Recent Posts

FAQs About Mold Testing Kits and DIY Mold Testing

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Close-up of person hand wearing gloves measuring wetness of a moldy wall Mold testing in a St.Charles, MO home

Many homeowners in St. Charles, MO, notice mold growth in their homes throughout the year. Though it can be tempting to rely on a store-bought mold testing kit, there are several things homeowners may not realize about mold growth and these kits.

What Causes Mold Growth?

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to the growth and spread of mold in homes. Most types of mold thrive in humid environments, making mold especially common in bathrooms, kitchens, basements and attics. For nutrients, mold can use almost any organic material, such as wood. Leaking sinks, broken appliances, cracks in a home's foundation and leaky roofs are frequently the cause of mold growth in homes.

Should You Use a Mold Kit To Test for Mold Growth?

When homeowners spot mold in their homes, many consider using store-bought mold testing kits. These kits appeal to many people due to their affordability. However, these kits are usually unreliable. Mold spores are present in many areas throughout homes, and these kits will automatically test positive due to the spores' presence. These kits don't differentiate between safe and unsafe levels of mold spores, though, which can cause homeowners unnecessary panic.What Is the Best Method of

Testing Mold?

In general, it's often best to avoid DIY mold tests. Even though the kits are affordable, they will always test positive and often don't provide accurate information about the type of mold in homes. Instead of using a kit, it's often wise to contact mold remediation specialists. Experts can accurately test for various types of mold in your home and can also mitigate the spread of mold in the process.Though you hope you will never have mold in your home, it's often wise to know how to appropriately respond in case mold does appear in your home. For homeowners, it can be beneficial to understand the cause of mold growth, why mold testing kits are inaccurate and the best methods of testing for mold in the home.

Why an Emergency Board Up Is Needed After a Fire

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Board up window A home needs a board up if doors are broken, windows are shattered and walls are burned away

Why an Emergency Board Up Is Needed After a Fire

A home fire in Portage Des Sioux,MO, can be a traumatic event and it's possible you won't be thinking your clearest even after the flames have been extinguished. Therefore, it's a good idea to call in a professional fire remediation team to complete an inspection and a damage assessment. Trained technicians can help you avoid mistakes and offer advice that will keep you and your family safe. It's tempting for many people to want to get away from the home and take a break, but it may be beneficial to board up the property before leaving, or to put a tarp over the roof.

Secure Your Home After a Fire

A compromised home exposes property owners to a number of potential liabilities. An emergency board up protects you and your home in the following ways:

  • Criminals won't be able to enter your home and steal valuables
  • Children won't explore the property and hurt themselves
  • Bad weather won't cause additional damage to the home
  • Insurance coverage won't be jeopardized because the home was unsecured

A home needs a board up if doors are broken or burned down, windows are shattered and walls are burned away. A tarp might be necessary if the roof is damaged enough to allow in moisture.

Hire a Professional

Serious fire damage requires the work of a professional team. Their services will save you the trouble of having to carry heavy boards onto ladders, risking injury to yourself. They have done the work before and know which materials to use. A quality board up means having the right materials installed in the most secure manner possible. A sub-par job still leaves your home exposed to the elements and could also result in materials falling and harming family members. Recover quickly after a home fire. Get the services you need from a team that is Here to Help in a safe and efficient manner.

How To Deal With a Sewage Backup in Your Home

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Toilet clogged with toilet paper A toilet clogged can cause a sewer back up in your home

If your home in Weldon Spring,MO  is your castle – a place of safety and comfort where you can spend time with your family in learning, loving and relaxing – the last thing you want to think about is a backed-up sewer. The contamination and odor are bad enough, but resolving the problem can be complicated and cleaning a sewer-flooded basement can be a nightmare.

What Causes a Sewer Backup?

There are several things that could make a sewer back up – some reasons are due to people’s actions, some are due to natural causes. This list will help explain some of the possible reasons.

Someone nearby flushed something that created a major clog, such as a diaper, a toy or some clothing, for example
Roots have grown into the main line, constricting the flow
Water has backed up into the sewer lines due to storms causing a flooded basement
A line may have broken due to frost heaves or for other reasons

What Should You Do?

If you see water coming up out of a floor drain or backing up in your toilet, call for help immediately, as it could be something serious requiring special equipment. Try to barricade the flooding if possible with rolled up towels or even sand bags in order to contain the contamination. Sewage contains not only human waste, but can also carry chemicals and toxins, so special care should be taken to keep it from spreading.

