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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Preventing Fall Cooking Fire

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

With fall comes cooler temperatures and cooler temperatures mean more people are cooking. Whether you are cooking up a big pot of chili for the football game, or baking a roast for family dinner, or even baking some seasonal treats with the apples you picked last weekend at the apple orchard. 

Did you know

The leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

A few tips to stay safe while cooking this fall include

  • Stay in the kitchen while food is cooking
  • When using the oven or cooking things that have longer cooking times set a timer. A timer will help you remember food is cooking
  • Keep anything that could catch fire away from the stove. This includes oven mitts, kitchen towels, food packages and wooden utensils.

If you are cooking outside over an open female or enjoying a fall bonfire use these tips to help stay safe

  • Monitor wind conditions. If it is too windy embers from the fire can blow and ignite a fire.
  • Always have a ire source close such as a bucket of water or a garden hose. 
  • Do not leave the fire unattended. 
  • Closely monitor children and pets and keep them at least 3 feet away from the fire. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is ready to assist with any fire or smoke damage due to cooking fires. We are available 24 hours a day to start the restoration process. 

Protect your belongings in your basement

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa receives hundreds of calls each year due to water damage in basements. 

Although there are several ways water can enter your basement, most of the calls we receive come from sump pump failures, hot water tank or other appliance failures, broken pipes, clogged or improperly places gutters and seepage through windows and walls.

If the basement of your home has flooded in the past there is a greater chance of it flooding again. 

Here are a few tips to help minimize the damage and protect your possessions you store in your basement. 

1. Do not store anything on the floor. Adding shelving to the basement can help keep your property safer in the even of a water damage. 

2. Store items in air tight bags or plastic bins. 

3. Keep precious items or valuables in the main level of your home instead of the basement. 

4. Inspect the basement often. Look for signs of water, mold or rodents. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa has the expertise and advanced drying technology to quickly dry out your basement in the event of a water damage emergency. If you need our assistance we are available 24 hours a day at (815)416-0075. 

Flooding Facts

9/15/2021 (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.

Get back to business quickly after a water damage

8/25/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa understands the frustrations that come with suffering a water damage in your commercial building. 

Our highly trained water technicians are available 24 hours a day to assist with your water damage emergency. 

To help get your business back up and running as quickly as possible, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa will

-Answer your call anytime day or night and call you back within one hour letting you know we are on our way.

-Utilize advanced technology and state of the art equipment, including a moisture measuring device to ensure we find all areas of your facility that have been affected by water. Starting the drying process immediately reduces the risk of secondary damage and reduces the damage costs. 

-Your assigned production manager will monitor the progress of the drying process each day and communicate the results to you. They will even be available to you by phone anytime you may have questions regarding your facility. 

There is no such thing as a small disaster and that is why SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here to help. If you need assistance or have questions regarding water damage in your commercial facility give us a call (815)416-0075.

What to know about a flash flood.

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

What is a flash flood?

Rapid flooding of low lying areas such as washes, rivers, dry lakes and depressions. It can be caused by heavy rains associated with thunderstorms, hurricanes, tropical storms, or melt from snow or ice. 

How dangerous is a flash flood?

Flash floods are the most dangerous form of flooding because the combine destructive power of floods with incredible speeds. 

Is a flash flood covered under homeowners insurance?

A flash flood is not covered under a basic homeowners policy. For coverage to apply you must have a flood policy as well. Sewage back up is also not covered under a generally homeowners policy, you must purchase a separate endorsement to cover water damage due to sewage overflow.

As a rule of thumb If water first touches the ground before it enters your home it is considered a flood. 

How can SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa help after a flash flood? 

-We offer an immediate response when you are in your time of need. 

-Our trained professionals use advanced equipment and drying techniques. 

- Progress will be closely monitored daily to ensure your property is properly and completely dried.

If you have any questions or need assistance due to a flash flood give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call. (815)416-0075

A quick response reduces down time

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa 1/4/8 policy makes sure that every emergency gets the same timely response times. 

What is SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa 1/4/8 policy and how does it work?

Within 1 hour- Within one hour of your call into our office you will receive a call from our production manager to arrange an inspection of your home or business to assess the damage. 

Within 4 Hours- Within 4 hours of your call into out office, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa trained professionals will be on site to start the mitigation process. 

Within 8 Hours- Within 8 hours of your initial cal into our office, we will have a plan formed. Our production team will be able to communicate everything that is needed to fully restore your home or business back to preloss condition. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is available 24 hours a day for any fire or water emergencies. Give us a call at (815)485-6901. 

Battery Charger Fire Prevention

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa has received a greater number of calls in the past year for fires due to charger malfunctions than any other previous year. Because of the increase in battery charger fires in our area we would like to share some safety reminders to help prevent charger fires.  

Lithium ion batteries are lightweight rechargeable batteries that come in many items you use these days. These batteries are in laptops, cell phones, tablets, cameras, e-cigarettes and even in your children’s electric scooter.

Devices with lithium ion batteries are used safely each year by millions of people, however they do pose a fire risk when they become damaged. Damage could include a short circuit, being over charged, getting wet or even being kept in extremely hot or extremely cold climates. 

A few tips to help prevent a fire include

1. Use the charging device that came with the device. 

2. If you need to purchase a replacement charger make sure it is name brand and made for your device. Counterfeit and generic chargers can fail to meet safety standards. 

3. Do not some or use the device or battery in extreme temperatures. Extreme heat and extreme cold can cause the battery to malfunction. 

4. Unplug the charger after the device is fully charged. 

5. Do not charge on beds, couches, or cover the device or charger with anything. They do heat up and can cause great risk of a fire. 

6. Do not overload your electrical outlets. 

Please keep these tips in mind when charging your lithium ion battery powered devices. If you should need SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa or have any questions regarding charger or battery fires give us a call (815)416-0075.

E-Cigarette Fire Prevention

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

E-Cigarettes use a lithium ion battery to function. Because of this there is a risk of fire if the battery is not used properly. SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa has received a few home fire calls that started due to e-cigarette chargers, and because of this we would like to provide a few tips to help prevent a home fire due to e-cigarette chargers. 

E-cigarette fires generally occur when using a fake or faulty product or poor charging practices are used. 

To help reduce the risk of an e-cigarette fire do the following. 

1. Never let the device touch metal as it can cause a shirt circuit. 

2. Do not mix batteries and chargers. Make sure to use the charger designed specifically for your brand of device. 

3. Inspect the battery for damage often. 

4. Properly dispose of the product when you are done with it. 

While charging

1. Use the charger made specifically for your device. 

2. Do not charge overnight or when you are not around to monitor the charging of the device. 

3. Always unplug after the device is fully charged. 

4. Charge on a flat surface away from anything that can easily catch fire if something should happen. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is available 24 hours a day for emergencies. If you need us we are just a call away (815)416-0075. 

Morris Battery Warehouse Fire

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

If you live in the evacuation area of Morris that was close to warehouse fire, there’s a likelihood that your home has some level of smoke damage. Smoke enters into attics through vents or gable fans. When the ash lands on insulation, it permeates the material, making it stink like smoke. 

The ash and smoke in your attic is also detrimental to the air quality in your home. Ash and Soot from fires can carry chemicals and airborne contaminants that may be harmful. The only way to remove ash or bad smells from insulation is to completely clean the attic of ash and replace the insulation. 

On the bright side, fire related insulation replacement is always covered by homeowners insurance policies. Call us if you have been affected by the recent BATTERY WAREHOUSE FIRE. We offer the best customer service and deliver thorough attic cleaning, deodorizations, insulation removal, and insulation installation.

Give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call today to see how we can help. (815)416-0075

Car Donation for Chief Shabbona Academy

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is locally owned and operated. We love to give back to our community whenever we can. 

Some of the things we have done in past years includes; attend and support community events, deliver treats for the fire fighters at each fire department within our community, and assist with securing homes and businesses after a fire. 

More recently within the last year we have started to attend and assist with more internal trainings the fire departments have which helps to ensure their fire fighters continue to receive proper training to adequately help the community when it is in need. 

Recently we had the opportunity to donate one of our SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa vehicles that we were removing from our fleet to the Chief Shabbona Firefighters Academy. The academy trains up and coming firefighters in Grundy County and gets them ready for their new career in the fire department they will be joining. They will be using the vehicle we donated to teach the cadets how to use the equipment the fire department uses when they are called out to an automobile accident and an extraction is needed. 

We are here for the community and we are here for you too. If you should experience a fire or water loss give our friendly staff a call 24 hours a day. (815)416-0075

Odor Removal

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) there are over 358,000 home structure fires each year. Before I provide a few cleaning steps below, I want to mention that if there is any kind of soot lingering in your home, you should leave the removal to a SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa. Soot, if not properly removed, can cause damage to your personal items and leave stains and odor on your floors, walls, and ceilings. 

The cleaning steps below should help remove that lingering smoke odor in your home;

  1. Air out your home:
  • Airing out and getting fresh air into your home is one of the best ways to start removing the smoke particles. Open any windows/doors, and be sure to remove screens. Then, put a few fans on high while aiming them at the room’s corners to help direct any smoke particles to the outside. 
  1. Clean fabric items:
  • Fabric holds smoke, so you should wash your clothing, curtains, pillows, sheets, comforters, area rugs, and anything else made of woven material. Be sure to follow washing instructions. Once washed, remove all woven items from the home to prevent them from reabsorbing the odor.
  1. Have the upholstery cleaned:   
  • Since fabric covered furniture can’t be put in the washer, it will still need to be cleaned to get rid of the lingering smoke smell. It is recommended to use a professional upholstery cleaning service. Again, keep pieces in storage or covered in plastic to keep them fresh until your home is clean.
  1. Getting rid of the smoke smell in your carpet:
  • Baking soda is one of the best ways to eliminate the odor. Start by sprinkling baking soda over the carpet, let it sit for several hours or even overnight, and then vacuum thoroughly. You can also steam clean your carpeting. If neither one of these techniques work, it’s time to contact a SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa for a deep cleaning. You may also need to replace the carpeting if the smell cannot be completely removed.
  1. Clean hard surfaces:
  • Start by making a cleaning solution that consists of 1 gallon of warm water, 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing soap. For wooden objects such as blinds, I suggest purchasing a cleanser formulated to clean wood. Use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe away smoke that was exposed to all hard surfaces.
  • Mop your hard floors using the cleaning solution and rinse the mop with fresh water in between mopping to flush smoke particles down the sink.
  • Remove screens from the windows and wash them in the bathtub using dish soap. Be sure to wash the frames and corners of your windows as well. 
  1. Change the air conditioning filter
  • After every surface of your home has been cleaned, you will want to put a fresh filter in your air conditioning unit. If you have an HVAC or ventilation system, you need to contact a professional.

If you have followed all of these steps and the odor is still hanging around or the smoke damage is too overwhelming, it’s time to call SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call at (815)416-0075 and ask us about our odor removal services. 

Be Prepared for Whatever Happens

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

Now is the time to prepare....Don't wait until severe storms are forecast....it may be too late!!

Preparedness Saves Lives

There is nothing we can do to stop severe thunderstorms, lightening, tornadoes or floods from developing. However, there are things that everyone can do to minimize the impacts of severe weather on our lives. 

What you can do to be prepared:

1. Stay informed 

This can be done by monitoring a weather alert radio, local radio & TV broadcasts, NWS, web pages or various applications on computers and smart phones. 

Don't just rely on one method-especially storm sirens- which are not designed to be heard indoors by everyone. 

2. Have an emergency plan

Do this for your home, business, schools and when you are traveling. Designate places to go to seek safe shelter from a tornado or severe thunderstorm. Pick two places to meet in case you are separated from your family or co-workers. 

3. Prepare yourself and your home for an emergency

Learn how to use a fire extinguisher, how to administer CPR, and how to turn off electricity, gas and water supplies in your home. 

4. Have an emergency supply kit

-Bottled water

-Non-perishable foods

-Flashlights with extra batteries

-Extra clothes and blankets

-an extra set of keys and cash

-Medication and a first aid kit

-personal hygiene items

-Pet supplies

-A weather alert radio

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is ready 24 hours a day to assist with your storm damage needs. Give us a call at (815)416-0075

Preventing Cooking Fires

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

It’s a fact that more home fires occur in the kitchen than any other place in your home.

Follow these simple rules to help keep your kitchen fire free. 

  1. Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  2. Keep an eye on your food regularly while cooking and remain in the kitchen while cooking.
  3. Use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
  4. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen and test it once a month.
  5. Loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking can catch on fire. Avoid wearing this kind of clothing and accessories while you are in the kitchen.
  6. Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen.
  7. Keep the kids out of the kitchen while you are cooking.
  8. Clean cooking surfaces after every use to prevent grease buildup.
  9. Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure stoves, ovens, etc. are turned off.

If you should suffer a fire loss in your home, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals are available to assist 24 hours a day. 

Tips to keep your homeowners premiums from rising

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

It’s important to protect yourself and your property in the if a disaster strikes.  To that end, a good homeowner’s insurance policy is crucial.  A typical policy will pay for damage to your property and possessions and will cover shelter costs if you’re temporarily displaced from your home. Keep your insurance expenses to a minimum with these 4 money saving tips:

Save on Premiums With Prevention

You can reduce your premium by taking some smart preventive measures.  First,  have a working smoke detector.  This will reduce your premium.  The same goes for home theft protection. You can reduce your premium 5% by installing something as a simple as a deadbolt, and 15-20% if you have an alarm system installed.

Don’t Wait to File Insurance Claims

If you wait too long to file a claim, you may negate your benefits, particularly if your hesitation makes the problem worse.  Check the fine print in or policy to see how much time you have to file a claim.  

Write Everything Down in the Event of a Mishap

In the event of a disaster or mishap save all your receipts, contracts, appraisals, etc., and document phone calls - write down who you talked to, the date and time of all your conversations. Don’t leave any of this to chance.   

Keep Up on Regular Maintenance & Fix Little Problems Fast

This is true of your AC, your furnace, your chimney and especially your plumbing.  Take care of small leaks fast, before they become a much bigger problem.  You may forfeit your insurance coverage if you let a molehill grow into a mountain.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa provides 24-hour residential and commercial services. As a locally owned and operated business, we’re dedicated to being faster to any size disaster, with the training, equipment, and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.

Business Preparedness Kit

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

As a business owner, proper disaster preparedness is very important. You not only need to worry about yourself during a disaster, you must also worry about any employees, customers, or anyone else who may be inside your building when a disaster occurs. 

Here are a few guidelines to help maintain a business preparedness kit to help protect yourself and your employees in an emergency situation. 

Bottled Water- Make sure to have a 3 day supply of bottled water available for each employee. 

First aid kits- Having a fully stocked first aid kit is essential. Also recommending that each employee keep a 3 day supply of prescription medications with them at work is also a good idea. 

Non Perishable Food- Keep foods that do not need to be cooked and have a long shelf live available. Also keep a manual can opener along with the foods. 

Hygiene Supplies- Keep soaps, paper towels, garbage bags, sanitized wipes, disinfectants and anything else needed to maintain sanitary conditions and avoid sickness during the disaster. 

Emergency Supplies- Hand radio, whistle, batteries, flashlight, matches in a sealed waterproof container, and anything else that could help a search and rescue team locate you during a disaster. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals are available 24/7 to assist with any emergency fire or water needs. Ask us about our Emergency Ready Profile. The Emergency Ready Profile can help prepare yourself and your business before a disaster strikes. 

Unintentional Sprinkler Activation

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

If a sprinkler system breaks or malfunctions it can cause costly water damage to your business. When a sprinkler head breaks, it can spray anywhere from 8-24 gallons of water per minute. Within a 20 minute period one sprinkler head can dump hundreds of gallons of water inside your commercial building. 

The NFPA reported in 2014 that fire departments responded to over 33,600 calls related to unintentional sprinkler activation's. 

Below are the most common reasons a sprinkler system will go off unintentionally. 

1. Overheating- A sprinkler system is designed to detect heat. It does not know what type of heat it is looking for so keep sprinkler heads away from heat sources, this includes light bulbs. 

 2. Freezing temperatures- When a pipe freezes it can cause the water inside to expand more than 10% which can cause damage to the pipe. Adding extra insulation around the pipes can help keep them from freezing. 

3. Defects, mechanical failure, corrosion- All of these things can cause a sprinkler head to malfunction. Receiving regular inspections and maintenance on your system can help detect these issues before they become costly water damage. 

4. Sabotage- Insurance fraud, a not so funny prank or vandalism. Keeping your system in hard to reach areas and areas that are in a more public view can help deter these things from happening. 

If your sprinkler head should break and cause water damage to your business give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call 24 hours a day at (815)416-0075. We can start the drying process immediately and minimize your business interruptions. 

Is Your Business Prepared for a Disaster?

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

As a business owner, proper disaster preparedness is very important. You not only need to worry about yourself during a disaster, you must also worry about any employees, customers, or anyone else who may be inside your building when a disaster occurs. 

Here are a few guidelines to help maintain a business preparedness kit to help protect yourself and your employees in an emergency situation. 

