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Three Crucial Steps in Removing Water From Your Flooded Basement

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Three Crucial Steps in Removing Water From Your Flooded Basement Cleaning your gutters can prevent future water problems in your home

How to Stay Safe While Removing Water from Your Flooded Basement

Anyone that owns a home with a basement knows the fear the very thought of a foot of standing water reaching across the floor below ground can send up the spine. A basement flood is more than a nuisance; it can be a costly destructive force that destroys Christmas decorations, stored antiques, and even precious pictures and journals. The flood water can also seep into the structure of your home and weaken the foundation. No matter how the water got into your basement, you need to remove it as quickly as possible; however, to stay safe while doing so, there are three crucial steps to follow.

Stay out of the water.

The flooded basement can be an electrocution hazard, so stay out of the water. Call in a water removal and restoration team to get the liquid safely out as quickly as possible and while you are waiting for the team’s arrival, turn off the utilities to the area. If you must enter the water, wear rubber boots at least six inches higher than the water’s level and move very carefully with each step.

Know what to throw away.

Floodwaters are often filled with bacteria, fecal matter, and other chemicals that can damage your home and any items soaked by the liquid. Electronics, appliances, stored porous items, and water-soaked walls and floors resulting from a basement flood are probably damaged beyond repair. Make sure to itemize everything you throw away so you can apply for insurance coverage of each piece.

Prevent future water problems.

Floods are not always preventable. However, there are things you can do to help protect your home. Cleaning gutters, sealing foundation cracks, installing rubber water barriers, and sloping the ground around your house can help prevent future floods. Nothing is fool proof, but each of these steps can help.

A basement flood in Weldon Spring,MO, can be costly and cause serious damage to your home. When a flood does occur, use these three crucial steps when removing the water.

Where To Look for Mold in Your Home

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Where To Look for Mold in Your Home What are mold and mildew

If you know where to look for mold, you can stop mold damage before it gets too serious. In O'Fallon,MO, this is an important issue for any homeowner. Mold can be predictable, so it’s a good idea to educate yourself about how mold works in order to stay on top of it.

What Are Mold and Mildew?

Mold is a type of fungus that can cause structural damage to your home. It reproduces via microscopic airborne spores, so it can only be seen once it begins growing as a colony. Mold growth has a fuzzy appearance due to multicellular filaments known as hyphae and can present in a variety of colors, such as black, brown, blue, green, yellow, pink and white. It emits a distinct musky odor. Mildew growth is a specific type of mold that appears chalky rather than fuzzy and is usually white or gray. It does not cause as much damage as mold.

Where Does Mold Like To Hang Out?

Since moisture facilitates mold, it is best to identify any sources of this in your home, such as leaky pipes. Mold likes to feed on organic material, such as drywall, paper, wood and fibers that have been exposed to water. You should routinely inspect the following places for mold damage.

  • Basement
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Area near HVAC
  • Anywhere that appears damp

What Should You Do When You Find It?

If you locate evidence of damage from mold in your inspections, the first thing you should do is have the problem assessed by professionals. They can recommend how to move forward via a mold remediation process. Mold can never be totally removed because it is a natural component of the air around you, but it can be managed to stay within appropriate levels. You should not attempt to remove mold on your own.

Knowing where to expect mold in your home is an important first step in preventing mold damage. Remember, mold loves moisture.

How To Prepare a Fire Escape Plan

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Prepare a Fire Escape Plan Once you have a plan, it’s often helpful to practice it frequently

A Fire Escape Plan Can Help Keep You Safe

Many homes in St. Peters,MO, sustain fire damage every year. Although no one wants to think that a fire could occur in their home, having a fire escape plan can help keep you safe in case a fire starts in your home.

1. Map Out Routes of Escape

One of the first steps in making an emergency escape plan is to map out the best ways to leave your home during a fire. It can be useful to consider how you would escape from any room in your home since you may not be in your bedroom when a fire occurs. Additionally, it’s also often helpful to know multiple ways to escape each room since a fire could cut off access to some parts of your home.

