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How To Handle a Flooded Basement

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Handle a Flooded Basement This is the after picture of an entertainment room affected by water damage. SERVPRO of Clayton / Ladue responded and started on clean up quickly.

Discovering you have a basement flood in your Clayton, MO home can be an unpleasant surprise. Heavy rains, a broken water line or a sudden spring thaw can result in basement flooding and cause damage to the floors, walls and any items you might have stored there. If you find yourself facing a flooded basement, there are a few steps you can take to resolve the problem, no matter the cause.

Call for Mitigation Services

If you house your washer, dryer or any other electrical appliances in your basement, the safest way to approach a flood is to call a professional flood cleanup and restoration service. Not only can this type of company remove the water, but their knowledgeable techs are trained to deal with any electrical dangers the flooding might have caused. They can also offer mitigation services to deal with the worst of the damage right away and prevent water from entering other areas of your home.

Take Inventory of Damaged Items

Once it is safe to enter the basement, it is a good idea to take an inventory of any damaged items, from furniture to toys to stored seasonal clothing. Ask your flood cleanup technicians if you can move any boxes or storage tubs so you can assess the damage. Making this list might help you file a more detailed insurance claim.

Inquire About Repairs

If a plumbing mishap caused your basement to flood, you can ask your restoration experts about pipe repair and what they can do about any damage to the walls or floor. If your basement contains any drywall or insulation, affected sections might have to be cut away and removed. Ask for an estimate and a timeline for the repairs so you can have some idea about when you can start using your basement again.

When flooding affects your Clayton, MO home's basement, it can be a stressful experience. However, knowing how to proceed can help you feel confident when it comes to arranging for water removal and necessary repairs. Visit for more information on water damage. 

3 Thunderstorm Safety Tips Every Business Owner Must Know

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Thunderstorm Safety Tips Every Business Owner Must Know Severe storm damage can happen anytime and SERVPRO of Clayton / Ladue is prepared for your storm emergency.

Though most people don't put thunderstorms on the same level as hurricanes, tornadoes or floods, storms have the potential to be just as devastating and just as dangerous. Depending on the severity, a thunderstorm can bring high winds, torrential rains, life-threatening lightning and widespread flooding, each of which can cause extensive structural damage to your building. If you want to protect your building against the powerful effects of a rain storm, keep these three tips in mind:

" Invest in storm doors and shutters.
" Keep trees trimmed and lightning rods in place.
" Have a disaster emergency plan.

1. Equip Your Building With Storm Doors

Depending on where you live, operable storm doors and shutters are essential for protecting your business during an especially bad thunderstorm. Though storm doors and shutters may seem flimsy, they can protect your windows from flying debris, which can in turn protect your building's occupants and assets. To give your windows and doors a helping hand, store any patio furniture or other outdoor items that could be thrown at your building in particularly high winds.

2. Trim Your Trees

During a particularly bad rain storm, overhanging branches could break and fall onto vehicles, your building's roof or, in the worst-case scenario, a person. Prevent that from being an issue and have your trees trimmed on a regular basis. While you're at it, make sure that your lightning rods are firmly in place after each storm.

3. Have a Plan

The worst thing you can do is proceed without a plan that all of your employees have learned to adhere to. If there is a power outage, which there is likely to be in a bad storm, there is the risk that your workforce will panic. Panicking helps no one. To minimize the likelihood of chaos, have an emergency plan in place that you practice regularly, just in case.

For more rain storm safety tips, consult with your local Clayton, MO storm remediation team. In the meantime, install those storm doors and shutters, trim your trees and devise a sound disaster plan. Visit for more information on commercial storm damage. 

How Can Mold Enter Your Building?

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

Finding black mold can be scary. You may have a lot of questions about how to handle mold cleanup, but you may also be wondering how mold got inside your building in Clayton, MO in the first place. Generally speaking, mold grows as a result of a moisture problem, and there are a number of ways the moisture content and humidity level of your building can get out of control.

1. Burst Pipes

You need to maintain your building’s plumbing system often to prevent pipes from bursting and flooding an area of the property. There are a number of ways pipes can break, including development of a significant clog. Additionally, if the pipes freeze, then they will be at an increased risk of bursting.

2. Flooding From Storms

You also need to be extremely cautious of black mold development if your building is in an area that is prone to flooding. Flash flooding can occur at a moment’s notice, but there are various ways to safeguard the area.

3. Flooding From Backed-Up Sewer System

Your building has a sewer line where all waste travels into the city’s sewer system. If you are not careful, this sewer line can back up and flood your building. This waste water is more likely to carry contaminants, so you need to get your building’s septic tank cleaned once every couple of years.

4. High Humidity

Ideally, you should have a humidity level in your building that is less than 50 percent. Some humidity is fine to prevent the air from feeling too dry and negatively impacting your sinuses. However, too much increases the chances of mold growing.

You may not always be able to prevent a pipe from bursting, but you can take steps to make the likelihood less. You can also take steps to reduce humidity if it is often too high so that black mold is less of a threat. Visit for more information on mold.

