Recent Posts

Chief Shabbona Fire Association

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is lucky to be a part of a number of organizations that show support for local Fire Departments. Within the past two years, our team has been extremely fortunate enough to have become an Associate Member for the Chief Shabbona Firefighters Association. This association is the group responsible for putting together everything for the Chief Shabbona Fire Academy. This academy gives local fire departments the opportunity to put probationary members, or those interested in learning about fire science, through a series of trainings and tests that will prepare them for a career in within the fire departments. Marketing Representatives attend every monthly meeting, as well as donate waters and snacks on out-of-the-classroom days. Whether it’s donuts for a morning class, or ice cream after a late-night physical training, our Marketing Representatives are always thankful to be a part of a group that allows us to grow our relationships with the local fire departments. 

Ice Safety

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

With winter quickly approaching, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa would like to provide a few tips to help keep you safer while walking around when ice is possible. 

1. Wear snow boots or slip resistant footwear when possible. 

2. Walk slowly. Take shorter steps and shuffle your feet. 

3. Keep your hands free. Whenever possible try not to carry items or have your hands in your pockets. A helpful suggestions is to utilize a backpack during winter months when ice is possible. 

4. Avoid uneven surfaces such as curbs as much as possible. 

5. Use caution when entering and exiting your vehicle. Use the vehicle to hold on to if possible to reduce the risk of slipping.

6. Test an area with one foot before attempting to walk on a surface to determine if it is icy or not. Remember black ice cannot be seen. 

7. Be attentive and use caution when entering your home or a business. Water may be on the floors which can make them slippery. 

Flood Safety

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

According to the American Red Cross- Compared to any other weather-related disaster, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year. Below are some tips on flood safety:

-Six inches of moving water can knock you right off your feet.

-Almost 20% of flood insurance claims come from low risk areas.

-If you are driving and come across a flooded road, turn around and find another route.

-$27,000 worth of flood damage in your home can come from just one inch of water.

-A car can be carried away by less than two feet of water.

-Make sure children stay out of water as it could be contaminated.

-According to Fema.gov, all 50 states have experienced floods within the last five years.

-Do not use a vacuum cleaner to remove water as you can cause damage to the device, or even electric shock.

When fire or water takes control of your life, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa will help you take it back.

What SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa can do to help with your Water Restoration Needs

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

  1. Expediency

When it comes to water damage, time is of the essence, care and response should ideally begin within the first 24 hours. This helps to avoid further harm being done to your home, and it also assists in beating the growth of mold. A quick response is essential, and it can help you to save not only your home but your belongings inside as well.

  1. Assistance

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa trained professionals will help you explain the situation to your insurance company. They’ll help guide you through the process, and they’ll provide all of the details and paperwork you need to help communicate with your insurance provider. 

  1. Damage

Sometimes damage is unavoidable and it could take several days before you get back into your home. That means water damage will have set in, and you may be facing a much more serious problem than you anticipated. Our trained professionals are SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa can put together a step-by-step plan to get you back into your home as soon as possible. However, flood waters can often contain bacteria and other hazards, it’s very important that you avoid too much contact yourself.

  1. Remediation

This is one of the most important steps. Since mold is a serious health concern, mold remediation can help avoid future issues and make your home livable again. You should never attempt to reenter your home until after you know that SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa trained professionals have eliminated the mold and your home is safe again.

  1. Total Care

Ideally, water restoration should be covered from beginning to end and SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa will do exactly that. From the first assessment and communication with your insurance company, to the day that you’re able to return to your home, you will have not only our guidance, but our assistance every step of the way. Give us a call today, at (815) 416-0075, for all of your restoration needs.

Water Travels Quickly!

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

Less than 1 hour

Within just minutes water can spread throughout your property, while saturating everything in its path.

Water will absorb into your walls, floors, your furniture. Photographs, books, and etc. start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

Drywall begins to swell and crack, metal surfaces begin to tarnish, your furniture begins to swell and crack, And then that stubborn musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

Mold and mildew may grow and spread, your doors, windows, and studs swell and warp, metal begins to rust and corrode, furniture warps and shows signs of mold, the paint on your walls and trim begins to blister, that beautiful wood flooring swells and warps, and worst of all, serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose a huge risk to occupants. Unfortunately, replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding can be extensive.

Water is invasive and spreads quickly. Our knowledgeable staff at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa will arrive quickly and starts the water extraction process immediately. Give us a call today at (815) 416-0075.

How Does Smoke Damage Your Home?

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

In just a few minutes, smoke can discolor your walls. Within a couple of hours, the finishing on your kitchen appliances will discolor. Smoke itself will cause damage to glass and tarnish metal quickly. Smoke and ash will continue to cause damage and/or corrosion to materials that are left behind.

Can I wash the walls with soap and water?

To answer your question, no, regular soap and water will do no good on walls or woodwork damaged by a fire.

In order to restore cabinets or clean fire -damaged walls, you will need professional help and products.

Our trained professionals at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa use specialized products and processes to thoroughly clean and deodorize your contents. Our technicians are there to answer your questions, ease any confusion, and provide a clear, step-by-step understanding throughout every part of the process.

You can count on our SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa to get your home feeling back to normal again, “Like it never even happened." Give us a call today at (815) 416-0075.

