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The Necessary Relationship Between Insurance Claims and Disaster Response

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO The Necessary Relationship Between Insurance Claims and Disaster Response SERVPRO provides board up and tarping services

Insurance Claims and Disaster Response

Insurance claim services require many things from homeowners as far as paperwork and proof of damage, but not every owner is prepared to provide these details and may even struggle to focus after experiencing a disaster. Therefore, it can be up to an insurance agent to guide clients through the process by making suggestions as to what comes next. One of the most significant suggestions you can make to a distraught client is that of a disaster restoration specialist in the St. Peters,MO, area, like SERVPRO. These companies will help to guide your client through the process while simultaneously making the claims process easier for you.

1. Reducing the Risk of Claims Denial

A potential misstep for clients without guidance is a lack of an emergency response regarding mitigation practices. The proper care of the damaged property is pivotal to claims approval. If a client fails to prevent further damage, then they put the whole restoration project in jeopardy. Therefore, you should share the importance of board-up and tarping services provided by restoration companies.

2. Helping to Uncover Hidden Damage

Another vital aspect of the claim services process is the proof of loss statement. This statement provides a record of all lost and damaged insured items. Restoration companies can help with this process by thoroughly cleaning the residence, making sure that all damage is visible and brought to the homeowner’s attention.

3. Performing the Restoration

Once you have filed a claim on behalf of your client and the funding is approved, the restoration work can begin. This is an exciting time for most clients as they start to see the reality that their home will be their home again.

The claim services process is difficult and time-consuming, but when that process is combined with devastated clients, it becomes that much more trying. During these difficult times, it is your job to help nudge clients in the right direction and toward competent specialists who will help both you and the client get through.

3 Ways Engineers Can Prevent Flooding in Urban Areas

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 3 Ways Engineers Can Prevent Flooding in Urban Areas It is important that cities develop ways to stop flooding in order to protect its citizens

3 Ways Engineers Can Prevent Flooding In Urban Areas

Many cities throughout the world are aware of how devastating the damage caused by flooding can be. Whether they are located near large bodies of water or experience heavy rain on a consistent basis, there are several flood prevention methods engineers have used to protect the entire city. If your business in St. Charles, MO has seen its fair share of damage caused by high water and is only back in business due to the work of skilled storm damage restoration specialists, you might be wondering what tactics are actually effective at preventing floods. Here are three ways engineers have used to help prevent flooding in urban areas around the world.

1. Water Barriers

Many countries use various types of technologically advanced water barriers to stop high water in its tracks. Water gates, dams, storm surge barriers, and dikes are all methods used to keep the ocean from flooding the nearby city. Various advancements like aqua-drive motors and movable gates are increasingly efficient at stopping floods in their tracks.

2. Enhanced Drainage Systems

Since typical rigid draining systems are unable to deal with a large amount of water runoff or rainfall, one way to address urban flooding is to enhance these draining systems and make them more flexible. Some cities have even adopted sustainable drainage options by replacing impermeable surfaces like concrete with soil and plant life.

3. Constructing Flood-Proof Businesses

Cities who experience frequent high water issues and flooding have begun to rethink how they construct buildings. From constructing buildings far above flood levels to using materials that are designed to withstand contact with water for long periods of time, there are ways to help businesses and homes better withstand the damage flooding causes.

It is important that cities develop ways to stop flooding in order to protect its citizens and allow growth within the city. While there are many unique ways cities have battled flooding around the world, these three methods are a good place to start!

How To Choose and Use a Fire Extinguisher for Your Home

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Choose and Use a Fire Extinguisher for Your Home Fire extinguishers are a vital element of home and family safety

You hope you never have to face a fire in your home, but taking appropriate precautions is an important way to prepare for emergencies. One of the first things you should do, in addition to installing appropriate fire and smoke alarms, is to put a fire extinguisher in the kitchen,

Types and Classes of Extinguishers

The first step is to identify the appropriate type of extinguisher. There are several options available. These include:

  • Water
  • Water Mist
  • AFFF Foam
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • ABC Powder
  • Wet Chemical

It's important to understand which of these is best for your home. Look at the class designations to make this decision, for example water and foam fire extinguishers are only appropriate for class A fires. 

