Recent Water Damage Posts

The 1-4-8 Method

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage. Something you never want to encounter. Something that’s never fun. Something that many may face one day. According to industry estimates, 14,000 people in the U.S. experience a water damage emergency at home or work each day. And did you know 98% of basements in the U.S. will suffer from some type of water damage during its lifetime? If your home happens to fall into that percentage, rest assured, the highly trained water restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Vermilion County can make the damage "Like it never even happened.” SERVPRO’s 1-4-8 philosophy for water damage is a guarantee. 

Our water damage process overview:

One Hour

Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO of Vermilion County professional will contact you to arrange for service. You’ll know professional help is on the way.

Four Hours 

Within four hours of loss notification, we’ll be on-site to start mitigation services. The key to reducing damage and saving money is responding quickly to your damage.

Detailed Explanation

Our trained, uniformed and equipped professional will walk you through the job process step-by-step. He or she will thoroughly explain what to expect and the anticipated outcome.


Our professionals will begin pretesting for restorability, working from the source of the damage outward. 

Eight Hours 

Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person -- normally your adjuster or property manager.

Cleaning & Restoration

SERVPRO of Vermilion County professionals will work diligently and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. We use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property is taken care of right the first time.

Final Walk-through 

After the restoration and/or mitigation work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction. Our team always strives to create happy customers.

When there’s a disaster at your residential or commercial property, you don’t have time to waste; you need to act quickly to help prevent secondary damage. You need a quality restoration company that’s fully capable and quick to respond. SERVPRO of Vermilion County is fully capable and faster to any size disaster. You can fully rely on and trust our experience, reputation, credibility, integrity, equipment, and knowledge. You can also rely on and have faith in SERVPRO’s 1-4-8 philosophy for water damage.

How to File a Water Damage Claim

6/21/2022 (Permalink)

How To File A Water Damage Claim In 3 Easy Steps

If bursting pipes, severe weather, or other factors cause flooding in your Vermilion County home, you may rely on your insurance policy to cover the cleanup bills. It’s important that you file a claim promptly and correctly to make this as smooth a process as possible. Understand your coverage and what steps you must follow.

Things To Initially Consider

Your insurance plan won’t cover all water damage and related issues. In the following cases, you’ll either need supplemental coverage, or you’ll need to take care of the repair costs yourself:

  • The damage occurred due to normal wear and tear.
  • The damage occurred due to your own neglect of maintenance and upkeep.
  • The damage occurred because you intentionally tampered with or broke pipes.

Assess the Damage

Before you start trying to fix a broken pipe or do any other maintenance, determine exactly what areas of your home suffered damage and where the water problems originated. No matter how large or small the incident was, it’s crucial to provide this information to your insurance agent.

Record the Damage

Write down different items of your home that bursting pipes affected and ruined. Also, take photos of the water damage and areas that will require cleanup and restoration. Save these pictures and records for your insurance representative.

Contact Your Agent Promptly

Obviously, you’ll want to get in touch with an experienced disaster cleanup specialist to remove water from your home and to make the area safe once again. But you’ll also want to speak to your insurance company without delay to start the claims process. It’ll be much easier to file a claim and get payment if you communicate with the insurance representative on the day of the incident.

You hate thinking about bursting pipes or other issues causes water problems in your home. It’s nice to know you can count on a competent insurance provider to ease your burden.

3 Common Plumbing Issues

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

A blocked sewer can wreak havoc on any commercial establishment in Vermilion County. A plumbing system is a complex network of pipelines. When it malfunctions, it can cause problems ranging from water leaks to sewage overflows. Whether you own a restaurant, an apartment complex, or anything in between, there are a few common issues to look out for.

1. The Overflowing Toilet

It's stinky, messy, and can happen when you least expect it. Yes, it's the dreaded overflowing toilet. In fact, it's the leading cause of water damage in commercial properties. Overflows occur when there's a blockage in the pipeline. Common causes for these blockages include:

• Tree roots
• Toilet paper buildup
• A shift in the building's foundation
• Poorly installed plumbing drains

If it's a minor mishap, your maintenance crew can handle it. Otherwise, if there's extensive water-related damage, a professional cleaning service has the expertise to come in and straighten things out.

2. The Blocked Pipes

A blocked sewer system doesn't pop up overnight. This plumbing problem develops over time. The main causes of blockages come from debris buildup and tree root infiltration. As a preventive measure, consider having a commercial plumbing company inspect your pipeline system on a routine basis.

3. The Busted Pipe

Can your building's pipes handle freezing temperatures? If not, you may be in for a rude awakening when winter hits. Frigid weather conditions often result in pipe breaks, especially in areas of your property where there's missing insulation, outside walls, and drafty areas. Fortunately, many insurance providers cover water damage related to busted pipes.

Sewage problems come with the territory when you own commercial property. To prepare, it's best to know the common issues buildings encounter, such as such as a toilet overflow, a blocked sewer, and busted pipes. While your maintenance staff can address minor issues, it's better to hire a commercial cleaning company.

SERVPRO Water Mitigation Methods Can Reduce the Expense of a Claim in Vermilion County

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

All water supplies contain microbes. This fact includes wastewater supply pipes, clean water drinking taps, and appliance fittings in your home. A malfunction at any part of these supply networks can lead to water intruding into the home environment, where it begins to cause damage. Water can affect your home in many ways, including through vapor damage- which is a result of heightened humidity- or liquid water. As time passes, the naturally occurring microbes in water can begin to reproduce, causing deterioration of water quality and potentially complicating the cleanup procedure. Water cleanup can help to prevent:

  • Microbial damage
  • Stagnation of water
  • Water damage to a home or structure

When we talk about water mitigation for Vermilion County residents, we primarily discuss reducing damages caused by water intrusion. An example of this mitigation could be as simple as stemming the water flow through the property using a physical barrier or removing belongings from the immediately affected area. Professional mitigation can also extend to more complex solutions like silica-based dehumidifiers to capture water vapor in the indoor environment or dry out structural cavities where water may have spread. 

