Recent Posts

SERVPRO Commercial Water Damage Assessment

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events in the Western Lake County area commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Mold Remediation Facts

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Remediation Facts This is a commercial dehumidifier. . We use this often to dry out rooms

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

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

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

7 Secret Weapons for Surviving the Worst of Winter

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Winter can be magical, but it's also fraught with danger. Frigid temperatures can make water freeze and expand, causing pipes to burst. Ice buildup on the roof, if unnoticed, can damage both the roof and gutters. Slick black ice between the house and your car can turn that short walk into a hazard! 

You can protect yourself from winter's brutal assault with a handful of sensible purchases and repairs, according to Daniel O’Brian, technical expert for SupplyHouse.com, an online retailer of plumbing and heating components. Scroll through this list of seven useful products that can help you get ready for anything Old Man Winter dishes out this season.

1. Heat Tape

 

Homeowners often shut off the water supply to outside spigots in late fall, but some indoor pipes—such as those located in unheated basements, crawl spaces, or even under sinks in poorly insulated houses—can still be at risk of freezing. And dealing with a pipe that freezes and bursts involves much more than a simple fix. You could find yourself spending thousands of dollars to repair water damage.

“If relocating pipes or draining them during the winter is not an option, heat tape is a relatively easy way to prevent pipe freezing,” O’Brian says. Electric-powered heat tape, such as Easy Heat’s 50-Foot Pipe Tracing Heat Cable (available from SupplyHouse), securely wraps around metal or PVC pipes, and its self-regulating thermostat varies the heat output to keep your pipes from freezing or getting too hot—even in subzero temperatures.

2. Radiant Heat Mats

 

Icy driveways and sidewalks lead to wintertime falls—and visits to the emergency room. Fortunately, safety doesn't have to involve spreading toxic chemicals or plant-killing salt on paved surfaces. “Approved electric radiant heat mats can be used outdoors not only to save time shoveling, but also to create safer environments with less ice, fewer slips and falls, and less need to salt and condition the surface,” O'Brian says.

If this option sounds good to you, be aware that radiant heat mats need to be installed at the same time as the sidewalk (or driveway) is poured—which puts them out of the running for many homeowners. But investing in a high-quality heat mat, such as the Suntouch ProMelt Mat (available from SupplyHouse), can really pay off. Embedded just beneath the surface of the concrete, these mats keep the concrete surface dry and ice-free all winter. Having radiant heat mats offers the added benefit of keeping shoes dry and clean, so less mess gets tracked into your home.

3. Roof and Gutter De-Icing Cables

A picturesque blanket of snow on the roof can pose an ugly risk if it begins to melt and then refreezes, resulting in heavy ice buildup along the edge of the roof and in the gutter. These accumulations, known as ice dams, can damage roof shingles and lead to leaks, and cause the gutter to tear away from the house.

Securing a heated cable, such as EasyHeat’s 240-Foot Roof and Gutter De-Icing Cable (available from SupplyHouse ), to the roof can offer that ounce of prevention you need. “Roof and gutter de-icing cables are positioned strategically in areas prone to ice dam formation and use heat to melt snow and ice before it can build up and cause a dam,” he explains.

4. Unit Heater

 

Maintenance and repair work doesn't stop just because temperatures have dipped below freezing. But it can be hard to work on the car or finish up a project in your workshop when your fingers are numb from the cold. “With a proper gas or electrical hookup, unit heaters offer a relatively easy way to condition areas such as garages and workshops,” O’Brian says, making the garage a comfortable work space all year long. Installing and running a heater can help raise the indoor temperature to around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is sufficiently warm for most types of projects or mechanical work. Even better, these units don't need to take up valuable floor space. Some units, such as Modine’s Hot Dawg Natural Gas Power Vented Heater (available from SupplyHouse), come with angle brackets to suspend the unit from the ceiling.

5. Whole-House Humidifier

You're probably familiar with the effects of dry air, such as chapped lips, irritated skin, and worsened breathing problems for those with asthma. Dry air can have similar consequences inside the home. “Forced-air heating systems can especially dry out indoor air, which is harmful for wood floors and furniture,” O’Brian says. Increasing the moisture level in your home during winter via a whole-house humidifier can alleviate these problems. A unit like General Aire’s Drain-Type Power Humidifier (available from SupplyHouse) connects to your home’s HVAC system (professional installation is required). Then, as your furnace sends warm air through the ducts, the humidifier infuses the air with soothing moisture. 

6. Frost-Free Sillcocks

Exterior faucets are notorious for freezing and breaking in winter. One solution is to turn off the water supply to the faucets and bleed the lines so they can’t freeze. A better solution would be to replace your standard outdoor faucets with frost-free sillcocks, such as Bluefin’s Frost-Free Anti-Siphon Sillcock (available from SupplyHouse). In a frost-free sillcock, unlike a standard exterior faucet, the valve that shuts off the water sits at the end of a long pipe so it's situated inside your house, where it’s less likely to freeze. Once the frost-free sillcock is in place, you won’t have to turn off the water supply for the winter—you’ll be able to run water whenever you need it, no matter how cold it is outside.

