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Why SERVPRO - How You Can Depend on Your Emergency Response Team Following a Fire

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and fire damage in an empty commercial building, there is a scaffold Commercial fire loss in Rock Hill, MO

Experiencing a fire can be a very devastating experience that affects every aspect of your business. Smoke and soot can linger long after the flames of the fire have been put out and water may be present in the building. Fortunately, a fire restoration crew from SERVPRO in Rock Hill, MO, can quickly address the situation by offering both damage mitigation and rebuilding services.

Fire Damage Mitigation

In the aftermath of a fire, the first step of the restoration process is for you to call SERVPRO’s National Customer Care Center. You can expect to have a response to your call within an hour and a team onsite within four hours. After inspecting the area and assessing the extent of the damage, the restoration specialist will focus on damage mitigation by performing the following services:

  • Board-Up and Roof-Tarp: If any windows or walls are missing or severely damaged, the fire restoration specialist will board up the section. Additionally, tarps will be placed on the roof if it has at all been compromised.
  • Water Extraction: If any there is any standing water in the building, the restoration team will remove it from the site and thoroughly dry the area using professional equipment
  • Smoke and Soot Removal: Through the use of special techniques and tools, all smoke and soot will be removed from walls, furniture, and other affected surfaces.
  • Cleaning: The final step of the mitigation process is to clean and sanitize the building and everything within it.

The Fire Rebuild Process

Once the restoration team is sure that no more damage will occur to your building, they will begin the rebuilding process. Rather than having to hire a separate company to replace drywall, install flooring, and paint surfaces, SERVPRO will make the repairs themselves. By the time the process is finished, your building will look just like new.
From start to finish, SERVPRO fire restoration specialists will help your business recover from a disaster. With one simple phone call, your building will be restored to its original condition.

Is Bleach an Effective Solution for Mold?

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

A man scrubbing a wall with mold Did you know that using bleach on mold is a common misconception?

Is Bleach an Effective Solution for Mold?

When you discover that your University City, MO, business has signs of mold, the first thing you want to do is find a successful way to eliminate the damaging substance. While researching possible solutions to your mold problem, you may have learned that bleach is an effective anti-mold remedy. If you’re wondering how accurate this claim is, make sure that you consult this guide before you use chemicals in your commercial building in an effort to remove mold.

Know the Risks

In many cases, using a bleaching solution as a fungus cleanup method can lead to more damage in your commercial building. Mold has the ability to take root within highly porous surfaces, such as the following:

  • Drywall
  • Hardwood floors
  • Fabric
  • Cardboard

Mold’s root system can thwart your efforts to make the substance disappear with the use of chemicals. Bleaching solutions, in particular, can cause serious harm to your building materials. Because most bleaching solutions contain a combination of chlorine and water, the water helps to promote the growth of mold while the chlorine fails to have any effect at all. Therefore, you may end up dealing with increased mold growth as a result of using chemicals.
There is also a great risk associated with the specific type of bleach you use. Not all products are created equally, and some might contain smaller amounts of chlorine that fail to contribute to your fungus cleanup efforts. Additionally, many bleaching solutions lose their effectiveness over time, and it is difficult to determine exactly when this occurs.

Contact a Professional

Because the use of chemicals may further aggravate your mold problem, it’s crucial to know when to turn to an expert for help. A professional can identify the source of mold in your business and arrange a cleanup mold session to remediate the issue. Once all existing mold damage is under control, you can successfully return to business.
If mold has invaded your business in University City, MO, avoid using chemicals such as bleach to remove it on your own. A commercial building restoration company can perform an expert fungus cleanup so your business can return to normal in no time.

How Does the Fire Estimation Process Work?

12/28/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling of a parking garage with soot damage Parking garage fire damage in Richmond Heights, MO

How Does the Fire Estimation Process Work?

Running a successful business often means juggling more things than you can count each day. If a fire damages your business in Richmond Heights, MO, the added stress of getting back to normal can be overwhelming. As you try to salvage what you can, it can seem impossible to estimate the cost of the loss and repairs. Turning to a fire restoration professional can ease the process.

The Evaluation Process

A commercial fire not only results in fire damage, but it can also include water and smoke damage. All three of those can produce hidden issues throughout a building. After contacting a professional, they will assist with the following to get your business back to normal.

