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3 Potential Problems After Partial Loss

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Potential Problems After Partial Loss Smoke and fire damage at Glendale, MO

A devastating fire ravages your building in Glendale, MO, but it doesn't burn the building down. You can still save the building and many items in it. This is called a partial loss. Sometimes, however, a partial fire loss can seem like a bigger headache than an accident that levels the building and forces you to start from scratch. Here are three potential issues to look out for during the fire restoration process.

1. Delayed Assessment

If the fire just affected your business and nothing else, you may see your insurance adjuster fairly quickly. If, however, the insurance company is processing a lot of claims, it may take a while for someone to assess the damage to your property. This is a time for vigilance on your part. Take pictures, shoot video and document in any way you possibly can. Make a detailed list of everything that is damaged. Have restoration specialists give you a bid on how much the repairs and restoration are going to cost. The more information you can gather, the better.

2. Insufficient Cleaning

Sometimes, when the damage from a fire loss doesn't look bad, people will hire cleaners who aren't certified technicians to take care of the minor cleaning. This can be a mistake, because surface cleaning makes things look clean, whereas they may actually be filthy. Smoke damage can hide in the tiniest places. Having professional experts mitigate the damage is the best way to avoid hidden damage in hard-to-reach places.

3. Unmatched Appearance

The standard for restoration after a fire is that the property's aesthetic be maintained. You may have different flooring than you did before, but it all should match. Restoration experts will likely replace even undamaged tiles just to make everything uniform in appearance, and that's what you should expect.

When you experience a partial fire loss, you may not know when to push back and when to give in at first. Once you learn to navigate the potential problems that come with a partial loss, you can protect yourself better.

How To Keep Excess Water Out of Your Building

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How To Keep Excess Water Out of Your Building Dehumidifier on mold damage in Ladue, MO

If excess moisture gets trapped inside your commercial property in Ladue, MO, it can lead to many problems. Rain damage can result in mold growth, structural damage or inefficiencies in your HVAC and other systems. You can avoid many of these problems by having a solid building envelope from the roof to the foundation. By keeping excess water out, you can protect everything inside and keep the need for water restoration professionals at bay.

1. Roof

When it rains or hails, the roof often bears the brunt of the storm's impact. Keeping water from seeping in through your roof can help you avoid leaks in the attic and problems such as black mold that often come with such water damage. A sloping roof helps water to drain off, but if your building's roof is flat, you can still control the flow of water with a functional drainage system that directs water away from the building. Joints should be constructed to shed water, not allow it easy access.

2. Sides

Hopefully your commercial property was constructed to allow for thermal expansion or contraction so that the walls are less likely to crack under the pressure of seasonal temperature changes. Walls and windows that are not properly maintained offer several weak points through which water can come in and cause rain damage. Flashing helps by reinforcing the wall at the joints. Make sure the flashing stays in good condition and repair it as soon as you discover a problem.

3. Foundation

Cracks in the foundation of your building can cause several problems, including excess moisture issues. Groundwater can come into the building's basement through such cracks. As soon as you discover that your foundation is compromised, you should have it repaired. The cost of repair is nothing compared to the cost of the problems a vulnerable foundation can cause down the road.

It may be easier to protect your commercial building from rain damage than you think. By ensuring that your building envelope remains strong and intact, it is likely that you will never have to worry about leaks from exterior elements.



SERVPRO Is the Mold Remediation Leader in Webster Groves

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Is the Mold Remediation Leader in Webster Groves

These days, in Webster Groves, many homeowners are concerned about the effect that mold could have on their home. If you've become more conscious of mold, and what the mold remediation process entails, then you want to prevent it from adversely impacting your residential space. It's important to know that there are several prevention tips you can implement to make it happen. Here are four of them:

Let The Sun Light In. The sun radiates ultraviolet (UV) rays that are an effective mold fighter. In fact, they are ultimately fatal to existing mold with sufficient exposure. While mold thrives freely in dark areas, sunlight has a sanitizing effect that destroys mold colonies. SERVPRO strongly recommends allowing in as much sunlight as is feasible and also ventilating interior air space for better air quality.

Fix Leak Issues Quickly. Leak issues can give rise to a mold infestation. All of the droplets that come from a leaky pipe can accumulate and create water buildup on your property. Once this process is put in motion, the moist, damp setting that mold require for proliferation have been created, increasing the need for mold remediation. When areas of the home like the basement, crawl space, or attic are perpetually moist, you can expect mold to begin thriving. Prevent this from happening by addressing and resolving all leak issues with speed. Periodically check fixtures. 

