How to Prevent Flood Damage

Flood damage can cause a lot of problems for you and your family. Almost everyone is at risk of flood damage, although there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your home. If your home gets flooded, it could end up costing you thousands of dollars in repairs and replacing damaged items. Here are some ways that you can prevent flood damage:

Know Your Risk Factors

The first thing you need to do to prevent flood damage is to know what the risks are for your area. You can use maps on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website to find out the rate that water levels will rise near you. Once you know about how high the water may rise in your area, you can take the necessary precautions to protect your home.

You also want to be aware of how water flows around your home. To prevent flooding, you need the water to drain away from your home. However, this may not always be possible. If you know how the water flows around your home, you will be able to determine which areas may be flooded first. Then you can take steps to protect these areas.

Take Precautions

Once you know your risk factors, you can begin taking measures to protect your home from flood damage. It is important to make sure that your electrical and climate systems are raised at least one foot above the predicted water levels. This can help to save you a lot of money because those systems can be expensive to fix should they become damaged.

Additionally, try to anchor and raise any outdoor equipment you may have such as generators and fuel tanks. These items can easily drift away if they are not tied down. This could cause extreme damage to your home and environment. It also might be a good idea to hire someone to adjust your water valves. The last thing you want during a storm is a flooded sewer system.

Protecting Your Home

When there is a potential flood in your area, there are a few things you can do to further protect your home from flood damage. Clearing your gutters before it starts to rain can help drain the water away from your home. You should also move any personal items and furniture to upper levels of your home. Additionally, by turning off your electricity breaker pane when the storm starts, you can reduce damage to your electric system and prevent electrical fires.


There are many ways to prevent flood damage during a storm. It’s also very important that you take precautions to protect your home against flooding. By doing this, you will save yourself a lot of money in the long run. You should be aware of the risk factors in your area, such as the predicted water levels. Additionally, you should take precautions such as anchoring outdoor equipment and clearing your gutters. To learn more about how you can prevent flood damage, visit American Fire and Water Restoration.

Why Fire Restoration Should Start Right Away

A fire can cause severe damage to your home. After the fire has been put out, you might be left wondering what to do next. The answer is to call a fire restoration company. A team of fire restoration professionals can help to restore your home and have your life back to normal. Here’s why it is important to call a restoration team immediately after a fire.

Hidden Problems

Fire damage comes in many forms. This can include smoke stains and wall discoloration. However, ash and soot can be hidden in places that you might not be able to see. It can be hidden in places such as air conditioning vents and spaces behind walls.

A team of fire restoration experts will be able to quickly and effectively clean problem areas. If these places are not thoroughly cleaned immediately, it can cause a lingering odor. It can also cause health risks and a decrease in the quality of indoor air.

Eliminate Smells and Odors

Removing the smell of smoke is a difficult part of the fire restoration process. This is because particles of soot can get into parts of a building that are hard to access. If these areas are not properly cleaned, it can cause an odor that is hard to get rid of and can last up to several months.

Furthermore, the debris may contain dangerous substances such as carbon monoxide, benzene, and chemicals that come from burned plastics. The earlier a restoration team is able to begin the restoration process, the more chances they have of completely getting rid of the particles and substances that cause odor and pose a risk to your health.

Reduce Cost

Another reason you should call a fire restoration company immediately is because they can decrease the fire damage and other problems that may arise. Additionally, quick restoration can reduce the chance of structural damage being caused to your home.

Also, if damaged windows, walls, and roofs are not repaired quickly, it can allow thieves into your home. Trespassers can easily steal your personal belongings and cause more damage to your home and property. Calling a fire restoration team immediately can reduce the amount of fire damage and save you money at the same time. The more damage you are able to prevent, the less money you will have to spend.

There are many reasons why you should call a fire restoration company as soon as possible. Not only will it save you money, but it will also reduce the amount of fire damage that is done to your home. A team of experts will be able to get rid of any lingering smells caused by the build-up of ash and soot. They will also be able to get into and clean hard-to-reach places. Additionally, there may be hidden areas of your home where smoke and soot can build up. Professionals know exactly where to look for this kind of build-up and will have your home and life back to normal as soon as possible. If your house has had a fire, call the professionals at American Fire and Water Restoration today!

