Recent Posts

Be safe during storms with these helpful tips!

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Downed power lines from a tree falling on them. Be safe during and after a storm.

Be Prepared

When a severe storm is approaching, tune into a local TV or radio broadcast covering the storm and follow evacuation orders, if they are issued. Check your emergency supplies and make sure you have enough water for everyone in your home, typically 1 gallon of water per person, per day for at least 3 days. Fill up your bathtubs with clean water. Turn your refrigerator and freezer up to the maximum setting so your food will stay cold for as long as possible in the event of a power outage. If you have storm shutters on your windows, make sure they are closed and secured. If not you can use pre-cut plywood to cover exposed glass. To prevent damage from flying objects, bring outdoor furniture, tools, pots and toys in from outside. Secure important documents, photographs and other valuables in a waterproof and fireproof case.

Power Outage

During an outage, Safe Electricity recommends turning off electrical appliances and unplugging major electronics, including computers and televisions. Power sometimes comes back in surges, which can damage electronics. Your circuits could overload when power returns if all your electrical items are on. Leave one light on to indicate that power is back on. Wait a few minutes and then turn on other appliances and equipment—one at a time.

If you use a standby generator, take proper safety precautions. Always read and follow all manufacturer operating instructions. There should be nothing plugged into the generator when you turn it on. This prevents a surge from damaging your generator and appliances. Operate generators in well-ventilated, outdoor, dry areas. Never attach a temporary generator to a circuit breaker, fuse, or outlet; plug items into the generator once it’s operating.

Permanent generators should be wired into a house by a qualified electrician and include a transfer switch to prevent feeding electricity back into overhead lines, which can be deadly for linemen.

To help you get through, have a storm kit prepared. Keep the kit in a cool, dry place, and make sure all members of the family know where it is.

5 ways to make your office cleaner.

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

A person mopping hardwood floor in an office. Keep your office space clean.

Top things that need to be cleaned in an office or public place.

1. Clean and disinfect telephone, Kiosk touch screen:

  • Spray disinfectant on a dry cloth and clean telephone mouth piece, ear piece and telephone instrument.

  • Repeat the same procedure on all house phones and telephone receivers on the fax machine.

  • Wipe the kiosk touch screen and remove finger print marks using recommended micro fiber cloth.


2. Clean stairway handrails:

  • Remove cob webs, dirt’s etc before cleaning the handrails.

  • Apply cleaning solution and wipe the handrails.

  • If mild detergents are used then wipe handrails with a wet cloth to rinse away them away.

3. Clean all glass surfaces and windows:

  • Spray windows and glass surfaces with water or appropriate cleaning solution.

  • Use a squeegee and pull down from top to bottom.

  • Overlap each stroke slightly to remove all water or cleaning solution.

  • Use a lint free duster to wipe the glass surface so as to leave the entire glass surface shiny.

4. Carpet and furniture upholstery vacuuming:

  • Furniture is to be dusted and all the upholstery is vacuumed cleaned.

  • Connect the appropriate cleaning attachment for vacuuming upholstered furniture’s.

  • Vacuum furniture arm rest, seat back and the area behind the seat back.

  • Use a heavy duty vacuum cleaner to vacuum all the carpeted area on the Lobby / Front office.

  • Vacuum under desks and other areas, Move furniture as and when required.

  • Once cleaning is completed remove the vacuum dust bag and store the vacuum cleaner on the pantry.

5. Mop and Sweep lobby floor:

  • Sweep the lobby floor thoroughly.

  • Place appropriate signage to warn the guest before mopping lobby floor.

  • Mop with a damp cloth to remove all dust and dirt from the surface.

  • Buff the lobby once in a day also the dustbins and ashtrays are cleared time to time.

  • Clean all marble / tile /wood skirting with a damp cloth daily.

  • Sweep lobby floor on a regular interval and also when requested by the front office team.


Pumpkin Display SAFETY

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo on the front of a pumpkin. SERVPRO mascots carving the logo. Have a safe and fun Halloween.

Deck, Patio, or Porch Safety

When our jack-o'-lanterns are ready for display, we often set them out on decks, patios, or porches. In so doing, we may be unwittingly inviting rodents and stinging insects to the home, as these pests are drawn to the now exposed soft inner flesh of the jack-o'-lanterns. Of the two, the insects are the more dangerous if you're allergic to hornet or yellow jacket stings. To counteract the threat, set out insect traps.

