Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
Document Recovery After Water Damage Can Save Your Business Thousands
Some documents are simply irreplaceable
Modern business in O'Fallon, MO, would be impossible without volumes of paperwork. These days, much of this can be stored digitally, and, increasingly, on remote servers in the cloud. Regardless, most companies still stand to lose a great deal of money if local paperwork is water damaged from a flood or fire. There’s good news, though: If you act quickly to save them, document restoration may be possible.
Many Types of Documents Can Be Saved
Some documents are simply irreplaceable. Businesses that could survive a devastating fire have nevertheless succumbed to financial stress from losing paperwork to firefighting efforts. There are often many items kept on location:
- Commercial paper accounts
- Receipts and payroll
- Employee records
- Financial and tax records
- Medical records
- Photographs, films, negatives and microfiche
Document Drying Is Possible Thanks to Specialized Equipment
SERVPRO has several advanced technologies that have revolutionized document restoration. A team of expert technicians can rush to the scene and quickly evaluate which strategy will work best.
Typically, this involves using the same vacuum freeze-drying process used by the National Archives and Records Administration for restoring documents to be stored in the Library of Congress.
The technology allows water to sublimate, bypassing the stage that causes the most harm to paper. This innovative process rescues far more documents than was ever possible before. It’s why SERVPRO is the preferred vendor for disaster mitigation for most insurance companies.
Sterilization and Digitization Provides Quick, Safe
After drying, the restored items are sterilized with gamma radiation. This removes microbes that are harmful to humans or that can digest paper. Next, all items are digitized and saved to a secure location for you to download.
During the entire document restoration process, your items are under 24/7 surveillance and managed by HIPPA-certified master technicians. The chain of custody is carefully controlled to avoid any questions of authenticity.
Not only is SERVPRO the preferred vendor, each franchise is owned locally to stay responsive to their communities yet also have access to all the corporate resources and knowledge needed for restoration. This advanced damage restoration technology has saved businesses — and insurers — many thousands of dollars.
3 Tips For Making a Mold Damage Claim
Mold growth on wall
3 Tips For Making a Mold Damage Claim
The average cost of mold damage remediation ranges from $15 to $30 per square foot. Fungus removal expenses for a commercial building can quickly add up, and some materials and contents may also need to be replaced. Commercial property policies often exclude mold damage that does not result from certain covered perils. Additional coverage in the form of an endorsement or thorough documentation of mitigation may be necessary to cover costs. These three tips can facilitate the process of making a mold claim.
1. Check Mold Coverage
General commercial insurance may have a limited amount of coverage for mold caused by covered perils. The standard Insurance Services Office commercial property policy caps this coverage at $15,000 for a single incident or policy year. A policyholder should review an insurance agreement, definitions, conditions, and endorsements to determine whether coverage is available. Confirm the terms of a policy before renewing and consider adding an endorsement for mold to cover more remediation costs.
2. Document Damage
A commercial property owner should put all communications with an insurance company in writing. Follow up a call to an agent with written communication. It is also important to take and date photos or videos that indicate the extent of damage or loss prior to fungus removal.
3. Provide Proof of Mitigation
The owner of a building should also maintain records demonstrating that any water damage has been mitigated in a timely manner and that industry-standard methods were used during restoration. An insurer may be more likely to cover mold cleanup costs if it is clear that negligence was not a factor.
Maintaining a sufficient level of insurance coverage is the responsibility of a commercial property owner in Portage Des Sioux, MO. Regularly check policy terms and fill in gaps in coverage with endorsements. If water damage occurs, gather proof of damage, mitigation, and restoration to support a fungus removal claim.
We are Cleaning Experts
We can help you today!
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of St. Charles City, 636-926-0033
3 Reasons Not To Use a Home Mold Test Kit
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 SERVPRO Works With Insurance Providers
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.
Traits Every Restoration Company Should Have
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.
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
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.
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.
FAQs About Mold Testing Kits and DIY Mold Testing
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
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.
Who Should You Bring in To Check for Mold?
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.
Guide to Mold Lawsuits Against Property Managers
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.
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.
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.”
3 Household Problems Caused by Winter Storms
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.
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.
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
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.
Flood Damaged Documents Can Be Saved
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
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.
Why Does Food Get Moldy?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
4 Reasons DIY Mold Test Kits Tend To Be Ineffective
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.