Recent Posts

Insurance Coverage for Storm Damage

8/12/2022 (Permalink)

lightning against dark sky Understanding your property insurance can help protect you in the event your home sustains damage from a storm.

Spring and Summer weather in the Midwest is welcomed with open arms each year.  It can, however, bring storms that could cause a wide variety of damage to your home.  Fortunately, much of this damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance.  This insurance protection depends on what type of damage was caused and what caused it.  

Here are a few common events that are often covered on a standard home policy:

Wind Damage

Wind almost always damages the weakest areas of a home. After a storm, indications of damage would include:

  • Shingles in the yard
  • Creased or broken shingles from wind
  • Loose or missing siding and trim on your home
  • Loose or broken downspouts and gutters

Hail Damage

If hail causes damage to the exterior of your home, your dwelling coverage helps cover the cost to repair or replace the damage.

However, your home’s detached structures, such as a fence, garage, gazebo or swimming pool, may only have limited coverage from your base policy. In order to properly protect them from hail damage, you may want to consider adding coverage for your detached structures.

Lightning Damage

Lightning can cause serious damage to your home, including fire and damage to your electronic devices. Fortunately, your home insurance covers lightning-damaged electronics and other personal property, and your dwelling coverage protects the structure of your home if lightning causes a fire.

Here are a few coverages that can be added for extra protection:

Flood Insurance

Floods are a natural disaster that aren’t covered by your homeowners policy, but many companies offer flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. If you live in a flood-prone area or just want peace of mind, consider purchasing flood insurance to protect your home and personal property.

Roof Replacement Cost Coverage

Your home insurance is designed to help cover the replacement of your roof if it’s damaged by a covered loss. But the amount you’ll receive for your damaged roof depends on if you have actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV). Having roof replacement cost value coverage means you’re covered for what it’d cost to replace your roof today without worrying about depreciation.

Matching Siding Coverage

Homeowner’s insurance replaces siding damage from specific types of losses, like damage from wind.  However, it only covers the parts of your home that are damaged. By adding matching siding coverage, you’ll be covered for a higher amount to compensate for replacing additional siding to match.

Sump Pump Coverage

Your sump pump is designed to remove excess water that accumulates around your home’s foundation. If the system ever fails or the power goes out, water overflow may occur. And you're typically not covered for this type of damage with your homeowners insurance. Having water backup and sump pump overflow coverage gives you that important layer of protection that is so important during these Lake County spring and summer rains.

In the event you do suffer damage from a storm, please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Gurnee at 847-838-2954 for your restoration or repair concerns.  We are here to help 24/7/365.

Fire Restoration 101: Levels of Fire Damage

8/4/2022 (Permalink)

residential fire SERVPRO of Gurnee is here to help answer your questions and restore your home to its preloss condition.

Levels of Fire Damage

Not all fires end with the same amount or level of damage. Fire damage is categorized into three different levels: minor, moderate, and major.  The trained professionals at SERVPRO of Gurnee will assess your damage and provide a plan of action to restore each unique fire loss.

Minor Fire Damage

  • Smoke residue is light and contained to certain rooms or areas. 
  • Restoration may involve dry cleaning and/or wet cleaning of ceilings, walls, floors and contents. 
  • Areas may need to be repainted, and minimal items may need to be replaced. 

Moderate Fire Damage

  • Smoke residue is moderate, and more materials require wet cleaning. 
  • Multiple areas require repainting, and the number of items requiring replacement multiplies.
  • Floors may require refinishing. 
  • Heat damage requires more materials to be replaced. 
  • Smoke orders are noticeable and the structure may require additional deodorization.  

