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Emergency Restoration in Chicago: A Comprehensive Guide

When a residential fire here in Chicago ends in tragedy, our hearts go out to those who have lost a loved one. We’re grateful to the brave first responders who always do their best.

When severe storms flood Chicagoland, friends and neighbors are left with water-damaged homes and belongings. We pitch in and do all we can to help out.

Still, it all makes you think twice. What if it happens to you? How can you be prepared?

Everyone needs support after a devastating event. Emergency restoration services in Chicago make a big difference.

What Type of Emergency Restoration Services are Available in Chicago?

Facing the aftermath of a fire or water emergency can be very difficult. It’s hard to know where to start or how to deal with the damages to your property and belongings.

An experienced restoration company steps in and addresses the situation right away. These are the most common types of emergency restoration services they provide for Chicago residents.

1. Fire Damage Restoration

profesional fire damage cleanup chicago

Most house fires start in the kitchen, but heating equipment is also a source of residential fires, especially during our cold Chicago winters. A small blaze in one room can fill a home with smoke stains and layers of soot.

A full-service fire damage restoration contractor like ServiceMaster of Lake Shore in Chicago returns the property to its pre-loss condition with these steps.

• Window board-up and roof tarping as needed

• Fire-damaged material tear-out and debris cleanup

• Smoke stain and soot removal from interiors and contents

• Property-wide cleaning, sanitizing and deodorizing

• Interior rebuilding and complete restoration

2. Water Damage Restoration

water damage restoration team chicago

Frozen burst pipes soak Chicago homes every winter. Year round, pipes leak behind walls, drain lines back up and appliances break down.

Whether it’s caused by a weather event or plumbing failure, water damage seeps into walls, floors, carpets and ceilings.

An immediate response from Chicago water damage restoration professionals contains the damages with the following process.

• Water extraction using advanced truck-mounted systems

• Removal and disposal of unsalvageable materials

• Applied structural drying using heavy-duty air moving equipment

• Mitigation and remediation, including content cleaning

• Complete restoration of all areas impacted by water damage

3. Mold Remediation

mold caused by leaking water heater in chicago

Unhealthy mold growth spreads quickly in a water-damaged home. It takes hold after first responders extinguish a fire. Both emergencies leave behind wet interiors that breed mold in as little as 24 hours.

Highly trained Chicago mold removal teams eliminate fungal growth using these industry-certified techniques.

• Undetected moisture identification using electromagnetic sensors

• Airborne spore containment using specialized physical barriers

• Property-wide air filtration through air scrubbers and dehumidifiers

• Antimicrobial and antifungal applications on contaminated surfaces

• Final cleanup, deodorizing and material restoration

5 Steps for a Successful Emergency Restoration

Every successful restoration starts with you, the homeowner. Once your property is safe after the fire or water emergency, follow these steps to put the process into motion.

1. Assess Your Damages

Inspect your home’s interiors, assessing the damage as best you can. There may be problems that you can’t see, but your restoration professionals will identify these areas. Be careful as you move through the house.

As you survey the fire or water damage, don’t throw away unsalvageable contents or belongings. Leave everything in place so that the insurance adjuster can clearly see how much you’ve lost.

Power Tip: Never reenter a building after a fire or flood until you get the all-clear from first responders.

2. Contact Your Insurance Agent

Call your homeowners insurance agent, and explain the situation. Give him or her as much information as possible, including your plan to document the damage with photos and videos.

Arrange for the company’s adjuster to make an inspection of the house right away. If you don’t already have contact numbers for an emergency restoration contractor in Chicago, ask your agent for a recommendation.

3. Document the Fire or Water Damage

Take clear pictures of everything affected by the fire or water emergency. If possible, take videos of each room. Include items that can’t be salvaged, such as fire-damaged appliances or water-damaged furniture and belongings.

Power Tip: Organize the documentation for sharing with your insurance company.

4. Consider Temporarily Relocating

Even a small fire leaves hazardous chemical residue on surfaces. Soaked interiors create a humid environment that compromises indoor air quality.

It’s best to arrange for a temporary stay with friends or family until the restoration work is completed.

Power Tip: Your homeowners insurance may cover the cost of staying at a hotel during the cleanup process.

