Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Does Renters Insurance Cover Fire Damage?

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

Empty room, walls covered with smoke, concept of fire damage to a home Fire damage to a home in St. Peters, MO.

Is Fire Damage Covered by Renters Insurance?

Fire coverage on renters insurance can offset the loss of possessions and other liabilities after a fire. The exact coverage may vary from policy to policy, so it may be beneficial to familiarize yourself with the fire portion and limits of a policy, and then discuss any concerns with the insurer.

Rental Property Coverage

The homeowner's coverage maintained by a landlord typically covers a rental property, but not your contents. This is where renter policies kick in. Renter coverage often also provides limited liability coverage and compensates any third parties who sustain injuries or suffer damages on the property due to fire or negligence.

Personal Property Coverage

Fire damage to the contents in a rental property is a covered peril under most renters insurance policies. You should be able to obtain the full cost of property lost in a fire rather than the depreciated cash value. Be sure to check any policy you are considering to make sure this is the case. The current cash value will likely not be sufficient to replace the possessions you have lost.

Other Types of Coverage

Renters policies also tend to provide limited coverage for medical payments involving your liability for minor injuries to others. This coverage can also provide some measure of protection to the renter on the policy if another person is injured on the property. Depending on the policy you choose, you may also have some level of loss of use coverage to help to offset additional living expenses during the mitigation and restoration period after a fire.

If you rent an apartment or house in St. Peters, MO, you should consider the inexpensive ease of mind that is readily available through a renters insurance policy. When it comes to covering fire damage to contents or related liabilities, this policy can help to make a fire less of a devastating event. Additionally, your return to the property may be shortened if the landlord relies on the expertise of a fire restoration company.

Moisture, Mold, and Your Home

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

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

Mold, Moisture, and Your Home

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

Mold Loves To Eat

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

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

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

Mold Loves To Drink

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

Mold Loves To Spread

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

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

4 Ways To Remove Mold From Your Shower

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

1. Soap and Baking Soda

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

2. Bleach

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

3. Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

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

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

4. Professional Assistance

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

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

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

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

1. Flood Insurance and the FIRM Map

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

2. Zones Where Flood Insurance Is Optional

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

3. Zones Where Flood Insurance Is Required

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

4. The Fluidity of Special Flood Hazard Areas

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

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

How To Keep Your Washing Machine Smelling Fresh and Clean

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Low angle view of baking soda with vinegar, natural mix for effective house cleaning The mixture of baking soda and vinegar should eliminate the smell from your machine.

How To Keep Your Washing Machine Smelling Fresh and Clean

Have you ever unloaded your washing machine, only to be overwhelmed by a moldy, mildewy odor originating from your appliance? If so, you are not alone. Front-loading washers, while water-efficient and highly effective, are perfect breeding grounds for mold and mildew. This problem is related to the fact that the drum fills only halfway with water, typically not enough to rinse away the remaining detergent. Therefore, the residual soap scum traps dirt and lint under the gasket, producing an unpleasant and offensive odor. If you're looking for ways to keep your front-loader clean and smelling fresh, read on to learn some handy and helpful tricks.

Eliminate the Smell
While bleach is a powerful agent that can potentially disinfect your washer, natural, healthier solutions exist as well. To ban a mold smell in your front-loader, gather a few household items:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Nylon brush

In St. Charles, MO, place one-fourth cup of baking soda and an equal amount of water in your washer's detergent container. Add two cups of white vinegar to the drum, and run an empty washer on a high-heat cycle. The mixture of these two ingredients should eliminate any foul smells coming from your machine.
If pesky spots remain following the cleaning cycle, attack them with a nylon brush and an extra squirt of vinegar. In extreme cases, professional mold remediation specialists can assist in stubborn mold and mildew removals.

Maintain Freshness
Once your front-loader is clean, make sure to maintain its freshness so that it can efficiently and dutifully clean your dirty laundry in the future.
First, make sure to use appropriate laundry detergent for your high-efficiency washing machine. If you attempt to use conventional detergent, it will produce too many suds, resulting in a stinky washer. Further, liquid detergent is a no-no for high-efficiency washers, so ditch it in favor of dryer sheets or fabric softener balls.
Finally, thoroughly dry the drum following each cleaning cycle. With no moisture or humidity present, mold and mildew will have nowhere to breed and multiply.
Keep your washing machine clean and mildew-free by following these helpful tips, and enjoy fresh-smelling laundry for years to come.

The Step Businesses Cannot Forget To Take Before a Storm Hits

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded office Flood damage in a St. Charles, MO office.

