Mold control

How to Prevent Mold

As gross as it sounds, mold is all around us. Mold plays an important role in the natural process of decay and is used to make products, from cheese to penicillin. If left untreated by water damage, however, mold can damage your home and your health. The key to mold prevention is moisture control. Here are some tips on how to avoid indoor moisture and the mold that thrives there.

  1. Know where mold grows and know your problem areas.

There is no way to mold-proof your entire home, but you can make it mold-resistant. If you know your problem areas, then you’ll know where moisture lingers. Basement flooding and frequent condensation on the windows are sure signs of excess moisture. Preventing mold from growing might mean replacing the carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or even repairing damaged gutters.

  1. Install proper ventilation to prevent moisture.

Everyday activities such as cooking, showering, and running the washing machine can invite mold into your home without proper ventilation. Always vent appliances that produce moisture such as bathrooms, stoves, and dryers, to the outside of the home. When possible, open a window when cooking, washing dishes, or showering to let moisture out. AC units and dehumidifiers also need to be checked and cleaned periodically.

  1. Improve the airflow in your home.

As temperatures drop, the air holds less moisture. Without good air flow, that extra moisture can show on your walls, windows, floors, and furniture. Increase airflow in your home by opening doors between rooms, opening doors to closets, and moving furniture away from walls.

  1. Use mold-resistant products.

Many companies make mold-resistant products like drywall and sheetrock, as well as mold inhibitors for paints. Mold-resistant drywall is paperless and excellent for rooms prone to moisture such as bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Mold-resistant gypsum board is also available. The core of the drywall is made to prevent moisture absorption to block mold growth.

  1. Dry wet areas immediately.

Without moisture, mold cannot grow. Water damage of any kind should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. Even everyday routines need attention, like leaving wet items lying around and wet walls after cooking or showering. Also, wet clothes in the washing machine can cause mold to spread quickly.

If It’s Too Late, Don’t Hesitate to Call

If the mold and mildew in your home are beyond prevention, call a professional restoration service. Don’t take a chance with the potential health risks that mold can cause you and your family. American Fire and Water Restoration is a full-service restoration company at the ready to handle your water damage and mold issues. Call 847-514-9305 today for a consultation.



What Happens When a Pipe Bursts

Pipes can burst and make a massive mess. Burst pipes can sometimes be difficult to prevent because many pipes are out of sight and can burst without anyone knowing. Pipes get old and crack, and cold weather can freeze pipes. If the potential of a pipe bursting worries you, it is time to take some precautions. Here are a few things that can happen when a pipe bursts.

Frozen Pipes

In the winter months, pipes bursting from freezing is a big concern. Poorly or non-insulated pipes are vulnerable in the winter months, especially if any of these pipes are exposed to outside temperatures. Once a pipe bursts, all the water running through it will fill the area that it is falling into. That unwanted water will cause damage. To keep the water in the pipes and moving it is important to properly insulate all of your piping. This will mean different things depending on where you live. Make sure the pipe insulating you use is appropriate for how cold it gets where you live.

Old Pipes

Older homes also run the risk of housing pipes that have passed their prime years. Old pipes are vulnerable to rust, cracks, and dysfunctional seals. All of these vulnerabilities can leave you with pipes bursting. The easiest way to avoid old pipes giving out is to maintain your pipes through proper insulation and replacing pipes that look like they might burst. Wear and tear will weaken pipes and the seals that connect them. In older homes, this is more likely. Being aware of the potential breakage and maintaining your pipes can prevent water damage.


Once a pipe has burst, flooding is inevitable. The water that is supposed to be running through the pipe to its proper destination will pour out into whatever area the burst took place. It will continue to fill the space until the water is turned off. This flooding can cause real damage to your home. Water damage can affect the structure of your home, flooring, walls, and personal belongings, and it can cause mold. Depending on how long the burst pipe goes undetected and where the flooding happens, the damage can be overwhelming. Once flooding has started, it is time to call in a professional restoration team to take care of the damage.

When pipes burst, there is no way around having water damage. It is important to call a quick response restoration team because the water could have damaged the structure of your home. Professionals also have the proper equipment and knowledge to deal with your flooding safely and efficiently. Of course, preventing a pipe from bursting is the best method of handling this problem but it isn’t always possible. For the times when a pipe isn’t prevented from bursting, American Fire and Water Restoration is here to help. We can be on site to help you with your burst pipe within 90 minutes. When a pipe bursts, give us a call at (847) 514-9305.