5. Bring in a Professional Restoration Team

Cleanup after fire or water damage isn’t a DIY job. It belongs in the hands of certified professionals. Restoration teams get the work done quickly, using equipment and techniques that aren’t available to most homeowners.

This last step ensures that the property damage is addressed immediately by highly trained teams you can trust.

How to Choose the Right Emergency Restoration Company for Your Chicago Home

emergency cleanup team chicago

Every Chicago homeowner’s contact list should include an emergency restoration company.

How do you decide on the best restoration services for you?

Certification and licensing are critical. Reputable restoration professionals readily supply this information, but there are other factors to consider before making a final decision.

1. Personal Recommendations

Check with neighbors, family and friends. Ask about their experiences dealing with emergency restoration services in Chicago. Follow up with a few specific questions.

Verify when the work was done and how long it took. Ask about their level of confidence in hiring the company again for a different type of situation.

2. Independent Reviews

Personal recommendations are important, but broaden your search. Look at independent review sites for restoration services near you.

If you find positive reviews of restoration companies that were recommended by friends, that’s a big plus. Still, consider negative posts and how a company answers the feedback. Their response can indicate their level of customer care.

3. Industry Experience

Look at a prospective hire’s website for details about completed projects and any additional services they may offer. You can often find important details on their About Us page.

Customer testimonials that include job types and dates are helpful too.

4. Emergency Availability

Fire and water emergencies occur any time of day or night. The best restoration contractor provides emergency dispatch services 24/7.

Their contact information should be easily accessed through their home page.

5. Comprehensive Services

An experienced restoration company offers an array of services for all types of emergencies. For example, they may provide fire and water damage restoration for Chicago businesses and commercial facilities.

They may also offer specialty cleaning and restoration services for biohazardous scenes, vandalism and graffiti, hoarder situations and unattended deaths.

6. Transparent Communication

The goal is to connect with a service now so that you’re prepared for future emergencies. As you settle on final candidates, call the restoration companies on your list.

Ask about how they handle on-site job quotes. Make sure they’re comfortable working with insurance companies, including yours. Expect clear answers and a friendly willingness to explain things in detail.

How to Prevent Fire and Water Emergencies

1. Look for Potential Problems

Take a careful look around the house. As you walk through each room, focus on things that can be the source of a fire or water emergency. Check storage areas, the garage and your home’s exterior.

Identify potential problems, and consider how to reduce their risks. For example, it may be time to replace an old space heater. You might want to upgrade attic pipe insulation before another Arctic blast hits Chicago.

2. Keep Up With Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance lowers the risk of house fires, and it minimizes problems caused by plumbing failures. Take care of repairs right away, but be honest about the limits of a DIY fix.

Small problems with a home electrical system can turn into big fire hazards, so let a licensed professional handle repairs. Schedule annual system inspections with your electrician and your plumber.

3. Check Home Safety Equipment

Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen and the laundry room. Make sure everyone knows how to use the equipment and how to recognize when it needs to be recharged or replaced.

Install sealed-battery smoke alarms in the kitchen, each bedroom and long hallways. Test the alarms once a month, change out the battery if a unit begins to chirp, and replace smoke alarms at least every 10 years.

You can also lower the risk of water damage to the house by installing a leak detection system that automatically shuts down water lines in response to a plumbing problem.

Keep the basement sump pump in good condition, and routinely check drain guards and the impeller filter. Reduce the chance of basement flooding during a power outage by upgrading the pump with a battery backup.

Do You Need Emergency Restoration Services in Chicago? We’re Ready for Your Call

We understand how hard it is to deal with the damage left behind after a fire or water emergency. We hope it’s something you won’t ever have to face.

If the worst should happen, we hope our guide serves as a source of information that makes everything a little easier. We’re here, ready to answer your call 24/7.

You can always depend on ServiceMaster of Lake Shore: 312-707-8597

Helpful Resources for Chicago Residents

Home Fire Evacuation Planning – Ready.Gov

Space Heater Safety Tips – NFPA

Mold Damage After Storm Flooding – FEMA

Get Help Now

(312) 707-8597


Our office is located in downtown Chicago, IL just west of Millennium Park, nearby Willis Tower and Magnificent Mile. We provide 24 hour emergency fire and water damage cleanup to all of Chicagoland including Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Gold Coast, Lake View, Magnificent Mile and Little Village. We also provide a variety of specialty cleaning services.