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Moisture, Mold, and Your Home

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

floor has been removed due to water damage and mold growth. Mold growth on a wall Mold growth was found in O'Fallon, MO home

Mold, Moisture, and Your Home

Many people believe that removing moisture from a room, home, or building in O'Fallon, MO, will quickly kill all types of mold and their spores. Sadly, this is untrue. Mold spores do require water in some form to grow, but when they are deprived of all available water sources, the spores simply go into a type of stasis which allows the dormant yellow, red, or black mold to exist for many years without water. Then, at the first source of water, the fungus begins to grow and spread once again.

Mold Loves To Eat

Mold spores can go nearly everywhere as they float through the air. To complicate matters, the fungus can be a ravenous organism that feeds on anything organic that it can reach. This includes:

  • Paper
  • Wood
  • Paint
  • Carpet glue
  • Dust
  • Fabric

As one of the best recyclers on earth, mold evolved to help break down organic materials. If there is any type of moisture problem in your home and natural resources available, mold will probably soon be found there decomposing everything it can.

Mold Loves To Drink

To eliminate the growth of black mold, eliminate the moisture. This sounds simple enough, but porous surfaces can hold moisture for a long time. That makes immediate water removal nearly impossible.

Mold Loves To Spread

You cannot eliminate mold spores from your home because they are everywhere. Experts on mold remediation claim that when the spots of mold are large enough to be seen and require mold cleanup, it could be a problem. One square inch of visible mold can have as many as a million organisms that can quickly multiply into the billions as it germinates. When mold appears, it is often best to call the experts to evaluate the situation and keep the mold from spreading.

The easiest way to prevent black mold from invading your home is to keep the rooms moisture free, and that is nearly impossible. But you can limit the humidity levels of your home and take care of any water leaks as soon as they appear. Troublesome mold generally won’t be a problem if there is no water available.

Why to Have Electronics Cleaned After a Fire

10/23/2021 (Permalink)

Flame coming out a computer keyboard. Concept of electronics damaged by fire. You should call professional expertise to restore your electronics.

Why Should You Have Your Electronics Cleaned After a Fire?

If you have experienced a fire, you may not be sure whether electronics are safe to use. Even if a device was not destroyed, intense heat may have warped or otherwise affected delicate internal components. Restoring computers and devices filled with smoke and coated with soot is an important part of fire cleanup. Smoke damage poses several risks to electronics:

Acidity: The acidity of smoke destroys metals and can cause them to disintegrate. Exposure to corrosive acids in the air may cause devices to fail or behave unpredictably in ways that may be dangerous. Electronics restoration experts can make sure that devices are safe to use and identify which items you should replace.

Coated Components: Any device found near a fire is likely to require fire cleanup to remove all traces of smoke and soot. The black film which develops over internal components may insulate the heat-producing parts of an electronic device and cause circuits to short. In addition to causing a device to overheat, the chemicals in smoke and soot will adhere to any dust or debris already in a machine and intensify the damage.

Lost data: Smoke or fire damage may wipe out hard drives, memory, and storage volumes. Even backup drives may be ruined. Electronics restoration professionals can help you retrieve as much data as possible. Keep in mind that the extent of the fire or smoke damage may limit how much can be salvaged.

You may be able to clean the exterior of your device by wiping it down, but you should depend on the professional expertise of a certified fire cleanup service in St. Peters, MO to restore electronics to working order. You should also take pictures or video to document the extent of the damage to your devices in case some of these items are beyond repair and you need to file claims for replacements.

4 Tips for Traveling During Storm Season

10/23/2021 (Permalink)

cars in heavy rain traveling Don't drive on a flooded street.

4 Travel Tips During Storm Season

 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.

4 Ways To Remove Mold From Your Shower

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Team member in PPE on a mold job. Stopping shower mold prevents it from turning from a localized problem into a household one.

When you go to shower, you could potentially be surprised by the sight of black mold growing in your St. Charles home. A bathroom is a warm and moist environment that mold desires, but the mold doesn’t have to permanently reside there. With these four different methods, you can remove shower mold and stop it from becoming more of a hassle.

