Answers Your Questions

Planning a project is a huge task, and it often can be overwhelming. If you have questions about a project, please don’t hesitate to ask. Our team is happy to offer a free consultation to answer all your construction and building services questions.

Fire Restoration

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Water Restoration

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FAQ: Fire Restoration / Emergency Fire and Water Restoration

I have Smoke and Fire Damage - What do I do first?
After the Fire Department has left, and you are situated in a safe location, call your insurance company. They might have some protocols for you to follow in order to ensure the maximum benefit from your current policy. An example would be: Don’t throw away any items until they have been documented.
What do I do when Fire Restoration Companies are beating down my door?
Your insurance company may, or may not, offer you a list of their “Preferred Contractors” to choose from. Depending on your policy, you may be able to choose your own company, independent from your insurance carrier. McMahon Services & Construction is a “Preferred Contractor” for many of the large insurance carriers.
What about Public Adjusters who want me to sign on the spot?
You can take their information, but do NOT sign anything on the spot. There may be excessive fees or percentages charged for their bids. McMahon Services and Construction provides your bid for FREE.
What can I expect of a Fire Restoration Company?
McMahon Services & Construction will inspect your loss and provide an estimate. In that process, we will also take your insurance adjuster’s scope, compare it to our scope and make any additions that were not covered in our scope. We will also go over your loss with you. The homeowner has the most knowledge of the home, and their input is crucial to achieving an accurate bid.
What is the whole Fire Restoration process like?
1. Contact your insurance company and your mortgage company (Mortgage companies have an interest in your property and need to be contacted as well.) 2. Get estimates from competent, LOCAL restoration companies. You DO NOT want to have to track down your contractor a year from now if you need some related repairs. 3. Meet the owners of the Restoration Companies. Do you have a rapport with them? You should know that instinctively. 4. Check their references, look at their photos. 5. Visit one of their current/recent projects. 6. After you feel that you can comfortably work with a contractor and their staff, CHOOSE THEM! 7. Sign the appropriate paperwork and get the process going. 8. When done, enjoy their efforts on your behalf in your beautifully restored home.
How does my insurance company, or me, pay my contractor?
1. If you have a mortgage, as most of us do, your mortgage company will usually be listed on the check as a payee along with you. 2. An escrow account may be set up where the insurance carrier sends a check to your mortgage company, they deposit it in their escrow account, and when a certain percentage of the project is done, they release the funds to your contractor accordingly. This check will usually require your endorsement as well. 3. You must pay your deductible. These can range from $50 on up. It just depends on what YOU chose when your policy was written. A larger deductible generally means lower insurance costs because you are covering the “little” losses without putting in a claim. Ask about our Claims Deductible Discount Card!
What if I want to add or change something to my home? Is this a good time?
This is the best time. As devastating as your loss can be, we can make some changes that you otherwise might never have considered. For example, maybe you want to remove a wall, or add a wall, or change a bathroom layout. You give us your thoughts, and we’ll see what we can do.
Why is McMahon Services & Construction better than other Fire Restoration Companies?
Customer Service is our number one priority-since Insurance Carriers recommend us as a “Preferred Contractor” we have a vested interest in keeping that status. To do that, you must be happy. We began a home services company in 1954, in Mundelein, with the same phone number that we currently have today. We are grounded here and you won’t have any trouble trying to find us down the road if you should encounter any problems. Or, maybe you will want additional work done in the future, as we have provided for many past customers. Quality Workmanship-we have proved ourselves in the community by providing the highest quality work. We have a great relationship with the local building departments and are often recommended by them. Finally, we take pride in our work. It is a reflection of us. We are proud to show you our previous projects and are certain that our homeowners are happy that their homes and emergency fire and water restoration were taken care of by McMahon Services and Construction.

FAQ: Water Restoration

What can I do to avoid needing water damage restoration service in my home?

There are many ways water enters your home, therefore, there are many things a homeowner needs to address.

Some of them are:

  • Make sure your gutters are in good condition, attached securely and cleaned regularly. Remember, if you are in a heavily treed area, you might have to clean them out 3 times a year (birds love to nest in your gutters!). Remember to exercise caution while up on your ladder — it’s good to have someone assist you, or call the professionals.
  • See Ice & Snow below for additional information on ice damming at the gutter line.
  • Check your roof for loose shingles and if your roof needs replacement, it might be time to address that as well.
  • Make sure the caulking around windows and doors is not cracked and dried up. It’s a pretty easy project for “do-it-yourselfers”, if you don’t want to attempt it yourself, hire someone to pull the old caulk and re-apply.
  • Make sure your outside spigots/faucets are freeze proof.
  • Check your basement for cracks in your foundation walls. There are many epoxy products that you can apply yourself. If the cracks are severe, you should call a professional.
  • Plumbing! Do some regular checks — like when you change your smoke detector batteries.

