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Can I Break My Lease Due to Water Damage?


Water damage is not an uncommon problem in rented homes, condos, and apartments. The devastation in a rental can prompt the tenant to ask if they can break their lease. The answer depends on what is specified in the lease agreement. Tenants are advised to know their rights beforehand.

What are examples of water damage?

Different types of water damage can affect a rental unit. An appliance, such as a dishwasher or washing machine, can leak and cause major water damage to the surrounding floors. A pipe can burst and gush hundreds of gallons of water into the unit.

Water damage can occur in bathrooms, which contains an abundance of moisture. A toilet might overflow and cause water damage to not only the rental but the unit below. Apartments in close proximity to a river can be flooded if water overflows its banks.

Any of the abovementioned common scenarios can lead to moisture saturating belongings and damaging the walls, ceilings, and carpeting. The unexpected water damage may be so severe that it becomes impossible for the tenant to live in the unit safely and comfortably.

The landlord may outrightly refuse to perform the necessary repairs to maintain the livability of the unit. Or, the landlord may delay fixing the water damage, allowing the water damage to spread and making it difficult for the tenant to continue residing in the rental.

water damage on ceiling

Does the lease stipulate the right to cancel?

Renters are urged to understand the terms of their lease and be aware of their rights. If the landlord has insurance, it may cover the water damage to the building. When this vital information is unclear, it is the renter’s responsibility to ask beforehand who is responsible for water damage.

Total or partial water damage can give the landlord the right to evict the tenant. Conversely, the renter has the right to cancel the lease if the unit is partially or completely destroyed by water damage and the place is uninhabitable. This scenario applies to significant, not minor, water damage.

How does the Illinois RLTA protect tenants?

In Illinois, rental units must be properly maintained per the Illinois Residential Property Manager and Tenant Act (RLTA). This means property managers are required to ensure their rental units are safe, sanitary, and do not pose security threats, including water damage.

Per the RLTA, the landlord must respond to the tenant’s request for repairs within a reasonable time frame. If repairs are significantly delayed or the landlord fails to make proper repairs, the tenant may have the legal right to break the lease and leave the unit without further penalties.

Can the lease be broken if mold develops after water damage?

Especially when toxic substances, like mold, are present in the water damaged property, the tenant has legal grounds to terminate the lease. Prior to canceling the lease, the renter should make sure they are compliant with state and local statutes, plus take a series of steps.

mold from water damage

What steps should the tenant take after water damage?

When water damage occurs and makes the rental uninhabitable, the tenant should document the condition of their unit. Take photos and videos of the damage. Keep detailed records of when the water damage incident occurred, when the landlord was notified and how long they took to repair it.

The tenant must also prove that the landlord failed to make adequate repairs within a reasonable time frame. If the landlord did not act to fix the water damage at all, the tenant is responsible for documenting this negligence as well.

As a last step before terminating the lease, the tenant must notify the landlord immediately upon noticing the water damage that has affected their unit. A formal, written notification is advised. The tenant should give the landlord an opportunity to make proper repairs.

What if the tenant is at fault?

If water damage occurs, the tenant is responsible for mitigating the ruin. The tenant is expected to turn off the water supply and call the landlord soon after the water damage event. The landlord is responsible for maintaining the property and ensuring it remains functional and habitable.

Rental units are typically covered by the landlord’s property insurance. When the walls, floors, or interior structures become water damaged due to no fault of the tenant, the landlord’s insurance should cover it. Of course, if the tenant is at fault, a different scenario ensues.

In some cases, the tenant may have caused the water damage. An example is when the renter accidentally leaves the bathwater running, causing the water to overflow and seep into the unit below. In instances like this, the tenant is held accountable for the damages.

Water damage is costly and time-consuming to fix. Take the hassle out of the repairs by consulting Hydroforce Cleaning and Restoration for efficient, professional water damage restoration. Our technicians perform prompt water damage cleanup services to prevent damage from spreading.

Whether your water damage event is due to an appliance malfunction, a burst pipe, or a flood, our specialists are equipped to return your rental to its pre-loss condition fast. Technicians run powerful water extraction equipment to eliminate the moisture as well as drying machines to fully dry the area.

Call Our Professionals at Hydroforce Cleaning and Restoration

Water damage restoration by Hydroforce Cleaning and Restoration

Our IICRC certified technicians locate the source of the moisture and repair it to prevent further damage. Any objects contaminated by water are removed. We also dry and reinstall carpets affected by water damage. Once the excess moisture is removed, we deodorize and sanitize the premises.

Hydroforce Cleaning and Restoration specialists offer pack-out services. As an added convenience, our crews work with your insurance to speed up claims. Our swift response to water damage emergencies helps prevent further damage and reduces the chances of a mold infestation.