1. Soap and Baking Soda

Before getting more potent chemicals involved, the mold should be tackled with a solution of dish soap, baking soda, and hot water. This solution should be scrubbed and washed off in moldy areas to remove the surface infestation without risk of discoloration or damage to what’s underneath.

2. Bleach

As its popularity and usage imply, bleach is a good first line of offense against shower mold. Bleach should be diluted in a 1:2 solution with water and applied in multiple cycles of scrubbing and rinsing. Bleach is very effective at removing mold from glass, bathroom counters, and tiles.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

Unlike bleach, hydrogen peroxide can remove mold from porous surfaces such as wood. As an affordable household item, hydrogen peroxide is often easily obtainable in its recommended 3% solution form.

Hydrogen peroxide should first be sprayed on a small spot to ensure it won’t damage the surface. Once you have confirmed that damage will not occur, the entire moldy area should be coated and left to stand for at least half an hour before wiping it off. It may be worth multiple treatments following the same procedure to remove residual mold.

4. Professional Assistance

These home remedies treat the surface, but mold spreads and hides in places you may not know. A professional residential mold specialty crew can locate hidden mold with special tools and remove extraneous moisture that keeps it alive.

Stopping shower mold prevents it from turning from a localized problem into a household one. With the right method of treatment, you can keep your home clean and mold-free.

Don’t Get Washed Away: Understanding Flood Zones and the Requirements If You’re in One

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Standing water in hallway. If you have more questions about zoning, you can always check the St. Charles, MO, area for flood and storm damage specialists.

While flooding may not have been a concern in your previous home, you should at least keep it in mind while searching for a new home because there may be specific insurance requirements for particular flood zone designations.

1. Flood Insurance and the FIRM Map

If you are used to living in areas that didn’t require flood insurance, then the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is likely a new concept. This map is released and produced by FEMA, in conjunction with local municipalities, to designate the likelihood of flooding in certain areas. These designations or zones help insurance companies determine requirements for homeowners, ensuring that they are covered for likely scenarios.

2. Zones Where Flood Insurance Is Optional

In a moderate to the low-risk flood zone, flood insurance is optional. These areas are typically marked on the FIRM map as zones B and X (shaded) and C and X (unshaded). These areas receive these designations after land surveys and studies have shown these areas to have adequate drainage or minimal severe weather patterns.

3. Zones Where Flood Insurance Is Required

Flood insurance is required in areas that are deemed high-risk, meaning that there is at least a 26% chance of floods over the life of a mortgage. These high-risk areas come with two designations: (1) high risk, or zones A, AE, A1–30, AH, AO, AR, A99, and (2) high-risk coastal areas, or zones V, VE, V1–30.

4. The Fluidity of Special Flood Hazard Areas

Another designation, the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), is fluid, meaning that, while your house may currently be in an area where flood insurance is optional, due to changing weather patterns or tides you may be required to purchase flood insurance later.

If you have more questions about zoning, you can always check the St. Charles, MO, area for flood and storm damage specialists, reach out to any local insurance agent or check with FEMA to help clarify flooding requirements and your flood zone concerns.

3 Reasons To Purchase Business Insurance

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

Wet carpet and walls. Water damage can be devastating to your business, and without insurance, making repairs can be expensive and time-consuming.

Managing a business in St. Charles can be a rewarding endeavor, allowing you to connect with your community and to share your passions with others. Unfortunately, water damage can be a huge setback to businesses of all types. Business insurance can help protect your company in the event that your commercial property is damaged by water.

Financial Security

With all the time, money, and energy it takes to maintain a successful business, liquid damage can create a mess that is costly to repair. Since the damage can happen so quickly, it’s often not possible to protect important documents, products, or other valuable items. Recovering and replacing expensive tools and products without insurance can be incredibly expensive. Business insurance often covers the costs of damage caused by floods, burst pipes, and other events that result in water damage.

