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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

3 Reasons Not To Use a Home Mold Test Kit

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

The Microbial test kit isolated on white background DIY mold solutions do not come with the expertise needed to perform such inspection

Reasons Not To Use Home Testing Kits

Almost everyone will find mold in their home from time to time. A small amount on your shower curtain or that loaf of bread you forgot about is not cause for major concern. However, a large infestation can require professional assistance. For that reason, many homeowners are interested in testing to uncover hidden mold problems. Unfortunately, there are reasons not to use home testing kits.

1. Home Test Kits Are Unreliable

Consumer Reports tested numerous home kits and found them all to be unreliable. Additionally, they found that identifying the particular type of mold in your home is less important than removing it. If you suspect you have a problem, it can be wise to contact a mold remediation professional in Portage Des Sioux, MO, promptly.

2. False Positives Are Common

Because mold spores are constantly floating in the air, being brought in on shoes and clothing, or even by the family pet, they are always present in your home. As long as the concentration of spores does not get too high, this is usually not a problem. Mold testing with a home mold kit will often give a false positive for a problematic infestation when none is present, simply because it detects normal levels of spores in your home. Additionally, some kits are not properly sealed and may have been contaminated with spores before you purchased them.

3. You Need an Inspection

In order to properly diagnose a mold problem and determine how best to eliminate it, your property needs to be inspected by a professional in Portage Des Sioux, MO. DIY mold solutions do not come with the expertise needed to perform such inspection and thus are of little value.
Concerned homeowners often turn to home mold testing when they suspect they may have a problem. Unfortunately, home kits are unreliable indicators that do not come with the expertise needed to detect and eliminate infestations and sometimes indicate problems where there are none.

How Can I Protect My Business from a Flood?

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

External drive connected to a computer Make sure that all of your important computer data is backed up

How Can I Protect My Business from a Flood?

If your business is in a flood-prone area, you have every reason to prepare for the inevitable. Flooding can happen quickly during heavy rain. You can begin making long-term preparations today. Then, when you hear that there’s a flood warning, you can make more immediate preparations. Reduce flood damage as much as possible by following these steps:

1. Protect Valuables
Move any valuable items or electronic equipment to an elevated location. Unplug electronics to avoid electrocution.

2. Protect Important Documents
Keep all important documents in a waterproof location. For more security, scan the documents to make digital copies, then back them up.

3. Backup Computer Data
Make sure that all of your important computer data is backed up in case your computer equipment is damaged. Saving to the cloud is ideal since it’s stored in a secure location. You can also backup to an external hard drive to be kept in a waterproof location.

4. Clean Gutters and Drains
Keep your gutters and storm drains maintained. Doing this can potentially keep your building from flooding or will make the damage less severe if it does.

5. Review Your Insurance Policy
If you’re in a flood-prone area, make sure that you have flood insurance and that your business insurance has the proper amount of coverage. Ask your agent about business interruption coverage to cover lost business revenue and employee salaries should a disaster occur.

6. Stock Emergency Supplies
Keep a well-stocked first-aid kit for any type of emergency. Also, keep a battery-powered radio, plenty of drinking water and non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets, sandbags, and a wet/dry vacuum.

7. Create an Emergency Contact List
Make emergency contact information easily accessible to you and your employees. Include family of employees, your business associates, your insurance agent, and remediation professionals.
It’s important to prepare for potential flooding well before a water incursion occurs at your Weldon Spring, MO, building. However, some flood damage can be unavoidable. Whether your building has suffered a flood of black water or secondary damage such as mold, remediation professionals can return your building to its preloss condition.

Boarding Up After a Fire Is Essential

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

Front of a home boarded up, windows and doors Don't neglect the board up phase

Boarding Up After a Fire Is Essential

After a fire, your home in O'Fallon, MO, may look and feel like a loss, but it is still a very valuable asset. In fact, the temptation may be to walk away for a bit, trying to remove the emotional pain and physical sight of the destruction. However, it's more important now than ever to stay, working with a fire restoration company to board up the premises, securing it and you from any further harm.

1. Don't Jeopardize Your Coverage

As soon as you wrap up with the fire company, contact your insurance agency and a restoration business. These crews will be essential in the recovery process. As a matter of fact, your insurer may require boarding measures to be taken to prevent other trouble. The restoration team, then, should begin emergency board up. At this time, they assess the building's structure, identifying weak areas, cracks or holes. Vulnerable areas should have boards and tarps placed over them. If not done, it's possible your carrier could deny coverage or make the proceedings more difficult.

2. Avoid Intruders

Exposed houses mean an opportunity for theft or trespassers; therefore, board up in order to lock the place down. Animals could sneak in, taking harbor in your rooms and creating more of a mess for you to handle. In addition, the open windows or doors are a calling card for robberies, asking people to simply try and see what you have left; thus, closing up protects your valuables.

3. Prevent More Harm

Fire damage is costly. Anything that happens afterward could simply increase the bill, so don't allow the environmental factors to ruin your place more. The fire may have ruined shingles, window frames or sideboards, allowing rain and wind to infiltrate. Closing off these areas could help guard from roof collapse, water accumulation, and mold development.
Don't neglect the board up phase. Reinforce your roof, walls, and windows so that you can maintain coverage and avoid major headaches.

How to Handle Leaks in Light Fixtures

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Water in a light fixture A "water in light" situation is the worst thing that could happen in the event of a leak

Possible Causes Of Water In Light Fixture

As a homeowner in St. Peters, MO, a "water in light" situation is the worst thing that could happen in the event of a leak. The result is a highly hazardous situation that requires urgent professional attention. The last thing you want to do is test your DIY talents with this type of project.
Possible causes of water in light include:

  • An overflowing AC drip pan
  • A leaking bathroom directly above
  • Broken fire sprinklers

Turn Off the Electricity

There's no doubt water and electricity don't mix. For that reason alone, turn off the power at the main switchboard immediately you notice water in the electrical fixtures. That will mitigate ceiling damage and give you time to inform everyone of the impending danger.
However, do not assume the power is off just because you flipped a switch. Water can be pretty unpredictable, and there's no telling when or if it will get into the switch box. Instead, use a non-contact voltage tester to make sure the electricity is off.

Shut Off Water Supply

Depending on the situation, the leak could be coming from a plumbing accident. If so, find the main valve and turn it counterclockwise to cut the water supply. That should stop further water damage, saving you thousands of dollars.

Call the Professionals

Next, have a plumber come on-site to asses the leak. They should fix it quickly and get the area ready for electrical work. After that, get an electrician to replace the light fixture.
Keep in mind that this restoration process may take a long time to complete as the experts have to make sure the entire electrical system is free of water.
That said, please do not attempt to fix the "water in light leak" – unless you have training and experience in dealing with flooded electrical systems. Things can head south in an instant, leaving you homeless or even worse.

What To Know About Frozen Pipes

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

Burst and frozen pipe Cold temperatures can lead to freezing which in turn can cause water damage

What To Know About Frozen Pipes

Many business owners in St. Charles, MO, find that water damage occurs after a pipe freeze. There are a few things business owners should know about their pipes and any cold weather they may experience in their area. If you think you may be at risk for frozen pipes there are a few things you should know

1. How Freezing Leads To Damage

When water freezes it expands. These means that any water in the pipes during cold weather can expand and bush against the walls creating stress points. Enough stress from within can lead cracks which in turn can create broken pipes. When the water thaws it can seep through any cracks and create a leak, or if the chink is large enough flood the area.

