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3 Helpful Tips for Preventing Water Damage in a Storm

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Inflatable Rubber Dam flat. One protective strategy is setting up flood-prevention equipment

Tips For Preventing Water Damage In Your Property

Even storms that don't come with severe winds and hail can cause damage to buildings if precautions are not taken. Rain damage from heavy rainfall and the growth of black mold and other harmful molds as a result of moisture buildup are examples of other ways storms can harm property; these can render contents of buildings irreparable and create the need to hire a professional cleanup and restoration service. There are some steps that can be taken to help prevent water from wreaking havoc on property. Here are three helpful tips for preventing water damage in your property in St. Charles, MO.

1. Set Up Flood Prevention Equipment Water damage is a major concern in severe weather whether that be from rain itself or from rising water built up from rain. It is best to take actions to prevent flooding in the building. One protective strategy is setting up flood-prevention equipment:

  • Quick dam barriers, or waterless sandbags, react to contact with approaching water, absorbing it.
  • Dikes can be used to redirect water
  • Absorbent socks can be set against doors, windows and any other place with cracks where water may leak in

2. Perform a Regular Inspection
Another preventative measure is to have a regular inspection of the building done. You should have it checked for cracks in the roof, walls and siding where rainwater could leak in and have those cracks sealed. Having seals placed around windows, doors and areas where cables, vents and pipes enter the wall is also a good move.

3. Have a Strong Building Envelope
A strong building envelope around the building is also a way to prevent rain damage. Technically, every building possesses one. The building envelope consists of the roof and walls (above ground and below ground). Ensuring that the roof and walls are strong and maintained well is one of the best ways to prevent rain penetration during a storm.
Keeping water out is important for preventing buildings from getting rain damage and potentially harmful mold growth.

How To Clean Up Smoke Damage

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Black smoke Smoke odor particles can stick to and penetrate nearly every surface

Here Are Some Smoke Cleaning Methods To Look Into

When a fire damages your building in Weldon Spring, MO, smoke odor can linger long after the structural repairs are made. Even if a nearby building caught fire and yours just suffered smoke damage, it can be difficult to fully remove the smell from the air, walls and carpet. Thankfully there are ways to do this, though. 

1. Air Out the Building
One of the first steps to cleaning up from smoke damage is to thoroughly air out your building. Open the windows, run fans and get as much fresh air pumping through as possible to remove the smoke odor. Replace your air filters and add other portable air filtration devices throughout the building to scrub the air as well.

2. Clean Every Surface
Smoke odor particles can stick to and penetrate nearly every surface, so one of the first things to do is to clean the whole building. Scrub solid surfaces, wash fabrics, and wipe down walls, being careful to rinse your mops and rags thoroughly as you go to make sure you are getting the smoke particles off. A thermal fogger will be able to get the cleaning supplies into every crack and crevice of the building, allowing you to truly clean the whole structure.

3. If All Else Fails, Ozone
If you've followed the previous steps and there's still an odor, it might be time to ozone the building. This process literally changes the structure of the smoke molecules to neutralize them, which means it's extremely effective. It's best to leave this smoke cleaning method to the experts, though, so call a fire damage remediation company.
Smoke cleaning can be a frustrating process if you don't have the right tools. To help it go smoothly, do your research and call the experts early on in the process, and you'll have your building as good as new in no time.

How To Clean Up After a Pipe Bursts

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water on carpet Commercial water damage in Portage Des Sioux, MO

Steps To Take After A Pipe Burst In Your Building

Dealing with bursting pipes in Portage Des Sioux, MO, is rarely a task one can predict doing. However, this occurrence is more common than you might think. Therefore, it's helpful to know what steps to take. While waiting for a water damage restoration company, there are a few tasks you can complete so your building stays clean.

