Recent Posts

Honoring Inaugural White Coats from our Chicago SERVPRO Teams

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

4 employess wearing white coats in a training room Congratulations to the team members awarded the White Coats

At a recent Large Loss training event in Chicago, our Team Zubricki roster took a special time-out to honor and acknowledge our crew members who exceeded the call of duty for both the customer and our organization. Awardees were given white coats to wear to show they were this year’s ‘Top Guns,’ an acknowledgment owner Patricia Zubricki intends to bestow on team members each year at a gathering. The inaugural class of white coat honorees included:

  • Restoration Project Manager Eduardo Gomez
  • Senior Project Manager Patrick Houlihan
  • Owner Anthony Zubricki
  • Nick Laughlin
  • Randall Roach

Tony Dantonio, Vice President of National Accounts at Team Zubricki, shares his thoughts on the team members awarded the White Coats: "The team members that were recognized with the White Coats have gone above and beyond to help make Team Zubricki successful.  The White Coats are intended to stand out just as these folks have done. They are true team players, and were caught in the act of doing things right."

Because Large Loss recovery requires long hours and is not always nearby, those on this response team are asked to devote sometimes weeks or months away from home to see that we help venues and facilities around the country to make it “Like it never even happened.” In the past year, these esteemed team members exceeded expectations.

  • Long Hours 

Acknowledged team members regularly spent long nights, weekends, and personal hours to ensure projects continued to move.

  • Time Away from Home 

With Team Zubricki franchises being family-owned and operated, we value these relationships highly. The demand for restoration must sometimes ask our team to be away from their homes and families for long periods to help when natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, ice storms, and other events occur.

  • Above and Beyond 

White Coats exceed expectations with the quality of their work, their interactions with the customer, and personal sacrifices to see that jobs are getting completed promptly.

The white coat itself is symbolic, as it stands out from the black, gray, and conventional SERVPRO green witnessed at our multi-franchise events. Just as these employees and administrators have stood out from the roster with their exceptional work ethic and commitment to helping our customers, the white coat allows them to be quickly identified as top contributors of Team Zubricki.

Our large loss response team helped all over the country, which has been the basis for choosing this year’s White Coats. Whether traveling out of the area to help hundreds of homes without power and suffering storm damage or reaching the aftermath of a hurricane in Louisiana, the commitment to those in need at the expense of holidays and family events cannot be ignored.

Can You Let Chicago Home Water Damage Dry On Its Own?

4/27/2022 (Permalink)

Ceiling with water damaged areas of drywall removed Our water damage technicians have the equipment and experience to restore your Chicago home to preloss condition.

SERVPRO Water Restoration Technicians Remediate Moisture with Powerful Drying Equipment

Water damage can be a distressing sight, particularly if the damage has been ongoing for some time. However, elevated moisture can impact more than surface-level structures. It may have microbial growth present, creating potential air quality. While letting it dry may seem like the most straightforward solution, this strategy can backfire. It is safer for professional restoration services to stop damage to property and air quality.

SERVPRO’s 24-hour availability for water damage cleanup in Chicago ensures that residents receive remediation, repairs, and restoration services necessary to return their homes to a pre-damage state. SERVPRO tools, including extractors and structural drying equipment, are designed to eliminate excess moisture from surfaces and the air more efficiently than DIY solutions.

Why DIY Solutions Can Exacerbate Water Damage

The key to effective water damage drying is dehumidification combined with air movement after thorough water removal. Chicago homeowners may feel ready to tackle wet drywall or carpet independently. However, without proper inspection tools, they may not be aware of:

  • The scope of the water damage
  • The source causing the continuous leaks or moisture
  • The presence of mold
  • The extent to which structures have been saturated
  • Whether other crucial systems, like electrical or HVAC, are affected by water

SERVPRO trains technicians to detect and mitigate all of these factors in ways that help homeowners save on potential restoration costs. Water damage requires a careful balance of air movement and dehumidification to prevent secondary damage to surfaces and increases in relative humidity.