Proper Cleanup

Get help from a sewage and water restoration company in Weldon Spring,MO to use appropriate disinfectants, dispose of contaminated materials and make sure that things are safely clean. Any carpet, rugs or upholstered furnishings that were exposed to sewage water will likely need to be disposed of. Non-porous surfaces may be cleaned and disinfected.
A backed up sewer is no laughing matter, but understanding how to safely clean and restore a flooded basement can keep it from becoming catastrophic. Act quickly and get help as needed to minimize the damage.

How To Clean Up a Leaking Roof

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Workers working on roof tiles Maintaining your commercial building is essential, especially if it’s a major business investment

How To Clean Up a Leaking Roof

Discovering a roof leak in O'Fallon,MO, is probably on the list of least-desired problems a commercial building owner can deal with, especially if you’re not sure when it started. If you suspect that the leak occurred a few days or weeks ago, perhaps going unnoticed while you were out of the office or not using that part of the building, you might discover more damage than anticipated such as:

  • Mold
  • Rotted wooden trusses or beams
  • Pooling water, causing bacteria growth
  • Electrical damage
  • Soaked insulation

Knowing what to do in these situations is critical to preventing additional structural damage.

Stop Leaks and Remove Wet Materials

If there is an active roof leak, you should first contain the leak with buckets or towels. If you notice bulges in the ceiling, this could cause a collapse at some point. If it is safe to do so, poke a hole in the middle of the bulges to release the water. It is better to have a professional do this for your safety.
Then, begin removing belongings and other easily removable items from the area. Any materials, such as dry wall and damaged flooring can be torn out by a flood restoration company.

Dry and Disinfect Area

The flooded are must then be completely dried and disinfected if necessary. If any moisture is left behind, you could develop a mold problem very quickly. Roof leak restoration companies utilize professional drying equipment, which is very thorough at removing all moisture, including inside walls.
Depending on how long it took to begin the cleanup process, there may already be mold or bacterial growth. Disinfection is necessary to ensure no spores or bacteria are left behind.

Restore Roof and Ceilings

Once the area is completely clean and dry, you can begin to restore your damaged roof. Utilizing the services of a professional company is ideal in these circumstances, because they are able to determine the structural safety of the building and what types of repairs are needed to bring your building back to how it was before the flood.

Protect Your Investment

Maintaining your commercial building is essential, especially if it’s a major business investment. If you notice missing shingles or roof damage, it is best to make repairs sooner rather than later, so you don’t end up with another flooding problem in the future. If you have discovered a leak, also make sure to document and photograph damage and repairs for insurance purposes.

3 Tips for Preventing Frozen Pipes

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Faucet dripping water Let the faucet drip

When it gets cold outside and you bundle up to stay warm, don't forget to give your pipes a bit of TLC. Dropping temperatures can lead to frozen pipes, causing them to burst and flood your St. Peters,MO, home. Too often, people who live in warmer climates don't take steps to protect their pipes. Remember that a pipe freeze can happen in any community when freezing temps cause an unusually cold day or two.

Metal Pipes Are the Main Risk

It's possible for pipes inside and outside the home to freeze. It's also possible that harm done during the winter may not show up until temperatures warm up again in the spring. Metal water pipes are particularly susceptible to the cold:

  • Metal readily conducts cold from the water and the air
  • Pipes tend to be only an inch or two in diameter
  • Water systems run into the home from outside, carrying freezing temps inside


There are steps you can take to make sure the water running through your pipes doesn't freeze.


Leave the Heat On


If you plan to go out of town, leave the heat on. The ideal temperature is somewhere above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you generally turn your thermostat down at night, consider the same step of leaving it a bit higher when outside temperatures drop very low.


Let the Faucet Drip


When you open the faucet, water continues to move through the plumbing system, relieving pressure throughout the system. If you have hot and cold water in separate pipes, open both handles just a little bit.


Open Cabinet Doors


The pipes running under the sink can be kept a little warmer if you leave the cabinet doors open to allow access for the heated air of your home. Any rooms that you might otherwise close off should also be opened up to allow for warm air to pass through.

If you do experience frozen pipes, contact a St. Peters,MO, water damage remediation professional right away. Water causes damages quickly and freezing temperatures are sure to exacerbate the problem.