Get Rid of the Water
This may seem obvious, but it can't be overstated how damaging water from bursting pipes can be. While you won't be able to remove as much water as a professional company, you can at least start cleaning. These are some helpful items to locate:

  • Buckets
  • Fans
  • Towels
  • Pumps

Using the available buckets, dump out the water with anyone at hand. The quicker the water is disposed of, the quicker your building can be fixed.

Take Away Wet Items
Objects that are already soaked are just going to get in the way. Instead of working around these items, simply remove each one. This will make the drying process easier. Once you have time, assess the damage to your property. Any ruined items should be trashed immediately as mold will begin growing. If you have questions, simply search "water damage" and you'll be able to find more specific information.

Dry Everything
If you still have time, begin drying everything you can. Bursting pipes can cause a great deal of water damage, so negating the possibility of mold is a top priority. If you have a dehumidifier, turn it on immediately. Set up fans all over the building. Lift up the carpet from affected areas to make this process faster. If you have multiple towels and willing volunteers, try to soak up water from the worst spots.
It may seem overly stressful when a pipe burst, but staying calm is important. Keep in mind that "fix broken pipe" doesn't need to be added to your to-do list. Professional companies will help, and your insurance provider can cover the expense. Simply remember these steps if such an incident occurs.

Types of Flood Water Contaminants

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle Floods are classified according to one of three categories

What Type Of Water Is Flooding In Your Home

While all types of floods are capable of inflicting massive amounts of water damage on your property, some are just inherently more dangerous than others. Floods are classified according to one of three categories, depending on which types of contaminants are present in the water. Read on to see which type of water is flooding your home in O'Fallon, MO.

1. Category 1: Clean Water Floods
Much like the name implies, Category 1 floods are characterized by an absence of contaminants. It is possible for these types of floods to transform into more dangerous varieties if outside contaminants are introduced to the water. Clean water floods are typically caused by:

  • Supply line bursts
  • Leaky pipes
  • Rain water or snow melt

2. Category 2: Gray Water Floods
Category 2 floods do contain mild amounts of contamination, but not enough to be considered a biohazard. If left untreated for 48 hours, a Category 2 flood can quickly become a Category 3. Gray water floods are usually a result of:

  • Sump pump failures
  • Malfunctioning household appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines
  • Broken aquariums

3. Category 3: Black Water Floods
Category 3 floods are the most dangerous types of floods. They're categorized by the presence of human/animal fecal matter, raw sewage, dangerous chemicals and other types of biohazards. These floods are extremely dangerous and can inflict massive amounts of water damage, so you should never attempt to remediate them on your own. They're often caused by:

  • Toilet back flow
  • Sewage overflow
  • Rising groundwater
  • Overflowing banks from rivers or streams

It's important to take all types of water damage seriously, but you need to be especially wary of damage caused by black water floods. If not treated properly, the situation will only get worse and worse. It's best to contact flood remediation experts if your property has been affected by Category 3 flooding.

5 Common Home Mold Species

10/10/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold with phrase Stachybotrys Atra Stachybotrys also known as black mold

Common Household Fungi

Mold growth is an incredibly common issue that the majority of homeowners face at some point. The first step when it comes to protecting your home in St. Charles, MO, is to identify which mold species you're currently dealing with. Here are five of some of the most common household funguses.

1. Stachybotrys
Also known as the infamous black mold, this species is one of the most common household funguses. Like the name implies, this mold is black or dark green colored and may have a slimy or fuzzy texture. It thrives in damp, high humidity environments, so you're likely to find it growing in your bathroom.

2. Alternaria
This is the most common type of household allergenic mold. Like black mold, it favors damp conditions, such as kitchens and bathrooms. It's categorized by its velvety texture that often sprouts dark green or brown hairs.

3. Chaetomium
You're most likely to find this type of mold growth in your basement or roof after your home has suffered from water damage. It has a cottony texture and typically changes color from white or gray to brown or black as it ages. If your home smells musty, this species is likely the culprit.