  • Class A: solid combustible materials, such as paper, coal, and wood
  • Class B: flammable liquids, such as paints, alcohol, and paraffin
  • Class C: combustion gases, such as propane, methane, and natural gas
  • Class D: flammable metals, such as aluminum, sodium, and potassium
  • Class K: combustible cooking materials, such as fats and grease
  • Electrical: electrical appliances, such as stereos and fuse boxes

Why the Correct Choice Matters

Using the correct extinguisher is vital. For example, if you were to use a water mist extinguisher on a Class F fire, the water may send drops of burning oil or grease around the room, causing fire damage and injuries to your family members. The extinguishers recommended for homes are Class ABC with higher classification numbers, such as a 3-A:40-B:C unit.

How To Use an Extinguisher

Once you've chosen your extinguisher, follow the PASS sequence to put out flames before fire damage becomes too severe.

  • PULL the pin.
  • Aim at the base of the fire.
  • SQUEEZE the lever or button about the handle.
  • SWEEP from side to side.

If you already have extinguishers in your home, check the date. Even if you haven't used the devices, they may lose pressure or effectiveness if they are too old. 

Keep Your Home and Family Safe

Fire extinguishers are a vital element of home and family safety. If you're not sure where to keep the safety devices or how many you need for your home, contact fire remediation professionals in St. Charles, MO.

4 Reasons DIY Mold Test Kits Tend To Be Ineffective

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 4 Reasons DIY Mold Test Kits Tend To Be Ineffective Contact a certified professional who can evaluate your home fungal infestation

4 Reasons DIY Mold Test Kits Tend To Be Ineffective

If you’re concerned about possible mold contamination inside your Weldon Spring, MO, home, purchasing a mold kit may seem like a good idea. To obtain a more accurate assessment, however, many industry professionals argue that mold testing should be completed by a certified specialist. To support their argument, they often list several reasons why home test kits tend to be ineffective.

1. Prevalence of Fungus in the Environment

Because the fungus exists throughout the environment, it’s likely to grow on every DIY mold evaluation sample. While seeing growth on the collection plate may alarm you, it does not necessarily mean that your home has a serious problem requiring extensive mold remediation.

2. Importance of a Visual Inspection

Because it enables you to identify the exact source of contamination, many professionals argue that a thorough visual inspection is a key component of mold testing. Home test kits do not assist with this task. Certified experts are knowledgeable about fungal behavior and often have access to specialized equipment that can help them detect moisture issues and efficiently diagnose the problem.

3. Lack of Expiration Dates

A mold kit usually contains a sterile collection plate. Unfortunately, many units do not contain an expiration date. As a result, it’s often impossible to tell when it was sealed and how long it has been sitting on the shelf. This can be problematic because over time numerous environmental factors, such as temperature variations and exposure to moisture, can compromise the integrity of the sterile collection surface.

4. Lab Integrity

Unless specifically stated, your sample may not be analyzed by an accredited lab. Proper certification can be important because it implies that an organization follows established standards during the testing process, which helps ensure accurate results.

Mold testing can be a useful means of identifying contaminants, but DIY testing kits often provide inconclusive results. For this reason, it’s usually best to consult a certified professional who can help you properly evaluate your home for fungal infestation.

Prevent Water Damage While You Are Away

1/19/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Prevent Water Damage While You Are Away Broken pipe in St. Peters, MO

Have you ever traveled for an extended period of time and wondered what was going on in your home in St. Peters,MO? In order to prevent the necessity of water pipe repair, it is important to properly monitor your home while you are away.

Steps To Prevent Water Damage

In order to prevent water damage from a broken pipe while away from your home, here is a list of things you can do to prevent coming home to a house that is flooded.

  • Make sure that your heat is on to prevent pipes from freezing while you are away.
  • Have someone check on your home while you are gone or utilize a digital home monitoring system that can be viewed using your smart devices.
  • Check all the pipes in your water system and heating system before departing to make sure there are no cracks.
  • Ensure that your heating system is working correctly, that all necessary repairs have taken place and that the oil tank is filled if your home is heated by oil.
  • Look at the connections to your appliances to determine they are secure and there is no chance of a leak occurring.

