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Do You Have This Certain Type of Pipe? You May Be in for Unnecessary Sewer Cleanup

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

The plumber connects parts of the plastic water pipe using fittings, hands close-up. Do you have polybutylene pipes?

If the pipes in your commercial building were manufactured between 1978 and 1995, you may be in for some imminent sewer cleanup. Polybutylene pipes were used during that time period in place of copper pipes. They were less costly and easier to install. What's not to love? Well, there's a reason manufacture stopped in 1995. However, PB pipes are still commonly found in sewer systems that may lead right into your place of business.

Do You Have Polybutylene Pipes?

There are a few problems with this particular type of pipe:

  • They are chemically reactive, breaking down when exposed to common cleaning agents.
  • PB pipes can become brittle and crack over time.
  • This can lead to leaks, backing up the sewers.
  • These pipes are sometimes uninsurable.

To determine if you have PB pipes, you need to do a little digging. Leave the physical excavating to the experts, but if you can find a pipe coming out of the ground near your building's water heater, sink, or toilet, you can check for classic signs of a PB pipe. It will most likely be blue, black, or gray and one-half to 1 inch in diameter. These are good indicators that you have PB pipes in your sewer system.
However, there may be visible copper pipes and poly pipes hiding underground, closer to the water meter. If you don't want to go full-on detective mode on your pipes, it's OK to contact a sewer expert. Especially if there are any signs of sewer backup, such as a flooded toilet, it's advised to contact these professionals as soon as possible.

How Can You Prepare for Sewer Cleanup?
Preventing water damage from sewer backup issues starts with finding the right insurance coverage. It's harder, but not impossible, to cover PB pipes. Once you find adequate coverage, you will need to find trusted, insurance-preferred remediation experts in Portage Des Sioux, MO, to have on deck if and when disaster strikes. Even if you have this type of pipe, having a restoration plan makes for easier, cheaper sewer cleanup.

The Step Businesses Cannot Forget To Take Before a Storm Hits

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded office Flood damage in a St. Charles, MO office.

There's no way to predict the exact catastrophic loss that will occur after extreme weather. However, you can look at the historical data. Billions of dollars in the U.S. are spent yearly due to widespread damage from natural disasters. This gives an inside look into just how devastating a large-scale disaster can be. Particularly, if you run a commercial business with several franchises in a storm-prone area, it's best to be prepared.

Types of Damages That Occur

The Bureau of Economic Analysis defines catastrophic loss as any event that causes greater losses than usual. This can include hurricanes, flooding, extremely cold weather, tornadoes, wildfires, and more. Some of the aspects of commercial businesses most affected are:

  • Physical structures
  • Income sources
  • Depletion of goods
  • Employee health
  • Financial standing
  • Document destruction

This is just the beginning. Storm damage can cause long-lasting effects if not tended to promptly and properly.

Professionals That Mitigate Damages
While you can't predict the future, you can plan ahead for storm damage. There are structural and financial steps to take, but there is one crucial element of storm preparedness that cannot be overlooked. Get in touch with an insurance-preferred disaster recovery team that can respond quickly and efficiently if and when disaster strikes. SERVPRO sends many locations to a storm area to help rebuild faster. The best experts across the country are sent to the site, not just the local team in St. Charles, MO.

What You Should Avoid
While SERVPRO operates 24/7 and will get the experts to the affected area as quickly as possible, there are things that you can do to reduce damages in the meantime. You should avoid:

  • Any suspected water contamination
  • Operating electrical machines near water
  • Keeping affected food, even canned goods

You should wear protective clothing and shoes at all times and try to wipe up water from surfaces where you can safely do so. Watch for mold growth. Catastrophic loss is never pleasant, but it can be less devastating with the right plan in place.

3 Tips for Avoiding Mold Growth in Your Restaurant's Kitchen

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Food in containers inside a refrigerator Keep your food mold-free

3 Tips for Avoiding Mold Growth in Your Restaurant's Kitchen

Running a restaurant in Weldon Spring, MO, can be incredibly enjoyable, but there are some issues you might encounter. One to watch out for is mold growth in the kitchen, which is essential to avoid if you're selling food. If you're wondering how to prevent this, here are three tips for avoiding mold in your restaurant kitchen.