Renters, homeowners, and commercial property owners choose Hydroforce Cleaning and Restoration for all their water damage mitigation needs. We are proud to serve Chicago, Illinois, 24/7. When you are faced with water damage and need immediate professional help, call our cleanup experts.

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How to Thaw a Frozen Water Line


A frozen water line is a disaster waiting to happen. The pipe could burst, spewing hundreds of gallons of water into the home. Flooding is expensive and time-consuming to clean up. Homeowners are advised to prevent this costly mishap by learning how to thaw a frozen water line.

How do pipes freeze?

Water pipes run through the entirety of the home. They carry hot and cold water to the various sinks, showers, tubs, and appliances. Homes located in colder geographic areas are subject to freezing temperatures. When the outside temps drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, exposed pipes could freeze.

Once the exposed water lines are subject to subfreezing weather, the conditions are right for a block of ice to form inside. The chunk of ice reduces the water pressure and creates a watertight seal, thereby preventing water from flowing freely to the faucets.

Another calamity homeowners face during cold weather is a burst pipe. The water inside pipes exposed to freezing temperatures freezes and expands. The water line is no match for the rapidly expanding ice and, as a result, ruptures. Leaks or major flooding are the disastrous outcomes.

Frozen Water Pipe

How do homeowners thaw frozen water lines?

Step 1: Pinpoint the frozen section

No homeowner wants to wake up to a flooded basement in the middle of winter. The key to disaster prevention is to first identify the frozen water line. Indications of a frozen pipe include reduced water pressure, leaks, and a lack of water coming through the faucets.

Turn on the faucets to determine if the issue is isolated or affects the entire home. When one or two faucets have reduced water pressure or the flow of water is completely stopped, trace the pipe from the faucet to locate the frozen area.

Usually, the frozen pipe is uninsulated or runs along an exterior wall. Look for frost or ice forming on the outside of the pipes to identify the section that is frozen. Thawing this frozen part of the pipe requires about 30 to 60 minutes—a gradual thaw is advised.

Don’t attempt to quickly thaw the pipe with an open flame; fire can damage the surrounding materials and pose a risk to the home. Plus, plastic water lines melt. Instead, utilize a hair dryer, a space heater, heat tape, a fan, or a dehumidifier to gradually warm the water line.

Step 2: Turn on the affected faucet

Even a steady trickle of water can prevent a water line from freezing. Turn on the faucet nearest to the frozen pipe. Opening the faucet also helps to relieve the pressure inside the plumbing and reduces the chances that the water line will burst.

Step 3: Access the frozen section

Pipe sections may run behind the wall or under the floor. When this is the case, cut a hole in the drywall to access the frozen pipe. A homeowner who is able to reach the frozen part of the pipe is able to apply direct heat to thaw it out.

Step 4: Apply heat gradually

Avoid damaging the water line by applying heat gradually. Run a space heater in the vicinity; blow a hair dryer onto the pipe; or wrap heat tape around the frozen section. Turning up the heat in the home is another option but takes a long time to produce results.

The pipe thaws within 30 to 60 minutes. Once the pipe begins to thaw, the water pouring out of the open faucet starts to flow at a faster rate. Keep the heat on the pipe even once the water pressure is restored to ensure the ice is fully melted.

Step 5: Check for pipe damage

Frozen Cracked Copper Water Main Pipe Leaking

A frozen pipe can undergo damage due to the ice expansion. A minor crack in the pipe may go unnoticed unless the homeowner actively searches for it. After the ice is thawed, wipe down the pipe with a rag or paper towel. Then inspect the pipe for damage or leaks.

Step 6: Consult a water damage restoration service

Damage to the water line requires the services of a water damage restoration company. Turn off the water at the main shut-off valve before calling the professionals to replace the cracked pipe or repair the leak. Dry the area thoroughly with fans or a dehumidifier to prevent mold colonies.

What prevents a frozen water line?

Protect water lines from freezing by wrapping them in pipe insulation. Heat tape is another option whereby a wire that runs through the tape heats the pipe. Install insulation along the outer walls or in the basement. Set up a space heater to keep the pipe at optimal temperatures.

A flooded home is an overwhelming experience. When you are unexpectedly confronted by significant water damage, consult the water damage restoration pros at Hydroforce Cleaning & Restoration. Our highly skilled crews arrive within 45 minutes, build an action plan, and begin the restoration process.

Our teams of certified technicians utilize cutting-edge equipment to extract all excess moisture from your property. We run professional-grade drying machinery to fully dry out the affected sections. Our specialists then restore water-damaged areas, returning your home to its pre-loss condition fast.

