing things from their homes, they also struggle to throw away food. This can lead to mildew and fungus. Breathing these things in can cause health effects, but they can also cause an odor.
Sanitation issues- People who suffer from compulsive hoarding also hoard animals, which can lead to an excess of animal feces in the home. This can contaminate pet or human food. Also, the animals may pass in the home, but never be removed, which isn’t sanitary.
Plumbing issues- Due to the large amounts of items in the house, there could be a leak in the house and it would be much harder to discover the source or even that the leak had occurred. This could lead to mold, which could cause health effects.
SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights is an expert when it comes to cleaning and deodorizing. If you or someone you know is recovering from compulsive hoarding disorder, you can trust us to remove any harmful materials and return the home to its original condition. You can focus on the emotional and mental recovery, and leave the restoration to us.
Top 5 Shoveling Tips!
As I write this blog post, the snow is falling...again! We've seen quite a few snow storms in the past few weeks and the snow has been accumulating. While the snow is nice to look at while inside the comfort of our homes, we do eventually have to go out in it.
I wanted to touch upon 5 tips relating to shoveling in this blog, because shoveling can be painful and dangerous if not done properly.
- Dress warm-This one is pretty obvious, but it's important to wear your gloves, hat, scarf and winter coat to stay warm while shoveling.
- Push, don't lift- Pushing the snow instead of lifting it will reduce the strain on your body. If you have to lift, use your legs, not your back.
- Keep up with snowfall- Shoveling when snow is first falling is easier, because the snow is lighter and fluffier. The longer it sits there, the heavier and wetter it will become.
- Take breaks- Pace yourself and take breaks, especially if the snow is wet.
- Stay hydrated- Drink plenty of water before and while shoveling.
Freezing Temperature Tips
We have had quite a few days well below freezing in the last week, and it looks like we’ll stay in this temperature range a little while longer. With this freezing cold weather, pipes can freeze and burst, causing a huge and expensive mess. I’ve compiled some tips for this below freezing weather to keep you ready and safe.
- Keep your home temperature at or above 65 degrees Fahrenheit- This can help the inside of walls, where pipes are located, warmer to help prevent pipes freezing.
- Check the location for the main water shutoff in your home- Review how it works in case you need to use it.
- Open faucets to let them drip slowly- Keeping the water moving in the pipes will help prevent freezing.
- Keep sidewalks free from ice and snow- This can help prevent slipping and falling.
- Watch for ice dams near gutter downspouts- Ice dams can cause water to seep into your home and cause water damage. Clear gutters of leaves and debris to allow runoff from snow or ice to flow freely.
How to Prepare For a Winter Storm
A winter storm can strike very quickly and, no matter where you are, you need to be ready. Today, we’re gonna list some important items to have in your house and your car in case a winter storm strikes.
In both your home and your car, you should have a flashlight. At your home, it can assist you if there is a power outage. While candles could also help light up your home, a flashlight or even an electric lantern is safer. If you do have candles, make sure you have matches on hand. If you’re in your car, a flashlight could be beneficial if you get stuck in snow or ice during nighttime. With having flashlights, it is also important to have batteries in case the current batteries die. It could also be helpful to have a hand crank or battery operated radio on hand to stay informed.
Also, in your car, keep a shovel, in case you need to shovel your way out of snow. It is also important to make sure your car always has a full tank of gas. Sand or kitty litter could also be beneficial in order to gain traction on the ground if there is ice. Additionally, keep extra blankets in your trunk in case you get stuck in your car. It also could be useful to have a hat and gloves.
In your home, have a three day supply of water and nonperishable food, like peanut butter, canned goods, etc. Also, if you use daily medication, make sure you have a week’s worth of your medication on hand just in case.
These things are pretty easy to compile and could be a major help if there is a winter storm.
First Responder Bowl
At SERVPRO, we’re huge supporters of our first responders, especially in a year like this. Police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, border patrol agents and military personnel are essential to our country and SERVPRO honors them every year through the First Responder Bowl.
The First Responder Bowl first started in December 2014 to honor those who have specialized training and are the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency.
This year, the First Responder Bowl will take place on December 26, 2020 at the Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas at 2:30 PM CT.
We know we’re looking forward to it!
