Recent Commercial Posts

Preparing Small Businesses for Winter

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

In the past month, we’ve talked about preparing our homes for winter, but if you own a small business, you should also consider preparing your business for the oncoming season. By preparing for the winter, you can avoid any hazardous situations that could delay your day to day business operations.

The first steps are to check out the building of your business. Look for any leaks in the roof or any cracks near the doors. A leaky roof and cracks near the door can cause water damage in your building, which could possibly shut your business down for a few days while repairs are occurring. If you notice any of these things, contact your landlord to make sure they are taken care of before winter weather arrives. Also, ask if building maintenance clears the snow or ice from the sidewalks in front of your business. If they don’t, make sure you have a plan to make sure these things are removed in a timely manner. 

Another tip is to contact your insurance to see exactly what is covered under their storm coverage. Burst pipes are likely to happen in the winter, and without proper cleanup, the water can cause mold and become a major problem. Make sure that any cleanup would be covered under your insurance to avoid costly repairs. Also, any damage from a winter storm, such as damage from hail or snow, should be covered under insurance. Make sure all these things and more are covered to prepare for the weather.

Lastly, if you’re at work while a winter storm emergency is taking place, make sure to have a plan as to what to do to protect yourself and your employees. It’s a good idea to have food and water in case leaving work is difficult. 

This winter, make sure your business is ready for any winter storms by using these tips and SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights hopes you have a safe and productive winter!

Let's Talk About Document Restoration

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

After a disaster, there are a lot of things to worry about: your home/business, your things, but also your documents. Some documents are hard to replace, but some documents are impossible to replace, like pictures. 

With this in mind, SERVPRO has a document restoration facility that works to restore any documents using state-of-the-art technology. SERVPRO uses vacuum freeze-drying techniques that dry documents and also gamma ray irradiation, which can help sterilize documents. 

While our facility handles restoration, it can also digitize any of your documents, which can help you or your business from having to worry about your documents after a disaster while also making it easier to access any of your documents. Digitizing can also save you space in your office. 

If you have any other questions about this service, contact SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights and we would be glad to help!

Call 1-708-453-3655! 

How to Keep Your Fire Sprinklers Ready For an Emergency

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fire sprinklers are super important in a fire emergency, because they are a business or home's first line of defense. To be ready for these emergencies, one must test their sprinklers and keep them in working condition.

1.Check the age of your sprinkler system. If the system has been in use for longer than 50 years, it's time to replace it. Otherwise, check NFPA 25 requirements on your specific sprinkler system. 

2.Check the installation of the sprinklers. Faulty installation could result in malfunctions in the event of a fire.

3.Make sure your sprinklers are clean. Dirty sprinklers can block water flow, thus making the sprinklers less effective. 

4.Test your sprinkler system periodically. There are a variety of tests can be utilized for sprinklers, from basic tests to more complex tests. 

5. Immediately replace any piece that is defective. This made to replacing a larger stretch of the sprinkler system, but it is important that the system works correctly in an emergency. 

 A proper sprinkler system can reduce the damage that occurs during and after a fire, thus making it incredibly important. SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights reminds you to keep your sprinkler system in check for your home or business! 

August is National Back to School Month!

7/30/2019 (Permalink)

While summer weather is still in full swing, most schools will start up again by the end of this month. Students are beginning to gather school supplies, like pencils, pens, and notebooks.

While the students prepare for their new school year, the school should also prepare for the students! While SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights can help clean carpets and make sure your students are welcomed into a clean environment, we can also prepare schools and universities for possible disasters. 

SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights is always happy to complete an ERP, or Emergency Ready Profile, for any business, including schools or universities.

ERPs are a completely free assessment of any business that we concise into a document that contains only the most vital information in an emergency, like emergency shut offs, priority contact information and priority areas. With all this information, your business can begin mitigation quickly, which can minimize damage. 

If you would like to schedule a visit from SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights to complete an ERP, please call us at 1-708-453-3655

Is Your Norridge/Harwood Heights Business Being Affected by Vandalism?

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

It could happen to anyone. You leave your business at the end of a long work day and everything is clean and orderly. You come back the next morning and there's new bright paint on a wall of your business and you realize that you have been tagged overnight. 