Emergency Repairs – Once the fire department allows entry back into the business, an inspection should be done on all of the building’s systems, as well as the overall structure. The residuals of a fire can work their way into HVAC systems, walls and even plumbing.

Damage Analysis – Once the structure is deemed safe, the experts will begin determining the extent of the damage. While it may seem nothing is salvaged, restoration professionals have the expertise and tools to salvage more than you think. Along with repairing walls, other items may be deemed worthy of being cleaned through various processes.

Restoration Assessment – Once there is a better idea of the amount of damage, it is easier to estimate the cost for restorative services. This will include the supplies and labor needed to complete repairs.

Restoration Expectations

It’s important to remember that fire cleanup does take time. The different residue—soot, dust and smoke—left behind can be difficult to clean. Ensuring that no lingering odors exist also requires thorough cleaning throughout the business. Restoring items does offer a cost-savings over replacing them. By using a trusted professional, you also get peace of mind that repairs are being done properly and are up to code.
While it may be difficult to estimate the worth of your belongings, business owners don’t have to go it alone. Getting the right help can make the process more smooth and get things back to “Like it never even happened”.

Common Flood Prevention Strategies

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

The stacking of roll green lawn grass Planting grass is an environmentally friendly way to limit flood damage

Flood Prevention Strategies

Storm cleanup is a lengthy process that can cost your Oakland, MO, business money. Floods are a particularly devastating consequence of storms. That is why commercial building owners often enact flood prevention strategies. Many of these same tactics can be applied to cities and towns, as well.
Floods are sudden or lengthy discharges of water that submerge dry land and buildings. Floods can result from:

  • River overflow
  • Excessive rain
  • Strong coastal winds
  • Hurricanes

Whatever the cause of a flood, it can be devastating to a community and a property owner. Flood cleaning, in particular, is both costly and time-consuming. That is why businesses, towns and cities often utilize one or more of the below prevention techniques.

Increased Vegetation
Planting additional shrubs, grass and trees is an environmentally friendly way to limit flood damage. That is because vegetation limits land erosion and reduces the strength of flowing water.

Education is another effective flood prevention tactic. Make sure your employees know that litter and debris can block waterways and cause flooding. While this is particularly problematic in developing countries, excess garbage can lead to water overflow in developed cities, as well.

Retaining Walls
Buildings and municipalities that are prone to flooding often use retaining walls to block the excess water. Cities and towns may also utilize dams, reservoirs, retention ponds and levees for similar purposes.

Detention Basins
Some municipalities also build detention basins. These are small reservoirs that store overflowing water. Find out if your area has one of these basins attached to your local waterways. If so, you and your employees may have more time to evacuate during a flood.
Even if your town has flood prevention strategies in place, you should consider enacting some additional measures for further protection. Still, there is no way to stop rainfall or other natural disasters that cause flooding. Therefore, as you prepare your commercial property for potential storm damage, you should also save the contact information for your local flood cleanup and restoration company.

How To Stop Mold From Spreading in Your Home

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on a wall Trusting experts can give you peace of mind and help you enjoy a newly restored living space.

Noticing signs of mold in your Clayton, MO home is never a pleasant experience. If you come across any indications of spreading mold in your living space, be sure to contact a professional restoration company as soon as possible. In the meantime, however, it’s important to do what you can to keep the problem under control. Here are some steps you can take to prevent mold from continuing to spread in your home.

Clean the Area

While you’re waiting for help to arrive, try to keep the affected area clean. If you have any valuables that are vulnerable to mold growth, be cautious when handling them. Take the following steps to keep your living space in good condition:

Remove valuables from shelves and cupboards
Wipe down surfaces that contain moldy objects
Turn on fans to boost air circulation

Be sure to only turn on the fans after all valuable objects are removed and the surfaces are sufficiently clean. This can help to keep additional mold at bay until mold remediation experts arrive.

Adjust the Temperature

High temperatures and humidity have a direct impact on spreading mold. To curb mold growth in your home, adjust the temperature right away. Opening windows and turning on the air conditioning can also help to cool your space. If you still need to lower the humidity, consider installing a dehumidifier.