For more information about the First Responder Bowl, please visit https://www.firstresponderbowl.com/
Time to Get Ready For Winter!
While we’ve had a few days with wonderful weather this week, winter is coming! At SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights, we’re ready for the colder weather, but are you? In order to get ready for the winter, SERVPRO has prepared a list of things to get done before the temperatures drop!
- Make sure any winter items, such as ice scrapers, shovels and salt are easily accessible.
- Clean and store any patio furniture
- Winterize your in ground sprinklers
- Check any/all weatherstripping around the house and replace/repair any that are damaged
- Check your roof and replace any shingles if needed
- Check your fireplace for any damage
- Check your smoke alarm/carbon monoxide alarm and change batteries if needed
- Clean your carpets (SERVPRO can help with this one!)
- Change air filters
Don’t forget to check these things off your list while the weather is still nice!
December Monthly Updates!
Happy Holidays! We’re excited about the upcoming holidays and have begun decorating our home and office. With the different kinds of decor come risks. Check out our newest video, which contains statistics referring to decor and possible fire threats. It can be found on Youtube or on our website.
We still have a carpet cleaning deal going on, with 25% off all carpet cleaning services offered until December 15th. Please take advantage of this awesome deal! We look forward to hearing from you!
The weather is getting colder and colder, and with colder weather comes frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can lead to a burst pipe and water damage. We’ve written about how to avoid frozen pipes on our blog. Check it out here! If you have water damage from a frozen or burst pipe, please give us a call!
We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!
Happy November! We wanted to update our followers about what you can expect from SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights this month.
Holiday Carpet Cleaning
The holidays are coming quick and we are excited to host family at our homes, but before they arrive, we want our house to look clean and beautiful. We know we aren’t alone with these thoughts, which is why we decided to offer 25% off carpet cleaning services through December 15. To get this deal, just call us at 708-453-3655 and mention that you saw either this blog post or our Facebook post.
Village of Norridge Holiday Open House and Tree Lighting
On November 30, The Village of Norridge is hosting their 7th annual Holiday Open House and Tree Lighting and SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights is proud to be a sponsor of this event. At this event, you can expect a visit from santa, face painting, hot chocolate, etc. We’re excited to see everyone at this exciting holiday event!
Norridge Village Hall
4000 N. Olcott Avenue
With Thanksgiving this month, we want to let our customers know that we are thankful for their support all throughout the year, but especially this month. We know there are many choices when it comes to restoration and we’re happy that you chose us!
Last Week of National Preparedness Month!
National Preparedness Month is almost over, but it's important to prepare and stay prepared throughout the year. After focusing on your family and your home the last few weeks, the last week of National Preparedness Month is dedicated to getting involved in your community's preparedness.
Here are a few tips to get you involved in community preparedness:
- Take health, life-saving classes such as CPR/AED and first aid.
- Check in with your neighbors to see how you can help each other before and after a storm.
- Learn about the hazards can are most likely to affect your community and their appropriate responses.
This month, we talked all about preparedness and how to become prepared for anything. SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights would like to give a big thank you to Ready.gov for providing tips and information about National Preparedness Month.
Week Three of National Preparedness Month!
September is National Preparedness Month! In the last two weeks, we've covered getting yourself financially ready for a disaster and making a plan to prepare yourself for a disaster. Week three is all about educating the youth on disaster preparedness. Here are some tips regarding educating the youth:
- Teach kids what to do in an emergency if they are at home and also when they're not at home.
- Teach kids emergency numbers to call, like 911 and emergency contacts, including your cell phone or a home number.
- Include your child's medication or medical supplies in the family emergency kit.
- Review family communication plans in case of an emergency with your children so they know how to contact the family.
Emergencies/disasters can come at any time. It's important to educate your whole family, including your children about how to be prepared in the face of an emergency. SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights is proud to present these tips with thanks from Ready.gov.
Week Two of National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month. Last week, we talked about how to be financially prepared for disasters. This week's theme is: make a plan. Below are some tips on this week's theme to make sure you are prepared for disaster:
- Make an Emergency Plan, including your evacuation route and practice your plan.
- Have a fire drill in your home to practice your fire escape plan.