Steps to Prevent Vandalism-

  • Add a higher security. This could mean adding motion light sensors or even a security cameras. 
  • Keep the area around your business well lit and clean. This deters vandals. 
  • If you have been a victim of vandalism, clean it up quickly. Vandals are more likely to create tags or other forms of vandalism where some already exists. 

What to do if You Find Vandalism- 

  • If you find egg, use soapy water to clean it off of buildings or cars. Don't use a power washer because it can remove paint or damage siding of your business. 
  • If you find toilet paper, use a leaf blower or a long utensil to gently remove it from the building or trees. If you try to pull too much, the toilet paper will break, causing a bigger mess. 
  • If you find paint, be careful with removal. Many removal manners can also cause damage easily. 
  • If there's broken glass, carefully pick up all larger pieces and vacuum smaller pieces. 

For more tips and tricks like this, please like us on Facebook

Closing an Office?

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Closing an office can be tough work. SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights found these tips useful when closing an office:

  1. The office space decommissioning company should revise the contract you signed to rent the place and should meet the property managers to verify what the required condition of the working area is.
  2. Equipment, technology, furniture, fixtures, etc. need to be removed and/ or recycled. 
  3. When decommissioning a facility you can also keep some goods, furniture or equipment – just ask for storage from the commercial mover. You can keep some equipment or furniture in case you know that you will need it again.
  4. The industrial facility then needs to be freed from cables – once the furniture and equipment is out of the way this can be easily accomplished  
  5. Make sure to clean up the office (sweeping, vacuuming, etc.) and throw away any trash, leaving the office in impeccable condition
  6. Not only the office, but also the warehouse and any production areas you want to vacate should be cleaned before you turn over the key.
  7. After the office has been cleaned and mostly vacated, you can look for anything that needs to be repaired like painting, plumbing, electrical, etc.? Check your contract with your landlord to determine what should be repaired. 
  8. Do a final check of the facility when you are finished with the above steps. This will ensure that all the steps in the preliminary facility decommissioning plan have been adequately performed and completed successfully.

When it comes to your cleaning needs, SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Heights is happy to clean carpets for an office closing. If you are closing an office and would like assistance with carpet cleaning, please call 1-708-453-3655

Understanding Flood Hazards

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

There are several flood principles that should be considered to determine your facility’s exposure to flood waters and the type of protection to be deployed:

  • Duration: It is important to know if flood waters are expected to recede quickly or may be trapped due to the slope of the land. The longer a facility is exposed to flood waters, the greater potential for flood-proofing failures due to a breach in the protection.
  • Depth: Flood waters greater than 3 feet create hydrostatic pressure on walls that can cause cracks in masonry and greatly increase the potential of collapse to unreinforced masonry. When estimating the potential depth of flood waters, it is always best to include a safety factor to account for inaccuracies in the estimate.
  • Velocity: As flood water velocity increases, so does the pressure exerted on flood protection. River flooding can be very fast moving water at first and then may settle down. Coastal locations may be exposed to wave action from storm surge.
  • Water Condition: Many times flood waters are dirty, brackish or contaminated with biological and chemical materials including waste water, sewage, pesticides, industrial waste, toxic and non-toxic chemicals, or oils. Debris that is churning in the water can impact buildings and flood protection systems, create breaches in the protection and cause extensive damage.

Closing an Office?

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Empty office

  1. The office space decommissioning company should revise the contract you signed to rent the place and should meet the property managers to verify what the required condition of the working area is.
  2. Equipment, technology, furniture, fixtures, etc. need to be removed and/ or recycled. Have in mind that it can also be bought and resold depending on what services is the company you have hired offering.
  3. When decommissioning a facility you can also keep some goods, furniture or equipment – just ask for storage from the commercial mover. You can keep some equipment or furniture in case you know that you will need it again.
  4. The industrial facility then needs to be freed from cables – once the furniture and equipment is out of the way this can be easily accomplished  
  5. The trash must to be collected and thrown away, and the place needs to be prepared to be vacated in an impeccable condition.
  6. After that the office space decommissioning should continue with cleaning the area – sweeping the floor, wiping the walls, vacuuming the carpet, etc.
  7. Not only the office, but also the warehouse and any production areas you want to vacate should be cleaned before you turn over the key.
  8. When the place is already empty, you will see if anything needs to be repaired like tiles to be added or replaced, walls, ceiling, etc. Following the contract you’ve signed with your landlord should be enough for you to be able to determine that.
  9. Is there any repairing that needs to be done like painting, plumbing, electrical, etc.? Compare what the working premises and/ or office(s) used to look like when you rented the building and observe their condition now in order to get it right.
  10. When all the work has been done a final check of the place should be performed to ensure all the steps in the preliminary facility decommissioning plan have been adequately performed and completed successfully.

