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disaster recovery water restoration

Disaster Recovery for Newbies

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Whether you own a restoration company currently or are just thinking about starting up one somewhere along the line you are going to ask yourself “Will I take my company straight to the disaster?” I won’t lie, its not for everyone. Imagine this. You are a few years in business when a big hurricane hits. You think to yourself “This is it! Time to make the big bucks!” and for some that can certainly be very true. However, if it is your first time helping with disaster recovery  there are a few key guidelines you should follow in order to be successful. Some may seem common sense, however, I am telling you this article is written out of pure experience.

1. STOCK UP ON FOOD AND WATER

During the days following a hurricane there is a huge shortage of food and water If you do not stock up efficiently you may find yourself in a pickle. The number one item you should stock up on not only for yourself and your crew, but also for the customers you will be encountering, is the key to life….water! Bring healthy food that is not going to spoil. You may find it hard to get ice to keep lunch meats and things of that nature cold for a while so keep those types of food items to a minimum until stores start to reopen.

2. STOCK UP ON GAS

Just like food and water it is also very hard to find gasoline in the following days after a hurricane. Be smart and fill up your vehicles in a city outside of the natural disaster area. Bring as much reserve fuel as you can just incase. The gas stations near the disaster will open soon again, however, you do not want your vehicle to get stranded or have to make an unnecessary journey to go get gas. Disaster Recovery for Newbies

3. PREPARE TO CAMP OUT

Maybe its just me but if I am going to make a trip to a natural disaster I want to be where the action is. It just so happens that its very hard to get a hotel room close to where all of the action is after a disaster. Depending on where you are, this may not change for months because not only are the workers staying in hotels but now the residents are too. My best advice for this to keep costs down would be to bring a camper trailer that you can rent monthly and only bring your best guys down with you. If you need help getting work done, hire from the area you are in. People are more than willing to help after a storm. This is a much better solution than wasting all of your profit on a hotel for you and your crew. Maybe treat yourself a week or so before going home to a nice hotel room.

4. PUT YOUR GUARD UP

Most of the people you will encounter during a natural disaster are good people who are in need of your services. They will be happy to see you and very thankful once you have mitigated the situation so they can get on the path to rebuilding. However, you should remember that not everyone can be trusted. People try to take advantage in these types of situations. Keep your guard up about who you are working with and also who you allow to work with you. Cross all of your t’s and dot all of your i’s. You do not want to end up in a situation where one of your customers property goes missing or some similar situation. In fact it is best to be upfront with all of your customers at the initial consultation and help them as best you can to gather all belongings that are important or valuable. Set expectations for your employees. Everyone look out for one another. Honestly, I am not sure 4 bullet points sums up everything you need to know about disaster recovery. I am not claiming to know everything on the topic ,however, these 4 points  should be taken into careful consideration should you decide to help out during a big storm. I really wish I had read this article before my first big storm….
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disaster recovery property damage

A Guide to filing a property damage claim

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It happens to the best of us. A big storm or a big winter freeze can leave home owners wondering what to do when an unfortunate event causes damage to their home. Most home owners have insurance which can help to keep out of pocket expenses to a minimum. Do not be afraid to call your insurance company! However the process for filing and handling a claim can be confusing, which is why you should hire a professional to help you handle the claim and ensure that your home can be properly fixed (and within a reasonable amount of time!). Below is a step by step guide to filing a property damage claim: 1. Evaluate the damage- Before filing a claim you should ask yourself “is this worth filing a claim over?” Property damage can be as small as patching and painting a small spot on the wall to an entire basement flooding. Sometimes the cost for repairs can be less than your deductible so you will want to find out what exactly your deductible is. Never go into any situation that you feel is not safe! (i.e house fire) 2. Call a professional mitigation company- It may be a good idea to call a company to come out that handles damage claims on a regular basis. They will be able show you damages that you cannot see and give you a better idea of the cost associated with repairs. They may also be able to help you call your insurance company and help explain what has happened. 3. Call your insurance company- If you have a big, well known insurance company it is usually best to call their 24/7 call centers when filing a claim. Most big insurance companies have switched from having you call your agent to calling a call center. The call center will take all of the information and give you a claim number. Generally the claim rep will give you a call within 24-48 hours. Sometimes this process can take longer depending on if it is a catastrophic event (i.e hurricane, wild fires) A Guide to filing a property damage claim 4. Have the mitigation company get started working-Most reputable water & fire restoration companies will get started working after you have signed a service agreement and filed a claim for the price of your deductible (this can vary depending on the situation) They will then submit all paperwork to the insurance company for review and payment. You never want to wait in an emergency situation because you can get secondary damage which your insurance company might not pay for. Remember, a mitigation companies job is to “mitigate” the situation, Rebuilding will be a different part of your claim. 5. Wait for your claim rep to examine the damage- You will want for your insurance companies claim rep to come into your home and examine the damage. Then your insurance company will generally give you an estimate based on their findings. Remember this is just an ESTIMATE! You will want to hire a reputable restoration company to help you with the paperwork on your claim to make sure you are getting ALL of the money your home is entitled to. 6. Have a reputable restoration company repair the damages to your home- Working with a reputable restoration company to rebuild your home can save you a lot of time and headaches. A good company will know how to get the appropriate amount of money from your insurance company and in many if not all cases will make your home look better than it did before it was damaged. If you need any help with water & fire restoration in Chicago please do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-484-0402. We can help you through all aspects of your claim and always strive to give it our all and do the best we can for every single customer!
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4 Hidden Places to Check For Mold