- Create a group chat with your family to be able to be in contact with them before, during and after an emergency.
- Learn how to turn off utilities, like gas, in your home.
- Be prepared for a power outage with 72 hours worth of food, water and medications.
In case of an emergency, it's important to have a plan in place, so you know your next step. SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights is happy to bring you these tips with the help of Ready.gov.
September is National Preparedness Month!
According to Ready.gov, September is National Preparedness Month! Each week they focus on a new topic in order to keep you prepared for possible disasters.
Week one is dedicated to saving early for disaster costs. Here are some tips to keep you prepared this week:
- Learn about flood insurance and how to protect your home or business at Floodsmart.gov
- Create an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit, which would include financial and legal documents, medical information and other important information
- Keep some cash on hand in case you cannot use an ATM or credit card. It could pay for any immediate expenses like food or lodging.
This week of National Preparedness Month is all about how to be financially ready for a disaster and the tips can help you start to think about things you can do to help yourself prepare.
SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights knows that preparation is the only way to stay ahead of the disaster.
Is Your Restoration Company Ready for Storms?
Imagine a beautiful day: the sun is shining and all is calm, but, all of a sudden, there are scary, dark clouds on the horizon. The news begins to tell you a major storm is on its way, bringing flooding and destruction with it. You prepare as much as you can, but in the aftermath, you discover much of your neighborhood has flooded, your basement included. Your first thought is wondering who will be able to come out immediately to help clean up this mess. You begin calling around to other restoration companies, but they’re all swamped. They tell you they cannot be out there in the foreseeable future, but you know the damage can only get worse.
SERVPRO is always ready for these storms. There are over 1,700 franchises of SERVPRO that are willing to help with resources. There is also a SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team that is always on call in strategic locations throughout the country to assist in the aftermath of disasters. If a disaster should strike, please call SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights at (708) 453-3655!
Why You Should Use SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights for Your Mold Problem
Discovering mold in your house can be unsettling. Many people's first thought is how they can get rid of the mold without using a remediation company. While it seems like it could be a quick, easy way to remove the mold, many problems can arise from amateur clean up of mold. The most common problems are:
- Creating a larger problem-Mold can spread easily and most amateurs won't have access to the appropriate equipment and will actually spread the mold, making the problem even larger.
- Bringing over contaminants into your home- Mold remediation companies have equipment that is specifically made to get rid of mold. One major one is an air filtration device that prevents contaminants from getting into your home. Without this device, the contaminants will spread.
- Getting sick from mold-This is another benefit of equipment. Mold spores can cause illness, but mold remediation experts have the proper protective equipment that helps them avoid these illnesses.
As you can see, using a professional to get rid of mold in your home can be extremely beneficial. SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights is an expert in mold remediation and always willing to help! If you discovered mold in your home, please call 1-708-453-3655
SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights Helps Out
SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights was working on a job for a housebound elderly woman. She had water damage in her home, which caused her to be very upset.
While our production crew went out to work on the restoration of her house, the woman began talking to a member of our office staff and eventually grocery shopping came up in the conversation. The woman stated that she hadn't been to a grocery store in a long time. Our staff member offered to take this woman to a grocery store.The woman gleefully agreed. Our staff member then gave her the choice of two local stores, Jewel Osco or Caputo's. The woman perked up at the sound of Caputo's and was enthusiastic about getting to go to a newer store that she hadn't been able to experience before.
While at this store, our staff member walked with this woman up and down the aisles for a couple of hours. After pacing each aisle slowly, checking out all the different items, the woman only picked out six things that she wanted.
While six items seems quite low, the bliss of this customer was immeasurable. SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights is proud to go above and beyond for our customers.
SERVPRO Convention 2019
SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights was happy to attend this year's annual convention in Sacramento, California. It is always a pleasure to not only meet members of other SERVPRO franchises but also the staff of SERVPRO Corporation.
We are always excited to go to these conventions so we can further our education to improve our crew at SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights. This year, members of our crew took part in classes on:
- cleaning products
- trauma and crime scene cleanup process
- social media marketing
Every year we head to these conventions to improve ourselves for one reason: our customers. We work to make ourselves the best we can be in order to be able to deliver the best help our customers can ask for.