  • Our technicians have training in applied cavity drying techniques and assessment. 
  • We can reduce damages to electronics and the building assembly by controlling atmospheric conditions such as the dew point. 
  • Industrial drying equipment such as silica-based, desiccant dehumidifiers can be mobilized quickly to reduce losses in your home. 

It is vital to respond quickly to water intrusion in your home. Contact SERVPRO of Vermilion County for water mitigation technicians at 217-443-0077.

3 Ways Leaks Can Affect Your Home

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

The sound of water dripping in your Vermilion County home isn’t just annoying, but it’s also dangerous. It may be the first sign of a bad leak, which means you might be facing water damage. With the help of restoration professionals, you can fix these problems without concern or worry. However, it’s important to stay mindful of the possible challenges you may face such as water in light fixtures and damaged valuables. Here are three potential problems you should be aware of.

1. Structural Harm

Sometimes leaks aren’t noticeable until they affect the areas around them. Water can cause the drywall to swell and warp, which can lead to structural problems. Things such as support beam collapse and ceiling damage can occur.

Look around for any bulges or weird stains. This can help you find problems and stop them before they become more complicated.

2. Damaged Valuables

Leaks can affect places that should remain dry, including areas that hold your valuable objects and furniture. Bookshelves, memory boxes, and antiques can easily get ruined if a leak is not taken care of.

It doesn’t hurt to check your valuables often for any damage. If you find water damage, locate the source of it and get it fixed quickly to avoid future issues.

3. Dangerous Light Fixtures

Sometimes, a leak might happen near electrical fixtures. If you see any water in light fixtures, stay away. Water conducts electricity and can electrocute you when you come into contact.

If you see this problem, shut off the electricity immediately. Once you have successfully turned off the power and eliminated the possibility of getting electrocuted, you can contact professionals and address the problem.

Leaks can be troublesome and sometimes dangerous if you aren’t careful. It’s best to prevent them before they occur. If you are currently dealing with a problem such as water in light fixtures, seek professional help and get started on the restoration and repair process.

Does Carpet Need Replacing After a Flood?

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Experiencing flooding in your home in Vermilion County, such as from a pipe break or severe weather, can be devastating and exhausting when having to clean up the mess and deal with damages to your belongings and the structure of the house itself. Especially if the flooding happened over a large area of your home, the longer it takes for the area to dry out, the more time mold can set in, which can cause further damage. It’s important to act quickly in these cases (mold can begin growing within 48 hours) while ensuring the damage is thoroughly taken care of.

Clean or Dirty Flood

If you’re trying to determine whether you can save your carpeting, it’s important to know where the water came from and how dirty it was. If the water was from a pipe break or rain, and you can dry out the material within 24-48 hours, it is likely that you can go without replacing it. A flood restoration company has the equipment to ensure carpeting is fully dried out in a timely manner. Carpet pads usually do need to be replaced, however, as they are like a sponge and may be too difficult to dry.
If the flood was caused by a backed-up sewage drain or contaminated river water, you may want to think about replacing the carpet. If there is sentimental value or it’s an expensive rug, a restoration company can take the extra steps to safely decontaminate it, but it’s not recommended that you do this yourself. An improper cleaning job can easily result in mold, disease, and further structural damage if left long enough.

Protect Your Home

Replacing carpeting can be a pain, especially if it’s not necessary, such as in the case of a pipe break. Working with a restoration company can ensure your home is fully dried out before mold has a chance to set in or more damage is done.

Water Can't Hide from SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana

8/7/2021 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana, we know that the weather in Central Illinois can be unpredictable. Rainstorms, melting snow, and frozen pipes from sudden temperature changes--- are all issues that lead to water damage claims. Our team has helped our residents and businesses with their water damaged properties in cases like these and many more.

Our technicians are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to respond immediately to flood or water damage at your property. We use advanced inspection and extraction equipment to find the water and remove it as quickly as possible. Our local technicians will closely monitor and document the drying process to help get your property back to normal. 

Every water damage event is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. Check out our unique process below:

Step 1 - Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will guide you through the crisis and may ask several questions to help us better understand the equipment and resources.

Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

We determine the scope of your water damage at this stage. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration.

Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.

Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification

We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. Our Professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.

Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean all the restorable items and structures damaged by the water. We are adept at cleaning contents using several techniques. Our professionals are trained to provide sanitizing treatments and to remove odors and deodorize your property.

Step 6 - Restoration

Restoration is the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-water damage condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

If you are in need of water damage restoration----call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana today at 217-355-0077.

Water Damage VS Flood Damage Coverage: Knowing the Difference

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

House in flood waters Flood waters can quickly overwhelm your home.

When it comes to getting insurance for your home or business, researching and knowing everything about a policy is key. One common mistake many homeowners tend to make is assuming flood damage is covered under their homeowners insurance. Your definition of a flood may be different from the definition your insurance company uses when considering a flood. The important thing to remember is that flood damage is NOT the same as water damage, and this especially applies when it comes to insurance purposes.

The Differences

Flooding by the National Flood Insurance Program is defined as: "A temporary rising of water on land that is normally dry, causing damage to two or more properties." 

-Overflowing of a body of water

-A mudslide caused by heavy rains

-Heavy rains that soil cannot absorb quickly enough causing water to seep into the home

Those are all examples of how flooding can occur. Now let’s talk about water damage. Typically water damage is covered under Homeowner’s Insurance (you should read and know your policy to determine what kind of water damage). Water damage to insurance companies means water damage that happened before the water came in contact with the ground. Such as:

-Heavy rains soak into your roof damaging ceilings, walls, and floors.

-A pipe bursts causing water to saturate the ceiling below

-An overflowing toilet soaking the bathroom and seeping into floorboards

-Hail causes a window to break, allowing water to get inside the home or window seal


Water damage is covered by insurance companies when the home or business owner could not prevent the hazard. Flooding is a hazard we cannot control. However the main difference is, flooding is a hazard that comes from a natural source. Also keep in mind two or more properties need to be involved for insurance companies to cover a flood claim. Always thoroughly review your insurance policies to know exactly what is and is not covered before any flood or water damage occurs. Keep in mind, if you do need to purchase flood insurance most insurance policies require 30 days before it is active. If you know you are in a flood zone, educate yourself on your coverage options. A flood could happen any day and it is best to be prepared. When water does cause damage, call the team at SERVPRO of Vermilion County, to make it "Like it never even happened."