Designing Your Home Fire Escape Plan

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

A drawing of people coming down the stairs. Is for a fire escape plan One of the best things you can do is practice your fire escape plan

Tips For Designing a Good Escape Plan

In addition to installing smoke alarms, one of the most important fire preparation steps you can take is creating a fire escape plan. A well-planned strategy is critical since you generally have only one to two minutes to safely escape. Here are some tips for designing a good escape plan.

Make a Plan

The hardest part of creating your strategy is starting. Many people fail to plan because they don’t think a home fire will ever happen to them. Even if you never experience the devastating effects of a fire, being prepared for one will give you peace of mind. Here are some suggestions for starting your plan:

  • Walk through your home and identify all exits.
  • Draw a floor plan marking all possible exits.
  • Identify two exits from each room of your home.
  • Mark each smoke alarm on the floor plan map.


When making your fire escape plan, make sure infants or those family members with mobility limitations are especially considered. Assign one person to help each individual that has special needs.

Know Important Details

A home fire spreads quickly so it’s critical to know important fire preparation details. First, family members should be familiar with the sound of the smoke alarm. Second, choose an outside meeting place where all family members should congregate immediately following a fire. Third, make sure that your house number is visible from the road so that emergency professionals can find your St. Charles, MO, home.

Practice Your Plan

One of the best things you can do is practice your fire escape plan. Practice should be done at least twice a year and without advance notice. The goal is to see how quickly your family responds to an alarm. Remember to be sensitive to children so that they don’t become frightened easily. The goal is proper education, not fear.

Proper fire preparation includes designing an escape plan. Draw a floor plan of your home and mark all available exits. Educate all family members about your plan. If you ever need assistance after a home fire, there are fire restoration specialists who can help you.

Who Should You Bring in To Check for Mold?

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

A man with a protective gear, mask, gloves and a sponge on his hand cleaning mold from a wall Mold cleaning in a Portage Des Sioux, MO home

If you suspect mold in your home in Portage Des Sioux,MO, how can you be sure? You may be tempted to buy an at-home test kit or scrub at it yourself, but mold cleaning is a serious issue and should be treated as such.

What Is a CIH?

CIH stands for Certified Industrial Hygienist. They are trained to identify hazards to people and the environment in both the home and workplace, and also how to safely remove them, including mold remediation. These professionals are certified by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and the Board for Global EHS Credentialing. You can be sure that a CIH has the following:

  • College education
  • Practical experience in the field
  • Routine examination
  • Ethical oversight
  • Continual professional development

What Do They Know About Mold?

The short answer- a lot. CIH professionals follow mold guidelines set forth by the US Environmental Protection Agency and other state and local authorities. They are trained to provide an entire mold assessment. That means they can identify where the mold is, what type it is and the source of the growth. They can also evaluate the damages and recommend a mold cleaning protocol specific to your situation, even if it is black mold cleanup. Once the a mold remediation company has completed work, you can also bring them back to inspect the results and declare your abode safe for occupation.

How Can You Find One?

When you are searching for someone to evaluate your mold situation, keep your eyes peeled for the letters "CIH" after their name. You can visit the American Board of Industrial Hygiene's website to verify their certification or peruse the roster of certified industrial hygienists. If your insurance company is covering the cost of the mold damage, they may also have some recommendations of certified professionals that they trust.
Before you get around to mold cleaning, you will need the problem assessed. You won't be able to handle it properly if you don't know the extent of the damage or the details of the mold. That's where a CIH comes in.

How To Handle Water Damage That Spans Multiple Floors

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling stained due to water Water damage on ceiling

If you have sewer damage from an overflowing toilet in your building in St. Charles, MO, the immediate area may not be the only cause for concern. This is especially true if the restroom in question is not on the ground floor. Sewer water can seep into the floor and wall of the restroom and then work its way down into the ceiling and the walls of the floors below. If the flood is large enough, every lower level can be affected. This changes the cleanup process for sewage remediation experts in several ways, which also changes the rate at which they are able to complete the mitigation.

Assessment

With most sewage problems, the issue is localized in one area of the building. When you have a flooded toilet on an upper level, however, it can spread to a large portion of the floors beneath it:

  • Inside walls, including insulation
  • Through ceilings, including light fixtures
  • On wall surfaces, including wallpaper or paint treatments

All of the sewer damage must be found and included in the initial assessment. You want technicians to be as thorough as possible so that you have a realistic itemized list to present to your insurance company.