Bottled Water- Make sure to have a 3 day supply of bottled water available for each employee. 

First aid kits- Having a fully stocked first aid kit is essential. Also recommending that each employee keep a 3 day supply of prescription medications with them at work is also a good idea. 

Non Perishable Food- Keep foods that do not need to be cooked and have a long shelf live available. Also keep a manual can opener along with the foods. 

Hygiene Supplies- Keep soaps, paper towels, garbage bags, sanitized wipes, disinfectants and anything else needed to maintain sanitary conditions and avoid sickness during the disaster. 

Emergency Supplies- Hand radio, whistle, batteries, flashlight, matches in a sealed waterproof container, and anything else that could help a search and rescue team locate you during a disaster. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals are available 24/7 to assist with any emergency fire or water needs. Ask us about our Emergency Ready Profile. The ERP can help prepare yourself and your business before a disaster strikes. 

Winter Storm of 2021

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

From the subzero temperatures to the record amounts of snowfall, the weather Illinois experienced in February of 2021 is one to not be forgotten.

Our team of trained professionals at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa will surely not forget this winter. From roof leaks to broken pipes to ice dams, our team was working around the clock to assist as many homeowners as possible. During the winter storm our franchise alone fielded hundreds of calls for assistance due to damage to homes and businesses caused by the cold temperatures as well as snow and ice.

When the snow finally started to melt, the flooding of basements and low lying structures started to come in. We also experienced several power outages which caused sump pumps to not be able to function as well. 

Our team of professionals at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa are highly trained and equipped with the most up to date technology for whatever weather Illinois throws at us. Because of this we are able to assist a large amount of home and business owners when the need arises. 

February Ice Dam Issues

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

The winter storm of February 2021 caused headaches for homeowners and insurance companies alike. As the accumulated snow started to melt it caused the perfect element for ice dams to form. 

In Illinois insurance companies report the highest level of ice dam claims in years. Generally during a polar vortex the highest level of claims comes from broken water pipes, however it is believed since more people are home due to the pandemic they were able to catch those issues early before they became major problems. 

Ice dams form when warming temperatures and heat escaping from the roof cause snow to melt and pool up on the eves of the roof. During the night when temperatures drop the water refreezes causing ice build up under the roof shingles. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa assisted several homeowners during the storm that experienced water damage due to ice damming. Ice damming issues were reported all over the country during the winter storm. Our trained professionals are here 24 hours a day to assist with any water damage needs.

We can be reached anytime day or night at (815)416-0075.

Get your Business Ready for Spring

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa offers commercial office and industrial cleaning services?

When grease, grime, dirt or odor go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial services, we can help. Our highly trained professional can help with deep commercial kitchen cleanings, carpet and duct cleanings, odor removal, grout cleanings and so much more. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards while performing all cleanup and bioremediation in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CDC and local authorities. Our trained professionals use  SERVPROXIDE, which is an EPA-certified, hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses. Getting your building looking its very best will be our top priority. We will start working quickly and do it right. 

If you would like a free estimate on any of our restoration, mediation, or cleaning services give our office a call. (815)416-0075. 

Help Prevent Fires in your Commercial Building

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

A fire can cause severe damage to your business. As a business owner assessing the risk of fire, focusing on fire prevention and educating your staff are the best ways to help reduce the risk of a fire in. Your business. 

Here are a few tips to help

Have fire protection equipment

- Having a sprinkler system in place. This will provide your primary fire protection for your business. 

- Have smoke alarms on each level as well as fire extinguishers. Make sure all employees are aware of the location of the fire extinguishers. 

Have a fire plan and make sure all employees know what to do if there is a fire. Conduct a fire drill at least once per year. 

Designate a safety officer. Their duties will include composing escape routes and meeting  points as well as keeping all information up to date. 

Leave space for appliances to be able to properly cool down. Also if possible unplug any appliances at the end of each day as most fires happen after business hours. 

Check all power cords often to ensure they are in good working order and also ensure there is not too much plugged into each outlet. 

Call SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa to ask about our free Emergency Ready Profile. It will help reduce interruption time should you have a fire loss at your business. 

Ice Dams Cause Water Damage

12/31/2020 (Permalink)

Accumulating snow acts as an insulator between the outside cold and your buildings roof. Normal heat loss and solar rays warm the roof causing the snow to melt, which then runs down the roof and reaches the overhang and begins to enter the home, especially if the gutters and downspouts are blocked. This is also known as an ice dam which forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. Instead, the water flow backs up underneath the roofing materials causing water damage to your ceilings and walls. 

A few steps you can take to help prevent an ice dam are

-Make sure your gutters are clear of any debris before a snow or ice storm happens. 

- Inspect the roof often, and safely remove any snow and ice build up that is on the gutters.

-Inspect walls and ceilings, especially in areas in the home that are not frequented as often. Look for any signs of water damage.

-Another option is installing heat lines in the gutters to assist with melting the excess snow and stopping it from freezing causing ice dams. 

If you should experience an ice dam on your roof and it causes ceiling or walls to become wet, calling the experts at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa right away will help reduce the amount of water damage that occurs in your home. 

Is Your Business Winter Ready?

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for the coming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet, or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits. 

Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries. 

Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems. 

Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. 

Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.

Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe. 

 Ask your SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Professionals about completing an Emergency READY Profile for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

Board Up Services

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Your windows may need to be boarded up after an emergency for safety, to protect your property or to prevent theft and vagrancy. Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through— especially if it is your property that has been damaged. Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself. Your SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Professionals can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.”

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa today at  815-416-0075 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

Fire Bags

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa has gathered some items that we feel will assist you during the initial hours after sustaining a fire loss to your home. Not only are we committed to providing the following items at no charge, but we can also provide an outstanding service to you to help restore your home to preloss condition. Our emergency ready bag will include shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, kleenex, hand sanitizer, first aid kit, notepad, pen, latex gloves, lotion, water, snacks, and other items. Each bag also includes a small coloring book and crayons to help keep a child occupied during this difficult time. We provide these bags to any fire departments in our areas that are willing to accept them from us, as they are the first ones at the scene to help you during this difficult time. 

If SERVPRO of  is called Morris/Ottawa to assist you in remediation of your home after a fire loss, we will begin the mitigation process immediately & guide them through any questions or concerns that they may haveSo rest assured, you can guarantee that SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa will take the best care to show you that we are in fact the professionals.

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. 

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!

What Can SERVPRO Do For You??

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Professionals can help with a large array of services. When you want it does right and done fast give us a call. We can help with....

Fire, soot and smoke cleanup and restoration--knowing the type of smoke and their behaviors are vital for proper restoration. 

Water removal and dehumidification--our professionals will identify the source and type of water, which determines the proper course of action.

Crime scene, bio-hazard and vandalism cleanup--our technicians are trained to clean bio-hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA standards. 

Mold mitigation and remediation--we work to control and remediate mold contamination.

Contents claim inventory service--accurate inventory helps keep costs low and reduces job completion time. 

Air duct and carpet cleaning--cleaning services can be provided to restore air quality or remove odor or stains. 

Odor identification and deodorization--we will find he source of the odor and determine the best method to neutralize and eliminate it. 

Give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call today for your free estimate. (815)416-0075.

Septic System 101

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

Households that are not served by public sewers usually depend on septic systems to treat and dispose of wastewater. Septic systems represent a significant financial investment. If cared for properly, a well designed, installed, and maintained system will provide years of reliable, low-cost service.

A failing system can become a source of pollution and public health concern, causing property damage, ground and surface water pollution (such as well water—both yours and your neighbors), and disease outbreaks. Once your septic system fails to operate effectively, you may need to replace it, costing you thousands of dollars. Plus, if you sell your home, your septic system must be in good working order. Therefore, it makes good sense to understand and care for your septic system.

A standard septic tank system has three main parts:

  • The Septic Tank — A septic tank's purpose is to separate solids from the wastewater, store and partially decompose as much solid material as possible, while allowing the liquid (or effluent) to go to the drainfield.
  • The Drainfield — After solids settle in the septic tank, the liquid wastewater (or effluent) is discharged to the drainfield, also known as an absorption or leach field.
  • The Soil — The soil below the drainfield provides the final treatment and disposal of the septic tank effluent. After the wastewater has passed into the soil, organisms in the soil treat the effluent before it percolates downward and outward, eventually entering ground or surface water. The type of soil also impacts the effectiveness of the drainfield; for instance, clay soils may be too tight to allow much wastewater to pass through and gravelly soil may be too coarse to provide much treatment.
If you have a septic system in your home that has failed, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa has the uniformed and professional staff to clean, sanitize and deodorize your property.  Our crews can be dispatched quickly to help with carpet removal, contents disposal/removal and general cleaning of your home after such failure occurs.   SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is available at (815) 416-0075 to help with your water restoration needs 24/7. 

After a Fire Loss

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

The key factor about your home suffering a loss- whether it's fire, water, mold, etc.- is knowing who to call. The faster you contact SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa, the faster a trained professional will arrive on site which ultimately produces better results.

Some of the ways we would clean after a fire damage would be to perform cleanings of the contents, structure, and odor removal.

Any contents that were affected, will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Professionals can also compile an inventory list of items that are “to be claimed” for insurance purposes.

A comprehensive cleaning of ceilings, walls, and flooring will also need to be done after a fire damage. We have specific equipment and cleaning products for a wide variety of surfaces within your home which will help to clean and protect.

After a fire, or even a smoke damage, you can’t necessarily just mask the odor with a fragrance. Our trained professionals will seek out the source of the smell and remove them.

If you or someone you know suffers a fire loss, give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call to help put the pieces back together. (815)416-0075

Why Do Floods Occur?

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

A flood occurs when water occupies an area that is normally dry. All 50 states in the US have the possibility for floods- but how does flooding even happen? Below are some common causes:

Heavy Rainfall- Typically, heavy rains plus backed up drainage systems equals flooding that can occur outdoors as well as in homes and other structures.

Melting Snow or Ice- After the winter months, when everything starts to melt it must go somewhere. Fortunately, you typically have more time to prepare for this kind of flooding.

Rivers Overflowing- Whether due to heavy rainfall or broken dams, river overflows can cause flooding.  

Large Storms- Larger storms (like tsunamis), can cause a surge of water to flood the land.

During inclement weather, anything can happen. If there were to be damage to your home or business, do not hesitate to give our trained professionals at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call at (815)416-0075. 

Basement Flooding

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Many issues within your house can happen, and a flooded basement is definitely one of them that a lot of homeowners experience. A flooded basement or crawl space can happen at anytime to any house for a lot of different reasons. But don’t stress, here is a list of things you can do yourself to help remain calm and handle the situation.

  • Make sure you turn off power and gas to the affected areas. Remember to never enter a flooded area while electricity is still active.
  • If the flood is caused by a storm or rainfall, wait till the storm passes before you get to work on the issue. If the flood is caused by another issue, address it as soon as possible.
  • Try to determine the reason for the flood. If its due to a burst pipe, shut off water to the basement pipe.
  • If your basement has a floor drain, ensure it is not blocked or clogged.
  • Depending on the amount of water, it’s time to start removal.

Our trained professionals at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa are here for all of your restoration needs. Give us a call today at (815) 416-0075.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage. We are an independently owned and operated Franchise within the community.  We have been servicing Morris, Ottawa and its surroundings communities for 10 years. With locally trained professionals, we offer a quick response time, day or night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are committed to helping Village Municipalities, Real Estate Agents AND the local Insurance Agents, within our community.  Keeping the agents’ loss ratios down, assisting their insureds when they experience a fire/water loss, and assuring them that we can be trusted to keeping their insureds happy with the insurance company, is key to being a valued and referred vendor.   SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa has participated in local Fire/Police Department events throughout the years.  We currently hold seats in a number of Fire Department Chief Associations, and with their trust in our franchise, this helps the community see that we are a valued service.  We believe our commitment to these communities is key to our success!!   Participation in local events is our way of meeting fellow residents, sharing our scope of services and reacting quickly to their emergency needs in vital.   Our trained & professional staff is always willing to help 24/7, 365 days per year.  Whether the loss happens at 2:00am or 2:00pm, our crews are ready to help!   Contact our Morris/Ottawa office at (815) 416-0075 to set-up an appointment today!  

Safely Grill this Summer

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

As we all start gearing up for Summer, we tend to spend more time outside with neighbors, family & friends.  Grilling lunch or dinner while enjoying the warmer weather is a pastime shared by many.  But sometimes not paying attention to our surroundings while cooking, can be very dangerous.  
 Fire is unavoidable when it comes to preparing that perfect steak, bratwurst or burger on the grill, which means you’ve got some inherent risks right from the get-go. In fact, the NFPA reports that an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling each year. Here are some fire safety tips for the grill:
  • While the meat is marinating, be sure to check each potentially problematic point of the grill including the propane tank, the hose, and all connecting points.
  • Charcoal should be soaked with charcoal starter fluid only, so don’t let the pyro-happy Boy Scout in your family go anywhere near the grill with a container of lighter fluid, no matter how cool he swears it will be!
  • Make sure the grill is clean—failing to clean the grill before and after use is a contributing factor in nearly 20% of all grill structure fires.
  • Make sure the grill is set up in an open, outdoor area with nothing flammable (plants, paper products, etc.) nearby.  Position the grill away from the home or RV as to not char or melt aluminum siding, windows or decking materials.  
SERVPRO’s trained professionals are available 24/7 for your fire restoration needs.  Our staff at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa will respond to your needs by calling (815) 416-0075. Enjoy your Spring/Summer, make sure to keep an eye on the fire and remember that we are here to help!

April Showers Bring May Flowers

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

This is a common phrase heard for many years, but as a homeowner, this phrase makes me think - “Is my sump pump still working?”   No one wants to spend their Spring/Summer evenings hauling out wet contents from a flooded basement.  Making that walk down the basement stairs to check that your sump pump is still working should be top priority.   Melting snow and spring rains can lead to pooling water in your home. Addressing outside issues is a must for keeping a home dry, but there are also inside steps to take to avoid standing in ankle-deep water. 

  • Cracks in the foundation–even minor ones–make easy entry for water. Heavy-duty caulk can solve some small problems, but for bigger repairs, bring in a foundation specialist.
  • Install a sump pump to remove water in your home, and inspect it regularly to make sure it’s working properly.
  • Place outdoor clear plastic windows well covers over below-grade basement windows to let light in, but keep water out.
  • If your home has a septic tank, be sure to check and clean it regularly to avoid problems during future rains.
If your home should experience water damage from a sump pump failure, drainage issues or a foundation leak, please contact SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa at (815) 416-0075 for a no cost assessment.   Our uniformed, trained technicians can extract the water, clean and sanitize the area, haul out and sort contents and get the area dry quickly to prevent mold growth.  We’re available 24/7 to make it like it never even happened.

Faster to Any Size Disaster

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Are you a Pastor of a Church, Manager of a Hotel or Director of a Senior Care Facility?  Are you prepared to handle the clean-up of a major water/fire loss that could affect your property?   When it comes to your commercial property, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa means business. You need a company that can minimize the disruption to your clients while delivering superior results.  

Whether you need professional cleaning to make your business shine, or emergency water/fire restoration services, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

  • Small Office Condominiums
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military
Our trained professionals will work direct with the Property Manager or Maintenance Supervisor to make sure the cleaning process goes smoothly and that we address all your concerns and questions in a timely manner.   Staying open during these challenging times is key to keeping the revenue flowing in with no discontinuance of service.   We are available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running.  Call us at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa at (815) 416-0075 for immediate service!   

Preventative Fire Cleaning

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Spring Cleaning and Fire Safety

Spring Cleaning is upon us! And though deep cleaning floors and dusting shelves are important, don’t forget about fire safety. Below are some ways for you to do some preventative cleaning in your own home.

Replace batteries in your home.

Start with replacing the batteries in your Smoke Detectors, Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Flashlights.

Clean dryer vents routinely.

Other than routinely cleaning your lint filter out before and after loads, you should also be making sure that the outdoor dryer flaps are not blocked by build-up, animal nests, etc.

Check on any extension cords.

Check to make sure that extensions cords are not overloaded as they aren’t meant to be permanently used. This is also a good time to make sure that none of your cords are frayed or cracked. Replace where needed.

Propane/charcoal grills should remain outside.

Your propane/charcoal grill should be stored and used outside only. Make sure that grill is routinely cleaned. And most importantly, make sure someone is always tending the grill.

Clean up leaves and trash from around house.

Make sure to clean up dead leaves and trash from around your house. These items may be dangerous if exposed to heat.

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here to help with any preventative cleaning needs. If emergency services are needed due to a fire or any other disaster give us a call 24 hours a day. (815)416-0075

Fire Loss Process

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

The key factor about your home suffering a loss- whether it's fire, water, mold, etc.- is knowing who to call. The faster you contact SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa, the faster a trained professional will arrive on site which ultimately produces better results.

Some of the ways we would clean after a fire damage would be to perform cleanings of the contents, structure, and odor removal.

Any contents that were affected, will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Professionals can also compile an inventory list items that are “to be claimed” for insurance purposes.