Why You Should Call A 24/7 Restoration Team

When your home is damaged, you need to act quickly. For this reason, it is imperative to call a 24/7 restoration team. If your home suffers from water damage, waiting to call a restoration team could only cause the moisture to worsen. But not to worry, a professional restoration team can have your home looking as good as new. Here are some reasons why you should call a 24/7 restoration team:

Quick Process

If you try to restore your home yourself after damage, the process can be exhausting. The longer your home restoration takes, the more damage it could create. However, a team of professionals can have your home restored in a short amount of time. A 24/7 restoration team is available at all times to help with any emergency situations. With professional restoration, you won’t have long to wait before our team of experts begins the hard work of returning your home to its former glory.

Mold and Mildew

If your home has been damaged by water, a 24/7 restoration team will be able to make sure that mold and mildew don’t have a chance to settle and grow in your home. If you’ve dealt with mold and mildew before, you know how difficult it can be to get rid of.

A 24/7 restoration team will be able to promptly remove the water from your home and check for any signs of mold or mildew. If they find mold and mildew, they will be able to remove the growth with specialized tools and cleaners.

Additionally, a team of professionals knows exactly where to look when checking for mold and mildew. In addition to the obvious places such as ceilings and walls, mold and mildew also grow in more hidden areas. However, you can trust that if your home is affected, a 24/7 restoration team will find it.

Professional Advice

When a fire or water damage affects your home, knowing what you can save and what you need to throw away is difficult. When you call a 24/7 restoration team, you will be able to receive expert advice in addition to excellent services. Professionals will happily inspect your home and offer their input when needed.

Furthermore, if you’ve never had any need of a restoration team before, professionals will take the time to explain the process to you step by step. They will also be more than willing to answer any questions that you may have. A 24/7 restoration team may also be able to give you helpful tips on other things such as insurance policies.


There are many reasons why you should call a 24/7 restoration team. Not only are they always available in case of an emergency, but they offer excellent service as well. You can contact American Fire and Water Restoration to learn more about why you should hire a 24/7 restoration team.

What Information Should You Save For Insurance

When you experience water or fire damage to your home, you should be prepared to file an insurance claim. The process might be more manageable if you prepare before a disaster occurs. When you file your insurance claim, there are a few things you will need. For insurance purposes, you will want to save the following items: photos, recorded conversations, receipts, witness statements.


One of the first things you should do after fire or water damage is to take pictures of the damage. Make sure that your photos are clear and have good lighting. You should also try to get shots from as many different angles as you can. Also, it might be helpful to capture a video as well. Additionally, if you have any photos of your property before the damage occurred, these might also be helpful. They will give you a chance to show your insurance company how significant the damage really is.

Keep Records of Your Conversations

It is always a good idea to have recordings of anyone you speak to regarding your home after any damage has occurred. This will help during the home restoration process. Don’t stress; this is easier to do than you think. For instance, you can simply take detailed notes of any conversations you have over the phone. Make sure to include what you were talking about and who you were speaking with. If you have contacted or have been contacted by anyone through email, all you must do is print out the email.

Receipts of Expenses

If the damage to your home is severe, most likely you will have to find somewhere safe for you and your family to stay until the completion of the home restoration process. You want to make sure to keep track of any hotel or rental costs. Additionally, you should also keep the receipts for your other expenses, such as food and clothing. Also, make sure that you don’t pay cash for anything after your home is damaged. Using a credit or debit card will leave a paper trail which is exactly what you want. You can easily print these for insurance purposes.

Witness Statement

Having a statement from a witness that was present at the time that the damage occurred may be beneficial to your insurance claim. Try asking your neighbors if they saw what happened. They might be willing to write a statement for you if they did. This can help you by proving to your insurance company that you aren’t exaggerating the damage or sequence of events as they occurred.


Filing an insurance claim for home restoration can be an overwhelming process. It’s important to know what to do in case of fire or water damage. This will save you time and make the insurance process easier for you and your family. When it comes to your insurance claim, there are several things you will need. You should keep track of all your receipts after the damage and also make sure to take detailed photos of your property. To learn more about home restoration, visit American Fire and Water Restoration now.