What’s the Difference Between Grey Water and Black Water?

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Have you had a water loss? Do you know what category it’s classified as? At SERVPRO of Vermilion County, we have three different categories that we put water losses under. These range from a category one to a category three.

What’s a category one water loss? Category one is classified as clean water, or water that doesn’t pose a health threat to humans. Water losses of this nature are typically described as sinks and bathtubs overflowing or broken appliances. This is the most harmless category of water that we can take care of at SERVPRO of Vermilion County.

Category two is classified as grey water. This means that the water is contaminated and may cause illness if ingested. This kind of water contains microorganisms and poses a moderate health threat to humans. This kind of water is typically from broken toilets, broken sump pumps, and seepage from outside sources, such as after storm damage. This category needs a little extra precaution when being dealt with to keep from exposure to the microorganisms and illness.

Category three is the dreaded black water. Black water is unsanitary and contains bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms that cause sickness. This is the category that sewage is classified as, and is mostly caused by sewer problems, sewer backups, or contamination of standing water. This category requires special restoration techniques that we at SERVPRO of Vermilion County are trained to perform.

Let SERVPRO of Vermilion County take care of your water loss today, regardless of the category! We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

4 Facts about Water Damage

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

  1. Mold can begin growing in as little as 24 hours!

Potentially dangerous mold needs three things to start growing: oxygen, moisture and organic material. In an untreated area with these factors, mold can visibly form very quickly. While not all mold strains are toxic, there are several types that can cause health effects; you definitely don’t want Aspergillus or Stachybotrys (Black Mold) growing in your home!

  1. Even the smallest crack in a pipe can spill 250 gallons of water a day!

An eighth of an inch may not sound massive, but a crack that size in a water supply pipe can rack up massive repair bills in a hurry. As much as 250 gallons can leak out in a day’s time! Not fun to deal with!

  1. Floodwater can be electrically charged – and deadly!

Even a few inches of water can reach outlets, baseboard heaters, power cords and other devices connected to your electrical system. As soon as you see unwanted water, try to turn off the electricity to the affected area. If you are unable to do so safely, or the fuse box is located in the affected area, contact your electric utility and have them disconnect the power to your home from their end.

  1. Even fresh water can turn into a biohazard over time!

Water damage comes in three categories – clean, gray and black:

  • Clean water has no contamination. It can come from clean water sources, such as water supply lines, tub overflows or fresh rainwater.
  • Grey water has contaminants that are not considered pathogenic. These contaminants still have a chance to cause illness or discomfort. Washing machine overflows, aquarium water and washing machine leaks are all examples of grey water flooding.
  • Black water has pathogenic contamination and is unsanitary. Sewage, chemical waste, and any water sitting for more than 72 hours are all considered black water situations. If left alone, clean water will turn into a pathogenic biohazard in only a few days.

You can rest assured that your home can be cleaned and restored to home again by our SERVPRO of Vermillion County when you reach out to us at (217) 443-0077. We’re available 24/7 to help you through. "Like it never even happened."

Water Extraction Equipment

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage to strike at any time, whether in residential and commercial properties. When flooding occurs brought by a natural calamity, both homeowners and property managers should act quickly to deal with the situation.  The ultimate goal is to resolve the water damage emergency and get your daily operations up and running quickly.  When water damage isn’t resolved quickly, remember that irreversible, costly damages can occur in your home or business establishment.   Experts typically use various pieces of equipment and techniques in battling water problems.  We will share four common types of equipment commonly used to restore your property:

Frequently Used Equipment 

  1. Truck-mounted vacuum

 A truck-mounted vacuum is an industrial vacuum cleaner that is mounted on the back of a truck or trailer and is used in outdoor and hard-to-reach places.  It may look like a vacuum cleaner; yet, it works very efficiently in cleaning up water.  Powered by electricity, it is able to suck up water at high speeds.  However, it should not be submerged or it can  break down.

  1. Dehumidifier

 A dehumidifier is a vital piece of equipment that is usually utilized after a water loss, as it keeps the humidity levels in check that prevents mold and mildew from growing and impacting your property.  High humidity increases moisture problems and leads to greater property damages.  A water loss in a large area, it’s best to utilize a high-capacity dehumidifier to address the water problem.  A low-temperature dehumidifier keeps the humidity level under 40% percent, helping restore your damaged property.

  1. Air mover 

An air mover is also called an air blower which does exactly what its name indicates.  It is an extremely high-powered fan driving air into the affected zone to keep the area dry as quickly as possible.  The air is then circulated to prevent the growth of mold and mildew and helps the dehumidifier pull moisture from the air.  This piece of equipment works well on carpeting and carpet pads due to its high-powered capacity.

  1. Negative air machine 

A negative air machine consists of ducts used to get rid of tainted air from a closed controlled area.  The filtered air is then exhausted outside of the area while creating negative air pressure as a vacuum effect inside the controlled area. It’s best used for properties with sewage water where microorganisms need to be removed from the air.  That way, it makes the impacted area or space in your property clean, hygienic, and dry.

At this point, you now realize that using the right tools and equipment to clean up after water damage is critical in protecting your property. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Vermilion County today at 217-443-0077.

One Small Leak

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

One Small Leak May Cause Large Damages

The ice maker in your refrigerator is a wonderful invention. It is great to have crushed or cubed

ice at the push of a button. No more ice trays to fill up or empty again. But, just like everything

these days, things can break down. Ice makers can clog, stop producing ice and perhaps the

worst, start leaking all over the freezer and floor. The leak could cause damage to flooring, floor

joist, drywall, and even insulation.

Here is a check list to determine why your ice maker might be leaking:

Check the water lines & tighten connections

Break up ice jams

Clear out the condensation drains

Level the refrigerator and ice maker

Check your water filer & Dispenser

If you do find damage call the experts at SERVPRO of Vermilion County (217)-443-0077. We are

here for you 24/7.

Repair or Replace Your Hardwood Floors?