A comprehensive cleaning of ceilings, walls, and flooring will also need to be done after a fire damage. We have specific equipment and cleaning products for a wide variety of surfaces within your home which will help to clean and protect.

After a fire, or even a smoke damage, you can’t necessarily just mask the odor with a fragrance. Our trained professionals will seek out the source of the smell and remove them.

If you or someone you know suffers a fire loss, give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call to help put the pieces back together. (815)416-0075

Severe Weather Preparedness

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Severe Weather can happen whether you are prepared or not. The following are averages of extreme storms Americans cope with each year:

-10,000 severe thunderstorms

-5,000 floods

-1,300 tornadoes

-2 landfalling hurricanes

These storms are the leading cause of $15 Billion worth of damage and about 650 deaths per year.

Some ways to better prepare yourself for these many severe weather situation are discussed here. You will first need to become aware of what kinds of hazardous weather can affect you and how it will impact your home, work, and family. You should check the weather regularly and make sure to have access to sever weather alerts- whether it be an app or a NOAA weather radio. Another step you should take is to organize an emergency supply kit that can include: water & food (3-day supply of each), battery operated radio, first aid kit, flashlight, important documents, matches, etc.

Please contact SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa for more preparedness tips. Let us help you become “Ready for whatever happens!”

Candle Safety

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Two out of every five home décor 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!

Tornado Warning VS Tornado Watch

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

A tornado warning is issued when a tornado funnel is sighted or indicated by weather radar. You should take shelter immediately.There is imminent danger to life and property. Move to an interior room on the lowest level of your property. 

A tornado watch is issued when weather conditions are right for a tornado. You should monitor the weather and have a plan in place. Review and discuss emergency plans and make sure to have supplies in your safe room. Be ready to react and move quickly if a warning is issued. Acting early and quickly helps to save lives.

Tornado watches are generally issued for large areas where conditions exist for a tornado to develop. Tornado warnings are issued for localized areas where a tornado has been detected. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa offers board up and roof tarping services. In the event of a tornado it is important to secure your property as quickly as possible to minimize secondary damage caused by vandalism, rain and wind. 

Illinois Tornado Facts

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

One of the most significant threats Illinoisans face is the threat from a tornado. Although tornadoes can occur at any time of the year tornado season is generally March though May in Illinois.

Here are a few Illinois tornado facts

-50% of tornadoes occur between 3pm-7pm. 

- The deadlier tornado in US history was the Tri-state tornado of 1925. This tornado killed 695 people as it tore through Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. Out of the 695 killed, 613 of those people were in Illinois. 

-The most common hour in Illinois for tornadoes to hit is 5pm. 

-The most common month for tornadoes is April.

-Centeral and Southeast Illinois are the most likely to be affected by tornadoes. 

- 64% of tornadoes that occur each year will happen between March-May. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa wishes you and your family a safe and happy Spring. If emergency services are needed due to a tornado, flood, fire or any other disaster give us a call 24 hours a day. (815)416-0075. 

Spring Flooding

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

Spring snowmelt and large amounts of rainfall can lead to flooding conditions. Below are a few tips to help avoid water damage during the spring rains. 

Advance Preparation

Prepare in advance with a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). Our convenient mobile app stores all your utility and emergency response information in one place, so you can access this information from your smartphone or computer.

Watch for Pooling Water 

Look for places around your property where water pools, and channel it away from buildings. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and they are directing water as intended.

Maintain Sump Pump 

If you have a sump pump, check to be sure it is operational before water starts rising. Consider a back-up generator to ensure your pump works when you need it most. Contact your insurance agent to add coverage in case your sump pump fails. 

Raise Storage Goods 

Use shelving and/or pallets to keep storage items off the floor to reduce the impact of small floods. In many situations, raising boxes just a few inches will be enough to keep storage goods above the water line. 

Cut Power if Necessary 

As rising water approaches the level of electrical outlets, you risk having a live current flow through all the water. Cut the power if you can safely do so without standing in water. Otherwise, evacuate and contact an electrician to cut the power before you go back in for recovery.

Keep Storm Drains Clear

If you see water pooling around a storm drain, the drain may be clogged with debris. Clearing the debris will help keep the water flowing away from your neighborhood.

Consider Flood Insurance 

Homeowners insurance will not cover floods; you must purchase a separate policy for flood protection. When all else fails, flood insurance will provide you the means to respond to a catastrophic flooding event.

Be Aware on the Road 

Be careful when driving during spring storms, especially when you hear flash flood warnings. Never drive into fully submerged roadway. The water surface will be at the same level as the pavement you can see. This view can deceive you into thinking the water is shallow because you cannot see how the road dips under the surface. 

Act Fast 

When a flood happens, you need to act fast to dry out any wet items, particularly structural materials like walls and flooring.

Call SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals to extract water and mitigate any mold growth. Our trained professionals have the training and experience to make flood damage “Like it never even happened.” 

Continuing Education

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa offers continuing education courses throughout the year to not only assist agents in receiving the hours they need to renew their insurance licence, but to provide information to better assist the needs of the insured. 

We currently offer 4 days of classes per year at our franchise. Some of the topics of this years classes include;

-Ethics, You, Me & Everyone

- Ethics. What's My Line?

-Insurance Trends: Keeping Up with Technology

-20 Questions: Improving Risk Transfer Techniques

-Navigating Difficult Claims, Mold, Sewer, Biohazards, Hail, & Other Ugly Claims

-Fire Insurance Claims/Water Insurance Claims

Currently our class registration is available at  Eventbrite.com 

We welcome any licensed Illinois insurance agents to join us for our informational classes. Currently our classes for the year are 2/27/2020, 4/23/2020, 6/25/2020 and 10/20/2020. You can also find our class offerings in our events section on our Facebook page SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa.

Generator Safety Tips

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Having a generator for power outages is a great resource, however while using a generator you should practice the following safety tips provided by the American Red Cross. 

1. Install CO alarms on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warnings of CO build up. 

2. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide from building up in your home. If you feel dizzy or sick while using a generator get fresh air immediately. 

3. Avoid electrocution. Keep the generator dry and do not use it in wet conditions. If it is wet outside it is okay to use under an open canopy like structure to keep it dry. 

4. Never use a generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially or fully inclosed area. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here for all your fire and water needs 24 hours a day. Call our office at (815)416-0075 if you have any restoration needs. 

Prepare for Severe Weather

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Each year weather related disasters lead to around 650 deaths and $15 billion in damages. Severe weather can happen anywhere and anytime. Knowing the risks of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your live and assist in saving the lives of others. 

The first step to becoming weather ready is to understand they types of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather can impact you and your family. You should form a shelter plan and it should include all types of local hazard scenarios. 

Put together an emergency kit and keep important papers and valuables  in a safe place. 

Share your story of getting prepared with friends, family and coworkers It may help them feel inspired to develop a plan as well. 

When fire or water damage pouts the things that matter most to you on the line, know SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here to help. Our trained professionals are just a phone call away. 

Be Ready for the New Year

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster or a water or fire damage to strike, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure your business is “Ready for whatever happens” in 2020.
In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comphrehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.

The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO READY mobile app, this important information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting immediate help right at your fingertips.
Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in your building faster following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes—resolve to
be READY by contacting SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa today to set up your ERP. If you have had an ERP in the past, now is the perfect time to update it. 

Celebrate Safely

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Pretty lights, candles, and decorations erp bring charm to the holiday season. However if not used carefully your holiday could go from festive to frightening. 

Did you know? The top three days for home fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Eve. 

The American Red Cross offers these  safety tips to help reduce the risk of fires in your home or business this holiday season. 

-Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from any heat sources. 

- Make sure light strings and other holiday decorations are in dog condition. 

- Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving or going to bed. 

- Never leave candles unattended. 

- Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stove or open flames. 

If you should suffer a fire loss in your home or business this holiday season SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals are available to assist you 24 hours a day. Just give us a call at (815)416-0075.

Stay Safe While Decorating this Holiday Season

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

With Christmas, New Years Eve and New Year’s Day being the top 3 days for home fires, use these safety tips to decrease the risk of home fires this holiday season. 

1. If you purchase an artificial tree, look for the fire resistant label. If you purchase a live tree make sure to keep it watered so it stays fresh. Always keep your tree away from fireplaces and heaters. 

2. Check your holiday lights to make sure no cords are broken. Also do not attach more than three stands of lights to one extension cord.

3. When decoration outside make sure the decorations and cords are safe for outdoor use. 

4. Do not forget to unplug all lights before going to bed or leaving the house. 

5. If you hang stockings from the fireplace mantel, do not light the fireplace. 

5. Keep children and pets away from lit candles. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday season. 

Holiday Safety Tips for your Business

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

During this holiday season keep your  commercial property and occupants safe. Stay festive and safe with there tips. 

1. Do NOT hang decorations from the fire sprinklers. 

2. Avoid using any decorations that have open flames. 

3. Inspect all cords and lights for frayed or loose connections. 

4. The best location for decorations is the reception area, lobbies, foyers and break rooms. 

5. Avoid overloading outlets. Do not use more than 3 stands of lights per expansion cord, and make sure extension cords are UL rated. 

6. Ensure cords are not a tripping hazard. 

7. Turn off all lights when the business is closed. 

8. Keep high traffic areas free of any decoration. 

9. Keep Christmas trees away from any heat source. 

10. Keep live Christmas trees watered frequently. 

Ask SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa about a free assessment of your building so you are ready for whatever happens. 

Give us a call today to set up your free assessment. (815)416-0075. 

Reduce Water Damage Risk While on Vacation

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

A water damage doesn’t make a good gift when returning home from vacation. SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa gets many calls each year from homeowners returning home from vacation to find water damage in their home. Below are a few tips to help reduce the risk of your home suffering a water damage while you are away on vacation. 

Lower the Thermostat 

Lowering your thermostat to reduce heating costs while you are away is acceptable. However do not turn the heat off, as this could cause water pipe breaks in your home during cold weather. 

Shut off the main water supply to your home

After the main water supply is shut off, run the taps for 5 minutes to release all the water pressure from the pipes. This will prevent a flood in your home if a pipe should break while you are away. 

Shut off certain water valves

If you have a friend or family member checking in on your home and do not want to restrict all water flow in your home, shut off certain water valves. This will help reduce the risk of pipe leaks in your home. 

A few other tips

-Do not shut the power off in the home. Unplugging certain electrical devices is acceptable, however making sure your refrigerator and sump pump keep power are important along with any security system you may have. 

- Make sure your sump pump is functioning properly before leaving. 

- Make sure outside drainage is free of debris and leaves before leaving. If heavy rains occur you want the water to drain properly away from your home. 

If you return home from vacation and find water damage call SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals right away. 

Commercial Liability

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Maintain your commercial building and minimizing your legal liabilities during the winter months by taking action to avoid hazards in your workplace environment.  You can protect yourself, your employees and your customers by taking just a few simple precautions:

Use ice melt on sidewalks and  walkways to ensuring the safety of passers buy, customers and employees.  

Clean up dirt.  A surprisingly large amount of dirt gets dragged into commercial building, especially . Dirt can cause significant damage to your flooring over time. To significantly reduce the amount of dirt and debris that gets dragged in, place utility mats inside and outside all entranced to the building.

Prevent slippery floors.  Put utility mats down to minimize slippery surfaces created by snow and rain that gets dragged in when people enter your building. Place wet floor signs out whenever floors need to dry as well.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.  Your property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. When it’s impacted by fire or water damage, you need professional help. Every hour spent restoring your business is lost revenue and productivity. When you need professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, we have the training and resources to get your property back to business quickly.

Safety Tips For Deep Frying Your Turkey

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

A deep fried turkey is delicious, however there is risk involved in the cooking process. Follow these 5 safety tips while deep frying your turkey this holiday season to minimize the risk of fire or injuries. 

  1. Deep fry outdoors, away from the house. Stay at least 10 feet away from the house. This includes staying out of the garage (even with the door open), and off of the porch. If a mishap does occur, you’ll be glad that at least you didn’t burn your house down. That leads us to #2…
  2. Have a fire extinguisher at your side. Don’t just have it in the house or garage, have it readily on hand. An oil fire can get out of hand in seconds, so you’ll need to be ready to act immediately in the event something goes awry. And by the way, never throw water on an oil fire! This will cause a violent reaction, resulting in an explosion; not advisable. Speaking of water…
  3. Use a thawed turkey. Excess moisture in a frozen can cause the oil in your frying pot to boil furiously and spill over on to the burner below. If oil from your pot spills onto the burner it will burn violently and can cause a fierce fire instantly. Also, to keep oil from spilling over…
  4. Set up on level ground. The oil in your pot must be level to prevent it from boiling over and spilling on the burner.
  5. Do not over fill your deep fryer pot. To determine how much oil is needed for frying, place the thawed turkey in the fryer basket and place it in the fryer. Add water until the top of the turkey is barely covered. Mark the water level with the turkey OUT OF THE POT. This is the level you will fill your pot to before you put your turkey in to deep fry it.

Follow these tips and enjoy your delicious deep-fried turkey! For complete instructions on how to deep fry your turkey let me suggest you go to www.butterball.com/how-tos/deep-fry-a-turkey.

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs

Board Ups and Tarping

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

Your windows may need to be boarded up or your roof may need to be tapped after an emergency for safety, to protect your property or to prevent theft and vagrancy. Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through— especially if it is your property that has been damaged. Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself. Your SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Professionals can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind. SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is available 24 hours a day to assist with any board up or tarping needs. 

If you should need any assistance with board ups or tarping cal our offices 24 hours a day (815)416-0075

Most Common Property Damages

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

The following list are the most common damages SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa gets calls for. Our trained professionals are ready to assist in restoring your home or business no matter what your emergency may be. 

  • Hail Damage
  • Roof Damage
  • Water Damage
  • Sewer Back Up
  • Freezing Pipes
  • Fallen Trees - There are many reasons a tree might fall, and whether or not it caused damage to property becomes important for the purpose of paying a claim. Different policies offer different types of coverage.
  • Ice dams forming on the roof
  • Weight of snow and ice on the roof causing damage
  • Wind damage (Which can include fallen trees and shingles or bricks flying off buildings and roofs)
  • Loss or displacement due to power failure (which may include food loss, depending on your type of policy)
  • Flooding due to melting snow, a sudden thaw, or excessive rainfall
  • Water infiltration into the home. This may or may not be covered depending on how the damage is happening. Always call to find out what you might be eligible for.

Although not all damages are covered by insurance, most are. SERVPRO of  Morris/Ottawa also offers self pay options for damages that are not covered by insurance. 

The major exception to most policies is flood damage. Flood damage is not usually covered by the home insurance company in the United States; you can find out more about national flood insuranceon the FEMA website.

Melting Snow

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

It is becoming that time of year again where snow will start to fall. Melting snow can cause water damage issues to your home or business. Below are a few tips to help avoid water damage due to melting snow. 

1. Check your property for obstructions that might prevent melting snow to properly drain. 

2. Clear snow and ice from the roof gutters so water can properly drain. 

3. Make sure downspouts and sump pumps drain away from your home. 

4. Shovel snow away from the downspouts, basement windows, wells and stairwells. 

5. Brush heavy accumulated snow and ice dams off the roof. 

6. Clear your street storm sewer of snow and debris. 

7. Check outside pipes for leaks or damage. 

If water does get in.....

Give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call right away. Our trained professionals can come out and do a free assessment 24 hours a day. 

Properly Using a Fire Extinguisher

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

A portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool when used correctly. In order to operate a fire extinguisher, the NFPA suggests remembering the word PASS.


-Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
-Aim low. Point the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire.
-Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
-Sweep the nozzle from side- to-side.


Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Encourage your family members and co-workers to do the same.
Remember, extinguishers do have their limitations! It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your home or facility. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals are trained to assist with any fire no matter the size. If you should sustain fire damage in your home or business give us a call today. (815)416-0075

Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa wishes you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving holiday. Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires in the US. Below are some safety tips to keep you and your family safe during the upcoming holiday season. 


-Never leave cooking food unattended—stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
-Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while kitchen equipment is in use. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
-Keep small children away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove and oven.
-Keep anything flammable like pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels away from the stove, oven, or other appliances in the kitchen that generates heat. —Do not wear loose clothes or shirts with dangling sleeves while cooking.
-Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build-up.
-Purchase a fire extinguisher
to keep in the kitchen year round     -Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of fire extinguishers if you are unsure.
-Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all kitchen appliances like stoves, ovens, and toasters are turned off.
-Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside of bedrooms. Use the test button to check it is working properly every month. Replace the batteries at least once a year.

Flooding Disasters

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

When people think of natural disasters flooding is not likely to be the first things that comes to mind. However flooding is the most common natural disaster. Flooding occurs in all 50 states and accounts for over 40% of all natural disasters. On average floods claim around 75 lives per year and cost over 5 billion dollars in damage. 

There are three main types of flooding

River and Lake Flooding- River and lake flooding is what most people think of when you think of flooding. Heavy rainfalls and snowmelt can cause water levels to rise overflowing banks and levies. 

