Recent Posts

Cozy up to fireplace safety in Elgin

3/20/2021 (Permalink)

Fireplace Nice and cozy. keep it that way!!

Fireplaces can add the ambiance of warmth and tranquility to your Elgin home on a chilly Sunday morning. It is important to remember if you don’t take care of your fireplace, your warmth and tranquility, it can quickly turn into a nightmare. And it can all start with the cleanliness of your chimney.

One of the best ways to prevent a disaster is to keep your fireplace clean. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 30% of heating fires are a result of unclean chimneys and equipment. This is due to a substance called creosote. Creosote is a byproduct of wood combustion that consists mainly of tar. Traces of this substance are found in the smoke that rises from open flames. When smoke is rising to the top of your chimney, it will mix with cold air and water to solidify and stick to the chimney liner. Creosote is not something that fixes itself either. It grows in a self-perpetuating cycle since it accumulates when there is lack of ventilation. This is a huge hazard because creosote is extremely flammable and can cause a destructive, deadly house fire.

            Creosote forms naturally, so there is no way to completely avoid it while using your fireplace. Small amounts of presence of creosote is not the issues, it’s the buildup of this substance that is problematic. There are three stages of creosote buildup and here is how you can appropriately respond to each stage to get the best cleaning. When you decide it’s time to clean your chimney, ensure you use a trained professional.

  1. Stage One- A small amount of creosote is present and has a thin, flaky texture. At this stage, the coating can easily be brushed away by a technician using a specialized brush.
  2. Stage Two- A medium size amount of creosote is present which consents of more tar and soot. At this stage, it is a little tougher to remove the substance. To remove it, it would be most beneficial to use a rotary loop tool attached to a drill.
  3. Stage Three- A large amount of creosote is present which is very concentrated. It can feel either sticky and oily or hard and shiny depending if the coating is fresh. At this stage, it may actually be more cost-effective to simply replace the chimney liner than try to clean it.

Although there is no way to completely avoid creosote, you can take simple actions to slow the process of its buildup. Consider the following tips:

  • Only use dry, seasoned wood in your chimney. This is wood that has been left to dry for at least 6 months
  • Never burn artificial logs because they produce more combustion byproduct than regular wood
  • Make sure your fire has an adequate amount of air
  • Schedule an annual chimney cleaning and inspection

Unfortunately, sometimes disaster still happen despite taking the steps to prevent an accident. If your Elgin Home has experienced a fire due to creosote buildup, don’t feel you’re in this alone. We are the certified fire restoration experts and know how to bring your home back to preloss conditions. You can count on us to immediately assess the damages and begin the remediation and restoration process. For services or any questions, call our office (847) 697 8500.

Learn more about Elgin

Stop spreading the germs in Elgin

3/20/2021 (Permalink)

Sneezing Ahhhh Chooooo!!!!

Flu season is in full swing here in Kane County and the spread of germs is on everyone’s mind. During this time, it is important to do our part to help stop the spread of germs. One of the first steps you can take is to keep up with the latest information and news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They have emphasized the importance of keeping your surroundings clean and safe which include environments like the workplace, schools, commercial establishments, and homes. Each environment has proactive actions you can take to prevent the spread of germs

Workplace & school safety

  • Practice good hygiene. In the workplace, avoid handshakes or use other methods of greeting. You should be keeping your space clean by disinfecting surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, desks, and hand railings.
  • Where a mask whenever you are in close contact with others.
  • Practice good social distancing, stay 6 feet away from others not in your social circle
  • Be careful with meetings and travel. If you have the opportunity, use videoconferencing instead of face-to-face meetings. If this is not possible, try to hold your meeting in an open, well-ventilated space. In addition, assess the risk of business travel. Make sure you know how to best prepare for a safe experience at the airport.
  • Handle food carefully. This means to limit food sharing and always wash your hands before consuming food. If your workplace has a cafeteria, ensure staff practice strict hygiene
  • Stay at home if you are feeling sick

Home Safety

  • All Elgin households should encourage everyone to wash their hands upon entering the home and avoid touching their face
  • Disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, and handrails
  • It is suggested for households with sick family members to give them their own room if possible