We offer numerous conveniences to streamline the restoration process. Homeowners easily monitor the progress of our work online. You have access to images, estimates, job progress, and an estimated timeframe for completion at your fingertips 24/7. We can also bill your insurance directly.

Hydroforce Cleaning & Restoration trucks

Water damage can happen in the blink of an eye. Hydroforce Cleaning & Restoration crews are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide swift frozen pipe repair. Our dedicated technicians stand by, ready to tackle your residential or commercial water damage disaster efficiently.

Extreme Chicago winters can wreak havoc on unprotected water lines. Hydroforce Cleaning & Restoration is committed to serving Chicagoland with excellence during all four seasons. Call our Bridgeview, Illinois, office to obtain a free estimate for high quality water damage restoration.

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How to Get Rid of Sewage Odors in the Bathroom


A sewage smell in your bathroom usually happens because solids have clogged your pipes, and the water is unable to move freely, causing it to be stagnant. You can sometimes resolve the sewage smell in your bathroom by using vinegar and baking soda, as well as a heavy duty drain cleaner. However, if that does not work, you should consult a plumber to help you unclog your drains.

Understanding How Bathroom Plumbing Works

Bathroom Plumbing

If you look under your sink, there is a U-shaped pipe. This pipe goes from your sink drain to a wastewater pipe in the wall called the P-trap. One end of this pipe goes to the sewer or septic system, while the other goes all the way to the roof to let the fresh air in and allow the smelly sewer gases outside. The P-Trap is U-shaped intentionally so that it can collect a small amount of water after each use of the sink, which allows it to be a barrier against sewage odors. If your plumbing system works as it should, the water stays in the P-trap after you turn off the sink, or empty the tub of flush your toilet.

That little amount of water will help block gases from the sewage system. Usually, these gases will flow past the bathroom and out to the vent pipe in your roof. If these gases are not vented properly, they can be dangerous for your health as they contain methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide. If you’ve been exposed to these gases, you may experience headaches, nausea, and drowsiness. Therefore, if you have a sewage smell in your bathroom, make sure to have it corrected quickly to avoid further issues or possible harm to your health.

Odor Coming from Clogged Drains

If there are odors in your bathroom, it may likely be because the drain is clogged. This happens because whatever is causing the clog may cause bacteria growth and odors. A few common types of clogs that are seen in the bathroom include:

  • Toilet paper buildup, feminine products, baby wipes, and other items not meant to go in the toilet can prevent proper flushing
  • Tree roots causing underground pipe leaks
  • Buildup of hair causing the drain to be blocked
  • Buildup of mineral sediment over time

If these clogs are not resolved quickly, you may notice a bad odor coming from your drain.

Clogged Drains

Sulfur Odor in Your Drain

Sulfur odors coming from your drain are common. When this happens, it is best to check other faucets in the house to see if they have a similar smell, as the issue may be coming from your water supply. If not, you may have contaminated pipes or venting issues.

Quick & Easy Fixes for Sewage Smell in the Bathroom

If your bathroom has not been used recently, the water in the P-Trap will evaporate which removes the barrier between the bathroom and the gases in the sewer system. All you would need to do is run some water to allow the P-Trap to get filled again. If this does not work, you can use some pink RV water-safe antifreeze. If this does not work, then make sure to check for leaks around the P-Trap.

Another reason for the bad odor from your sink may be a clog in the drain as the clog itself may have an odor. Usually, you can resolve this with a plunger, however, if that doesn’t work, you may have to hire a plumber who will use a drain snake or a hydro-jetter to remove the clog.

Some other easy solutions you can try to resolve the bad odor coming from your drain include:

  • Pour boiling water down your drain to quickly clean it and remove odors
  • Use baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water to break any buildup in your drain’s pipes
  • Add baking soda periodically to your drain to keep it fresh
  • Change filters to eliminate bad smells from a contaminated water softener
  • Plunge your toilet to prevent venting issues coming from the waste line
  • Inspect the vent stack to get rid of any debris or heat up icy vents in the winter
  • Use lemon juice and baking soda to help eliminate drain odor

Call the Professionals

Sewage Cleanup Professionals

If your P-Trap has water, there are no leaks, and the drain and pipes are free of clogs, you should call a plumber as you may be dealing with a toilet issue. If you notice that your toilet bowl is not filling up properly, you may have a broken seal. If there is no caulk around the base of the toilet, water and urine can seep under and water will get stuck in crevices where it can cause bacteria with a bad odor to form. The easy solution is to add a bead of caulk around the bottom. It may be helpful to caulk the bolt holes as well to trap the odor. If you notice that your toilet bowl is loose, there may be damage to the wax ring of the toilet. This can cause water leaks and sewage smell. If this is the case and your toilet is loose or wobbly, it will need to reset with a new toilet ring.