Tips for Salvaging Electronics After a Fire

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

An electrical fire can result in significant property damage. These fires can result in damage to the building itself or to the possessions inside, including electronics. This is a frightening prospect for business owners in Clayton, MO who are worried about spending a lot of money to replace computers, appliances and other electronics. Fortunately, a professional fire damage remediation service can help get your electronics back up and running soon. Here are some things to keep in mind to stop you from doing more harm than good.

1. Keep Warranties

Most warranties will cover damage that occurred as a result of disasters. You should hang onto the warranties for all electronics from computers to microwaves. Most of these warranties will be good for at least one year.

2. Unplug Everything

Following an electrical fire, you should unplug everything. There are a couple reasons why this should be done. A fire could cause additional damage to an electronic if it is still receiving power. There is also a concern that the water brought in by firefighters to subdue the fire could cause the electronics to malfunction.

3. Do Not Attempt to Turn Electronics Back On

Some electronics will still technically be fine after a fire. However, if you attempt to turn them back on without having a professional remediation expert look at them first, then they could short-circuit. Water may be present in the system. That water can be removed and the rest of the items can be salvaged, but if you turn them on when components are still wet, then you could inadvertently damage something that would have been fine without your intervention.

The best course of action immediately following an electrical fire is to simply leave electronics alone. Let a professional handle the computer cleanup. Trying to fix something without knowing what you are doing could end up costing you more. Visit for more information on commercial fire damage.

What To Know About Professional Fire Restoration

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

In case of a house fire, you do not want to handle the restoration alone. A professional service is more equipped to handle the smoke cleaning and restoration process. If you are on the fence, however, here is what professionals can help you to do after a fire.

1. Inspect Building

A professional should always inspect a building for fire and smoke damage. They can give you the best estimate on what to do to repair your home or business. In addition, professionals give you more peace of mind that they will perform every step properly.

2. Remove Items

Item removal is one of the most important steps of the process. Fire can damage items and furniture beyond repair. Your contractors are usually able to go through your items with you and assess soot damage. They help you decide what to clean and what to throw out. The same goes for key components of your home, such as walls and flooring.

3. Repair Structure

The final step is to start the restoration of the building. This usually entails the cleaning of all soot. The professionals may use a variety of air filters or fans to clean the air and help with circulation of airflow. This helps remove some of the smoke odor. However, for contractors to get rid of the smell entirely, they must take care of the source. Smoke cleaning often involves the repair of anything that suffered smoke damage. After, restoration on the building can finally begin. Not only can workers finish the cleanup, but they can also begin to repair the structure.

After a house fire in Clayton, MO there is already a lot of stress on you and your loved ones. To have a professional at your side to help you through the restoration process is invaluable. It takes away some of the pressure when cleaning up smoke damage.

Visit for more information on fire damage.

You Have Black Water, What’s Next?

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

After a flood, you have to deal with contaminated water. The water that is considered to be the most dangerous is black water. Water damage is enough, but the mold growth that comes with contaminated water is a whole other ball game. Here is what you need to know about flooding in Clayton, MO.

1. What is It?

After a flood, contaminated water is common. Often this water has come into contact with sewage or other harmful pathogens. Full of bacteria, it can be harmful towards people and towards the buildings that it floods. When it comes into contact with your home, you have to deal with more than just water damage; you have to deal with the mold growth and bacteria that comes with the flood.

2. How it is Removed

Contaminated water can be removed the same way that any water is removed. Often, it is extracted with the use of a trash pump, or simply allowed to drain. The big difference between black water and gray or clean water is that it often needs special equipment to be handled. Safety should always come first and when dealing with black water, it’s imperative to have a professional with experience on your side.

3. Clean Up After Flooding

After the contaminated water is removed, your home has to be dried. The drying process may take some time. You can use a dehumidifier to help move the process along. The water damage and mold left behind by the flooding has to be cleaned up. For some homes, this may mean removing all porous material and even part of the wall. For others, the damage that is done may be significantly less. What must be done, however, is the cleanup. Scrub the walls and furniture clean with a bleach solution.

Pathogens in water can be dangerous if not handled properly. In order to avoid more than a little water damage, it’s important that you take care of it as soon as possible. Removal is imperative, and a team of experts will be important to have on hand. Visit for more information on storm damage.

How Contaminated is Your Flood Water?

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

When contaminated water enters your home in Clayton, MO you may begin wondering how dangerous it is to wade into the water. This can depend on your supply line, where the water came from, and other factors. As complex as this can be, there are three main categories of water:

• Clean Water
• Gray Water
• Black Water

While these may seem like meaningless titles, these categories can give you a good idea of how dangerous standing water is.

Clean Water

Clean water, which is also called, “White Water,” is generally considered safe. This is the type of water that you may shower, cook, and clean with. You might face flood water in this category if a pipe inside your home bursts and does not contact anything else. Generally speaking, you can be safe from contamination when dealing with this type of water.

Gray Water

This water is slightly contaminated, but not necessarily dangerous. That means that gray water may have such particles as human hair, oils, and soap. The important thing is that gray water has not contacted solid human waste. This type of water may come from an overflowing tub or sink, for example.