Quick Cleanup

Water can quickly puddle and can result in a tremendous amount of damage to a business. Without insurance, you may spend unnecessary time trying to clean your space to prepare for repairs, and damage from water can even create hazardous environments. However, business insurance ensures that water cleanup is quick, easy, and efficient. With your business clean and safe, you’ll be able to reopen your location as soon as possible.

Peace of Mind

Maintaining a business means spending hours every day making sure you give your consumers the best products or experiences, and additional stress can take time away from perfecting your company. Although taking preventative measures to keep your location protected is always a good idea, water destruction cannot always be prevented. Not knowing how to respond if your business is damaged by water can create more stress, but business insurance can give you confidence that your organization can recover if water damages it.

Water damage can be devastating to your business, and without insurance, making repairs can be expensive and time-consuming. Business insurance can ensure that your business is protected in case your property is damaged by water.

A Quick Guide to Preventing Home Water Damage

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage to Walls & Ceiling in a Home SERVPRO of St. Charles is here to help you with any water damage in your home!

A Step-by-Step Guide To Preventing Water Damage In Your Home

Water damage is one of the costliest disasters a homeowner can experience. When water floods home basements, bathrooms, or crawl spaces, there is also the potential for personal property damage, mold, and structural integrity issues. You can safeguard your residence against many types of damage caused by water in your home with a few preventative steps.

Plumbing

Although you probably use plumbing each day, you may forget to check your pipes and appliances regularly. Here is some practical advice on preventing plumbing problems in St. Charles, MO.

• Inspect tubs and showers for cracks and caulking issues.
• Check appliances for loose hoses and damaged hose washers.
• Monitor faucet water pressure for a potential broken pipe.
• Know where the water shut-off valve is and make sure it works properly.
• Do a pipe cleanup by removing any buildup. Also, check heating, cooling, and plumbing pipes for cracks or leaks.

Basement

Water seepage often occurs in basement structures, and it is a major issue. Ground water can cause serious damage, but you can prevent most potential water damage by resealing your basement at the first sign of seepage after a heavy rain. Also, consider installing a backwater regulator valve to prevent sewer problems.

Outdoors

Inspecting your roof can prevent unwanted water from leaking into attics and damaging ceilings. If windows are missing caulk, reseal the panes to prevent rain damage. Also, take time to inspect gutters as you clean them of debris, because they can easily allow unwanted water to damage your property.

Assets

At the first sign of flood water in your home, consider calling a specialist in remediation in St. Charles, MO. The cleanup specialists can help protect your possessions by removing the water, drying the area, and setting up a dehumidifier. They can also disinfect the property to prevent mold growth.

Prevention

You may not be able to avoid all damage by water in your home, but you can prevent many potential flooding issues. By taking the preventative steps listed above, you can help safeguard your property from water damage.

Storm Shutters: The Simple Investment That Could Save Your Home

8/6/2021 (Permalink)

Storm shutters shade windows on a sunny day, for themes of hurricanes, weather, preparedness For the next storm season, invest in durable, protective shutters for your home.

Storm Shutters

Sometimes it's hard to tell what preventative measures are necessary to protect your home from a natural disaster. However, high winds and hurricane damage in the past few years have cost Americans several billion, and unprotected windows can result in expensive damages:

  • Broken windows
  • Flooding
  • Mold from water seepage

Is There Stylish Protection for My Home?

Thankfully there’s a simple solution to combating the effects of such damaging weather: storm shutters, which come in a variety of styles to fit everyone’s home décor (and budget):

• Accordion: Simple and straightforward to use, these manually folding shutters are available in strong materials like metal or polycarbonate.

• Bahama: This stylish variety not only provides protection from heavy rain and high winds, but also from the sun.

• Colonial: Protect your dream home with traditional blinds that frame your windows and add value to your property.

• Rolling: Prepare for a storm with ease with shutters that unroll or hide away at the press of a button.

How Do Storm Shutters Help?

All of these different options are permanent home fixtures that come in a range of materials, colors and designs. They’ll protect your home from flying objects, heavy rains and strong winds, so you won’t have to worry about damage to your windows or your home interior. Storm damage can be as minor as a few broken windows or as severe as flooding or mold.