Coastal Flooding and Storm Surge-This type of flooding happens regularly along coastlines due to the cycle of rising and lowering tires. Storm surges can also cause extreme coastal flooding. The surge developers during severe weather, tropical storms, and hurricanes. 

Flash Flooding- Flash flooding can result from a variety of causes, but the common denominator is that they developed quickly and are normally normally caused by heavy rainfalls. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is trained and prepared for all water emergencies. Our staff is available 24 hours a day to assist with any type of water emergency you may encounter. 

Fall Fire Safety

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa enjoys the fall weather and we hope you do too. Below are some tips on to stay fire free during the fall season. 

The fall season brings beautiful colors, cooler temperatures and many outdoor activities. Follow these simple tips to help stay fire free this fall. 

-Fall decorations like cornstalks are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heating sources, including light bulbs. 

- Keep emergency exits free of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes. 

- Teach children to stay away from open flames

- Remember safely first when choosing a Halloween costume. Chose a costume made out of material that will not easily ignite it is comes into contact with heat or flames. 

- Place pumpkins lit with candles away from anything that can burn and out of the way of doorsteps, walkways and porches. It is safer to use battery operated candles to lite pumpkins. 

Summer Storm Safety

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is available  24 hours a day for all your emergency needs. Our trained professionals can help with fire and water emergencies any time day or night. We also provide board up and tarping services to prevent any secondary damage to your home or business. If you should need assistance give our office a call at (815)416-0075

Below are some tips on staying safe during the summer storm season.

Before the Storm

  • Build an emergency supply kit and developer a communication plan.
  • Unplug any electrical equipment before the storm hits.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could fly away or cause damage.
  • Close all windows, blinds and curtains.

During the Storm

  • Use your battery operated NOAA weather radio for updates from local officials. 
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. 
  • Unplug appliances not in use and electrical items. Power surges from lightening can cause serious damage. 
  • Stay away from windows and doors. 

After the Storm

  • Never drive though flooded roadways.
  • Stay away from storm damaged areas to avoid putting yourself at risk.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.

Preventing Water Damage

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

Below are some simple tips to help prevent a water damage from occurring in your home.

Monitor your water bill- This is one of the easier ways to detect if you have a hidden leak in your home. Watch your water bill and if your water usage jumps from one month to the next check for a possible leak on your home. 

Replace your washing machine hose- Old, leaking and brittle washing machine hoses are one of the most frequent water damage claims we see at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa. Replacing your regularly can held avoid costly water damage repairs to your home. 

Investigate leaks right away and fix them promptly- Postponing or ignoring repairs that need to be made in your home can cause damage to the structure of your home as well as mold and dry rot to occur. 

Check your appliances regularly- Check and maintain your appliances according to manufacturer recommendations. 

Clean your gutters- Cleaning out your gutters at least twice per year will help the rain water flow properly to drainage systems and help reduce the risk of water coming into your home. 

We at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa hope these tips can help prevent you from suffering a water damage in your home. If you should sustain water damage give us a call today. (815)416-0075.

Be Prepared for Tsunamis

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa hopes everyone is prepared for any situation and encourages each family to make preparedness plans to stay safe in the event of an emergency. 

Tsunamis can strike anywhere on the US coast. It is good to know what to do if a tsunami strikes a place you or a loved one live or are vacationing.

Ready.gov says that a tsunami is also known as seismic sea waves. Tsunamis are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance, such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption or meteorite. Areas within a mile of the coast have a greater risk of being effected. 

If you should find yourself in an area where tsunami warnings are issued make sure to know the evacuation plan, move inland or to higher ground and avoid the beach areas. 

After a tsunami, do not return to the affected area until officials deem it safe. 

Will You Be Ready If A Disaster Strikes?

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Moth. It is recognized each year to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. Consider the following steps to better prepare for an emergency situation. 

-Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and check access for wireless emergency alerts. 

-Develop and test emergency communication plans.

-Assemble or update emergency supply kits. 

-Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.

-Collect and safeguard critical documents. A great tip is to store digital copies in your email. 

- Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources. 

-Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards in your area. 

Did you know SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa offers a free Ready App to document your critical information and add pictures of your valuables? All your information stays secure and only you have access to your information. 

If you wold like more information or assistance setting up the Free Ready App give us a call today. (815)416-0075.

National Night Out Against Crime

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa was proud to be a part of many of our towns National Night Out Against Crime events this month. We were able to attend some of them and set up a duck game for the kids to play and win a prize. Some of the other events we were able to donate items such as water, chips, and gift baskets for the Police Departments to raffle off at the event. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Marketing Representatives were honored to be able to meet many people from the communities, the officers and staff that put on theses amazing events as well as see the smiles on the children’s faces as they won prices from our table. 

The Marketing Representatives of SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa look forward to attending and contributing to more events in the future as well as attending the National Night Out Against Crime events in the upcoming years. 

The Process Of Drying bb

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

If your business suffers a water damage SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals will

-Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage.

-Measure how much water is in the materials and monitor daily to ensure the materials are drying properly.

-Speed up the drying process by using professional drying equipment. 

What exactly does it mean to speed up the drying process? A wet building can often dry naturally, however often nature often takes too long which can cause secondary damage while the building is drying itself out. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals have the tools, equipment and training to dry your building while preventing secondary damage. Our trained professionals also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific  process to help speed up the drying process in your home. 

If you should sustain water damage in your home call the professionals that can do it right!! 

Hoarding

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

According to the Mayo Clinic Hoarding Disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of item. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of value, occurs. 

Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter, from years of accumulations making living unsanitary and crowded. In some circumstances bugs, rats and vermin enter the home. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa generally sees hoarding in two ways.

The first way is there is a fire or water damage in the home. When our trained professionals arrive at the home to assess the damage from the fire or water they discover the hoarding situation. If this should happen SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals will communicate with the insurance company about coverage, and after approval contents can be packed out and cleaned, dried out, or stored so work can begin on the fire or water damage to the structure. 

The second way SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa can encounter a hoarding situation is receiving a call from a landlord, case worker, real estate agent, or a family member, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance to the family.

Each hoarding situation is different and SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here to help with every step of the way. 

Lightening Safety

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that Illinois is ranked in the top 10 states most likely to have lightening strike your home?

In 2018 alone there were 2475 insurance claims for lightening strikes, resulting in 25.5 million dollars in damages. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here to assist you in your time of need. If your home should be struck by lightening give us a call for assistance on all your restoration needs. 

Below are a few tips to keep you safe during the storms. 

Be aware- Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If it calls for thunderstorms make sure there is adequate shelter available.

Go indoors- Find a safe enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. 

Avoid windows doors porches and concrete- Do not lie on the concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightening can travel through any metal wires or bars in the concrete walls and floors. 

Avoid water- Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightening can travel through a buildings plumbing. 

Be Prepared with a Ready Profile

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know according to recent research as many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster?

Did you know that SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa can offer a no cost assessment of your facility and document only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency? Give us a call today to schedule your free assessment. (815)416-0075.

Did you know that according to recent research as many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster?

A preparedness plan can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruptions by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. 

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. 
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. 
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa as our disaster mitigation and restoration provider. 
  • Identifies the chain of command for authorizing work to being. 
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. 

Preparing for Exreme Heat

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. 

If possible, stay indoors inside the air conditioning. 

Be sure to check out your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. 

Stay hydrated and limit caffeine and alcohol use. 

If you do go outside, wear loose fitting light colored clothes and apply sunscreen often. 

Did you know? On average, heat is the number one killer of weather-related deaths in the United States. 

A few tips to help prepare your home

Install window air conditioning units snugly and insulate if necessary. 

Check air conditioning ducts for proper insulation. 

Install temporary window reflectors to reflect heat entering your home back outside. 

Weather-strip doors and windows to keep cool air inside. 

Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.

Keep storm windows up all year. 

If you should smell a musky odor leading you to believe you may have mold in your home, give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call today. (815)416-0075. 

Spring and Unpredictable Weather are in the Air

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is the time of year when things change. The flowers are frowning and the weather is getting warmer but with that comes some risks. 

Temperatures can sway back and forth between warm and fridgid, sunny days may be followed by a week of storms, and sometimes we can see all those fluctuations during the same day. 

Thunderstorms cause most of the severe weather in the spring. They bring lightening, tornadoes, and flooding. 

Because Spring weather is so unpredictable, planning ahead makes sense. Prepare your family members for the possibility of severe weather.Tell them where to seek shelter as soon as you are aware of an approaching storm. 

Often times once we are aware of an approaching storm, there is no time left to prepare. But we do know when Spring arrives thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods are real possibilities. So why not take the surprise factor out of severe weather and prepare yourself, your family and your home. 

During these storms if you should have damage to your home our trained professionals at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa are just a call away. 

Be Flood Smart

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding is one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Floodsmart.gov reports in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. 

According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the US every year than any other weather-related disasters. The American Red Cross offers the following flood safety tips.

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up to a flowing stream where water is above your ankles turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving waters can sweep you off your feet. 

-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and head to higher ground. Cars can be swept away by less than two feet of water.

-Keep your children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running or contaminated water.

If a flood should strike your home or business contact SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals. Even minor flooding can cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly. 

Corn Boils

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa prides itself in our community involvement. Our team of marketing reps work throughout the community to volunteer time, monetary donations, food, or other items to organizations and events that allow us to help. 

One of our favorite things to do is our annual corn boils at local Fire Departments. We enjoy showing a small appreciation to any Fire Department that will have us. 

We bring fresh grown local corn and boil it right there at their fire house. We also bring fresh cut watermelon and cookies to show a small thank you for all they do in our communities. Some departments even bring out the grill and cook up hamburgers and hot dogs. 

We offer these to insurance agencies and police departments as well. If you know a department who would like for us to come out and offer this appreciation to them please give us a call and let us know. (815)416-0075.

Is Your Commercial Building Ready For Spring?

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is the time to get your building clean and ready for the warmer weather. Dusting, cleaning floors which may have salt and residue from the harsh winter months, as well as washing windows. Landscape also comes to mind as the snow and ice can be particularly harsh on those areas. 

Doing a full inspection of your property is very important to reduce the risks of water or mold damage after the harsh winter. Inspection of concrete and all outer walls of the property is necessary to prevent damage to the building. Freezing and settling of the building can cause cracks in walls or concrete. Those cracks will allow moisture to enter your building and can cause water damage or mold growth. 

Also make sure to check gutters and drainage pipes to ensure water is properly being directed away from the building. Irrigation lines and exterior hose shit offs should be carefully inspected as they can easily be damaged by harsh winter weather. 

Doing these inspections can help reduce the risk of water or mold damage in your business. If you cannot find the source of water in your building SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa can help. We use thermal imaging cameras to detect moisture that is inside the wall. Give us a call today for more information. (815)416-0075

Flood Season is on its Way

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service approximately 75% of all presidential disaster declaration’s are associated with flooding. NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as

-Flash Flooding

-River Flooding

-Storm Surge

-Burn Scars/Debris Flows(Caused by wildflowers)

-Ice/Debris Jams

-Snow Melt

-Dry Wash9Caused by heavy rains in dry areas)

-Dam Breaks/Levee Failures

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program were in low risk communities. On average floods cost $3.5 million in annual losses in the US and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000.

When catastrophic water damage happens to you SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here to help get you back to normal quickly. We can also help you prepare for an emergency with an emergency ready profile. Give us a call today for more information.

Maintaining Your Fire Sprinkler System

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa had several calls during the extreme cold from businesses suffering from a water loss due to a malfunction or pipe break in their sprinkler systems. Below are a few helpful tips to help ensure your sprinkler systems continue to work correctly. 

1. Keep your system in service. Limit the amount of time your systems are shut down. Always know why they are being shut down and how long they will be out of service. 

2. Consider your Fire Safety System while making changes or upgrades to your facility.  Remember that adding extra office space or rearranging appliances can have a significant impact on your systems ability to control a fire event. 

3. Don’t Alter the System. Sometimes during remodels the system can get overlooked. Do not paint the system or any part of it. Some functions of the system will not properly work if altered. 

4. Maintain adequate heat. Make sure to maintain adequate heat for wet sprinkler systems. It is important to make sure all auxiliary drains are drained and continue to drain during freezing weather for all types of sprinkler systems. 

5. Conduct all required inspections and testing. Make sure the system is routinely tested and maintained. 

Why Is There More Mold Around Now?

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever wondered why there is more talk about mold these days? Has more mold come around these days? The answer is yes, but why is that?

Around 1945, after the war, there was a need for faster and cheaper houses to be built. During this time the use of drywall began. Drywall is comprised of compressed gypsum between two layers of durable paper. 

Gypsum readily absorbs water and dries very slowly. Since mold can start to grow on wet materials within 24-48 hours, this is the perfect place for mold to begin to grow. 

The housing boom which still continues today, has created a nationwide opportunity for mold issues. Back before 1945 there was not as much of an issue with mold because homes were comprised of plaster, brick and stone. Mold cannot  daily grow on these materials. 

Although mold is generally not covered under your homeowners policy with insurance, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa has several payment options available should you find mold in your home. Give us a call today for your free estimate. (815)416-0075

Portable Fire Extinguishers

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Equipping your business with portable fire extinguishers can help put a fire out quickly in the event of an emergency. It can also help minimize damage caused by the fire. Below are tips on how to properly use a portable fire extinguisher.  

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Production Association suggests remembering the word pass 

Pull the pin.  Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. 

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. 

 Sweep the nozzle from side to side. 

Should you have a fire in your business SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is available to assist 24 hours a day. Please give us a call at (815)416-0075.

Polar Vortex 2019

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Life-threatening weather with extreme wind chill and subzero temperatures had the weather service on high alert for record breaking, historical numbers at the end of January. Chicago had a subzero temperature for 52 straight hours. The frigid marathon beat out the last subzero streak in 2014 by 14 hours. Although no all time records were broken in Illinois the low temperature of -23 was close to clipping the record of -27° On January 20, 1985.

Along with the record breaking temperatures came devastation to many homeowners in the area. With the frigid temperatures many waterlines broke in homes, as well as sprinkler systems in many businesses in our area busting. Our professionally trained staff were on high alert and responding quickly to calls for help. After the temperatures rose again and all the snow melted homeowners experiences basement flooding. Our professions are trained to respond quickly and put your mind at ease

Remember SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here and ready to help when Illinois throws us any kind of storm,

Small Water Leak= Big Problem

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Professionals have the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damage sets in. To help small leaks from becoming big problems give us a call today. (815)416-0075. Our trained professionals can safely clean and restore your home utilizing the following procedures

-Identify the source and type of water

-Measure temperature and humidity for drying analysis.

Survey the extent of damage and inspect the premises for hidden moisture. 

-Perform emergency water extraction.

-Move and block furniture and contents. 

-Inspect carpets and carpet pad and provide service.

-Apply necessary treatments (Disinfectants/Deodorization)

-Utilize advanced drying and monitoring equipment. 

Dispose of refuse.

Mold can start to grow within 24-48 hours after water damage. So if you suspect a water leak in your home give us a call today for your free inspection. 

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. 

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level of the home including in the basement. Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps indicating low battery, take the proper steps to replace the smoke alarm or batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the batteries from the alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries. 

If you need help installing, testing, or changing batteries in your smoke alarms contact your local fire department, electrician or the American Red Cross for assistance. 

Preparing for an Ice Storm

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Illinois has seen some brutal weather this winter, between the Polar Votex of 2019 giving us record breaking temperatures and the flooding that occurred right after with the change of temperature by almost 100 degrees. Now we are set to see an ice storm. 

Preparing for an Ice storm is important because it brings the possibility of power outages. Below are a few tips to help you prepare. 

1. Make sure flashlights and battery powered radios have batteries. Also keep extra batteries, candles, and matches on hand. 

2. Unplug sensitive electronics and appliances if the power does go off. 

3. If the power does go off keep refridgerator and freezer doors shut. If food should get to 40 degrees dispose of items immediately. 

4. If you use an emergency heating source such as kerosene heaters, fireplaces, or wood burning stoves keep fuels away from the fame and ventilate. Never leave a fire unattended. 

5. If it seems your home will be without power for several days drain your water pipes. 

Other tips are

-Sore extra blankets and warm clothes where you can easily access them.

-Keep a first aide kit on hand.

-Keep extra canned food and water on hand

-Fill your gas tank up

-Keep cash on hand

-Have enough prescription medications to last a week

If your home should sustain fire or water damage during these times give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a calll at (815)416-0075. We have trained staff ready to assist you 24 hours a day. 

Is Mold Helpful or Harmful

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

There are many types of mold. Mold is an important part of the ecosystem and not all molds are harmful.

Mushrooms are mold that is consumed by people. Mold is also found in other foods such as cheese and soy products. It is also used to make antibiotics to help heal people and animals. Soy is an important part of the ecosystem because it breaks down dead material so it can deposit back into the ground. 

