Signs of a Sewer Line Problem

A sewer line problem is not one you want to have in your home. However, how do you know if your system is progressing towards a problem or already has one? There are many signs of there being sewer line problems. Here are a few of the signs that you can be looking out for. As always, it is better to be watchful and catch the problem before it gets too bad.


Sewage Backups and Blockages


If your toilets, sinks, and other drains regularly backup that is a sign that the system is not working correctly. The water and debris should be able to move through the line smoothly. If there is a build up in the system backups and blockages will occur. This is an easy way to spot signs of a bigger problem, and one that shouldn’t be ignored.


Sewer Gas Smell


Being able to smell sewer in and around your house is a sure sign that there is a problem. Sewer systems are built to be airtight and to move downhill, so if you’re able to smell sewage that is a problem. There is most likely a crack somewhere in your sewer system if you can smell sewage. Not only is the smell unpleasant enough to get you to call help but you don’t want to crack to get bigger!


Extra Green Grass Patches


You may be wondering why certain patches of your grass are suddenly greener and lusher. Sewage is a great fertilizer. Sewage leaks under your yard can create extra lush and green grass on the surface. Though the extra fertilization may be welcome to the appearance of the lawn the leaking sewage won’t be if it starts building up or pooling. So if you haven’t been fertilizing or water your lawn extra but it continues to get greener and lusher take that as a sign something else is fertilizing it.


Slow Drainage


This is a complaint many women with long hair have. However, if the sinks, drains, and toilets continue to drain slowly after multiple attempts to clean the line there could be a bigger problem. A blockage could be forming somewhere in the line. Issues such as root growth, channeling, and cracks can lead to slow draining lines. If your drains consistently drain slowly it is time to look into further problems as this is only a symptom.


The signs of a problem in your sewer line are definitely noticeable. The key is to not ignore them once you start seeing them. If one or more of these symptoms is happening regularly it is time to take action and call in the professionals before it gets worse. Give American Fire and Water Restoration a call, we’ll help you identify fix your sewer line problem. Sewage is not something you should ignore. Call us, (847) 514-9305. We’ll do the dirty work.

What You Should Know About Ice Dams

The winter months can wreak havoc on your house. Cold, wind, snow, ice, salt, sleet, all of these elements are unkind to the place you call home. Once combined these elements become even worse for your home. The wintery mix that builds up on your roof can cause a great deal of damage to your home if they aren’t able to run off your roof. Ice dams on your roof can damage ceilings, insulation, and walls.


What’s an Ice Dam


An ice dam is a sheet of ice that covers the gutters on your roof. Ice dams form from melting snow moving from a warm portion of your roof to a cold portion, refreezing the melt off. They block the gutters, inhibiting more melting snow, sleet, and water on your roof from reaching your gutters. As snow, sleet, water, and anything else up on your roof build up the dam will get bigger and the runoff will look for somewhere else to go. This runoff can find its way into your home via your attic and walls. Ice dams can cause damage to your walls, ceilings, and insulation.


How to Prevent Ice Dams


If there is snow on your roof try to remove it before ice dams can form. By removing the snow you will bypass the immediate risk of ice dams forming. However, if ice dams have already formed and the effects are already happening the best mode of action is to make channels in the dams for the melt off to travel through. You can do this by spraying the dams with warm water, working from the bottom to the top. However, this method is not a long-term solution and should only be used if there is an immediate need. On a permanent base, make your ceilings airtight so that no warm moist air can travel up to the roof through the attic. By adding extra insulation to your attic you will also cut down on the amount of heat that is lost from your home. As a bonus, this will also cut down on your heating and air conditioning.


Is Damage from Ice Dams Covered by Insurance?


Thankfully damage caused by ice dams is usually covered by your home insurance. However, in most cases, the responsibility of removing ice dams falls on the homeowner. As in most cases, preventing the damage is better than having to clean it up. Your insurance may cover the damage but you will have to be the one that directly deals with the dams and the aftermath. The best course of action is to prevent the ice dams from forming in the first place.


Ice dams are just another thing that makes the winter months hard on your home. They don’t have to affect your home though. If you take the necessary precautions you can not only prevent ice dams from forming but save on your heat and air conditioning. However, we don’t always know we need to take precautions. If you find water running in your home from your roof, American Fire and Water Restoration is here to help. Give us a call, (847) 514-9305.

