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Dry_After_Flood

How to Drain and Dry a Water-Damaged Home

If you’re like many of your customers, you’re probably still cleaning up after last week’s storms. In the past week, we’ve scheduled over thirty appointments for our basement waterproofing system, B-Dry and over forty appointments for Gutter Helmet. Unfortunately, some customers moved too slowly and sustained water damage to their homes. They’re now tasked with the arduous process of draining and drying their interior. If you’re in the same boat (but hopefully not literally), we’re here to help. Here’s some tips for reducing moisture in your home:

Draining Moisture from Your Home

  • Sump Pump: A sump pump will continuously remove water from your basement via hose or pipe. A sump pump is especially useful for removing standing water. You can rent a sump pump for about $44/day, or purchase one for $100 or more.
  • Wet/Dry Vacuum: A wet/dry vacuum is used just like a traditional vacuum, except it has the ability to suck up moisture and wetness. This is a great tool for removing water from carpets and rugs.
  • Absorb moisture: Absorb moisture with a desiccant. A desiccant is a drying solvent that naturally absorbs and retains moisture. These products are often made from silica, calcium oxide, or clay. Some desiccants change colors to indicate moisture-saturation levels.

Drying Up Humidity in Your Home

  • Dehumidifier: A dehumidifier removes water vapor from the air, leaving your home cool and dry. Make sure to shut windows and doors when using a dehumidifier to avoid bringing more moisture inside.
  • Open Doors & Windows: Don’t underestimate the power of air circulation. Sometimes all it takes to dry something out is time and a good breeze. Skip this step if it is particularly humid outside your home.
  • Hot and Cold Method: This neat trick comes from Jeffery Gross, a home restoration professional:

    “Warm air will hold more moisture than cooler air,” Mr. Gross said. So a homeowner can close all doors and windows and run the air-conditioning. Once the house has cooled and the air is dry, the air-conditioning should be turned off and the heat turned on. When the temperature has reached, say, 80 degrees or so, the heat should be turned off and the air-conditioning turned back on until all the warm air has been removed. The cycle should be repeated until the house is dry.”


Before you begin restoring your home, make sure your home is safe to occupy- especially if your home has been in a flood. Make sure that the water that has entered your home has not been contaminated with sewage or debris. Check that your electrical systems haven’t come in contact with any standing water. After you’ve ensured your safety, call your homeowners insurance company. Depending on your policy, you may be covered for flooding due to storms, backed-up city sewers and storm drains or burst pipes.

Make sure your home never becomes soggy again by waterproofing your basement and ensuring your home has proper drainage. Our basement waterproofing system B-Dry works by protecting the five most common locations water enters your home. With Gutter Helmet, your gutters will never clog and spill rainwater into your yard. Call us at (309) 717-0105 or fill out this form to schedule your free in-home estimate today.

Which Material Should I Choose for My Sunroom Interior?

The choice to add a sunroom to your home is a no-brainer. The hard part is deciding which sunroom company, style, and materials you want to use. Our sunrooms from Four Seasons are built with an aluminum exterior, but you can choose between aluminum, vinyl and natural wood for your interior frame. Depending on your values and personal taste, you may prefer one sunroom interior over another.

Aluminum Interior

Sunroom Interior

Pro: Aluminum is a popular sunroom building material because it’s lightweight and structurally strong. That means you can minimize the amount visible frame in your sunroom. Use aluminum for your sunroom interior if you want to emphasize picturesque views and natural light.

Con: Aluminum is known for conducting heat, which can make it harder to control the temperature inside your sunroom. All Four Seasons sunrooms are “thermally improved” to reduce the likelihood of outside temperatures reaching your interior surfaces. Still, if you’re looking for the most energy-efficient material you may want to consider a vinyl or natural wood interior.

Vinyl Interior

Sunroom_Interior

Pro: Vinyl is a lightweight and durable material used for everything from fences to decks. We love vinyl products so much, we ONLY sell vinyl siding and windows. That’s because we like to sell low-maintenance products that last. Vinyl is resistant to rotting, warping, scratching, fading and just about any other awful thing that could happen to a sunroom. If you value durability and want to share your sunroom with future generations, vinyl is the way to go.

Con: If applied correctly, vinyl can be a beautiful interior sunroom material. However, it has none of the frame-minimizing abilities of aluminum or the warm charm of natural wood. If design and style is most important to you, consider an interior material other than vinyl.

Natural Wood Interior

Sunroom_Interior

Pro: Natural wooden interiors are a longtime favorite of design connoisseurs. This material adds warmth and charm to any room in the home. Our natural wood is engineered from sustainable, slow-growth Norther White Pine. You can finish these wood-frame structures with paint, stain or a clear-coat to suit your own personal style. All of our natural wood interiors come with our exclusive exterior glazing track system. This system mounts to your exterior structure to prevent your sunroom’s glass panels from ever touching your fine woodwork. This virtually eliminates the risk of water-staining or rotting.