Even when the bad sewage odors are in the bathroom, they may be coming from somewhere else. This may be due to a blocked roof vent that is not allowing fresh air to come into your bathroom. A few signs of a blocked vent include slow draining and bubbling or gurgling noises when trying to drain. You may have an issue with an improperly installed, cut, or cracked pipe, which can also cause gases to be released into your home. A cracked pipe may be more difficult to find as it may be hiding somewhere in your walls. However, a plumber can easily find it using a smoke machine and figure out the cause of your leak.

You may be able to do some plumbing fixes yourself such as cleaning your drains or replacing the toilet wax ring. However, if you are not handy and don’t have the proper skill level, you should hire a professional to ensure it is done properly.

Have you experienced a bad sewage smell from your drains? HydroForce Cleaning and Restoration can help you remove the bad odors and get your drains working properly again. We remove odors quickly and efficiently with our hi-tech equipment and proper methods to make sure your home smells fresh. Make sure to call us for all your sewage cleanup and odor removal needs. We know experiencing a sewage backup can be stressful, that is why we are here to help. We will remove all the sewage and clean, disinfect, and restore your property back to its original state. For more information, call us at 630-835-0862.

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How Does Hail Cause Damage to the Roof?


Hail can cause major damage to your property. In 2022, there were over 4,400 severe hail damage reports which caused billions of dollars of property damage. Hail can damage various things outside such as your vehicle, roof, and even the windows of your home. Most of the time, hail damage is very apparent, such as when it breaks a window or dents a car. However, sometimes hail damage cannot be easily seen. With hail damage on a roof, you may need an inspection to figure out how much damage it has caused so you can take proper measures to fix it.

How does hail damage affect your roof?

roof affected by hail damage

The extent of hail damage can vary. It will depend on the hail size, wind speed, and directions, the material the roof is made of, and even the slope of it due to roof leaks and other issues. Whether you’ve experienced cosmetic damage or broken edges, bruises, or punctures, this can cause additional costly issues with your roof later.

Here are some common ways in which hail can damage your asphalt and composition shingles:

  • Granule loss:

This part of the shingle is sandpaper-like and if it loses its granules, its asphalt coating will get exposed to the elements and age it quickly. After a hailstorm, always make sure that granules have not come off your shingles.

  • Cracks in the shingles:

Hail is usually hard and will cause the shingles to crack. This means your roof may end up with bare spots, and the roof will not be able to protect you from the weather.

  • Fiberglass mat that is exposed:

When hail damages your roof, it can break the surface of the shingles and you will end up with the fiberglass mat that is underneath them.

  • Fractured fiberglass mat:

It may be difficult to tell if you have a fractured fiberglass mat unless you are a professional roofer, however, if you suspect this to be the case, make sure to have it checked out as fractured fiberglass mats can result in tears and cracks from hail impact.

Another way that hail and wind can ruin your roof is by affecting the seal integrity of the shingles. When the seal is weakened, the shingles can blow off and leave your roof exposed. If the shingle is damaged, its integrity is also compromised which leads to leaks and tears.

Now that you know all the different ways hail can damage your roof, you should look for signs of damage right after a hailstorm.

How to Identify if Hail Damaged Your Roof


If you have minor roof damage, it may be difficult to identify it if you are not a professional roofing contractor. Here are a few things to look out for if you want to inspect your roof and check for any damage after a hailstorm:

  • Inspect your gutters, downspouts, and siding:

Usually, if you’ve experienced hail damage, there may be dents and dings on your gutters and downspouts. Also, if your gutters are clogged or overflowing or granules are shedding from your roof, you may have roof damage. Make sure to also check your siding, which can show if you’ve experienced hail damage.

  • Inspect your deck:

If you’ve experienced a hailstorm, check the deck for damage. If the hail was bad enough to damage your deck, chances are it also damaged your roof.

Even though these are great indicators of hail damage on your roof, if you suspect damage, you should reach out to a professional roofing contractor for a roof inspection and an assessment.

What hail size can damage your roof?

roof damaged by hail

Even though hail size may vary, almost all sizes of hail can damage your roof. Here is a breakdown on different sizes and the damage they can cause:

  • ½” in hail:

This size of hail or even slightly smaller can cause damage to your roof or other areas of your home.

  • ¾” hail:

This size hail, if combined with strong winds, can cause damage to vinyl siding, window screens, metal fascia, and even deck paint. It can also dislodge granules from asphalt shingles and damage your gutters and downspouts. Sometimes, due to the size of this hail, homeowners don’t identify the damage caused by it.