Our Step-by-Step Process to Basement Water Removal

Not all water in your house is welcome. Whether you have flooding from a storm, a broken sump pump, broken water heater, or burst pipes, it is important to get the water out as soon as possible. By calling the professionals as soon as you discover the water, you will minimize the damage. American Fire & Water Restoration has a step-by-step process to quickly and effectively provide basement water removal.

Safety First

Our first concern is safety for all. Once on site, we will take the necessary precautions. We’ll shut off the electricity and put on hazard suits. After that, we can find the source of the water and stop the supply.

Access Damage

Once we have stopped the water source, we’ll assess the damage to your basement. We make this assessment through the amount of standing water, levels of absorption into walls, insulation, flooring, carpets, furniture, and your other belongings. We examine all surfaces and determine what will need specialized drying procedures, such as hardwood, concrete, and brick.

Identify the Type of Water

Flood water is categorized differently and it is important for us the determine what type of water you have. The type of water will determine how many and what kind of contaminants and bio-hazards are in it. After identifying the type of water you have in your basement, we will create the right removal, cleaning, and sanitizing plan.

Remove the Water

With our plan in place, we will move forward to remove the water. Our state-of-the-art water removal system carries the water from your basement right to our truck. This means the water can’t contaminate any of your other belongings or surfaces. We conduct this process quickly to minimize your inconvenience.

Remove Belongings

Once the water is gone, we can remove damaged belongings and debris. Any items that are able to be saved will also be removed to be cleaned elsewhere. We will take care of properly disposing of the non-salvageable items. Anything we can save we will inventory, clean, sanitize, and restore.

Dry It Out

Once all your belongings are removed, we can dry out the basement. This step is vital because if the space is not dried out completely, mold can infest your basement. We use high-powered air movers, fans, drying panels, and dehumidifiers to remove all dampness. If possible we might also open doors and windows to allow the sun and the wind help. No matter what we use, the result is a completely dry basement.

Clean It Up

We then clean your basement completely. We’ll use special cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing products to make sure there is no trace of the flood. Special mold-specific products will be used in any areas that are susceptible to mold to prevent any growth.

Restore to Normal

It is our goal to restore your basement to its pre-flood conditions. We can provide construction services to help you rebuild your basement to what it once was. No matter the damage, we can help bring your basement back to its normal state.

If your basement floods there is no time to waste. Give American Fire & Water Restoration a call. We can remove the water from your basement and take care of all the damage the water might have caused. We’re here to help 24/7. Call us, (847) 514-9305.

The Importance of a Quick Response Restoration Team

In the case of water or fire damage, calling a quick response restoration team is the first priority. If your basement floods, don’t wait. When there has been a fire in your house, call right away. Not only will calling a quick response restoration team get you back into your house sooner, but it will minimize the damage to your home and belongings. Living with fire or water damage is dangerous, so there is no need to wait. American Fire and Water Restoration understands the dangers of letting these situations sit, which is why we respond within 90 minutes.

Fire Restoration

If there has been a fire in your house there can be all different types of damage. Water and fire retardants can seep into your belongings and walls. Smoke can permeate the space, soaking into the surfaces and leaving stains. Debris has the potential of being hazardous. By calling a quick response restoration team you can hand over all of the work. The team can restore your home to normal using the most effective and state of the art tools available. Calling a quick response team will ensure you are back in your home as soon as possible.

Water Restoration

In the event of water damage to your home, flood or otherwise, time is of the essence. Water can be hazardous in many ways. It has the power to weaken the foundation of your home. Water can carry contaminants and biohazardous material. Belongings and surfaces can be ruined, and mold can infest your home. Calling a quick response restoration team as soon as you find the water will guarantee that the water is removed from your home as swiftly as possible. No one wants any of those dangers in their home or for their belongings to be compromised. Protect your home and belongs by calling a quick response team.

No Time To Waste

Your life is busy enough before a home disaster hits, and dealing with the clean up can be stressful. Calling a quick response team will save you time and money in the long run. The less damage that water and the after-effects of a fire can do to your home, the better. Waiting for someone to come out will only let the hazardous elements grow in your home. That is time you shouldn’t waste. A quick response team can be on site in 90 minutes, ready to help you. That way, problems are addressed sooner and solved faster. Your time is precious, but waste it waiting for a slow-moving restoration team.

American Fire and Water Restoration will respond to your call in 90 minutes, 24/7. We want to get you back to living your normal life as soon as possible. We will work quickly and guarantee our restorations are done well. You don’t have to wait until tomorrow or the next day to get help. Call us at (847) 514-9305 and see how quickly our quick response restoration team works.

