Top Items for Tornado Disaster Kits

Tornado season is here! Are you ready? Increase your tornado preparedness this spring with these items for your tornado disaster kits.

Spring is upon us — and with it, comes tornado season. Are you prepared? Is your family? How about your home? Without tornado preparedness, they can cost homeowners huge sums of money in losses. And even worse, they cause dozens of human casualties each year. If there’s anything we can take away from the this week’s tornado tragedy in the southern US, it’s that the best time to prepare for a tornado was yesterday. You are always better to be better safe than sorry — which is why you need to be sure you have some very important items in your tornado disaster kit. 

Here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons, our number one priority has always been to help homeowners be ready for the unthinkable and practice tornado preparedness. Our experts have lived through many tornado seasons and helped clean up their brutal destruction. We’ve seen just how unpredictable tornadoes can be, and we understand the biggest challenges homeowners, residents and victims face in their immediate aftermath. W

Based on our experience, we’ve put together a list of 7 life safety items that are essential for homeowners in their tornado disaster kit this tornado season. Proven to increase tornado preparedness, these are crucial for survival during and after a tornado, especially if one hits unexpectedly without time for evacuation. Store these items somewhere easily accessible in your home for immediate use:

Water

Of course, keeping hydrated is the most important thing you can do for your body in the event of a disaster. That’s a no-brainer. But what people forget to plan out is where that water will come from. If water lines are down or contaminated, or pipes are broken, or the power goes out, you won’t have access to your tap water. Make sure you keep some bottled water or a few gallons of water in an allocated shelter space in case you are stranded after a tornado. You never know how long you may have to wait.

Non-Perishable Food

In addition to water, stock up on non-perishable food items that will keep stomachs full – especially those of young children. Keep an eye on the expiration dates and replenish your supply as needed. We recommend having at least 5 days worth of food on hand for all members of the household.

A Radio

Keep a portable radio with extra spare batteries near your designated shelter space. In a weather event like a tornado, you can use it to listen for any updates or changes to the expected trajectory of the storm.

First-Aid Kit

We cannot stress how much of a difference a well-stocked first-aid kit can make after an emergency, especially one that is from a survival company. You never know what injuries, minor or major, will occur during a storm.

Medications

Not many people think of this one before the storm hits which can cause a huge problem for those taking life-sustaining medication. Have extra amounts of any necessary prescription medications stored away for use during an emergency. Keep a few bottles of cold medication, over-the-counter pain medication and allergy meds on hand too.

Cell Phones and Chargers

You probably don’t have to take our word for it that in the event of an emergency, you are going to want a fully-charged cell phone in your tornado disaster kit so you can stay in contact with family, friends and emergency personnel. If possible, keep a backup phone and a portable, solar-powered charger ready to go in case the power goes out.

Copies of Personal Documents

Of all the tornado preparedness items we’ve listed, this is probably one of the most important. Because there is never any certainty when it comes to tornadoes and other storms, you should keep copies of birth certificates, social security cards, house deeds, insurance cards, passports, and other important documents packed in a safe place that you can easily transport with you to your secure shelter.

Tornadoes are costly and sometimes lethal, but with these essential items for your tornado disaster kit, you’ll weather the storm more easily. 

Here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons, we know weather emergencies like the backs of our hands. We pride ourselves on our emergency restoration services and storm damage restoration expertise. We will help you begin rebuilding so you can move forward after a life-uprooting natural disaster.  Our experts are standing by to serve you in the ways you need: From more tornado preparedness tips, to dealing with the aftermath of a disaster, to restoration services and cleanup, give us a call today!

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration,  Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration,  Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning,  Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers in Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, and the North Shore.  For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.

Does Your Building Project Budget for Post Construction Cleaning Costs? Here’s Why It Should.

If you’re planning a residential or commercial construction project and you’re not already thinking about a plan for clean up afterwards, you should be. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons have decades of experience in cleaning up after construction projects. You’d be surprised how often we find that customers have forgotten to budget for or schedule a post-construction cleaning until the very last minute.

Post-Construction Cleaning Chicago - Oak Park - River Forest - North Shore Illinois - ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons - ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons

Budgeting For Post Construction Cleaning Costs – ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons Chicago – Oak Park/River Forest – North Shore IL

 

If you’re planning a residential or commercial construction project in Chicago, Oak Park/River Forest, or the North Shore, and you’re not already thinking about a plan for clean up afterward, you should be. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons have decades of experience in cleaning up after construction projects. You’d be surprised how often we find that customers have forgotten to budget for or schedule a Post Construction Cleaning until the very last minute.