Major Fire Damage

  • Smoke residue is present through a large portion of the structure.  
  • Smoke odor is much stronger, even overwhelming. 
  • Heat damage is severe.
  • Structural framing and finishes may be charred, requiring structural repairs. 
  • Emergency services are needed.  These include boarding up, establishing a source of electricity, winterizing the building in cold weather, and removing smoke-filled and charred debris.
  • Restoration will require extensive cleaning of the structure.
  • Contents that are salvageable will be moved off-site for cleaning.  
  • Multiple methods of deodorization are needed to remove smoke odors.

A fire of any size is one of the most devastating events a home or business owner can encounter. Each smoke and fire damage situation is different, and each requires a unique solution.  SERVPRO of Gurnee has the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore fire and smoke damage.  It is our number one priority to treat your family with respect and your property with care.  Call us today at 847-838-2954 for a no cost assessment.

Ejector Pump Vs Sump Pump: What’s the Difference?

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

cartoon man with glasses in flooded basement SERVPRO of Gurnee is here to help take the stress out of your water or sewer cleanup and restoration. We are available for your call 24/7/365.

EJECTOR PUMP

Most homes are built so gravity can transport waste to the sewer system. For this to be possible, the home must be higher than the sewer pipes so the waste can drain properly. Sometimes, however, this isn’t possible because of a home’s location or because of plumbing in the basement that reaches deeper than the main sewer lines. In these instances, an ejector pump is used to force sewage out of the home’s plumbing.

One of the biggest differences between an ejector pump and a sump pump is that an ejector pump has the ability to move solid waste with water pressure.  The ejector pump breaks up solid waste to force it farther down the line and out to the main sewer.  Without an ejector pump, basement bathrooms and any plumbing below the main sewer level would be unable to clear waste. The result would be sewage backing up into the home. 

SUMP PUMP

A sump pump provides a different function than an ejector pump. Sump pumps do not deal with waste or sewage at all. Instead, a sump pump sits in a pit beneath your home. This pit is drainage for excess water that builds up during rainstorms, snowmelt, or flooding of any sort. When excess water accumulates in your sump pit, the sump pump expels the water out through pipes that drain to an exterior location far enough from your home to not cause any issues or backflow. Without a sump pump, basements could be flooded every time it rains. A sump pump ensures that you keep a dry home, even when torrential storms rage outside.

Sump pumps are mostly found in wet climates or where basements are prevalent. They are less common in dry areas or where basements are not popular.

Sump pumps cannot be joined to a sewer line. Instead, they must drain outside. Sump pumps also cannot handle debris. They generally have a screen or grate on the intake so the pump doesn’t suck up anything that could damage and ruin the pump. Sump pumps are meant to transport water only.

While each of these is important in its own right, ejector pumps and sump pumps are different tools that perform very different jobs. Ejector pumps push waste and sewage uphill to remove it from plumbing that’s below the main sewer level. Sump pumps stop your basement from flooding by evacuating water that accumulates from natural sources. If you require one of these pumps but don’t have it, the results could be disastrous.  

In the event you do sustain damage from a failed ejector pump or sump pump, SERVPRO of Gurnee is here to help 24/7/365.  Give us a call at 847-838-2954 for a no-cost assessment of your water damage situation.

5 Star Customer Experience in Northern Lake County

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

5 Star Review At SERVPRO of Gurnee, it is our goal to exceed customer expectations.

At SERVPRO of Gurnee, great customer service is of the utmost importance to us.  We work hard to train our emergency personnel to exhibit excellent customer service. When one of our customers is experiencing a water damage or fire damage emergency, we want to be there to help them recover their home or business to preloss condition with as little disruption as possible. 

One such example of this comes from a review written on our website by a customer who experienced water damage in her home. Gretchen M. writes:

"These boys descended on my MESS and quickly stopped the water damage and started the drying process. We are only on day 2 after the flooding but they’ve already checked in again to see how things are going. They were polite and working quickly and knew what they were doing. Thanks to all the guys that were here- Josh, Ralph, Jared and David!!"

Here at SERVPRO of Gurnee, there is nothing that makes us prouder than knowing our customers are satisfied with a job well done. We are here for your emergencies 24/7/365.  Give us a call for help at 847-838-2954.