Be sure to check out these culprits:

  • Check your water heater and washing machine for leaks.
  • Behind your refrigerator around the waterline to the ice maker or water dispenser.
  • Around the dishwasher.
  • Under sink cabinets for leaky faucets.
  • Around toilet base-listen for water running in toilet tank.
  • Around the base of your shower/tub.

A few minor things that could prevent a huge disaster…

– Ice & Snow Build Up Causes Water Damage to Your Home

If you get ice damming at the gutter line, there is not much you can do until it melts, don’t go digging around trying to pry the ice out. You’ll do more damage to your gutters than if you’d left things alone. Some people put Ice Melt in nylon stockings and lay them in their gutters. Other people have electric coils in place. Do a little “Googling” and see what you can find.

Whatever you do, try to clean your gutters before mid-November. Don’t wait until ALL the leaves are down. It’s better to have ½ of the leaves cleaned out before that quick Midwest freeze, rather than not get to them at all.

In extremely cold weather, you can open up the sink cabinet doors and let the heat in. You should go around the house and flush all toilets and turn faucets on and off for a minute or so several times a day.

Very important — if you go out of town during the winter months, have someone check your home to make sure your heat has not gone out. Burst pipes cause extensive damage.

***Your homeowner insurance carrier often provides mailings and websites that show how to protect your home from loss. They are always your best source of prevention-so give them a call and check out their advice!

Contact McMahon Services & Construction for your Air Duct Cleaning Services, HVAC Cleaning Services, New Construction, Remodeling, and Renovation projects today!

We offer FREE estimates in our Chicago, Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Des Plaines, Evanston, Mount Prospect, Grayslake, Mundelein, Libertyville, Oak Park, Palatine, Wheaton, Naperville, Waukegan, Schaumburg, Skokie, and surrounding IL service areas.

FAQ: Carpet & Air Duct Cleaning

-Duct Cleaning or HVAC Cleaning

Q: What are the health benefits that come from HVAC system cleaning?

Ans: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems, or better known as HVAC systems, have been known to improve your overall indoor air quality due to removing the contaminants such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and other small particles of dust that circulate in your home or business. Removing these contaminants provide cleaner air for you and your family.

-Questions Carpet Cleaning

  • By scheduling yearly carpet cleanings, you are protecting your floor-covering investments.
  • Improve indoor air quality: carpeting is notorious for trapping airborne pollutants and the buildup of dust, dirt, debris, allergens, bacteria, dust mites, and bedbugs. These contaminants must be removed in order to keep your home’s air quality clean and pollutant free.
  • Most carpet soils, stains, and spots can be removed if attended to right away. Letting carpet stains and spots continue to remain embedded into carpeting could attract additional soiling.
  • Carpet Warranty: most carpet warranties call for cleanings every 12 to 18 months by a professional carpet cleaner using the extraction method.
  • Did you recently have remodeling project wrap up? We know that your contractor has taken all necessary precautions to leave no spec of dirt behind. But when all of the contractors leave and (literally) the dust settles, you’ll want to quickly clean up your carpets (and HVAC system) to remove any settled dust particles.


Where does mold come from?
Mold loves moisture/water. So, anywhere you have an increased level of moisture, you have the potential for mold.
Is mold dangerous to me or my family?
Certain people are more sensitive to the mold spores than others and can have a variety of reactions. Just like any other allergy, it is best to discuss any symptoms with your doctor.
What can I do to prevent mold?
Create a non-friendly environment for mold spores which would be low humidity.
What is an air scrubber?
An air scrubber is a machine that we set up while remediating your mold. It “scrubs” the mold spores out of the air.
What is a microbial treatment?
Microbial is a treatment designed to KILL mold and therefore we apply it to all affected areas.
Why do I need a certified Mold Inspector?

There are many different types of mold. The mold “inspector” tests the mold for type, he is licensed in this area. We “remediate,” as we are certified in this area, according to his evaluation.

Will it come back?
As long as the mold is remediated properly, and you have adequate ventilation and low moisture readings, the mold will not have the climate it needs to grow.