SERVPRO Water Damage Mitigation and Drying for Residential Structures

Chicago SERVPRO technicians can deploy a full suite of tools for moisture removal, such as:

  • Penetrating and surface-level inspection sensors and meters calibrated for materials like wood and drywall, as well as thermal imaging cameras to inspect water damage behind surfaces
  • Portable and truck-mounted extractors that can deploy heated solvents for cleaning of carpet and upholstery and pulling excess moisture out of nooks, crannies, and structural materials
  • EPA-registered antimicrobial solutions designed to remediate microbes and odor-causing bacteria to sanitize and restore space
  • Structural drying tools, which include commercial-grade air movers and dehumidifiers
  • Odor control tools, such as wet foggers, odor counteractant beads, and hydroxyl generators

Temporary containment measures like polyethylene drying chambers can accelerate water cleanup in open spaces. Specialized techniques that target wet carpet and pad, as well as upholstery and drapes, can keep restoration on-site without the need to move belongings offsite. 

In a typical residential water damage incident, technicians can set up air movement equipment every 10 to 16 linear feet to cover approximately 150 square feet per unit. These air movers are typically paired with low-grain refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifiers to collect humidity pulled out of surfaces and into the air. 

For dehumidification, moist air is passed over cold refrigerant coils and collected for disposal in a treated sewer. At the same time, the LGR units expel warm, dry air that is pushed toward necessary surfaces by the air movers. High-powered desiccant dehumidifiers are also available for remediation of damage to structural materials. Technicians carefully calculate drying goals and position air movement and dehumidification units accordingly to save as much material as is feasible after a water damage disaster.

SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown is proud to say that We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster and ready to address homeowners ’ concerns 24/7. Call (773) 434-9100 to get started.

Can Chicago Homeowners Perform Their Own Fire Damage Inspections?

4/27/2022 (Permalink)

Garage and car burned down by fire damage Contact SERVPRO for certified technicians to help with fire damage remediation efforts in your Chicago home or business.

Chicago SERVPRO Fire Cleanup Professionals Can Detect Smoke, Soot, and Water Damage

Even when it comes from minor kitchen stove flare-ups, fire damage can appear surface-level at first glance. While that is sometimes the case, Chicago property owners may not immediately detect other odors and residues left behind by it. When extinguishers or water put out a home fire, the materials used to suppress flames can impact HVAC systems and other surfaces. These components may require professional restoration to salvage affected structures and belongings thoroughly.

Chicago SERVPRO fire damage cleanup technicians can perform mitigation per restoration industry best practices established by the IICRC. The key to saving the most items possible after a fire is having the right tools for the job and knowing how smoke damage works. SERVPRO staff is educated in both topics and uses commercial-grade equipment and knowledge to return fire-affected properties to a clean, soot- and odor-free condition.

Can Homeowners Inspect Fire Damage Themselves After a Fire? 

While homeowners can determine the extent of a minor, surface-level disaster, fires affect more than just a wall or ceiling even after a small incident.

  • Soot particles settle in ducts and HVAC components, where they can become sticky or corrosive on exposure to moisture. These residues can collect dust and potentially create future fire damage risks while lowering home air quality
  • Cooking fires involving meats leave greasy, odorous protein residues nearly invisible to the naked eye. These soils require specialized enzyme digester and sanitation solutions for removal. Residents can unintentionally spread residues during a DIY inspection, spreading unpleasant odors throughout the home
  • Smoke residues can impart soot and soils on electrical components that put them at risk for future ignition
  • Water damage from flame suppression can also impact wall cavities, carpet, and pad, which can allow for mold proliferation in as little as 24 to 48 hours

While a DIY inspection may seem like a good idea on paper for saving on restoration costs, this approach can potentially cost more. Handling this process without professional assistance can hurt a proof of loss claim and unintentionally damage structures and belongings in the home.