Board-Up Services for your Northern Lake County, IL Business

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

green servpro van in front of boarded window Our SERVPRO board up team has helped to keep many businesses safe after some streaks of vandalism in the area.

Whether your windows are broken by a storm, wind, fire, or vandalism, action must be taken quickly to secure your business until replacement doors and windows can be permanently installed.  The board-up professionals at SERVPRO of Gurnee are here to help.  We have years of experience securing homes and businesses after damage occurs, and we are available 24/7/365 for this type of emergency.

What is a “board-up”?

Board-up is the process by which we secure windows, doors, and other openings with wooden boards to protect the interior from damage.

Most often, windows and doors are boarded up after severe storms, fire damage, or vandalism that left a building exposed to the elements. Boarding up your business can also protect it from vandalism and theft during the repair process.

Why should broken windows and doors be boarded up?

Some people use sheets of plastic or tarps to seal their building from the elements after damage. In more mild cases, this can be a cost-effective alternative that requires less setup and take down than using wood.  However, a tarp is not sturdy enough to protect your business when the openings are particularly large or the environment is unfriendly. If you’re concerned about theft or further damage to your building, it’s best to use a professional board up service.

How do I board up my own windows?

There are a few steps to boarding up doors and windows after they’ve been damaged.

  • First, protect yourself from hazards like broken glass by wearing safety glasses and thick gloves. Long sleeves and pants are also recommended.
  • Tape over cracks in windows that haven’t been completely shattered, or remove them entirely. If you leave a crack untreated, it has the potential of getting bigger and causing further harm.
  • Measure the window or door frame and cut a board to cover the opening.
  • Secure the board to the window or door frame, preferably with a power drill. You can also nail the wood in place, though it will take a little longer.
  • If those steps seem complicated (and they sure can be — measuring and cutting for a large do-it-yourself project like this is no easy task) don’t hesitate to reach out for help. 

If your business is damaged by a storm or by vandalism, let us take some of the worry away by keeping the interior of your building safe and secure.  SERVPRO of Gurnee has seen countless board-up situations, and we are always available for your call at 847-838-2954.

Lake County Tornado Season is Here: Be Prepared and Safe

6/12/2022 (Permalink)

tornado in field The US averages over 1,200 tornadoes per year. This exceeds the number of tornadoes in any other country, according to the NOAA.

Prepare:

  • Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar similar to a freight train.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.  Become familiar with your community's sirens.
  • Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.
  • Identify and practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level.

Survive:

  • Immediately go to a safe location that you identified.
  • Take additional cover by shielding your head and neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around you.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle. 
  • If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible. 

Recover:

  • If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust. Try to send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting.
  • Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
  • Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told that they are safe.
  • Save your phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends. 
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves.

In the event your home or business is damaged by a tornado or high winds, SERVPRO of Libertyville/North Chicago City/Lake Bluff is available 24/7/365 to assist in securing your property.  Our reconstruction team is experienced in restoring properties from this type of damage, working in conjunction with your insurance company to bring your home or business back to life.  Call us today at 847-557-1080.

Fire Restoration 101: Types of Soot

6/4/2022 (Permalink)

black soot webs appear similar to spider webs spread across the ceiling of a home It's not poor housekeeping! These are soot webs caused by wet soot formed during a house fire.

There are three different types of soot: wet, dry, and protein. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Gurnee will test the soot to determine which type of damage occurred. The cleaning procedure we use will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.

Wet Soot - Plastic and Rubber

  • Low Heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Creates smoke webs that are more difficult to clean.
  • Example: plastics, synthetics, household fires

Dry Soot - Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
  • Example: organic materials, wildfires

Protein Soot - Food products

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 
  • Example: grease or food, kitchen fires

A fire is one of the most devastating events a home or business owner can encounter. Each smoke and fire damage situation is different, and each requires a unique solution for the specific situation.  SERVPRO of Gurnee has the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore fire and smoke damage.  It is our number one priority to treat your family with respect and your property with care.