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Hardwood Flooring Hardwood Flooring

It is a beautiful sight when you walk into a home with dark mahogany hardwood floors running throughout the home.  The shine brings about a clean sparkle that gives a sense of freshness.  It stirs up a feeling deep inside to take off your shoes and blast some upbeat music and run through the house sliding across rooms to see how far you can go.  Hardwood flooring has many great benefits, but when water gets into it that picture changes.   An acceptable or normal moisture content in hardwood flooring usually ranges between 6% to 12%, but flooded wood flooring can often have up to a 40 percent moisture content.   This indicates there is severe damage.  Hardwood flooring retains water and if it is left to dry on its own then the moisture retained has more time to sit causing greater damage.

Quick Drying

Water is a hardwood floor’s worst enemy, which means it’s very important to get water up quickly whether it is a small spill from a cup to a large amount of water due to a leak or flooding.  Water and moisture can cause the flooring to become warped and permanently damaged.  No need to panic, but it is very important for you to be diligent in wiping up excess water or liquid that hit your wood flooring.  When you wipe up smaller amounts of liquid, it will help eliminate excess water from being absorbed into the hardwood and will be able to dry fully quicker.  A small amount of water can be easily cleaned and can dry by itself and will gradually get back to looking normal again.  It's when excessive amounts of water have been retained, needing more than just a wipe to help it fully dry that danger may be among your wood flooring.  SERVPRO of Vermilion County may need to be called in to bring in industrialized high-powered fans and hardwood floor mats that could help dry the space quicker before determining the kind of damage and repair/replacement that may need to take place.


Hardwood floors may make it easier to clean up spills, but it can only resist water and its effects for only a short period of time.  It is when the water sits and remains on the hardwood floors that the real damage can occur.  The length of time determines how much damage can and will be done.

Some signs that your wood flooring is water damaged include:

  • Staining and discoloration
  • Cupping and moisture causing it to buckle
  • Lifting floorboards
  • Mold Growth

What to notice

The effects of water damage happen over time, once you notice something different about your wood floors, water damage has already set in.  Often the first sign there is a problem is when individual planks are cupping or several begin to crown causing a hump in the floor.  Water absorption in the wood of your floor causes expansion, which is most noticeable in the edges of the board that are turning upward or when planks begin to buckle.  Another warning sign that water damage has occurred is when a black or dark stain runs along the edge of a plank.  When this type of stain is visible it is often due to mold growth.  These water damaged signs come from a consistent water source that may have come from a leak of some kind within your home.

Repair and replace

There are some determining factors that show if the hardwood flooring needs to be repaired or replaced.

These determining factors include:

  • How much time the floor has been exposed to water
  • The type of flooring you have, whether solid or engineered hardwood
  • How much damage there is and if the water has seeped into the subflooring
  • The floors finish, and whether or not its stain can be matched if an isolated floorboard was to be replaced

Depending on the type of damage the hardwood floor may be repaired rather than being fully replaced.  Minor damage is when the majority of the floor can be saved and an isolated floorboard may need fixing.  However, if the damage is major then the whole floor may need replacing and sometimes even the subfloor as well.  The kind of wood flooring you may have determines and limits the type of repairs that need to take place.  Solid hardwood flooring allows for a wider range of options to fix the problem. With solid hardwood floors, you can sand and scrape away up to a quarter of an inch off the wood to remove water damage on the surface. This type of flooring can also have replacements for individual planks. The best way to take care of a water damaged area on your wood floor is to replace the affected boards and then refinish the entire floor to bring it back to a unifying look.

Hardwood flooring can truly be a grand spectacle in your home, but it is important to be sure standing water is quickly taken care of in a speedy fashion.  Running across hardwood floors with socks on doesn’t work as well when there are floorboards lifting, causing your once smooth sailing across a room to be slowed down by water damage.  SERVPRO of Vermilion County can help!  Give our friendly staff a call today at 217-443-0077!

What If Life Washed Away?

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

What if your whole life washed away in a single day? It may sound like a horrific nightmare, but this is a grim reality for many homeowners whose house has flooded. Fortunately, there are some easy tips to help prevent your home from flooding, and can save you thousands of dollars and countless hours of stress. Wondering how to prevent flood damage? Keep reading to learn the answer! 

Crack Down on Cracks

If you really want house flood protection, you need to start with the basics, and that means protecting your foundation. Over time, your foundation may develop many small cracks. These cracks let water seep in and may widen over time, opening you up to the threat of flooding. Fortunately, this is a problem you can take care of yourself. All you need is some masonry caulk and/or mortar. Systematically go through your home and fill in any gaps and cracks you see. Afterward, continue monitoring your foundation.If it continues to crack over time, this problem may need professional attention. 


Most of our guide focuses on protecting your current home from flooding. But one of the best ways to protect houses from flooding is to pay careful attention when you pick the location of your next home! FEMA offers a flood map of different areas that splits locations into four unique zones. This ranges from mostly safe orange zones to more dangerous blue, yellow and orange zones. You don’t always have a lot of choices when it comes to your home’s location. If you buy or rent a home in the orange zone, you can live in an area that may only be threatened by flooding once every 500 years. These maps can help determine if you need flood insurance. 


Homeowners don’t always associate landscaping and flood protection. However, regular landscaping is one of the best things you can do to keep your home safe. For example, it’s important to clean your splash pads, gutters and downspouts. If they get backed up, then rain will build up instead of flowing away from your home. It’s also important to keep your ditches and drains clean so they don’t overflow. Consider collecting rainwater runoff in a rain barrel. This keeps water from pooling up and also gives you an easy way to water your plants. 


Earlier, we talked about the importance of maintaining your foundation. It’s also important to do this for the rest of your home. With some basic sealant, you can seal up areas such as doorways, windows, and walls. You can even seal up the foundation and offer it an extra coat of protection. The purpose of the sealant is, of course, to keep rain from getting into your home. Think of it as a special shield against the elements that helps keep your property and your family safe. 

Raise Your Home

This next suggestion is a bit extreme. However, it also helps you to maximize your home flood protection. With enough time and money, you can raise your existing home up on stilts or piers. Alternately, if you are building a new home, you can make this part of your plan from the beginning. Why take this drastic measure? Simple: raising your home effectively raises the flood level of the house. A raised home has extra protection against things like pooling rain water. In the event of really catastrophic flooding, you’ll be glad to have the “high ground” that helps keep everything and everyone protected. 