SERVPRO Fire Inspection Tools and Process

During fire damage inspections, SERVPRO techs can look at the following:

  • Ventilation registers, ducts, and other components
  • Pretesting results for cleaning solutions to determine ideal cleaning strategies
  • Moisture levels in various surfaces, which are ascertained by penetrating and non-penetrating sensors and meters as well as imaging
  • Mold detection if conditions that allow its growth are present

SERVPRO's multi-pronged inspection process prepares homes for a thorough cleaning process that pinpoints structural damages and restores as much as possible to a pre-damage condition. Technicians can also demolish unsalvageable drywall, flooring, and insulation per homeowners' and insurance adjusters' wishes. 

Light soils may only require cleaning with dry cleaning sponges or mild, EPA-registered antimicrobials. Alkaline cleaners, dry ice blasting, or soda ash abrasion cleaning may be necessary for more odorous or heavy-duty fire damage soiling on walls, ceilings, and fixtures. Crew members also inspect the property during and after restoration to ensure that restoration goals are met per homeowners' and SERVPRO's standards.

Homeowners can receive "Like it never even happened" quality services from SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown when they call (773) 434-9100.

Why Is There Mold Damage in My Chicago Residence?

4/27/2022 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO vans on a city street Finding mold in your Chicago home does not need to cause panic. Contact SERVPRO right away for an investigation and remediation.

SERVPRO Mold Remediation Technicians Can Sanitize and Restore Property 24/7

While many factors contribute to residential mold damage proliferation, elevated moisture is easily the most influential and challenging to mitigate without professional assistance. Humidity and the microbes that thrive on it can hide in nooks and crannies to eat away at drywall, clothing, carpeting, books, and other possessions. Eventually, this proliferation can impact a home's safety and structural integrity.

SERVPRO's mold damage mitigation services return Chicago residences to a safe, comfortable, almost microbe-free condition. Highly-trained technicians use sophisticated tools, inspection technologies, and commercial-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent secondary damages and fully restore the property.

How Moisture Allows Mold to Thrive

Mold spores spread in environments with enough moisture for growth and sustainability like a plant.

To minimize microbial growth risk, homeowners can: 

  • Have their homes inspected for moisture leaks or water damage can catch the early signs of spores before they can spread further
  • Keep living spaces clean and dry. So long as the conditions are kept at bay, mold growth can be prevented and minimized even when water-related incidents occur
  • Maintain relative humidity levels below 50 percent. EPA guidelines suggest between 30 and 50 percent to avoid damage to wood and other contents in the home 
  • Ensure that homes have adequate ventilation. Regular cycling of clean, dry air is essential to keeping moisture levels stable, thereby lowering mold growth potential

SERVPRO mold remediation technicians can perform all of these services during cleanup. However, total mold removal is not guaranteed due to the microscopic nature of individual spores. Small amounts of these microbes naturally exist in all living spaces and outdoors. SERVPRO tools are designed to lower spore proliferation to pre-contamination levels for homes experiencing excess microbial contamination or conditions that can exacerbate it.

SERVPRO Education Efforts Prepare Technicians for Mold Damage Cleanup

SERVPRO staff, restoration technicians, and franchise owners receive extensive training in mold growth because this type of disaster does not occur in a vacuum. Elevated moisture levels from such incidents as:

  • Home water damage
  • Storms and floods
  • Fire suppression

SERVPRO certified technicians can implement mold remediation solutions per Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards for repairing structural materials and belongings.

SERVPRO franchise owners, meanwhile, receive a hands-on 15-day crash course in restoration practices for mold cleanup at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility. This course includes participating in demonstrative restoration at the Corporate Training House, designed for realistic disaster cleanup practice.

Restoration staff also have access to ongoing e-Learning opportunities that are self-paced. Each module provides video and supplemental education materials to prepare team members for the knowledge tests that conclude each module. These e-Learning units ensure that staff members remain up-to-date about restoration industry best practices. This knowledge allows technicians to attain additional certification opportunities that expand their restoration skill set.

Credit and non-credit continuing education courses are available to SERVPRO team members and professionals from other industries. These courses are particularly valuable for individuals who work in insurance claims adjustment and real estate management. Units cover fire and water damage restoration, mold in the restoration industry, and restorative drying practices.