Three Sewer Problems That Cause Water Damage in Your Home

As a homeowner, you know that your property is a lifetime investment. It needs proper care and maintenance to remain standing for as long as possible. Sometimes, there are elements that we can’t see until it’s too late. Sewer problems are a primary cause of water damage to homes. While it may be difficult to prevent sewer problems, it is possible to know the different types and how they cause damage. This knowledge can prepare you for a day in the future when your sewer needs repair. Here are three sewer problems that homeowners face.



A slow dripping faucet often goes unnoticed until the noise becomes distracting. However, a leak in your sewer lines is hard to detect and often goes unnoticed. Most homeowners don’t know that a leak is present until there’s a pool of water or a moldy black spot. Sewer problems such as leaks cause major issues because they are tricky to locate. After you locate the leak and fix it, you still have to remediate any mold caused by it. To make sure that you completely repair the water damage, look for professionals with experience in flood restoration and mold remediation. Just because you clean up the water, doesn’t mean you’ve eliminated the mold. Any moisture in your walls, floors, or pipes will provide the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.



Let’s face it; nothing lasts forever, especially not sewer pipes. When it comes to sewer problems, corrosion is a common issue. As the pipes age, the material begins to break down, and the weight of the dirt causes the pipe or pipes to crumble. Of course, when this happens, you will notice a change in the flow of water to and from your home. In the worst cases, homeowners don’t realize a problem until sewage begins to leak from the pipes or backs up into the home. Water damage from a sewage backup can be difficult to clean up. You need to seek the help of a professional restoration company.



Tree roots seek out water, especially during dry seasons. As such, your sewer lines are the perfect target for them. Once they locate water from the sewer, they begin to break down sewer pipes to get the water that flows through them. Over time debris collects where the roots have grown, causing a clog in your sewer line. When left untreated, these types of sewer problems lead to water damage from sewage backup.

If root intrusion has clogged your sewer, you need to contact professionals to clear the debris and remove the roots. If you waited till after you had a sewer backup, then you will need to seek help with cleaning up the water damage. Sewage water poses all sorts of risks to your health and to the health of your home.

Sewer problems are a common occurrence and often lead to water damage in your home. If your sewer has backed up, or a leak has caused flooding or mold growth, you need professional help to clean up the mess. Contact American Fire and Water Restoration today. We have the knowledge and experience to help you get your home back to normal. Visit us online or call us at 847-503-0767 and get a free quote.

How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Working in the Heat

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During the summer months, you likely find yourself constantly turning on the air conditioner. This extra work can wear down your HVAC unit more quickly and result in leaks. So how do you prevent air conditioner leaking problems in the heat and stop water damage? Here are some tips for keeping your air conditioner up and running and prevent water damage during the summer heat.

Check Your Filters

You should always check your filters at least once a month. However, it is especially important to check your filters during the summertime. Your air conditioner circulates more dust and allergens during the summer months. If the dust and allergens cause your air filters to clog, then your HVAC unit will have to work twice as hard to push out cool air. Having a clogged filter can cause air conditioner leaking and water damage. Replacing your filters is one of the easiest and most effective ways to conserve energy and save money on your HVAC usage.

Keep Your Thermostat Cool

It may sound weird, but it is true. For your air conditioner to work properly, you want to keep your thermostat away from heat producing items, such as TVs, lamps, or direct sunlight. Your thermostat will sense the additional heat and will cause your HVAC unit to run more to compensate. The longer your air conditioner runs, the more likely it is that you will be dealing with air conditioner leaking.

Keep Your Air Conditioner in the Shade

A key to keeping your air conditioner from working overtime is to keep it in the shade. An A/C unit that is in the sun will have to work harder to cool the air down. However, if your HVAC unit is in the shade, the air is cooler so your unit will not have to work as hard to cool the air down.

Insulate Your Home

In the summer you are always telling your kids that you are not trying to air condition the outside when they leave doors and windows open. But did you know that your cool air may be escaping even when the doors and windows are closed? The caulk around your doors and windows may have air leaks. In order to keep the cool air in, you will want to seal any air leaks with caulking and weather stripping. This will ensure your air conditioner is only cooling the inside of your home. Fixing air leaks keep your HVAC from running extra hard and prevent air conditioner leaking.

Call the Professionals

If you are dealing with an air conditioner leaking due to it overworking itself in the heat, then it is time to call the professionals. A leaky air conditioner can cause unwanted water damage to your home. If you are noticing water damage from your air conditioner, call the professionals at American Water & Fire Restoration. We take care of any water damage that you are dealing with. Give us a call today.

