Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.