 Insurer or American Fire and Water Restoration: Who Do I Call First?

In the wake of a fire, there can be a lot of stress and questions. You want to be as efficient as possible so that you can get back into your home. However, you need to make sure you let the important people know about the fire. So who do you call first, your insurer or American Fire and Water Restoration? Listed below are steps to making the calls and getting back into your home as soon as possible.

Call Your Insurer

Call your insurance first and let them know of the incident. Your insurance will guide you through the process of starting a claim. An inspector will have to come out to your home to make a report. The report will be part of your fire claim. Your insurance can also help you work through the aftermath of a fire, such as where to stay and how to keep all your information in order. The agent may also advise you on who to call next in the process.

Call American Fire and Water Restoration

After informing your insurer of the fire, it’s time to call American Fire and Water Restoration. Our team understands how overwhelming the aftermath of a fire can be. We can be on site in 90 minutes ready to start the process of getting back in your home. Once on site, we will develop a unique fire remediation plan specific to your needs and the damage. With that plan, we are able to prepare an estimate using the insurance company preferred software, Xactimate. This estimate you can give to your insurer as you continue your claim. We can also directly communicate with your insurance to streamline the process for you.

Let Us Restore Your Home

Once inspections are done and our estimate is accepted, we will get to work restoring your home. We will remove debris and items that are too damaged to be repaired. All salvageable items will be inventoried and removed to be cleaned. At this point, we will extract all standing water to minimize the damage it can do to your belongings. Once the water is removed, we will clean and sanitize the area. There is then a drying and dehumidifying process that ensures that mold doesn’t infest your home in the aftermath. We can also provide general contracting services should your home require it. Our goal is to restore your home to its pre-fire condition painlessly for you.

The aftermath of a fire is overwhelming and stressful, so let us give you peace of mind. Once you have started your fire claim we can take over the process. Getting you back into your home safely is our priority. After a fire, make the important calls. Call your insurer and then call your friends at American Fire and Water Restoration. We’ll be there for you quickly and every step of the way. Give us a call at (847) 514-9305.

Signs You Need to Have Your Home’s Ductwork Cleaned 

How do you know if your ductwork needs to be cleaned? When was the last time it was cleaned? Does it ever need to be cleaned? Are there risks if you don’t clean your ducts out? The air ducts in most houses are an ignored system. No one thinks about the little tunnels that bring the hot and cold air into the room unless they aren’t working. The problem with ignoring the maintenance of your ductwork is that things can build up inside of them. This build-up can come from water damage, dust, or fire damage.

Water Damage

Water damage to your home can come in many forms and can have unexpected consequences. Excess water in unwanted areas creates a perfect environment for mold to grow. If you have recently fixed leaking pipes, or any type of water problem located near your air ducts, mold might be growing. Mold spores will easily travel through the pushed air system to other areas of the system. Soon you can have a big mold problem that is invisible. However, that spreading mold is affecting the quality of the air you are breathing. Mold when continually breathed in can result in an array of symptoms, sneezing, skin irritations, irritation of the eyes and throat, nasal congestion, coughing, pneumonia, asthma attacks, and migraines. All of a sudden your little water damage problem has turned into a health problem.


Dust is a common build-up in ductwork as it is in our air. However, in large quantities dust build-up can do some serious damage to your home. First of all, it can inhibit your system from working optimally, blocking the hot or cold air from traveling through the system. Breathing dust in constantly is also not good for your health, causing respiratory problems and irritation. Finally, dust build-up can lead to a fire. Dust only needs a spark of energy or a moment on a very hot surface for it to ignite. You can easily check if your ducts have collected dust by removing a vent cover and seeing if there is dust inside, and checking the air registers or the filter.

Fire Damage

If there has been a fire in your home, or if the previous owner smoked inside a lot, there could be residual smoke in the ductwork. Smoke not only smells bad but it is also a health risk. Once again, your respiratory system is at risk if there is smoke in your ducts. Fire damage is not only a surface-level problem, so the treatment of it shouldn’t be either. If you know or believe there has been fire damage in your home, make sure the ductwork has been cleaned. Your nose will thank you.

Air ducts do a lot of work for us and they should not be overlooked. Keep your home and family safe by keeping the air running through it clean. Especially if you have experienced water or fire damage or suspect a dust build-up, it’s time to clean your ducts. Let us at American Fire & Water Restoration help you ensure the air you are breathing is the healthiest it can be. Give us a call at (847) 514-9305.