  • 1” hail:

Usually, this size hail can cause bruising to shingle underlayment and very significant damage to gutters, siding, and fascia. The speed of the wind during the hailstorm will determine the severity of the roof damage, just like with the smaller size hail.

  • 1¼” hail:

This size hail will cause damage just by coming down from the sky. It will leave major dents on various items outside.

  • 1½” hail:

This size hail can cause major damage to your property depending on the amount, how long it falls, and wind speed, however the damage to your property could end up being severe.

  • 1¾ – 2” hail:

This size hail can go through various parts of your roof, or even through plastic roof vents. With this size hail and strong winds, you can end up with torn siding, cracked windows, and damage to metal fixtures.

  • 2” hail:

This size of hail will cause significant damage to your property. If you experience this size of hail and strong winds, you should have your property assessed by a professional roofing company.

Recognizing Roof Damage from Hail

If you experience hail that is over one inch in diameter, you will probably be able to visually see the damage to your roof. If the hail is accompanied by strong winds, you may experience even more damage. You may also see damage outside such as broken windows, dented gutters, or even damaged siding. It is important to get this damage remediated right away after a hailstorm.

Even with identifying the common damage seen on asphalt shingles covered earlier, be aware that hail can crack harder materials such as clay or concrete. However, sometimes hail damage is tougher to see and not knowing you have hail damage can lead to further damage to your property later.

Can you repair a hail damaged roof?

repair a hail damaged roof

Hail damage to your roof can vary in severity, however, it can usually be fixed. It can range from damage to a single shingle to replacing the whole roof. This is why it is important to have your roof inspected by a professional after a hailstorm. This will help determine the damage.

Roof inspections are usually free, and the inspectors can let you know if you have roof damage after a storm. If you are not sure if you’ve had hail damage to your roof, look for signs of damage outlined earlier. If you have multiple instances of damage such as damage to your gutters or siding, it is time to have a professional assessment done. This will help you fix the damage while it is still mild and prevent further damage.

Do Not Ignore Roof Damage

You should never ignore roof damage as you may end up with leaks and ice dams. This may cause mold damage, electrical issues, and even rotting wood which can be costly to fix. If you suspect damage, make sure to call the professionals to have your roof assessed and fixed.

Does insurance cover hail damage?

Usually, a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover damage to the roof from hail. However, this may differ depending on where you live, who you are insured by, and the details outlined in your policy.

You generally need to file your claim within one year of when you experienced roof damage. It is recommended to have your roof inspected right away if you’ve experienced hail damage. You need to ensure that all the damage is reviewed, and the proper assessments have been done so that you can receive your quotes for fixing the hail damage on your roof from your roof contractor.

Call the Professionals

Roof replacement and reconstruction after storm damage

Have you experienced roof damage at your home or business? HydroForce Cleaning and Restoration can help! Whether the damage was caused by strong winds, a storm, hail, or any other natural disaster, our professionals provide storm damage roofing services to restore or replace your roof, siding, and even gutters. You can rest assured that we will get your property back to its original state. For all your roofing needs, call us today at 630-835-0862 for more information.

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Why is There a Sewage Odor Coming from My Kitchen Sink?


Why is There a Sewage Odor Coming from My Kitchen Sink?

The kitchen sink works hard for our households. It is where dishes are washed, various food particles go through the drain, and where the garbage disposal is located. Not many people pay much attention to their kitchen sink unless there is an issue. However, when there is blockage, the kitchen sink may produce a bad odor.

There are various reasons why a kitchen sink may have a bad odor. We will review the different reasons why this may occur and what you can do for regular maintenance to prevent odors coming from your sink.

Why does my kitchen sink have a bad odor?

If you notice your kitchen sink has a bad odor, it could be due to any of these common reasons:

Leftover food in your garbage disposal:

When leftover food gets stuck in your garbage disposal or drains, it can create a bad odor. Certain foods have a stronger odor than others and can also cause sink issues. Rice, grease/fat, coffee grounds, bones, and even potato peels can clog up your pipes.

 A dry P-trap:

If you notice a sewage odor, you may have an empty sink trap. A P-trap is a curved part of the pipe under your sink. Usually, it holds water by which a seal is created, and it prevents any gases from getting into the kitchen. The P-trap should always have water in it. You might also have an issue with the drainpipe or your vent. This issue may include pipe damage or an obstruction that is in your vent.

Clogged or cracked vent:

For your plumbing system to work, it needs to have the proper ventilation. If there is no vent, there can be issues with pressure and flow of water and sewage. If there is an issue with your vent or it is damaged or has a clog, you can experience a sewage odor in your home. Usually, your vent is on the roof, so your plumber can check for bird nests, leaves, or other debris that may have accumulated there. They can also check for cracking or damage.