4. Cladosporium
This mold species can thrive in both cold and warm environments. It's commonly found growing in fabrics and textiles, such as carpeting or upholstery. You may also find it growing in your cabinets or underneath the floorboards.

5. Ulocladium
This mold species is often confused for black mold, due to their extreme visual similarities. You may need to consult an environmental hygienist in order to differentiate between the two. It's often found in homes that have suffered from severe water damage or flooding.
Mold growth is a common, yet serious issue that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Spores can spread very quickly, causing widespread damage throughout your property. Contact mold remediation experts for help resolving the issue.

Toilet Overflows Demand Immediate Action

10/10/2020 (Permalink)

Toilet overflow Toilet overflow in St. Peters, MO

Take The Following Actions After a Toilet Overflow

With the simple push of a handle, toilet water should go down the drain, exiting quickly through the pipes. Sometimes, however, clogs occur, forcing the fluid to spill out of the commode and leading to sewer damage. Homeowners in St. Peters, MO, may think very little of the situation at first, grabbing for a plunger, cleaner and a mop; however, more may be needed to keep the rooms sanitary for future use. When the overflows happen, residents should take the following actions.

1. Stop the Flow
Focus on minimizing effects. At times, the spill just continues with moisture moving into walls and floors. Search for the shut off the valves in the restroom and outside. In addition, ensure that household members refrain from using washing machines, showers and dishwashers. This is a good time to call in a sewage company who can inspect the premises and determine a plan of action.

2. Address the Problem's Source
Discharges can happen for several reasons, so finding the obstacle should be the next step. At times, items have become lodged within the lines, preventing flow. Run a snake down the lines, forcing anything to push through. This may clear the path. Other times, breaks or hole may occur in the metal. Without a means of escape, the backup sends everything out from the closet exit point. If you're having trouble locating the sewer damage a water restoration company could run a camera through the system.

3. Clean Up the Flooding
Humidity and wetness pose several structural concerns. First, these conditions encourage mold to breed, increasing the likelihood of infestation. Second, the dampness could warp and ruin materials, weakening their integrity; therefore, the entire area, not just the flooded toilet, should be disinfected. Dry out the location; remove soaked contents and sterilize the space.
Lingering sewer damage is harmful to a house. Work swiftly to hinder water streams and correct the cause.

3 Things You Need to Throw Away After a Fire

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Items That Need To Be Discarded After a Fire

Attempting to remediate and recover from fire damage is extremely stressful for any homeowner. One of the first things you need to do upon returning to your property in Portage Des Sioux, MO, is to assess the damage and sort through your belongings to figure out which items you can keep, and which ones you need to throw away. That being said, there are certain items that always need to be discarded following a fire.

1. Burned Medications
It's highly recommended that you discard all of your medications following a fire. The high heat can alter their chemical structures, potentially making them either useless or dangerous to consume. If you want to avoid getting new prescriptions, make sure you check each and every bottle and pill very carefully for signs of heat damage or fire extinguisher residue.

2. Perishable and Non-Perishable Food Items
More likely than not, any food item that has been exposed to fire damage must be thrown away. Non-perishable food items can become contaminated when the fire melts their packaging, permeating the food itself. Perishable food that's inside the refrigerator could potentially be okay if the fridge itself wasn't damaged in the inferno. Assess and determine whether or not to throw away each food item on an individual basis, if this is the case.

3. Damaged or Burned Cosmetics
The fire's heat is certainly capable of melting your cosmetics, effectively changing their chemical structures. Much like your medications, this can make them dangerous to use. Even if they weren't damaged in the fire itself, they may have been contaminated when the fire was extinguished. Check the packaging to see whether it's warped, charred, or melted. Also, check for residue from the fire extinguishers.
Experiencing a home fire is almost just as stressful as attempting to recover from one. Knowing which personal possessions you can keep and which ones you need to throw away can help streamline the process and make it easier for you. Contact fire remediation experts for more information and assistance recovering after a home fire.