As carved pumpkins begin to rot (they can do so quite rapidly), the issue of their slipperiness again becomes a cause for concern. The problem is now exacerbated by the proximity of the carved pumpkins to doors leading inside from decks, patios, or porches. One morning, without watching where you're going, you could open the door, begin to descend the porch stairs, step on a piece of rotted jack-o'-lantern flesh, and take a nasty spill. Worse yet, a stranger could take a similar spill on your porch and sue you.

Illuminating Carved Pumpkins

Further safety issues arise when your intent is to illuminate carved pumpkins. Candles have been used traditionally to illuminate jack-o'-lanterns. But the open flame of a candle poses a fire hazard. If you're going to illuminate carved pumpkins on your deck, patio, or porch using candles, take these safety precautions:

  • Don't leave them unattended.
  • Be thorough in your leaf removal efforts, so there'll be less flammable material around to catch fire.
  • Don't leave them on your deck, patio, or porch during trick-or-treating hours, as kids' costumes may be flammable.

A safer option for illuminating jack-o'-lanterns is to use glow sticks, which can be bought at party supply stores. With glow sticks, there are no flame, cord, or batteries to worry about, and they're waterproof. To activate them, bend them to break the internal glass capsule.

How to remove spots from your garage floor.

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

A person cleaning grease off a garage floor with soap and a scrub brush. Keep your garage floor looking good.

If you keep your car in the garage, chances are you'll see a few oil stains on the garage floor before long. If you want to keep your garage clean, and not track in oil and its toxins into your house, you'll want to remove those stains. Removing oil stains from a garage floor isn't as difficult as you might think, but it does take a little work. Here are a few methods:

Clay cat-litter, dish soap, and a quality wire scrub brush: 

Using these in three easy steps will remove an oil stain from a concrete floor.

Step 1: Absorption.
Cover the stain in clay cat-litter. Remove as much of the oil from the spot as possible before you start scrubbing. Clay litter, not clumping cat-litter, will absorb a lot after letting it sit for as long as possible -- up to two days. Then sweep it up.

Step 2: Saturate.
Saturate the stain with your cleaning solution, in this case liquid dish soap to cut the grease and break up the stain. Cover the stain in liquid soap and let it sit for one hour.

Step 3: Scrub.
Oil stains in a porous material such as concrete require a bit of elbow grease. Using the right tools will save your arms a lot of strain, so buy a quality wire scrub brush. Work the brush in a circular motion, reapplying soap and adding a little water if needed. Rinse the soap away with clean water and let the area air dry.

Dry laundry detergents: Scrubbing a concrete floor with a basic dry laundry detergent will also remove oil stains. 

Coca-Cola: The phosphorous in the soda is like acid and eats up the grease. Finish the process by scrubbing the area with baking soda to clean up the color stain.

Make sure you change your furnace filter this season.

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

A person replacing a furnace filter in a furnace. Change your filter regularly!

Changing your furnace filter regularly ensures the air in your home will remain clear of dust and other contaminates. If you don’t change your filter, it will fill up and not be able to trap new particles. A full filter will not be able prevent additional dirt and debris from circulating through your home, causing your family to breathe more dust and allergens on a daily basis. Additionally, a full furnace filter causes the motor on your furnace/hvac system to have to work harder, and it will subsequently become less efficient. Even a fire could happen. 

Frequently Open Windows and Doors
Windows and doors left open allow dust and contaminates from the outside air to accumulate in your home and put an added layer of filth on your filters. If your windows and doors are often left open, one and two-inch filters will need to be replaced monthly, four-inch filters every two months and five-inch filters every three months.

If you have furry pets living in your home, this will shorten the life of your furnace filter. For one animal living at home, you should change your filter every two months for a one or two-inch filter, four months for a four-inch filter and six months for a five-inch filter.

The more animals living in your home, the shorter your filter is going to last. Having multiple animals means you should change a one or two-inch filter out every month, a four-inch filter every two months and a five-inch filter every three months.

If you have smokers in your home, this will have an effect on your filter as well. The more smokers you have, the shorter your filter life will be. If you have only one smoker in the house, you can get away with changing out a one or two-inch filter every two months, a four-inch filter every four months and a five-inch filter every six months. If you have multiple smokers in the house, you’ll need to adjust those numbers to once a month for one to two-inch filters, two months for four-inch filters and three months for five-inch filters.

Heater Fan
The frequency at which your heater fan is running will affect how often you need to replace your filter. If your heater fan is on constantly, you’ll need to change your filter each month, having it on sometimes will be every two months and never having it on can be every three months.