2. Have the Proper Equipment

Ladders, fire blankets, smoke detectors and extinguishers can all be life-saving tools during a fire. When escaping a fire, it can be important to have access to the tools that may be helpful to you. As you make your fire escape plan, it can be helpful to make sure you have the appropriate equipment and tools located in various areas throughout the home in case you are unable to access certain areas in your home due to a fire.

3. Practice Your Plan

Once you have a plan, it’s often helpful to practice it frequently. When you practice, it’s often important to act as you would in a real fire, which means that your focus should be on exiting the home quickly and safely. Don’t bring your belongings with you; in the event of a real fire, fire restoration professionals can restore your home, but it’s important that you get out quickly. Each time you practice, you will likely feel more at ease with your plan.

By having a fire escape plan, you can feel confident in your ability to react to a disaster. In order to create a plan, it’s often helpful to map out routes of escape, have access to important equipment and to frequently practice your emergency escape plan.

3 Household Problems Caused by Winter Storms

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Household Problems Caused by Winter Storms Ceiling damage due to roof leak in St. Peters, MO

Three Winter Dangers That May Happen To Your Storm

Children view a winter storm in St. Peters,MO, as a break from school and a chance to build a snowman. Homeowners see a blizzard as shoveling and potential disasters. Be aware of the following three winter dangers that may happen to your home.

1. Roof Damage

During a blizzard snow has the potential to become very heavy, especially when it accumulates quickly. Buildup of snowfall on trees may cause branches to break and crash into roofing. A mere inch of wet snow gathered on your roof weighs in at 20 pounds per square foot, so an epic winter storm may incite a roof collapse. Be sure to consider your safety first, if your roof is compromised it is wise to leave the house immediately.

2. Flooding

As if a roof collapse isn’t bad enough, snow in the house melts. A lot of snow means a lot of water. Flooding damages the house structure, such as drywall and flooring. It also has the potential to damage your personal property if not dealt with immediately. When flooding is suspected, it is a good idea to contact a water restoration specialist as soon as possible to mitigate and prevent further damage to your home.

3. Fire

Unfortunately cold, wet weather does not always preclude fire from damaging your home. Storm winds may cause electrical problems or lightning may strike. Use good sense not to leave candles unattended and practice space heater safety. If a fire occurs, relocate to safety and call for help. Oftentimes both fire and water damage from firefighting efforts need to be addressed by a restoration professional after the fire.

When a winter storm strikes in St. Peters,MO, be knowledgeable about potential hazards and what to do if one occurs. Once you are prepared for the worst, expect the best. Relax, enjoy a hot drink and build a snowman with your family.

How To Estimate Fire Damage

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How To Estimate Fire Damage Fire damage restoration in an O'Fallon, MO, home

The cost of fire damage restoration can range from a few thousand dollars all the way up to $20,000 or more. Read on to learn more about how restoration professionals estimate the cost of a commercial fire.

Calculate Cleaning, Repair, and Replacement Costs

Restoration costs are determined by the extent of the damage. Many commercial properties have fire suppression systems that limit the amount of damage. Expenses will increase depending on several factors.

  • The amount of damaged building materials and contents
  • Materials or contents that can be cleaned
  • Materials or contents that must be replaced

Some expense is involved in any restoration strategy. Professionals can ensure that mitigation measures are performed in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Get an Estimate From a Restoration Company

A restoration company will assess damage and calculate a price for an insurance adjuster based on a variety of criteria:

  • The extent of a rebuild
  • The cost of cleaning or replacing materials and contents
  • The duration of the restoration process

After professionals provide an estimate of the damage, property owners should have a clearer sense of the cost of restoration.

Check Your Insurance Policy

A commercial property insurance policy should cover all damage caused by a fire. The policyholder is responsible for paying the deductible. An adjuster will need to perform several tasks:

  • Determining the cause of the fire
  • Confirming damage reported by the owner or restoration service
  • Processing the claim

Policyholders should familiarize themselves with the terms and limits of commercial property insurance coverage. The cost of a policy may go up after a fire.