Black Water

The most important thing about this type of water is that is has encountered solid human waste. Thus, it could be contaminated with harmful bacteria, parasites, toxins, and other dangerous particles. If your toilet overflows or your sewage backs up, you should not go near it. Many people are surprised to learn that flood water that enters your home from outside after a storm is also black water. It can become contaminated water when sewage backs up from the flooding.

No matter what kind of water damages your home in Clayton, MO it’s essential to call a professional restoration company to assist you. All kinds of water can cause mold, and a restoration company can help. Visit for more information on water damage.

3 Items You Will Likely Need to Throw Away After Flooding

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

A flooded company building in Clayton, MO poses many dangers, and one of the things you will need to figure out after the water has been removed is which items can be salvaged. For the most part, non-porous belongings can be saved. This includes items made out of metal and plastic. Clothing can occasionally be saved, but you will need to take the items to a professional dry cleaning company. However, it is important to understand when an item is too far gone to save.

1. Food and Other Kitchen Supplies

When a pipe breaks in your office’s kitchen, you should discard any food immediately. You do not want to risk contamination and potentially eating something that came into contact with flood water, especially if it is Category 2 or 3 water. It is also a good idea to discard certain culinary items, including:

* Baby bottles
* Plastic utensils
* Wooden cutting boards
* Wooden spoons
* Pacifiers

2. Electronics

It is possible to salvage computers, television sets and DVD players following a flooded company building. The likelihood of saving these items increases if you avoid powering on the electronic because there is a high chance of a short circuit. Have a professional technician look over the electronic to see if it can be saved.

3. Walls

Any walls that have come into contact with flood water should be removed immediately. The professionals will probably perform a flood cut, which is when a team cuts out the drywall 12 inches above the flood line. This is done to prevent any further structural disintegration. It also keeps mold from growing. Any insulation behind the drywall will need to be removed, too.

If you are unsure if something can be salvaged, then show it to a professional flooded company building restoration expert in Clayton, MO. He or she will be able to provide you with more information about what to do with heavily flooded items. Visit for more information on commercial water damage.

Why Mold Gives Off a Musty Odor and What You Can Do About It

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

Why Mold Gives Off a Musty Odor and What You Can Do About It

Mold’s musty odor is one of the chief qualities used to identify an infestation. Homes in Clayton, Missouri that have a large amount of black mold or other fungus growing in the walls or on other surfaces are likely to smell distinctly musty, giving off a strong scent easily identifiable by professionals. It’s often described as:

Loamy earth
Dirty, wet socks
Humid, rotting wood

However, what makes this smell occur? Why are there so many different mold smells? And more importantly still, how do you get rid of that smell after you’ve handled the mold problem? Answering these questions could mean a world of difference when it comes to your home’s future.

The Cause

Simply put, the musty odor given off by most types of mold is caused by the release of microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC). These gasses are given off by mold as it grows and develops. While some of these smells can be harmless, some of the spores you’re inhaling may be mycotoxins, which can cause serious health issues over time. Therefore, if you smell mold in your home, it’s best to call in the professionals for cleanup and find somewhere else to stay until the job’s done.

Getting Rid of the Smell

Investing in a bit of mold remediation can go a long way in getting rid of the musty smell, but it may not eliminate it completely. Spores from the mold may have left their scent impression on carpets and furniture over time, and while your home might be mold free, you could still smell the dead spores for a while. The best way to get these remaining odor-causing spores out of your home is to use HEPA Air Filtration Devices. These can pull remaining spores and mycotoxins out of carpets and furniture.

Don’t let yourself become nose-blind to the musky mold smell. Calling mold treatment pros right away when you first notice a moldy smell can help you avoid the effects of mycotoxins and reduce the overall effect on your residential property. Visit for more information on mold.

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

It is important that all homes in Clayton, Missouri have at least one fire extinguisher. Since a kitchen fire is one of the biggest concerns in a home, having one in this room is a good idea. The sooner you can get a fire out, the more fire damage you might be able to prevent. It is important that you know how to use one so that you have the best chance of preventing a small fire from spreading.

Choosing a Fire Extinguisher

Before knowing how to use a fire extinguisher, you want to ensure that you have the right one for your home. You will find an A, B and C classifications for these, and you want one that is classified for all three so that it is able to fight against flammable liquid, combustibles and electrical fires. It is recommended that you have an extinguisher on every floor of your home. You should also test the weight to ensure that you are able to easily maneuver it.

Proper Use of a Fire Extinguisher

You should use the PASS method to properly operate a fire extinguisher. This includes the following steps:

Pull the pin on the extinguisher, and hold it in a position so that the nozzle is pointed away from your body before you release the locking mechanism.
Aim low, and make sure that it is pointed at the fire’s base.
Squeeze the lever on the extinguisher evenly and slowly.
Sweep the nozzle in a side-to-side motion.

After using an extinguisher, you should still call the fire department to come and inspect the area. The firefighters can ensure that the fire is fully out and that your home is safe.

Make sure that you get a fire extinguisher that is the proper size. Then, take note of the usage instructions. For further information, the local fire department in Clayton, Missouri can often make solid recommendations for your home. Visit for more information on fire damage.