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Over 30% of brand new homes constructed have some kind of mold in them. Though mold issues are quite common when it comes to residential properties, it’s a serious issue across the business sector, as well. Thankfully, there are professional commercial services that can perform mold inspection and consultation services, as well as help with mold cleanup and prevention.

Whether you’re taking care of your home or your business, you need to know where to look for mold. There are plenty of areas throughout a structure that can have mold growing but might be tough to actually see. Here are some hidden places to regularly check for mold around a building:

4 Hidden Places to Check For Mold

  • Air conditioners — This is especially true when you’re not using your AC units. The air that AC units bring in from outside contains pollen and dirt, which are perfect for mold growth. AC units that sit for long periods of time are likely to contain all kinds of mold spores. Preventing mold inside your AC can be done by simply running it every single day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
  • Underneath the carpet — Mold can lie beneath the carpeting, inside the floor padding. Any liquids that have spilled onto the floor will lead to mold growth over time.
  • Storage boxes — If there are a lot of cardboard boxes on your property, it’s best to regularly inspect them for mold. Cardboard boxes and paper files can lead to mold if they are being stored in humid environments or a water spill or leak has recently occurred.
  • Window sills — Window sills are a great spot for mold to start and spread since they are consistently exposed to moisture from condensation. Make sure to wide down all your windows sills throughout your home or business and consult with mold commercial services right away if you identify a lot of mold (this goes for anywhere in the building).

If you want to learn more about mold prevention and want to work with professional commercial services, give Hydroforce Cleaning Systems a call today.

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water restoration

Avoid These 3 Common Plumbing Mistakes

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Plumbing is one of the most important aspects of property ownership. If you’re not careful, a single leak or pipe issue could cause all sorts of physical damage to your home, subsequently costing you and your family thousands of dollars in repairs and new equipment purchases.

Thankfully, there are roughly 555,900 individuals employers as professional plumbers, pipefitters, pipelayers, and steamfitters. These professionals can offer all kinds of plumbing services and save your home from being destroyed by water and piping issues. Though plumbing services aren’t free, reaching out to professionals will end up saving you and your family a significant amount of money in the long run.

It’s important to note, however, that even if you plan on having local plumbers come over to your home and take a look at your home’s plumbing system, you could end up doing additional damage if you’re not careful. Far too many homeowners make simple mistakes when it comes to their plumbing, which end up causing all sorts of expensive and damaging problems.

Avoid These 3 Common Plumbing Mistakes

Here are some common residential plumbing mistakes that homeowners need to be aware of at all costs:

  • Putting the wrong things down your drain — Only pour liquids into your sink and never flush anything other than toilet paper and feces into the toilet. A lot of homeowners mistakenly put all kinds of things into their sink’s drain. Even if you have a garbage disposal, though you can get away with some produce debris, you should still only pour liquids. Here are some items that homeowners mistakenly pour down their drain: coffee grounds, eggshells, cat litter, cotton balls, car fluids, fruit, hair, paper towels, and flushable wipes.
  • Using drain cleaners too often — Drain cleaners are great, but they shouldn’t be overused. When homeowners have a drain blockage, they usually turn to drain cleaners prior to consulting with a plumbing professional. Using them too much, however, can corrode pipes and cause all kinds of additional damage.
  • Not turning the water off — You can’t just leave your water on and quickly swap in a new valve or perform other plumbing tasks. If you do, you’ll have the full water pressure of your system flooding all over the place. Any time you’re performing your plumbing jobs, make sure you turn off the water.