1. Watch Your Food
One of the main ways a restaurant can attract mold growth is through its food. If your food is damp and unprotected, it could begin to get fungal spores. This can eventually result in rotten supplies, so keeping a sharp eye on your ingredients is essential. If you do find fungus, throw out everything that has it. Although it may be tempting, don't save supplies by cutting away the moldy area. Here are some tips for keeping your food mold-free:

  • Get fresh supplies regularly
  • Keep storage areas clean
  • Inspect items that were near the mold
  • Focus on your fruits and vegetables

2. Avoid Humidity
Humidity is an almost sure creator of mold, so avoiding it is crucial. This is especially important if you live in a climate with high humidity or your store is outdoors. If you can get your levels between thirty and fifty percent indoors, you'll be fine. Otherwise, you might want to invest in some dehumidifiers.


3. Use Ventilation
Ventilation is crucial to reducing humidity. Essentially, it keeps humid air from remaining in place. It also prevents water damage from the accumulation of moisture. Therefore, you'll want to be sure that you have the right ventilation for your space. Even if you want to save money, don't get a small system if you have a large kitchen. Avoiding mold is worth the investment.
If you stay vigilant, you can protect yourself against major mold growth in your restaurant's kitchen. In the event that you find some, a mold remediation company can get rid of it.

The Dangers of Black Water

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Flood water in a home level of water reaches the stairs Flood damage to a home in O'Fallon, MO

Water is categorized into the colors white, grey, and black depending on the substances it contains or has been in contact with. Blackwater is the most dangerous and can cause the most water damage.

What is Black Water?

This category of water can contain:

  • Urine
  • Feces
  • Toilet paper
  • Toilet water
  • Pathogens
  • Cleansing water

It usually comes from toilets and is more commonly referred to as sewage. It is more dangerous than greywater, which usually comes from sinks and appliances, and white water, which is considered pure or clean.

What are the Dangers?
This water carries bacteria and other pathogens that can be harmful. You should avoid any contact with contaminated water. A flood of this category will likely result in more water damage because anything it touches should be considered contaminated. This means items such as carpet, rugs, curtains, and clothing must be disposed of or thoroughly cleaned by a professional. It is also more difficult to clean since using fans or heating systems to dry the area can spread potentially harmful pathogens. Like all flooding, it can also cause molding if it is not properly treated.

What Should You Do?
If you have any contaminated water in your home, you should contact an emergency restoration service in O'Fallon, MO, immediately. They will be able to remove the sewage, dry the area, repair structural damage, and treat the area to prevent molding. They may also be able to clean and restore any belongings that were damaged or contaminated in the flood.
You should not try to clean up the water on your own, as you may expose yourself to harmful substances. Professionals will have appropriate protective gear that allows them to clean it up safely.
Blackwater contains potentially harmful waste and microorganisms and can result in a high amount of contamination and water damage. Floods of this category should always be treated by a professional in O'Fallon, MO.

Steps To Follow When Fixing a Leaky Compression Faucet

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

drop of water coming out of a tap A leaking faucet is easy to fix if you follow these simple steps

A leaking faucet usually indicates that an internal part has worn out. The most common type of faucet is the compression faucet, which has two handles that are screwed into place. One handle is for cold water, the other for hot water.

Let's Take a Look At the Steps Involved In Fixing a Leaky Compression Faucet

1. Shut the Water Off
The pipes underneath your sink will have shut-off handles. Twist them clockwise to shut the water off.

2. Cover the Drain
If you have a sink plug, push it down to plug the sink. If you don't have one, cover the opening with a towel or clean rag. This will prevent any washers or screws from falling into the drain.


3. Remove the Handles and Nuts
Unscrew each handle of the leaking faucet, and pull straight up to remove. Using a wrench, remove both nuts.

4. Lift The Stem Out
The stem is visible once you remove the handles and nuts. Remove that and you will see the O-ring and seat washer.

5. Replace the Seat Washer or O-Ring

Seat washer - Typically made of rubber, a worn washer is the most likely reason for a dripping faucet. Unscrew the brass screw to release it.
O-ring - If the leak is coming from one of the handles rather than the faucet, the O-ring needs to be replaced.

Since washers and O-rings vary in size, it's a good idea to bring the old one along when you visit the hardware store. You should also grease the replacement parts with plumber's grease before attaching them.


6. Reconnect the Handles
After reassembling all the components, reconnect the handles. Hopefully, you will have a fixed leak. If not, it's time to call a plumber in  St. Peters, MO. If you discover water damage, you should call a water damage repair service right away.
A leaking faucet is easy to fix if you follow these simple steps.