How to Prevent Kitchen Fires

There are a lot of things that go on in the kitchen, but fires don’t have to be one of them. Kitchens have all the ingredients for a fire to break out, however. There’s a supply of flame, grease, water, and electricity. With all of these elements present and in constant use in the kitchen, the best way to prevent kitchen fires is to be aware. Be aware of the potential risks while in the kitchen to protect your family and home. Here are three things to do in the kitchen to prevent kitchen fires.

Keep Your Eye on the Stove

First of all, try not to leave cooking food unattended. This can be difficult when multitasking, but it’s important. By leaving food unattended you run a higher risk of something boiling over, burning, or an object near the stove catching fire. Being conscious of what is going on in the kitchen will make for a safer kitchen. Burning food in ovens can be avoided. Things boiling over on the stove doesn’t need to happen. A haphazardly placed oven mitt or dish towel needn’t catch flame. Being watchful in the kitchen will make for a safer environment for you and your food.

Watch out for Grease and Oil

Grease and oil in the kitchen pose a constant risk of fire. Make sure you clean your kitchen, especially the stove, regularly to avoid grease build-up. Grease build-up on a stove only needs a stray flame to ignite. Regular grease removal will make your stove a much safer place to cook. Cooking with oil is also a cause of kitchen fire. While cooking with oil, in large and small amounts, be attentive. Make sure your oil doesn’t get too hot, that you use the correct amount in the right size pan, and keep water away! Using oil that is too hot or not using the right sized pan can ignite the oil from the below flame. If water comes into contact with hot oil, the oil will splatter. Oil splatter can cause serious burns and can make the stove catch fire.

Keep Electric Appliances Away from Water

Electricity and water are not friends. If you are using a hand mixer, blender, food processor, or any other kitchen appliance, make sure that the plug is dry and there is no splashing water near the outlet. Kitchens tend to have drier and wetter areas. Try to keep all of your electric appliances out of the wet areas. This will also keep them cleaner.

Not all kitchen fires can be prevented, but employing safer practices can prevent a lot. Being safe in the kitchen is important for your family and home. Keep your kitchen as safe as possible by improving your kitchen safety measures. Let it be a place your friends and family can gather safely for years to come. Be aware of the potential risks, address them, and then enjoy the good food that comes out of it. American Fire and Water Restoration is here to help when fires do break out. If you have had a kitchen fire, give us a call at (847) 514-9305.

What You Need to Know About Fire Damage

Fire damage and the aftermath of a fire can be devastating to you and your home. 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. As the smoke clears, here are some things that you should know going forward.

Water Damage

In the wake of a fire, you may not be thinking about water damage but it is there. The water and chemical agents used to put the fire out can leave lasting damage to your home and belongings as well. These liquids can seep into your furniture, flooring, rugs, drapes, structural components, and personal belongings. If not cleaned and sanitized properly, all affected items can be ruined. The chemicals used can also be dangerous if ingested or in regular contact with. So once the fire is out, make sure you are conscious of the damage water and other liquids can be inflicting on your home.

Smoke and Odor Removal

Depending on the type of fire, the smoke and odor left behind will be different. If not removed and cleaned properly, smoke and odor can permeate into your home. It can soak into the walls, furniture, carpets, and personal belongings. This can leave stains along with residual odor. Smoke is hard to get rid of and can be an unpleasant reminder of the fire. Health concerns also have to be considered when continually breathing in smoke. It is for these and other reasons that it’s important for you to ensure that the smoke and odor are completely removed from your home after a fire.

Call a Professional

There is so much to do in the wake of a fire. There are calls to be made, insurance claims to file, living arrangements to be organized, and countless other things. You want your home and belongings to get the best care and to be restored as quickly as possible. The best thing to do in this situation is to call in the professionals. A quick response restoration team can be on site before you know it, accessing damage and causes, creating restoration plans, and getting to work. The professionals have a better understanding of what needs to be done. It will also give you more time to focus on the other tasks needing to be done.

Fires happen when you least expect them and the damage they leave is overwhelming. There are countless things to do and think about in the wake of a fire. However, how you are going to get your house back to normal and who is going to do the work don’t have to be questioned. Give us at American Fire and Water Restoration a call at (847) 514-9305. Our quick response restoration will be on site within 90 minutes 24/7. We can help you remove the fire damage and restore your home to what it was before the fire.