Recent Posts

1. Celebrating the First Responders of Elgin/Northwest Kane County

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Elgin is surrounded by many First Responders who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty to protect our loved ones. Now is our chance to say thank you to the brave men and women in the community. We are honoring their service and sacrifice of America’s First Responders by giving them the chance to win a trip to the SERVPRO® First Responder Bowl.

This is an all-expense paid trip which includes two game tickets, flight tickets, lodging, and transportation. This year the SERVPRO® First Responder Bowl is on Monday, December 30th. For the first time ever, the game will be played at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m. CT and the matchup will air on ESPN.

First Responders to be honored include: police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, border patrol agents, and emergency trained military personnel. We are looking for First Responders who have:

  • Saved a life in their career
  • Retired after serving many years
  • Injured and back at work
  • Trained First Responders
  • Fallen in the line of duty
  • Accomplished something remarkable

SERVPRO® of Elgin wants to give a special thanks to everyone in our Elgin/Northwest Kane County for everything they do. This includes our Police Departments: Elgin, South Elgin, Kane County Sherriff’s, Pingree Grove, and Hampshire. This also includes our Fire Departments: Elgin, Bartlett, Hoffman Estates, Hampshire, and Pingree Grove.

We are proud to be a part of this event and recognize all the incredible First Responders in the Elgin/Northwest Kane County. We are grateful for the courageous individuals who put their lives on the frontlines every day in our community.

Close Before You Doze: Life Saving Habit For Your Elgin Home

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

Close Before You Doze is a public fire safety campaign promoted by The UL Firefighter Safety Research. It has been proven during a fire, a closed door can make the difference between 100 degrees and 1,000 degrees. This significant difference has promoted the habit of sleeping with doors closed. It can help add critical time to your escape if a fire were to happen.

This is especially important with the “evolving fire environment”, caused by the increase use of synthetics in modern homes. Forty years ago, the average time needed to escape a burning home was seventeen minutes. Today, the evolving fire environment has caused it to drop to only three minutes. The change in construction materials, furnishings and open layouts, has caused drastic reduction time. These factors allow the fire to spread and become more toxic much quicker.

It is common for people to want to leave the door open whether they have kids or do not think a door can make a significant difference. In fact, only 29% of people always sleep with their door closed. Therefore, it is very important for families to understand the lifesaving difference a closed door will make. A fire needs heat, fuel, and oxygen to grow. So, when a door is closed, it limits the fire’s resources to spread. Furthermore, when a door is closed, not as much carbon monoxide will enter the room. This will keep the oxygen at a breathable level for additional time. The reduction of toxic smoke, improved oxygen levels, and decreased room temperatures will give you more time to escape the fire just by simply closing your door.

Closing the door when you go to sleep is one thing, but if there is an actual fire, it is critical to know the next steps of determining if the door is safe to open. First, you should look for smoke coming through the cracks in the door. If there is smoke, do not open the door. Next, gently touch the door to see if it is hot. If it is hot, do not open the door. Checking the door should be part of your escape plan. Make sure your family has established and rehearsed a plan to exit a burning fire. 

Make an Escape Plan For Your Elgin Home

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

In the past 40 years, escaping from a fire has dropped from 17 minutes to less than 3 minutes due to the evolution of materials in modern homes. This makes it vital to create and practice an emergency escape plan. Home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation, but only 26% of Americans have developed an escape plan for a fire.

When developing your plan, here are a few suggestions:

  • Draw a map of each level in your home. Locate all the doors, windows, and identify two ways to exit each room.
  • Consider a collapsible escape ladder for your second and third floors. You should only buy them from a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Choose an outside meeting place. It should be in front of your home, but also a safe distance away from the fire.
    • Some examples include: Neighbor’s house, light post, mailbox, or stop sign.
  • If your doors or windows have security bars, make sure the bars have emergency release devices inside so they can be opened immediately.
    • Emergency release devices do not compromise your security
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.

Pets are a part of your family too. Half of a million pets are affected by home fires each year. Here are a few tips to creating an escape plan for your animal(s):

  • Pets will be afraid. Put your dog on a leash and keep your cat in a carrier. This will secure them with you and prevent them from fleeing.
  • Identify your pet’s favorite hiding place ahead of time, as this is where they will most likely be hiding if a fire starts.
  • Post “pet rescue stickers” to a front window, in an easy-to-spot location. The decal includes number of pets in your home, so rescuers know who to look for when entering.

When you are not home, contain them near an exit. It will provide a better chance of firefighters finding your animal.

Don’t Fall for These Autumn Fire Risks

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

The leaves are falling, the temperature is dropping, and the holiday season is fast approaching. With Thanksgiving around the corner and Christmas right behind it, there is no shortage of holiday spirit around this time of year. Everyone loves displaying their cornucopia, dried cornstalks and scented candles. These are all classic hallmarks of the fall holidays, but they can also be very dangerous. Decorations are the cause of 800 reported fires each year. Here are a few tips to keep your decorations from going up in flames:

  • Use battery powered lights instead of candles
  • Do not leave candles unattended or lit while you sleep
  • Keep flammable décor like dried flowers, cornstalk, and crepe paper away from open flames
  • Verify that all holiday lights and extension cords have been tested by an organization such as Factory Mutual or Underwriters Laboratory