It is important to take the necessary steps to prevent a leak and do your best to ensure that water pipe repair is not needed when you return home.

What if Water Damage Occurs?

Even with all the preventative measures, there is no guarantee that you will not come home to a broken pipe or some sort of water damage. If something has flooded while you were away, it is important to take the proper steps to dry your home and personal property. Shut off the main water valve if the leak has occurred in a pipe in order to prevent further damage. If the amount of water damage is severe, a professional water mitigation company can help to restore your home and prevent future issues.

Sitting water can be harmful to your health and home. Prevent it if you can, and don’t be afraid to ask for help with water pipe repair when it is necessary.

The Riddle of Water Damage After a Fire

1/12/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial The Riddle of Water Damage After a Fire Water damage after a fire in St. Charles, MO

Water Damage After a Fire

The flames billow during a fire in St. Charles,MO, and nothing is more welcome that the fire fighting crew with the pressurized water hoses and chemical retardants being sprayed onto the roof of your commercial building. As the flames die down, an inspector can then inform you the building is safe to reenter. That is when you notice the fire damage and water - so much water. How can you begin to deal with all that unexpected water? Try these three steps.

1. Contact a Professional

Fire and smoke restoration professionals can quickly begin work on removing the water from your building once the fire marshal, inspector or deputy allow entrance. By beginning the cleanup process as quickly as possible, future mold and mildew problems can often be alleviated.

2. Look for Water

An average fire hose can supply up to 24 gallons of water a minute when fighting a fire. That means that in 30 minutes, the hose is shooting out enough water to fill an average swimming pool with about 18 inches of water. Along with fire damage, water pressure often breaks windows, tears through doors, and enters ceiling holes. Water may find its way into unexpected places such as inside electronics, under wooden floors, and inside walls. Looking for water damage in hidden places can save time and money.

3. Create Air Flow

After removing as many of the porous items from the water as possible, and once the professional team has removed the majority of the liquid, create a method of air circulation and ventilation. Your fire restoration team may offer industrial blowers, dehumidifiers and air moving fans, but if they do not, it is still important to get the air moving to remove excess moisture from the building. This can help prevent mold and mildew, warping floors, and bulging walls.

Fire damage often includes hundreds of gallons of water. Knowing what the possible scenario is in the aftermath of a fire can help you be prepared for the unexpected. Too much water can be a bad thing, especially when it is on the floor of your commercial property.

How To Identify Category 3 Water Damage

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Identify Category 3 Water Damage Flooding caused by rain in St. Charles, MO

Category 3 water is highly contaminated. Insurance companies and restoration experts use this categorization to describe water that may contain chemicals, pathogens, and solid waste. This category of water calls for sewage cleanup. Learn how to identify black water and clean up this type of damage.

Identify the Source

The third category of water damage differs from the first two categories in terms of its origin. Category 1 water is clean, treated, and comes from a supply pipe. Category 2 water is contaminated, but does not contain solid waste. Category 3 water is a result of:

  • Flooding caused by rain or rising bodies of water
  • Sewer backups
  • Water left standing for long periods of time

If water in a residence comes from any of these sources, it is very likely contaminated. Cleanup methods will depend on the amount of solids present.

Determine the Consistency

The fastest way to eliminate standing water is to use a pump. Some pumps can extract solid waste in addition to water. Homeowners will probably need to rent a pump or hire a water damage cleanup company. Solids in this category of water may include:

  • Mud
  • Sediment
  • Sewage

It is necessary to remove all standing water and solids. Homeowners or cleanup professionals should wear personal protective equipment when dealing with contaminated water.

Clean and Disinfect

In addition to cleaning, it is also necessary to disinfect areas exposed to black water. Mitigation professionals often perform several phases of cleanup, including:

  • A disinfecting pre-treatment
  • Tearing out
  • Cleaning
  • Disinfecting

Carpet and drywall should be torn out and replaced, as it is difficult to completely disinfect porous materials. Professionals can recommend the best approach to cleaning and restoration.