Freeze Moldy Objects

When inspecting your home for signs of black mold, take note of any objects that can still be salvaged. To rid these items of any lingering traces of mold, dry and freeze them immediately. Freezing damaged objects helps to eliminate any mold from them and bring them back to their normal state.
While it’s crucial to be proactive in helping your home recover from spreading mold, know when it’s time to request mold remediation services. 

The Simplest Methods for Cleaning a Microwave

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen with an oven and microwave. Even a little smoke can spread toxic chemicals around, and the offending items should be thoroughly cleaned or discarded.

A microwave that’s not been cleaned in a while can look like a wasteland of baked-in debris, and cooking in it can generate a noxious smoke smell. It may be tempting to take a pickaxe to the build-up, but the good news is that microwaves are surprisingly easy to clean. Here’s a couple simple ways to steam-clean a microwave and remove the gunk in Clayton, MO. 

The Vinegar Steam Clean

This is the preferred method, since vinegar provides significant advantages all by itself, including

It’s non-toxic to humans in normal doses.
It’s dirt cheap.
It deodorizes and eliminates the smoke smell while it cleans.
It’s versatile, so is usually on-hand.
It’s an excellent disinfectant.

Start by mixing one cup of vinegar with a cup of warm water. Place the blend into the microwave, and heat it for 5 – 10 minutes, or until it boils for around 3 minutes. This blasts the build-up with super-heated steam to loosen it.

Next, wipe down all the surfaces with a microfiber cloth. You can dampen the cloth with the same 50/50 mix of vinegar and water, but don’t use the heated mix if it’s still too hot. If the build-up is too severe, you may have to repeat these steps.

The Lemon Juice Steam Clean

If some members of the household are sensitive to the smell of vinegar, you can still remove the stubborn build-up and smoke smell with steam. Put a cup of water in a bowl along with some lemon juice, or squeeze lemon slices into the water. Heat it just like you would have heated the vinegar/water mix, and then use a lemon and water blend as your cleaner.

To clean the vent grill, use either vinegar or lemon mixed with water and wipe the area with a damp towel. Don’t use spray, which will drip the contaminates behind the grill, where they can fester and grow bacteria.

If you have smoke damage to your home in Clayton, MO call the professionals who will quickly remove the smell.

Useful Tips for Unfreezing Frozen Pipes this Winter

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

horizontal view electric cable in corrugated pipe rolls of isulating tape heat shrinkable tubes on wooden board You can also use heat tape to thaw out a pipe

Useful Tips for Unfreezing Frozen Pipes this Winter

Frozen pipes do not have to signify an imminent or looming disaster, one where you'll have to hire a water damage restoration company in Glendale, MO, to dry out and restore your home. The key to reducing the risks of bursting pipes after a freeze is to act fast to restore water flow, and there are several ways to do just that.

  • Open faucets
  • Use a heat gun
  • Purchase heat tape
  • Use space heaters

Open Faucets

The first tip to fix your pipe freeze issue is to open the faucet closest to the affected pipe. While opening the line will not thaw the frozen water, it will help to reduce the risk of a break. Although, if you know that your pipes tend to freeze, then open the faucet to just a trickle can minimize the risk altogether.

Use a Heat Gun

Next, if your frozen pipes are in an easily accessible space, then you can use a heat gun to thaw them. However, use caution when doing this because applying too much heat can damage some plumbing materials, like PVC.

Purchase Heat Tape

You can also use heat tape to thaw out a pipe. This tape is actually a heating cable that is wrapped around your pipes and plugged into an outlet. There are self-regulating forms of this tape available, and it works well during those frigid winter months.

Use Space Heaters

Last, if a freeze occurred inside the home, perhaps under a sink, then you can use a space heater to warm the pipe. Also, if you know where the freeze is located in a wall cavity, you can cut away the drywall and place a space heater facing the direction of the pipe.
Frozen pipes do present a risk for cracks and breaks, but they do not have to lead to such extensive damage. If you locate the freeze and thaw it out quickly, then you reduce your overall risks.

Top Ways To Prevent Mold Growth After a Storm

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

A drywall covered with black mold A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting

When water enters your home after a storm, you will have more than a few things to worry about. First, you want to make sure everyone in the home is safe and you've addressed the entry point of the water. Any standing water should be quickly removed and for this you might want to consult with a water mitigation company in Ladue, MO. When things settle down, though, you should turn your attention to mold growth. Unexpected water from any source in your home creates good conditions for mold to proliferate. Mold can appear quickly, too, in as little as 48-72 hours after a leak or flood.