Clogged or cracked vent

Mainline clog:

Usually, sewage backs up into the bathtub when the toilet is flushed. A mainline clog also usually shows up in the bathtub first before it backs up into the kitchen sink. However, at times it will go straight to your sink. This is an emergency due to the possible health hazards sewage water may contain, and you should call an experienced plumber to help.

Drain clog:

If there is food or grease stuck in your drain, you can experience a bad odor in your kitchen. If you notice other signs of a clog such as a sink that drains too slowly or gurgling pipes, you should have your drains cleaned by a professional.

Sulfate in the water:

If you notice a rotten egg smell, you may have a water issue. Sometimes the bacteria in the water heater can create an odor in your water. Also, sulfate may naturally occur if you have well water. When it is just a small amount it is not an issue, however, if it is a lot, you can start having bad-tasting water and health issues.

How can I stop my sink from smelling like a sewer?

stop sink from smelling like a sewer

Foul odors coming from the kitchen sink are annoying and can make it unpleasant to be in your kitchen. While these steps may not resolve the underlying cause of the odor, they can help reduce the bad smell in your kitchen:

  • Vinegar and baking soda: Pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the drain and let it set for 20 minutes. Then wash it down with hot water.
  • Ice cubes and coarse salt: If there may be food stuck in the disposal, you can remove it by putting some ice cubes and rock salt down the drain and turning on the disposal. Make sure to run cold water afterwards.
  • Lemon slices: Cut up small slices of lemon and put them down the drain and into the garbage disposal while running water. Turn on the garbage disposal until it grinds up the lemon and keep the water running for another 30 seconds after turning off the disposal.
  • Bio-enzyme drain cleaner: Bio-enzyme cleaners use natural enzymes to break down food particles that may be causing an odor.
  • Run water for one minute: If the trapped water in the drain dries up, this could cause a sewage smell. Try running water down the drain for at least one minute and check back after 30 minutes to ensure that the smell is gone.
  • Check sink trap: Check the sink trap and pipes under your sink for signs of leaks or damage. It is best to call a plumber if you notice a problem.

Call Our Professionals at Hydroforce Cleaning and Restoration for Help

equipment to remove odor from kitchen sink

If you are experiencing a sewage backup issue, our professionals at Hydroforce Cleaning and Restoration can help. We offer sewage cleanup and water damage restoration to residential and commercial customers and our technicians are highly trained to handle all types of sewage cleanup situations. Call us today for sewage cleanup emergencies at 630-835-0862.

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How to Prevent Water Leaks in the Basement Due to Heavy Rain?


How to Prevent Water Leaks and Flooding in the Basement Due to Heavy Rain?

This is a common question that pops up in everyone’s mind. A heavy and persistent rain creates moisture and saturates the soil which results in hydrostatic pressure, pulling the water down through the basement walls and floors. Secondly, when gutters and drains get clogged up after a heavy storm, the lingering water pool ends up creating a lateral pressure onto the basement walls. Likewise, if there are any cracks and holes in the wall or if the windows are not properly installed, then it can lead to water leakage that can cause flooding in the basement.

There are 8 things that you can do to prevent flooding in the basement from rain. If any of these suggestions fail, then it is time to call our water damage restoration professionals who can help you with the water removal and repair the damage that is caused to your home.

8 Simple Tips to Protect Your Basement from Flood Damage:

1. Sump Pump:

Sump pumps are an excellent asset that can save your basement from flooding by pulling the water out of the area and redirecting it into another drain or outlet that is away from your home’s foundation. It is usually installed in the lowest part of your basement. Having a sump pump can save you from the water damage and mold problems that are usually caused after a flood. There are two main types of sump pumps, pedestal and submersible sump pump. Usually, submersible sump pumps are more expensive than the pedestal ones, but they are more durable and efficient.

2. Install Backwater Valve:

A sudden storm can overwhelm city sewer lines, causing water and sewage to flow back into your home through your plumbing system. Thus, having a backwater valve installed in the sewer system of your home can stop sewage from flowing back in and protect your bathroom and basement from dangerous flooding and sewage backups.

3. Seal Your Basement:

Seal Your Basement

One of the most important things that you can do to flood proof your basement is seal the openings and visible cracks with a sealant or waterproofing membrane to prevent any kinds of leaks or dripping water into the area. In addition, add new caulking around the windows, doors, and pathways to keep the water out of the area.

4. Waterproof the Walls:

Sometimes there are hidden cracks that can cause serious water damage in your basement. We recommend you use a waterproof membrane that can be brushed onto the walls and ceilings of the basement to prevent any invisible leaks and water dripping issues. You can also use sandbags to protect windows and doors outside your home and prevent water from leaking through any cracks or openings.