Homeowners should hire a sewage cleanup company to remove black water from a residence in St. Charles,MO. Quickly completing the mitigation process may limit primary damage and reduce the risk of mold.

4 Ways To Keep Your Pet Safe During and After a Home Fire

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 4 Ways To Keep Your Pet Safe During and After a Home Fire Remember to include your pet in your evacuation plan

Four Ways to Protect Your Pet During a Fire Emergency

No homeowner wants to go through a home fire. While you can likely replace or repair damaged belongings, you can’t bring pets back to life. Here are four ways to protect your pets during a fire emergency.

1. Develop a Pet-Evacuation Plan

Like most pet owners, you consider your cats and dogs to be part of the family. As such, you need to include your pets in your evacuation plan. First, find out where your pets prefer to hide. Often, pets seek refuge in these places during emergency situations. Also, if you can do so safely, try to carry pets with you when you evacuate. Don’t forget to collar and leash them, though, as you may be away from the safety of an indoor space for hours.

2. Keep Pet Records in an Accessible Place

Fires can be unbelievably destructive. While you may primarily worry about vital and financial documents, you can’t forget about pet records. When you are planning for a fire emergency, store veterinary and other information in a fire-safe box. Then, locate the box in a place where you or a fire-restoration specialist can easily find it.

3. Locate a Safe Spot

As you may know, not all emergency shelters welcome pets. Therefore, your pet preparation must identify a safe spot where your furry friends can stay temporarily after a fire. If your strategy includes staying with family members or friends, confirm that no one has pet allergies.

4. Prevent Pets From Starting Fires

Pets are often responsible for starting fires in St. Peters,MO. While you must have a plan for keeping your pets safe during a fire, you can decrease your chances of having a home fire by keeping open flames away from wagging tails. Additionally, hide wires to discourage your pets from chewing through them.

Ensuring pet safety during a fire requires a bit of preparation. With some effort, though, you can be certain your pets will survive a fire emergency.

Troubleshooting Commercial Irrigation Sprinklers

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Troubleshooting Commercial Irrigation Sprinklers A broken sprinkler head could cost you thousands in your Wentzville, MO commercial building

Broken sprinklers in a commercial irrigation system are a consistent problem in Wentzville,MO. All systems should be checked for irrigation problems and repaired regularly; otherwise, flooding and property damage can be caused by faulty devices.

Find the Problems

The whole irrigated area should be inspected for bad plumbing. After determining the location of the system’s sprinklers, look for the following:

  • Sprinklers that spray incorrectly. Straight up, sideways, or just a trickle – you’ll likely know an abnormal spray when you see it.
  • Heads that don’t pop up when the water comes on. These may spray or they may not.
  • Puddles. If water is pooling on the property, it is likely that too much water is getting to that spot.
  • Visually damaged heads. They can be cracked or even broken off completely.

Sprinkler heads are always at the mercy of the weather, animals and even vehicles. When they are not installed at the right depth, they can sit up higher than they were designed to and become especially vulnerable. Luckily, they are often cheap and can be replaced easily.

Replace Broken or Damaged Pieces

Probably the hardest work involved in replacing a sprinkler head in an irrigation system is making sure to purchase the correct one, which isn’t hard if you take an old one to the hardware store with you. Beyond that, it’s super-simple:

  • Dig up the old head. Don’t get your biggest shovel and put all your weight into it. There are other parts that can break down there.
  • Twist off the old one. This will detach it from the riser below.
  • Twist on the new one. This will attach it to the riser below.

It’s really that easy. Remember that you will be working in a muddy hole, and cleanup may be needed before the new sprinkler head can twist on.

An irrigation system can do great things, but it can also cause property damage. Keeping a close eye on your system is a worthwhile task and usually not very complicated. Regular inspections and inexpensive repairs can often help avoid the need for water damage repair.

What Water Damage Can Do To Your Home or Business:

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What Water Damage Can Do To Your Home or Business: Common Water Damage

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of St Charles City and County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of St Charles City and County  arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 SERVPRO of St Charles City and County 636-926-0033

Here is a Typical Timeline for Water Damage

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

 More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of St Charles City and County 

SERVPRO of St Charles City and County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.