Drain Plugs

One flooding threat that most of us don’t think about is the sewer. If the sewage should back up, your home may be flooded with very smelly water! To boost your sewer protection, be sure to install drain plugs into all of your basement floor drains. Have a plumber install back flow valves on your various pipes so that water from both waste and flooding cannot enter your home through your sinks and toilets. 


Previously, we talked about the importance of landscaping to preventing house flooding, but would you believe this also extends to how you mow the lawn? Believe it or not, your lawn “points” in a particular direction. If it points towards your home, then the lawn will help rainwater to collect around your house and, eventually, seep inside. You can change the grade of your lawn so that it points away from your house. At this point, the grass becomes an extension of your gutters, and helps to direct the rain away from your home. 

Professional Maintenance

Most of our guide has focused on things that you can do on your own. However, it’s important to know when to call for professional help. Sure, you can probably handle the sealing, caulking, mowing and other basic maintenance. Putting your home on stilts, installing back flow valves, and other flood safety measures calls for professional help. Remember, this is no time to be cheap or prideful. A house is the most expensive thing many of us will ever own. And it’s worth paying for professional help in order to protect that investment. 

Prepare for the Worst

There is an old Woody Allen quote that might as well be about house flood protection. He said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” The message is a simple one: none of us know exactly what the future holds. FEMA says your home only has a 1% chance of flooding? It’s still more likely than you think! So, in addition to physically protecting your home, don’t forget to prepare for the worst. Prepare a flood emergency bag, keep expensive things high off the ground and buy yourself a sump pump. You should also take out flood insurance for maximum safety! If the worst happens, you can always call SERVPRO of Vermilion County at 217-443-0077. 

The Bottom Line

Now you know more about how to prevent flooding, but do you know who can help after a flood has already happened? We specialize in reconstructing homes and businesses after disaster strikes. To see how we can bring your home back to life, talk to one of our friendly staff at SERVPRO of Vermilion County at 217-443-0077. We are here to help!

Puddles in Your Crawl Space Are Not Normal

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

water in the crawl space water in the crawl space

Puddles in a crawl space, are not normal?

I always thought since the crawl space is under the home that it was normal to have puddles. After all, the ground gets wet and dry with different types of weather. It just seemed then, that the crawl space would have to have water in it.

Having puddles of water in the crawl space of a home is not good. However, what ruins your home is the moisture. Moisture can cause mold, rot, energy loss, and attracts pests into the crawl space. Did you realize up to 50% of the air in a home comes from below?

You must find out how or why the water is getting into the crawl space. Has there been a plumbing leak? How about seepage from the surrounding soil from a heavy rain? It could be condensation, for an example: Humidity condenses on cold surfaces, like ducts, and may cause dripping onto the crawl space floor.

SERVPRO can extract, pull up old vapor barriers, clean, sanitize, and replace with lime and put down new vapor barriers. SERVPRO has submersible sump pumps, dehumidifiers and air movers to help with drying out the crawl space.

Don’t wait; call SERVPRO of Vermilion County to help dry out your crawl space today. We are just a phone call away, 217-443-0077.

The Science of Drying

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Drying System set up in a bank Drying System set up in a bank after a water loss

Did you know that there is an actual science behind the process of drying your property?  This is called Psychrometrics and is a science vital to restoring a water damaged structure.  Therefore SERVPRO of Vermilion County puts a tremendous focus on making sure our technicians are Certified through IICRC standards in the Water Restoration Technician (WRT) program.

When a water damage occurs on your property SERVPRO of Vermilion County will

  • Inspect the building to detect every area that is wet in an effort to reduce secondary damage.
  • Measure the amount of moisture in an area and monitor the proper drying is taking place.
  • We will speed up the drying process by using professional drying equipment to regulate the temperature and humidity in affected areas.

Here at SERVPRO we use state of the art drying equipment and technology to ensure that your property is dried appropriately and in a timely manner.  Reducing secondary damage is a main priority for us and we live by the restore vs replace method.

If you have experienced a water damage in your home please call one of our friendly team members at 217-443-0077 today!  We are here to help!.

Ice Makers Can Cause Serious Damage In Your Home

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

refrigerator supply line refrigerator supply line

To replace a cracked supply hose for your ice maker may only cost as little as $5.00 for the part. However, the damage to your home could be in the thousands!

By the time a homeowner finds the water damage 2 rooms away from the kitchen, it is too late. A small leak over time can cause a lot of damage before you know it. The water slowly leaks down through many layers of flooring and then can travel in many directions. The wet carpet 2 rooms away, now have damaged carpet and pad. It may have gotten into the sub floor and even wicked up into the drywall. The closer you get to the kitchen, the heavier the damage.

After you have had to call the Refrigerator Repairman and the leak has stopped, your next call should be SERVPRO of Vermilion County, 217-443-0077.

SERVPRO can extract water, tear out carpet, pad, subfloor and drywall. They have dehumidifiers and air movers to help with the drying process. They have their own construction crews that lay carpet, hang drywall, trim and paint. SERVPRO of Vermilion County can do it all. Just call, we are 24/7 and 265 days a year.

What Do I Do When I Have A Pipe Break?

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

Water Pipe Break Water Pipe Break

It’s the middle of the night. You’re sound asleep and then BOOM a water pipe bursts. There is never a convenient time for this situation, and the middle of the night is definitely not convenient.  This may cause many people who have never dealt with it to panic. After all, what do you do when a water pipe suddenly bursts in your home?  Call SERVPRO of Vermilion County at 217-443-0077 and speak with a friendly team member!  We can help walk you through the steps to take if this should happen to you.

Shut Off the Water

Go to your main valve and turn the water off. They usually have a stop tap on them. It’s good to know where your water main is in case of emergencies, so if you don’t already know now is a great time to find out. Commonly this is found in the basement or garage, but may be found in other places as well.  Shutting it off will stop the water flow. If you find that the pipe that burst is a hot water pipe then close the valve that’s on top of the water heater as well.

