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Mold Removal Chicago Water Damage Restoration
(312) 351-5441

Water Damage • Mold Removal | Chicago, IL | Mold Testing

The Top 4 Signs You Should Get A Mold Test

1. You are buying or moving into a different house or building.
2. You smell a musty or moldy odor that is stronger when the windows and doors have been closed.
3. You see mold growing inside your home or building.
4. Your allergies or asthma are worse when you are inside. Mold is a common indoor allergen.


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Water Damage • Mold Removal | Chicago, IL | Flood Cleanup

Basement Flooding

Water Damage Restoration Chicago Mold Removal

Flooding normally occurs where streams, rivers or other drainage channels cannot cope with the amount of water that is flowing into them during periods of higher than normal rainfall, and the water breaks or overspills the banks. This is known as surface water flooding.

There are a number of reasons for why a basement could flood. Broken pipes, sewage backups, and surface or groundwater runoff are the most common causes.

If you discover that your basement has flooded, don’t try to do anything yourself in order to be safe from electrocution and contamination in the water.

Call a water damage restoration company to ensure proper and safe handling of the situation. Damage restoration technicians are equipped with respirators and proper personal protective equipment for safety.

Flood Cleanup Process

Water Damage Restoration Chicago Mold Removal

The first step in the basement flood cleanup process is removing the water. A professional-grade pump is used to remove all of the standing water. Water is then extracted with a flood water extraction machine. Once the water has been removed, an anti-microbial agent is sprayed to control contamination.

After that removal of all porous and semi-porous materials as well as storage of all salvageable content is then moved to a safe clean area. Containment is set up to prevent spreading contamination to clean areas of the structure.

Once containment is in place, negative air machines with HEPA air filters are set up and unsalvageable building materials are removed. Once contamination levels are safe, air is introduced into the drying process.

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Water Damage • Mold Removal | Chicago, IL | Roof Restoration Tips

Roofing Maintenance And Restoration Tips

Water Damage Restoration Chicago Mold Removal

When installing shingles, make sure the nails are embedded securely into the felt and sheathing. Over time, the sun’s heat will cause the roof and shingles to expand, making the nails pop out of place and thus increasing the risk of a leak.

Shingle Layering

Because the roof is sloped, make sure you layer the shingles from bottom to top, overlapping the top set with the bottom. This will ensure your roof is protected from all weather elements. The standard width between each row of shingles is 5 inches.

Restoring Sheathing

After cleaning the debris and reframing the roof, lay down a base (sheathing). Eight-foot, 1/2-inch-thick plywood is standard sheathing material. Measure the opening of the section of roof to be shingled, cut the plywood to size and nail to roof rafters. Stagger the sheathing in a brick pattern for extra strength. Do not place an entire 8-foot section of plywood onto the roof. Such a long piece is structurally unstable in the middle. Continue to install in a brick pattern, staggering the plywood seams until the open area is covered.

Water Damage Restoration Chicago Mold Removal

Laying Felt Paper

Start by stapling the 6-inch starter strip at the bottom section of roof leaving a 1-inch overhang on the eave to ensure drainage into the gutters. Going from the bottom up, lay and nail the remaining felt layers with a 2-inch overlap. Be sure to nail the tar strip on each felt layer to ensure maximum hold.

Installing Shingles

Lay the first row of shingles starting at a bottom corner of the roof. Place a base row of shingles following the chalk lines on the felt and move upward in a pyramid shape. Use six nails per shingle to ensure maximum hold, and be sure to always nail on the tar strip. Continue working your way across and up the roof, following your initial pyramid base. If repairing a section of the damaged roof, be sure you layer the existing shingles on top of the new. This will ensure a uniform and seamless look.

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Water Damage • Mold Removal | Chicago, IL | Fall Mold

Protect Your Home From Mold This Fall

Water Damage Restoration Chicago Mold Removal

1. Test your air quality with a mold test kit. These are readily available and can give you a good idea about whether you have a mold or mold spore problem, and whether professional remediation may be necessary.

2. Change the filters in your heating and air conditioning systems. This is important for air quality. Switch to high quality HEPA air filters if possible.

3. Clean at-risk areas. Keeping bathrooms, kitchens and other areas with regular exposure to moisture clean. It may be smart to opt for non-toxic cleaners, such as citrus based cleaners, dilute apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil or grapefruit seed extract cleaners. Many of these will effectively kill mold and mildew, but aren’t as toxic as other cleaners. In some instances, it may wise to use bleach, but use with caution.