Keep outdoor Moisture Out. Moisture from the outdoors can infiltrate your residential property through structural flaws and gaps in sub-grade level exterior walls. Other contributors include deteriorated siding, misdirected sprinkler heads, and overflowing gutters and downspouts without adequate rainwater dispersion. Additionally, excess humidity can make its way into your home because of attic condensation or a wet crawl space. Unfortunately, this excess moisture can give rise to mold growth. It is a major deterrent to mold spores colonizing into mold patches by keeping the interior humidity at a minimum of 45%.

First of all, do not ever attempt to complete a DIY project. Although implementing mold prevention tips is an effective way to preclude the fungi from growing on your property, there is still a chance of an infestation. In general, homeowners lack the equipment, expertise, and education to destroy mold on their own. Instead, call a trusted team of mold remediation experts like SERVPRO to handle the work for you. You don't want to expose yourself to health and safety hazards. 

Let SERVPRO Handle Your Mold Remediation Needs

 Our IICRC-certified professionals have extensive industry experience in the field of mold remediation in Webster Groves and will work with skill and speed to eradicate mold and mitigate its return. Don't jeopardize the health and safety of your household, call us.

Locally Owned, with National Resources

SERVPRO of Clayton/Ladue is locally owned and operated, so we’re already nearby and ready to help Webster Groves residents with any size mold remediation need. Call us. (314) 863-4555 

What Happens to Building Materials When They Get Wet

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What Happens to Building Materials When They Get Wet Air mover on water damage in a Clayton, MO home

When constructing a home, it can be concerning to see your expensive building materials sitting in all sorts of weather conditions, especially in Clayton, MO. Solid lumber materials — such as roof rafters, wall studs, and floor joists — can be dried without a problem, while other materials may be permanently damaged. Broken water supply lines can wreak havoc on building materials as well. Swelling wood in cabinets or the sub floor, for instance, will likely need to be replaced if it remains wet for too long.

A Soaked Subfloor

When a home isn’t waterproofed as quickly as possible while being built, the subfloor can soak up rain water. It will remain wet if builders do not allow it to dry out completely before installing the flooring. This can cause swelling wood and mold growth in the crawl space underneath and in the floor joists. This is more common in new construction when workers do not ensure everything is dry before proceeding.

Broken Water Supply Lines

Supply lines bring water into your appliances, including toilets, sinks, and washing machines. When a line breaks, it can cause major flooding and thousands of dollars' worth of damage. If this happens, it’s best to call a water pipe repair company to assess the damage and fix it properly, so you can be confident there won’t be any mold growing in the near future.

Preventive Measures

When building your house, be sure to have proper protection and water

proofing in place where needed to avoid distended wood issues. Ask them to set deadlines when the weather is nice and to finish the frame and roof as quickly as possible. To avoid supply line flooding, occasionally inspect the seals on your appliances and replace any that are dripping or look damaged.

Swelling wood in your home, whether that home is brand new or not, can be caused by several factors. The important thing is that you take care of it quickly to avoid extensive damage, such as mold growth and weakened structural integrity.

Flood Safety for First Responders

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

As a first responder in Clayton, MO flooding is one of the most challenging situations you may encounter. It’s crucial to be prepared beforehand, so familiarize yourself with these tips:

• Ensure you have necessary vaccinations.
• Have proper flood gear.
• Prepare for safety risks.
• Know post-flood protocol.

Immunizations

There are two CDC-required vaccinations for first responders. A tetanus booster is required unless you have received one in the last decade. If you’re at risk of contact with biohazards, a hepatitis B vaccine is also necessary.

Flood Response Gear

Appropriate gear is crucial for a first responder. Tall rubber boots, gloves, safety goggles, floatation devices and masks are usual essentials, but your state’s health department may have more recommendations.

Know the Risks

There are various safety hazards to watch out for after a flood.

• Although drowning is an obvious hazard, the risk factors may not be as apparent. It only takes a few inches of water to impair a vehicle’s ability to drive or carry you away on foot.
• Electricity poses a serious risk. The flood water itself may be charged due to power line damage. Electrical equipment may also be wet, so be cautious of touching it.
• Flood water may be contaminated by chemicals or waterborne disease. Make sure your gear can protect you from these risks, and wash your hands often.
• Wild animals, particularly snakes or rodents, may take refuge in buildings. Any animal bite requires immediate medical attention.
• Flooded areas are prime conditions for mold and mildew to develop. Dispose of mold-contaminated material according to local protocol. You may also consider consulting a team of mold experts.