Commercial Establishments

  • Practice good hygiene. To avoid spreading germs in Elgin, it is recommended to use other methods of greeting people rather than a handshake. At business or commercial establishments, promote tap and pay to limit handling of cash
  • Avoid crowds. Being in the presence of crowds increases your chances of catching something. To avoid crowds, use online transactions where possible. If you are someone managing these establishment, consider limiting attendance at larger gatherings
  • Be cautious when using public transportation. Taxis, buses, and ride shares are all very common uses of transportation and sometimes it’s hard to avoid using them when it’s your main source of getting from point A to B. Always keep hand sanitizer handy with you to use after you’ve arrived at your destination. It is also recommended to keep windows down if possible to increase ventilation

SERVPRO of Elgin is “Here to Help” to stop the spread of germs in these environments by providing our proactive cleaning services. As the #1 choice for cleanup and restoration, we have the CDC and EPA approved resources to help you immediately. Call us today to see how we can help clean your home or business: (847) 697-8500.

Ice Dams and Water Damage Restoration in your Elgin Home

3/20/2021 (Permalink)

Icicles Ice damming is not pretty!

In the movies, snow covered roofs and icicles paint the perfect picture for a winter scenery. It may look pretty, but unfortunately, the idealistic icicle look can be a sign of ice damming. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, and insulation.

Ice damming is caused by the snow being exposed to inconsistent surface temperatures on your Elgin home’s roof. The primary source of heat is from the inside of your home. Did you know heat from the house travels to the roof surface in three different ways?

  • Conduction is heat energy traveling through a solid
  • Convection is the heat transfer that rises from the heated area.
  • Radiation is also a heat transfer by electromagnetic waves

If you spot an ice dam on your Elgin home, one common way to remove it is by using calcium chloride ice melt. Follow these simple steps to remove the dams and prevent further damage:

  1. Using a roof rake, remove snow 3-4 feet from the edge of your roof and being careful not to damage the roof covering
  2. Use a nylon stocking to fill with the calcium chloride ice melt
  3. Safely place and position the calcium chloride-filled nylon stocking vertically across the ice dam so that it can melt a channel through the ice

 Sometimes accidents still happen, and you have experienced a water loss from your Elgin home’s ice dam. While many believe a water damage from an ice dam can easily get resolved in your Elgin home, often conventional drying methods are not enough.

From the moment your accident occurs, your property, materials, and contents are exposed to water and begin to absorb the moisture. The best solution for your home’s water loss is to hire professional restoration specialists like our team. It is easy for your situation to get out of hand and endure further damage. This is why one of the advantages to SERVPRO of Elgin is that we are a 24-hour emergency service. Our team is ready to service your water damage needs at any time. To learn more about our franchise or schedule a service, call our office (847) 697 8500.

Learn more about Elgin.

We Are the Certified Experts in The Dekalb Area

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Dekalb has been an IICRC certified firm for the past several years. And for nearly five decades, The Institution of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification stands at the forefront teaching trailblazing knowledge required to tackle complex jobs and return normalcy from chaotic environments. They provide the most comprehensive and advanced technical information in the industry. They allow companies like SERVPRO of Dekalb to advance their education and stay ahead of the competition with several IICRC certification options:

  • Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD) is a course designed to teach the effective, efficient, and timely drying of water-damaged structures and contents. It uses comprehensive classroom and hands-on training, in order to facilitate appropriate decision making within a restorative drying environment.
  • Carpet Cleaning Technician (CCT) is a course to teach the art and science of carpet cleaning to professional service providers, as well as others in the related industry. Emphasis is placed on the following: practical application, identifying fiber, carpet constructions, style types and finishes, soiling conditions, cleaning science and methodology. This course also covers pre-inspection, basic cleaning chemicals and equipment, and proper cleaning technique.
  • Commercial Drying Specialist (CDS) is a course to teach damage inspection and evaluation, workflow management, and process administration. The course also teaches the technical methods of effective and timely drying.
  • Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT) is a course with a concentration on technical procedure for successfully completing the restoration of a fire and smoke damaged environment. Students will learn how to combine technical procedures with practical approach to managing the job site. These concepts will then teach the students how pricing of the job is created.
  • Trauma and Crime Scene Technician (TCST) is a course designed to review the process for inspecting and investigating crime and trauma scenes. This may involve blood and other potentially infectious material. The course will focus on the procedures to follow as well as the precautions that must be taken in such an environment.
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) is designed to teach restoration personnel that perform remediation work to give them a better concept of water damage, effects, and techniques for drying of structures. This course gives the background to understand the procedures necessary to deal with water losses, sewer backflows, and contamination such as mold.