Do You Smell That?

Does your house smell for no reason? You may have tried to clean your home to get rid of the smell that hits you as soon as walk in the door. However, maybe no matter how much you clean your home, the odor does not go away. In most cases, you will need to hire professionals for effective odor removal. Here are just a few of the benefits of hiring a professional odor removal service.

Rid Your Home of Annoying Odors

The first benefit is that professionals are able to eliminate annoying odors completely. You spend much of your time in your home, so having a bad odor is not pleasant. Professional odor removal uses special tools to eliminate the smell. Unlike store bought odor removers, professionals have stronger products that ensure the odor doe not return. If you tried to do it yourself, more than likely the odor would return within a week. A professional service will make your home comfortable again for you and your guests.

Make Your Home Safe Again

Some odors you smell in your home are making your house unsafe. Unappealing odors usually mean there is a bigger problem that needs to be dealt with. The bad smell could be coming from mold, sewage problems, or even dead animal remains in the walls or other areas of your home. Having an odor removal service find the source of the smell and get rid of it will make your home safe and healthy again.

Fast and Convenient

Hiring a professional odor removal service means that you do not have to spend the time scrubbing, cleaning, and applying treatment. Professionals also know how to quickly eliminate odors. For you, it may take weeks or even months to find and take care of the source of the odor. You can enjoy the benefits of an odor-free house without doing the work when you hire a professional odor removal service.

Your Safety

DIY odor removal can be harmful to you and the environment. Taking care of odors requires knowledge of how different chemicals react together. If you do not know what combinations work, you can damage your property, your health, and the environment. Professionals know the proper amount of chemicals and which ones work in what type of situation.

Eliminate Odors

If you have a smelly home, don’t let it stay that way. Smelly homes are unwelcoming to guests and can be harmful to your health. Call the professionals to help get rid of the odor in your home. American Fire & Water Restoration will make sure to safely and completely remove all odors in a timely manner. Contact us today to make an appointment.

Is It Biohazardous?

Not all water is created equal. On this blog, we have said a number of times that it can be unsafe to clean up water damage yourself because of the origin of the water. Depending on where the water came from and how long it has sat, it can be biohazardous. Attempting to clean up biohazardous water on your own can compromise your health and the safety of anyone coming in contact with the water or water damaged goods. Due to the risks, here is what you need to know about potentially biohazardous water.

Flood Waters

When water from the outdoors starts flooding your space, you have to be careful. You don’t know where the water came and what could potentially be in it. The water could be full of chemicals, dangerous particles, or harmful debris. By trying to clean up this kind of water, you are putting yourself in harm’s way. You also run the risk of causing further damage to your belongings. This kind of water can cause serious water damage if not disposed of and cleaned up after properly. Water doesn’t have to look murky to be dangerous.

Sewage Problems

If there are sewage problems in your home or in your area, it can contaminate other water. Sewage water can cause a lot of problems for your health and home. There are bacteria and other biohazards contained within sewage that can be incredibly harmful to anyone exposed to them. There are other things to consider in the case of a sewage leak as well. Sometimes there isn’t an easy fix, especially with biohazardous materials at hand. Sometimes the whole system needs to be replaced. Therefore, to save time and protect against health risks when dealing with sewage you should bring in professionals immediately.

Safety and Cleanup

Regardless of what type of biohazardous water you are dealing with, it is dangerous to attempt to clean it up on your own. Professionals have the experience and equipment to take care of this situation. Restoration teams will wear hazmat suits to protect themselves from the sickness and other health risks. They also have special equipment that guarantees the safety of your health and possessions during the extraction and cleaning process. All of the contaminated water in a space needs to be removed, cleaned, sanitized and dried for the space to be safe again. If even dampness is left it could have drastic results. For the safety of your health and home, biohazardous water needs to be taken seriously.

Flooding is never a welcome situation and the potential risk of biohazardous water makes it worse. Furthermore, it amplifies water damage and the health risks of the situation. If you are unsure where the water came from or if it is safe, call the professionals. It is not worth risking your health. The safety of your family and home should be your first concern. When the water is questionable, don’t question what to do. Call a restoration team. American Fire and Water Restoration is ready to help 24/7. Give us a call at (847) 514-9305.