2. Winterizing May Help Prevent Freezing

One way to help prevent this type of water damage is to winterize the pipes. This process usually involves turning of any water to outdoor spigots, and draining the water to ensure these pipes are empty. Pipes in areas where there is no insulation from outside temperatures may require additional insulation.

3. Damage Should Be Quickly Fixed

In the even that a frozen pipe does lead to flooding, it’s best to have the damage repaired as quickly as possible. If left unattended water caused damage can seep further in and lead to issues such as mold, swollen wood, and even cracks in the foundation. Fortunately, a local damage restoration service can help with a water cleanup as well as any repairs that need to be made.
Cold temperatures can lead to freezing which in turn can cause water damage. Winterizing your business’s pipes can help prevent this problem, but if damage does occur a local restoration service may be able to help. Remember, if damage does occur, it’s best to have it taken care of as quickly as possible.

How SERVPRO Works With Insurance Providers

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicles parked in front of a building to start working on a disaster emergency SERVPRO responds immediately to any emergency

From offering claim services that make it easier for insurance agents to do their jobs effectively to reducing costs wherever possible, there are many reasons SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many major insurance companies. Here are just a few of the ways they can help.

What Claim Services SERVPRO Offers

While serving clients in Portage Des Sioux, MO, in a speedy manner and consistently restoring properties to their original condition is an important part of what a restoration company does, it is also important to keep the insurance agent or adjuster in mind. The following services help makes claim process run smoothly and efficiently:

Immediate Emergency Response: Quickly making it onto the property helps reduce damage and allows for the claim to be filed in a timely manner.

Claims inventory: An itemized loss inventory and report makes it easy to see exactly what items have been lost and what needs to be replaced. An Excel formatted report can be provided to insurance companies, which includes pictures of items.

Electronic Claims: Easily access electronic job files online and review important information such as detailed estimates, paperwork, photos, and more.

How SERVPRO Keeps Claim Costs Down

One of the main ways claim costs are reduced is by striving to always restore items instead of replacing them. From personal belongings to building structures, making repairs where necessary is significantly less expensive and gives the client a better chance of keeping valuable or sentimental items. Additionally, insurance providers are satisfied knowing that every possible effort is taken to minimize the damage. By pretesting items during the emergency response process, the restoration and cleanup crew can determine ahead of time what can be salvaged.
By organizing information and making it easily accessible at any time, claim services allow insurance agents and adjusters to quickly do their jobs. Additionally, a restore over replace mentality helps reduce the overall cost, keeping both providers and clients satisfied.

Preventing Mold Growth in Commercial Buildings

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

mold in the corner of the window Mold growth in Weldon Spring, MO

Black mold can be a major problem for your Weldon Spring, MO, business. In addition to the potential health effects associated with this type of mold, it can also permanently damage the contents and structure. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent mold growth in many cases.

Where Mold Grows

Knowing where to check for mold is key in catching a problem before it becomes serious. The following are some common locations for mold growth:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Carpet
  • Upholstery
  • Ductwork

Be sure to check these areas routinely for any signs of mold growth, and begin mold cleanup as soon as possible. If you are unable to check the ductwork yourself, you can ask your HVAC technician to perform an inspection.

How To Prevent Mold Growth

All mold types, including black mold, need moisture to grow. Because fungi can survive on many surfaces and grow at a wide range of indoor temperatures, it is important to keep the building dry. Try to keep the indoor humidity below 50%. You may need to use a dehumidifier to accomplish this. Also make sure that all items are fully dry before being put away. If you discover a moisture problem, address it immediately. In addition to keeping your building dry, you can deter mold growth by keeping the mold spores in the area to a minimum. A HEPA air purifier can help with this. Additionally, using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter can capture more mold spores than can a traditional vacuum. During routine cleanings, make sure to use a cleaner that will kill mold spores before they have a chance to begin growing. Bleach, vinegar and many commercial cleaning solutions can accomplish this.
Even the most conscientious business owner can discover black mold and other fungi in a commercial building. Fortunately, a certified restoration company can help you get your Weldon Spring, MO, business back to normal quickly and safely.

Preparing Your Business for a Flood

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Paper with words BCP Business Continuity Plan Have a continuity plan

Preparing Your Business for a Flood

You never want to deal with a flood in the workplace, but it's something you should be ready for just in case. Making a plan now can spare you and your business a great deal of grief and heartache in the future. There are effective methods of both reducing the risk of flooding and of keeping your company going if water does make its way into the building.

Prevention

If your office is located in an area of O'Fallon, MO, where floods are more common, you should take steps to minimize flood damage. You can't stop heavy rains from coming down and overflowing nearby waterways. However, you can do some of the following:

  • Make sure all pipes are free of cracks and leaks.
  • Make sure rain gutters and downspouts send water away from the building.
  • Install backflow valves in the sewage system.

What To Do About Data

Your business has sensitive information on servers, external drives and computers. Flooding can cause irreversible damage to electronics. If you have not backed up financial data, important files, personnel records, databases and other critical information, now is the time to do so. Use cloud-based sites to store all your digital information. For paper records, scan in files and secure them on online storage sites.

Have a Continuity Plan

If flood issues such as black water make it difficult or impossible to conduct business form your building, you need to have something in place where you can continue running your operations. Ceasing your business until professional cleanup crews make your building safe could cost your customers and production. Make it possible for people to work remotely during the restoration process. Have a satellite office where you can manage the affairs of the company.
Implement these strategies today so if flooding does occur in your building, you'll know how to act. These steps can help you during an emergency.

Traits Every Restoration Company Should Have

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO trucks in parking lot of a commercial building When your needs are great, you rely on the best help possible

Traits Every Restoration Company Should Have

When your needs are great, you rely on the best help possible. This is certainly true when there's a fire in your office. Getting out safely and putting out the fire is only part of the ordeal. The aftermath and the extensive cleanup that goes with it are critical to your business. For a smooth transition back to regular operations, you need a skilled fire damage restoration company to lead the process.

Experience

You wouldn't want to hire a group of novices to handle a job this important. As you get bids from different commercial fire cleanup companies, look for ones that have been in business for several years or decades. When you work with a long-established team of professionals to restore your Weldon Spring, MO, office, you get the following benefits:

  • Technicians who understand the fire remediation process
  • Experts who have the right training and tools for the job
  • Professionals who are accustomed to handling tasks of any size

Responsiveness

You may require a team of smoke cleanup specialists to come to your office at a moment's notice. If you've experienced a fire, you can't afford to wait long for crews to start tearing out damaged items and replacing materials. Luckily, the best companies are ready, willing and able to begin the project immediately. These teams will arrive the same day you call, assess the damage and develop a restoration plan.