Removal

The other step that is complicated for the sewage company in a multiple-floor job is the removal of damaged material. Although there may be multiple floors involved, they may have to work on one floor at a time to maintain the structural integrity of the building. They will likely start with the area that has the most damage. Then they can work quickly through the other areas to tear out material before it has the chance to start to grow mold. Once all the affected material is gone in an area, they can start to clean and rebuild the structure.
Sewer damage involves multiple steps to clean up anyway, but the process gets a little more complicated when it spreads to other floors. Calling restoration professionals quickly when you know there's a problem is key to making the process go as smoothly as possible.

5 Ways To Prevent Sewage Backups

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

A ball of hair coming out of a pipe Do your best to prevent hair from traveling down your drains

5 Ways To Prevent Sewage Backups

Did you know flooding in Weldon Spring,MO, can cause a sewer backup? To help prevent this common form of storm damage from occurring in your home, follow these tips.

1. Trash It, Don’t Flush It

Backed-up sewage is often caused by blocked pipes. Certain household items can contribute to this, and should never be flushed down the toilet. These items include the following:

  • Paper towels
  • Wet wipes
  • Hygiene products
  • Diapers

Even if the packaging says it’s alright, it’s not a good idea to flush them. Be on the safe side and put them in the trash instead.

2. Stop Hair From Going Down the Drain

Hair, especially if it’s long, is another contributing factor to clogs. Do your best to prevent hair from traveling down your drains. You may need to invest in a shower drain cover to catch the hair. If the hair has gone too far, you might even need to snake your pipes.

3. Dispose of Grease Properly

Although grease is a liquid when it’s hot, it quickly solidifies into a thick, pipe-clogging mess when it cools. Grease that is poured down the drain will stick to your pipes and contribute to clogs. Make sure you always properly dispose of grease after cooking to avoid a backup.

4. Keep an Eye on Tree Roots

If you have large trees near your sewer line, contact a professional to inspect the line. They can use a camera to determine if roots are damaging your system. There are solutions available for this problem, but you want to catch it early to prevent a complete block of the sewage line.

5. Act Quickly

If water is draining more slowly in your bathtub or sink, make sure you act quickly to determine the problem. A professional company offering sewer cleaning can help you identify the issue. You can then take steps to ensure the issue doesn’t turn into a messy situation.

Following these tips can help prevent sewage from backing up into your home. In the event you do experience a backup, professional residential cleaning experts in Weldon Spring,MO, are available to clean and restore your space.

Prepare for a Visit From the Insurance Adjuster

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

The insurance adjuster works closely with our team from start to finish The insurance adjuster works closely with our team from start to finish

Filing a homeowner’s insurance claim in O'Fallon, MO, can be tricky if not handled correctly. Details are key in these situations, especially if the cause of the damage is not clear. To ensure your claim is accepted, you must know exactly what your policy requires you to do. If you skip some steps or miss any deadlines, the insurance agent may throw your claim out.

Contact Your Agent Immediately

Contact either your insurance agent or the insurance company to find out the specifics of your policy and what types of damage are covered. You will also need to know:

  • How much time you have to file the claim
  • If the claim will exceed your deductible
  • How long the claim will take to process
  • If they require repair estimates

Prevent Further Damage

Some insurance companies require that you do some temporary repairs or get board up services to secure the damaged areas and prevent further damage. You will want to save receipts for any purchases you make regarding the home damage, to collect insurance reimbursement. You should wait on completing large permanent repairs until the home adjuster assesses the damage.

Prepare a List

Before the home adjuster arrives, it is best to be prepared with a list of house damages as well as damaged belongings, so they can add this to their overall claim valuation. Your list should include the items, a description of each, approximate purchase date, and the replacement or repair cost. Having receipts for as many of these items as possible will help your case move more quickly.
If your insurance company requires bids from licensed contractors, collect a few written bids with materials and prices listed clearly. Keep copies of everything you provide to the home adjuster, as well as copies of paperwork they provide to you. Write down names and numbers of everyone at the company you speak with too, just in case something goes wrong with your claim.

Repair Your Home Back to Normal

Providing your home adjuster with as many details as possible will help to ensure your claim is accepted. Doing all of these things in an efficient manner is important too, as the longer some types of damages sit around, such as water damage, the more likely mold and further permanent damage can set in. Disaster remediation companies can help you repair both your home and damaged belongings quickly and thoroughly, saving you time and effort.