5. Add Downspout Extensions:

Downspout extensions are a great way to keep draining water away from the foundation of your property and save it from flooding. If there are any faulty gutters, then there is a higher chance of water infiltrating your basement. Adding a longer downspout will ensure that the water drains far enough away from the home to avoid leaks and flooding in the basement. There are at least 6 types of downspout extensions to choose from such as aluminum, rain chute, splash stone, stealth flow pipe, buried drainpipe, and plastic extension.

6. French Drain:

French Drain

Installing a French drain prevents flooding and saves money on water damage and other remediation services. It usually lasts for 20 to 30 years. If water continues to permeate your basement after trying the above-mentioned tips, then a French drain can help. French drains look like a perforated pipe that is installed 8 to 12 inches below the ground and surrounded by gravel, rocks, and landscaping materials. The purpose of this is to prevent surface and ground water from entering your property and the basement.

7. Lawn Grading:

Your entire landscape and yard should be graded downhill from the home which can prevent water from pooling near your home’s foundation. Poor lawn grading that leads to the accumulation of water near the foundation is the main cause behind floods and water leaks in the basement. However, if you need to regrade your yard, then we recommend you hire a landscaping contractor and a professional who can help you grade the soil.

8. Keep Gutters Clean:

Verify that your downspouts and gutters are clean and free of debris at least three times a year. Clean and well-maintained gutters prevent flooding and will save your basement from getting exposed to any flooding or contaminated water. If you’ve got leaky and aging gutters, then it is important to replace them with new ones because even if you clean those old gutters, they may still leak.

Keep Gutters Clean

For Basement Flood Cleanup, Call Hydroforce Cleaning and Restoration

Whether your basement has flooded due to excessive rain, a pipe burst, or any other cause, we are available 24/7 to provide water damage restoration services. Our technicians are certified and trained to deal with emergencies like basement flooding repair, mold removal, flood damage cleanup, water extraction, and water damage restoration. Removing the standing water is important to prevent serious structural damage and mold growth that can lead to other issues. To book an appointment, call us today at 630-835-0862.

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How to Dry a Flooded Basement


Flooding in your basement can happen due to many reasons as the basement is the most vulnerable area of your home to flooding. Whether your basement floods because of inclement weather, a sewage backup, or a foundation leak, you need to act quickly and get it cleaned up. The quicker you act, the easier it will be to dry out, clean, and restore the area. Fast restoration will also prevent mold from forming, avoiding additional and costly damage.

flooded house cleanup

Reasons for Basement Flooding

Your basement can flood for many reasons; however, it is important to try and prevent these things from happening. Here are some reasons why your basement may flood.

  • Cracks in the foundation:

If your concrete foundation has any cracks or signs of stress such as from the outside, and possibly on the floors and walls, it is a good idea to get those fixed right away, especially small cracks. However, if the cracks are large, you may have to hire a professional to get it fixed.

  • Dirty downspouts and gutters:

If you do not clean your downspouts and gutters and they get debris and leaves stuck in them, rainwater can overflow and seep into your home.

  • Leaving window wells uncovered:

You should always cover your window wells with acrylic to keep water, leaves, and critters out of it.

  • Failing to maintain your sump pump:

It is important to keep your sump pump working well so that it can keep water out of your basement. Sump pumps will fail to work if they clog or if there is a power outage. You should inspect them regularly and make sure they run properly.

  • Regrading your lawn:

You should make sure to level out your yard so that rainwater can drain away from your foundation. This will help keep water out of your home and your basement.

  • Failed water leak sensor:

Water leak sensors can help prevent water damage at your home. You should put them in flood-prone areas of your home and your smart device will alert you if there is a water leak. Make sure to keep it working properly so it can detect the damage when needed.

water leak sensor

How long does it take to dry out a wet basement?

Wet basements can happen for many reasons and whether it is due to heavy rain, extreme weather, or a plumbing accident, it can be a stressful situation. Even though it may seem difficult to dry out a flooded basement, if you take the right steps and do it properly, you should be done in a couple of days.

Here are the steps to take to remove water and dry your basement:

  • Shut off power:

You should shut off the power supply to the basement to keep yourself safe. A professional electrician can help.

  • The outside water level should be lower than the water inside:

This step applies if there is flooding inside and outside your home. You can use a tape measure to measure the height of the water. The reason the water levels are important is because if you pump out water in your basement too fast before the level outside your home is lower, the weight of the water can damage the walls of your basement.

  • Soak up water with towels if its less than 2 in:

Use towels to soak up water in your basement and wring them into buckets which you will empty outside. Make sure to wash the towels as soon as possible so they don’t get mold. You can also use mops and buckets.

