Ice Dams and Water Leaks
Illustration of an Ice Dam
Tips for Removing Ice Dams
Residents in northern Illinois have been dealing with record–setting snow and even though wintertime icicles may look charming, they usually signal a serious and costly problem. Hidden behind the ice is water that can work its way under roof shingles and leak into your home or business. If left untreated, ice dams can cause serious damage to your roof, gutters, paint, insulation, drywall, structure and even contribute to mold. There are several things you can do to avoid getting an ice dam or to reduce the risk of damage after one has formed.
How do ice dams form?
Ice dams can form whenever water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your roof-line. Without room snow removal, an ice dam may grow large enough to prevent water from draining off the roof. This water can then back up underneath roof shingles and make its way into your home or business.
Preventing Ice Dams
- If possible, have snow removed from your roof after every storm
- Use a roof rake to clear snow from the edge of your roof upwards of three to four feet immediately after each storm. In addition to helping prevent an ice dam from forming, this will lessen the stress on your home’s roof. The amount of snow and ice your roof can support will depend on a number of factors, including the roof type and the age and condition of the structure. Keep in mind - if more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice has accumulated on your roof, you should have it removed by a professional.
Dealing With Existing Ice Dams
- An easy way to help snow and ice drain off of your roof is to make sure the area around your downspouts is clear. This can help prevent standing water from collecting near the gutter downspout.
- Melt the ice dam
(Fill a nylon stocking with calcium chloride ice melt, and place it vertically across the ice dam so that it melts a channel through the dam. If you try this, make sure you can safely position the ice melt on your roof, and make sure to use calcium chloride, not rock salt. Rock salt will damage your roof. Also, be aware that shrubbery and plants near the gutters or downspouts may be damaged.)
- Seek a trained professional's help removing ice
Checklist before SERVPRO arrives:
- If you cannot safely reach the roof, avoid using a ladder in snowy and icy conditions. Consider hiring a contractor to remove the ice dam.
- Disconnect the electrical and remove electronics from the affected area
- Call your insurance company! Many insurance companies will cover the damage caused by ice dams.
- Before any professional cleanup, photograph and document the damage.
- Remove standing water
- Remove mold-prone items if possible
- If possible, open the windows to circulate air or use a fan.
- Once the ice damn is removed from your roof, contact SERVPRO of LaGrange/Burr Ridge/Hinsdale to professionally clean, dry, and disinfect the area. Water damage in your home due to ice dams is an unfortunate situation, but SERVPRO of LaGrange/Burr Ridge/Hinsdale will happily clean up any damage. Protect your roof and home from the hazards of ice dams and call us today at 630-920-9334.
Dryer Vents Can Cause Fires!
Clean your dryer vent to avoid fire danger
Follow these simple safety tips to prevent a clothes dryer fire in your home!
• Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
• Do not use the dryer without a lint filter. Clean the lint filter before and after each cycle.
• Do not forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up.
• Check the venting system behind the dryer to make sure that it is not damaged, crushed or restricted.
• Make sure that the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is operating.
PREVENT FROZEN PIPES!
Frozen Pipes can burst and wreak havoc to your home...following these steps can help minimize the likelihood of a disaster from happening:
Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
- Disconnect all gardening hoses and install covers on all outside faucets
- Keep your house temperature at 68 degrees or higher, even if you're leaving the house for an extended period of time
- Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate
- Identify the location of the main water valve and the valve on your water heater. (Learning the location of these valves may come in handy during an emergency.)
- Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape. This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that run along outside walls
- Heat your basement and consider weather sealing your windows
- Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home
- If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine.
Monitor Freezing Pipe Conditions:
- Allow a faucet to drip slightly (lukewarm water) in order to minimize freezing
- The first sign of freezing is reduced water flow from a faucet
- Check your faucets for water flow and pressure before you go to sleep and again when you wake up
- Check pipes around your water meter, in unheated areas, near exterior walls and in crawl spaces
- Identify cold air drafts coming in from a flue or chimney. Caulk gaps that are near pipes
If a Pipe Freezes:
- If a faucet or pipe inside your house freezes, you can thaw it using a good hair dryer. (For safety purposes, avoid operating a hair dryer around standing water.)
- To thaw a frozen pipe, heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around cold sections of the pipes
- When thawing a pipe, start thawing it nearest to the faucet. Make sure the faucet is turned on so that melted water can drip out
If a Pipe Bursts:
- Shut off water at the main valve
- If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed
- Call a plumber. Keep an emergency number nearby for quick access.
We are proud to serve these Chicagoland Communities and many more!
- LaGrange, IL
- Hinsdale, IL
- Countryside, IL
- Indian Head Park, IL
- Willowbrook, IL
- Hodgkins, IL
- Brookfield, IL
- Western Springs, IL
- Burr Ridge, IL
- Fire Damage
- Mold Mitigation
- Move Outs and Contents Restoration
- Document Drying
- Storm Response
- Water Damage
- Vandalism and Biohazard clean up
- Upholstery Cleaning
- Air Ducts and HVAC
- Drapes & Blinds
- Carpet Cleaning
TAKE ACTION TO PREVENT THE FLU!