The problem is, customers, don’t realize that post-construction cleaning is an important part of any building project. They don’t understand that Post Construction Cleaning is some of the most important projects a restoration company will take on. These kinds of jobs usually require a company’s entire crew to be onsite for anywhere between a few days to a whole week depending on whether it is a residential or commercial project.

We like to make sure that customers understand the level of care and commitment that goes into each of our post-construction cleaning projects. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons are IICRC Certified and well-trained in providing unrivaled and thorough post-construction cleaning. We use products and equipment that meet the highest standards to remove all dust and debris properly. Some of the post-construction cleanup services we offer the Chicagoland area include:

  • Dusting air diffusers
  • Cleaning light fixtures within the construction area
  • Cleaning restroom fixtures
  • Wall washing or spot cleaning walls
  • Ceiling washing
  • Cleaning interior windows
  • HEPA Vacuuming
  • Cleaning carpet areas
  • Damp mopping hard-surface floors
  • Renewing hardwood floors
  • Roto buffing ceramic tile or linoleum

For larger jobs that need further cleaning after construction work has cleared, we often bundle the cleanup with these services:

Our process is one that maximizes efficiency while still delivering the highest level of service. Ideally, our process begins well before the construction project occurs — when a customer reaches out proactively for a quote. No worries if you’re one of the many who let post-construction fall by the wayside during the planning stages; if we can accommodate your dates, we will absolutely still offer quotes to contractors and homeowners who reach out during the construction project. After our professional quote is approved and we are hired for a Post Construction Cleaning, we begin to formulate a scope based on the job’s specific needs and we gather up the necessary personnel and equipment.

Sometimes, we are asked to begin our on-site cleaning for a mid-way cleaning while construction is still taking place. This is helpful for large construction projects that generate so much debris that it creates an unsafe environment and poor air quality for workers. We are available to come in and clean periodically during construction so that waste and dust are properly removed and workers can continue building and renovating on schedule.

Most of the time, though, our on-site cleaning starts immediately after construction concludes. We have two primary objectives during our cleanup: The first, to eradicate and control the dust generated by sanding and plastering before it ends up in the air ducts; and the second, to remove all dust and debris in a timely manner to restore safety to the job site. We do this in five steps:

  1. Schedule air duct cleaning
  2. Wipe down all hard surfaces, nooks and crannies, furniture, and items in renovation space
  3. HEPA vacuum carpet and upholstery
  4. Clean flooring with wet mopping, WoodGlo Renew, or roto tile buffing depending on the floor material
  5. Dispose of all construction debris on-site according to municipal guidelines and regulations in a safe manner

Because these jobs can be so large and costly, it’s important that customers budget for them in their initial construction project plan. Customers are sometimes floored to learn the cost of their site’s post-construction cleanup and are too late in the game to make room in the budget for it. Instead, they choose to DIY the cleanup or, worse, forego it altogether. We never recommend this and we would rather see customers reach out for a quote during the planning stages of a construction project so they can budget accordingly.

Though professional cleanup services are costly, they are always one hundred percent worth it. Here are three reasons why:

  • A professional cleaning increases safety

With construction projects, there will inevitably be debris left behind. From sawdust to nails and broken glass to stray wires, these debris present dangers to both the building crew and those responsible for a DIY cleanup. Accidents during cleanup happen more often than you might think. Hiring a professional crew trained to deal with hazardous materials will ensure the safety of everyone involved. A restoration company is equipped with better equipment than a broom and a dustpan.

  • Professional cleaning ensures debris is properly disposed of

Most municipalities have special rules for the disposal of residential and commercial construction waste, like paint and other chemicals. In general, they must be separated, sorted and eventually delivered to a special facility for lawful disposal. It is important to work with a professional restoration company like or you could face a fine.

  • A professional cleaning promotes efficiency and timeliness

We estimate that a professional cleaning crew will likely be able to complete a post-construction cleanup job four times faster than a DIY-er. Professional crews come with the necessary equipment it takes to clean thoroughly and efficiently. A quick cleanup allows you to move on to the final stages of your construction project. Plus, calling in the professionals for a quick turnaround can mean all the difference for contractors whose agreements include penalties for going overtime on the project.