If your Dekalb home or business is faced with a disaster such as a flood or fire, we are the certified experts who have been properly trained to know exactly what to do. Let SERVPRO of Dekalb apply quality solutions to any type of damage you experienced. We are the 24-hour emergency service and can quickly respond whenever the service is needed. To contact our office for service or any questions call (847) 578-3900.

Learn more about Dekalb

Ice Dams and Water Damage Restoration of Your Elgin Home.

3/16/2021 (Permalink)

In the movies, snow covered roofs and icicles paint the perfect picture for a winter scenery. It may look pretty, but unfortunately, the idealistic icicle look can be a sign of ice damming. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, and insulation.

Ice damming is caused by the snow being exposed to inconsistent surface temperatures on your Elgin home’s roof. The primary source of heat is from the inside of your home. Did you know heat from the house travels to the roof surface in three different ways?

  • Conduction is heat energy traveling through a solid
  • Convection is the heat transfer that rises from the heated area.
  • Radiation is also a heat transfer by electromagnetic waves

If you spot an ice dam on your Elgin home, one common way to remove it is by using calcium chloride ice melt. Follow these simple steps to remove the dams and prevent further damage:

  1. Using a roof rake, remove snow 3-4 feet from the edge of your roof and being careful not to damage the roof covering
  2. Use a nylon stocking to fill with the calcium chloride ice melt
  3. Safely place and position the calcium chloride-filled nylon stocking vertically across the ice dam so that it can melt a channel through the ice

 Sometimes accidents still happen, and you have experienced a water loss from your Elgin home’s ice dam. While many believe a water damage from an ice dam can easily get resolved in your Elgin home, often conventional drying methods are not enough.

From the moment your accident occurs, your property, materials, and contents are exposed to water and begin to absorb the moisture. The best solution for your home’s water loss is to hire professional restoration specialists like our team. It is easy for your situation to get out of hand and endure further damage. This is why one of the advantages to SERVPRO of Elgin is that we are a 24-hour emergency service. Our team is ready to service your water damage needs at any time. To learn more about our franchise or schedule a service, call our office (847) 697 8500

Learn more about Elgin.

Stop the Spread of Germs in Dekalb County

3/16/2021 (Permalink)

Flu season is in full swing here in Dekalb County and the spread of germs is on everyone’s mind. During this time, it is important to do our part to help stop the spread of germs. One of the first steps you can take is to keep up with the latest information and news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They have emphasized the importance of keeping your surroundings clean and safe which include environments like the workplace, schools, commercial establishments, and homes. Each environment has proactive actions you can take to prevent the spread of germs

Workplace & school safety

  • Practice good hygiene. In the workplace, avoid handshakes or use other methods of greeting. You should be keeping your space clean by disinfecting surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, desks, and hand railings.
  • Be careful with meetings and travel. If you have the opportunity, use videoconferencing instead of face-to-face meetings. If this is not possible, try to hold your meeting in an open, well-ventilated space. In addition, assess the risk of business travel. Make sure you know how to best prepare for a safe experience at the airport.
  • Handle food carefully. This means to limit food sharing and always wash your hands before consuming food. If your workplace has a cafeteria, ensure staff practice strict hygiene
  • Stay at home if you are feeling sick

Home Safety

  • All Dekalb households should encourage everyone to wash their hands upon entering the home and avoid touching their face
  • Disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, and handrails
  • It is suggested for households with sick family members to give them their own room if possible