The overall cost of a fire is determined by the extent of the damage, the types of restoration required, and the level of insurance coverage. After a fire at a commercial building in O'Fallon,MO, the property owner should call his or her insurance provider and schedule a consultation with a fire damage mitigation and restoration company to obtain an estimate and begin the rebuilding process.

What To Expect When Rebuilding After a Commercial Fire

5/14/2019 (Permalink)

There is a lot to consider when a fire breaks out at your business in St. Charles City, and you are figuring out the process of rebuilding. A good first step is to get an estimate from a reputable fire restoration company. A full-service company will make several considerations when they send contractors to your property to make a bid.

Secondary Damage

When a commercial fire has caused damage to your property, the first job the contractors will do is prevent secondary damage. This will likely start with boarding up the doors, windows, and damaged walls to prevent intrusion, theft, or wandering critters. If there is damage to the roof, then a temporary roof tarp can be put in place to prevent further destruction from weather. If there is concern about theft in the area, then a surveillance system may be installed or a security guard may be dispatched to the property.

Removal Services

Before the restoration process can begin, there needs to be a good cleanup of the property. If the fire department was dispatched to the property, the logical first step is to clean out any remaining water and then estimate the level of water damage. The contractors can then assess how much smoke damage and fire odor is left behind and what procedures are needed to correct the problem. Any unsalvageable debris will most likely be removed, which can help eradicate a lot of the smoke smell.

Restoration of Salvageable Materials

Any items or materials that can be saved will likely be packed up and sent to cleaning facilities in order to remove any smoke or fire damage. The rest of the items can then be moved to storage facilities for the duration of the restoration process.

Calling a fire restoration company to provide an estimate is a smart first step when your business suffers a fire. The contractors can provide a good accounting for how much it will cost to fix your property and work with your insurance company to make sure you have the best experience getting back into business.

Safety First When Dealing With a Basement Flood

5/14/2019 (Permalink)

Too many homeowners regularly deal with flooded basements after heavy rainfall and during the spring thaw. What can you do when this disaster strikes your own home? Take a look at the following steps for how to safely resolve a basement flood in St. Charles City, Illinois by addressing:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Insurance requirements

Avoid Electrocution

One of the first things you need to understand is that there's more than water damage to worry about. As soon as even an inch of water has collected in the basement, you need to address the danger of electrocution and the possibility of gas problems. If you have a service panel, a water heater, or other major appliances in the basement, there is a serious risk of electrocution. If the level of water is higher than the electrical outlets, do not go into the area. Instead, call the fire department for the safe removal of much of the water.

If the water level is low, begin by shutting off the power to the basement. If the breakers or circuits are in the basement, put down a wood or plastic step stool, so you don't touch the water. Keep all appliance cords out of the water and wear rubber boots while working in the flooded area.

Prevent Gas Leaks

Contact your gas company and get specific instructions from them for dealing with flooded gas appliances. There should be a gas shutoff on the outside of your home.

Contact the Insurance Company

Find out what type of insurance coverage you have and whether your insurance company has any requirements. For example, you may need to provide photographic proof of the flooding, or the insurance company may require you to work with specific flood remediation companies. Even if you intend to handle much of the work yourself, you need to know what your insurance company expects.

After making sure that electricity, gas, and insurance requirements have been satisfied, you can move forward with removing water and addressing damages caused by the basement flood. Remember you won't get much done if you, friends, or family members are injured before you even get started.

4 Tips for Traveling During Storm Season

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 4 Tips for Traveling During Storm Season Traveling during storm season can become disastrous, do you know how to prepare for the unknown?

Storms can happen any time in St. Charles City. Heavy rains and strong winds can cause damage to your home, but they can also affect your ability to travel. While a storm remediation service cannot help fix your travel plans, it can help repair any damage done to your home. If you want to travel, however, you can remember these four tips to help you avoid a canceled flight and have the best trip possible.
Have a Backup Plan

Planning a trip during storm season can be risky, but you don't always have a choice. If you must fly when bad weather is likely, try to have a backup plan ready. This could include buying a travel insurance plan to help you reserve a new seat if your original flight is canceled. You may also want to consider having alternate travel dates in mind just in case.