Post-Flood Protocol

After your work is done, always shower and disinfect your gear to prevent further contamination.
Also consider a medical screening once your flood response work has been completed, especially if you’ve been exposed to contaminants or develop new symptoms.

While your duty as a first responder is to aid flood victims, it’s equally important to take precautions for yourself. Following protocols and knowing the hazards you may encounter will ensure not only your own safety but will enable you to continue the brave task of helping others. Visit http://www.SERVPROclaytonladue.com for more information on storm damage. 

Quick Guide to Residential Fire Extinguishers

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Having a fire extinguisher in your home in Clayton, MO can help you increase your chances of escaping from a fire. With so many products on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Use this guide and talk with a residential fire cleanup expert to figure out which extinguisher you should stock.

Size

This fire preparedness tool comes in a variety of sizes. The size you want to get depends on where in the house you want to keep it.

• 2-pound: This small extinguisher is perfect for on the go. You can keep it in the trunk of your car to help prepare you for any situation. Some small models come with mounting hardware, so you can keep it in one place.
• 5-pound: This rechargeable model works well in fire-hazard areas in the home. Consider keeping it near your kitchen or laundry room, so it's easily accessible.
• 10-pound: This larger fire extinguisher is ideal for parts of the home that are left unattended for periods of time. The size means there's more fire suppressant chemicals, which can help dampen a fire that went unnoticed for a bit. Keep this size in a garage, shed or workshop.

As you consider the size of your extinguisher, you also need to think about your personal capabilities. If you would struggle to lift and use a 10-pound extinguisher, it might not be the right option for you.

Classification

You also have to think about the classification of the extinguisher. Residential products come in three classes: A, B and C. The A classification means the suppressant will work well on trash, wood and paper. B means the extinguisher can help put out a home fire caused by grease or liquids. C usually means it's suited for electrical fires.

Read the label of your fire extinguisher closely to make sure you have a unit that can work well in your home. Consider both size and classification before you buy your next fire dampening tool. Visit http://www.SERVPROclaytonladue.com for more information on fire damage

Before You Buy, Consider a Mold Inspection

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

When you’re looking to purchase a commercial building in Clayton, MO ordering a professional mold inspection might not be on your to-do list. But while not every buyer will opt for an inspection, the benefits can be great, and the peace of mind can be worth the cost.

Where Can Mold Grow?

The short answer to where mold can grow is almost anywhere. Since mold is a fungus, it only needs three main ingredients to thrive: moisture, the correct temperature and a food source (as minimal as dust or flakes of skin). If these conditions exist in abundance, it only takes up to 48 hours for visible mold to appear, and virtually any functional building has one or more of the following prime environments for mold:

• Sinks
• Toilets
• Tubs/showers
• Heating/cooling vents
• Roofs/walls
• Flooring
• Basements

This is just a short list of where molds can grow, so ultimately, no building is going to be completely exempt of a potential mold problem.

Why Should You Get a Mold Inspection?

If the property you’re purchasing has ever had a problem with mold in the past, an inspection is essential because history is bound to repeat itself. If there is any visible mold or risk of mold growth, an inspection will alert you so you can learn how to rectify it and how much it will cost to do so. If the cost is too great, you may want to reconsider purchasing the building.

An inspection will come at a cost, but the good news is it’s often bundled in with a larger property inspection, which usually includes an assessment of the building’s structure, repair risks and more. More than likely, you will get a good bang for your buck.

Perhaps the most relevant reason to get a mold inspection is because of what might happen if you don’t get one. It could easily save you from spending large sums on mold remediation, repairs or lawsuits – all expenses that could be minimized or prevented with a simple inspection for a fraction of the cost. Visit http://www.SERVPROclaytonladue.com for more information on mold. 

Water Should Not Be Where??

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Basement flooding can be an overwhelming and baffling sight for a homeowner, though it is often expected considering a basement’s reputation for holding moisture. Water in a crawl space typically raises less concerns, which can be a major mistake, as it can lead to similar damage.

Sources of Crawl Space Water

If you have noticed you have a wet crawl space, there may be several possible causes:

• Ruptured water lines: Inside of the home, the water from any pipe that has burst will trickle downward and eventually pool in the crawl space. To detect this situation, look for obvious wet spots in the home. If a leak is suspected but cannot be located, contact a plumbing service.
• Overwatering flowers and other plants: This human error is a common cause of a wet crawl space. It can create an excess water source that many homes are not built to handle, especially when water hoses are simply left running. For prevention, be sure that soil is equipped with base layers.
• Gutter and downspouts: A clogged gutter or improper downspout aim can quickly create a flood in the crawlspace. When the downspout faces the wrong way, storms eventually wash away the soil and direct water to the crawl space. Also, if a storm drain pipe has ruptured, water often backs up into the crawl space.
• Incorrect landscape grading: Proper slope grade is critical in keeping water out of the crawl space. After the ground thaws each spring, check for any shifts in the home’s structure.