The Facts About Mold

A better understanding of mold growth can be helpful when dealing with it. Here are a few basic facts about mold:

  • It is naturally occurring and is present just about everywhere
  • It is made up of microscopic spores
  • Mold spores thrive in moist conditions such as when standing water is present
  • Mold often produces a musty odor
  • It is unlikely to grow in rooms under 45% humidity

The control of mold in your home is important because it produces allergens that can be an irritant to health. One of the keys to mold control is to eliminate excessive moisture in the home.

The Myths About Mold

Mold is a fungus and not a bacteria. Since it is naturally in the air and the soil it is really impossible to achieve complete mold removal. It will always be present in your home in small amounts, but will be unlikely to cause problems so long as moisture is controlled.
Mold can be contained with specific treatments and colonies can be removed through the use of antifungal and antimicrobial products. Contents such as clothes and furniture can also be cleaned and sanitized with the proper measures. Fortunately, you can contain mold growth even after a storm that brings water into your home.

Sewer Damage Cleanup Procedures

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Inside of flooded dirty abandoned ruined industrial building with sewage water in the interior. Sewer damage in a Clayton, MO building

Sewer Damage Cleanup Procedures

Many homeowners can think of nothing worse than needing to perform sewer cleanup in their home. Fortunately, overflowing sewage problems are not common for most homeowners. However, if it happens to your home in Clayton, MO, you will need to get it cleaned and disinfected as quickly as possible. A sewer backup can occur for a variety of reasons:

  • Sewage seeping in through a shower drain
  • Septic system overflow
  • Leaking or busted drainage pipes
  • Flooded toilet
  • Leaking or damaged toilet

If there is minor spillage, you may be able to take care of it yourself. It the problem is more severe, you will need to hire a professional company that specializes in sewer cleanup. They can help return your home to normal.

What to Do If It Happens to You

First of all, stay away from the area! Do not let anyone, including pets, near the dirty water. You do not want this stuff tracked all over your house. Then, be sure to protect yourself by wearing proper protective gear and turning off power to any electrical outlets in the area. Next, make the area a bit safer by opening windows and pouring bleach onto the spill, if possible. At this point, you can decide if this is something you want to tackle yourself or if you want to hire a professional to take care of it for you. If the area is small, you may want to gather the proper cleaning and disinfecting products and get to work. Be sure to follow the instructions to ensure proper decontamination. If you choose to hire a professional, they will take care of water extraction, odor removal, disinfection and any repair work that is needed.
If you need sewer cleanup that is more than a tiny spill, you need to hire remediation experts to resolve the problem and get your home back to being a clean, sewage-free oasis.

How To Prevent Your Home From Flooding During Vacation

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Insulation for pipes Cover your exposed pipes with foam or insulation sleeves to avoid a water damage in your home

The last thing you want after a relaxing vacation is to come home to a flooded house. Unfortunately, that can happen if a pipe leaks or bursts while you are away.
If you are at home when the leak occurs, you can call water pipe repair specialists before the damage gets too severe. However, if the leak takes place when no one is around, you likely won't discover the issue until it has already destroyed your belongings.
That is why, before you leave for an extended trip, you should take steps to prevent water damage. Below are some tips that will reduce your chances of returning home to a soggy mess.

Check for Problems

A broken pipe is a common cause of flooding in the home. Before you head out the door, see if all the pipes are working properly. Similarly, make sure the windows are properly sealed, and that the shingles remain firmly in place.

Keep Pipes Insulated

Cold weather can cause pipes to freeze and burst. If you don’t want to have to call water pipe repair experts, cover the pipes with fiberglass or rubber sleeves. You should also leave on the heater so the pipes do not get too cold.

Don’t Forget the Hoses

The hoses attached to your dishwasher, ice machine and washing machine can cause water damage as well. Be sure to check those before you leave.

Call a Friend or Neighbor

You may want to consider having a neighbor or friend check your house while you are away. Make sure this person knows how to shut off the water main if necessary. You can also turn off the water main yourself prior to leaving the home.
Even if you do follow the above steps, a sudden storm or unforeseen emergency can cause major water damage to your Ladue, MO, house. Thankfully, water pipe repair specialists can stop the flooding and dry off your belongings.