Get to the Airport on Time

Even if you get an email telling you your flight has been delayed, you may still want to get to the airport in time for the original flight departure. The weather may clear up, which could allow the flight time to be moved back up. If you end up with a canceled flight, you are already at the airport to figure out a new travel plan.

Know Who To Call

Before you get to the airport, you may want to find out who you would have to call should your flight get canceled. Calling the airline directly can help you figure out a new flight if yours gets canceled. You may be told to go to the airline desk, but that will leave you waiting in line for who knows how long.

Pack Light

A canceled flight could require you to quickly change your travel plans. If you have to check bags, there's a chance you may lose some of your luggage in the shuffle. Keeping everything in carry-on bags ensures you can keep track of all of your belongings.

Traveling any time can be stressful. Keeping these storm tips in mind can help you have a great trip.

Securing Your Building Post-Fire

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Is your St. Charles City, commercial property suffering after a fire? If you are planning on seeking help from a local fire damage restoration company, you are already on the right track. But you also need to keep your building safe in the meantime. Follow these three steps to make sure looting does not affect your business in the aftermath of a commercial fire.

Identify and Secure Open Spaces

Survey your building very carefully when beginning your fire cleanup efforts. Ensure that all windows, doors and other open spaces are securely locked. Next, make sure that you purchase some sturdy boards that will be sufficiently protective for the type of opening that you are securing. The length of time you expect the boards to be in place should also influence what type of covering you buy.

Research Further Options

While waiting to repair fire damage to your building, you may want to invest in some fencing for added security. This really depends on whether or not you feel that your building is in an area prone to heavy looting, as well as the amount of time you expect your business to be shut down for.

Consider Advanced Security Options

If you feel that your company’s geographical area is highly unsafe or expect you will be closed for a very long time, security services or a high-tech alarm may be the way to go. These options allow your building to be secured when you are not physically available to keep a close watch.

Don’t Get Intimidated

Fire damage is stressful enough without worrying about highly customizable security options. You need to focus on fixing any destruction first and foremost, so if you think complicated security measures are out of the question logistically or financially, stick with basic, reliable boards that will keep your St. Charles City business protected not only from criminal activity, but also the unpredictable natural elements.

Is Dry Flood Proofing an Option for Your Business?

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

Protecting your building from flood damage is a crucial step in avoiding losses during natural disasters or trouble with plumbing systems. Around the country, the risk of flooding is increasing for business owners. There are a few options you can take to keep your St. Charles, MO, business safe from losses:

1. Build on or move to higher ground.
2. Create barriers around commercial structures.
3. Dry flood proof your properties.

Possible Roadblocks

Many business owners, especially of smaller operations, don't have the option of moving their property or setting up from scratch. It may also be difficult to get permission to build new structures if the business front is rented or if the community has specific requirements for new construction. In many cases, dry flood proofing is the most cost-effective route for reducing losses and damage from flooding.

A Proven Strategy

What is dry flood proofing? This strategy for protecting buildings from storm damage involves the use of seals and pumps for a water tight perimeter. The use of barriers is also a component. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses this protective method. As a business owner, you may want to consider the value of this strategy for your own company.

Decision Factors

Guarding against flood damage with dry proofing is a smart move. As you consider the costs and benefits of this solution, there are several factors to take into account:

  • Benefit-cost ratio involving factors such as insurance rates and business financing
  • Current and future use of buildings and the potential for business disruption
  • The safety of occupants on your property, including employees and customers
  • Existing flood emergency operation plans

Flood damage restoration professionals can often offer information about your specific community. If a dry flood proofing plan isn't right for your business, consider an alternate emergency operational plan. While working through these steps, schedule routine inspections and ongoing maintenance. Work closely with water damage and remediation experts in your area.