Although many types of mold are considered safe,  some are harmful and should be taken very seriously. I

Upon calling us SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa can

-inspect your home for mold

-Assess the size of the problem and the type of mold

-Identify the source of moisture causing the mold growth

-Plan and execute the remediation. 

If you suspect mold in your home or business give us a call today. (815)416-0075.

Should I get my Commercial Building ducts cleaned?

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Poor indoor air quality, inefficient air filteration, and duct leaks can all result in dust entering your duct systems. The dust can accumulate to the point that it starts breaking off and reentering the air. When this happens, you will notice your workspace becomes dusty faster. 

High humidity in a commercial building can cause mold to develope in the duct systems. If this happens the mold spores will circulate through the whole building and can aggravate your employees allergies, asthma, and increase risk of upper respiratory infection. 

Cleaning your duct systems can improve indoor air quality, improve the efficiency of your HVAC system, and extend your HVAC lifespan.

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa can inspect and clean your commercial ducts. Please give us a call so we can schedule your free estimate today. Call our friendly office staff at (815)416-0075. 

Mold Is Alive

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Molds are microscopic organismsfound virtually everywhere indoors and outdoors. Mold is alive but it is neither a plant nor an organism. Mold is a type of fungus. 

Fungal growth requires oxygen, adequate temperature, nutrients and water to survive and grow. 

Mold can damage your home as well as compromise your health. 

Some places where mold can grow in your home are 

-Carpets

-upholstery

-Wood products

-Clothes

-walls

-basements

-ductwork

-ceiling tiles

-household dust

-Books

-Curtains

-Baseboards

Mold grows in cool, dry, dark areas. Mold will start to grow on these damp areas within 48 hours, so it is very important to immediately call SERVPRO of Frankfort if you suspect water damage in your home. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here for you 24 hours a day to help you prevent mold growth due to water emergencies. If you should have mold our trained professionals can remediate and mitigate that as well. 

Preventing Mold Growth in your Home

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth in your home can cause damage to your home, cause costly repair as well as cause health risks. 

Here are some tips on helping to reduce the risk of mold growth in your home. 

-Reduce humidity in your home by opening windows for approximately 30 minutes per day. 

-Prevent leaks due to rain and when it isn’t avoidable, dry and treat all waer damage writhing 24 hours of he water exposure. 

-Regularly clean areas in your home that accumulate humidity such as showers, faucets, pipes and floors near fixtures. 

-After you clean items make sure they are throughly dries and if possible leave in the sunlight. 

If your walls, floors, furniture or any of your large items get wet call SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa right away so we can dry those items and save you time, money, and damage to your home. 

Preventing Mold Growth in a Damp Basement

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

1. Monitor Humidity Levels

High humidity levels provide the perfect growing environment for mold. 

2. Use a Dehumidifier

 If your basement has high humidity levels open windows daily for an average of 30 minutes or use a dehumidifier. 

3. Reduce Clutter 

Keep your basement free of clutter. Too many objects and storage items block the free flow of air and reduce ventilation. Items such as clothes and books stored in the basement are food for mold and mildew. 

4. Ensure Water Is Directed Away from Your Home

The boundary around your home must be sloped in such a way that snow and rain are directed away from the house. Otherwise, water and moisture will pool around the structure, increasing moisture and leakage problems. In such a situation, mold is almost inevitable.

5. Take Care of Spills and Leaks Immediately

If there are any leaks in the basement, take care of them immediately. Wipe the water from the area and dry it thoroughly. Use of a dehumidifier and heater to accelerate the drying process.

6. Insulate Water Pipes in the Basement

Generally, cold water pipes in the basement show condensation on the exterior. Insulating such pipes reduces the humidity levels in the basement.

What To Do Until Help Arrives

1/5/2019 (Permalink)

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa can arrive . The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

-Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.

-Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery and carpet traffic areas. 

-If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor. 

DON'T:

-Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.

-Don't attempt to shampoo any carpets or upholstery.

-Don't attempt to clean any electronics

-Do not consume any food that may have been contaminated by the fire.

-If ceilings are wet do not turn on lights or ceiling fans as the wiring may be wet.

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here 24/7 for all your fire restoration needs. Give us a call today (815)416-0075.

Tips for Commercial Fire Prevention

1/5/2019 (Permalink)

As a business owner, you are probably aware of many threats to your business. Some of these are preventable and others may not be. Here are some simple steps that you and your staff can take to help reduce the risks of a fire breaking out in your workplace. 

-Electrical fires contribute to a large percentage of reported fires each year, and in terms of damage loss, are often very costly. Electrical fires can easily be prevented . First never overload an outlet or power strip. Electrical outlets are only designed to handle a certain amount of electricity, so the more devices you plug into one increases the risk of an overload. Large appliances should never share an outlet. 

- Keep flammable materials and chemicals away from electrical outlets and power strips as well as areas that experience higher than normal levels of heat. 

- Keep clutter to a minimum. If a fire does break out having less clutter will keep the fire from traveling quicker. 

- Make sure all emergency exits are are clutter and mess free. 

These simple steps will help prevent fires. However be prepared for an emergency. Ask SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa about their free no cost assessment of your building today. 

Don’t be a Smoke Alarm Statistic

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

Is your smoke detector operational?

Do you have a smoke detector?

Smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire, giving people additional escape time.

Did you know…

1. In 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to US fire departments.

2. Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).

3. The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths vs .053 deaths per 100 fires).

4. In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.

5. Dead batteries caused 1/4 (24%)of the smoke alarm failures.

Don’t be one of those statistics. Call your local fire department about the smoke detector programs they offer.

Celebrate the Holidays Safely

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Pretty lights, candles, and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season. However, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening. 

The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season. 

-Place Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles. 

-Make sure light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacture's instructions. 

-Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving or going to bed.

-Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed. 

-Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from the Christmas tree.

-Keep anything that can catch fire- pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains- away from your stove top.

-Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa wish you a happy and safe holiday season. 

Icicles and Ice Dams

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Icicles are pretty when looking at on your home during the winter months, however they can be dangerous to you, your home and your wallet. The obvious dangers are falling icicles and gutters detaching from your home due to the weight of the ice, but more importantly water can build up behind the icicles and enter your home. This can rot the wood in your roof and attic, possibly without your knowledge. It can also seep through and ruin ceilings and walls.

Ice damming  is caused by too much heat in the attic. If the temperature in the attic is above freezing and there is snow on the roof, the snow melts. When the snow melts, the water runs into the gutter. Since the gutter is not above the house where it can be heated, the water re-freezes into ice. As ice gets thicker it stops the water as it runs down the roof, making an ice dam. The water coming down the roof will eventually build up until it’s over the actual house again and does not re-freeze because it it is warmed by the attic. As the water gets deep enough behind the ice dam it pushes up under the shingles and into the house.

Removing as much of the ice as you can will help prevent this. Keeping watch of your attic is recommended. If you should find water coming in through the roof give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call right away. We can help reduce the damages and stop the water from spreading and affecting other areas of your home, 

Myths about Flood Insurance

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

Myth: I receive flood insurance through my homeowners insurance.

Fact: Homeowners insurance policies do not normally cover flood damage. You must purchase a separate Federal flood policy. 

Myth: Even if my property does flood, it wouldn’t be very much.

Fact: Just 5 inches of water can cause over $25,000 worth of damage. 

Myth:Only those who live in a Special Flood Hazard Area can buy flood insurance. 

Fact:Floods can happen anywhere. Anyone can buy flood insurance. 

Myth: I don’t need flood insurance if I can get disaster assistance from FEMA.

Fact: A flood insurance policy response to flood events that may not be severe enough to result in a presidential disaster declaration. Before FEMA assistance becomes available, the flooding incident must be severe enough declared a federal disaster by the president. Federal disaster declaration are issued in less than 50% of flooding events. 

 To get more flood insurance facts, visit Floodsmart.gov or call your local insurance agent 

Dangers of Deep Frying A Turkey

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

-Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.

—An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill over when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when putting in the pot. 

-Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire. 

-Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire. 

-The sides of a cooking pot, lid, and pot handles can get dangerously hot. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa wishes you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. Stay safe, and if you are deep frying a turkey this holiday season please be safe and use caution. Keep the fryer away from your home, garage, and even porch. 

Certified Document Deconstruction

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Unfortunately, many businesses and government agencies have to dispose of counterfeit, faulty, expired or contaminated materials. All entries need to be certified that ther products and materials are destroyed. The guarentee of certified destruction is to protect one’s liabilities, brand image, or proprietary information. We guarentee certified deconstruction to give you the peace of mind that your documents are disposed of properly. 

Weather you are responsible for 1,000 square feet or 100,000 be ready for the worst with the best, your trusted SERVPRO franchise in Morris,IL. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa’s goal is to make the process as simple as possible for our customers. Contact SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa today for more information on Document Restoration services. 

We are always here to answer any questions you may have. Please give us a call at (815)416-0075 

Melting Snow

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Melting snow can cause damage to your homes foundation as well as your personal property. To help reduce the risk of water damage due to melting snow keep the following tips in mind:

1. Check your property for obstructions that might prevent melting snow to properly drain. 

2. Clear snow and ice from the roof gutters so water can properly drain. 

3. Make sure downspouts and sump pumps drain away from your home. 

4. Shovel snow away from the downspouts, basement windows, wells and stairwells. 

5. Brush heavy accumulated snow and ice dams off the roof. 

6. Clear your street storm sewer of snow and debris. 

7. Check outside pipes for leaks or damage. 

If water does get in.....

It is important to take quick action. Call SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa. We can quickly dry any items such as carpeting, furniture, insulation, and drywall to avoid mildew, mold or further damage. 

Are you ready for winter weather?

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for the coming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet, or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits. 

Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries. 

Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems. 

Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. 

Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.

Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe. 

 Ask your SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Professionals about completing an Emergency READY Profile for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

Stay Safe This Winter Season

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Most home fires are preventable, but sometimes common sense isn't so common. According to the National Fire Protection Association, it's not too early to protect your loved ones and your home from fire damage, by simply following sensible suggestions.

1. Have your furnace checked. It's worth the money to hire a professional to inspect and service your furnace once a year. If it's going to conk out, it's better to know trouble is coming.

2. Have your chimneys and vents checked. Fireplaces produce creosote which can ignite. If you light fires frequently, you need a chimney sweep service once a year. When you burn wood, make sure it's dry and seasoned so that it produces more flame and less smoke.

3. Test smoke alarms. Make sure batteries are fresh. Place smoke alarms in the kitchen, laundry room and in bedrooms.

4. Cover the fireplace with a screen. Tempered glass or a metal screen helps protect sparks from leaving the fireplace. Even so, make sure that children and pets sit at least three feet away when you light a fire in the fireplace.

5. Beware of lit candles. Candles can set the mood for relaxation, and that's how they get forgotten or knocked over by kids or pets. Light candles only when you're around to watch them and blow them out when you're ready to leave the room. Ditto for cigarettes, pipes, etc. If you're going to smoke, try to do it outside.

6. Beware of space heaters. The name should give you a clue -- space heaters need space. Like fireplaces, people and pets should not be allowed to sit any closer than three feet. Don't put space heaters near curtains, tablecloths or other fluttering fabrics. Make sure the space heaters you buy have automatic shut-offs before reaching dangerous temperatures.

7. Know how to put out kitchen fires quickly. Water doesn't help a greasefire, which can get out of control. Keep salt and baking soda on hand to sprinkle liberally on pan fires. Keep lids handy to put on top of pots and pans that get too hot.

8. Practice an escape route. Businesses have fire drills, your family should, too. Teach your family to crawl to the nearest exit from every room. Show them how to drop and roll if their clothes were ever to catch on fire.

9. Fire extinguishers can be life-savers. Store one under the kitchen sink, and in the hall closet near the bedrooms. Make sure you use the correct setting -- A for paper, wood and trash; B for grease and flammable liquids; C for small electrical fires.

10. All household members should know 911. You've heard the stories -- the four-year old who saved his grandmother's life with a 911 call. In a fire, every person in the home can be a potential hero if they know what to do.

Why are SERVPRO vehicles green?

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

A few our our fleet

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa vehicles are very noticeable when we are driving though your community. We have green cars, trucks, vans and even a semi trailer. But have you ever wondered how SERVPRO chose this eye catching color? 

In the early 1970s, the founders of SERVPRO used a color chip paint sample chart to identify the most eye-catching color.  It was a highly technical process.  The founders showed the chart to as many people as they could and asked, “Which color on this chart would be impossible to miss?”  By a wide margin, the color most identified was 1970 rally green, a color used on Porsche 911 automobiles.

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here for you for any of your fire, water, or mold restoration needs. Give us a call today (815)416-0075

What if the Power goes out?

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Winter storms bring the possibility of power outages. Be prepared with these 5 helpful tips. 

  1. Heating: Whole-house heating is difficult during a power outage. Even fireplaces will heat only one room. Do not light barbecues or propane heaters indoors; doing so can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Instead, look for propane heaters that are rated as indoor-safe or bundle up with blankets and coats.
  2. Lighting: Battery powered lights are always safest. However, candles and hurricane-style kerosene lamps can also be used indoors.10
  3. Food and Water: As soon as you lose power, begin filling all available containers with tap water. Cooking pans and even sinks can be filled up. If the municipal water source stops flowing, this will be your water for daily use. Canned foods and dry food that does not require cooking are best for long power outages.
  4. Refrigeration: You can keep food cool longer by shifting easily spoiled food from the refrigerator (eggs, greens, meat, seafood, etc.) to the freezer. Once you have made the transition, avoid opening the freezer door if possible.
  5. Entertainment: If the power outage continues for days, you will need entertainment that does not depend on electricity. Cards, books, and games are just a few of the activities people tend to turn to when the electricity has failed.

Response Guidelines

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

Have you heard of SERVPRO's Service Response Guidelines?

Within ONE hour from notice of loss, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Professionals will contact you to arrange for service. 

Within FOUR hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa will be on-site to start mitigation services. 

Within EIGHT business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to you by a manager. 

What can SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Professionals do for you?

  • Fire smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration
  • Water Removal and Dehumidification
  • Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation
  • Contents Claim Inventory Service
  • Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning
  • Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Car
  • Stain Removal, Stain Resistance Applications
  • Odor Identification and Deodorization
  • Upholstery and Drapes: Wet or Dry Cleaning Methods

Cooking Safety this Thanksgiving

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires?
As the holidays begin, fire precautions should as well.
A property owner experiences a flood of emotions when a fire ravages their business or home. Fear, uncertainty, stress and doubt about the future of the property can be overwhelming to the property owner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared.
After the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let SERVPRO® Of Morris/Ottawa help you restore the property. Combining rapid response, the utmost professionalism and open
communication, we strive to restore not only the home or business, but to restore the customer’s peace of mind, as well.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following eye-opening statistics on fires:
n 475,500 structure fires were reported in the
United States in 2016.
n These fires caused $7.9 billion in property damages.
n One structure fire was reported every 66 seconds.
If the unthinkable happens and a fire strikes, give the experts at SERVPRO® Of Morris/Ottawa a call. We’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.” n

Winter Weather can Bring Worries

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a
sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property.
FROZEN PIPES
Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas
such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the
ice blockage inside the pipe is located,
but typically the rupture
is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:
Be sure to completely drain water
from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing.
When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
ICE DAMS
Ice dams can be a little-known,
but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow
or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall.
Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may
be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.”
Removing an ice dam as soon as
it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter.
If winter weather causes water damage to your property, SERVPRO® Of Morris/Ottawa Professionals are only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.

Do not let a Fire ruin your holidays

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving by the numbers
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. and Christmas Eve.
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.  

Source: NFPA's Fire Analysis & Research Division

Safety tips
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button. 

The Most Common Causes Of Storm Damage to Your Home

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

If any of the following issues occur in your home SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here to assist you 23 hours a day. Please give us a call at (815)416-0075.

  • Hail Damage
  • Roof Damage
  • Water Damage
  • Sewer Back Up
  • Freezing Pipes
  • Fallen Trees - There are many reasons a tree might fall, and whether or not it caused damage to property becomes important for the purpose of paying a claim. Different policies offer different types of coverage.
  • Ice dams forming on the roof 
  • Weight of snow and ice on the roof causing damage
  • Wind damage (Which can include fallen trees and shingles or bricks flying off buildings and roofs)
  • Loss or displacement due to power failure (which may include food loss, depending on your type of policy)
 
  • Flooding due to melting snow, a sudden thaw, or excessive rainfall
  • Water infiltration into the home. This may or may not be covered depending on how the damage is happening. Always call to find out what you might be eligible for. 
 

Although not all damages are covered by standard insurance, most of the above items are.

 

The major exception to most policies is flood damage. Flood damage is not usually covered by the home insurance company in the United States; you can find out more about national flood insurance on the FEMA website.

Did you know we are local?

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Although SERVPRO is 1,700 franchises strong throughout the country, we are locally owned and operated. 

Besides SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa being available 24/7 to assist with any emergency quickly, we also do lots within the community. 