Residents who need emergency-response "Like it never even happened" restoration services can count on SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown for 24/7 restoration availability. Call (773) 434-9100 to have a team at the property within hours of first contact.

Skilled Fire Restoration is Critical for Best Results in Chicago

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Equipment and technicians Our certified technicians come prepared with state of the art equipment your property needs after a fire incident occurs.

Call SERVPRO’s Chicago-Area Fire Damage and Restoration Team 24/7!

Not only is a fire extremely destructive, but any blaze leaves behind pungent odors and corrosive soot residue. Rather than making matters worse with DIY or failing to get started on house fire cleanup soon enough, SERVPRO is here to help! We understand that the faster we can get to work, the better the chance of limiting your restoration project's overall scope and cost. We're available 24/7 so your Chicago home, business, or apartment complex gets the attention it deserves. 

Fire restoration in Chicago calls for proven methods, which you only get with trained IICRC-certified fire and smoke restoration technicians (FSRT). SERVPRO comes in, assesses the damage, and puts together a plan tailored to the specific situation. We inspect surfaces to determine the nature of residues and gauge charring to ensure structural elements are safe. 

Secondary Damage Is The Enemy With Any Fire Damaged Homes or Businesses

Various factors bring on secondary damage, which becomes costly and lessens the chance of recovery for contents and building materials. These factors include:

  • Fire residue and soot deposits that react with materials to cause discoloration, corrosion, tarnishing, etching, and pitting
  • Exterior elements and weather that may penetrate the structure – making tarping and board up services paramount to secure your property
  • Moisture and chemicals left behind from extinguishing the flames that can lead to materials degradation and the onset of potentially harmful black mold growth

Scalability is something we pride ourselves on at SERVPRO, meaning we have access to thousands of pieces of equipment and tools to quickly adjust to meet the demands of any project. Whether you have a fire in a single-family dwelling, at a high-rise apartment complex, restaurant, or industrial facility, we adapt and plan accordingly to get the results you need!  

Contact SERVPRO of West Loop/Bucktown/Greektown today when you find you require help with fire restoration. Contact our customer care team to dispatch a crew to your door by calling (773) 434-9100.

Inspecting Your Home For Mold Damage in Chicago

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Mold on walls Mold spreads quickly when the conditions are right. Contact SERVPRO to investigate the cause and remediate the damage in your home.

Team SERVPRO BOTH Remediates Mold Damage and Helps Prevent Mold Infestations

Any visible mold sightings are a sign of mold growth and could represent a more significant moisture problem. This is because mold and mildew can only thrive in a building that has sufficient moisture to support its growth. They also need active mold spores to spread elsewhere, as well as a source of food.

If you spot mold growth in your home, contact SERVPRO immediately for remediation before it gets worse. We have a team of highly dedicated mold damage restoration experts in Chicago who can respond quickly to your emergency. We follow IICRC guidelines in every cleanup project to ensure that our tools, techniques, and products are updated with industry standards.

Mold usually appears as dark spots or stains on the wall, carpet, ceiling, and other surfaces. Walls near the floor or ceiling and windowsills are favorite growth spots, as are corners of rooms near the floor or ceiling. To be safe, SERVPRO technicians also inspect for mold damage along seams of building materials like wall switch places, wallpaper seams, in tile grout, and between flooring tiles.

It is equally important to keep an eye for mildew when assessing mold damage. Mildew is more challenging to spot due to its light appearance. It usually comes with a white fluffy texture. However, it can also resemble a white powdery substance on certain building materials.

Unexpected incidents of moisture accumulation or any major water events can trigger mold growth. Water events can include plumbing problems, leaky roofs, floods, water seeping through the windows, and puddles of standing water in your basement. SERVPRO can go the extra mile to correct the sources of water causing mold growth.

Problems associated with excess moisture are based on the air. When humidity is too high in the house, airborne moisture condenses on appliances, walls, windows, underneath the flooring, between walls, and everywhere in between. When this condensation is unable to escape, it creates the ideal habitat for mold growth and, consequently, mold damage.