Call SERVPRO of Gurnee today at 847-838-2954 for a free inspection to assess your unique situation.

Flood Insurance and Water Backup Coverage: What’s the Difference?

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

boots in water Water in your basement? The professionals at SERVPRO of Gurnee are here to help!

Spring and Summer in Lake County is a happy time for so many home and business owners who are ready for warmer weather, and sunshine!  We Midwesterners look forward to that first day on or in the water.  So what happens when that water we love so much finds its way into our basements?  How can property owners recover losses to their property from flood waters?  

Water/Sewer Backup Coverage

Most homeowners insurance policies come with an optional endorsement for water backup and sump discharge/overflow which will cover losses, up to a certain limit, caused by the backup of water or waterborne materials through a sewer or through a drain. It will also cover water or waterborne material that overflows from a sump, even if the backup of water is due to the mechanical breakdown of the sump pump. Coverage includes damage to property but excludes the sump pump and any related equipment that has broken down.  Contact your insurance professional for more information about this coverage and its limits.

The endorsement does not cover damages caused by a flood. A separate flood insurance policy needs to be obtained to cover losses due to flooding.

Flood Insurance

What is a flood?  The dictionary defines “flood” as rising and overflowing of water onto normally dry land. For the purpose of insurance, “rising” is the key to distinguish flood damage from water damage. Basically damage that has occurred from water that has been on the ground at some point before causing damage to your home is considered flood damage, and would not be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.

Flooding can happen anywhere; even if your home is not in a flood plain.  Flood insurance is available to all homeowners who live in a participating community, which must enforce floodplain ordinances and building requirements that meet or exceed FEMA guidelines. If your community does not participate in the NFIP, you can make a request for it to do so through your mayor, city council or county commissioner’s office.  Contact your insurance professional for more information about this coverage and its limits.

In the event you do sustain property damage from any type of flooding, SERVPRO of Gurnee is here to help.  We are available 24/7/365 at 847-838-2954 for your emergencies.

Making Happy Customers in Northern Lake County Illinois

5/2/2022 (Permalink)

5 Star Review At SERVPRO of Gurnee, we aim to exceed customer expectations through caring and professionalism.

At SERVPRO of Gurnee, great customer service is of the utmost importance to us.  We work hard to train our emergency personnel to exhibit excellent customer service. When one of our customers is experiencing a water damage or fire damage emergency, we want to be there to help them recover their home or business to preloss condition with as little disruption as possible. 

One such example of this comes from a review written on our website by a customer who experienced a vehicle crashing into his home in the middle of the night! Raphael S. writes:

"A car ran into my house.  Ken and Ralph who came out to my house to board up my house did a great job.  They were very neat and did a wonderful job with the clean up!"

Here at SERVPRO of Gurnee, there is nothing that makes us prouder than knowing our customers are satisfied with a job well done. We are here for your emergencies 24/7/365.  Give us a call for help at 847-838-2954.

Commercial Duct Cleaning in Northern Lake County Illinois

4/28/2022 (Permalink)

spring duct cleaning Call SERVPRO of Gurnee today to schedule your spring duct cleaning!

Did you know that your ventilation system determines your indoor air quality? Dirty ducts can circulate contaminates such as mold or irritating dust as well as unwanted odors throughout your home or business. SERVPRO of Gurnee provides a professional service to inspect and clean your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). 

How does our SERVPRO Duct Cleaning System work?

  • First, our patented equipment automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth prior to beginning vacuuming.
  • Next, is a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system that will transfer the debris from the duct to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. These HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
  • Part of an optional process, a sealant or coating may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • In addition, filters will need to be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

For more information or to schedule a residential or commercial duct cleaning appointment, contact SERVPRO of Gurnee at 847-838-2954.