A few things we have done in the past include;

-Fire Department appreciation corn boils

-Donating time to assist with open houses for Fire Departments

-Sponsoring and attending events with the local Chamber of Commerce 

-Helping with community clean up days

-Attending National Night Out Against Crime

-Donating Gift Baskets/Cards for local Charity events

-Toy donations for Toys For Tots

-Teddy Bear Collection Events for Local Hospitals 

-Sponsoring Golf outing that benefit local hospitals, charity events, or even fire departments

-Host Food drives for local pantries 

And so much more.......

Minimize damage after water enters your home

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO’s Storm Response Team Offers Tips to Help Minimize Flood Damage | SERVPRO Industries, Inc.

The first several days after the disaster are critical to preventing unnecessary secondary damages. Consider the following steps you can take now to help minimize additional damage to your home, business and possessions. If the water is considered “clean” water – if it is not groundwater or sewage backup – follow these steps: Once the authorities have said it is safe to enter your home or business, ensure your electricity is turned off before entering the flooded structure. Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for drying. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. Remove any valuable paintings and art objects to a safe, dry place. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items. If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. For this type of damage, avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible. Take the greatest caution while entering your home, and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas. Through away all foods – even canned goods – that have come into contact with flood waters. SERVPRO has shipped more than $5 million worth of additional equipment to its Storm Response Team to help deal with the flooding. “The first 24 hours after a water damage or flood are just so crucial to keeping final costs of the damage down,” said Don Turner, SERVPRO Storm Response Team Manager. “A lot of flood situations require professional equipment and knowledge of the science of drying to mitigate, but we want homeowners to know the steps they can take to help minimize damage until the professionals arrive.” SERVPRO has recently mobilized its elite Storm Response Team for such disasters as Hurricane Gustav, the 2008 Iowa floods, the 2007 Ohio floods and the 2007 California wildfires. For more safety and restoration tips, contact SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa.

Prevent Flood and Moisture in your Crawlspace

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

The most common cause of crawl space flooding is rain water.  When excessive rain water accumulates in the soil next to your foundation it will over-saturate the soil.  Unable to be soaked up by the soil, it will seek another place go.  The path of least resistance will be through your foundation, especially if there are any cracks in the walls.  But, you can protect yourself from crawl space leaks and flooding by taking a few preventative measures.  

Keep rainwater away from your foundation. Make sure your gutters, especially your downspouts, are working properly.  Clear out any clogs and repair any significant leaks.  Make sure your downspouts are draining rain water five feet away from your foundation.  If your gutters and downspouts are set up and working correctly, but you still notice water pooling near your foundation, you probably have an issue with the grade of your yard and may need to have a landscaper fix the problem.  

Use vapor barrier.  Crawl spaces are most commonly located where water runoff is common. They are also often designed with dirt floors.  This makes crawl spaces an ideal breeding ground for moisture and mold.  Vapor barrier can keep crawl space moisture/mold at bay.

Use a sump pump in your crawl space.  Sump pumps move water away from your foundation, and moving safely away from your house.  And of course, they work just as well in crawl spaces as they do in basement.  Be sure you have a backup power source for your sump pump and check it’s operation periodically.  

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We provide 24-hour emergency service and are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. With the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs, we’re locally owned and operated and can respond immediately to your emergency.  

Water Damage Prevention and Your Morris/Ottawa Home

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Take these 5 simple steps to prevent flooding and water damage this spring!

Melting snow and spring rains can mean serious flooding problems for homeowners this time of year.  However, there are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself from springtime flooding:

Cover your window wells.  Use plastic covers to keep excessive rain from pooling in the bottom of your window wells.

Keep your gutters clean and in good working order.  Extend your downspouts or use drain tile to direct water away from your foundation.

Inspect and repair your roof.  Replace missing and damaged shingles, and replace any cracked caulk/sealant around flashing.

Inspect your basement/foundation for cracks and holes.  The faster you fix cracks before they can grow, the easier and cheaper the repairs will be.

Check your sump pump.  Make sure your pump turns on and ejects water as it is supposed to.  An improperly functioning sump pump can lead to major flooding and water damage!

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We provide 24-hour emergency service and are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. With the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs, we’re locally owned and operated and can respond immediately to your emergency.

Understanding Black Mold

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Black mold in your Morris/Ottawa home?

The term “black mold” is a generic term used to describes many different types of mold that appear black, or dark when they appear on the surface of walls, tiles and concrete.  Black mold has become somewhat infamous because it has been reported on in the media as a mold that can produce toxins and cause health problems. While this is true, it is also true of many other types of mold, and not necessarily worse in cases of black mold. 

If you identify any mold in your home it would be wise to remove it safely.  You can use bleach, borax or vinegar to do this. When removing mold wear a respirator or face mask and cover your arms, legs and hands to avoid contact with mold spores.  For bigger mold problems you may want to call a qualified professional to take on the job safely and thoroughly. Your homeowner’s insurance may cover mold damage if it was caused by a “covered peril”; check with your agent.

To prevent mold growth in your home avoid excessive moisture by making sure bathrooms and laundry rooms are well ventilated and using a dehumidifier in your basement.

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We provide 24-hour emergency service and are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. With the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs, we’re locally owned and operated and can respond immediately to your emergency.

Prevent flooding and moisture in your crawl space

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

Protect your Morris/Ottawa crawl space from flooding, moisture and mold

The most common cause of crawl space flooding is rain water.  When excessive rain water accumulates in the soil next to your foundation it will over-saturate the soil.  Unable to be soaked up by the soil, it will seek another place go.  The path of least resistance will be through your foundation, especially if there are any cracks in the walls.  But, you can protect yourself from crawl space leaks and flooding by taking a few preventative measures.  

Keep rainwater away from your foundation. Make sure your gutters, especially your downspouts, are working properly.  Clear out any clogs and repair any significant leaks.  Make sure your downspouts are draining rain water five feet away from your foundation.  If your gutters and downspouts are set up and working correctly, but you still notice water pooling near your foundation, you probably have an issue with the grade of your yard and may need to have a landscaper fix the problem.  

Use vapor barrier.  Crawl spaces are most commonly located where water runoff is common. They are also often designed with dirt floors.  This makes crawl spaces an ideal breeding ground for moisture and mold.  Vapor barrier can keep crawl space moisture/mold at bay.

Use a sump pump in your crawl space.  Sump pumps move water away from your foundation, and moving safely away from your house.  And of course, they work just as well in crawl spaces as they do in basement.  Be sure you have a backup power source for your sump pump and check it’s operation periodically.  

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Morris / Ottawa has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We provide 24-hour emergency service and have the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.

Safely Clean Up Mold Problems

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Clean up safely in your Morris/Ottawa home

Consistent exposure to mold has a very negative effect on your family and your home.  The negative consequences of mold exposure can easily go undetected and cause serious problems.

Even if only a small amount of mold can be seen, it is likely you have a bigger problem below the surface.  Take action to remove the problem permanently and safely.  Here is what you need to know...

Bleach can kill virtually every species of indoor mold that it comes into contact with.  However, using bleach only works if the mold is growing on non-porous materials like tile, tubs, and countertops. That’s because bleach can’t penetrate porous materials such as wood and drywall. Using bleach on such materials can be deceiving because it will kill the mold above the surface, but mold below the surface will remain.  

Bleach can be useful but it can also cause damage; its a harsh, corrosive chemical that gives off harsh fumes.  There are safer alternatives, like borax and vinegar that can be used.

Borax is a natural, white mineral powder that has a low toxicity and does not emit dangerous fumes.  It can be mixed with water to kill and remove mold because it is a natural mold inhibitor.  

Vinegar is a mild acid that can kill 82% of mold species. It’s also natural and safe. Vinegar is non-toxic and doesn't emit dangerous fumes.

Removing mold can be serious business.  When removing mold wear a respirator or face mask and cover your arms, legs and hands to avoid contact with mold spores. You should safely be able to take on bathroom mold or relatively small mold outbreaks in other areas if you take these precautions.  For larger problems, especially problems where hidden mold may be a problem, it’s probably wise to call a reputable professional.  

Every mold infestation is different, from the amount of mold to the types of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate the process for a “typical” mold remediation infestation by a professional:

  • Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Mold Containment
  • Air Filtration
  • Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Restoration

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We provide 24-hour emergency service and are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. With the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs, we’re locally owned and operated and can respond immediately to your emergency.

Reduce Your Commercial Liability With 3 Simple Steps

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Protect Your Property and Reduce Your Liability This Winter

Maintain your commercial building and minimizing your legal liabilities during the winter months by taking action to avoid hazards in your workplace environment.  You can protect yourself, your employees and your customers by taking just a few simple precautions:

Use ice melt on sidewalks and  walkways to ensuring the safety of passers buy, customers and employees.  

Clean up dirt.  A surprisingly large amount of dirt gets dragged into commercial building, especially . Dirt can cause significant damage to your flooring over time. To significantly reduce the amount of dirt and debris that gets dragged in, place utility mats inside and outside all entranced to the building.

Prevent slippery floors.  Put utility mats down to minimize slippery surfaces created by snow and rain that gets dragged in when people enter your building. Place wet floor signs out whenever floors need to dry as well.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.  Your property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. When it’s impacted by fire or water damage, you need professional help. Every hour spent restoring your business is lost revenue and productivity. When you need professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, we have the training and resources to get your property back to business quickly.

How to Remove an Ice Dam

2/26/2018 (Permalink)

Remove an ice dam from your Morris/Ottawa roof before it can damage your home

An ice dam is a block of ice that forms at the edge of a roof during the cold weather months. When ice on the bottom of the dam melts, water seeps underneath the shingles of your roof, potentially damaging your insulation, ceiling and walls.  If your roof sheathing stays wet because of an ice dam, it can form mold and start to rot.  

If you have an ice dam, here’s what to do:

  • Break the ice up with a hammer or other blunt object.  Do not use a sharp object like a pick or ax that may cut into your roof. Even with a blunt object, be sure to tap lightly and be patient as breaking off large chunks of ice may cause shingles to be torn off.
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts that are clogged by the ice dam.  This is easier said than done.  It can be dangerous work and an easy way to damage your gutters and downspouts. Calcium chloride can be used to melt the ice.  Do not use rock salt, as it can damage metal and paint.  

Of course, it’s best to prevent an ice dam from forming in the first place. Here’s how:

  • Seal off any spots where warm air can leak from your attack and reach your roof.
  • Insulate your attic sufficiently to prevent the transfer of heat from your attic to your roof.
  • Make sure you have adequate venting in your attic so that any heat that does reach the roof can be efficiently carried away.
  • Use a roof cable de-icer along the edge of your roof (near the gutter).  A roof cable de-icer prevents roof damage and leaking by keeping gutters and downspouts flowing even in frigid, sub-zero temperatures.

Some of these tips can be difficult and even dangerous, so please be careful when working on your roof or a ladder.  Consider the risks, and hire a professional if you have doubts.  

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We provide 24-hour emergency service and are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. With the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs, we’re locally owned and operated and can respond immediately to your emergency.

4 Homeowner Fix-it Hacks for Your Morris/Ottawa Home

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

Use these fix-it hacks in your Morris/Ottawa home to save time and money

Use these handy time-saving and stress-reducing hacks around the home and make your life easier:

How to Stop Window Screen Tears

Got any nail polish around the house?  Apply some clear nail polish on window screen fray’s and cuts to stop them in their tracks!!

Fill Nail Holes with Toothpaste

Need to fill some nail holes but don’t have any spackling handy?  That’s ok.  Just grab a tube of non-gel toothpaste, smoosh it into your nail holes, and wipe of the excess.  Presto!

Free Up a Clogged Shower Head

Fill up a ziplock sandwich bag about halfway with vinegar and tie it over your shower head with rubber bands, let it sit overnight, and in the morning remove the bag.  Now your previously clogged shower head will shoot out water likes it’s brand new again!

Sharpen Dull Scissors Easily

Sharpen up dull scissors with this handy trick: take several sheets of aluminum foil and fold them in half.  Then cut them with the scissors eight times.  Your scissors will now be razor-sharp and ready to use.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

4 Powerful Home Cleaning Hacks

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Use these easy and effective hacks to keep your Morris/Ottawa home clean and operating well

Use these easy and effective hacks to keep your Morris/Ottawa home clean and operating well.

1)  Clean Your Dishwasher With Kool-Aid

That’s right, Kook-Aid.  Take a packet of lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid and empty it into the dish detergent compartment of your dishwasher.  Next, run the dishwasher and let the Kool-Aid crystals polish the inside of your appliance.

2)  Use Steam to Banish Kitchen Odors

If strong smells are lingering in your kitchen, use steam to kill the scent. Fill a pan with a cup of water and a few tablespoons of vinegar.  Bring it to boil and let the mixture boil for several minutes. The steam will neutralize your bad kitchen odors.

3)  Clean Your Baseboards Less Often

Next time you clean your baseboards, end the job by rubbing a dryer sheet over them. The antistatic properties of the dryer sheet will help keep dust and debris from sticking to them.

4)Clean Your Plastic Shower Curtains

Plastic shower curtains are a magnet for mildew, but cleaning them is easy.  Just throw your shower curtain in the wash machine every month or two. Put your washer on delicate and add a load of towels, then remove it from the washer and hang it back up to dry.  Don’t put it in the dryer; running it through a hot dryer will likely melt it.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Morris / Ottawa provides 24-hour residential and commercial services. As a locally owned and operated business, we’re dedicated to being faster to any size disaster, with the training, equipment, and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.

Commercial Water Restoration Presents Unique Challenges

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Know what to do in the event of water damage to your commercial property

There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. Commercial property damage restoration can present unique challenges and should take into account the following:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Applied Structural Drying
  • Odor Control

Water damage restoration should be done as quickly as possible to minimize lost productivity and therefore lost revenue.  The right equipment will allow you to detect hidden moisture and extract standing water quickly and efficiently

Applied structural drying requires measuring moisture content, tracking the recovery process and verifying that industry-standard criteria have been achieved.  This is important to ensure the integrity of your property after flooding or water damage.

Odor control requires solutions that remove or break down odor causing compounds at the molecular level.  The unpleasant odor caused by the water damage can last for weeks and even months after the initial incident so it’s critically important that odors are removed and not just covered up.  

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies. Whether your water emergency occurs in a small office building or big box store, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.

Get The Most Out of Your Firewood This Winter

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

Use these 4 practical steps to get the most out of your firewood this winter in Morris/Ottawa

Use these 4 practical steps to get the most out of your firewood this winter:

Use Seasoned Firewood - Good fire wood is “aged”, or seasoned, just like a good wine.  It takes time to for enough moisture to get out of a tree once it’s cut down.  You want your firewood to be seasoned at least a few months, if not a full year.  However, you can save money if you buy unseasoned, or green, firewood in the spring and store it yourself until the cold weather comes.  

Keep Your Stored Firewood Off The Ground - This will help keep moisture, bugs and critters away from your firewood, and prevent rot, mold growth and decay.  Use a couple of 2x4’s, wood pallets or a tubular wood rack.

Keep Your Stored Firewood Far Enough Away From Your House - Store your firewood in the closest practical location to your fireplace, but remember, your wood pile will attract critters, so stack firewood at least six feet away from your house.

Stack Your Wood Pile In a Criss Cross Pattern -  This will allow air to circulate through your wood pile and help keep it dry.  However, be suspicious if a company offers to stack your wood for you this way.  Wood piled in this manner naturally takes up more space, so make sure you are getting all the wood you have paid for.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Morris / Ottawa provides 24-hour residential and commercial services. As a locally owned and operated business, we’re dedicated to being faster to any size disaster, with the training, equipment, and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.

Should I Have my Air Ducts Cleaned?

1/23/2018 (Permalink)

Should you pay for regular air duct cleaning?

Air duct cleaning has become a somewhat trendy topic as of late.  People are increasingly interested in clean living, and indoor air quality is certainly an important aspect of that.  Because of this, an entire industry has popped-up, practically overnight,  based on air duct cleaning and indoor air quality.  But the truth is, there is no research at present proving that routine duct cleaning improves the air quality or reduces dust in your home.  Contrary to what some may claim, duct cleaning is often not necessary or  recommended. If you replace your  filters at  the proper interval of every three months, then having your air ducts cleaned shouldn't be an issue.  In fact,  if your ducts have mold  or too much dust in them, then there is a bigger problem that needs to be addressed and you most probably should have it checked out by a professional.  It may be necessary to do this if your ducts have:

  • Visible mold growth
  • Ducts infested with vermin
  • Dirt/dust clogged ducts

Even under the above circumstances, be cautious before paying for duct cleaning.  The industry is rife with scams.  Use a reputable service provider that will fix the cause of your problem.  

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Morris / Ottawa provides 24-hour residential and commercial services. As a locally owned and operated business, we’re dedicated to being faster to any size disaster, with the training, equipment, and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.

Electric Blanket Safety; 4 Simple Rules

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Cuddle up with peace of mind in your electric blanket this winter.

Winter is here and so it is the season for snuggling up and staying warm; a job accomplished nearly perfectly by an electric blanket. Here are a few simple, easy to follow tips to ensure you stay nice and toasty, safely this winter, under your electric blanket.