Why Mold in Schools

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

From R and R

Have you ever been driven crazy by a young child who keeps asking “Why?”  That kid may be onto something.  Developed by Sakichi Toyoda and used by automotive companies and other industries to improve safety, quality, productivity and cost, “5 Whys” is a tool used to identify the root cause (origin) of a problem.  Simply asking “Why?” at least five times can help you move past looking at symptoms of the problem and onto addressing the root cause of the issue.  For example:

1.  Why is there mold in this classroom? Mold grew where condensation formed on the ceiling.

2.  Why did condensation form on the ceiling? When chilled air entered the room through a diffuser in the ceiling, it came in contact with warm, moist air and condensation formed around the diffuser. 

3.  Why is there warm, moist air in the classroom? Humidity permeates the walls of the building during warm weather.  Since air conditioning was installed, the windows aren’t opened much anymore and some of the window seals are no longer tight.

4.  Why isn’t the moisture being removed by the air conditioning? The HVAC system is set not to run between midnight and 6 a.m. on weekdays, and it does not run on weekends.

5. Why doesn’t the HVAC run during the evenings and on weekends? To reduce consumption of electricity.

Once you know the root cause, you’re in a better position to address the real issue.

Fire Safety at the Office

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

Fire safety and prevention should always be a primary concern at your office and other commercial facilities. Here are top 7 ways to ensure fire prevention and safety in offices.

  1. Don’t compromise with maintenance works Never compromise and delay the regular maintenance work for your central heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, power backup solutions, computers, heavy electric appliances and other electrical components installed in your workplace. For manufacturing industries, all big machineries should be properly serviced from time-to-time.

  2. Electrical Wiring & Circuits Make sure that your office’s electrical wiring and circuit is well-planned and installed properly. Replace all damaged and cracked electrical sockets, cords and wires without any delay. Never buy cheap wire or sockets for running heavy electrical equipment. Make sure that the electrical equipment which you are using is of top-quality and manufactured by a reliable name. Don’t overload electrical circuits.

  3. Smoking Never allow your employees, staff or visitors to smoke indoors. Careless smoking can cause fire and hence, it should be done outdoors only. However, you can have a dedicated and separate arrangement for smoking, also known as ‘smoking area’ within your office premises. This place should have proper air ventilation and should follow the necessary guidelines.

  4. Fire Extinguisher Your office premises should have fire extinguishers installed at clearly visible and marked placed throughout the office premises and commercial facilities. Make sure that the fire extinguishers are working properly and serviced on-time. Teach your office employees and staffs to how to use a fire extinguisher in the time of need.

  5. Emergency Exit For big office buildings and commercial facilities, having a separate emergency exit is importantly required. Keep the emergency exit clean, dry and free all the time. Don’t use your office’s emergency exit as the way for office or canteen supplies. Also, don’t have any office furniture as an obstruction in the approach to the emergency exit.

  6. Store hazardous materials separately All flammable materials, either in solid, liquid or gaseous form should be kept separately in designated and safe areas. Teach your office staff to handle the flammable substances very carefully.

  7. Mock Drills A mock drill is the best way to re-create the situation of an actual fire emergency. It is also an effective way to analyze your fire prevention and safety preparations. Conducting a mock drill once in a year would also teach your employees, how to behave and evacuate the office building in less time under any similar situation.

Mold prevention tips

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

EPA Tips

• Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building envelope as soon as possible.

• Watch for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture problem(s) as soon as possible.

• Prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).

• Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed. • Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.

• Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60% relative humidity (RH), ideally 30-50%, if possible.

• Perform regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.

• Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.

• Don’t let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.

Get back in Business fast.

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Body:

Flooding and water damage events at Chicagoland 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 Norridge/Harwood Hts.

SERVPRO of Norridge/Harwood Hts. 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.