If you suspect the presence of mold damage in your home, SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown can come in and take control of the situation. We have advanced tools and products for dealing with all types of mold, ensuring that your home is safe for you and your family. Call us anytime at (773) 434-9100.

Why Do I Still Smell Smoke After Cleaning My Chicago House?

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicles You can depend on our SERVPRO teams to cleanup and restore your property and personal belongings after a fire takes place.

SERVPRO Can Help You Get to the Root Cause of Fire Damage Odors in Your Chicago Home

As fire engulfs a section of your Chicago house, it spreads smoke deposits all over the structure and contents. Such deposits contain volatile compounds that evaporate into the air, and your nose picks them up as odor. Ideally, cleaning up your home should eliminate all the residues, and therefore the smoky smell should disappear. However, other factors can interfere, leading to long-term odor issues.

What Makes Fire Damage Odors Linger in Chicago Properties?

  •   Residue remnants on some surfaces 
  •   VOCs embedded in materials
  •   Smelt odors might be non-existent

After a fire in your Chicago home, most of the cleaning efforts are directed towards areas with visible soiling, staining, or charring. However, since some of the fire residues spread thinly over surfaces or might be invisible to the eye, your cleaning efforts might ignore areas that should be cleaned, thus leaving a source of new odors.

Our SERVPRO technicians take steps to trace the spread of residues around a property, starting close to the seat of the fire. Alternatively, we clean the entire property to ensure we remove all traces of the residues that cause odors.

What are VOCs?

Volatile Organic Compounds can be described as chemicals that have high vapor pressure even at room temperature. Since such compounds are in a continuous state of evaporation, they supply a steady stream of bad odor even when absorbed deep within materials. There is a need to reach and neutralize such materials to eliminate the odor, yet regular cleaning cannot get to the areas where the compounds are embedded.

Our SERVPRO technicians rely on a range of sophisticated deodorization procedures to reach and neutralize the odors, including:

  •   Thermal fogging
  •   ULV fogging
  •   Use of Ozone generators or photocatalytic oxidizers

Fogging utilizes odor counteractants that neutralize the odor molecules. It also mimics the process that creates the odors by atomizing the deodorizers, thus reaching deeply embedded odor molecules.


If the odor in your house does not go away, call SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100 to help remove it. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

How SERVPRO ERP Response Times Can Make A Difference In Bucktown

3/27/2022 (Permalink)

a fire damaged commercial area with debris everywhere and soot covering the walls Dealing with fire damage at your business location can be quite overwhelming. Team up with SERVPRO to help. We are standing by 24/7 for your call.

SERVPRO ERP Program

The SERVPRO ERP program allows business owners to submit detailed and relevant information about each of their properties without hassle or fee so that we can respond quickly and with heightened awareness of the situation. Then, when disaster strikes, it only takes a few clicks on the web or in our app to have SERVPRO professionals responding to the property in need. When it comes to fire damage, every minute can count, and the time saved by using our ERP system helps to make sure the damage is kept to a minimum and your doors are back open as quickly as possible. Here are a few elements of commercial fire damage in which time is critical during our initial response.

Soot And Ash

When there is significant burn in a case of commercial fire damage in Bucktown, ash can quickly begin to accumulate and collect on all sorts of surfaces. If this ash buildup is allowed to continue unabated, problems can arise such as clogged pipes and drains, increased damage to HVAC systems, and permanent damage to flooring. The faster we can respond to fire damage, the more we are able to mitigate the effects of ash buildup.

Water Damage

Most commercial fires are accompanied by some amount of water damage, usually from sprinklers. These can mix with materials such as smoke and ash, creating sludge that can stain and chip away at displays, walls, and floors. Additionally, if there is enough water to cause flooding, water must be extracted immediately to make sure that it doesn't seep down and cause massive damage to the structure.

Structural Damage

In some cases, damage to the structure may be significant enough to create a risk of partial or total collapse of walls, ceilings, and supports. Sometimes just a few minutes can make a difference.

SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown is a locally owned business with national resources that helps business owners to get their properties back in working order as quickly as possible. Give us a call at (773) 434-9100 to request our help or advice.

