How to Handle the Aftermath of a Sump Pump Failure in Elgin
It's that time of year where rain is usually in the forcast, so many Elgin homeowners are ensuring their sump pump is ready for the season. A sump pump is installed underneath the floor of basements which is called a “sump pit”. Once heavy rains hit your home, water starts to flow into the pit through drains or natural soil migration. Once watered is received, the pump will activate and start redirecting the water away from your home. It can be an especially important piece to your home if you invested money into refinishing the basement or have valuable items stored away. But like any piece of equipment, there is a possibility of it failing which can result in flooding, water backups, or water damage to your Elgin basement.
Your beautiful basement has flooded due to a sump pump failure, so now what?
- A flooded basement poses an electrocution hazard. Never enter a wet or flooded basement until the electricity has been shut off from the main panel.
- Locate and turn off the water source. If the source is coming from a ruptured pipe, turn off the main shutoff valve.
- Determine the type of water that has flooded your Elgin home. If it from a pipe, it’s generally safe up to 48 hours, but it is still recommended to wear gloves, boots, and other protective gear. If the water is from a sewage backup, it is classified as biohazard and requires intervention by qualified experts.
- Don’t attempt to pump it out yourself. If deep water is pumped from a flooded basement too quickly, you might cause structural failure. This is possible because there is external pressure exerted by over-saturated soil pressing against the basement walls.
- Call the experts. SERVPRO of Elgin is your water mitigation experts. Our franchise has been servicing basements with water damage since 2003. We can confidently provide you with quality solutions to bring your Elgin home back to preloss conditions.
Luckily, there are a couple of ways you can avoid sump pump failures. The first way to avoid failure is through annual maintenance. For example, clear the sump pump basin of debris which can clog the pump inlet. Be sure to also test the function of float switches. You can do this by pouring five gallons of water into the basin and observing proper activation. Lastly, you can help prevent failure is to upgrade to a battery backup feature. This ensures the sump pump continues to work after your Elgin home experiences a power outage.
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Even Small Storms Can Cause a lot of Damage
Flooded basement with wet content, flooring and workout equipment.
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 advise 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 at 847.697.8500!!
SERVPRO responds to storms like no one else!!!
Ready to roll!
What is one of the greatest things about working with SERVPRO during storms? BECAUSE WE ARE HUGE AND CAN SEND HUNDREDS OF CREWS!!!
SERVPRO of Elgin/Northwest Kane County is a part of the "Storm Response Teams." We keep a 36-foot trailer fully stocked with equipment and supplies so we can quickly respond to emergency situations. We will bring that trailer along with a couple of box trucks and vans full of our fully trained and experienced crew.
We bring enough equipment, crew and supplies that we can arrive onsite and start performing work for either dozens of homes or a large corporate facility immediately when we roll into town.
When you combine our formidable response with hundreds of other SERVPROs from around the nation, we literally "Paint the town Green."
We respond to storms like no one else. Residential, commercial and industrial all taken care of by the Men and Women or SERVPRO!!
SERVPRO of Elgin/Northwest Kane County; painting our town Green!!
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Gutters are SO IMPORTANT!!
Gutters work to keep us dry!
From intense wind, heavy snow fall, and rain showers, your Elgin home endures a lot of storms throughout the year. When these storms hit, your gutters are busy at work. Their job is to control the flow of rainwater which protects your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape. Unfortunately, they can also be at risk for causing serious additional problems if they are not maintained.
If your gutters are not maintained after enduring Elgin’s storms, you can easily be at risk for potential water damage which can cost thousands of dollars. Since the job of gutters is to carry water away from the home’s foundation, it cannot do its function without clear paths. Clogged gutters will eventually overflow onto the foundation of the home. And depending on the amount of water and condition of the foundation, water could seep into your basement or crawl space. Clogged gutters can also pose a weight strain on your roof and fascia. This could cause your roof to collapse and causing damage to the shingles of the roof and exterior of the house.
A routine cleaning of your gutters can prevent damage to your roof, exterior, foundation, and save you a lot of money in damage repairs. By setting aside a couple of hours, follow these steps to easily clean them yourself and ensure they are functioning properly:
- Protect your hands and keep them dry by wearing latex gloves
- Begin cleaning near the downspout
- Clear large debris such as leaves and twigs by hand
- Remove and clean downspout strainers
- Flush out the gutter with your garden hose. Start at the opposite end of the downspout
- Check the downspout for any lodged debris and remove any remaining debris
- Use a pressure washer to remove any mildew and dirt from the gutters
If your Elgin home has experienced water damage, be proactive by partnering with SERVPRO of Elgin to dry out the damaged area. We are the water restoration team and you can count on us to remove and repair water damage. We are a 24-hour service and can respond to the call at any time. To schedule an estimate or if you have any questions, call (847) 697-8500.
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It's spring storm season
That looks like trouble!
Everyone enjoys the spring and blooming flower in Elgin, but what people do not like is the variety of harsh weather conditions that come during this season. Your home takes a beating during storms, so it is very important for you to maintain and protect them. Luckily, there are plenty of preventative measures homeowners can take to help reduce damage if and when a severe storm hits. Consider the following tips to keep your home safe this season:
- Trim and maintain your trees. They are a risk to possibly damage your home’s exterior or break a window. When heavy rain hits Kane County, it also gives the possibility for trees to be uprooted from the ground as well.
- Secure your fence. Ensure your fences are fully secured to prevent them being lifted from the ground.
- Secure furniture. Patio furniture is a lovely touch for your backyard. Unfortunately, heavy winds can cause items like chairs and toys to be moved. This poses a possible risk to damage either your furniture or your home’s exterior. You can prevent this by anchoring furniture or moving items inside.
- Check your gutters. Gutters need to remain clear at all times. Clear gutters allow water to flow away from your home. If they are not maintained, it can cause water to overflow and create leaks. There is also a risk for your roof to collapse from the built-up pressure. Set a couple of hours aside to clean gutters and make sure they are properly working.
- Protect your shingles. Make sure your shingles are secure to endure storms in Elgin. If they ever become loose, you can repair each shingle with either roof tar or sealant spray.
- Stock a basic emergency kit. Intense storms in the Kane County area can leave you without electric, water, gas, or sewage for a few hours or even days. Stock your family’s emergency kit without enough food, water, and supplies to carry everyone through at least three days. A basic emergency kit can include: Water, food, and flashlight.
- Know your policy. It’s critical to read and understand your insurance policy. Be sure to frequently examine your property to ensure there are no physical or liability hazards.
If your home has been damaged by a storm, SERVPRO of Elgin can take of any needs you and your family have after a disaster. Don’t feel alone during this stressful time. We can take the stress out of fixing any water or fire damage from storms. We are a 24-hour service and are “Here to Help” whenever you need us. For services and any questions, call: (847)-697-8500.
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Getting ready for the storm
Caution, wet streets ahead!
SERVPRO of Elgin/NW Kane County specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained to use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A quick response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the overall restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Elgin/NW Kane County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,850 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 847-697-8500
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Cozy up to fireplace safety in your Elgin Home
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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Stop spreading the germs in your Elgin home
Keep your germs to yourself!
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
- 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
- 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 damage and water damage to your Elgin home
Ice on your roof, is bad for your roof.
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:
- Using a roof rake, remove snow 3-4 feet from the edge of your roof and being careful not to damage the roof covering
- Use a nylon stocking to fill with the calcium chloride ice melt
- 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.
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A Silent Cold Weather Killer in Elgin: Carbon Monoxide
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
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
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