Questions About the Cost of Fire and Smoke Remediation

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage

Questions About the Cost of Fire and Smoke Remediation

A commercial fire can cause a lot of damage to your business in St. Charles, MO. Not only will you have to deal with fire damage, but you will also have to deal with the damage resulting from extinguishing the flames. Thus, many people wonder how professional remediation companies come up with an estimate and what can impact the cost of restoration.


Does Space Matter?
While most companies do not charge you based on square footage, the size of your business matters. The larger the affected area is, the higher your estimate will be. Here are several other factors that can impact your cost:

  • Water damage remediation
  • Soot removal
  • Burnt material cleanup


Is Smoke Cleanup Extra?
The professionals can charge hundreds of dollars extra to clean smoke. This can go higher if the smoke has been sitting for a while.
Does the Method You Use Increase the Price?
Smoke damage can be cleaned up using thermal fogging or ozone treatment. Fogging is great if you need to remove smoke from fabrics. Ozone machines are also great at removing sources of odors. They cost about the same, so the method used should not significantly impact your cost.


Is Cigarette Smoke a Factor?
If the professionals have to deal with cigarette smoke, you are going to pay extra. This type of remediation is typically a few thousand dollars. If you have a smoking section in your business, be prepared to have a very high bill.


Will You Need to Replace Your Suppression System?
You will need to replace your fire suppression system after it activates. This will add a few hundred dollars to your bill. If you have a large business, you could be paying thousands for your sprinklers to be installed.
Restoring your business can cost a lot of money. This is especially true for larger companies. The best way to know if you are getting a fair price is to understand what goes into your estimate. This means reading up on some of the most common questions about remediation services.

Three Places to Find Water Supply Lines

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

man working under kitchen sink, woman behind him checking on his work Regularly check under sinks for water buildup

Three Places to Find Water Supply Lines

Water supply line damage can cause the construction materials of your home to become swollen, humid, and covered in mold. Supply lines are metal or plastic pipes that provide water to the plumbing fixtures in your home. These pipes become corroded with time and develop leaks. The common types of supply lines in St. Peters, MO, include:

  • Copper
  • Braided stainless steel
  • Plastic

Plastic supply lines include a 5-8 year warranty and metal supply lines come with a lifetime warranty. Before purchasing a new supply line, check to see if your warranty will cover a replacement. Supply lines should be fixed immediately to prevent water damage to your home. Here are three places to find water supply lines:

The Kitchen Sink and Dishwasher
The supply line providing water to your kitchen sink and dishwasher can become corroded due to frequent use. If you find swelling wood in the cabinets underneath your sink, you likely have a damaged supply line. Replace this right away to avoid having to purchase new cabinets.

The Washing Machine
The washing machine has both a water supply line and a draining pipe that connects to your home's plumbing system. You can find this on the wall near the washing machine. This type of supply line leak may be overlooked due to the location of the pipe behind the washer. Check this area frequently for leaks to prevent your walls from prolonged exposure to moisture.

The Toilet
A toilet's supply line connects to pipes behind the wall. This is one of the most frequently used bathroom fixtures and, though the porcelain toilet could last upwards of 40 years, the parts can become corroded with time and cause a bathroom leak. This is especially true of the supply line and shut-off valve.
Water supply line damage can lead to more expensive repairs if they are not promptly dealt with. If you have water damages from a worn-down water supply line, call a water damage restoration service to help renew and dehumidify your property.

4 Ways to Keep the Mold from Coming Back

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on the corner of a window Black mold damage in O'Fallon, MO

Make Sure Not To Do The Following Mistakes

Water damage and mold seem to go hand-in-hand. While the initial flood is relatively easy to resolve, the secondary mold damage that accompanies it might be more difficult to control. You've exhausted all of your treatment options, yet the mold just won't give up. Before you head back in to defend your O'Fallon, MO, home, make sure you're not guilty of the following common mistakes.

1. You Didn't Replace Your Water Damaged Possessions.
It can be difficult to get rid of your favorite items after they've fallen victim to mold damage. You might think that your favorite rug is clean after mold remediation, but there are probably still spores hiding in the material. As tough as it is, you're better off just replacing your items.