According to the CDC, Flu activity is currently widespread in most of the U.S. The peak of flu season occurs anywhere from late November through March.
Things you can do to avoid the flu at work and home:
Keep your hands clean
Viruses often live on surfaces we put our hands on: countertops, tables, laptops and office desks, etc. We need to keep our hands clean if we’re going to stay healthy. The CDC says, “Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.”
Inoculate: Get a flu shot
If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to get a flu shot. One of the biggest things that discourage people from getting vaccinated is the misconception that flu shots cause people to get sick. The CDC says that while illness from a flu shot is rare, it most likely is caused by other culprits: You may have another respiratory virus such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Also, it’s possible that you may have been exposed to a virus that is another strain of the flu and not the one used in the vaccine. In any event, the flu shot does not cause the flu.
Stay at home if you are sick
If you happen to be employed, there is no shame in staying home from work if you’re not feeling well. That’s why employees have an allotment of sick days. Of course, there are times when you feel that your absence would delay certain tasks or projects that need to be completed. If you can’t take a vacation day, see if it’s possible for you to work remotely. In any event, if you’re sick from the flu or a cold, it’s a good idea to stay home so as not to spread it at work.
Steer clear of close contact
While you may not have a water cooler at your job, there may still be times when you congregate to discuss a project or have a meeting. While face-to-face may be ideal, many companies now have inter-office messaging systems that allow for the same conversations to take place remotely. If you you’re a boss or supervisor, encourage online communications rather than close contact by initiating messages via computer.
Bonus: Cover your nose and mouth
One of the primary ways that the virus travels is in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. If you are sick, it’s important to cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. To limit the spread of germs, it’s best to put a handkerchief or tissue between your hand and mouth.
24hr Emergency Water Damage - Helpful Hints
SERVPRO of LaGrange / Burr Ridge / Hinsdale provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration services.
When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help Call Today: (630) 920-9334 or (708) 482-9334
Water Damage Emergency Tips
After water damage, safety should be your primary focus:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical hazards should be considered - beware
- “Slip and Fall” injuries can take place- take caution
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
What To Do After Flooding:
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery and cushions
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
- Remove rugs from wet carpeting and hardwood floors
- Remove art objects and wall hangings to a safe, dry place
- Gather loose items from floors
What NOT To Do After Flooding:
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water
- Don't use television or other household appliances
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging
Fire Damage Restoration Services
Every 65 seconds a fire at a structure is reported, according to the National Fire Protection Association. When the alarm goes off, fire departments plus emergency responders will answer the call for help with action that is decisive and fast.
When the smoke clears, SERVPRO of LaGrange / Burr Ridge / Hinsdale's fire restoration team will stand ready to help with the same kind of quick response, any time of day or night.
**The golden hours of recovery are within the first day or two after fire damage has occurred. An effective emergency response will quickly stabilize your structure and make sure to recover as much of your property as is possible. The smoke and acidic soot damage which is often produced when fires are extinguished will accelerate the corrosion and deterioration of the components of the building and its vital assets. To make matters worse, fires are most often extinguished with water or dry chemicals. The toxic smoke odor left behind must also be neutralized and deodorized.
The process of fire damage restoration will include mitigating damage, cleaning up smoke damage and water restoration as fast as possible once the damage has occurred. Besides the visual damage to the structure, the contents inside the structure have to be looked at for recovery based upon several factors which include:
- Cost of replacement vs. cost of restoration
- Effect of heat and smoke
- Loss of value
- Loss of use
- Lowered life expectancy
- Sentimental value
SERVPRO’s fire restoration services may include demolition, emergency board up, thermal deodorization to mitigate damage from smoke, soot removal film application, and total reconstruction.
Fire Department Support Services We’ll also work closely with the fire department and many times will be called into help with fire damage efforts once the fire is extinguished. Support services include the following:
- Emergency site containment and board up services. This includes securing the property and preserving the scene from any more smoke and fire damage.
- Arson investigators will work with us to help us to safely secure evidence, storage and transport and debris manipulation.
- Supply cranes and other heavy equipment for clearing paths, letting aerial photos to be taken, expediting hauling and other needs for fire damage restoration.
- Moving of materials to assist in the secure safe entry of the fire department and authorized personnel in the entire process of restoration.
- Provide dumpsters, lighting, emergency power and more.
- If needed, application of board up decals to the burned structure’s visual eyesore.
Fire damage needs to be taken care of right away, so give us a call at SERVPRO of LaGrange / Burr Ridge / Hinsdale by dialing (708) 482-9334 or (630) 920-9334 .
We will come to your property to evaluate damage and begin the process of fire restoration.