Con: If natural wood was a perfect choice, you wouldn’t be reading this article. Natural wood is still vulnerable to the moisture problems and fading. If you value looks that last, consider choosing vinyl or aluminum for your sunroom interior.

 

storm damage windows

Windows and Doors Storm Damage | Avoid Illinois Storm Damage

With Illinois’ brutal storms, it’s possible for windows to take on storm damage and tornado damage even with protective storm shutters. Damaged windows can be especially hazardous because they often result in broken glass. During a severe storm, keep yourself and your family away from windows and broken glass by taking harbor in an interior room. After a storm, check for these signs of window damage:

  • The most obvious sign will be a shattered window. You’ll probably see a big pile of broken shards of glass on your floor and notice something is wrong.
  • Check for cracks or holes in your window panes. If any glass has become damaged, board up broken windows until they can be fixed.
  • Make sure your window frame hasn’t become damaged during the storm.
  • Many homeowners forget about their glass doors when checking for storm damage. Glass patio doors can take on the storm damage just like your windows.
  • Doors can take on impact from flying debris during a storm. Check exterior doors for scratches, dents, and other signs of a high-velocity impact.

Prepare for the next storm:

Some very practical people may tell you to simply replace all of your windows and doors with storm windows and doors. While this idea is functional, it won’t look very pretty on your home. Our Paragon entry doors come with the Guardian Weather Barrier System, which protects your door from air and water leakage. Together, the door jamb, threshold and astragal (the seal between doors) discourages rot and insects as well as increases the structural load your home can withstand. Our Preservation Windows are tested to withstand a driving water spray of 5 gallons per hour per square foot at simulated wind speeds over 57 mph. They can also withstand structural load conditions with wind speed over 190 mph- the equivalent of a EF4 Tornado. Illinois has already experienced an F3 tornado in Ottowa this year.


After you’ve checked for storm damage, your next step is to call your insurance agency. Depending on your homeowners insurance policy, replacement siding may be covered. Cramer Siding and Window will work directly with your insurance company to review and negotiate the details of your claim to make this process as easy and simple for you as possible. We will serve as your advocate when dealing with your insurance carrier. This is a task we take seriously to help ensure you are getting the best possible products, workmanship, and overall outcome for your project.

Illinois Replacement Roofing

Roofing Storm Damage | Avoid Illinois Storm Damage

Roofing Storm Damage Checklist

Your roof is the most likely part of your house to take on storm damage during severe weather. Hail, wind, trees and debris can seriously degrade the functionality of your roof in just one night. In Illinois, we have to be particularly cautious about wind damage during tornado season. It can be tempting to look the other way when we find a missing shingle. How important can a single shingle be?! These parts aren’t just cosmetic- they’re integral to the function of your roof. Roofing systems can’t protect your home like they’re supposed to without all of their parts. That’s why it’s important to check everything is still in place after the storm passes. Here is how to conduct your own roofing inspection after a storm:

  • Start by looking for signs of storm damage from the ground. During high winds, pieces of roofing fall off your roof and into your yard. Scan your roof for missing shingles, metal fascia or metal chimney pieces. It’s common for pieces of your roof to become dislodged where your roof meets your exterior walls. Do NOT climb on your roof to check for damage. Leave that to the professionals.
  • Next, check your attic for signs of leaking or water damage. Water damage is easily observed in the form of water stains on your ceilings and walls. If you find some, set out containers to contain the leak and call a professional immediately. You may also want to set up a dehumidifier to minimize the spread of mold.
  • Hopefully you’ll notice if a tree has fallen onto your home! But sometimes it’s hard to tell how much real damage has been done. It’s recommended that you stay out of your home until a professional can come check whether any structural damage occurred. If it has, you’ll likely need to call a general contractor instead of a professional roofer for repairs.
Replacement Roofing Illinois

GAF Timberline HD Shingles | Birchwood

Prepare for the next storm:

Maybe you should have bought some higher-quality roofing. Hindsight’s always 20/20! Now that you need replacement roofing, it’s the perfect time for an upgrade. GAF Timberline HD Shingles have Advanced Protection Shingle Technology. You won’t find a single shingle that’s as tough and flexible with outstanding wind uplift resistance and fire resistance. These shingles can stand up to 130 mph winds. That means during one of Illinois tornado seasons, your shingle can hold on during an EF2 twister! You’re unlikely to take on storm damage again, but if you’re concerned we offer a Gold Pledge Warranty for our replacement roofing. This is a lifetime warranty that covers your whole roofing system- not just your shingles. When somebody else buys your home, the warranty is transferable for free.


After you’ve checked for storm damage, your next step is to call your insurance agency. Depending on your homeowners insurance policy, replacement roofing may be covered. Peoria Siding and Window will work directly with your insurance company to review and negotiate the details of your claim to make this process as easy and simple for you as possible. Serving as your advocate when dealing with your insurance carrier is something we take seriously to help ensure you are getting the best possible products, workmanship, and overall outcome for your project.