Excess dust is another factor that can shorten the life of your furnace filter. If your house is one that has a lot of dust, you’ll need to change one and two-inch filters out every month, four-inch filters every two months and five-inch filters every three months.

If anyone in your home has allergies, they will benefit from more frequent air filter changes.

Staying mindful of the factors that play a role in the air quality inside your home is a good measurement for how often your furnace filters need to be replaced. Keeping new filters in your furnace will help ensure that your furnace runs smoothly and efficiently and, most importantly, the air you and your family breathes is as clean as possible.

Got a mess after new construction or renovation? SERVPRO can clean it.

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

An empty room full of dust after the drywall was sanded. Let us tackle your mess!

Whether you are building a new commercial structure from the ground up, or simply taking on a long overdue renovation project, it is a big job!  The entire construction process can be lengthy, stressful and messy!  After the job is complete you may be left with an even bigger mess to cleanup before you get your business up and running.  Let SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth take care of that headache for you.  Our full line of specialized cleaning services includes post-construction cleaning.  You wouldn’t hire a car mechanic to repair an airplane, so why hire a maid service to tackle the big stuff?  You need a specialist with the staff, equipment and techniques to handle a large job.  Our highly trained team members will clean every inch of your newly finished project and make it shine for your opening day. 

Call SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth to tackle your mess! 24/7 we are always here. (217) 428-2371

We strive for positive Residential and Commercial reviews.

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

gold stars in a pile with a gray background. We love happy customers!

We strive every day to ensure that our quality of service is up to the highest standard and we are always pleased to get positive feedback from our happy customers!

Here are just a few of our customer reviews:

The SERVPRO staff came out and a gave me a quote on a water damage quickly. Nice and Friendly people to work with. Very professional!

-Samantha G.

They came out fast to evaluate my damage I had at my house. They were polite and very helpful. I would call them again.

-Jessica B.

This company was there when we need a helping hand. They secured our business and we were able to get back home in no time. If you ever need a board up job done they are the people to call. Great customer service and got the job done fast. I would  use them again and again.  

-Local business Decatur, IL.

If you experience water damage, fire damage, or mold in your home or office call SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth at (217) 428-2371. We are here to help and care for not only your home or office but for you as an individual. We are a family owned business and know that each job is not simply a job, but is someone allowing us to come into their lives during a very stressful event. Our ultimate goal is to help make it a little less stressful on you.

Things to know when a disaster strikes your business or property!

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water pouring from a ceiling in an office. Act fast when this happens!

Good things to know when a disaster strikes your business or property:


In most cases you have 24 to 48 hours to clean up the water and get the house dry before mold spores start to grow to dangerous levels. Make a phone call immediately: to SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth. When you call the insurance company, you should know what caused the flood, since your policy may not cover all types of flooding. 


You may think that you can simply clean up the water and be done with the issue. However, if carpeting and the pad underneath was covered in the flood, you may have to discard the carpet. SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth will be able to tell you if the carpeting is not salvageable. In some cases, SERVPRO may be able to dry out the carpet and padding. Sheetrock also retains moisture and will mold quickly.

 SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth

Available 24/7

(217) 428-2371

Fall Yard Cleanup

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

A rake in a pile of leaves. Cleaning up your yard before winter can make for a beautiful yard in the spring.

Fall means football games and visits to the local pumpkin patch. It also means it’s time to get your yard ready for winter. The right preparation now will save you time and energy when spring rolls around, and will keep you and your family safe in the yard year-round. Make sure you get the most out of your yard next year by following our checklist of fall cleanup musts.

1. Clean out debris.

Fallen leaves and weeds are the perfect place for pests to settle in for the winter. Clear out flower beds to keep the critters at bay. Pay special attention to rose beds, as their foliage can foster disease over the winter.

2. Till the vegetable garden.

After the final harvest, pull out old vegetable plants, remove debris, and completely till the whole plot. If you compost, now is the time to add a layer of compost to help nurture your soil for planting next spring.

3. Trim Rogue Branches.

Trim up any large or out-of-place tree branches that may cause trouble during the winter. You don’t want any branches breaking and falling during the snowfall to come.

4. Clean out the gutters.

Not all fall cleanup is in the yard. This is the perfect time to clear leaves and other debris from rain gutters. Check for proper drainage, clear out any blockages with a small garden trowel, and rinse with a hose.

5. Dry everything out.

Drain all water from hoses, fountains, and drip irrigation systems, and store them in a dry place. Water left standing over the winter may damage your equipment.