There's no way to predict the exact catastrophic loss that will occur after extreme weather. However, you can look at the historical data. Billions of dollars in the U.S. are spent yearly due to widespread damage from natural disasters. This gives an inside look into just how devastating a large-scale disaster can be. Particularly, if you run a commercial business with several franchises in a storm-prone area, it's best to be prepared.

Types of Damages That Occur

The Bureau of Economic Analysis defines catastrophic loss as any event that causes greater losses than usual. This can include hurricanes, flooding, extremely cold weather, tornadoes, wildfires, and more. Some of the aspects of commercial businesses most affected are:

  • Physical structures
  • Income sources
  • Depletion of goods
  • Employee health
  • Financial standing
  • Document destruction

This is just the beginning. Storm damage can cause long-lasting effects if not tended to promptly and properly.

Professionals That Mitigate Damages
While you can't predict the future, you can plan ahead for storm damage. There are structural and financial steps to take, but there is one crucial element of storm preparedness that cannot be overlooked. Get in touch with an insurance-preferred disaster recovery team that can respond quickly and efficiently if and when disaster strikes. SERVPRO sends many locations to a storm area to help rebuild faster. The best experts across the country are sent to the site, not just the local team in St. Charles, MO.

What You Should Avoid
While SERVPRO operates 24/7 and will get the experts to the affected area as quickly as possible, there are things that you can do to reduce damages in the meantime. You should avoid:

  • Any suspected water contamination
  • Operating electrical machines near water
  • Keeping affected food, even canned goods

You should wear protective clothing and shoes at all times and try to wipe up water from surfaces where you can safely do so. Watch for mold growth. Catastrophic loss is never pleasant, but it can be less devastating with the right plan in place.

4 Ways to Keep the Mold from Coming Back

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on the corner of a window Black mold damage in O'Fallon, MO

Make Sure Not To Do The Following Mistakes

Water damage and mold seem to go hand-in-hand. While the initial flood is relatively easy to resolve, the secondary mold damage that accompanies it might be more difficult to control. You've exhausted all of your treatment options, yet the mold just won't give up. Before you head back in to defend your O'Fallon, MO, home, make sure you're not guilty of the following common mistakes.

1. You Didn't Replace Your Water Damaged Possessions.
It can be difficult to get rid of your favorite items after they've fallen victim to mold damage. You might think that your favorite rug is clean after mold remediation, but there are probably still spores hiding in the material. As tough as it is, you're better off just replacing your items.

2. You Didn't Ventilate Your Home Properly During Remediation.
Any type of moisture can attract black mold, including moisture in the air. Next time you head in to tackle the problem, make sure you open your windows and doors to let the moisture escape. It's also a good idea to invest in some floor fans to aid with air circulation or a dehumidifier that can discourage mold growth.

3. You Didn't Remediate the Initial Damage.
If your mold problem is a result of water damage, then you have to make sure you resolve the initial problem before you engage in mold prevention. Make sure to completely clear out and dry any standing water, as well as identify and fix the source of the damage.

4. You Didn't Use the Correct Cleaning Products.
It's natural to immediately reach for the bleach when you discover a mold issue. Unfortunately, bleach doesn't actually kill the mold; it only changes the color so you can no longer see it. Instead, try mixing your own non-toxic cleaning solution using equal parts white vinegar and water.
Don't allow black mold to take up continued residence in your home. Contact mold remediation experts for assistance dealing with any persistent mold issues caused by water damage.

The Significance of Mold Containment

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Mold remediation services

The Significance of Mold Containment

When commercial property owners in Weldon Spring, MO, find fungus growing on structures, it's imperative they begin sanitizing the area as soon as possible. Quick, do-it-yourself procedures, though, are problematic as they often leave behind spores that can breed over time. In addition, spores move easily from what area to the next. Mold cleanup, then, mandates not just disinfection, but an understanding of how to reduce reproduction and spread. A mold remediation company has the knowledge and skills to appropriately tackle and contain the situation.


How Does Mold Grow and Travel?
It's not unusual for a building to have mold spores. The organisms are a part of nature, existing outdoors as decomposers. They can move about in several ways. They enter in people's attire as well as through the airway. When the microbes meet up with dampness and organic matter, they begin to multiply. At that point, they reproduce quickly, causing issues within only a day or two. Their tiny, invisible nature and easy ability to migrate means that they can move from space to space.


How Is Mold Isolated?
Mold cleanup procedures seek to reduce the risk of proliferation. This means eliminating wetness, restricting access, and preventing air circulation. After the initial source is fixed, professionals should complete the following steps:

  • Turn off the air condition
  • Dry puddles
  • Run dehumidifiers
  • Use negative air chambers
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Block off the entrances and exits


These actions prohibit organisms from interacting with materials in other locations as well as continuing to grow within the affected section.