Professionalism

Before you hire a fire damage restoration company, talk to the organization's leadership about their process. During your initial interview, you can tell what kind of service you'll get. Good companies will communicate well with you and will be courteous and respectful toward your business. The team will work quickly but efficiently.
With thorough fire damage restoration, even the most devastating fires won't keep your business from bouncing back. Emphasize these characteristics when you look for a disaster recovery company.

Water in Light Fixtures Requires Precaution

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water in a light fixture When there is water in light fixtures it becomes a more serious issue

A water leak in your St. Peters,MO, is a hassle. When there is water in light fixtures, that hassle quickly becomes a more serious issue. Since water is an electrical conductor, a ceiling leak requires extra safety precautions. Although you may want to jump right in and solve the issue, staying safe needs to be the first priority.

4 Safety Precautions

At the first signs of water in a light fixture, take the following safety precautions to ensure no one is injured or a fire starts.

Immediately turn off the water and electricity in the home. This will stop extra water coming in if it is from a pipe burst and reduce the chances of an electrical fire starting.
Communicate the situation to everyone in the home. It is best to stay clear of any electrical sources until the situation is remedied. If possible, block access to the affected area.
Test that the electricity is off with a non-contact voltage tester. This includes checking outlets, switches, and appliances. Be sure to not touch sources with visible moisture.
Get professional help. A licensed electrician and water damage expert can help ensure the situation is safely handled and repaired.

Safe Cleanup
After finding water in light and taking the above precautions, you can begin to do some minor cleanup while you wait for the professionals. If water can still be visibly seen dripping, capture it with buckets or large bowls. Towels and newspapers can be used to absorb the standing water. Any rugs, furniture or other items that have been affected should be removed to dry out.
It's also important to find the source of the problem. Ceiling damage is often a result of a roof leak or plumbing issues. If there is a bathroom above the affected area, you will want to also call a plumber.
Water in light fixtures is not something to be taken lightly. By taking a few extra precautions, you can safely get the situation handled and your home back to normal.

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.

How To Prevent a Business Fire

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fire prevention tips to take on keeping your business and employees safe Have fire extinguishers available in your St. Charles, MO business

Fire Prevention Tips To Follow To Keep Your Business Safe

A business fire in St. Charles, MO, can greatly affect your bottom line. If a fire breaks out in your office building, your employees may not be able to work while the area is being restored. A store fire, meanwhile, can lead to a temporary closing and a loss of customers.
It is not just the fire’s flames that can destroy parts of your commercial building, either. Smoke damage can also occur. Thankfully, there are fire prevention tips you can follow to keep your business and employees safe.

Have Fire Extinguishers Available

A small fire can tear through a building in a hurry. You should thus make sure your building has extinguishers that your employees can use to stop a fire before it spreads. There should be at least one fire extinguisher on every floor, and employees should know where they are.

Install Sprinklers

Automatic sprinklers can prevent severe fire damage to your building. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association states that properly maintained sprinklers are 95% effective.

Unplug Appliances

Unplugging appliances at the end of each business day is a simple fire prevention step you can take. Cloth, paper and other flammable materials should also be kept away from any appliances that may overheat.

Replace and Check Wiring

Electrical wires are a common cause of commercial fires. You should thus frequently check any power cords for broken connectors or fraying. Damaged cords should be replaced immediately.
Placing too many plugs into a single outlet can also lead to fire. Only use one extension cord in each outlet, and don’t go above the maximum suggested wattage when utilizing power strips.
If a fire does occur at your business, a company that provides commercial building restoration services can get your property back to its pre-fire condition as soon as possible. However, by following the above fire prevention suggestions, you can do your part to avoid the need for such services.

Tips for Flood-Proofing Your Commercial Building

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage in a building Storm damage in St. Peters, MO

Steps You Can Take To Mitigate Your Damages And Protect Your Assets

A massive flood can destroy your commercial property. It can also put your entire business at risk. The National Flood Insurance Program reports that at least 25 percent of all companies that close due to flood damage never reopen.
Unfortunately, due to global warming, the odds of your company being affected by storm damage have increased in recent years. Even states that are not used to major flooding, such as Texas, have seen weather catastrophes.
If you are a business owner in a flood-prone area, there are steps you can take to mitigate your damages and protect your assets. These options include:

  • Elevating your building above flood levels
  • Moving your office to a higher location
  • Building flood barriers
  • Enacting flood-proofing measures

Flood Proofing

Seals, pumps and barriers can help limit flood damage in St. Peters,MO. However, before considering these or other flood-proofing devices, you should perform a benefit-cost analysis to see if the mitigation method you are choosing is cost-effective.
You must also inspect any flood-proofing system regularly to make sure it is working properly. Similarly, you can limit the need for flood cleanup by checking for cracks in your floors and walls before a storm arrives.

Emergency Plan

Besides flood-proofing your commercial building, you can also protect your property and assets by coming up with an emergency plan. The plan should obviously feature evacuation procedures and drills.
The plan should also state where any flood-proofing devices are located and who is responsible for implementing them. You may also want to include steps for keeping essential electrical equipment running if the power goes out.
Flood-proofing measures and an emergency plan can limit the need for storm cleanup. However, even if you properly prepare your building, it may still sustain flood damage. A commercial building restoration services company can help save your assets after a storm and get the office running again.

Guide to Mold Lawsuits Against Property Managers

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Pipes that are being repaired Fix plumbing leaks quickly

If you’re a property manager or a landlord, then you should consider mold insurance claims as crucial claims to pay attention to. If your building in Portage Des Sioux,MO, has a mold problem, you need to take care of it with the help of mold remediation specialists.

Inhabitable Conditions

Under common law, residential property owners must maintain their rental properties in a way that is habitable. What this means is that it has to be in safe condition for tenants to live in. When there is a mold infestation, the landlord becomes liable for any injuries or illness sustained by the inhabitants. Likewise, the property owner is liable for the damage that occurs on the property due to the mold. If the landlord does not pay for mold remediation, he or she may end up under a mold claim lawsuit.

Mold Prevention

If a landlord does not do everything reasonable to prevent mold, then he or she may end up sued due to mold damage. For instance, say that there is a burst pipe in the building and the property owner knows about it. Later on, the tenants discover severe water or mold damage and need to fix it. The owner is liable and should be the one to do the repairs. If he or she does not and the tenant fits the bill, then they may file mold insurance claims to receive compensation for the work.

When you own or manage a property, then you are responsible for the damage incurred. As long as the damage is not due to negligence on behalf of the owner, you generally have to pay for it. If you are a property manager and your tenants pay for mold remediation or make mold insurance claims, you should pay attention because this can result in a lawsuit. To avoid a lawsuit, remediation services can make mold out to be “Like it never even happened.”

Removing the Smoke Smell From a Home

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

An ozone generator will kill the bacteria and molecules responsibles for the smell

When most people in O'Fallon,MO, think of smoke damage, they associate it with fire cleanup. However, cigarette smoke can also pose a risk to homeowners, as it often gets ingrained in fabrics, carpets and walls. It isn’t an easy smell to eliminate, and professional restoration companies are often the most effective choice.

Why Should You Get Rid of the Smoke Smell?