Mold Damage in Chicago Can Ruin Investments and Memories Alike

3/8/2022 (Permalink)

mold on counter top Mold remediation in Chicago by our SERVPRO techs can make your home appear "Like it never even happened."

Protect Your Belongings From Mold Damage Through Remediation

If you own a business, you know that your inventory and business equipment is a valuable asset that needs to be protected. At home, you also have personal belongings that are irreplaceable and hold sentimental value. For those with both to protect, your job is doubled. Protection from those who would steal from you is common sense, but one thief can be so small, it is easy to disregard. Mold can slip in anywhere, at almost any time, and take hold, slowly destroying items that can make them unusable and unfit for sale to others.

In Chicago, mold damage is often in the news, and reports of adverse health effects are on the rise. Protecting your family and your business fully and adequately is possible when you have skilled technicians certified in handling mold. We have specialists certified in both commercial drying (CDS) and technicians certified in applied structural drying (ASD) who can effectively decrease the humidity present in your home or business's interiors that has allowed mold to flourish. Many of our team is IICRC certified as AMRT applied microbial remediation technicians.

What Mold Will Destroy

Mold destroys porous materials such as building materials, textiles, books and papers, photos, clothing, bedding, carpeting, and much more. Hard surfaces such as metal and porcelain can be cleaned easily enough, but the residue must be contained, or it can spread elsewhere and create an infestation in other areas of your home or office. When mold attacks clothing, it can stain the textiles and render the item worthless. Mold will settle in and make a home in practically any fabric or cloth, including silk, cotton, polyester, and nylon.

Airing Out and Using Fans and Dehumidifiers are Not Enough to Eliminate Mold  

Because mold grows on the surface, many people assume that if the surface is dry, mold cannot grow there. This is not exactly true, because due to fluctuations in temperature, moisture does not remain stagnant, even when present at low levels. Mold can become dry and still be alive. It can go for short periods of dryness, only to rejuvenate itself when moisture levels rise again. This is why it is so important for the interiors of materials such as drywall, upholstery, and even more solid items such as wood found in floors and stairs to be dried with special equipment. Fans and opened windows can only do surface drying, and that just isn't enough.
 
SERVPRO of West Loop, Bucktown, and Greektown (773) 434-9100 can provide specialized assistance in removing and controlling mold growth in your home. We are available 24/7 to both residents and business owners. Call now to protect your personal belongings and inventory from the damaging effects of mold.

How SERVPRO Helps Stores Get Back to Business in West Loop

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

two servpro vans parked at jobsite SERPVRO vans on the scene of a water damaging event at a large West Loop area building

Getting Your Business Back To New After A Water Damage Emergency

If your business is in the service industry and has been hit by water damage, the chances are that the first thing on your mind is getting doors open as soon as possible. Even if the damage is light, customers will be driven away until it is properly repaired, even as the damage gets worse while you ignore it. The best way to get your business back in gear quickly is to contact us soon after water damage strikes and to heed our advice in the field.

Fast Responses
In many West Loop commercial water damage cases, a fast response can mean thousands of dollars and weeks of closed doors saved for your store. If we can't respond in time, stains get a chance to set, water may drip into tight spaces and cracks, and any fabrics will be thoroughly doused and ruined. Furthermore, a speedy response helps to curb mold growth, a damaging, silent problem for businesses in Chicagoland. Our crews will respond within four hours of your initial call, often sooner, and can get right to work containing the damage and installing preventative measures. With less damage to repair, there is less work to be done, directly saving both time and money for you.

Speedy Negotiations With Insurers
Some businesses get caught up in messy legal situations and paperwork when negotiating with an insurance provider over damages. While it is important to protect your interests when dealing with them, you should also be aware that we may not begin many of the most important tasks until insurance documents are signed or payment has been made. Our representatives will help you to negotiate and work with an insurer to make sure everything turns out smooth and affordable for you. Our goal is to keep your business in business.

SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown specializes in getting businesses back in shape after disaster strikes, with professional service, quality equipment, and affordable prices. If your commercial location has sustained water damage, give us a call at (773) 434-9100.