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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
Agricultural
Construction
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.

What Property Managers Should Know About Storm Preparedness

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Green button of the keyboard of a computer with the word "Disaster Plan" A disaster recovery plan is a fundamental part of great property management

Prepare Your Business From Storm And The Aftermath

As a responsible commercial property manager, you should have a detailed plan before the storm season starts. While there should be insurance policies in place to help cover storm damage losses and a complete water cleanup plan, storm preparedness also includes a thorough recovery plan. From staffing to security to documented procedures, there are many elements to a comprehensive recovery approach that requires detailed and careful planning. If you find yourself facing an approaching weather event in Weldon Spring, MO, you’ll be glad that you took the time to prepare for the storm as well as the aftermath.

Developing a Disaster Recovery Plan
A disaster recovery plan is a fundamental part of great property management. While a storm preparedness plan varies from place to place, it should include these elements:

  • Master contact list, which includes emergency response numbers
  • Communication protocols, including an alert system for tenants
  • Service contracts review, to determine what services are available during recovery
  • Safety and emergency procedures checklists
  • Identification of emergency personnel
  • Documentation of pre-storm conditions
  • Backup of property records and important files
  • Review of existing insurance policies for adequate coverage
  • Plans in place for contractors to mobilize on critical repairs

Property management staff should work with the owners to prepare a recovery plan as well as take steps to make sure that individual units are made ready to minimize storm damage as much as possible.

Dealing with the Storm Aftermath
While storms and the damage left in their wake are largely unpredictable, a storm preparedness plan can help minimize the time it takes to restore things back to pre-event conditions. A complete inspection and survey of the property is necessary to assess the extent of damages. As the property manager, you should communicate to tenants and other staff regarding the state of the property and information concerning disaster relief. Authorizations and signatories should be in place to expedite repair and restoration work for the most essential elements of the property.

Common Types of Water Damage in Commercial Buildings

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

4 of the Most Common Causes of Water Damage

Depending on the size and severity of the damage, something as minor as a broken pipe can cause a lot of problems in your commercial building in Portage Des Sioux, MO. It is important to know what to look out for so that you can perform regular inspections and proper maintenance on items that may lead to leaks or flooding. Here are four of the most common causes of water damage that you might run into.

Broken Pipes

If you are in an older building, your pipes are more likely to have problems. However, weather plays a big factor in this. When temperatures drop, the water inside expands, which can lead to a broken pipe. The best way to prevent this is to keep the water flowing constantly during the winter.

Toilet Overflow

An overflowing toilet is one of the more dangerous types of flooding you can run into. The water is considered unsanitary and contains bacteria and viruses if it comes from the sewer. You can help prevent this from happening by putting waste bins in each of the stalls and putting up signs asking people to properly dispose of feminine products and other trash. If you do find yourself in this situation, you may want to call a professional water repair company to help clean and disinfect the area.

Weather

Severe weather can occur in Portage Des Sioux,MO, so it is a good idea to have your roof inspected before the rainy season. Oftentimes, the leak is so small it goes unnoticed, which can lead to mold growth or other issues. Always check for signs of damage after a storm. Get even the smallest problems fixed right away so that further complications don't arise.
You can usually handle small leaks by yourself, but if you do not feel you are equipped to deal with a broken pipe, you should call a water restoration company in Portage Des Sioux, MO to come help.

5 Vital Storm Preparation Tips

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Flash light, sleeping bag, bottled water, first aid, portable radio, matches, medicine, band aids, whistle, blanket. Create an emergency supply kit

Ways To Keep Your Home Safe During Storm Season

Hurricanes and other tropical storms can inflict devastating damage on a community. High winds, heavy precipitation, and flood water are only the first of your worries during this time. However, you can reduce your risk by preparing yourself before the storm hits. Follow these safety tips to help keep your home in St. Charles, MO, safe during storm season.
1. Stay informed: The first thing you should do is sign up for your community's emergency alert system. This way, you'll have access to the latest storm updates as they occur.

2. Learn and practice your escape routes: Chances are, your community already has specific evacuation routes mapped out. If they don't, then make sure to take the time to plan your own escape methods. Practice these regularly so you'll be ready in case of an emergency.

3. Create an emergency supply kit: Your emergency supply kit should contain everything you need during an emergency. Your kit should contain freshwater, non-perishable food items, a first aid kit, a flashlight, extra batteries, a wrench and/or set of pliers, and a backup cell phone, at the very least.

4. Keep electronics away from flood water: The most dangerous part of any flooded building is electrified water. Move all electrical equipment, such as wiring, and circuit breakers at least one foot above flood level.

5. Never enter the flood: You should never, under any circumstances, attempt to swim, walk-in, or drive through floodwater. You may think you're a strong swimmer, but the flood is definitely stronger. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. Additionally, there's always a chance that the water could be contaminated, which poses a dangerous health risk.
Preparation is an essential part of staying safe. Possessions can be repaired or replaced, and are never worth risking your life over. After the water has subsided, and the authorities have given you permission to return to your home, you should contact storm remediation experts to help assist with the water damage.