Remove Any Nearby Electronics

If there’s anything electric plugged in near the burst pipe that is not in or requires you to be in standing water go ahead and unplug it from the socket and move it away. This will prevent risk of a fire.  DO NOT touch any electronics that are in standing water, do not walk through standing water as there is a real risk of electrocution.  Shut off the electricity from the breaker if possible, if not then call an electrician for assistance. 

 Call A Professional Immediately

Finding a 24-hour service to handle an emergency can be tough, but emergency water damage companies do exist, like SERVPRO of Vermilion County. We are fully licensed, highly trained and qualified.

Have Someone Check Everything Out

If there’s significant water damage, it’s extremely important to the health of your home that you have it examined by a water damage professional. It’s also a good idea to have an electrician check to make sure that no electrical aspects of your home were damaged. The owners, Dave and Suzi McGuire, have been building trust for 30 years.  They have accomplished this with hard work, having a highly trained staff, meeting commitments and going the extra mile for their customers. 

File An Insurance Claim

You’ll need to contact your insurance company immediately to begin an insurance claim for the damage.  SERVPRO of Vermilion County can help walk you through this process.  We strive to make the entire process from start to finish both painless and seamless for you.  Call SERVPRO of Vermilion County at 217-443-0077 and speak with a friendly team member today!  We are here to help!

Sump Pump Failure in Your Vermilion County Home

3/15/2020 (Permalink)

Sump Pump System Working Sump Pump System

Vermilion County has a rich history, but with this age comes the understanding that many homes have gotten constructed well before modern implements to divert water. While there is certain equipment that can get installed into your home to help contend with water that works its way in (sump pumps being a good example), these are not cure-alls to the problem that exists by any stretch of the imagination.  

Many people who have equipment like sump pumps installed in their homes understand that if this equipment were to fail one day, the result could be a significant water emergency. Without other means of water diversion like functioning French drains or adequately applied waterproofing to the exterior of your foundation, you can be dealing with flood damage to your Vermilion County home if equipment like your sump pump fails and severe weather strikes.  

The unfortunate truth about machinery and equipment like this is that it is not designed to work forever. In fact, even the best pumps are only rated to get used for a specific number of years before they require replacement. When they officially malfunction or quit altogether, the resulting water damage to your lower levels can become catastrophic. Our SERVPRO team can respond quickly in an emergency situation like this and work to keep the damage from getting worse.  

With any flooding event to your home, regardless of the cause, our restoration process remains the same. We begin with extracting the present water from the affected area. With substantial volumes, a truck-mounted pump from our fleet often gets dispatched to the site. Once the standing water gets removed, drying efforts with air movers and dehumidification equipment can begin. Other crew members may simultaneously be relocating personal belongings and furnishings to dry regions of the home if there are any.

An overall assessment can be done by our SERVPRO of Vermilion County restoration specialists to determine the cause of the flooding and offer solutions to prevent it from recurring. While the construction of your home decades ago might have left you without modern water diversion devices, there are still ways to seal up weakened areas to prevent unabated water penetration.  

When you encounter flood damage to your home, it is often something best left to professional restoration specialists like ours. We can ensure that all of the water gets successfully extracted so that there are no lingering effects for you or your family. You can reach our SERVPRO of Vermilion County emergency response team anytime at (217)443-0077.

Drip, Drip, Drip

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Assisted Living Water Loss Assisted Living Water Loss

Not a good sound to hear anytime of the year. The day after Christmas is even worse.  A local senior housing facility had a sprinkler head malfunction in the early hours of December 26. First call was to SERVPRO to attack the issue. Several rooms and a long hallway were saturated with water. 

These water losses are tough for any business. A water loss in a senior center presents special problems.  This water issue disrupts their lives, from being displaced from their rooms to a dining hall in some instances being flooded. 

This is also very disruptive to the staff since the residence daily routine has been interrupted. They want things back to normal as quickly as possible. The staff also has to deal with the additional hazards equipment being placed to dry carpet out presents. 

Our goal at SERVPRO is to not only make it “Like it never even happened,” but to do it quickly as we can. 

Call SERVPRO of Vermilion County at 217-443-0077 for all your water loss needs!

Unseen water

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know it only takes 1 to 2 inches of water to begin damaging your property?  Any type of water leak no matter the size can turn into much larger damage if not treated when discovered.  Unseen water can soak through carpets, walls, and pool on sub-floors causing big problems over time. The faster water is removed the less chance of possible serious damage.  That's why SERVPRO of Vermilion County is ready to spring into action anytime day or night to prevent these damages.  With the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, the affected area is quickly and thoroughly dried.  This is important to prevent secondary water damage from occurring. Water that is hidden can also contain bacteria and causes mold growth. This can cause rotting along with a big health hazard.  A mop and common box fan will not fully take care of water damage issues. That's why it is very important to contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Vermilion  at (217)443-0077 for any water damage recovery.

The Stress-Free Guide to Flushing a Water Heater

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Flushing a water heater in Vermilion County

When is the last time you flushed your water heater? It’s nice to think of it minding its own business and working perfectly with no assistance. However, as the unit operates, it will likely become clogged with debris and minerals that can shorten its lifespan. The best maintenance practice for this household staple is to perform a water heater flush every few years, especially if you have hard water in Vermilion County.

No Rush, Just Flush

Here is a cheat sheet to keep handy as you flush your water heater.

1) Establish whether you have a gas or electric unit. If it’s gas, turn off the thermostat, then the gas valve. If it’s electric, switch off the heater’s power breaker. 
2) Find the cold water supply valve; switch it off. 
3) Run a hot water tap in a sink to keep water flowing through the pipes.
4) Find the pressure relief valve. Place a basin underneath and carefully open the valve, avoiding the hot water discharge. 
5) While the water in the tank cools, set up a garden hose with one end in a large bucket.
6) Once the water is cool, connect the hose to the tank’s drainage spigot. Turn on the spigot and watch the water that emerges in the bucket until it is sediment-free and clean. 
7) Flush! Turn on the cold water supply valve into the tank. Let the water run until the hose water runs clean again. 
8) When you are satisfied with the water quality, start reassembling everything. Turn off the drainage, remove the hose, and close the pressure relief valve again. Wait until the tank is full again from the cold water supply; once it is, open the pressure relief valve. Check another sink in the house to let out any air. Either turn the gas back on and light the pilot light or flip the breaker switch back on. In half an hour, check your sinks for hot water. 