7. Leak and Freeze Detector

 

Pipes typically have the greatest risk of freezing and breaking during “the first freeze of the season, or in areas where freezing temperatures aren't very common,” O’Brian says. Don't get caught off guard! Install a leak detector wherever a pipe or an appliance, such as a water heater, is apt to freeze or leak.

“Modern detectors go beyond just sounding an alarm,” O’Brian says. “They also provide mobile alerts so that damage can be minimized.” When freezing temperatures approach or if a leak is detected, the Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Leak and Freeze Detector (available from SupplyHouse) will sound an audible alarm. It also connects to your home's wireless router and can be configured (via the mobile app) to send an alert to your smartphone so you can take action before a small leak evolves into a disaster. Powered by three AAA batteries, the detector should last about three years.

Article from BobVilla.com

Kitchen Fire Prevention

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Cooking fires are the most common house fire.  They are also the most dangerous.  Follow these tips to keep your family and home safe while in the kitchen.

Never leave the kitchen

While you are cooking or even while you are just preheating the oven, never leave a hot stove or oven unattended.  The most common kitchen fires are caused by leaving cooking food unattended.  If for some reason you have to leave the kitchen, be sure to remove all pots and pans from the hot stove top and from inside the oven. 

Be aware of your surroundings

While you are cooking, try to avoid wearing long-sleeves or any clothing that might be too big for you.  Also, if you have long hair try to keep it tied back while cooking.  Be aware of where you place kitchen towels and oven mitts, make sure to keep them away from the hot stove top.  Make sure there is not anything flammable near the stove top while it is on.

Be prepared

If there ever should be a fire in the kitchen, make sure you are prepared.   Make sure to check and change the batteries in the smoke detector regularly.  Make sure your fire extinguisher is up to date and not damaged.  Also, if a fire was to occur in your home make sure to go over a fire escape plan with your family so that they know where to go and what to do.

If you ever experience a fire in your home call SERVPRO of Western Lake County (219) 922-9300.  We have a highly trained team and we are always here to help.  

Tips on Air Duct Cleaning from NADCA

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

We are proud to be certified by the National Air Ducts Cleaner Association (NADCA). They recently put together a few tips when looking to have your air ducts. 

1. Cutting costs and saving money whenever possible is a priority for many homeowners - but determining when and where to budget the spending can be a bit of a challenge. Companies that offer products and home maintenance services at discounted rates can appear attractive, but consumers must be able to differentiate between the deals that are too good to pass up - and the deals that are just too good to be true.

It’s important to be cautious of the $39.99 type of advertisements for air duct cleaning and HVAC maintenance. It’s likely that the companies offering these highly-discounted deals aren’t offering full-service cleaning and aren’t performing up to the ACR Standard.

To help consumers determine whether or not a company is reputable, NADCA offers these tips:
• Verify that the company is a NADCA member with a certified contractor on staff.
• Ask for proof of license and insurance.
• Request that a system inspection be performed at your home, prior to hiring a contractor.
• Avoid advertisements and discounts for “whole house specials” under $100.

NADCA reminds homeowners that according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), duct cleaning services typically - but not always - range in cost from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system. The estimated cost of services depends on the size of the system being cleaned, accessibility to the unit, climactic region the level of contamination, and the type of duct material.

2. When looking to hire a company for cleaning your air ducts or servicing your HVAC system, it's important to select a reputable business that has gone through the NADCA certification process. As the HVAC Inspection, Maintenance and Restoration Association, NADCA is the leading organization for industry professionals. Companies with NADCA-certified technicians on staff are able to provide the complete service that aligns with the ACR Standard - the standard for the Assessment, Cleaning, and Restoration of HVAC systems.

Winter Fire Hazards At Your Business

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

With the changing of the seasons comes cold weather. Who doesn’t love snuggling up before a warm fire at this time of year? We’ve pulled out the sweaters and fluffy blankets to stay toasty, and most of us will employ a space heater or two before spring comes around again.

In your place of business, you will be taking those extra steps to make sure your staff is comfortable during the colder months, as well. Let’s make sure they stay fire safe! Here are some winter fire hazards to be aware of:

  • In your offices, the use of space heaters will be helpful. Inspect every unit used to make sure that cords and plugs are in good working condition, and enforce a policy that ensures they are never left running when the room is unoccupied or when the workday is over. Designate someone to oversee this; they should be the person who is normally last out the door. As the owner, it may very well be you.
  • Employ a landscape company to remove leaves and dead vegetation from your property. In the event of a fire in your building, space that is cleared from the foundation and exterior walls will help firefighters to gain access as well as prevent a fire from spreading further.
  • When repairing or renovating your offices or outbuildings, use fire-resistant materials whenever possible. Flooring, furniture, and paint can all be produced or treated after purchase to make them more fire safe.