2. You Didn't Ventilate Your Home Properly During Remediation.
Any type of moisture can attract black mold, including moisture in the air. Next time you head in to tackle the problem, make sure you open your windows and doors to let the moisture escape. It's also a good idea to invest in some floor fans to aid with air circulation or a dehumidifier that can discourage mold growth.

3. You Didn't Remediate the Initial Damage.
If your mold problem is a result of water damage, then you have to make sure you resolve the initial problem before you engage in mold prevention. Make sure to completely clear out and dry any standing water, as well as identify and fix the source of the damage.

4. You Didn't Use the Correct Cleaning Products.
It's natural to immediately reach for the bleach when you discover a mold issue. Unfortunately, bleach doesn't actually kill the mold; it only changes the color so you can no longer see it. Instead, try mixing your own non-toxic cleaning solution using equal parts white vinegar and water.
Don't allow black mold to take up continued residence in your home. Contact mold remediation experts for assistance dealing with any persistent mold issues caused by water damage.

The Significance of Mold Containment

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Mold remediation services

The Significance of Mold Containment

When commercial property owners in Weldon Spring, MO, find fungus growing on structures, it's imperative they begin sanitizing the area as soon as possible. Quick, do-it-yourself procedures, though, are problematic as they often leave behind spores that can breed over time. In addition, spores move easily from what area to the next. Mold cleanup, then, mandates not just disinfection, but an understanding of how to reduce reproduction and spread. A mold remediation company has the knowledge and skills to appropriately tackle and contain the situation.


How Does Mold Grow and Travel?
It's not unusual for a building to have mold spores. The organisms are a part of nature, existing outdoors as decomposers. They can move about in several ways. They enter in people's attire as well as through the airway. When the microbes meet up with dampness and organic matter, they begin to multiply. At that point, they reproduce quickly, causing issues within only a day or two. Their tiny, invisible nature and easy ability to migrate means that they can move from space to space.


How Is Mold Isolated?
Mold cleanup procedures seek to reduce the risk of proliferation. This means eliminating wetness, restricting access, and preventing air circulation. After the initial source is fixed, professionals should complete the following steps:

  • Turn off the air condition
  • Dry puddles
  • Run dehumidifiers
  • Use negative air chambers
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Block off the entrances and exits


These actions prohibit organisms from interacting with materials in other locations as well as continuing to grow within the affected section.


How Is Mold Contamination Financially Important?
When early stages do not focus on minimizing fungus, the situation can get out of hand. The cost of repairs may be more as additional work gets completed. The restoration, at that point, might mean further tear-outs and more technology.
Early intervention is key. Mold cleanup isn't just removing sports from a wall. It's a meticulous operation that begins with stifling spores.

What Is A Certified Water Damage Specialist?

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Rental car office damaged by water, hose on the floor Commercial water damage experts

As a business owner in St. Charles, MO, you can appreciate the value of working with people who are experts in their respective fields. Often, working with an expert will save you time and money by eliminating the guesswork from technicians who have less experience and training. If the need ever arises for water cleanup at your property, it’s a good idea to seek out a certified water damage specialist.

Outstanding Qualifications

IICRC certified specialists in water damage restoration are trained to utilize the latest technology and best practices according to industry standards, and tailor them to your specific location and situation. They must undergo rigorous testing to be certified, and maintain their certification by enrolling in continuing education courses. These specialists are also sought out and employed by companies that value certification and have extremely high standards of quality and service.

Commercial Drying Specialist (CDS)
An additional certification a water damage specialist can receive is as a Commercial Drying Specialist, or CDS. These technicians are trained specifically in the commercial water remediation process, with knowledge of the electrical, mechanical, structural, and chemical components that are unique to commercial properties. Besides the initial water cleanup, the most important step of the process is ensuring everything in the space is thoroughly dry, so there aren’t problems later with mold, mildew, or rot. Having a CDS handle this step will give you peace of mind everything is done properly.

Water Detection Expert
Often the source of the flooding is obvious - a broken pipe, for example - but sometimes it’s less apparent. Certified specialists have extensive experience in knowing what to look for and where to find it. They will use infrared cameras to detect leaks or trapped water hidden behind walls, as well as moisture meters and other equipment to make absolutely sure there is no residual water or moisture after everything has been cleaned up.

If you experience flooding in your commercial space, you must act quickly to avoid loss and costly water damage, so don’t wait. Hiring someone who’s an expert at what they do will help you get back to doing what you do best.