Most people assume that the harmful effects of cigarette smoke are gone once the cigarette is put out. However, the lingering smell is more than just an unpleasant odor; it actually indicates that there any number of toxins present, including those below:

  • Lead
  • Cyanide
  • Nicotine
  • Arsenic

The gases, many of which are carcinogens, are absorbed into walls, furniture or even dust particles. They are then free to be recirculated throughout the air as harmful chemicals for you to breathe. Therefore, it isn’t enough to cover up the smell – you need to have a professional home deodorization.

What Do Professionals Do To Eliminate Smoke?

A professional company will be able to use an ozone generator in order to kill the bacteria and molecules responsible for the smell. They can clean any fabric or carpet to ensure your home is safe for your family and pets. You will need to be away from the area for a short period of time while the ozone dissipates, and then your home will be safe.

Why Not Do It Yourself?

While very effective at home deodorization, ozone needs to be handled properly and by professionals. The entire purpose of cigarette smoke removal is to make your home safe and give you peace of mind. You won’t have that if you’re still wondering whether smoke is present.
In order to keep your lungs healthy, you need to remove smoke damage from your home. It’s important to contact a competent company that can use ozone to kill any chemicals and bacteria that lingers. It is worth the small cost of home deodorization to make it safe and more enjoyable for family members and guests.

The Facts About Nor’easters

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

A nor’easter is a storm in which winds blow in a northeasterly pattern as it heads along the Eastern Seaboard

Facts About Nor'easters

According to the National Weather Service, a Nor’easter is a storm in which winds blow in a northeasterly pattern as it heads along the Eastern Seaboard. These storms occur when cold air from the polar jet stream moves southward from Canada into the U.S., then moves to the east, where it joins the warm air moving up from the Gulf of Mexico. Here are three additional Nor'easter facts.

1. Where Do They Happen?

A Nor’easter can span thousands of miles, developing between Georgia and New Jersey. Most storms begin within a hundred miles of the East Coast. This major weather disturbance usually reaches its maximum intensity near New England and continues into the Maritime areas of Canada.

2. When Do They Happen?

This type of storm occurs any time of the year; however, the most dangerous and violent storms hit between September and April. For seven months out of the year, the East Coast has the chance to be inundated with severe weather that can last for days at a time. In March 2018, for example, four Nor’easters hit the East Coast in three weeks.

3. What Happens During a Storm?

Nor’easters are typically considered to be winter storms, but snow is not a requirement. In the worst of storms, snow can accumulate 1 to 3 inches an hour and cause blizzard-like conditions. Thundersnow is also an occurrence, although it is rare. Heavy, torrential rain and gale-force winds can leave an enormous trail of destruction and devastation.

Billions of dollars in damages can result when a massive storm crashes into your city. Whether you’re from St. Peters,MO, or another part of the U.S., flooding and other water damage is a common occurrence, not only after a Nor'easter, but also after a wide variety of severe weather events. Fortunately, there are storm damage restoration experts near you who can provide tips for protecting your home and help you minimize and mitigate the damage.

Protecting Your Commercial Building After a Fire

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

The roof can be tarped to prevent wet weather from entering

In St. Charles, MO, your business is your lifeline, so it is understandable that following a fire, your desire is to protect it from further destruction. Fire damage can also mean it is a safety hazard, so in the first place you don’t want anyone getting inside and becoming hurt or looting your building – a common problem following damage to a business. Fire cleanup needs to wait until your insurance company is alerted, but there are some things that need to be done right away.

What To Do Immediately After the Fire

The first things you should do if a fire breaks out are to get everyone out of the building as quickly as possible and to call 911 to send firefighters. No attempts should be made to re-enter the building once the fire is out. Even though you may be tempted to go look around, you should notify your insurance company and call for local fire restoration professionals to come and board up and secure the building against the weather and looters. There are several methods that can be used to close openings.

  • The roof can be tarped to prevent wet weather from entering
  • Sheets of plywood may be fastened over doors and windows
  • Lay wooden studs in the tracks of windows and doors to prevent them opening
  • Remove valuables to a secure location for storage

Fire damage can make your building more vulnerable to looting and weather damage as openings may be created by segments of the structure falling during a blaze, a firefighters battering ram through a wall or door to get water inside or even exploding chemicals. All of these openings are a potential threat to security and an invitation to a looter. Boarding up is critical to help maintain a secure building.

If you are dealing with fire damage in  St. Charles, MO, get the help you need to walk you through the process and stay by your side until the restoration is complete. Fire cleanup and rehabilitation of your commercial building can help make things as good as new.

Common Types of Water Damage in Commercial Buildings

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage in Portage Des Sioux, MO

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.

Three Crucial Steps in Removing Water From Your Flooded Basement

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning your gutters can prevent future water problems in your home

How to Stay Safe While Removing Water from Your Flooded Basement

Anyone that owns a home with a basement knows the fear the very thought of a foot of standing water reaching across the floor below ground can send up the spine. A basement flood is more than a nuisance; it can be a costly destructive force that destroys Christmas decorations, stored antiques, and even precious pictures and journals. The flood water can also seep into the structure of your home and weaken the foundation. No matter how the water got into your basement, you need to remove it as quickly as possible; however, to stay safe while doing so, there are three crucial steps to follow.

Stay out of the water.

The flooded basement can be an electrocution hazard, so stay out of the water. Call in a water removal and restoration team to get the liquid safely out as quickly as possible and while you are waiting for the team’s arrival, turn off the utilities to the area. If you must enter the water, wear rubber boots at least six inches higher than the water’s level and move very carefully with each step.

Know what to throw away.

Floodwaters are often filled with bacteria, fecal matter, and other chemicals that can damage your home and any items soaked by the liquid. Electronics, appliances, stored porous items, and water-soaked walls and floors resulting from a basement flood are probably damaged beyond repair. Make sure to itemize everything you throw away so you can apply for insurance coverage of each piece.

Prevent future water problems.

Floods are not always preventable. However, there are things you can do to help protect your home. Cleaning gutters, sealing foundation cracks, installing rubber water barriers, and sloping the ground around your house can help prevent future floods. Nothing is fool proof, but each of these steps can help.

A basement flood in Weldon Spring,MO, can be costly and cause serious damage to your home. When a flood does occur, use these three crucial steps when removing the water.

Where To Look for Mold in Your Home

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

What are mold and mildew

If you know where to look for mold, you can stop mold damage before it gets too serious. In O'Fallon,MO, this is an important issue for any homeowner. Mold can be predictable, so it’s a good idea to educate yourself about how mold works in order to stay on top of it.

What Are Mold and Mildew?

Mold is a type of fungus that can cause structural damage to your home. It reproduces via microscopic airborne spores, so it can only be seen once it begins growing as a colony. Mold growth has a fuzzy appearance due to multicellular filaments known as hyphae and can present in a variety of colors, such as black, brown, blue, green, yellow, pink and white. It emits a distinct musky odor. Mildew growth is a specific type of mold that appears chalky rather than fuzzy and is usually white or gray. It does not cause as much damage as mold.

Where Does Mold Like To Hang Out?

Since moisture facilitates mold, it is best to identify any sources of this in your home, such as leaky pipes. Mold likes to feed on organic material, such as drywall, paper, wood and fibers that have been exposed to water. You should routinely inspect the following places for mold damage.