Fall is also filled with many activities. From apple picking to corn mazes, fall has some of the most fun activities, but some of them can also pose a fire risk. For examples, bonfires are perfect for roasting marshmallows or gathering around on a chilly night, but there needs to be cautionary steps when handling them:

  • Set your bonfire up at least 25 feet away from structures
  • Never use gasoline, kerosene, or any other flammable liquid to start a fire
    • Use a match or lighter to ignite tinder
  • Keep the fire small and controlled. Never leave it unattended
  • Keep a hose, bucket of water, or sand nearby to extinguish the fire once you’re finished
  • Read more about Elgin’s rules on open fires here

Beat the Freeze This Winter in Elgin

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

When temperatures plummet, the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting skyrockets. This happens because water has a unique property where it expands as it freezes. The expansion puts tremendous amount of pressure on whatever is containing it. During the frigid winter months, pipe bursts are the most common cause of property damage. The pipes most at risk are those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, and garages. But even the pipes in your cabinets or exterior walls are still at risk. According to Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, homeowners can see costs surpassing $5,000 in water damage.

Once the weather starts to get colder, you should take measures to keep your pipes warm. Precautionary steps should be taken when the temperature hit around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Those steps include: closing garage doors, opening cabinets under your sink, setting consistent thermostat temperatures, frequently running faucets, and adding insulation to high risk areas.

Unfortunately, if you turn on your faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may well have a frozen pipe. You can try thawing your pipe by turning on the water. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through. You can also try to apply heat to the section of the pipe. This includes using an electric heating pad, hair dryer, or space heater. When attempting to thaw your pipes, be careful because if the pipe already burst, the water will come flowing out and flood your home.

If flood water is not handled in a timely manner, it can jeopardize your safety and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Call SERVPRO of Elgin/Northwest Kane County and let our trained professionals handle the situation to make it feel “Like it never even happened”. Whether your home has a flood, or you have general question, we are here to help: (847) 697.8500.

Who responds when the first responders need help?

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Broken sprinkler head at local fire department station house

What happens when the people that are charged with protecting our communities has a water loss? Who responds when the "first responders" must deal with a sprinkler head damage? They can't wait, they need to get their building stabilized because any minute from now, they will be called out to save yours!!

The good men and women of our fire and police departments appreciate what fast response means. They know that the sooner you can get onsite and assess the situation, the less damage will occur and the faster they can get back to normal.

Some of our finest have been in this situation and they called on the experts at SERVPRO of Elgin/Northwest Kane County. Accidents occur but knowing how to properly deal with them is critical

Roof lifted by strong winds causes water damage inside

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Interior damage due to a micro burst lifting a roof off of a building

Flooding and water damage events at any Hampshire or Elgin commercial properties can be 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 to its preloss state.

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 arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Elgin/Northwest Kane County

SERVPRO of Elgin/Northwest Kane County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water or fire 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.

Don't forget to check the attic

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Checking the attic for soot damage can provide a better overall cleaning job

An often-overlooked item in cleaning up after a home or business fire is checking the attic and the condition of the insulation. Heat rises and when things are heated, they can get pressurized. Even a small kitchen fire can produce temperatures of over 1,000 degrees. The heat and pressurization can carry soot particles into the attic and the insulation can get covered with a fine layer of soot. Because the soot may be consistently deposited throughout the attic, it might not stand out.

A quick check of the roof sheeting and joists with a dry clean sponge can show if soot is a problem in the attic space. If it is, insulation should be evaluated for removal and replacement. Once the insulation is removed, the attic space should be cleaned with dry clean sponges and consideration made to encapsulate all raw wood surfaces to lock in those particles, so they do not cause soot smells to be released in those hot summer months.

We cleaned the kitchen after the fire but it still has a smoke smell

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Be sure to thoroughly deodorize to ensure a complete fire cleanup

Smoke particles are very small. They are so small that if you were able to stack smoke particles together, you would need 30-100 to equal the thickness of a human hair; that is small. 

That means that soot can easily travel to other areas of the house and can get trapped inside the pores of other materials (cabinets, etc.) that were heated up during the fire. The problem is that those odors can be released from the pores of those items when the item is heated up again, say in the summer. 

We help to get rid of those soot particles by warming up the home again as part of the cleaning process. We will warm up the house to say 85-90 degrees and then we deodorize with either ozone or hydroxyls.

It's a small thing, but we think it provides a better overall cleaning job and makes our customers happier, even if they don't know we did it!!

Doing things right!!

Local storms can cause incredible damage!

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage can affect businesses and homes in just a few minutes

There are dozens of severe storm events across the country every year. Many of those can cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to homes, businesses and infrastructure. 

Realizing that your home or business has sustained damage due to a storm is hard to deal with. What do you do? Who do you call?

There is one bit of advice that we can give you that can save you thousands of dollars; Call SERVPRO fast!! Water damage doesn't just sit in your home and business. It spreads, everywhere. It wicks up the walls, into adjacent rooms. It even evaporates into the air and can cause "secondary damage" to areas of your building you are not even aware of. 

Even after you have sucked up the visible water off the floor and out of the carpet, water is still causing more damage every minute. 

SERVPRO of Elgin/Northwest Kane County has the training, experience and equipment to get your building stabilized fast and minimize the damage that water causes.

Call SERVPRO of Elgin/Northwest Kane County at 847.697.8500!!