Here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons, we understand that every good construction project includes a professional and thorough post-construction cleanup. Our crews have decades of experience clearing construction job sites safely and quickly to ensure peace-of-mind for contractors, homeowners and business owners alike. For a professional quote, please give us a call as early as possible in your construction planning process. As always, your satisfaction is our number one priority!

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore.  Recently, the company was awarded a variety of honors, including the ServiceMaster Achiever Award and outstanding service in disaster restoration by Build Magazine. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, and the North Shore.  For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.

 

 

 

 

How to Winterize Your Home

Winterizing your home is a confusing, yet necessary thing you must do to prepare for inclement weather. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons are here to help you understand what steps you should take.

winterize your home this season to prepare for inclement weather

Fall has officially started in Chicagoland, bringing shorter days and colder weather. And while the leaves are changing colors and summer cookouts have turned into afternoons of apple picking, this also means that lower temperatures and inclement weather are on their way. As hard as it can be to face, it’s time to start preparing for the winter and winterize your home. 

When it comes to emergency preparedness, Chicago families should prioritize staying one step ahead of inclement weather by ensuring their homes are ready for winter as soon as possible. While it might not feel “cold enough” yet (something we hear all the time from customers!), it’s important to complete repairs and winterization measures that will increase the comfort of your family before the weather gets too cold, windy and snowy to get them done. Plus, winterizing your home now could save you money on your heating bills when the temperatures become frigid. 

We understand that homeowners may want to winterize their home, but find it confusing. It’s a topic we often get questions about, usually in the form of “What should I do to winterize my home?” The good news is, the professionals here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons have seen it all — and when it comes to winterizing, we understand what works, what doesn’t work, the must-do’s and the nice-to-do’s. Here are our top 10 hacks to winterizing your home to increase comfort and save more money: 

Close up your fireplace: Before snow accumulates on the roof, check to see that your fireplace flue fully closes. You shouldn’t be able to feel any cool air blowing in when the flue is closed. If it can’t fully close, make sure you complete necessary repairs before the winter — or try installing glass doors around your fireplace to keep unwanted cold air out. 

Replace weatherstripping around doors: Weatherstripping is worn down every year by inclement weather. Check that you cannot see any light coming in at the bottom, sides or top of doors that lead outside. If you can see light, you need to replace the weatherstripping — which is quite easy and affordable compared to the cost of your heating bill if hot air is escaping around your doors. 

Invest in heavier drapes and rugs: Replacing light summer drapes and rugs for heavier alternatives is a good way to increase the insulation on your floors and windows. Opting for something heavier will keep the heat in a contained space better, negating the need for a blasting heater all the time.

Get an energy audit: Many utilities companies will provide customers with free basic energy audits to identify where hot air is leaking from their home. They can also suggest improvements that will increase energy efficiency in the colder months. 

Identify areas where insulation can be improved: Check your attic and crawl spaces for insulation deterioration (this is normal, natural and common). Make sure you add more insulation material before the cold hits if you notice any deterioration to properly winterize your home. 

Install a programmable thermostat: Save money on your heating bill by investing in a newer, programmable thermostat that can automatically set the temperature lower when your family is not home. 

Lower your water heater temperature: You can save money on hot water by lowering the water heater baseline temperature with little effect on your hot water supply. Most water heaters are set much higher than the recommended 120 degrees fahrenheit. Check to see if yours is — and if so, drop the temperature settings to 120 degrees and save money and energy with no negative impacts on your hot water. 

Cover your water heater: You may be losing money on the heat escaping from your hot water tank. Try buying a water heating blanket from your local hardware store and covering the tank with it to keep the heat in. 

Change furnace filters: When your filters are dirty, your furnace has to work harder. Experts recommend that homeowners change their filters monthly when the furnace is in use. 

Add caulking around windows: If the area around your windows has cracks, cold air can easily enter the home, while warm air can easily escape. Take some time this fall to check for cracks, and patch or replace the caulking if necessary.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about completing any of the above guidelines, our professionals are standing by to help. We know it’s not necessarily fun to think about the arrival of inclement weather, but a little bit of diligent preparation now can save you time, energy and stress later on. By following our top ten actionable recommendations to winterize your home this fall, you’ll increase your family’s comfort and save money on your heating bills this winter. 

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is a MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning,Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest and the North Shore.  For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.

 

Your Number One Guide to Oven Safety

Some of the most dangerous items in your house are the very ones that you would least suspect — like your oven! Even though you might use your oven and stove regularly, without the proper precautions and maintenance this kitchen appliance can quickly become dangerous. Oven incidents can cause kitchen fires, which lead to smoke and soot…and the need for kitchen restoration after the fact.

