Recent Posts

Soda Blasting – Everything you need to know

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Soda Blasting involves one of the softer abrasive blasting materials, rating an average 2.4 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness (1-10). Most abrasive blasting cabinets aim to maximize abrasive recycles and minimizing dust collector service, and for this reason, most sandblasting uses harder abrasives like plastic and glass beads. Soda blasting is the exception, a one-time-use abrasive, used for special applications when recycling abrasive is not important.

Soda Blasting: The Good

The main advantage of soda blasting is it’s a cost-efficient, single-use abrasive. Although recycling abrasive is the name of the game for most abrasive blasting applications, there are a few special applications not needing to recycle abrasive. Onetime use abrasives are used for applications like ship cleaning that require huge amounts of abrasive – it typically takes one million pounds of abrasive for an average ship – or maybe a smaller amount for the back bed of an old truck. Additionally, soda is the primary abrasive to clean oily parts because once it removes the oil; the abrasive doesn’t cycle back through to hit the part again. Soda is also water soluble making sure no abrasive remains in critical bearing areas!

Six Rules for Soda Blasting Success

  1. Always use a direct pressure abrasive delivery system that uses lower blasting pressure to maximize abrasive velocity without reaching maximum soda impact velocity
  2. Never blast using more than 30 to 35 psi pressure when using direct pressure delivery
  3. Always use a ghost flow out the nozzle to prevent Soda flooding and or slower cleaning
  4. Use equipment designs that understand the proper use of soda and collection of spent soda
  5. Know that soda used at higher pressure will surface etch and change part metallurgy.
  6. Exceeding maximum impact velocity will simply create a failed soda blasting cabinet with a failed dust collector.

Soda Blasting: The Bad

Because soda is now so popular, manufacturers and retailers are offering sub par quality soda blast cabinet to make a quick buck. They do not know the nuances of soda as an abrasive nor do they understand its limitations.

Yes, soda has important characteristics, but it’s not a magic bullet. Soda cannot be recycled the way other abrasives like steel shot, steel grit, silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, garnet, and ceramic, glass or plastic beads. Being that soda is so soft; it explodes into tiny fragments upon impact with the object being blasted. Additionally, soda abrasive doesn’t work harden the part being cleaned because it’s meant to be used a low abrasive velocity.

Soda Blasting: The Ugly

Today, because of the need for a soluble abrasive like soda, you see everyone selling soda blasting cabinets. Unless you have very few parts to blast or blast only a few times a month for minutes all these blasting cabinets that are supposed to contain the soda will soon be the biggest mess you could possibly imagine all with failed dust collectors.

The problem is that some retailers sell cheap slag and soda to blast cabinet operators. Often, the operator thinks the soda can be recycled and runs the machine in excess of 60 psi in a siphon delivery system or 30-35 psi in a direct pressure delivery system. This causes the abrasive to explode on impact, severely reducing visibility and simultaneously creating tiny particles that are sucked into the dust collector – leaving the cabinet kaput.

Pro Tip: If the dust collector gets packed with soda abrasive, the blasting cabinet fails, it’s that simple. 

Media Blast offers three duty cycle soda cabinet models: the Blizzard Soda Blast Cabinet, the N-200 Soda and the Pro Soda. Each is matched to a specific usage – recreational to industrial. Each model provides users an environmentally friendly clean part with its original finish intact, free from trace oil residue. If you think soda blasting is right for your application, Media Blast can supply you with a soda blast cabinet with superior visibility that keeps soda out of the dust collector to ensure your needs are met with minimal machine maintenance.

Learn more about SERVPRO and Soda Blasting by contacting our Vermilion County office at (217)443-0077! Any time day or night, someone is ready to take your call. 

Why SERVPRO? Because We Do It All!

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

We worry about your restoration emergency so you don't have to.

From start to finish, you will see that SERVPRO of Vermilion County will take care of your restoration emergency from start to finish. A fire, for example, can wreak havoc not only on your home or office but your precious time and checkbook too. There is no need to worry. Not only do we possess the experience, but the equipment and talent on our team to make sure the disaster looks like it never took place. After removing any drywall that is burned and unsalvageable, we will make sure your home down to the studs is clean and smelling great. Besides any demolition that needs to be done, we will begin reconstructing your home back to the way it was. This includes painting your walls as well. It will be like an entirely new room in your home.   

If you have recently experienced a restoration emergency, let our team here at SERVPRO of Vermilion County take care of everything so you don’t have to. We will always work with you each step of the way and make sure you are satisfied. Give us a call at 217-443-0077 for more information.  [JB]

3 Fire Hazards to Avoid This Spring

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

Springtime is such a fun, beautiful time of year. Stay safe out there!

The weather is warmer, the trees are blooming, and my allergies are killing me. Spring has officially sprung! That being said, there are still a wide variety of fire hazards that you should watch out for, even during the warm months.