Is There a Shutter for My Budget?

Most styles range between $15 and $30 per square foot of window area or anywhere between $200 to $1,000 per window. While installing storm shutters may seem like a daunting task if you have several windows, being proactive about protecting your home from high winds in St. Charles, MO, is extremely important and can save you thousands.

What if My Home Has Already Sustained Damage?

If your home has already sustained storm damage, contact restoration experts to ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned and restored. In the meantime, prepare for next season’s storms by investing in durable, protective shutters for your home.

Personal Protective Equipment for Safe Mold Remediation

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

specialist in PPE combating mold Mold remediation in Portage Des Sioux, MO.

Mold Remediation Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Whether professionals are handling a mold outbreak in Portage Des Sioux, MO, or you hope to tackle the problem yourself, it is crucial that personal protective equipment is used. Cleaning up mold often involves the handling of potentially hazardous substances. Additionally, mold spores are microscopic and could become airborne or transported from one area to another during clean-up. The right equipment could prevent this and protect other areas of the property.

Items of personal protective equipment include:

  • Disposable hair covers
  • Safety goggles
  • Air-purifying respirator
  • Tyvek suits or clothing that can be immediately and appropriately laundered
  • Disposable gloves
  • Disposable shoe covers

Full Containment

While your property is in the process of remediation, containment is necessary to protect unaffected areas from new mold growth. There are several containment methods approved by the EPA, both full and limited. Full containment may occur when contamination of an entire building requires that layers of the wall are removed. Appropriate containment prevents the transfer of mold colonies into areas of the building that have already been treated.

Limited Containment

Limited containment could simply require a sheet of 6-mil fire-retardant polyethylene with a slit entry and flap. This sheeting may be held in place by duct tape. In many cases, containment also involves sealing off doors, pipe chases, and air vents to keep mold away from other areas of the property. Remediation experts have access to these materials and others used for containment.

Air Purification

Some air purifiers can be used to remove mold spores or at least remove odors that are caused by mold. If this method of controlling mold contamination is used to protect your Portage Des Sioux, MO, building, it's best to choose a filter that uses approved technology and is in compliance with established standards. Remember that these purifiers don't provide mold remediation; instead, they are a tool for prevention.

Top 5 Causes of House Fires

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Burned room, walls covered with soot. The best way to protect your own safety and reduce fire damage at your home is to know the common causes of home fire and how to prevent them.

The Top 5 Reasons for House Fires

Every 86 seconds, fire departments across the United States respond to residential fires. As a homeowner in St. Peters, MO the prospect of a home fire is terrifying. Help prevent fires in your home by knowing the top five fire causes:

1. Cooking

Leaving cooking unattended is the leading fire cause in homes. The risk is increased with frying and attempting to extinguish the blaze without assistance from firefighters. Never leave your home with food cooking in the kitchen. If a fire starts, call 911 before attempting to put out the flames.

2. Smoking

The majority of house fires instigated by smoking involve bedding and upholstery. If you smoke, go outside if possible. Never smoke in bed or near flammable fabrics, especially when tired.

3. Heating

When heating is the reason for a home fire, it is commonly due to space heaters or wood stoves. Reduce your risk by turning off these devices when you are asleep or not at home. Furnace maintenance can help prevent fires due to central heating.

4. Electrical

Failures with electrical equipment or lighting cause 9-13% of residential fires. Check your cords, plugs, outlets and light fixtures for damage and repair or replace as needed.

5. Arson

There is little you can do to prevent a fire that is set intentionally. About half of this type of fire is set by children and adolescents.

The best way to protect your own safety and reduce fire damage at your home in St. Peters,MO is to know the common causes of home fire and how to prevent them. In addition to the above information, keep at least one functioning smoke detector at each level of your home. If possible, install a home sprinkler system. Have and practice an escape plan with your family in case of a fire. After a fire, contact your insurance agent and a fire restoration specialist to begin the process of smoke and fire cleaning.