Disaster Restoration Professionals-Restoring Community

Disaster Restoration Professionals, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, Chicagoland’s leader in professional disaster restoration, engages communities in environment of giving & restoring Brief History Disaster Restoration Professionals Sam Simon and Nasutsa Mabwa, partners in the ServiceMaster By Simons’ franchise group in the Chicagoland area, share a special story.  Meeting in the mid-nineties as child welfare workers in Chicago’s […]

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons - disaster restoration professionals

Disaster Restoration Professionals, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, Chicagoland’s leader in professional disaster restoration, engages communities in environment of giving & restoring

Brief History

Disaster Restoration Professionals Sam Simon and Nasutsa Mabwa, partners in the ServiceMaster By Simons’ franchise group in the Chicagoland area, share a special story.  Meeting in the mid-nineties as child welfare workers in Chicago’s inner-city, Sam and Nasutsa committed to serving ward’s of the state and their families. They each worked tirelessly to reunite children with their families.  In some cases, children were placed in loving adoptive homes.

A Company is born

After completing graduate school and following separate career paths, they joined up in 2012 to form a company of disaster restoration professionals that served people in a variety of ways. This included restoring and rebuilding homes and businesses as well as contributing to local organizations that restore and rebuild communities.

It’s in this same spirit of charity and service that Nasutsa and Sam operate their companies. They include ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons, ServiceMaster of Oak Park and ServiceMaster of River Forest.  “We help people in their times of need” said Sam Simon, “by restoring homes and businesses, we restore lives.”

What We Do

ServiceMaster By Simons offers an array of household and business services. When a home or business has been affected by water or fire damage, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is immediately called to the rescue.  Most times, restoration services are requested by the insurance companies. We field a lot of service requests from the home and business-owners themselves.  We offer a full line of cleaning services including post-construction cleaning, hoarder cleanup and carpet & upholstery cleaning.

Peoples lives are disrupted when disasters like water damage or fire damage occur in their homes or businesses.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons minimizes  these interruptions and restore’s peace of mind.  We know that these events can be stressful. So we work tirelessly to get your property and your life back to normal – FAST!

Giving Back

The ServiceMaster By Simons group prides itself on its spirit of giving and restoring.  We’re honored to give back when we can.  On a greater scale, restoring communities is a life long passion for our company and team members. Some of the organizations that our company is involved with include:

“Sam and I met as social workers, where we worked hard to help our community,” said Nasutsa Mabwa. “That same passion exists in our company and its staff today as we strive to help people in extreme circumstances of need.

Recently, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons and a crew of over 20 technicians and managers mobilized to Hilton Head, SC.  We aided and assisted in Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts.  It’s in these times of need that we experience the strength and determination of people who band together for a common cause.  Helping the residents of Hilton Head, SC get back on their feet was a challenge that ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons stepped up to.

If you need a disaster restoration professional in the Chicagoland area, immediately call 855-9-SIMONS and let ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons get your property back to normal-FAST. We specialize in Immediate Response to our customers.  We are available 24/7/365 to provide Water & Fire Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation as well as a long list of specialty cleaning services.  Call now.

ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons Helps Flood Victims

ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons “Thankful” To Assist With Hurricane Matthew Recovery Efforts in Hilton Head, SC ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons – Water Damage Restoration Professionals  ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons provides disaster restoration from water damage restoration, flood damage restoration, fire damage restoration as well as specialty cleaning services in Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest and […]

Water Damage Restoration - ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons

ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons “Thankful” To Assist With Hurricane Matthew Recovery Efforts in Hilton Head, SC

Hurricane Matthew, a level 4 hurricane in SC, dumped 13.6 trillion gallons of water on the U.S. and 11 inches of water in Hilton Head, SC on October 8th. Hurricane Matthew is the costliest storm since Sandy in 2012. According to estimates, Hurricane Matthew caused more than $12.2 million of commercial damage in Hilton Head.

“I have never seen such an intense level of damage when carrying out emergency disaster restoration efforts,” said Sam Simon, Chief Operating Officer, ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons. “The effects from Hurricane Matthew are devastating and we are proud to assist local homeowners and businesses in recovery efforts.”