  • Basement
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Area near HVAC
  • Anywhere that appears damp

What Should You Do When You Find It?

If you locate evidence of damage from mold in your inspections, the first thing you should do is have the problem assessed by professionals. They can recommend how to move forward via a mold remediation process. Mold can never be totally removed because it is a natural component of the air around you, but it can be managed to stay within appropriate levels. You should not attempt to remove mold on your own.

Knowing where to expect mold in your home is an important first step in preventing mold damage. Remember, mold loves moisture.

How To Prepare a Fire Escape Plan

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Once you have a plan, it’s often helpful to practice it frequently

A Fire Escape Plan Can Help Keep You Safe

Many homes in St. Peters,MO, sustain fire damage every year. Although no one wants to think that a fire could occur in their home, having a fire escape plan can help keep you safe in case a fire starts in your home.

1. Map Out Routes of Escape

One of the first steps in making an emergency escape plan is to map out the best ways to leave your home during a fire. It can be useful to consider how you would escape from any room in your home since you may not be in your bedroom when a fire occurs. Additionally, it’s also often helpful to know multiple ways to escape each room since a fire could cut off access to some parts of your home.

2. Have the Proper Equipment

Ladders, fire blankets, smoke detectors and extinguishers can all be life-saving tools during a fire. When escaping a fire, it can be important to have access to the tools that may be helpful to you. As you make your fire escape plan, it can be helpful to make sure you have the appropriate equipment and tools located in various areas throughout the home in case you are unable to access certain areas in your home due to a fire.

3. Practice Your Plan

Once you have a plan, it’s often helpful to practice it frequently. When you practice, it’s often important to act as you would in a real fire, which means that your focus should be on exiting the home quickly and safely. Don’t bring your belongings with you; in the event of a real fire, fire restoration professionals can restore your home, but it’s important that you get out quickly. Each time you practice, you will likely feel more at ease with your plan.

By having a fire escape plan, you can feel confident in your ability to react to a disaster. In order to create a plan, it’s often helpful to map out routes of escape, have access to important equipment and to frequently practice your emergency escape plan.

3 Household Problems Caused by Winter Storms

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling damage due to roof leak in St. Peters, MO

Three Winter Dangers That May Happen To Your Storm

Children view a winter storm in St. Peters,MO, as a break from school and a chance to build a snowman. Homeowners see a blizzard as shoveling and potential disasters. Be aware of the following three winter dangers that may happen to your home.

1. Roof Damage

During a blizzard snow has the potential to become very heavy, especially when it accumulates quickly. Buildup of snowfall on trees may cause branches to break and crash into roofing. A mere inch of wet snow gathered on your roof weighs in at 20 pounds per square foot, so an epic winter storm may incite a roof collapse. Be sure to consider your safety first, if your roof is compromised it is wise to leave the house immediately.

2. Flooding

As if a roof collapse isn’t bad enough, snow in the house melts. A lot of snow means a lot of water. Flooding damages the house structure, such as drywall and flooring. It also has the potential to damage your personal property if not dealt with immediately. When flooding is suspected, it is a good idea to contact a water restoration specialist as soon as possible to mitigate and prevent further damage to your home.

3. Fire

Unfortunately cold, wet weather does not always preclude fire from damaging your home. Storm winds may cause electrical problems or lightning may strike. Use good sense not to leave candles unattended and practice space heater safety. If a fire occurs, relocate to safety and call for help. Oftentimes both fire and water damage from firefighting efforts need to be addressed by a restoration professional after the fire.

When a winter storm strikes in St. Peters,MO, be knowledgeable about potential hazards and what to do if one occurs. Once you are prepared for the worst, expect the best. Relax, enjoy a hot drink and build a snowman with your family.

How To Estimate Fire Damage

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage restoration in an O'Fallon, MO, home

The cost of fire damage restoration can range from a few thousand dollars all the way up to $20,000 or more. Read on to learn more about how restoration professionals estimate the cost of a commercial fire.

Calculate Cleaning, Repair, and Replacement Costs

Restoration costs are determined by the extent of the damage. Many commercial properties have fire suppression systems that limit the amount of damage. Expenses will increase depending on several factors.

  • The amount of damaged building materials and contents
  • Materials or contents that can be cleaned
  • Materials or contents that must be replaced

Some expense is involved in any restoration strategy. Professionals can ensure that mitigation measures are performed in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Get an Estimate From a Restoration Company

A restoration company will assess damage and calculate a price for an insurance adjuster based on a variety of criteria:

  • The extent of a rebuild
  • The cost of cleaning or replacing materials and contents
  • The duration of the restoration process

After professionals provide an estimate of the damage, property owners should have a clearer sense of the cost of restoration.

Check Your Insurance Policy

A commercial property insurance policy should cover all damage caused by a fire. The policyholder is responsible for paying the deductible. An adjuster will need to perform several tasks:

  • Determining the cause of the fire
  • Confirming damage reported by the owner or restoration service
  • Processing the claim

Policyholders should familiarize themselves with the terms and limits of commercial property insurance coverage. The cost of a policy may go up after a fire.

The overall cost of a fire is determined by the extent of the damage, the types of restoration required, and the level of insurance coverage. After a fire at a commercial building in O'Fallon,MO, the property owner should call his or her insurance provider and schedule a consultation with a fire damage mitigation and restoration company to obtain an estimate and begin the rebuilding process.

Safety First When Dealing With a Basement Flood

5/14/2019 (Permalink)

Two hands holding out a pen and a piece of paper with word insurance. Find out what type of insurance coverage you have and whether your insurance company has any requirements.

Too many homeowners regularly deal with flooded basements after heavy rainfall and during the spring thaw. What can you do when this disaster strikes your own home? Take a look at the following steps for how to safely resolve a basement flood in St. Charles City, Illinois by addressing:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Insurance requirements

Avoid Electrocution

One of the first things you need to understand is that there's more than water damage to worry about. As soon as even an inch of water has collected in the basement, you need to address the danger of electrocution and the possibility of gas problems. If you have a service panel, a water heater, or other major appliances in the basement, there is a serious risk of electrocution. If the level of water is higher than the electrical outlets, do not go into the area. Instead, call the fire department for the safe removal of much of the water.

If the water level is low, begin by shutting off the power to the basement. If the breakers or circuits are in the basement, put down a wood or plastic step stool, so you don't touch the water. Keep all appliance cords out of the water and wear rubber boots while working in the flooded area.

Prevent Gas Leaks

Contact your gas company and get specific instructions from them for dealing with flooded gas appliances. There should be a gas shutoff on the outside of your home.

Contact the Insurance Company

Find out what type of insurance coverage you have and whether your insurance company has any requirements. For example, you may need to provide photographic proof of the flooding, or the insurance company may require you to work with specific flood remediation companies. Even if you intend to handle much of the work yourself, you need to know what your insurance company expects.

After making sure that electricity, gas, and insurance requirements have been satisfied, you can move forward with removing water and addressing damages caused by the basement flood. Remember you won't get much done if you, friends, or family members are injured before you even get started.

4 Tips for Traveling During Storm Season

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Traveling during storm season can become disastrous, do you know how to prepare for the unknown?