If you’re in need of 24-hour emergency plumbing services or water damage cleanup, don’t wait. Contact Hydroforce Cleaning Systems right away!

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water restoration

Keep Mold Out Of Your Home And Bathroom With These 3 Tips

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KEEP MOLD OUT OF YOUR HOME AND BATHROOM WITH THESE 3 TIPS

Mold can be a terrible nuisance for a homeowner. It can look terrible, decrease property value, and even cause some serious health concerns. Plus, according to the Mayo Clinic, 93% of chronic sinus infections have been attributed to mold.

If a home has a serious mold problem, immediate action is required and you should contact local plumbers and mold cleanup specialists. However, if mold only resides in small areas of your bathroom, there are a few things that you can do prior to reaching out for professional help. But it’s important to keep in mind that in order to completely rid your home of this problem, you need to hire mold removal professionals, even if it’s for the smallest mold issue.

For quick mold cleanup jobs inside your home’s bathrooms, consider these following tips:

Keep Mold Out Of Your Home And Bathroom With These 3 Tips

  • Use hot water, baking soda, and bleach — For a quick and affordable way to clean up mold inside your bathroom, get some baking soda and bleach. All you need is a single teaspoon of liquid soap, a cup of baking soda, a few drops of an essential oil, and water. Then, mix that solution with some bleach and transfer it into a spray bottle. Spray the affected area, like a bath tile or your bathroom ceiling with the solution and allow it to dry. Once it has dried, scrub it with a brush and rinse until the mold is gone.
  • Use vinegar — Another inexpensive method for addressing bathroom mold is to put vinegar in a spray bottle. Since vinegar is only mildly acidic, it can clear out a moldy part of your bathroom without cause for health concerns. Make sure you don’t dilute the vinegar with water when placing it into the spray bottle, however, because you’ll need it to be at full-strength and not watered down. After you spray the mold, let it rest for about an hour and then wipe it clean with hot water before drying it off with a clean towel.
  • Keep your bathroom clean — Keeping your bathroom clean is an essential responsibility for all homeowners. After you’ve had local plumbers and mold cleanup professionals address any mold and mildew inside your bathroom and throughout your home, keeping it clean will prevent future mold from growing.

If you’re in need of local plumbers in order to address mold and other plumbing emergencies inside your home, give Hydroforce Cleaning Systems a call right away.

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water restoration

Dealing With Water Damage In Your Home? These 5 Tips Will Help

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DEALING WITH WATER DAMAGE IN YOUR HOME? THESE 5 TIPS WILL HELP

Water damage can strike any home at any time and cause all sorts of structural problems and expensive issues. Rainstorms can cause flooding, but even something as minor as a leaky faucet can lead to plenty of residential stress and costly repairs. In fact, a leaky faucet can waste as much as 100 gallons of water a day.

Since household water issues can cause so much damage, it’s important that every homeowner is fully aware of how to prevent some of these issues and handle them once they have already occurred.

Here are some excellent tips for preventing and dealing with water damage inside your home:

Dealing With Water Damage In Your Home - These 5 Tips Will Help

  • Maintain trees and vegetation — Though some shrubs can look great, unkempt shrubs and trees can decrease your home’s look and even ruin its value. Roots can wrap around pipes and break them, leading to all sorts of water issues.
  • Disconnect hoses — If you notice any standing water inside your home or garage, you need to act quickly to minimize damage and save money. The first thing you should do is stop the water flow by disconnecting your hoses.
  • Limit indoor dampness — Neglecting to control indoor moisture can lead to mold and mildew infestations. Take a look in damp areas like crawlspaces, attics, in walls, and inside the basement. The best way to prevent mold buildup is to ensure quality ventilation, stop all leaks, routing water away from your foundation, and keep crawlspaces dry. Contact mold removal and mold prevention professionals if the problem worsens.
  • Get rid of any damaged item — If anything in your home has been damaged by water, it’s best to just get rid of them. Removing water-logged and damaged items can be difficult, but it will help you minimize overall damage and dry up your home.
  • Improve your home’s air quality — When it comes to dealing with water damage, focusing on the air quality is a great place to start. Residential bacterial and microbial growth can start forming within 48 to 72 hours after water issues. Start the drying process with box fans and dehumidifiers to help control the air quality and remove the humidity from the air.