  1. Use a newer electric blanket (prior to 2001). Newer electric blankets have a shutoff mechanism to prevent the blanket from overheating or catching fire. Older blankets may not have this feature, and therefore run the risk of overheating. Older blankets are considered a fire hazard, and cannot be recommended. Electric blankets will save you money, so go ahead and spend a few bucks for a newer, safer blanket if you don’t already have one.
  2. Don’t’ let your electric blanket get “bunched up”. Keep your blanket as flat as possible. Keeping your blanket flat will avoid air pockets, which can trap hot air and cause excessive heat build-up, particularly when your blanket is being used at higher settings.
  3. Don’t lay objects on top of or underneath your electric blanket. An object, like a cell phone, can trap heat between itself and your blanket; potentially causing your blanket’s coils to overheat and possibly burn.
  4. Don’t use an electric blanket with your infant or small child. It is not safe to use an electric blanket with infants and young children because of the risk for burns. Likewise, anyone who is helpless, paralyzed, insensitive to heat or incapable of understanding the control’s operation should not use an electric blanket.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Morris / Ottawa provides 24-hour residential and commercial services. As a locally owned and operated business, we’re dedicated to being faster to any size disaster, with the training, equipment, and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.

4 Easy Tips to Avoid A Holiday Lighting Mishap

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Avoid an Electrical Fire This Holiday Season

Follow these 4 simple rules to avoid electrical mishaps this Christmas season 

  1. Use UL-Listed lights and light strings.  Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a nationally recognized, independent product safety certification organization. UL Listing means that UL has tested representative samples of a product and determined that it meets UL's requirements.
  2. Check for damage. Check for damage to wire insulation, plugs and bulbs. Broken bulbs can be replaced, but damaged cords or plugs should be discarded and replaced.
  3. Replace bulbs with the same wattage. Using a higher wattage bulb your product is rated for can cause it to overheat and cause a fire.
  4. Use the right extension cord. Extension cords are rated for outdoor, indoor or indoor/outdoor use; use the correct one. Every extension cord has a certain wattage it can handle. Check that your cord is the appropriate gauge to handle the wattage of your Christmas decorations. Finally, get an extension cord that’s only as long as you need; the longer the cord, the less power it can deliver.

Fire Damage and Your Morris/Ottawa Home

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

What type of fire damage do you have?

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. Smoke can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor. Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure. Additionally, different types of smoke cause different types of damage. Here are four different types of smoke you may have to deal with in a house fire:

Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber)

Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke (Paper and Wood)

Fast-burning, high temperatures; heat rises, therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue

Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire. Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs)

While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners. A puffback is an explosion inside the burner chamber of a furnace or boiler. Although such puffbacks are typically confined to the burner chamber, they can do considerable harm to your heating system.

Because there are different types of smoke, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration after fire and smoke damage has occurred.

Before restoration begins, you will need to survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. This task will typically require the resources and experience of a professional fire restoration company.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa provides 24-hour emergency service. We specialize in fire and water damage restoration; it’s the cornerstone of our business. We have specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications that allow us restore your home to pre-fire condition.

TOP 4 DIY CLEANERS TO KEEP YOUR HOME TOXIN FREE

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

Keep your Morris/Ottawa home toxin free this winter with our favorite DIY cleaners.

Keep your home toxin-free and safer this winter with our top 4 DIY natural cleaners. These are our favorites because they are easy to make, easy to use, and very effective. See what you think…

  1. Foaming Hand Soap: Fill a foaming soap dispenser 1/5 full with liquid castile soap. Then top off with water. That’s it, I told you these were going to be easy.
  2. Natural Liquid Drain-O: If your sink clogs, use this easy, all-natural solution. Take ½ cup of baking soda and pour it down your drain. Next pour ½ cup of vinegar down the drain. Cover with a stopper or pot lid for five minutes. Finish the clog off by pouring one gallon of boiling water down the drain.
  3. Air Fresher: Believe it or not, most air fresheners contain chemicals that are known to be allergens and induce asthma. The easiest solution is simply setting a bowl of white vinegar out. But for something a little more fun you can combine a couple of cinnamon sticks with several cloves and several orange peels and place them in a pot of water. You can turbo-charge it by bringing it to a boil in a pot and letting it simmer for a while.
  4. All-Purpose Cleaner/Disinfectant: This one is so easy and so effective, making it our all-time favorite! Just take 1-part vinegar and add to 9 parts water, mix in a spray bottle, and presto! All done!

There you have it, our top 4. If you like these and want more, let us know!

Top 8 Tips for Avoiding Kitchen Fires This Holiday Season

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

Cooking Fires are the Leading Cause of Home Fires

While you are busy whipping up delicious dishes in the kitchen this holiday season, it is also important to take time to remember safety.

Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home-fire-related injuries in the United States. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports “Cooking equipment was involved in almost half (48%) of all reported home fires...and tied with heating equipment for the second leading cause of home fire deaths.” You can help ensure your holiday plans don’t go up in smoke by taking a few precautions!

  • n Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • n Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • n If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • n Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • n Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • n Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • n For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • n If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • n Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

SERVPRO of Frankfort provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

Take These 5 Steps to Travel Safely This Winter

11/23/2017 (Permalink)

Be Prepared in Chicagoland This Winter

We in the Chicagoland area are all too familiar with winter storms. A winter storm can bring dangerously low temperatures and leave you stranded in your car. Travel safely this year by taking these 5 steps:

  1. For starters, don’t travel if a storm is likely to hit your area. If you must travel by car, let a family member or friend know you’ll be on the road and have them check in with you to be sure you arrived at your destination as planned.
  2. Carry an emergency kit in your vehicle with the following: a shovel, sand for traction, a blanket and extra warm clothing such as a winter hat and gloves, and a portable cell phone charger.
  3. Be sure your wiper blades are working good. Wiper blades should be replaced every 6 months to one year, or as soon as you notice a decrease in driving visibility.
  4. Make sure your car’s washer fluid is well filled. It’s worth taking a peek under the hood of your vehicle to see how much fluid you have; if you wait for the warning light to come on you may run out before you can make it to your destination. At the very least, stop at a gas station and fill up with washer fluid if your car’s washer fluid warning light does come on. Follow this link if you have never filled your car’s washer fluid to see how it’s done: https://youtu.be/vboG7lRgE7s.
  5. Check your tires for adequate traction. You can use a tread depth gauge, or if you don't have one, you can use a penny; just insert a penny into the tire tread grooves with Lincoln's head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, your tires are at 2/32nds of an inch or less of remaining tread and need to be replaced right away.

Major winter storms can cause big problems for those who are unprepared. Take action this year and be prepared ahead of time.

How to Deep Fry a Turkey Safely This Thanksgiving

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Deep Fry Your Turkey Safely This Thanksgiving

A deep-fried turkey: delicious, but worth it? If you’ve seen any of the numerous videos of turkey fryer explosions and fires online, you may have asked yourself this question before. Running the risk of bodily injury or property damage is something to consider when menu planning this holiday season. Follow theses 5 tips to avoid such troubles:

  1. Deep fry outdoors, away from the house. Stay at least 10 feet away from the house. This includes staying out of the garage (even with the door open), and off of the porch. If a mishap does occur, you’ll be glad that at least you didn’t burn your house down. That leads us to #2…
  2. Have a fire extinguisher at your side. Don’t just have it in the house or garage, have it readily on hand. An oil fire can get out of hand in seconds, so you’ll need to be ready to act immediately in the event something goes awry. And by the way, never throw water on an oil fire! This will cause a violent reaction, resulting in an explosion; not advisable. Speaking of water…
  3. Use a thawed turkey. Excess moisture in a frozen can cause the oil in your frying pot to boil furiously and spill over on to the burner below. If oil from your pot spills onto the burner it will burn violently and can cause a fierce fire instantly. Also, to keep oil from spilling over…
  4. Set up on level ground. The oil in your pot must be level to prevent it from boiling over and spilling on the burner.
  5. Do not over fill your deep fryer pot. To determine how much oil is needed for frying, place the thawed turkey in the fryer basket and place it in the fryer. Add water until the top of the turkey is barely covered. Mark the water level with the turkey OUT OF THE POT. This is the level you will fill your pot to before you put your turkey in to deep fry it.

Follow these tips and enjoy your delicious deep-fried turkey! For complete instructions on how to deep fry your turkey let me suggest you go to www.butterball.com/how-tos/deep-fry-a-turkey.

SERVPRO of Frankfort provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs

HOW TO REDUCE TOXINS IN YOUR HOME THIS WINTER

11/9/2017 (Permalink)

Easily Reduce Toxins in Your Morris/Ottawa Home

Most of us spend more time indoors during the winter season. More time indoors means more exposure to the many toxins that are found in the typical home. But fear not, you can minimize your exposure to harmful toxins this winter by taking these 4 steps:

  1. Take off your shoes inside the house. Sure, this is a no brainer, but it’s so often ignored! So many of the harmful substances in your home are dragged in on the bottom of your shoes. This includes stuff like pesticides, feces, urine, dirt and microscopic bugs.
  2. Clean your air ducts & fire place. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends getting your air ducts cleaned every three to five years, and the National Fire Protection Association recommends chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year.
  3. Use a HEPA home air filter. Air conditioner filters only capture relatively large sized particles. HEPA filters remove smaller allergens like dust, smoke, chemicals, asbestos, pollen, and pet dander. If you can’t afford a HEPA system for your whole house, you can purchase room filters for the rooms you spend the most time in. Another option would be to use traditional furnace filters in the higher range of the MERV ratings (12-16). These filters can be used with your existing furnace and come close to the levels of HEPA filtration, with the exception of virus removal.
  4. Use natural cleaners. Replace chemical cleaners with natural, non-toxic cleaners, such as baking soda, vinegar, castile soap and borax. Check out our blog next week for 5 easy to make yourself home cleaners; you’ll love it!

Do I Need Flood Insurance in Morris / Ottawa?

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Don't find out too late if you should have gotten flood insurance?

Homeowners are often surprised, rather unpleasantly, to find out that they do not have flood insurance. In fact, over 75% of homeowner’s find out too late that they should have gotten flood insurance, but didn’t.

Your realtor is supposed to make sure you, the home buyer, is made aware if your newly purchased home is in a flood zone. If your realtor did not inform you either way, call him or her up and ask! You can also check to see if your house is in a flood zone by creating a free account on FreeFlood.net and search for your property there.

If you find out that your property is located in or near a flood zone, you can also check out FloodSmart.gov, where you can get a ballpark estimate on how much flood insurance will cost you.

The most common flood insurance available is offered through a federally regulated program known as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), managed by FEMA, offers flood insurance to homeowners in communities that participate in the program.

NIFP has two policies: One that covers your actual home (building property), and one that covers your personal property. Premiums vary depending on your property's flood risk. You’ll have to get your flood insurance through an insurance agent; you cannot buy it directly from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FloodSmart.gov can also help you find an agent if need be.

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Can Help After a Home Fire

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Act Fast After Soot & Fire Damage Occurs From a Home Fire

Mitigation requires quick action. The faster a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results—including lower claim costs. Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will be on-site to help ensure a fire damage is handled by utilizing the following services.

Structural Cleaning

After smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. Your experienced local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your insured’s structure.

Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can provide wet or dry-cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items for your insured.

Deodorization

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals provide specialized services that rid your insured’s home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.

Is Your Family Ready in the Event of a House Fire?

10/18/2017 (Permalink)

Are you prepared if your Morris/Ottawa home catches fire?

October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? Are you prepared?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention. The 2017 theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” According to the NFPA, once the fire alarm goes off “you could have less than two minutes to get out safely,” yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was the first thought after hearing a fire alarm.

Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.

Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors.  Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.

Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime, at least twice a year.

Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy. Are you ready? Make a plan today.

House Fire Prevention This Fall

10/18/2017 (Permalink)

Prevent A House Fire This Fall

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free.

Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks, are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.

Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.

Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric. If you are making your costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or a flame.

It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jacko- lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle. Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn, and out of the way of doorsteps, walkways, and yards.

Facts and information provided by National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org

Lessons Learned From Disaster Management Experts

10/11/2017 (Permalink)

Life Lessons Learned From Disaster Readiness Planning, Part 1

At first thought, you might think that planning and preparing for an emergency or disaster has nothing at all to do with being well prepared for real life, every day challenges, but I’ve found that the very principles employed by experts in the in the fields of emergency response and readiness are the very same ones that help us to be well prepared in other areas of life. Read on a little bit, and see what I’ve found:

Know Why

Before embarking on any important mission, know your motivation for embarking on it. In other words, know your “why”. Knowing why you need to accomplish any mission, whether it’s preparing for a natural disaster or a career or a personal goal, brings the most important things about that mission to the surface; allowing you to keep the important things front and center at all times. It also provides motivation for you to draw upon when you run into difficulty, distraction, drudgery and discouragement.

Here are a few rules to follow when discovering your why (or whys). Clearly define your why. No wishy washy or fuzzy, ill-defined reason will do; this is much too important. Make sure your why is important to you; if it’s not it won’t matter enough when the going gets tough, and the going always gets tough at some point. Finally, memorize your why so you can draw upon it in times of need.

Check out this YouTube video of Michael Jr. about why you should know your why, https://youtu.be/LZe5y2D60YU. He’s hilarious, but he also makes the point perfectly in three minutes.

Set Small Easily Achievable Goals (aka Micro-goals)

When dealing with the general public goals have to be easy, or compliance will tank and nothing will get accomplished. This is because the average person is not a highly motivated, over-achieving, type A, super-freak personality. I’ll confess that I’m not this type of person. That’s why I love micro-goals!

The idea is to make goals that are ridiculously easy to achieve. Make goals that are almost impossible not to achieve; at least in the beginning. Then build on your goals, baby step by baby step. For example, if you want to start jogging to get healthier, don’t decide to run 5 miles your first day. Start with a jog you know you’ll accomplish, such as a trip around the block, or even a walk around the block. You’ll never tell yourself you don’t have enough time or energy to do this. You can’t lose! The next day add a block, or a half a block, or a quarter of a block. Whatever you know you can achieve.

Each goal achieved builds on the previous goal accomplished, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself doing quite well. For more information on micro-goal setting, see the Psychology Today article, “Why goal setting doesn’t work”, by Ray Williams.

Be prepared for a local disaster in Morris & Ottawa

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

The United States has been affected by many disasters, including Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Erma in Florida. In order to be prepared for such disasters, you must think ahead and have a plan in place. For information on disaster preparedness, visit www.ready.gov, or call your local SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa. SERVPRO® Professionals can help your business prepare for the unexpected by creating an Emergency READY Profile® for your facility. The Profile is designed to be a quick and easy snapshot of your business, providing critical facility information needed for detailed emergency preparation.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you and your business is “Ready for whatever happens.” In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO’s free Ready Plan app to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet. The ERP establishes your local SERVPRO® of Morris/Ottawa Professionals as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to 50 years’ experience and a System more than 1,700 Franchises strong. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future. Call your local SERVPRO® of Frankfort Professionals to establish your Emergency READY Profile®.

Be Ready - With a Disaster Preparedness Check List for Your Morris/Ottawa Home

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

Are you ready for a local disaster?

Be ready for a local disaster with this emergency supply check list. Exact needs will vary somewhat depending on what region of the country you live in and your particular circumstances, so check with your local emergency management services at www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/emergency-preparedness-response/ems for local recommendations.

  • Keep at least 3 gallons of clean drinking water per person in your household
  • Keep 3 days’ worth of non-perishable food for everyone in your household
  • Enough blankets or sleeping bags, some extra cloths and shoes
  • At least $1,000.00 cash
  • Map (don’t depend on your GPS)
  • Gas can
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Duct tape
  • Can opener or multi-tool
  • Wrench and pliers
  • Flash light
  • Radio
  • Spare batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • List of emergency contacts
  • Matches or a lighter
  • A container for prescription medications
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Whistle or flare gun

Update and renew the supplies on this list annually.

Will you be ready?

Mexico City’s Earthquake a Warning for U.S.

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

Devastation following the September 19th Earthquake in Mexico City

Last Tuesday’s earthquake in Mexico, which killed over 230 people, was so deadly because of it’s location, rather than the size or voracity of the quake itself. Just a couple of weeks earlier, another, significantly larger quake, struck much farther south in Mexico. Even though the quake was larger in magnitude, the death toll was much smaller at 96.

Mexico City is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, and it sits atop three clashing tectonic plates, which means lots of seismic activity. But even this isn’t the biggest problem for the region.

The biggest problem is that the city is built on soft soil that was once the bottom of a deep lake. Seismic waves from an earthquake slow down and spread out when they travel through this type of soil. This magnifies the destructive effects of the earthquake. Seismologists and geophysicists often describe the city as being built on pudding or jello; the whole city just shakes around like a bowl of jello.

The problem isn’t unique to Mexico City either. Los Angeles, Seattle and the San Francisco Bay area also have soft soils that can amplify seismic waves, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

How much risk is acceptable to you? Would you be comfortable living in one of these areas despite what we’ve seen in Mexico City?

