Recent Posts

It's that time of year to get your ducts cleaned.

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Inside of a a residential duct system with debris laying inside. This is a picture of a residential duct system before we cleaned it.

The air ducts in your home have a very important job. They circulate the air flow from your heating and cooling equipment throughout your home to ensure it is properly conditioned at all times. And this occurs multiple times every day.

But it’s not just the warmth or coolness that impacts you and your family; it impacts the air you breathe as well. How many hours do you spend inside? 10? 12? And that’s every day.

It’s important to ensure it is as clean as possible.

Air duct cleaning involves removing the dust and contaminants that exist within the ductwork. This includes all areas of the system, including the supply and return air ducts as well as the registers in each room. Air duct cleaning involves powerful vacuums that pull dust and debris from deep within, preventing it from moving and circulating throughout your home.

SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth can clean your ducts and make your home a cleaner environment!

Give us a call today (217) 428-2371

STORM DAMAGE VS. FLOOD DAMAGE

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded roads in the front of residential homes. Know the difference between flood damage and storm damage!

Heavy rain, golf ball sized hail and high winds invade your home or business. These events cause water damage inside your property. There is flooding on the ground floor, so is this considered flood damage? Or is it storm damage because the storm caused the flooding? You are not alone if you find this confusing. 

Flood Damage

To an insurance company, there is a clear cut difference between water damage caused by a flood, and water damage caused by a storm. If you have flood insurance for your property, the following indicate that it will likely cover the damage:

  • Your property and at least one other property (or two or more acres) are normally dry, but are suddenly and temporarily flooded.
  • A natural source causes the flood waters, such as a hurricane storm surge or mudflow. Any other sudden accumulation of water rising up into your commercial property is considered a flood, including heavy rainfall that saturates and seeps up from the ground into homes or businesses.

Storm Damage

Storms cause a myriad of problems, not limited to water and wind damage. The following are common types of commercial problems caused by a storm:

  • Heavy winds, rain or hail may crack or stress the windows, foundation or roofing material, leading to water getting in. When the water damage is caused by falling rain that does not rise up from the ground into your property, it is considered caused by the storm even if the result is flood water inside your business.
  • The damage from winds, rain or other event only impact your business, not necessarily the surrounding areas.

Whether storm damage or flood damage ravages your property in Decatur, IL. storm and water restoration specialists are your first line of defense. Depending on the cause of damage and your specific policy, your commercial insurance may or may not provide coverage.

Things to do when a toliet overflows in your property!

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

a white toliet overflowing with water. Call us if this happens!

1. Turn Off and Remove the Water

To prevent water from spreading in the bathroom and to other areas of your business it’s often wise to turn off the toilet’s water supply. Generally, the sooner you can turn off the water supply, the less damage that will occur. Once the water has been turned off, it’s normally best to remove any standing water by using mops or towels. Quickly removing water will make it easier to fix the issue with the toilet and can help to prevent mold growth.

2. Unclog the Toilet

After you have taken steps to prevent sewer damage by turning off the water and drying the floor and area surrounding your toilet, you can shift your focus to unclogging the toilet. You can normally fix a clogged toilet with a plunger, but if your plunger isn’t fixing the problem, you may want to consider using an auger. Generally, your toilet should work normally after it has been unclogged.

3. Know When To Call In Professionals

If you are unable to unclog your toilet on your own, if your flooded toilet has caused major water damage or if your toilet commonly overflows, it may be necessary to contact a sewage company that can help to fix the issue. Additionally, it can be helpful to contact water damage restoration specialists if you suspect that major damage has occurred or if there has been standing water in your home for several days.

Before mitigation can begin you must locate the storm damage!

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

a roof that is missing shingles. Roof repair is one of the first steps to getting your house back to normal!

Locate the Issue

Hail and strong winds can easily cause roof damage. Before you begin mitigation, you need to inspect your roof. There are several issues to look for:

  • Broken shingles
  • Worn out or damaged flashing
  • Clogged or dented gutters

Once you know where the damage is, you can make a more informed plan for taking care of it. This can also be helpful to water restoration specialists who fix your water damage so that they can board up the area or place a tarp over it until roofers can arrive.

Mitigate Inside Damage

Once your home has water damage from a leaking roof, you are on a time clock. Both damage remediation and roof repair have to happen fairly quickly. Timely mitigation of the waterlogged materials in your home helps to prevent secondary damage such as mold growth. Then, once the remediation process is finished, it is equally important to fix the roof so that the problem doesn't keep happening every time there is a storm in your area.