If you want to learn more about dealing with water damage and schedule a mold inspection and consultation, give Hydroforce Cleaning Systems a call right away.

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disaster recovery water restoration

Nationwide Flooding Causing Mold Issues For U.S. Homeowners

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NATIONWIDE FLOODING CAUSING MOLD ISSUES FOR U.S. HOMEOWNERS

According to Farmers Insurance, there has been a 1,100 increase in mold-related insurance claims over the past 10 years. As more and more storms strike communities around the country, these problems aren’t going away any time soon. In many major cities, hurricanes and flooding are becoming part of life. As a result, all U.S. homeowners need to remember to hire storm damage specialists and professional mold inspection and consultation professionals to prevent further physical damage and expensive repair bills.

According to CityLab, when Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas, it brought with it more than 30 inches of rain in some areas, leading to flooded roads all over the region. Similarly, Hurricane Michael caused major flooding problems in the Florida Panhandle. Now, many of these U.S. residents have to tear out their home’s drywall and flooring in order to identify and get rid of any residential mold.

Additionally, The Bay Net reports that more than 50 inches of rain has fallen onto Baltimore streets in recent months, causing all sorts of mold outbreaks.

Nationwide Flooding Causing Mold Issues For U.S. Homeowners

“All the major storms we’ve had recently, and the ground got so saturated and had nowhere to go. It just came into the basements,” said Sol Kruk, owner of Property Inspection Pros.

Whenever a household has water or moisture damage, mold and mildew can start to form within 24 to 48 hours of water exposure on surfaces like ceiling tiles, wallpaper, wood, drywall, insulation, and carpets.

So what happens when mold is neglected and remains inside a home? If mold growth is not stopped within a 48-hour time period, there are some major problems on the horizon — and we’re not just talking about damage to your home. Mold can cause coughing, wheezing, respiratory issues, and other eye and skin irritations, as well as some other serious health concerns. Pregnant women, the elderly, as well as infants and young children are at much higher risk of having detrimental health effects as a result of mold exposure.

Because of these health concerns, storm damage specialists need to be consulted with right away after a hurricane or significant flooding. Water damage cleanup can not only prevent your home from being destroyed and save you money in the long run, but it can also ensure your family’s safety.

Don’t neglect your home after a major storm because even the slightest moisture issue can result in major water damage and mold. If you’re in need of plumbing professionals and storm damage specialists here in Chicago, give Hydroforce Cleaning Systems a call right away.

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4 Tips For Dealing With Residential Water Damage

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Residential water damage doesn’t discriminate and can ruin a home at any point. The average cost of a home water damage insurance claim is approximately $6,965. If you neglect any household water issues, you’ll end up spending even more in the long run on plumbing services, repair, maintenance work, and mold cleanup.

Here are some helpful tips for dealing with residential water damage:

4 Tips For Dealing With Residential Water Damage

  • Control indoor moisture — The best way to stop mold, mildew, and water damage is to control dampness inside the home. The worst water infestations typically occur in damp crawlspaces, up in attics, and walls where water has leaked in from outside the home. Make sure you’re monitoring your basement’s moisture level, as well. “Smart” bathroom timers and humidity sensors are great for monitoring indoor moisture levels.
  • Hire professional plumbing services — Whether you are scheduling an annual plumbing inspection or are in need of plumbing repairs, you should consult with professionals to ensure you’re getting quality service. Dealing with water damage can be incredibly stressful, but professionals can help alleviate that stress and get your home back to normal.
  • Don’t delay water cleanup — The longer you wait to get your home clean and free of water damage, the more permanent the damage will be. Mold can quickly grow inside walls and will cost a significant amount more in the long run — so it’s best to act fast.
  • Stop the flow of water — If flooding or any kind of water damage has occurred, before you do anything, you should stop the water from flowing to avoid other residential issues. If the flooding was caused by a burst pipe or a water heater failure, you need to shut off the main water line inside your home right away. Contact an expert immediately if you’re unsure of where the water is actually coming from.