4. Check for leaks or water damage. This is important for the integrity of your home, as well as the air quality. Repairing any areas that may put your home at risk for water damage is important for protection against a subsequent mold problem.

5. Consider an air purifier. Look for high quality air purifiers that remove contaminants out of the air. Fan driven units only have so much effect on the overall quality of air.


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Water Damage • Mold Removal | Chicago, IL | Water Damage Drying

The Principles of Water Damage Drying

Water Damage Drying Chicago Water Damage Restoration

The IICRC S500 Water Damage Restoration Standard and Reference Guide describes the task of Water Damage Drying through five principles.

1. Provide For Safety
2. Document And Inspect The Project
3. Mitigate Further Damage
4. Clean And Dry Affected Areas
5. Complete The Restoration

1. Provide For The Safety of Workers And Occupants

Water Damage Drying Chicago Water Damage Restoration

The technician’s first responsibility when arriving at a water damage site is to identify and eliminate safety hazards. The restoration contractor is responsible to provide for the health and safety of workers and occupants during restoration procedures.

2. Document And Inspect The Project

Water Damage Drying Chicago Water Damage Restoration

The restorer must evaluate the extent of water migration and be able to measure the moisture absorbed by materials in order to properly scope the work to be done. As drying is attempted, the restorer must verify that anticipated progress is actually being achieved.

Due to the number of variables present that affect the drying of materials, progress cannot be assumed. Frequent inspection and monitoring is therefore essential. As you enter rooms, inspect ceilings carefully. Wet plaster and sheet rock are very heavy and can be a hazard.

Be aware of bulging ceilings that may hold trapped water. If rainwater has collected in the ceiling, the rainwater will find it own route into the floors below.

3. Mitigate Further Damage

Water Damage Drying Chicago Water Damage Restoration

Drying decisions are made based upon critical information the restorer obtains during the initial assessment. The inspection not only checks the extent of moisture intrusion, but also considers the potential for additional Water damages.

Remove any water soaked items stored in the attic for treatment. The weight of Water soaked boxes can cause cracking in the plaster ceilings of the floor below. Open windows and vents to allow fresh air to circulate. If your electrical system is safe and you have an attic fan, turn it on.

4. Clean And Dry Affected Areas

Water Damage Drying Chicago Water Damage Restoration

Cleaning procedures are used whenever soils and debris must be removed to expedite the drying process. Contaminated materials that can be ultimately restored require cleaning either before or after the drying process.

Any highly porous item affected, such as valuable contents, require intensive cleaning. Flooding may be quick, but drying out a building is a time consuming effort.

Allowing natural ventilation and evaporation to work is better for the building than the using heated forced-air or air conditioning systems. The rapid drying out of a historic building using hot air power drying systems can cause irreparable harm to significant features of the building.

5. Complete The Restoration

Water Damage Drying Chicago Water Damage Restoration

The Water Damage Restoration technician’s job is not done when the materials are dry. As the drying proceeds, restorers have to re-evaluate the condition of structural items or contents and consider whether they will require refinishing or restoration to return them to a pre-loss condition.

Any building materials that were removed or disrupted will need reconstruction. The job is not complete until all affected materials are clean, dry, and equal or better in appearance and function than they were before the loss occurred.

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Water Damage • Mold Removal | Chicago, IL | Mold Inspections

Important Things You Should Know About Mold Inspections

A mold inspection is when a person looks for mold growth in a building. Here are some important factors to consider for mold inspections.

Water Damage Restoration Chicago Mold Removal

1. Qualified Mold Inspector

Mold inspections need to be performed by a qualified mold inspector who has formal training and experience with mold inspections.

2. Past Or Current Mold Growth

Mold inspections should look for evidence of past or current mold growth. Past mold growth may indicate a water problem which will come back when certain conditions return such as a recurring leak.

3. Mold Within The Building

Mold inspections should look for mold within the building, inside walls, and in other areas where mold growth is undesirable, including areas where mold growth could be causing structural issues such as wood decay in crawlspaces.

4. Normal Mold Growth

Some mold growth in buildings may be perfectly normal. Ceratosystis and Ophiostoma are two molds that grow on lumber and are frequently found growing on two by fours or another structural framing within buildings. These molds grow on the sap of wood and stop growing once the wood has dried. Although they cause black staining on the wood, they do not cause any structural issues.