6. Aerate.

Break up soil to keep water from pooling and guarantee that nutrients will reach the roots over the winter. A garden fork will do the job for small yards, but larger yards may require a walk-behind aerator, which should be available to rent for a reasonable price.

7. Feed the lawn.

Send your yard into winter with the nutrients it needs to survive the long, cold sleep. Add a fall lawn fertilizer with high phosphorous content to encourage root growth and enjoy a lush, green lawn come spring.

8. Rake and mulch.

Don’t let fallen leaves get the best of you; if left unattended they can suffocate the grass. Rake them up, shred them, and use them as mulch for young trees, shrubs, and flower beds. You might even be able to skip the raking part if you use a lawn mower to mulch the leaves in your yard.

9. Prune trees and shrubs.

Trim any dead branches and cut back overgrown trees and bushes. If you have blooming perennials like clematis or roses, now is the time to prune them and train the branches.

10. Give it one last mow.

Set your mower to a low setting and give the lawn a close buzz before winter sets in. This helps the soil dry out more quickly in the spring, which leads to a lusher lawn.

11. Divide and cut back perennials.

If your perennials really took off this year, go ahead and spread the love. Divide plants and add them to other beds where they will also do well. This saves money and time in the spring. Fall-blooming perennials like chrysanthemums shouldn’t be divided now — wait and divide them in the spring.

12. Protect cold-sensitive plants.

Keep sensitive perennials, shrubs, and roses in top shape through the cold days of winter. Add mulch to the base and wrap plants in cloth barriers to prevent damage from freezing. Depending on the hardiness of the plant and your climate, you can use a single sheet or blanket or wrap them in a combination of cloth and plastic.

13. Plant bulbs, shrubs, and fall annuals.

Some plants do best when planted in the fall. If you want to add new shrubs or spring bulbs like hyacinth, now is the time to get them in the ground. Fall annuals like pansies are also a great addition to keep some color in your yard as other plants go to sleep.

14. Protect the deck.

Prevent the growth of mold and mildew by giving the deck a good power wash. If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can rent one from a garden store. Once the deck is clean and dry, add a weatherproofing stain to protect the wood from moisture damage over the winter.

15. Clean tools and store them.

Don’t throw your gardening tools in the shed and forget about them until spring. Take time to give them a good cleaning and add a light coat of oil to prevent rust during the cold season.

If you follow this checklist you’re bound to have a wonderfully winterized yard that will be ready to wow you with lush, green bounty once the warm weather returns.


10/9/2019 (Permalink)

A stainless steel refrigerator Inspect your refrigerator water line on a regular basis.

Home insurance only cover water damages that occur suddenly or accidentally in your home. In the case of a water damage that occurred from a broken water line of the refrigerator, it is considered as a sudden occurrence so the water damage cost and the repair fee for the damaged refrigerator will be covered. For the insurance company, water damage refers to damage caused by water that did not enter into your home from the outside such as the ground. The water damage must be caused by clean water source in order to be eligible for coverage by the home insurance company. Anything that is destroyed as a result of the broken water line will be covered for example damaged flooring.

However, you must keep in mind that there are certain requirements in your policy that you need to follow in order to claim the compensation. For example,
 if you are going on a holiday trip for a few days, you must turn off the water supply in your house. If you don’t and the water line burst, it will be your own fault and the claim can be denied. Besides, you should also hire someone to check your house daily and make sure everything is all right. This can be used as a proof to your insurance company that everything is in good condition when the water line burst so that your claim can be approved quickly.

The water damage will not be covered if your refrigerator’s water line broke as a result of an unresolved maintenance problem. All appliances will experience wear and tear and your refrigerator can broke down one day. It is your responsibility to hire a professional to inspect your appliances and fix any issue promptly to ensure that they are in good working condition at all times. In this situation, the insurance company will properly pay out the compensation for fixing the flooring that is damaged by the water but it will not cover the cost of the refrigerator.

The water damage coverage requirements vary across different insurance companies so you should check with them yourself. You can first ask your broker whether the claim will be approved before filing it to the insurance company. The compensation that the insurance company releases will not include the deductible amount as well as the spoiled food in the refrigerator. Anything that is not worth filing will not be covered by the insurance.

You can always confirm with your insurance agent about water damage that is covered/not covered by the insurance policy. Home insurance only provides basic coverage for water damage that occurs in the house. If possible, you should purchase additional coverage like a flood insurance to offer more protection for your home from water damage.

SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth can help make it "Like it never even happened."

(217) 428-2371