Commercial Establishments

  • Practice good hygiene. To avoid spreading germs in Dekalb, it is recommended to use other methods of greeting people rather than a handshake. At business or commercial establishments, promote tap and pay to limit handling of cash
  • Avoid crowds. Being in the presence of crowds increases your chances of catching something. To avoid crowds, use online transactions where possible. If you are someone managing these establishment, consider limiting attendance at larger gatherings
  • Be cautious when using public transportation. Taxis, buses, and ride shares are all very common uses of transportation and sometimes it’s hard to avoid using them when it’s your main source of getting from point A to B. Always keep hand sanitizer handy with you to use after you’ve arrived at your destination. It is also recommended to keep windows down if possible to increase ventilation

SERVPRO of Dekalb is “Here to Help” to stop the spread of germs in these environments by providing our proactive cleaning services. As the #1 choice for cleanup and restoration, we have the CDC and EPA approved resources to help you immediately. Call us today to see how we can help clean your home or business: (847) 758-3900.

Cozy Up to Fireplace Safety in Elgin

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Fireplaces can add the ambiance of warmth and tranquility to your Elgin home on a chilly Sunday morning. It is important to remember if you don’t take care of your fireplace, your warmth and tranquility, it can quickly turn into a nightmare. And it can all start with the cleanliness of your chimney.

One of the best ways to prevent a disaster is to keep your fireplace clean. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 30% of heating fires are a result of unclean chimneys and equipment. This is due to a substance called creosote. Creosote is a byproduct of wood combustion that consists mainly of tar. Traces of this substance are found in the smoke that rises from open flames. When smoke is rising to the top of your chimney, it will mix with cold air and water to solidify and stick to the chimney liner. Creosote is not something that fixes itself either. It grows in a self-perpetuating cycle since it accumulates when there is lack of ventilation. This is a huge hazard because creosote is extremely flammable and can cause a destructive, deadly house fire.

            Creosote forms naturally, so there is no way to completely avoid it while using your fireplace. Small amounts of presence of creosote is not the issues, it’s the buildup of this substance that is problematic. There are three stages of creosote buildup and here is how you can appropriately respond to each stage to get the best cleaning. When you decide it’s time to clean your chimney, ensure you use a trained professional.

  1. State One- A small amount of creosote is present and has a thin, flaky texture. At this stage, the coating can easily be brushed away by a technician using a specialized brush.
  2. Stage Two- A medium size amount of creosote is present which consents of more tar and soot. At this stage, it is a little tougher to remove the substance. To remove it, it would be most beneficial to use a rotary loop tool attached to a drill.
  3. Stage Three- A large amount of creosote is present which is very concentrated. It can feel either sticky and oily or hard and shiny depending if the coating is fresh. At this stage, it may actually be more cost-effective to simply replace the chimney liner than try to clean it.

Although there is no way to completely avoid creosote, you can take simple actions to slow the process of its buildup. Consider the following tips:

  • Only use dry, seasoned wood in your chimney. This is wood that has been left to dry for at least 6 months
  • Never burn artificial logs because they produce more combustion byproduct than regular wood
  • Make sure your fire has an adequate amount of air
  • Schedule an annual chimney cleaning and inspection

Unfortunately, sometimes disaster still happen despite taking the steps to prevent an accident. If your Elgin Home has experienced a fire due to creosote buildup, don’t feel you’re in this alone. We are the certified fire restoration experts and know how to bring your home back to preloss conditions. You can count on us to immediately assess the damages and begin the remediation and restoration process. For services or any questions, call our office (847) 697 8500.

Learn more about Elgin

A Silent Cold Weather Killer in Elgin: Carbon Monoxide

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Often called the invisible killer, Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, or propane do not burn completely. Every year, more than 400 people in the United States die from accidental non-fire related Carbon Monoxide poisoning. To know these risks are especially important during Elgin’s winter months when your commercial building is using heating equipment more frequently. Common sources of CO around your commercial building include gas space heaters, generators, water heaters, and furnaces.