Excessive Rains

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

Whether the storms hit on a weekday or a weekend, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is ready to lend a hand with your water damage restoration needs.  Sump pump failures, storm drain back-ups and local flooding have become the norm during the Spring season. Over the last 3 years, Grundy & LaSalle counties have experienced their wettest May in history.  The month's normal rain total is typically 3.68”, and as of today, we’ve experienced almost 8”.  The surrounding rivers and lakes are at all time highs with regional flooding making life even more stressful. SERVPRO has access to the resources and personnel of 1,700 Franchises to handle major storms and disasters.  Our franchise network bands together in times of regional disasters to get through these difficult times quickly & efficiently.   We are storm and water damage specialists who get started promptly to get your property dry and back to pre-storm condition. Using advanced equipment and scientific drying techniques, we document the drying process to validate your home or business is ready.   Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.  We’ll walk you through this unexpected disaster to make it "Like it never even happened."   Please contact our office at (815) 416-0075, 24/7 for quick response day or night.   

Is Your Home Winter Ready?

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

INSULATE EXPOSED FAUCETS AND PIPES. Outdoor faucet protectors and foam pipe insulation or tape are super cheap and easy to apply. The pluming you want to insulate are the pipes exposed in unheated areas of your house such as in attics, crawl spaces, basements and garages. Also, throw a faucet protector on any outdoor faucets after you have disconnected the garden hose.

CLEAN WINDOWS, LIGHT FIXTURES, AND BULBS. Day light hours are limited during the winter, so make the most out of the daylight hours you do have by cleaning your windows and removing any tree branches or bushes that may be blocking them. For streak-free windows, mix ¼ cup of vinegar with ¼ teaspoon of dish detergent and 2 cups of water. Once the sun has gone down get the most out of your lamps and light fixtures by making sure they are good and clean. Your home will appear 30% brighter if you simply clean your light bulbs.

SCHEDULE A FURNACE INSPECTION AND CLEANING. OK, I’ll admit it, this is a no-brainer. Why then do so many people blow this off? Maintenance includes cleaning soot and corrosion, replacing filters and checking the whole system for leaks and damage. Neglecting furnace maintenance can take years off the life of your furnace (a new unit costs about $4,000), drive up heating costs, and fail to keep you warm and comfortable during the winter months.

While you’re at it, schedule an appointment with a chimney sweep also. Having your chimney cleaned prevents carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney fires during the winter months.

SEAL UP DRAFTS. Sneaky cracks can let cold air in and warm air out during winter. Find drafts around window sills, electrical boxes, recessed lights and wall outlets. You can use a lit incense punk to detect sneaky drafts. Cracks can be sealed easily and inexpensively with a simple tube of caulk.

SWITCH THE DIRECTION OF YOUR CEILING FANS. Slide that switch on the base of your ceiling fan to the opposite direction. You want the blades to turn counterclockwise when it’s warm and clockwise when it’s cool.

Follow these five easy tips for a brighter, warmer and more hassle-free winter!

Winter Preparation

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

1. Protect your pipes. Frozen pipes are among the most common causes of cold-weather damage. Start by wrapping basement and crawl-space pipes with insulation. During protracted cold snaps, open cabinets to allow warm air to flow around the pipes, and let water drip slowly from the faucets to prevent pressure from building up.

2. Reduce your polar ice cap. Roof ice dams caused by melting and refreezing can cause water damage to walls and ceilings. To minimize the danger, keep your attic no more than 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. Use a roof rake ($40 to $60 at Home Depot) to remove packed snow from your roof (don’t try to shovel your roof yourself). For more tips on how to protect your home, go to the Web sites of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.

3. Prepare an emergency kit (or two). Keep one in your house and one in your car, suggests Tod Pritchard, of Wisconsin Emergency Management. Include shovels and road salt (or cat litter); first-aid items; food, water and medications; a cell-phone charger that plugs into your car; a battery-powered radio and a flashlight (with extra batteries); a sleeping bag; insurance and emergency information; and some cash. You can get pre-made kits at the Red Cross Store. Also, keep your gas tank at least half-full all winter.

4. Install a home generator. Many insurers offer discounts for automatic backup generators (usually powered by natural gas or propane). A 7-kilowatt standby generator costs about $2,000 (not including installation) and can power a sump pump, a fridge, a heating system, a few lights and some electronics. Many manufacturers have online tools to help you decide how much power you need. A portable generator costs less than $800 for 7 kilowatts, but it probably won’t qualify for an insurance discount.

5. Get your insurer to pitch in. After all, the insurer saves money when you protect your home. Adding storm proof shutters may reduce your premiums by up to 35%. Snowbirds and frequent travelers, take note: You could get a break for installing a device that automatically shuts off your home’s water supply if it detects unusually high water flow—say, from a burst pipe ($499 at Home Depot).

6. Make sure you’re really covered. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover water that seeps into your home from melting snow. For that you’ll need flood coverage; get price quotes at www.floodsmart.gov. Snow melt can also overburden the storm water system; it usually costs just $50 per year to add a $10,000 to $20,000 sewage-backup rider to your home policy that pays if your sump pump stops working or your sewer line backs up. A battery-powered backup sump pump can help, too ($140 to $280 at Home Depot).

7. Stay warm safely. One of the biggest dangers from furnaces and other sources of heat is carbon monoxide poisoning caused by improper ventilation. Install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. Also, buy a sturdy screen to keep sparks in the fireplace, and dispose of ashes in a metal container.

Candle Safety

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Two out of every five home decor fires are started by candles. Here are some ways to make sure your house is candle fire safe:

Try out a flameless candle instead. Flameless candles are a great alternative that can flicker like a fire-burning candle, and they can even be scented.

Keep all fire-burning candles in a fire-proof container. Make sure that if you are using a real candle, to put it in a fire-proof container. It is also important to check that the container is Saturday and cannot be tipped over.

Always extinguish candles before leaving a room or going to bed. You should also make sure that the embers on the wick are no longer glowing as the candle could re-ignite.

For more fire safety tips and tools, please contact SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa’s Trained Professionals. We look forward to helping you and your family become better prepared!