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.

Securing Your Building Post-Fire

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Is your St. Charles City, commercial property suffering after a fire? If you are planning on seeking help from a local fire damage restoration company, you are already on the right track. But you also need to keep your building safe in the meantime. Follow these three steps to make sure looting does not affect your business in the aftermath of a commercial fire.

Identify and Secure Open Spaces

Survey your building very carefully when beginning your fire cleanup efforts. Ensure that all windows, doors and other open spaces are securely locked. Next, make sure that you purchase some sturdy boards that will be sufficiently protective for the type of opening that you are securing. The length of time you expect the boards to be in place should also influence what type of covering you buy.

Research Further Options

While waiting to repair fire damage to your building, you may want to invest in some fencing for added security. This really depends on whether or not you feel that your building is in an area prone to heavy looting, as well as the amount of time you expect your business to be shut down for.

Consider Advanced Security Options

If you feel that your company’s geographical area is highly unsafe or expect you will be closed for a very long time, security services or a high-tech alarm may be the way to go. These options allow your building to be secured when you are not physically available to keep a close watch.

Don’t Get Intimidated

Fire damage is stressful enough without worrying about highly customizable security options. You need to focus on fixing any destruction first and foremost, so if you think complicated security measures are out of the question logistically or financially, stick with basic, reliable boards that will keep your St. Charles City business protected not only from criminal activity, but also the unpredictable natural elements.

Is Dry Flood Proofing an Option for Your Business?

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

Protecting your building from flood damage is a crucial step in avoiding losses during natural disasters or trouble with plumbing systems. Around the country, the risk of flooding is increasing for business owners. There are a few options you can take to keep your St. Charles, MO, business safe from losses:

1. Build on or move to higher ground.
2. Create barriers around commercial structures.
3. Dry flood proof your properties.

Possible Roadblocks

Many business owners, especially of smaller operations, don't have the option of moving their property or setting up from scratch. It may also be difficult to get permission to build new structures if the business front is rented or if the community has specific requirements for new construction. In many cases, dry flood proofing is the most cost-effective route for reducing losses and damage from flooding.

A Proven Strategy

What is dry flood proofing? This strategy for protecting buildings from storm damage involves the use of seals and pumps for a water tight perimeter. The use of barriers is also a component. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses this protective method. As a business owner, you may want to consider the value of this strategy for your own company.

Decision Factors

Guarding against flood damage with dry proofing is a smart move. As you consider the costs and benefits of this solution, there are several factors to take into account:

  • Benefit-cost ratio involving factors such as insurance rates and business financing
  • Current and future use of buildings and the potential for business disruption
  • The safety of occupants on your property, including employees and customers
  • Existing flood emergency operation plans

Flood damage restoration professionals can often offer information about your specific community. If a dry flood proofing plan isn't right for your business, consider an alternate emergency operational plan. While working through these steps, schedule routine inspections and ongoing maintenance. Work closely with water damage and remediation experts in your area.

3 Household Problems Caused by Winter Storms

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

What type of issues can arise after a snow storm?

Children view a winter storm in St. Charles City, as a break from school and a chance to build a snowman. Homeowners see a blizzard as shoveling and potential disasters. Be aware of the following three winter dangers that may happen to your home.

Roof Damage

During a blizzard snow has the potential to become very heavy, especially when it accumulates quickly. Buildup of snowfall on trees may cause branches to break and crash into roofing. A mere inch of wet snow gathered on your roof weighs in at 20 pounds per square foot, so an epic winter storm may incite a roof collapse. Be sure to consider your safety first, if your roof is compromised it is wise to leave the house immediately.

Flooding

As if a roof collapse isn’t bad enough, snow in the house melts. A lot of snow means a lot of water. Flooding damages the house structure, such as drywall and flooring. It also has the potential to damage your personal property if not dealt with immediately. When flooding is suspected, it is a good idea to contact a water restoration specialist as soon as possible to mitigate and prevent further damage to your home.

Fire

Unfortunately cold, wet weather does not always preclude fire from damaging your home. Storm winds may cause electrical problems or lightning may strike. Use good sense not to leave candles unattended and practice space heater safety. If a fire occurs, relocate to safety and call for help. Oftentimes both fire and water damage from firefighting efforts need to be addressed by a restoration professional after the fire.

When a winter storm strikes in St. Charles City, be knowledgeable about potential hazards and what to do if one occurs. Once you are prepared for the worst, expect the best. Relax, enjoy a hot drink and build a snowman with your family.

4 Ways to Prevent a Fire Disaster

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

What can I do to prevent a fire?

Every business may have some level of fire risk. This risk may be higher or lower depending on whether the buildings only have electrical devices and heating equipment or specialized machinery. There are a few fire preparation measures that property owners, employers, and staff can take to prevent fire damage. Take these four disaster preparation measures today to lower your risk.

Keep the Workplace Clean

Clutter can close off evacuation routes and feed a fire. Try to reduce the number of boxes, papers, or other materials that are left lying around a workplace. It is also a good idea to properly dispose of all waste, especially flammable materials.

Maintain Fire Safety Equipment

Regular maintenance can prevent malfunction and reduce fire risks whether a business only has standard office machines or additional machinery. Employees should be made aware of potential overheating dangers and monitor the status of equipment. Have a licensed electrician fix any problems that arise to reduce the risk posed by faulty wiring. Property owners can also regularly test fire suppression systems and ensure that fire extinguishers are frequently inspected and ready for use.

Post Emergency Information

One of the most critical fire preparation steps is to ensure that emergency numbers are posted in convenient locations. Managers and employees should be familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines for fire safety in the workplace. Property owners may also want to schedule fire drill and tutorials on using extinguishers.

Provide Smoking Areas

Provide designated outdoor smoking areas and make sure that there are safe receptacles for smoldering cigarettes in these areas. Consider a self-extinguishing design that will hide unsightly cigarette butts and reduce the risk of fire.

Taking these fire preparation steps can prevent a workplace disaster. If a structure sustains fire damage, rely on a commercial fire mitigation and restoration service in St. Charles City.

5 Ways To Upkeep a Commercial Roof

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Roof damage or deterioration can be very costly. In addition to the price of materials and labor for repairs or replacing a roof, this damage can also damage building materials and contents. Property owners can follow five simple steps to preserve the condition of a commercial roof.

5 Simple Steps

  1. Inspect the roof at least twice a year. Make sure you know about potential issues and all of your upkeep options to extend the life of a roof. Do this by having experts perform annual inspections. If you know what to look for, you can do at least one of these inspections yourself.
  2. Trim trees with overhanging branches. Reducing the number of branches and leaves that accumulate on the roof can help to keep drainage systems clear. Tree maintenance can also prevent heavy limbs from falling in the event of high winds or adverse weather conditions.
  3. Clear drainage systems regularly. Water that cannot drain may pool and work its way under roofing materials, resulting in leaks. Make sure that leaves and other debris are not blocking downspouts, drains, or gutters, and that drainage is routed away from the foundation.
  4. Regularly repair minor roofing issues. Extend the amount of time before a roof rebuild by addressing roof damage as soon as it occurs.
  5. Have your roof waterproofed. Waterproofing can help to prevent cracks and leaks. A roofing service can help you determine the right methods and materials for your property.