Fix the Roof

Professional contractors can assess the wind damage on your roof and give you an estimate of the cost of repairs. Broken shingles will probably need to be replaced. All joints may need to be reinforced, and any loose flashing needs to be reattached or replaced. Don't put off the repairs to your roof, or you may be revisiting the whole mitigation process all over again the next time a storm hits.
Wind and hail can tear up your roof in no time, leaving your home vulnerable. Fast roof repair and damage remediation are the keys to getting your home back to normal.

Quick cleaning tasks you can do in minutes.

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

A person carrying cleaning supplies. The person is wearing yellow gloves. Cleaning don't have to take a long time if you do a little each day.

Here are 30 cleaning tasks that each take 5 minutes or less. Take advantage of a few minutes here and there to get these tasks out of the way, and cut down your preparation time for when friends come over by a lot.

1. Empty small wastebaskets.

2. Put away clean dishes.

3. Make your bed.

4. Clear the dining room/main eating table.

5. Sweep one room’s floor.

6. Clean just-used dishes.

7. Take out the trash.

8. Spray and wipe down kitchen countertops.

9. Dust surfaces of one room.

10. Put in a load of laundry.

11. Put away personal belongings in one room.

12. Organize shoes.

13. Spray down plastic toys (I use a half-vinegar, half-water mixture) and let dry.

14. Throw away old receipts and mail.

15. Dust ceiling fans and lighting fixtures.

16. Surface-clean toilet and faucets in the bathroom.

17. Put away laundry (folding is another matter).

18. Spray and wipe down mirrors.

19. Mop/wipe down floor of one room.

20. Tidy shelves on a bookcase or bedside table.

21. Gather grimy washcloths, towels and dishrags and add them to the laundry basket; replace with fresh ones.

22. Surface-clean top of oven.

23. Disinfect doorknobs and handles.
24. Rearrange kitchen cabinet shelves (or just one).

25. Take down outdated items from the refrigerator door.

26. Take off old sheets and replace with fresh ones.

27. Clear cobwebs.

28. Vacuum the carpet or spray and wipe down the hardwood floors of one room.

29. Run a clean cycle on the dishwasher or clean kitchen items you use every day, like drying racks and water pitchers.

30. Clear old or expired food from fridge and shelves.

Your pipes could be at risk of freezing this winter.

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

At What Temperature Do Pipes Freeze?

The freezing temperature of water is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The pipes inside your home, however, are protected from exterior freezing temperatures through your home's insulation. What this means is that it on days where it is 32 degrees outside, it does not necessarily mean that your pipes will freeze.

Typically, your home's pipes begin to freeze when the outside temperature is at least 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, this depends on your geographical location. For example, areas that expect lower temperatures have water pipes that are better insulated in inner parts of your home, compared to other areas.

How Long Does It Take For Pipes to Freeze and Burst?

The first thing to think about when answering this question is, what is the exact temperature outside and how long will is it predicted to stay that temperature or lower? As a general rule of thumb, in order for your home's water pipes to freeze, the outside temperature needs to be below 20 degrees, for a total of at least six consecutive hours. How long it will take for your pipes to freeze and burst also depends on your home's insulation, and how deep inside your home your water pipes are located. For example, if you live in a geographical location that usually does not suffer from cold winters, chances are that your water pipes do not have that much insulation to protect them from extreme temperatures. In such cases, the time that it may take for your pipes to freeze and burst may in fact be lower.

Commercial Fire damage in a local factory

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Office space that is damaged from fire and soot. This is a picture of a commercial fire damage loss that we helped with.

SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth helped a local factory with this fire damage. The fire was started from a battery exploding in a desk drawer. 

There is no convenient time for a fire, but if you are prepared, you can deal with the aftermath better. In case of a warehouse fire, a lot needs to be done to restore the property to its preloss condition. Apart from removing charred remains of the contents that once occupied the expansive space, the structure also requires cleaning and any damaged areas fixed. Working with restorers can help reduce the cost of your claim by minimizing the number of items that need replacement. Knowing the right restorers in Bow before a fire happens is an important aspect of preparedness.

Seeing everything covered in soot and other fire residues might tempt you to throw every item out and replace them with new ones. However, the cost involved is prohibitive of such actions. You can reduce the costs through resurfacing of some items. Common ways to resurface affected items include repainting, refinishing or covering upholstered surfaces afresh. The cheapest option though is cleaning. When our SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth technicians visit your affected property, we do a thorough inspection to establish which areas can be cleaned thus reducing the costs you incur.