1.Grills: Whether you’re cooking burgers for the family event or grilling up kabobs for dinner, you will inherently deal with a fire. Most are gas grills, which presents an even greater risk. In fact, the NFPA (https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/US-Fire-Problem/Home-Grill-Fires) reports that an average of 9,600 home fires is caused by grilling each year. Here are some fire safety tips for the grill:

  • Always check for any potential fire hazards before firing up the grill.
  • If the grill does not light the first time, let the gas dissipate for at least 5 minutes before attempting to light the grill again.
  • Be sure the grill is clean before using to get rid of oil and gas residue.
  • Make sure the grill is set up in an open, outdoor area and keep it a good distance from the house and railings.
  1. Dryers: This is a fire hazard year round. In fact, the leading cause of clothes-dryer related fires is a failure to keep the lint baskets clean. Lint is combustible. Lint causes fires. It takes seconds to clean out the lint basket, so just make a habit of it when you get your clothes out of the dryer. If you have space for a clothesline in the spring and summer months - use it! There’s nothing better than fresh, air dried clothes. The NFPA also recommends cleaning out the vent pipe at least once a year so lint or other flammable particles do not get stuck in the vent pipe. 
  2. Outdoor Fire Pits and Bonfires: The necessary safety precautions for an outdoor fire pit are pretty obvious, but keep these in mind when you’re having a party on a cool spring night.
  • Always have an adult present around a fire. Never leave children unattended! 
  • Always have a bucket of water or a water hose available nearby if things get out of hand. 
  • Build the fire away from homes, porches, low-hanging trees, or any other fire hazards. 
  • Monitor the number of leaves, pine needles, paper, and other contents are fed into the fire since these items catch fire quickly and result in high flames and floating embers. 
  • Always put the fire out completely before leaving the fire unattended. Don't expect it to die down on its own!

We are always Here to Help when you need us. Call us at SERVPRO of Vermilion County any time at (217)443-0077.  Happy Spring!

Tips to Preserving Personal Items After a Flood

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Time is of the essence when it comes to safeguarding valuables submerged in flood waters. Mold formation can begin within 48 hours of immersion, and contaminated "black water" can carry dangerous chemicals and pathogens. It's a good idea for homeowners in Vermilion County to learn about content cleaning before disaster strikes. Here are a few tips on what can and can't be salvaged, and how to minimize damage to precious belongings. 


Unsalvageable Items 

Unfortunately, most porous materials that have come into contact with black water cannot be saved during the content cleaning process. This includes:

  • Furniture items
  • Carpeting and padding
  • Particle board cabinets
  • Portions of drywall or insulation that have been immersed. 


Microscopic toxic chemical compounds and fungal spores can pose a serious risk to a home’s inhabitants. Non-porous items, on the other hand, may be able to be sanitized and kept.

Immediate Steps To Take After Storm Damage

Legal papers, photo albums, artwork and other precious items that cannot be replaced might be saved, especially if you act quickly to minimize further damage. 

Papers, artwork and photographs should be separated and removed from albums and frames and placed on plastic screens or hung using plastic clothespins (contact with metal or other types of materials could cause irreparable damage). Photos can also be gently rinsed in clean water before drying. To salvage important books, insert a paper towel every few pages to soak up harmful moisture. 

It is recommended that you air dry items indoors. Open windows, air conditioners, fans and dehumidifiers can all help to increase airflow and reduce drying times. Avoid using heat during this process, such as irons or hair dryers, as they can cause further damage. 

If the black water contamination is especially severe, or if mold is already present, you may want to leave the bulk of your content cleaning to a professional flood restoration team in Piatt and Dewitt counties. 

Give SERVPRO of Vermilion County a call at (217) 443 0077. We are available 24/7 to service any of your damaged needs. (LB)

Diagnosing a Shower Leak

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Diagnosing a Shower Leak If you have a shower head leaking in your Vermilion county bathroom it is time to replace it

Admist the many aspects of maintaining your home in Vermilion county, attending to a bathtub leak can be frustrating without an idea of what to look for. It is important to remember that some signs of damage are easier to distinguish that others; however, confirming the occurrence of a leak is possible with a keen eye and a thorough bathroom inspection.

Check for Telltale Signs

Identifying any immediate indicators of a leak can help determine how best to handle the situation. Giveaway signs may include the following:

  • Pooling water near the shower pan. This is often the result of a shower door with a poor – quality seal and is one of the simplest leaks to repair.
  • Wet spots and dampness on any walls near the shower. If the leak is occurring within the plumbing system, the pipes behind the wall may expel water, thus leaving visible wetness.
  • Water leaking from the spray holes, water may leak from other parts of the fixture. Cleaning the shower head and replacing the O-ring may solve the issue.