A regular maintenance schedule can help property owners address roof damage and wind damage in a timely manner. Keeping an eye on the condition of your roof can extend the life of this part of your building and prevent costly leaks. If a roof sustains damage or deteriorates to the point where the interior suffers water damage, property owners should contact a company in St. Charles City, that specializes in commercial damage restoration.

How Do Restoration Experts Clean Electronics After a Fire?

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Electronics can easily become damaged in the event of a fire at a commercial property. Appliances and devices close to the fire may melt or warp and become unusable. Even electronics that are some distance away may sustain smoke damage that can cause short circuiting and result in an electrical fire. Electronics and computer cleanup experts can take several measures to reduce the risk of fire and restore data that might otherwise be lost.

Assessing Fire Damage

Electronics may become damaged or unpredictable after exposure to fire or smoke. Several common consequences include:

  • Warping due to the heat of the fire
  • Corrosion due to the acidity of smoke
  • Black film coating due to soot

If a device short circuits, it can cause an electrical fire. Do not attempt to turn on electronics before handing them over to cleaning experts. Specialists can check for signs of damage and clean delicate components.

Removing Residual Debris

All build-up should be removed before a device that has been exposed to fire or smoke is tested. Restoration experts may:

  • Clean circuits and other metal components
  • Wipe off black film
  • Vacuum out ash and soot

These methods may increase the likelihood that an electronic device can be repaired. If the device is any type of computer system, these specialists may back up or transfer data.

Backing Up Data

Regardless of whether a device seems to be functioning normally, it is still a good idea to back up data. An electronics cleaning service may offer to:

  • Transfer data to a replacement device
  • Back up data to a storage medium
  • Upload data to secure cloud storage

Rely on the specialized services of a damage mitigation and restoration company after a fire at a commercial property in St. Charles City. These computer cleanup specialists can increase the chances of retaining important data while lowering the risk of an electrical fire.

4 Residential Flood Proofing Tips

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is committed to respond immediately to any size disaster.

Four Flood Prevention And Safety Tips

Homeowners can follow these four flood prevention and safety tips to promote flood safety and keep water out of a residence in Elburn,IL. While it is helpful to flood proof a property in advance, residents should comply with evacuation orders to preserve personal safety.

1. Enhance Drainage

It may be possible to significantly reduce the flood risk of a property by hiring landscaping experts to adjust the grading or slope to ensure that water flows away from the foundation. Adding fill to a property located in a flood zone may enable a homeowner to obtain an amendment or revision on the Flood Rate Insurance Map maintained by the National Flood Insurance Program, which may reduce the cost of flood insurance coverage.

2. Invest In Reusable Flood Barriers

Owners of homes in areas that frequently flood may want to invest in sandbag alternatives for flood safety. Choose from water-filled cofferdams or self-stabilizing fence barriers. Absorbent single-use alternatives are also available.

3. Install Backup Prevention Equipment

Flooding can overwhelm a municipal main and result in sewer backups. A homeowner can hire a plumber to determine whether preventative mechanisms such as a backflow valve, standpipe or overhead sewer could be effective solutions for flood proofing a basement.

4. Anchor or Elevate Critical Components

If flooding is anticipated within days or hours, homeowners should make every effort to promote personal safety while limiting losses. Anchor or elevate critical components such as fuel tanks, generators and HVAC units. Raising indoor electrical components can also reduce electrocution risks. Relocate as many appliances as possible above the anticipated flood water level.

These safety tips can reduce the likelihood that flooding will result in extensive damage and losses at a residence. In any case, flood safety is the primary concern. If a residence suffers damage, mitigation and restoration specialists can quickly arrive on site in Elburn,IL.

Preventing Water Damage During Building Construction

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Broken pipe in a St. Peters, MO building

One of the most frequent losses caused during building construction is water damage. Whether it is the result of a flooding, unexpected rain storms, or a forgotten water pipe repair, the resulting water can cause delays in construction and an over-run on building material replacement costs. Here are three ways that water damage can cause problems.

Losses

Flooding from a broken pipe or a plumbing valve that was incorrectly installed can be one of the most frequent causes of water damage loss during construction. Losses can result in thousands of dollars due to

  • Damaged material tear-out
  • Removing debris
  • Water remediation team expenses
  • Material costs
  • Employee wages

Reducing possible construction defects can help avert expensive repairs, as can taking precautions such as turning the water off at night to a building under construction. This can also help reduce your loss profitability.

Delays

Construction delays can result in a great deal of paperwork as insurance becomes involved. It may only be damage from a water pipe repair or sudden torrential rain storm, but when building materials are damaged, it can become costly, and contractors must turn to insurance as a partial remedy. Once water enters the building envelope, the losses in time and man-power can be staggering.

Reputation

In this social media rampant world, loss from water damage in a flooded area during construction can result in angry clients in St. Peters, MO, that may rant on one of their social walls about the building delays. That, in turn, can influence the way others look at you and your crew, and it may even prevent the possibility of future jobs.

Reducing water damage can be as simple as checking for water pipe repair issues during construction. By avoiding flooding, you can often prevent schedule delays and increase your profits. If you do have water damage problems, contact a water remediation team immediately for help to alleviate secondary water damage.

How Ice Dams Contribute to Mold Growth

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

Ice dam on a St. Charles, MO building

What Happens to Your Building After a Snow Storm?

During severe weather, your St. Charles, MO, business may be more likely to experience damage to its premises. One thing that can cause a problem is the formation of an ice dam. This seemingly innocent product of melted snow can cause costly damage. Here is what happens to your building after a snow storm.

1. Snow Melts and Forms Ice on the Roof and Gutters

During a snow storm, quite a bit of snow can accumulate on your building’s roof and gutters. Heat from inside of the building or from the weather warming up can cause the snow to melt and then reform as ice. The buildup of ice can prevent the rest of the snow from draining properly as it melts, which can cause damage to your building.

2. Water Leaks Into Your Building

As the snow begins to melt, because the ice dam prevents it from draining, it can begin to trickle down inside of the walls of your building. As this continues, it can cause damage to walls as well as create the right conditions for a fungus, such as black mold, to form.

3. Mold Begins To Form

As the water creates moisture inside of the walls, fungus can begin to grow within the day. After just a short period, you might be left with a big problem that requires professional mold cleanup. The mold will continue to spread as long as the moisture is not removed. If you believe that a growth has formed, you should take action immediately.

Mold spreads very quickly, so the best way to keep your building mold-free is to remove the snow and ice from your building before it causes any damage. If you are unable to do so and an ice dam causes leaking and mold, you should hire a mold remediation service to take care of it as soon as you can.

How to handle a commercial water loss in St. Charles, MO

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

If you have a commercial water loss in St. Charles, MO, SERVPRO of St. Charles City is the premier restoration company to help you from start to finish. 

Here is a typical guideline of what will be needed to perform to get your business back to pre loss condition. 

1. Initial Assessment: This can include the initial walkthrough and determine what needs to be done from start to finish. Typically a scope of service will be written.