5 Ways To Control Mold Reproduction in Your Home

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up of head shower and sprinkle water coming out on the top of the picture phrase VENT IT Bathrooms with a shower should be properly ventilated to prevent mold growth due to humidity

Five Ways To Control Mold Reproduction

Homeowners in Portage Des Sioux, MO, have enough on their plate. Mold doesn't need to be part of the concern. With that in mind, residents should be cognizant of how fungal growth impacts a place as well as how to promptly handle water damage and spore development. By arming themselves with this knowledge, people may be able to prevent major cleanup projects and financial headaches. Here are five ways to control mold reproduction.

1. Monitor the Humidity Levels
Spores exist everywhere. They are in the home. These microbes are harmless until they interact with moisture and organic material. This combination spawns mold growth. To cut down on issues, avoid having too much fluid in your place. Humidity should remain at or below 50%. A mold remediation company can test the premises, offering suggestions for reducing the levels.

2. Clean Up Spills Immediately
Water damage is a leading cause of fungus. Therefore, any spills or floods should receive prompt attention. Air out space. Open windows, run fans, or plugin dehumidifiers. If carpeting is overly soggy, you may want to remove it and the pad.

3. Clear Vents Regularly
Too much heat can also contribute to the problem. Reduce it by ensuring that ventilation systems work efficiently. Several times a year the oven and dryer vents should be cleared out, allowing for appropriate circulation.

4. Run Your HVAC System
One of the top mold prevention tips is to run your air conditioner. The cooler air helps alleviate dampness while also working to pull out the extra water in the air. Have this serviced every six months, change out the filters per unit instructions, and double-check that the line does not clog.

5. Inspect Plumbing
Avoid leaks and breaks. Look for rings, rust, or drips. Any changes should be handled swiftly.
Minimize your mold trouble by focusing on reducing water damage and remaining vigilant about routine evaluations. Keep things dry and clean.

Factors in Fire Remediation

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

Walls damaged by fire Fire damage in Weldon Springs, MO

Fire damage is quite destructive all on its own. If your commercial building in Weldon Spring, MO, is ravaged by a fire, however, it probably also has water damage after the fire is put out. Firefighters use a lot of water to douse the flames and the problems that cause also need to be dealt with during remediation.

Water Mitigation

A fire hose puts out a lot of water, so one of the first things fire restoration specialists have to do is take measures to dry the building out:

  • Pump standing water out
  • Dry surfaces by increasing air flow
  • Bring humidity levels down to normal

It is important to dry your building out to avoid mold growth. Mold patches can start to form in as little as 24 hours after excess moisture becomes present. Taking care of these problems quickly is the best defense your building has against secondary damage.

Fire Mitigation
To mitigate fire damage, technicians have to take several important steps. First, they remove all items in the area affected by the fire. Many of these items may have to be thrown out, but some can be cleaned and salvaged. Second, they tear out all the materials that were destroyed by the fire, including drywall, insulation, carpet, floor pads, and ceiling tiles. Once they have removed all these materials, they start a thorough cleanup. Soot and smoke have to be removed from every surface and crevice, including the many areas of the building otherwise unaffected by the fire. After everything is clean, restoration professionals step in to rebuild the structure and make your building look "Like it never even happened." When there is a fire in your building, it takes a lot of water to put it out and keep it from spreading. You need remediation that tackles both water and fire damage from certified experts who specialize in both.

Document Recovery After Water Damage Can Save Your Business Thousands

6/20/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents Some documents are simply irreplaceable

Modern business in O'Fallon, MO, would be impossible without volumes of paperwork. These days, much of this can be stored digitally, and, increasingly, on remote servers in the cloud. Regardless, most companies still stand to lose a great deal of money if local paperwork is water damaged from a flood or fire. There’s good news, though: If you act quickly to save them, document restoration may be possible.

Many Types of Documents Can Be Saved

Some documents are simply irreplaceable. Businesses that could survive a devastating fire have nevertheless succumbed to financial stress from losing paperwork to firefighting efforts. There are often many items kept on location:

  • Commercial paper accounts
  • Receipts and payroll
  • Employee records
  • Financial and tax records
  • Medical records
  • Manuscripts
  • Blueprints
  • Photographs, films, negatives and microfiche

Document Drying Is Possible Thanks to Specialized Equipment
SERVPRO has several advanced technologies that have revolutionized document restoration. A team of expert technicians can rush to the scene and quickly evaluate which strategy will work best.
Typically, this involves using the same vacuum freeze-drying process used by the National Archives and Records Administration for restoring documents to be stored in the Library of Congress.
The technology allows water to sublimate, bypassing the stage that causes the most harm to paper. This innovative process rescues far more documents than was ever possible before. It’s why SERVPRO is the preferred vendor for disaster mitigation for most insurance companies.
Sterilization and Digitization Provides Quick, Safe

Access
After drying, the restored items are sterilized with gamma radiation. This removes microbes that are harmful to humans or that can digest paper. Next, all items are digitized and saved to a secure location for you to download.
During the entire document restoration process, your items are under 24/7 surveillance and managed by HIPPA-certified master technicians. The chain of custody is carefully controlled to avoid any questions of authenticity.
Not only is SERVPRO the preferred vendor, each franchise is owned locally to stay responsive to their communities yet also have access to all the corporate resources and knowledge needed for restoration. This advanced damage restoration technology has saved businesses — and insurers — many thousands of dollars.