We are always available to help you keep your business fire safe. In the event of damages sustained from fire or water, we have the experience and know how to complete a cleanup project quickly and efficiently, getting you back to work as soon as possible.

Tools of the Trade

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Here are SERVPRO of Western Lake County we bring you the best tools of the trade to make it "Like it never even happened." Our goal is to always use the most cost conscious and effective tools.

Here's a look at some of the technology we use!

  • Commercial Dehumidifier: This is used to prevent secondary damage, mold, and wet walls that won’t dry with a semi-gloss paint. We use this often to dry out rooms. We even drill holes in the baseboards to make sure we get the water out from behind them, where mold can grow.
  • Injecti-Dry Equipment: We inject warm, dry air and dry the walls instead of having to cut the walls out.
  • Hardwood Floor Drying Mat System: This special hardwood floor drying mat system allows the mats to go on the floor and suck the water out of the floor. They are perforated to soak up the water quickly. Customers can save $1,000’s by drying the floors instead of having to replace them. 
  • Deodorization: We use air scrubbers for air quality. They contain HEPA filters and deodorizers.

You can trust the in the event of fire or water damage we are dedicated to use the best technology on your space. 

Clean Your Air Ducts Before the Holidays

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

The time for holiday cheer is fast approaching, bringing with it colder climates and the potential for winter storms. As outdoor temperatures start to drop, homeowners should begin taking steps to stay warm indoors and keep the winter weather out. However, preparing your home for winter involves more than just closing storm windows and turning on the heat. Checking your home’s furnace filter and air ducts is important for maintaining your home’s indoor air quality and keeping you and your family healthy all season long. 

The Hidden Dangers in Your Air Ducts

Your heating and cooling system acts as the lungs of your home, with a connected network of air ducts throughout the building to circulate air from one room to another. Over time, dirt, pet dander, dust, and other contaminants can build up and recirculate around your home five to seven times a day on average. Homes are built to be airtight to keep the heat in and the cold out. This means that circulating contaminants are trapped indoors which could contribute to breathing or health issues, especially during winter months when little fresh air gets inside.

Having a spotless home in preparation for the changing seasons and the annual visits from family is usually high on many homeowner’s holiday to-do lists. However, many common household products used to clean the home are made with organic chemicals that emit natural gases called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are bad for your indoor air quality. These compounds can be found in cleaners, hobby supplies, aerosol sprays, and even candles.

On top of dealing with the potential allergen build-up in your ductwork, which could cause increased sneezing and coughing, VOCs bring their own health problems. When exposed to low levels of VOCs over a period of time, people, especially those with respiratory problems, may start to experience nausea, headaches, or dizziness. Exposure to high levels of VOCs may lead to more serious conditions like kidney damage, cancer, or problems with your nervous system.

How Air Duct Cleaning Boosts Holiday Cheer

If you notice increased allergy symptoms or difficulty breathing when the heat is turned on, you may need to address the air quality inside your home with air duct cleaning. Removing, or limiting, the build-up of pollutants in your home before closing everything up for the winter is a crucial step in preventing the negative health effects caused by continued exposure to poor indoor air quality. Maintaining your home’s ventilation system will ensure it is free from dirt, dust, and other things that can clog filters and impact air flow. With a clean heating and cooling system, anyone suffering from poor indoor air quality can instead focus on fighting off the flu or common cold that frequently puts a damper on celebrations.

We would be happy to help with any of your HVAC & Air Duct cleaning needs. Contact us today!

Thanks to our friends at the National Air Duct Cleaners Association for the helpful information!

Here to Help®

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Here to Help® Here to Help®

Hurricane Florence made landfall causing significant flooding and wind destruction in North and South Carolina, and our local SERVPRO Franchises are already in place and ready to respond.

This mentality is why we became part of the SERVPRO family. The community involvement and Here to Help® campaign is an important element of SERVPRO.

Your local SERVPRO team has stayed right here in Northwest Indiana to help serve our community and storm-damage needs. Our hearts are with those impacted by Hurricane Florence.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Western Lake County?

A Fast Response Is Crucial:
In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs. Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of Western Lake County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately.

Highly Trained Water Damage Specialists
SERVPRO of Western Lake County specializes in water and storm damage restoration, including damage caused by hurricanes, storm surges, and wind damage. SERVPRO of Western Lake County has extensive water damage restoration training that enables them to get you back to normal.

The Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters
The SERVPRO of Western Lake County Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, blizzard or flood. Should a disaster strike near you, we are available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO of Western Lake County Franchise is prepared for the unpredictable.

When Storms Hit, SERVPRO is ready!

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Storms Hit, SERVPRO is ready! Our trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Griffith, Schererville, Crown Point, Merrillville, Highland, Munster, Dyer.

SERVPRO ofWestern Lake County specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (219) 922-9300.