Congratulations! You have successfully flushed your water heater. Clean up, cross the task off your to-do list and relax this weekend. Don't feel like taking these steps yourself? You can always enlist the help of professional water restoration services.

SERVPRO of Vermilion County - (217)443-0077

How To Handle Water Dripping From Your Light Fixture

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water in light fixtures can be a scary sight

How To Handle Water Dripping From Your Light Fixture

If you’ve ever seen water in light fixtures on your ceiling, you know it can set off a panic. Everyone knows electricity and water do not mix, so it requires immediate action. The following steps can guide you through the process and keep everyone safe in your Vermilion County, home.

1. Turn Off the Electricity and Water

Do not touch the light fixture; instead, the first step is to turn off your electricity. Water conducts electricity, and there is a real risk of shock or even a fire when water surrounds electric wiring. Assuming water is coming from an unknown or external source (such as rain from a leaky roof), turn off your home’s water supply. This will help you contain the leak and prevent further ceiling damage.

2. Call the Professionals

It can be tempting to try a do-it-yourself approach when you notice water in light fixtures, but it’s really a job for professional water and restoration specialists. You, of course, will need someone to address the plumbing issue or leaking roof; however, you also must make sure to fully dry the area to prevent mold damage. A ceiling is a difficult place to dry out yourself, and it can appear dry while still hiding moisture.

3. Prevent Future Problems

If you’ve had ceiling damage from a burst pipe, your focus after cleanup should be on how to prevent it from happening in the future. If the leak was caused by pipes freezing and bursting, you can avoid this by keeping one or two faucets slowly dripping in extremely cold temperatures. Try to keep the home the same temperature at night as it is during the day, and open kitchen or bathroom cabinets to allow warm air in. Professionals can also help reduce water pressure and soften water, which both help relieve stress on pipes.

Water in light fixtures can be a scary sight. Make sure to shut off electricity and water and call professionals to help clean it up. You also can take several steps to prevent future problems to help make the situation more manageable.

Call SERVPRO of Vermilion County for all your emergency service needs. Reach out to us 24/7 at 443-0077. We are always here to help you in your time of need to make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

Cleaning the Air after a Flood

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a flood is no picnic.  Even after all damaged materials have been removed and the ground floor has been thoroughly dried and cleaned, the smell of mold and sewage can linger for weeks or even months. If your home was recently in a flood, and you’re tired of your home reeking like mold growth and black water, your Vermilion County SERVPRO flood restoration team offers these few odor removal tips that may be of use to you. 

Steps for Cleaning the Air 

Cleaning the air is fairly simple and involves a few common household items.

  • Cat Litter: Cat litter is designed to soak up odors, so place a little bit in each room. Change it out periodically to make sure that it absorbs as much of the residual odor as possible. 
  • Vinegar: Place bowls of vinegar throughout your home, and in just a few days, your home will be smelling as fresh as it was pre-flood. 
  • Baking Soda: In addition to using baking soda on your carpets, you can also use it to zap odors from the air. 

Mold growth can really stink up your home. To get rid of that bad smell, try utilizing the tips above from your SERVPRO of Vermilion County water damage team. 

Reach us at (217)443-0077!

Surgical Water Restoration

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

Imagine you come home for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon and you walk into your living room covered with 8 inches of water.

What do you do?

Who do you call?

Do you call your family, friend, a local contractor, or Water Restoration Company?

What is the difference?

There are many differences between contractors and Water Restoration Companies. Here are a few:

  • A contractor’s job is to replace everything that is affected. This will include all flooring, walls, cabinets and even furniture. SERVPRO is certified in drying water damage to industry standards. We will not remove materials unless it is necessary. This prevents further interruption to your daily life.
  • A contractor will have to replace all of the materials they took out of your home. This can take weeks waiting for material decisions, insurance approval, shipping, and installation time. SERVPRO’s average drying time is only 3 days. We have crews available 24/7/356 and someone to monitor your job daily.
  • Replacing flooring, drywall, and all of your furniture is expensive. Restoring your home is a lot less expensive than replacing everything in your home.

When you call SERVPRO of Vermilion County you can expect a First Responder on site within an hour and your home to be restored quickly by certified, professional technicians. Reach us at (217)443-0077.


Science of Drying

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

The knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. Your first reaction will be to grab towels and a mop to clean up the water, maybe even a fan or two. Our professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. SERVPRO of Vermilion County will inspect to detect everything that is wet, measure how much moisture is in the wet materials, monitor whether the materials are drying properly, and also speed up the process by using professional drying equipment. 

We use the latest technology and tools; The SERVPRO DryBook allows us to capture and track the steps of a restoration project according to industry best practices and standards. This will ensure that your restoration is done properly and efficiently as well as improving results and restoring your property faster! 

Contact SERVPRO of Vermilion County at (217)443-0077.


Water Damage Timeline

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

 48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

 More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically.  Replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and contaminants can pose serious risks to occupants.

Call SERVPRO of Vermilion County 24/7 at (217)443-0077!


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)

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)

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)

Frozen Pipes

2/7/2019 (Permalink)

Learn How to prevent water pipes from freezing and How to thaw them if they do freeze

Why pipes freezing are a problem

Water has a unique property in it that it expands as it freezes. The expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basement and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

How to protect pipes from freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturers or installers directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store used hoses outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape”, “heat cable”, or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspapers can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

How to prevent frozen pipes

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to make any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nightline temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit

How to thaw frozen pipes

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a froze pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begin to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipes will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electrical hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too.

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

Emergency Water Removal for Vermilion County Residents

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Water Removal in an Emergency

Water pipes are often not insulated in the home, particularly when traveling into cellar spaces or through garages. Plumbing systems are suitably robust. However, as they age, they become more susceptible to temperature changes or pressure. These elements cause the materials to expand and retract which, over time can loosen connections or split the pipes. When that happens, water can leak rapidly and require extraction. 