Scratch Beyond the Surface

Unfortunately a bathtub leak may cause damage that is not as apparent and may require a more in depth analysis. One critical factor to be aware of is the presence of mold or mildew anywhere in the bathroom; this includes any odors that occur. The flooding underneath the bathroom should be investigated for moisture, dripping, or mineral buildup. Typically, these signs  indicate a leak that may need to be addressed by a professional.

Determine the Best course of Action

Generally a shower pan leak with telltale indicators can be repaired without the need for professional intervention. For more internalized leaks, it is wise to consider contacting a water damage repair specialist for further analysis.

While diagnosing a shower or bathtub leak can be challenging, and informed approach can simplify the process. Understanding what to look for and when to contact a professional can make a difference in preserving your home. 

If you have a leak in the bathroom, call SERVPRO of Vermilion County at (217) 443-0077, for all your emergency service needs. (LB)

The Most Common Causes of Commercial Fires

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial The Most Common Causes of Commercial Fires If you experience commercial fire, SERVPRO of Vermilion County has the training and expertise to make disasters “Like it never even happened.”

Commercial fire can be devastating, harming both human and property.  Every year, there are as many as 75,000 commercial building fires in the United States.  U.S. fire departments responded to about 3,300 office property fires per year.  These fires caused an annual average of 85 civilian deaths, 1,325 civilian fire injuries and $3.2 billion in direct property damage, according to the (NFPA) National Fire Prevention Association.  Though some are small and cause relatively little harm, many others pose a great risk to life and property.   Fortunately, many fires can be prevented if you’re aware of the potential hazards. Here are several of the most common causes of commercial building fires.

Human Error 

Many commercial fires can be attributed to human error and are not meant to be malicious. For example, spilling liquids on electrical equipment, leaving a coffee pot on, or burning food in the kitchen can easily cause a fire to break out. To decrease the chances of this happening in your commercial building, perform risk assessments to determine if any changes need to be implemented, provide proper staff training, and ensure fire extinguishers are easily accessible throughout the building. 
 
Negligence 

Negligence fires are the result of someone not following proper procedures and can usually be easily avoided by proper staff training. For example, storing or handling flammable items improperly or covering electrical equipment that must have air can result in a fire that causes significant commercial fire damage. 
  
Arson 

Unfortunately, arson is a frequent cause of commercial fires, particularly in industrial buildings and factories. This may be an act of vandalism, an attempt to collect insurance money or even the work of an unhappy employee. To minimize the damage associated with arson, you may want to consider installing an automatic sprinkler system. 
 
Faulty Wiring/ Electrics 

Electrical issues are another frequent cause of commercial fires. For example, outdated equipment, loose or frayed wires, and overloaded plugins can spark a fire with little to no advance warning. This is why it is so important to make certain your electrical equipment, including boilers, hot water heaters, and furnaces are in good working order and able to handle their workload. To ensure your equipment/ appliances are functioning properly; you may want to invest in a portable appliance tester (PAT). 

SERVPRO of Vermilion County can respond immediately to your commercial fire damage emergency regardless of the size or scope of the damage. Whether your fire emergency occurs in a restaurant, motel or office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (217) 443-0077

Why hiring a professional restoration company to clean up after your home experiences a fire is the best choice

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Why hiring a professional restoration company to clean up after your home experiences a fire is the best choice Fire damage in Vermilion County does not have to be a headache

The principle of cleaning after fire damage in Vermilion County

Surviving the aftermath of the fire damage can be quite a relief. However, the replacement and repairs can be very detrimental. Luckily, there are some insurance companies out there who would help with the costs. However, dealing with the aftermath does require some skills and expertise. The cleaning process isn’t an easy task. Keep in mind that it requires extensive inspection, identifying types of residues and services, removing the residues and disposal. All this should be taken care of by a fire restoration specialist. After all, doing this on your own can be very dangerous, exhausting, time-consuming, and expensive.

Fire damage in Vermilion County does not have to be a headache. The situation is mainly because the SERVPRO tech can take care of everything. They can start by inspecting that areas near the source of the fire and see how far the damage has moved through various structures. There are different types of smoke residues, and the SERVPRO specialist can select a cleaning method that can effectively remove these residues. Another thing to note is that the type of surface that has undergone the fire damage may require specialized cleaning method and products that are sale to use on the surface. The fire restoration experts may have to be cautious to preserve the materials or surface during the cleaning process.

Since smoke residues can bind to the surface that they come in contact with, the fire experts can use a dry and wet screening process to release the particles away from the affected surface. The restorer can adequately get rid of the debris and cleaning waste. Once everything is completed, the technicians can walk you through your how to make sure that you are satisfied with the results.