Dealing With the Water

One of the most effective and quickest ways of removing water from a crawl space is to pump it out and finish with a wet vac. If you do not have the equipment for this, professionals at water restoration can help.

A wet crawl space in Clayton, MO is a common occurrence. It can lead to many of the same problems as a wet basement, including mold formation and structural damage, so it should not be overlooked. Remember that contacting a professional to fix and prevent these problems is often the surest and safest option.

Visit http://www.SERVPROclaytonladue.com for more information on water damage. 

5 Consequences of Leaving Water Damage Unattended

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

After a pipe burst or similar adverse water issue at your Clayton, MO commercial property, you may feel compelled to shop around and spend as much time as you need to evaluate your options. After all, the water is sanitary. This is a dangerous choice to make because water damage can quickly escalate to serious property damage. Here are five consequences of water damage left to fester.

1. Old Water Causes Mold

Mold will show up in as short as 24 hours after the water damage. The mold infestation itself will begin to spread as long as the environment remains moist. Mildew and mold in the carpet can lead to replacement of the entire carpet or subfloor if allowed to grow. Mold cleanup takes more time away from business operations.

2. Humidity Brings More Problems

Humidity has a variety of secondary effects after a pipe burst. It brings in unwanted visitors that love damp environments such as bacteria and insects. Building enhancements, such as paint and wallpaper, absorb moisture and chip off. Drywall only needs to absorb a small amount of water before it is in danger of deforming. Just like the lingering smell, the increased costs become unbearable.

3. Wooden Structures Struggle With Water

Wood absorbs water quite well. The longer it’s allowed to absorb water, the more the wood warps and buckles. If you wait too long, your building’s structure can be in danger.

4. Metal Pipes Corrode

Even more water damage can be in your future if any metal pipes corrode from the water. This can lead to a need for more comprehensive cleanup procedures.

5. Decreased Value of Commercial Property

If you ever want to upgrade your growing business’ location, inspectors will be quick to notice water damage. Waiting means more value will be docked because of more visible, permanent damage.

Water damage is a serious danger. A water damage restoration company is a valuable ally in taking action with well-informed professionals. Acting as soon as possible after a pipe burst is necessary to salvage the situation and recoup potential costs. Visit http://www.SERVPROclaytonladue.com for more information on commercial water damage

How To Keep Your Roof Safe and Strong

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Maintaining your Clayton, MO building’s roof is essential to keeping a business up and running. Your roof is an integral part of the building’s structure and needs proper attention to keep your business safe and dry from outdoor elements. The best defense against issues with your business’s roof is routine maintenance and attention. A little prevention now will prove much more affordable than fixing an advanced problem down the road. Follow these guidelines to prevent roof issues, ranging anywhere from wind damage to a roof leak.

Ways To Protect Your Roof

Follow these steps to maintain your building's roof:

• Regularly clean out gutters, downspouts, and storm drains so no accumulated debris can prevent drainage
• Frequently check that your rooftop vent and equipment are properly sealed
• After a heavy storm, check your entire roof for any changes in strength or coverage
• Keep your roof clean of leaves, debris, and any other objects that wind up there over time
• Make sure that no tree limbs are touching or too close to your roof

Signs of Potential Roof Problems

Even with consistent maintenance, exposure to natural elements may lead to roof problems at some point. If you notice any of the signs that suggest potential damage, consult with a professional roofing contractor before any further damage is done.

Inside your building, you may see water stains on the ceiling that result from a roof leak. Additionally, mold or an unexplained odor inside can signal leaking water from roof damage.

On your roof itself, any standing or pooling water is an issue that needs to be remedied. Even a small amount of standing water can cause eventual damage to your building. Heavier amounts of water can stress the roof deck itself, weakening it over time. Be sure to also check other fixtures in your building, such as skylights and lightning protection systems, for any signs of distress or wear.

Regular maintenance is helpful, but it can't stop all issues. If you do notice a roof leak or any other problems with your rooftop, contact a professional restoration crew to keep your building’s interior safe, dry, and ready for business. Visit http://www.SERVPROclaytonladue.com for more information on storm damage