The damage in Hilton Head was reported to be the worst in the Sea Pines Resort, a 5,200-acre private residential gated community located on the southern tip of Hilton Head Island. ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons led disaster restoration efforts tirelessly, for weeks on end.

On Hilton Head, there were numerous fallen trees, over 1,000 damaged homes, considerable dock damage and massive beach erosion, undoing a costly beach re-nourishment coastline project that recently began in June. In the Sea Pines Community, fallen trees blocked roadways, the majority of homes sustained visible roof damage and standing water was observed everywhere.

The first recovery and restoration crews were dispatched to begin work and cut their way across the island in the beginning of October. ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons was one of 30 franchises out of 75 selected to mobilize to the Carolinas. As Hurricane Matthew advanced further, ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons loaded up restoration equipment, prepared its fleet and crews back in Chicago while closely monitoring Matthew’s progress.

“As the water recedes, local residents and business owners have begun to get back on their feet but the work is far from finished,” Simon said. “Yet we feel gratified and thankful to have been part of the early stages of relief efforts to help them begin the process of restoring their homes and business.”

About ServiceMaster by Simons 

ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons is a leading emergency water damage restoration franchise, providing water, fire and flood damage restoration services and specialty cleaning services to residential and commercial customers.

Contact ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons for Disaster Restoration Services or Specialty Cleaning Services.

Pipe Freeze begins – Call ServiceMaster By Simons

Below zero temps cause the seasons first pipe-freeze for homes and businesses in the Chicago-land area ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides water damage restoration services to properties with pipe freeze and water pipe bursts in Chicago-land after record sub-zero temperatures As the Chicago-land area is plunged into what is now being called the “Siberian Express” and

pipe freeze-water-damage-cleanup-frozen-pipe-chicago
Pipe Freeze – Water Damage Restoration from ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons

Below zero temps cause the seasons first pipe-freeze for homes and businesses in the Chicago-land area

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides water damage restoration services to properties with pipe freeze and water pipe bursts in Chicago-land after record sub-zero temperatures

As the Chicago-land area is plunged into what is now being called the “Siberian Express” and pipe freeze sets in, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is responding to calls for Water Damage Restoration Services in homes and businesses spanning from Chicago to Oak Park and Evanston to Glencoe.  The majority of the water damages stem from water-line breaks.  Water-line breaks are usually a direct result of water pipes that have burst from expansion due to a warm up, especially after a deep freeze.  “We usually don’t see this kind of water damage until January,” said Sam Simon, disaster restoration manager for ServiceMaster By Simons.  “and so far, this is the coldest winter I’ve seen in some time.”

Preparing against pipe freeze

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons staff reached out to current customers.  We reminded them to safeguard against pipe freeze by performing a number of preventative measures, including turning off exterior pipe-spigots from inside.  Insulating water pipes that run along exterior walls and also opening faucets so that a small stream of water continuously runs also makes a big difference.  These few measures can go a long way in preventing pipe-freeze and the subsequent pipe breaks that occur.

Call ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons

In the event of a mishap like a pipe burst from pipe freeze, immediately contact Chicago-land’s leader in Water Damage Restoration.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons’ staff and technicians are on standby to respond to your water damage emergency.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons has countless hours of training and experience along with the latest technology in drying equipment to better handle your small disasters.

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is a Quality Restoration Vendor (QRV)

Established in 1991, the ServiceMaster Clean® QRV Network has been a solution for insurance industry professionals in identifying franchisees committed to providing superior, consistent disaster mitigation services.

To earn and maintain QRV certification, each business must:

  • Demonstrate the ability to competently deliver every aspect of the ServiceMaster Restore® service guarantees including accessibility, response time, communications capabilities, quality results, and conscientious safety controls.
  • Employ the utmost integrity in estimating and billing practices.
  • Complete, and commit to continue, employee training programs that keep ServiceMaster Restore® on the cutting edge of effective restoration techniques, products, and technology.
  • Use the proven ServiceMaster Restore® equipment, processes, and products.
  • Perform all services in compliance with ServiceMaster Restore® specifications.
  • Meet or exceed the ServiceMaster Restore® requirements for General Liability Insurance and Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
  • Resolve customer service issues swiftly and professionally. Guaranteed.
  • Commit to the ServiceMaster Restore® principles of environmental stewardship.

ServiceMaster Restore® closely monitors all members of the QRV network to ensure complete adherence to its requirements.

For water damage caused by pipe freeze, call ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons at 855-9-SIMONS or click here for immediate service.