If your home has been damaged by water and are in need of mold inspection and consultation and 24-hour emergency plumbing services, give Hydroforce Cleaning Systems a call right away.

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4 FAQs: The Importance of Mold Cleanup and Prevention

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4 FAQS: THE IMPORTANCE OF MOLD CLEANUP AND PREVENTION

If you’re living in a brand new home, you’re probably enjoying every second of it, which is great, but you should know that you could be living alongside some serious dangers. Over 30% of brand new homes constructed currently have some sort of mold inside of them.

Living in a home with even a little bit of mold can cause some major health concerns for you and your family, as well as damage your home over time and even hinder its overall value. Understanding how to identify mold and knowing when to consult residential services can help solve all your household mold-related issues.

Here are some important frequently asked questions pertaining to residential mold:

4 FAQs The Importance of Mold Cleanup and Prevention

  • So… what is mold? — Mold is a fungus that can be found both outdoors and indoors. There are tens of thousands of mold from can these spores can thrive in warm, damp, and humid conditions. So if there are any signs of water damage inside your home — mold is likely an issue, as well.
  • Can mold survive in harsh environments? — Unfortunately, yes. Mold spores can survive extremely harsh conditions and even dry environments, which would otherwise not support mold growth. That’s why it’s imperative to address any household molding issues right away.
  • How can I address mold problems? — As soon as you notice any mold inside your home, you have to act quickly to limit damage and prevent further issues. Your best bet is to consult with water damage cleanup residential services that specialize in mold cleanup. These professionals can quickly identify all the locations of your home with mold and get rid of the mold in a quick and efficient manner.
  • What are some of the health effects that mold causes? — The effects of mold exposure to individuals inside a home can range from minor irritations to serious health issues. Here are some of the most common health effects of mold: sneezing, eye irritation, nasal congestion, coughing, skin rash, and difficulty breathing.

Make sure you and your family are safe from the dangers of mold at all times. If you want to learn more about mold cleanup and water damage residential services, give Hydroforce Cleaning Systems a call right away.

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water restoration

What You Need to Know about Basement and Foundation Waterproofing

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BASEMENT AND FOUNDATION WATERPROOFING

As a homeowner, you have to make sure that every inch of your property is not only looking great, but is safe for you and your family. Since 30% of newly constructed homes have some form of mold inside of them, you need to make sure that your home, especially your basement, are mold-free and safe.

According to the Mayo Clinic, 93% of chronic sinus infections have been attributed to mold, and there are plenty of other health effects that mold issues can cause. If you notice any mold you need to consult with a water damage clean up service right away. Just because you don’t see any mold, however, doesn’t mean you are out of the woods just yet. You need to focus just as much on mold prevention, as well.

What You Need to Know about Basement and Foundation Waterproofing

Basement and foundation waterproofing is a great way to ensure that your home is protected against all kinds of mold growth and water-related issues. Here is everything you need to know about basement and foundation waterproofing:

  • Use proper sealants — The most common entry point for water is through cracks inside your home’s foundation. When water gets into these areas, they become hotspots form mold growth. Thankfully, with special sealants, you can seal these cracks and prevent water from ever getting in. Simply inject these sealants into your foundation’s cracks. Consult with mold cleanup professionals if you’re unsure of how to properly seal your foundation.
  • Clean out your gutters — It might not seem like clogged gutters can impact your basement, but they certainly can. If your gutters are clogged, the water will overflow and cause all kinds of water damage along your home’s foundation and even reach your basement. Make sure you thoroughly clean your gutters at least two or three times a year.
  • Apply a coat of waterproof paint — Waterproofing paint looks just like conventional wall paint, but, as the name suggests, can prevent water from breaking into your home’s basement. A single gallon of waterproofing paint only covers 75 square feet, however, as opposed to the standard range of 300 square feet.

If you want to learn more about basement and foundation waterproofing or schedule mold inspection and consultation or water damage cleanup services, give Hydroforce Cleaning Systems a call today.  

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