5. Look For Sources Of Moisture

It is very important that the mold inspector looks for sources of moisture. Water is essential for mold growth. Without a source of water, you will not have mold growth.


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Water Damage • Mold Removal | Chicago, IL | Preventing Shower Mold

How To Prevent Shower Mold

Water Damage Restoration Chicago Mold Removal 1. Shake curtain. This will allow the curtain to completely dry between uses, reducing the amount of mold that builds up.

2. Spray every surface, every day. There are Daily showers sprays available in stores that help prevent mold and mildew.

3. Clean it regularly. You need to clean the bathroom regularly to prevent mold buildup!

4. Run your bathroom fans regularly. Either run your bathroom fan while you shower, or make it a point to run it for at least 15 minutes afterward. Or make sure you keep a bathroom window open.

Mold Removal Chicago | Free Damage Inspections! | | (312) 351-5441

Water Damage • Mold Removal | Chicago, IL | Weather Damage

Rain or Shine: 7 Ways that Weather Can Damage Your Home

1. Wind

Extremely powerful winds from tornadoes and hurricanes can scrape the shingles off the tops of roofs and pull gutters away from rooflines.

2. Hail

Millions of dollars in damages are common from just a single hailstorm. If the hailstones are even moderately sized, their weight — coupled with the force at which they fall from the sky — can poke holes in the shingles of a roof. Large hailstones can even dent or bend gutters as well.

3. Rain

Though the rain itself usually doesn’t cause structural damage, any water that leaks into a home through gaps in the roof or walls can lead to messes that can be costly to clean up. This water can also lead to damage to walls, ceilings, and floors; as well as mold and mildew problems throughout a home.

4. Cold

Wintry temperatures (usually below 20 degrees) can affect a home even when there is no precipitation. Frigid conditions can cause pipes to freeze; and if they burst, flooding can occur in basements or rooms.

5. Snow

A little bit of snow usually doesn’t cause any problems. But multiple feet of snow can weigh on a roof or gutters and overwhelm physical support systems; causing buckling or holes in roofs and bending or breaking gutters.

6. Ice

During prolonged periods of precipitation and/or cold temperatures, ice can build up in a gutter to form an ice dam. These dams, which are fed by snowpack on roofs, cannot only buckle and dislodge gutters; but the ice can also creep underneath shingles to damage the roof.

7. Sun

During prolonged periods of heat, the sun can damage furniture, rugs, and artwork by fading colors and make fibers brittle.


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Water Damage • Mold Removal | Chicago, IL | Flooded Basement

7 Steps to Avoid a Flooded Basement

Gutters & Downspouts

Keep gutters free of debris and position downspouts away from the foundation. The goal is to drain storm water at least three feet away, so if necessary, consider running extensions or troughs.

Foundation Cracks

Inspect the exterior foundation and your basement’s walls and floors. Use epoxy to fill any foundation cracks and if warning signs are detected, apply masonry sealer indoors. For more serious problems, call a pro.

Sump Pumps

If you have a below-grade sump pump, check to make sure its well is free of debris. If you have a portable pump, position it in the lowest part of the basement and be sure it’s connected to a power source.

Sewers & Septics

If you haven’t had your sewer inspected or your septic tank cleaned, spring is a good time to address these concerns. During periods of prolonged, heavy rainfall, clogged sewers and over-taxed septics are disasters waiting to happen.

Window Well Covers

If you have below-grade basement windows, install window well covers that will fasten securely to your home’s foundation. Clear acrylic covers allow light to enter, even as they keep out rain, leaves, and pests.


Remember a sump pump only works if you have power. If you live in an area plagued with frequent storms and power outages, a generator may be a long-term investment worth considering.


Review your property insurance policy and consider additional coverage, especially if you have a finished basement. Usually, homeowners’ insurance does not cover flooding or sewer backups. Undecided? Check out The Case for Flood Insurance.


Mold Removal Chicago | Free Damage Inspections! | | (312) 351-5441

Water Damage • Mold Removal | Chicago, IL | Basement Flood

7 Steps to Prevent Mold After a Basement Flood

The number one rule in preventing mold is the 48-hour rule– if furnishings or walls get wet from a storm or burst pipe, you need to dry it out within 48 hours to prevent mold from growing.

1. Turn off the electricity
2. Pump the water out of your basement
3. Remove all your wet items
4. Clean the walls and floor
5. Get the air moving and remove excess moisture
6. Look for mold and return your items to the basement
7. Keep a dehumidifier and air cleaner in the basement


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