It is rare that homeowners own the type of equipment needed to perform extraction themselves. Water removal in Vermilion county requires industrial scale equipment to get the job down fast and reduce the likelihood of permanent damage. SERVPRO of Vermilion County has an emergency call line that operates 24 hours a day and can send a trained technician to your property within four hours of notification of loss. 

Generally, when standing water is over two inches high, it needs to be pumped. We use gas-powered fully submersible pumps to help remove excess water before moving in with extraction wands to treat saturated carpets or floorboards. When water levels are below two inches, we may not need to use pumps and move straight onto extraction equipment. 

The primary technique for removing excess water is to extract. Extractors come in various sizes and can be scaled to depending on the extent of the spill. If the water is below five gallons, we can use portable extractors which are nimble and precise. Where there is extensive spillage, truck-mounted extractors can be brought in with storage tanks of more than one hundred gallons. A SERVPRO technician can access either type after inspecting the affected area. 

Extraction equipment uses a vacuum component to help lift water from saturated carpets or fabrics. These need to be managed carefully as aggressive usage can damage carpets which are up to 50% weaker when drenched in water. SERVPRO technicians are trained to perform light, repeated pass overs that reduce the pressure put on wet materials and mitigates against further damages. 

If you need rapid water extraction, contact SERVPRO of Vermilion County at (217) 443-0077.

6 Tips to Prevent Pipes from Freezing While Tenants are Away.

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. Learn these 6 tips to keep pipes on your property from freezing.

Tip #1: Keep the Heat on

When tenants leave for a period of time, make sure to keep the heat on on your property. Convincing Tenants to leave their heat on while they are away may be difficult, especially if they are responsible to pay for their own utilities. However you should inform them that in order to prevent pipes from freezing the heat should stay on. If pipes freeze and burst it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions. Keeping the heat as high as you normally would if someone was on the property is not necessary, 50 degrees Fahrenheit is a desired minimum temperature to set your thermostat to.  

Tip #2: Allow Faucet to drip

If you are fearful of a frozen pipe, allow the faucet to drip slightly. Pressure is left in the system when allowing the faucet to be open. Pipe bursts are typically a result in the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet. Following this simple step prevents build up, keeping you pipe from bursting.

Tip #3: Keep Interior doors open

Pipes can often be located in cabinets. Any time the temperature drops, it is a great idea to keep those cabinet doors open so the heat in in the rest of the house/apartment can keep the pipes warm as well.  You should also keep all the interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the entire living space.

Tip #4: Seal up cracks and holes

Tenants should consider to caulk any holes or cracks that exist near pipes. Calking both the interior and exterior walls is a must. Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

Tip #5: Apply Heating Tape

Electrical heating tape may be an option to keep from freezing, for pipes that are easily accessible. Heating tape can be applied directly to the pipe. There are two different types of heating tape. One type reacts based on when it senses heat, turning the tape on or off. The other type of heating tape has to be plugged in and unplugged when heat is needed or not needed. These products can be dangerous, similar to a space heater, so be sure to follow each products directions and safety procedures exactly before using.

Tip #6: Add extra insulation

Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as basements and attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Basements and attics are not the only places that may not have the pipes properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure.  You can have pipes fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chance of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

Should you have a water emergency, no matter how big or how small, we here at SERVPRO of Vermilion County are ready to help 24 hours a day! Call us today at (217) 443-0077.

Returning Home After the Holidays

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Pipes can break at any time

The Holidays are a very busy time of year.   You may spend several hours away from your home at this time of year.   You might make a check list for Christmas gifts and list of different dishes for family gatherings.  You may even have a list of neighbors to check on your home while you are gone. But if you leave and have no one check on your home while you’re gone in the winter, you may find yourself a float when you return.  A pipe could break at any time and after 48 to 72 hours mold begins to grow.

If you ever find yourself or someone you know in this situation and not sure where to start, call SERVPRO of Vermilion County at 217-443-0077.

Water damage? We got you covered!

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Cracked foundation allowing water into crawlspace.

Imagine discovering that your home has cracks in the foundation and water from a recent rainfall has saturated your crawlspace. Not only is this a soggy situation that needs cleaned up, but also there is a high probability that mold could form on the affected structure. You need a team to service that can do it all. 

SERVPRO of Vermilion County is who you want to contact. We will first remove the insulation and any debris. Drying equipment can be set if drying is needed. Next, the structure will need to be cleaned and treated to prevent mold. Finally, new insulation will be installed along with laying down a vapor barrier. 

Call SERVPRO of Vermilion County at 217-443-0077 to schedule an estimate today.

Making it Right

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

"All the guys and young ladies were very nice. They explained everything well and were very caring. These are the kind of people I like to deal with. I would recommend SERVPRO to others, as I know things are going to be taken care of."

We strive for these kind of comments on every Completion Of Satisfaction form we send out. We are dealing with people that are having a bad day and they are looking for an "it's going to be ok". Most people will only go through an event like this once in their life. 

The challenges each team deals with on a daily basis can be trying. This particular customer's basement had close to foot of water in it. The family had been gone for a weekend and came back to this mess. Not a great way to end a getaway weekend. The team assessed the damage and made it "Like it never even happened." 

Professionalism on Display

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

"Your staff's professionalism in determining what needed to be done and her explanation to me is why I chose SERVPRO to do the work in my house. She and her team were fantastic throughout the entire job".

Comments you never get tired of hearing. From beginning to end the customer is dealing with an issue they may have never had to deal with in their life. They are stressed, confused and just want it to go away. 

This is where a well trained professional staff make everyone's life better. Reassurance to the customer is a key factor in making the situation better. 

Water in a basement is never good unless they have a swimming pool. This particular family was dealing with sump pump failure while everyone was at work and school. They ended their day by coming home to a mess. They had been told by friends call SERVPRO and they are glad they did. 

Another "Like it never even happened." success story. 

SERVPRO of Vermilion County 24 Hour Water Damage Service

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

Minimally invasive water extraction

SERVPRO of Vermilion County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. 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 - (217) 443-0077

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Vermilion County

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.