            Did you know any heat producing item can produce Carbon Monoxide? Therefore, installing a detector can be a lifesaving decision for your Elgin commercial building. it is recommended to place it near any high-risk equipment. This location is most ideal because it will serve as an early warning if any CO is leaking into your commercial building. The more accurate a Carbon Monoxide alarm, the greater your chances of appropriately responding to the problem.

            The science behind why Carbon Monoxide is so dangerous is explained by American Council on Science and Health. “Carbon Monoxide loves to bind to iron. This also means that it loves to bind to hemoglobin, the iron-based protein that is responsible for distributing oxygen throughout the body. The affinity of CO to hemoglobin is so strong that the gas binds 240x more tightly to than does oxygen”. This means Carbon Monoxide does not just compete with oxygen for free hemoglobin, it displaces oxygen which inhibits your body’s ability to distribute oxygen.

            Even if your commercial building has a Carbon Monoxide detector, be aware of Carbon Monoxide Symptoms:

  • Chest Pain
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Vomiting

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is very serious and can happen in your Elgin business. Fortunately, this is very preventable for you and your employees. In addition to installing detectors throughout your commercial building, consider the following tips for avoiding a dangerous situation:

  • If your company stores vehicles in a warehouse, do not run vehicles inside the building. If you need to warmup the vehicle, pull it out of the warehouse or garage first
  • Always have proper ventilation throughout the building
  • Schedule regular maintenance for your fuel-burning equipment. Make sure it is kept clean and working properly

Learn more about Elgin

SERVPRO of Elgin Saves Children's Reading Center

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Subzero temperatures can cause a serious risk to both homeowners and business owners in Elgin. Risks can range anywhere to slippery sidewalks, ice damming, and broken heating systems. One of the most common problem people face during the winter is a frozen pipe. Frozen pipes are a big issue because they can lead to a pipe burst.  Unfortunately, in January 2019, Gail Borden Public Library experienced what everyone fears during the winter: A pipe burst.

Due to extreme cold, the library was closed to the public for two days, but staff were still checking the building around the clock. Everything seemed quiet during the temporary shut down until a Security Guard was on duty. When the guard was doing a walk-through of the building at 8pm, he was alarmed when he heard the sound of running water inside an outside wall facing the Fox River. He followed the noise and was the confronted by the sight of water literally “shooting out of the wall.”

At midnight, a call to SERVPRO® of Elgin was made and by 1:30am, the owner, George Jackowiec, and the team were on site. They worked relentlessly throughout the night to set up equipment and start extraction.  At 5:30am, drying the damaged area began and it was completed in a week. After the area was job, SERVPRO of Elgin cleaned the carpets and furniture to truly make the staff feel “Like it never even happened.”

Like Gail Borden Public Library, your pipes are at higher risk for bursts during the winter. This is because when water freezes, it expands. You can avoid a pipe burst by preventing your pipes from freezing in your Elgin business. Follow these tips to keep your commercial pipes in working order this winter:

  • Insulate exterior piping
  • Inspect your property on a regular basis
  • Keep thermostat to the same temperature
  • Know the locations of your shut-off valves in case a pipe was to break. SERVPRO of Elgin can help you plan for a disaster with an Emergency Ready Profile.

SERVPRO of Elgin is a 24-hour emergency service franchise who will always provide you peace of mind and address your water damage needs with quality solutions. Whether it’s 1pm or 1am, you can always count on SERVPRO of Elgin to take care of the job.

Learn more about Elgin.

Thank You to Our Elgin Heroes

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

The Super Bowl has us reminiscing on our third annual SERVPRO® First Responder Bowl. It was an amazing experience to watch our nominated On behalf of SERVPRO, we’re honored to present to the family of Dylan Cunningham the SERVPRO National First Responder Award. Dylan’s selflessness and dedication to serving his community made him a true hero.

In addition, 9 other outstanding First Responders were recognized at select bowl games across the county on behalf of SERVPRO®. This year’s game was held at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Louisiana and UTSA went head to head for this year’s very exciting game. The intense matchup resulted in a win for Louisiana. The final score was 31-24.

Learn more about Elgin