  • Pump out water with a wet vac or sump pump:

A wet vac can help pump water out of your basement if it is only a few inches deep. If the water is deeper, you can use a sump pump. A wet vac can be rented from a local hardware store if you do not have one handy.

  • Circulate air in the water damaged area:

Make sure to use big fans and your windows to circulate air in the water damaged area. This will help dry the area so that mold does not form and cause further damage. Move any furniture and other possessions out of the way. Also, use a dehumidifier to remove leftover moisture so you can be sure all areas have been dried. You can also run your air conditioning system if it was not flooded so that you can keep the air dry inside the home.

Circulate air in the water damaged area

  • Clean the floors and drains:

Wearing protective equipment such as long pants and sleeves, boots, rubber gloves, protective eyewear, and an N95 mask you can clean up all the standing water while protecting your health. If you have a carpeted basement, you should tear it out. This is important because the padding under it gets wet as well and can grow mold and mildew. The floor should be scrubbed with a solution of bleach and water. This will help brush any mud and dirt out of tiles, linoleum, and even hardwood floors. It will also help deodorize and prevent mold and mildew.

  • Clean the drainage system by hand:

Make sure all your gutters, downspouts, and drains are cleaned by hand to scoop out leaves, mud, and anything else that may block them.

  • Wash walls and masonry with a high-pressure washer:

Use a pressure washer to rinse the walls and remove dirt and stains. The walls can also be scrubbed by using a solution of bleach and water which will prevent bacteria and mildew from forming.

  • Replace any damaged drywall and insulation:

Water damaged drywall and insulation should be replaced as it can cause mold and mildew to grow, and it can even weaken the structure of your property.

Does home insurance cover flood damage?

Generally, homeowners’ insurance does not cover damage from flooding. However, you can purchase separate flood insurance so that you can have coverage. You could also add a flood endorsement to your home insurance policy. The type of coverage you have for your home will depend on the type of endorsements you added, however, flooding is commonly a home insurance exclusion. If you are unsure what coverage you have, make sure to speak with your insurance agent and they can review the policy with you. If you need flood insurance, make sure to add it.

Hydroforce Restoration Car

If you’ve experienced flooding in your basement, Hydro Force Cleaning and Restoration can help! We will make sure to arrive quickly and take care of the cleaning, drying, and restoration of your basement. Our highly trained technicians specialize in flood damage cleanup. Whether it was caused by a natural flood, inclement weather, or something else, we will take care of your flooded basement quickly and efficiently. For all of your water damage restoration needs, call us today at  630-835-0862.

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Top Water Damage Repair and Prevention Tips by Professionals


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.

dealing with water damage

Must-Do Water Damage Tips

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 you want to learn more about dealing with water damage and schedule a mold inspection and consultation, give Hydroforce Cleaning Systems a call at  630-835-0862 right away.

Avoid these five water damage mistakes 

According to Farmers Insurance, there has been a 1,100 increase in mold-related claims over the last 10 years. Residential water damage can lead to serious mold and mildew problems, which can subsequently result in extremely costly additional damage.

Though minor water-related issues around the home can be tended to easily, the majority of water problems should be handled by professionals. If you are attempting to clean up any mold or mildew around your home, make sure you’re being extremely careful.

flooded house cleaned by Hydroforce Restoration

Here are some common mold, mildew, and water damage cleanup mistakes that people often make (beware of these at all costs):

  • Waiting too long to address the issue — If your home has dealt with any flooding, sewage issues, or any water-related problem — you need to act right away. Waiting too long can result in far more significant and costly damage to various aspects of your home. The first 48 hours after the water-related damage has occurred are crucial if you want to save your walls, carpets, ceilings, structure, and bank account.
  • Not utilizing the correct equipment — For serious mold issues and flood damage, you can’t just use a mop or paper towels to clean everything up. You need specialized equipment, which is why it’s imperative to hire water restoration and cleanup professionals early on.
  • Neglecting electrical outlets — As soon as you identify any water-related problem inside your home, you need to unplug everything to avoid electrical issues. During a residential flood, make sure you’re unplugging and keeping all your electrical components well above the water level.
  • Using bleach — Bleach is great for killing all kinds of bacteria and germs around your home, but you can’t just wipe down a moldy surface with bleach and expect the problem to solve itself. The mold will regrow in the same place no matter how much bleach you use.
  • Not calling professionals — The biggest mistake you can possibly make following any kind of water-related damage is to not get professional help. You can do a little to minimize the damage, sure, but to complete ensure that your home is safe and mold-free, you need to consult with professionals.

If you want to have professionals handle your household water damage and mold cleanup, you can contact Hydroforce Cleaning Systems at 630-835-0862 for thorough water cleanup, mold inspection and consultation, and even 24-hour emergency plumbing services.

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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.