Troubleshooting Commercial Irrigation Sprinklers

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Broken sprinkler head, a lot of water coming out 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.

Do You Need to Add Mold Coverage to Your Pollution Liability Insurance?

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

a young man in suit in his office showing an insurance policy and pointing with a pen where the policyholder must sign Mold insurance claims can potentially be covered under pollution insurance

Independent contractors in St. Peters, MO, face so many potential risks, they can’t all be listed. Lawsuits are, unfortunately, common in the contractor world, and insurance doesn’t always cover damages. If your business produces any kind of waste, you may already be familiar with pollution liability insurance. Mold insurance claims can potentially be covered under pollution insurance.

What Businesses Typically Need Pollution Insurance?

Contractors who work in the physical world (as compared to computer or administrative contractors) often produce waste. Some examples include

Energy extraction, refinement and storage
Waste transportation and storage

What Is Mold Insurance?
Mold insurance claims have increased sharply in recent years. The damage mold causes is a frequent nuisance and an occasional disaster. Besides its risk to drywall and fabrics, it can chew into damp wood, causing potential structural damage.
Without regular mold inspections, hidden colonies can continue to eat into construction materials for years before being discovered – and they can spread throughout the building in the meantime.
Coverage may come in the policy or in a rider. For certain types of contractors, it may be found in their pollution liability. A mold claim may cover inspection costs as well as damage repair, but each policy varies.

Why Would Mold Coverage Be on Pollution Insurance?
Water is the proximate cause of most mold – and water can be a pollutant! Consider your commercial building; the building envelope is primarily concerned with keeping water out. A tiny leak in a roof can, if left for years, create a hazardous situation inside.
Contractors who routinely produce wastewater – even if just for regular cleaning – may be liable for the damage it causes. If someone who has insurance makes a claim, their insurance company will look for the cause – and for anyone to blame.
Mold insurance claims made against your pollution insurance can be tricky. Overlapping layers of liability can make figuring out who’s responsible a lengthy nightmare.
Contact a mold restoration company experienced in working with insurance companies to help you ensure you’re being treated fairly. This can prevent unnecessary policy rate increases or even help prove you weren’t the cause!

The 5 Steps of Water Mitigation

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Office building with standing water on carpet, there is a latter and a Caution Wet Floor Sign Standing water in an O'Fallon, MO office building

5 Mitigation Steps

Business owners often have a long daily to-do list to keep operations running smoothly. When a major water problem rears its ugly head, such as a supply line leaking, dealing with pipe burst cleanup isn’t something anyone wants to add to that list. While the initial discovery of water is unsettling, after finding and stopping the source, leaving the mess to a water damage and restoration specialist makes the process smooth and worry-free. Below are the mitigation steps you can expect as part of getting your business back to “Like it never even happened.”

1. Inspecting
To determine the type of water cleanup needed, a certified technician will complete a thorough inspection and assessment. That will include locating any hidden damage. They will define the damage.

2. Removing Water
Getting standing water and excess moisture out fast is key to preventing secondary issues. Professionals use the latest technologies and special equipment to make that happen.

3. Drying Out
A pipe burst cleanup often means hundreds of gallons of unwanted water. Even after the standing water is removed, there can be extreme saturation. Although the drying process may take weeks depending on the damage, the use of industrial fans and dehumidifiers make the process much smoother and faster than doing it alone.

4. Cleaning
The prevention of mold is a top concern. Cleaning all surfaces, flooring, carpeting, drapery and anything touched by water needs to happen. A professional has an array of cleaning methods to handle everything from wood floors to documents. They also have the tools to eradicate lingering odors.

5. Restoring
Although this may be the most complex part, the restoration process may mean different things for different situations. There is a likelihood that drywall and insulation will need to be replaced. Wood flooring severely damaged may also need repairs.
Instead of trying to tackle the massive task of pipe burst cleanup after damage to your O'Fallon, MO, business, leave every step of the process to trusted experts.