2. Immediate Emergency Services: SERVPRO of St. Charles City will begin extracting and removing water from the facility. 

3. Drying: SERVPRO will place drying equipment throughout your facility. Each day a member of their team will check on the progress until the structure is dry. 

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. We are always here to help! 

What to do if you have a fire in your place of business

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

If you have a fire in your business, it can create a stressful time for you and your team. Luckily, SERVPRO of St. Charles City is here to help from start to finish. Our goal is to get your property back to pre loss condition as soon as possible. 

The first step is for SERVPRO to perform the initial emergency services. Once all of the water and damaged materials are removed from the fire, SERVPRO can begin the cleaning process. Each fire job can be different, so it is important to follow all guidelines set forth by the IICRC. 

SERVPRO takes great pride in documenting each step of the project so you have accurate records of you job for your insurance company. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. 

Can SERVPRO help with a large Commercial Loss

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Can SERVPRO of St. Charles City help with a large commercial loss?

The answer to that question is absolutely yes. SERVPRO has more equipment and manpower than any company in the St. Peters and St. Charles area. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime.

Every loss can be different, so it is important to make sure that a trained company like SERVPRO assesses each step of the job to make sure the proper steps are taken. 

It is important to make sure that plenty of notes and pictures are taken throughout the project. This can help if there are any issues with your insurance company along the way. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. 

Who is the best commercial restoration company

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of St. Charles City is the best choice when it comes to choosing a disaster restoration company. If you own a large or small business, SERVPRO understands the importance of keeping your doors open and minimizing downtown in the nature of a catastrophic event. 

Our team is faster than any other restoration company in the St. Charles City region. Our technicians and managers are trained and certified to handle any type of water, fire or mold damage. We pride ourselves in being an educational resource to help your from start to finish. 

Documentation throughout any large project is a priority that we take seriously. We want to make sure that you have the notes and documentation for your records in case you have any issues with your insurance company. 

If you have any questions, call SERVPRO at anytime day or night. 

Flood Damaged Documents Can Be Saved

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Imagine if a three-foot wave of water hit Portage Des Sioux,MO. The business documents, company records, and personal keepsakes that would be impacted by the water would be tremendous. Many of the documents can be critical to the every-day business of companies, while other documents, such as tax records or credit and debit accounts would be very difficult to replace. If you find yourself, or one of your insured in need of document restoration services, turn to SERVPRO to help you restore those valued items.

When Does Restoration Work?

Even 30 years ago, if a valuable paper item was flood damaged, it was considered an insurance write-off because most of the time it could not be restored. Not only were the pages bacteria infused, but the dirt and chemicals could not be removed.

Thanks to a special freeze-drying technique, that is no longer the case. Paper items such as

  • Business files
  • Manuscripts
  • X-rays
  • Photographs
  • Books
  • Parchment

can be put through a document drying process and restored to near pre-flood condition. The advanced technology is the same one the Library of Congress used to remove mold, bacteria, and dirt from their most valuable documents.

How Does Restoration Work?

There are two methods of document restoration often used by SERVPRO technicians. The first is making a digital representation of the document. This saves space and keeps them safe from future damage. The second is the freeze-drying method mentioned above which extracts all the water from the damaged documents while keeping the pages intact and doing so without the brittleness that often accompanies water soaked papers.

How Does Restoration Help You?

Whether you are an adjuster, insured, or company owner, SERVPRO’s document drying can save you money because they process the documents themselves. The technicians have been trained with the latest equipment available, and they can work quickly and efficiently to get the job done.

You can trust this reputable company with your document restoration needs. Give them a call and find out what services they have to offer.

Three Things You Should Know About Water Damage

3/17/2019 (Permalink)

Leaking roof in a Weldon Spring, MO home

3 Things to Keep in Mind in The Event of Water Damage

Water from a storm or pipe burst is often the cause of home damage, but it is likely that you don’t know all there is to know about this common problem. Here are a few things to keep in mind in the event of water damage to your Weldon Spring,MO home.

1. It Can Come From a Variety of Sources
There are many things that can cause water damage. In the winter, frozen pipes can break, and snow or ice can cause damage to your roof and create a leak. A broken water line can also cause quite a bit of damage. Water can also come from a smaller source, such as a leaky pipe or cracks in the walls.

2. It Is Not Always Covered By Homeowners Insurance
Depending on the source of the water damage, you will not always be covered by your insurance. One example is if you have failed to maintain your home properly and a broken pipe or appliance is found to be caused by negligence. Another instance when you will generally not be covered is if the damage is caused by flooding. Most homeowners policies do not cover this type of natural disaster, and you will need to have a separate flood policy.

3. It Can Cause Significant Damage
Even if the source of damage seems insignificant, you should have it dealt with right away. A leaky window may not be as much of an emergency as having a pipe burst, but if it is ignored, the water damage will only worsen. Water can cause building materials to warp and can contribute to the growth of mold inside of your walls and flooring, so it should be taken care of as soon as you notice it.
Whether a pipe burst or a leaky roof has let in moisture, a professional water damage remediation service can help. They can repair both the source of water in your home as well as the resulting damage. If you notice water in your home, do not hesitate to get it fixed.

Why Does Food Get Moldy?

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can grow anywhere. All it needs is some moisture and the right temperature

Three Main Elements That Contribute to Moldy Food

You open up your bread box, and the musty smell hits you. Then you get visual confirmation as you pull the loaf of bread out of the box. You have bread mold. Understanding how mold growth in food happens can help you store food differently and thus prolong its life. There are three main elements that contribute to moldy food.

1. Warmth

Mold thrives at room temperature. If your bread is in an open container without being sealed, spores from the air can settle on its surface and begin to grow quickly. You can slow down the fungus growth process a little by storing food in a sealed bag, but mold can still get in. In fact, if the temperature in the room is too warm, plastic wrap may act as an incubator for mold.

2. Moisture

Another key contributor to bread mold growth is moisture. A wet surface is particularly inviting to spores, which is why mold remediation specialists always seek to dry out an area with water damage before trying to clean it. This is why fridge mold occurs, despite the appliance's cooler internal temperature. The cooler air may slow down the growth, but eventually, the moisture creates the perfect home for mold.

3. Food

Bread and other foods often mold because the fungus feeds off the nutrients in these items. Warmth and moisture alone are not enough to sustain a patch of mold. It must have sustenance, and bread is the perfect meal for it. Because it does not derive any of its nourishment from the sun, mold depends solely on organic matter to feed itself.

Many surfaces in your home in O'Fallon,MO, are susceptible to mold growth, and your food is no exception. By understanding how bread mold forms, you may be able to adjust how you store it so that you can make it last longer.

The Necessary Relationship Between Insurance Claims and Disaster Response

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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.

Hurricane HELP

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

Join #SERVPRO in support of the American Red Cross and let’s help those affected by the hurricane. Text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10 now!

the American Red Cross “Sound the Alarm” Campaign

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

We are Proud sponsors of The American Red Cross and this year They are promoting the "Sound the Alarm" Campaign

Seven times a day, someone in this county dies in a home fire. countless others suffer injuries. join us as we sound the alarm and combat these tragic statistics. learn how: https://www.redcross.org/sound-the-alarm 

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