If you are interested in getting a specialist to clean and restore you home after fire damage, then give SERVPRO of Vermilion County a call at (217)443-0077 and we can promptly send our experts to your home. (LB)

How to Repair a Leaking Toilet Tank

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

8 Steps to Fix a Leaking Toilet

When you find water pooling near your home’s toilet in Vermilion County don’t panic. Check to see if the leak is coming from the tank or the base. If the leaking toilet is at the tank, you can easily fix it with the following eight steps.

1. Shut off the supply water.

The tube below the tank is connected to a valve. Simply turn the valve until the water is off.

2. Remove the tank’s water.

Use a small container to bail the water out of the tank. Once most of the water is gone, use a sponge to absorb the last of it.

3. Loosen the tank’s bolts.

Using an adjustable wrench and screwdriver, loosen and remove both of the tank’s bolts. This will ensure easy removal of the tank.

4. Lift the tank from the base.

Very gently move the tank from side to side until you feel it lift. With the help of a friend, lift the leaking toilet tank and lay it on its side so you can access the bottom.

5. Eliminate the leaking retaining washer.

Remove the washer by turning it until it comes loose. If it is tight, use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the rubber piece. 

6. Clean the remaining rubber.

Use something hard to scrape the remains of the gasket from the hole and surrounding area. Make sure the area is clean.

6. Install the tank’s new gasket.

Insert the new gasket into the hole and turn until it is tight. Make sure it turns easily because there is a danger of cross threading.

7. Replace the tank’s bolts and nuts.

Reinstall the nuts on the bolts by hand, making sure they are snug, but not overly tight.

8. Reattach the tank to the base.

Move the tank into position on the toilet base. Gently tighten the nuts and bolts until the gasket looks snug in the base. This will prevent a future bathroom leak.

You have just repaired your leaking toilet. However, if you don’t want to do the job yourself, consider calling a water specialist team to do the job quickly and efficiently. SERVPRO of Vermilion County is ready to help 24/7, Call us at (217) 443-0077. (LB)

Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

2/21/2019 (Permalink)

Water

  • Fire Extinguishers have a Class A rating and are suitable for fighting fires involving solid combustibles such as wood, paper, and textiles. 
  • Electrical equipment should be avoided when using a water extinguishers (unless water with additive are used), as water is a conductor.

AFF Foam

  • AFFF Foam fire extinguishers are highly effective on Class A and Class B fires (the foam agent helps to prevent re-ignition).
  • Some foam extinguishers have been diametrically tested to 35,000 volt (35kv) and can be used on or near electrical appliances. 

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

  • CO2 fire extinguishers were originally designed for use on flammable liquid fires, and therefore have a Class B fire rating. 
  • They are ideal for electrical fires, CO2 is not a conductor and they do not leave behind any harmful residue. 

ABC POWDER

  • ABC Powder fire extinguishers are extremely versatile and can be used on Class A, Class B, Class C, and electrical fires. 
  • They are available in a range of sizes from 1-9 kg and ideal for application in environments containing mixed fire risks. However, there is a risk of inhalation when using powder extinguishers and therefore not recommended for use within small rooms, homes, ad offices. 

Water Mist

  • Water mist fire extinguishers are highly effective on Class A, B, C, F, and electrical fires.
  • The unique design of the water mist extinguishers' supersonic nozzle creates a microscope mist curtain, reducing the oxygen content. Water mist extinguishers are also safe on fires caused by electricity, as the water mist does not conduct electricity and the water mist does not form puddles which could lead to electrocution.

Wet Chemical

  • Wet chemical fire extinguishers are designed specifically for use on fires involving combustible cooking media such as burning oil and fat. 
  • They have a Class F rating and a special lance applicator nozzle. They usually have an additional Class A rating and are normally not designed for use on Class B fires (petrol, diesel, paint, paraffin etc.), although the 31tr Gloria wet chemical firs extinguisher is an exception.  

Call SERVPRO of Vermilion County for any of your fire needs, 24/7 at (217) 443-0077. (LB)

Protecting Your Undamaged Property

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

General Protecting Your Undamaged Property Cardboard and shoes covers used to protect flooring.

SERVPRO® does everything possible to prevent the homeowner's property and contents from becoming dirty, dusty or damaged during the demolition/ mitigation process. Covering furniture and contents completely with plastic, and isolating the area with a containment barrier before the demolition begins, helps to prevent dust and debris from getting into the cracks and the crevices. Our technicians wear foot protection to prevent them from tracking dirt into the home.  To protect flooring a path of cardboard, plastic or cloth is placed over the unaffected areas that lead from the work area to the exit door. This keeps other areas of your home cleaner and prevents the tracking of dust and debris throughout the home. When carpets are cleaned, corner guards are used to protect the walls and block/ pads are placed under the furniture to ensure there is no damage to the furniture from the moisture of the freshly cleaned carpet.