Give us a call anytime 24/7

(217) 428-2371

Tips to help you prepare your business for the holiday season!

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

red and black colored present with a banner that says holiday shop on it. The holiday season is upon us!

Here are 5 tips to get you ready for the holiday season:

1. Hire extra help. It may seem obvious, but September is when you hire people so you have plenty of time to assess if they are a fit for your business. Make sure you let them know that whether someone stays or goes in January is determined over the next several weeks.

2. Train everyone. Holiday help often gets less attention and that’s a mistake. Training goes much further than knowing how you should be greeting your retail customer. With more people coming through your doors, how your employees engage shoppers will make the difference between hearing I’ll take it and watching them take out their smartphones to purchase from a competitor. Here are the three most important things to train:

  • How to engage a stranger
  • How to sell your merchandise
  • How to spot shoplifting behaviors

3. Set your holiday store hours. If you’re in a strip center or shopping mall, these should be already set by your landlord; if not, demand them now. If you are a freestanding store, refer to last year’s hours but remember, the longer you are open, the more likely you’ll make more sales. Post your hours now in the back room so your employees know how to plan.

4. Set staff schedule around your busiest times.  You schedule for the traffic, then fill the need. The less shoppers have to wait, the more likely they will enjoy your shopping experience. Create the necessary shifts to create an engaging customer experience and hire to fill it; don’t hire employees then create a schedule when they can work. And don’t go lean - associates get sick, emergencies come up, etc. Bad customer service examples are littered with complaints that there was no one to wait on me

5. Make sales a daily focus. The best retail crews make sales a daily focus with a huddle before shifts start. Role-playing how-to add-on, the benefits of the most expensive items you carry, how to open a Window of Contact can all be done in a five-minute start of every day huddle. Make huddling a habit now and it will pay off big time in December. Remember, you don’t hire people for tasks, you hire them to sell your merchandise.

How to stop flooding after the snow melts.

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

Snow melting on grass. Be prepared for snow melt this season!

How to stop your property from flooding when the snow melts
 

Here in Decatur, we’re all familiar with cold, snow-heavy winters. Over time the buildup of snow can cover our yards and create massive drifts leaning up against the exterior walls of our homes.

While this may help to insulate us from subzero temperatures it can also cause serious flooding as all that snow melts in the early stages of spring. With a little foresight and prevention, you can avoid flooding in your home.

Flooding Damage

Before we get into prevention it’s important to know what the negatives are if flooding does occur:

  • water damage to furniture and floors
  • warped wood and floorboards
  • clogged drains
  • mold buildup
  • electrical issues
  • insurance claims and premium increases
  • etc.

The losses you can experience could even go beyond simple costs. Most families store photo albums, heirlooms, and priceless memories in their basements. Flood waters will find those keepsakes and destroy them if you’re not careful.

The time and money needed to clean up after a flood far outweighs the effort needed to stop the problem before it starts.

Tips to Prevent Flooding!

Use these tips to keep help prevent flooding in your Decatur home. 

  1. Shovel snow away from your foundation paying special attention to ground level windows and doors
  2. Clear drainage areas around your home of snow so water, if it does get in, can get back out
  3. Check for leaks in the walls, windows, and foundation of your home. Repair any cracks you find to keep the water out
  4. In warmer months inspect the grade around your house. Make adjustments when necessary to ensure that the ground slopes away from the foundation of your home
  5. Keep shoveled snow from your driveway and yard on your own property. Street drains need to stay open to do their job properly. The same principle applies to community catch basins
  6. Check the garden beds around your home and make sure they don’t create dams that retain water, forcing it towards your home. Extra garden soil may be required to fix this problem

Prepare a winter supply kit this season

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

Navy blue and red jumper cables on a light blue background. Get a head start on being prepared for this upcoming winter.

Create an emergency car kit.

It is best to avoid traveling in winter storms, but if travel is necessary be prepared with the items on this checklist:

  • Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries
  • Items to stay warm such as extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets
  • Windshield scraper
  • Shovel
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Water and snack food
  • First aid kit with any necessary medications and a pocket knife
  • Tow chains or rope
  • Tire chains
  • Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
  • Cat litter or sand to help tires get traction, or road salt to melt ice
  • Booster cables with fully charged battery or jumper cables
  • Hazard or other reflectors
  • Bright colored flag or help signs, emergency distress flag, and/or emergency flares
  • Road maps
  • Waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water