How Is Mold Contamination Financially Important?
When early stages do not focus on minimizing fungus, the situation can get out of hand. The cost of repairs may be more as additional work gets completed. The restoration, at that point, might mean further tear-outs and more technology.
Early intervention is key. Mold cleanup isn't just removing sports from a wall. It's a meticulous operation that begins with stifling spores.

5 Common Home Mold Species

10/10/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold with phrase Stachybotrys Atra Stachybotrys also known as black mold

Common Household Fungi

Mold growth is an incredibly common issue that the majority of homeowners face at some point. The first step when it comes to protecting your home in St. Charles, MO, is to identify which mold species you're currently dealing with. Here are five of some of the most common household funguses.

1. Stachybotrys
Also known as the infamous black mold, this species is one of the most common household funguses. Like the name implies, this mold is black or dark green colored and may have a slimy or fuzzy texture. It thrives in damp, high humidity environments, so you're likely to find it growing in your bathroom.

2. Alternaria
This is the most common type of household allergenic mold. Like black mold, it favors damp conditions, such as kitchens and bathrooms. It's categorized by its velvety texture that often sprouts dark green or brown hairs.

3. Chaetomium
You're most likely to find this type of mold growth in your basement or roof after your home has suffered from water damage. It has a cottony texture and typically changes color from white or gray to brown or black as it ages. If your home smells musty, this species is likely the culprit.

4. Cladosporium
This mold species can thrive in both cold and warm environments. It's commonly found growing in fabrics and textiles, such as carpeting or upholstery. You may also find it growing in your cabinets or underneath the floorboards.

5. Ulocladium
This mold species is often confused for black mold, due to their extreme visual similarities. You may need to consult an environmental hygienist in order to differentiate between the two. It's often found in homes that have suffered from severe water damage or flooding.
Mold growth is a common, yet serious issue that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Spores can spread very quickly, causing widespread damage throughout your property. Contact mold remediation experts for help resolving the issue.

Do You Need to Add Mold Coverage to Your Pollution Liability Insurance?

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

a young man in suit in his office showing an insurance policy and pointing with a pen where the policyholder must sign Mold insurance claims can potentially be covered under pollution insurance

Independent contractors in St. Peters, MO, face so many potential risks, they can’t all be listed. Lawsuits are, unfortunately, common in the contractor world, and insurance doesn’t always cover damages. If your business produces any kind of waste, you may already be familiar with pollution liability insurance. Mold insurance claims can potentially be covered under pollution insurance.

What Businesses Typically Need Pollution Insurance?

Contractors who work in the physical world (as compared to computer or administrative contractors) often produce waste. Some examples include

Energy extraction, refinement and storage
Agricultural
Construction
Waste transportation and storage

What Is Mold Insurance?
Mold insurance claims have increased sharply in recent years. The damage mold causes is a frequent nuisance and an occasional disaster. Besides its risk to drywall and fabrics, it can chew into damp wood, causing potential structural damage.
Without regular mold inspections, hidden colonies can continue to eat into construction materials for years before being discovered – and they can spread throughout the building in the meantime.
Coverage may come in the policy or in a rider. For certain types of contractors, it may be found in their pollution liability. A mold claim may cover inspection costs as well as damage repair, but each policy varies.

Why Would Mold Coverage Be on Pollution Insurance?
Water is the proximate cause of most mold – and water can be a pollutant! Consider your commercial building; the building envelope is primarily concerned with keeping water out. A tiny leak in a roof can, if left for years, create a hazardous situation inside.
Contractors who routinely produce wastewater – even if just for regular cleaning – may be liable for the damage it causes. If someone who has insurance makes a claim, their insurance company will look for the cause – and for anyone to blame.
Mold insurance claims made against your pollution insurance can be tricky. Overlapping layers of liability can make figuring out who’s responsible a lengthy nightmare.
Contact a mold restoration company experienced in working with insurance companies to help you ensure you’re being treated fairly. This can prevent unnecessary policy rate increases or even help prove you weren’t the cause!

5 Ways To Control Mold Reproduction in Your Home

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

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

Five Ways To Control Mold Reproduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

Document Recovery After Water Damage Can Save Your Business Thousands

6/20/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents Some documents are simply irreplaceable

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

Many Types of Documents Can Be Saved

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

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

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

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

3 Tips For Making a Mold Damage Claim

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

Black spots of mold on a wall 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

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

biohazard symbol in green on a black background 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.

Specialized Training

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
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

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

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 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.

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.