Prevent a Basement Flood

Dealing with a basement flood and the water damage that comes with it can be an overwhelming ordeal. How do you get rid of the water? Is the water dangerous? And what about the damage to your house and belongings? Not all disasters can be stopped, but you can set your house up to prevent basement flooding. There are a few key areas to maintain and keep your eye on to prevent water damage from flooding. If you want to prevent a flood, keep reading.

Good Drainage

The first way to prevent your basement from flooding is by having a good drainage system. When it rains, you want the water to move away from your house. If the water sits stagnant next to your home, it can find weak spots and find its way inside. To prevent this, ensure that water naturally runs away from your house. This can be done by slanting soil to be higher next to your house and lower the further away the water goes. You also need to make sure that your drainage pipes are doing their job well or else you will get water pooling up.

Cracks in Foundation

Older or poorly made foundations can potentially have cracks and weak points in them. These spots are perfect for water to slip in and flood your basement. If cracks aren’t fixed, water will keep coming in and making the crack worse. To prevent this you will need to maintain your foundation, look for cracks and weak points, and have them fixed. It is easier to fix a crack than to deal with the water damage a crack can cause. A house is only as strong as its foundation, so you should spend some time making sure it is as strong as possible.

Healthy Pipes

Basement flooding doesn’t just happen because of outside water coming in. There are gallons upon gallons of water running through the pipes of your house. If those pipes aren’t healthy or are old, they can burst and flood whatever area they are in. A burst pipe in a basement can go undetected for a while resulting in large amounts of water-damaged possessions. To prevent your pipes from bursting, make sure you take care of them. Don’t let them get too cold or hang things on them, and make sure to replace old pipes. Maintaining your pipes will ensure they keep doing their job.

You can’t always prevent flooding. There are circumstances that are out of your control. However, if you care for and maintain your home by following these steps, you will be reducing the likelihood that your home will flood. Here at American Fire and Water Restoration, we understand that nature is unpredictable and flooding does happen. If your basement does end up flooding, you don’t have to deal with the water damage alone. We are always here to help. In the case of basement flooding, give us a call at (847) 514-9305.

Faulty Appliances Are Not Your Friends: The Cause of Water Damage

It always seems to be the nightmare of homeowners, the dreaded leaking appliance. Homes come with a lot of appliances and therefore a lot of potential water damage. The problem with appliances is there can be a leak in the back or bottom where you can’t see results in serious water damage. You may think your washing machine, refrigerator, dishwasher, and garbage disposals are your friend but they can also betray you if you’re not careful. Here are a few tips to keep the water damage at bay and your appliances your friends and not foes.




The lifespan of appliances can really come down to the care that you give them. If you are hard on your appliances and make their work harder, they will wear out sooner. Once a machine wears out, it is ripe for leaks and water damage. Maintenance can look like a lot of different things. Ensuring you don’t overload your washing machine will help it last longer. Making sure your refrigerator doors stay closed as much as possible in the summer will make it easier for it to stay at a low temperature. This also means having your machines repaired by a professional when you notice it is having difficulty working well.




No matter how good you are to your appliances, they all have a lifespan. Once that lifespan is coming to an end your appliances can quickly produce larger problems than simply deciding on a new model. Old machines can become invisible sprinklers. Once the waterworks begin, the cost of replacing the machine quickly leaps. It goes from the cost of a machine to the cost of repairing water damage plus getting a new machine. To avoid this unpleasant situation know how old your appliances are and the average lifespan for that make and model. When it hits that mark and starts acting its age, then act fast and update your appliance.


Be Aware


Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you maintain your appliances and they are still young. Machines break down. That is why it is so important to be aware and watch your appliances. By watching how your appliances are performing, you can catch a problem before it becomes a big problem. Notice when your appliances make new noises are having trouble cleaning things or staying cold, or every once in awhile there are drips. Watching and noticing can mean the difference between a little and a lot of water damage. And you can easily do it.


Appliances are in our houses to make our life easier. They wash our clothes and dishes for us and keep our food at the right temperature. When they are working well, they are our friends, but it is a fragile relationship. If they start leaking and produce water damage, they have changed from helpful to harmful. You can’t avoid water damage forever. For the times when you can’t avoid water damage. American Fire and Water Restoration is here to help. So when an appliance has changed relationship status, give us a call, (847) 514-9305.