How quickly your Morris/Ottawa company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today

9/13/2017 (Permalink)

The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency.

Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month? In recent years the United States has been affected by many different types of disasters including flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes (like Harvey and Erma), wildfires, blizzards, and more. These natural disasters can threaten your home, business and community. During National Preparedness Month, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa wants you to be aware of the steps to take to help prepare for mother nature’s worst.

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your

organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. The following are common sense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready. A commitment to begin planning today

will help support your employees, customers, the community, the local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for

survival. Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.

Be Informed

Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company? Do you know what you

will do in an emergency situation?

Develop a Business Continuity Plan

Do you know which staff, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating? Do you have backup plans for those operations? Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible? Do you know what you will do if your suppliers are impacted by a disaster? Are you ready for utility disruptions?

Prepare Your Emergency Plan

Do you have an evacuation and sheltering- place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during, and after an incident? Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routes marked? Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?

Practice the Emergency Plan

Have you practiced your plan recently? Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex? Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?

Review Insurance Coverage

Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?

Secure Your Facility and Equipment

Have you secured all the ways people, products, and supplies get into your building? Have you conducted a room-by-room walk-through to determine what can be strapped down?

Improve Cybersecurity

Do you regularly install patches to your software? Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you regularly update your antivirus software?

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness

Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your business.

Top tips for preventing mold problems in your Morris/Ottawa home

6/15/2017 (Permalink)

Know how to prevent this in your home or office.

Mold in your Morris/Ottawa home or office can be a serious health hazard, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Even if you are not allergic, mold can irritate your skin, eyes, nose, throat and lungs.

Mold can grow in your walls, carpet, couch and other furniture. The most important thing mold needs to grow is moisture, so damp places like basements, laundry rooms, bathrooms and crawl spaces are the most vulnerable areas to mold growth. With that in mind, follow these tips to keep yourself safe from mold in your home or business.

Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air. Also, keeping the windows closed and the air-conditioning on when its’ humid and muggy outside will keep the moisture out.

Conversely keep it warm when it’s cold outside. Cold surfaces collect moisture through condensation, which encourages mold growth.

Keep bedroom and office doors open to improve circulation.

Add insulation to cold surfaces like around windows and doors, in floors and walls.

Fix leaks under faucets and sinks, as well as leaky cracks in your foundation.

Cover dirt and gravel crawl spaces with a plastic tarp.

If you are finishing your basement use a vapor barrier under carpet and/or wood floors to prevent a moisture problem.

Make sure clothes dryers are very well vented, that the vents stay clean of lint, and be sure the vent exhaust runs to the outdoors.

Have ducts cleaned once a year.

Don’t leave damp clothes in the laundry basket or dryer. Wash and dry your laundry promptly.

Every mold damage scenario is different, and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:

1.Emergency Contact - (815) 416-0075

2.Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment

3.Mold Containment

4.Air Filtration

5.Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

6.Cleaning Contents and Belongings

7.Restoration

Leave the hassle of boarding up your Morris & Ottawa area business or home to us.

5/28/2017 (Permalink)

Let SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa take care of your board up hassle.

Your windows may need to be boarded up after an emergency for safety, to protect your property or to prevent theft and vagrancy. Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through— especially if it is your property that has been damaged. Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself. Your SERVPRO® of Morris/Ottawa Professionals can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.”

BIOHAZARD, CRIME SCCENE AND VANDALISM CLEAN UP

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

Let SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa properly and safely handle your biohazard cleanup.

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup* and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners. Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa's Professional crews are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO® of Morris/Ottawa helps turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices. SERVPRO® of Mokena can help with the following issues:



  • Bloodborne Pathogens

  • Methamphetamine Labs

  • Crime Scene Residues

  • Arson

  • Vandalism

  • Sewage Backups

  • Black Water Intrusions

  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation

  •  


State and local regulations vary. Contact your local SERVPRO® of Morris/Ottawa today for 24-hour emergency service. Call (815) 485-6901.

Building Safety Month

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa can keep your building safe after a disaster.

Building Safety Month—in its 37th year—is an initiative of the International Code Council (ICC) and their 57,000 members aross the world, as well as their partners in building construction and design, and the safety community. Building Safety Month is an opportunity SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa to educate on “what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energyefficient homes and buildings,” according to the ICC website. The theme for 2017 is Code Officials— Partners in Community Safety and Economic Growthand highlights managing disasters, specifically natural disasters, in week three of this year’s campaign.Some of the topics and tips shared throughout the month include Disaster Safety and Mitigation, as well as Fire Safety and Awareness.The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials “improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play,” and this month can certainly improve that awareness!

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Proud to Support Dwight, IL Fire Protection District

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Presents Dwight, IL Fire Protection District With a Check for $500.00

The Dwight, IL fire protection district was presented with a $500 donation from SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa. The money was used to purchase materials to build training props. The newly constructed training props allow Dwight, IL fire fighters to build and maintain their proficiency in the area of fire ventilation. Ventilation is the practice of releasing toxic smoke and hot gases out of a burning building. This is accomplished by cutting holes in the top of flat and peaked roofs and homes of businesses.   SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is proud to sponsor the brave men and women of the Dwight fire protection district, who selflessly serve our community, at great personal risk, day in and day out. As a leader in the fire damage restoration industry, we at SERVPRO have a special appreciation of the dedication and hard work these men and women have dedicated themselves to.

Morris/Ottawa 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Frankfort and surrounding areas.

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.


We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 
815.416.0075


We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.


What to Expect


When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.


Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:



  • Your name and contact information

  • Your insurance information (if applicable)

  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business

  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?

  • What caused the water damage (if known)?

  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?


About SERVPRO of SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa


SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water 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.

Spring Flooding in Your Morris/Ottawa Home

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa can be on the scene fast to limit water damage after spring flooding.

Spring snowmelt often leads to flooding conditions in Massachusetts. This year’s record snowfall could make the spring thaw even wetter. These tips will help reduce the impact spring floods have on you and your property.

Advance Preparation

Prepare in advance with a SERVPRO READY EMEREGENCY PROFILE (ERP). Our convenient mobile app stores all your utility and emergency response information in one place, so you can access this information from your smartphone or computer.

Watch for Pooling Water 

Look for places around your property where water pools, and channel it away from buildings. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and they are directing water as intended.

Maintain Sump Pump 

If you have a sump pump, check to be sure it is operational before water starts rising. Consider a back-up generator to ensure your pump works when you need it most. Contact your insurance agent to add coverage in case your sump pump fails. 

Raise Storage Goods 

Use shelving and/or pallets to keep storage items off the floor to reduce the impact of small floods. In many situations, raising boxes just a few inches will be enough to keep storage goods above the water line. 

Cut Power if Necessary 

As rising water approaches the level of electrical outlets, you risk having a live current flow through all the water. Cut the power if you can safely do so without standing in water. Otherwise, evacuate and contact an electrician to cut the power before you go back in for recovery.

Keep Storm Drains Clear

If you see water pooling around a storm drain, the drain may be clogged with debris. Clearing the debris will help keep the water flowing away from your neighborhood.

Consider Flood Insurance 

Homeowners insurance will not cover floods; you must purchase a separate policy for flood protection. When all else fails, flood insurance will provide you the means to respond to a catastrophic flooding event.

Be Aware on the Road 

Be careful when driving during spring storms, especially when you hear flash flood warnings. Never drive into fully submerged roadway. The water surface will be at the same level as the pavement you can see. This view can deceive you into thinking the water is shallow because you cannot see how the road dips under the surface. 

Act Fast 

When a flood happens, you need to act fast to dry out any wet items, particularly structural materials like walls and flooring.

Call SERVPRO® of Morris/Ottawa 815-416-0075 to extract water and mitigate any mold growth. Our franchise professionals have the training and experience to make flood damage “Like it never even happened.” 

Mold Removal from Morris/Ottawa, IL Home.

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa at the first sign of mold.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:



  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.

  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.

  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.

  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.

  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.


 


If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.


If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 815-416-0075

Are you prepared for a power outage in Morris/Ottawa?

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

Be prepared for a power outage in Morris/Ottawa.

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days. Depending on the nature of the disaster road conditions may prevent help from arriving in a timely manner. 

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.  If the power goes out keep your pipes from freezing by shutting off the valve that allows water to come into your home. Then, open any drain valves and all faucets and let them run until the pipes are empty (it's helpful to identify these valves in advance). Next, flush all toilets and pour denatured alcohol into toilets and sinks to prevent water in the traps from freezing. Do NOT use automotive antifreeze in case there's trouble with your water system; you don't want the antifreeze to contaminate your drinking water. You may, however, use nontoxic antifreeze that's made for winterizing motor homes.

Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:

1.     Flashlights for each family member

2.     Battery-operated radio and clock

3.     Extra batteries

4.     Containers of bottled water

5.     Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants

6.     Non-electric can opener

7.     List of important phone numbers

8.     First-aid kit

Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

•Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.

•Choose foods your family will eat.

•Remember any special dietary needs.

•Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.

•Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.

•Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener

•Protein or fruit bars

•Dry cereal or granola

•Peanut butter

•Dried fruit

•Nuts

•Crackers

•Canned juices

•Non-perishable pasteurized milk

•High energy foods

•Vitamins

•Food for infants

•Comfort/stress foods

These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov Here is the link to winter tips for before during and after a winter storm http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather When winter weather strikes the Frankfort Lincoln-Way area knowing what to do until SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa arrives will make a difference.  Call us directly at 815-416-0075

9 Ways to Avoid Kitchen Fires in Your Morris/Ottawa Home

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa would like to help you avoid a kitchen fire in your home.

It’s a fact that more home fires occur in the kitchen than any other place in your home.

SERVPRO would like to help you avoid a kitchen fire in your Morris/Ottawa home.

  1. Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  2. Keep an eye on your food regularly while cooking and remain in the kitchen while cooking.
  3. Use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
  4. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen and test it once a month.
  5. Loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking can catch on fire. Avoid wearing this kind of clothing and accessories while you are in the kitchen.
  6. Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen.
  7. Keep the kids out of the kitchen while you are cooking.
  8. Clean cooking surfaces after every use to prevent grease buildup.
  9. Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure stoves, ovens, etc. are turned off.

Follow these simple rules to avoid a kitchen fire in your Frankfort home. If a fire does occur, call SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a.s.a.p. to remove smoke and soot damage and safely restore your damaged kitchen.  Call 815-416-0075.

Emergency Storm Tips for Morris/Ottawa Residents

3/17/2017 (Permalink)

Protect Your Morris/Ottawa Home After Storm Damage

Take precautions

Find out about weather warnings in effect in your region or in the area where you are planning to travel. Take such warnings into account when you plan your activities.

 

Prepare yourself when a windstorm is forecast

When the meteorological service forecasts a windstorm, fasten anything that can be blown away outside your home to prevent dangerous situations and injuries.

Postpone all unnecessary travel. If you absolutely have to travel, visit a web site like wather.com to find out about weather travel warnings.

 

Take precautions during extreme windstorms

Follow these tips in the event of extreme windstorms or events such as tornadoes:

  • If you can shelter in a building.
  • Take refuge in your house, preferably in the basement.
  • Take refuge in a solid building that can withstand strong winds.
  • Stay far away from doors and windows and keep your back to them.
  • Do not use the elevator in a building.
  • Evacuate in a timely manner your mobile home or any other shelter that the wind could sweep away. Also evacuate your home if you receive evacuation instructions from the authorities.

 

If you cannot take shelter in a building:

  • Take refuge in a ditch or other depression in the ground, lie face down on the ground and protect your head with your hands.
  • Avoid taking shelter under a bridge, viaduct or overpass, since winds are more intense there.

 

After a windstorm, make your environment safe

  • Barricade the windows
  • Lock the doors
  • Cover damaged areas
  •  

Make sure that your home is safe after a windstorm. Inspect the premises for damage.

  • Check the roof.
  • Check structures that might have been weakened, such as the shed.
  • Pick up debris scattered by the wind.
  • Never touch downed power lines or electrical installations. Call Hydro-Québec at 1 800 790-2424 if you notice a downed power line.

 

If windstorms have damaged your home inform:

  • Your insurer, to have the damage recorded
  • The financial institution that granted you a mortgage loan, to declare the damage
  • Increase the security of your home to keep away looters and inquisitive individuals if extensive work must be carried out before you can return to your home. Be sure to:

 

CALL SERVPRO of Morris / Ottawa. SERVPRO responds immediately to your flood and storm damage emergencies. We have the storm damage restoration experience and specialized equipment to restore your Morris home or business back to pre-storm condition. Call (815) 416-0075.

Got Mold in Morris/Ottawa? Better Call SERVPRO

3/9/2017 (Permalink)

Mold thrives under the right conditions.

Mold remediation is one of our primary areas of expertise here at SERVPRO® of Morris/Ottawa. We have the training and experience to contain the infestation, scrub health-threatening spores out of the air, remove the contaminated materials, and help prevent future microbial growth.


A Moldy Situation


Imagine you were cleaning out a storage closet at work, and you found mold growing on the back wall. Most likely this year, an ice dam supplied the water that created an ideal situation for microbes to grow in this closet. Once you identified and resolved the source of the leak, you would still want to contact a professional to mitigate the mold and ensure healthy air for your employees and customers to breathe.


Containing the Infestation


When SERVPRO® franchise professionals begin a mold job, our first concern is to contain the mold infestation. The mold you can see is only a small part of the danger posed to building occupants. Mold reproduces by releasing invisible spores into the air. These spores pose the real hazard for those who breathe the air in the infested building. Therefore, we begin by preventing air from the contaminated area traveling to other parts of the building.


Scrubbing Mold Out of the Air


Each job is unique in its challenges and solutions. However, in most cases, a SERVPRO® mold mitigation team will set up a containment barrier and create a “negative air” situation inside the infested area. A “negative air” situation is essentially a vacuum that ensures air only flows into and not out of the contained area while the air scrubbers filter the spores and other contaminants from the air.


Removing Contaminated Materials


Organic materials like drywall, carpeting, and ceiling tiles must be removed and discarded once they become contaminated with mold. This is why we encourage people to contact us immediately after a water loss to dry all the materials before microbial growth begins. Blowing a fan across moldy materials hoping to dry them and save them spreads mold spores in the air and increases the health risk to building occupants.  


Inhibiting Future Growth


SERVPRO® franchise professionals can never promise to prevent all future mold growth. Mold spores are everywhere in the atmosphere, and they take root and thrive whenever they find the perfect mix of moisture, food (organic materials) and temperature. However, our team does have several products that discourage microbial growth. Once your moldy materials have been removed and the air has been scrubbed to reduce the concentration of spores, we can apply one of these anti-microbial agents to help protect your building’s structural elements.


Call SERVPRO® for Mold ASAP


When you see mold, remember you cannot see the biggest threat that mold presents. Contact our Morris / Ottawa, IL mold remediation team at 815-416-0075 for a free estimate and good advice about protecting yourself and other building occupants until the mold is removed and the air is clean again. 

Flooded basements in Morris and Ottawa

3/9/2017 (Permalink)

Our crews are able to quickly remove the water to begin drying

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Morris/Ottawa basement could flood, including: 



  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe 

  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home

  • Storm sewer backup

  • Sanitary sewer backup

  • Foundation drainage failure

  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure

  • And many more


Morris and Ottawa had received over several inches of rain that week and it overwhelmed the system.


When flooding occurs SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa can be on site within the hour, to inspect the damage and to begin the water extraction process and have your home back to normal.  We use advanced inspection and monitoring equipment to determine you’re your home’s structure is actually dry. 


If water damage is not handled quickly and properly, it can cause severe damage to your home’s structure not to mention the potential harmful health effects of mold. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.


We are Flooded Basement Specialists:



  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week

  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies

  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About

  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques

  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards

  • We have advanced inspection and extraction equipment


 


Have Questions? Call Us Today – We’re Here To Help -


A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Morris/Ottawa basement could flood, including: 



  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe 

  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home

  • Storm sewer backup

  • Sanitary sewer backup

  • Foundation drainage failure

  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure

  • And many more


The flooding in this Morris home was caused by heavy rain runoff.  Morris had received over several inches of rain that week and it overwhelmed the system.


We were onsite within an hour, to inspect the damage and to begin the water extraction process.  In less than four days we had basement dry. We use advanced inspection and monitoring equipment to determine you’re your home’s structure is actually dry. 


If water damage is not handled quickly and properly, it can cause severe damage to your home’s structure not to mention the potential harmful health effects of mold. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.


We are Flooded Basement Specialists:



  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week

  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies

  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About

  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques

  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards

  • We have advanced inspection and extraction equipment


 


Have Questions? Call Us Today – We’re Here To Help - 815.416.0075

Restoring Your Morris/Ottawa Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event

3/9/2017 (Permalink)

Cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event.

Flooding and water damage events at Morris/Ottawa commercial properties are often 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.

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

About SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water 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.

Morris/Ottawa Smoke and Soot Cleanup

3/9/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot accumulation after fire damage.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 815.416.0075

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