Recent Posts

How To Repair Frozen Pipes and Damage They Leave Behind

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Broken and frozen pipe Frozen pipes are common in older plumbing systems

Living in Clayton, MO, during the winter can bring snow and cold weather. As a homeowner, you're wary of potential plumbing problems when the temperatures start to plummet. This is when you can find frozen pipes and other concerns. If you don't take care of this issue in a hurry, you could face expensive repairs and widespread cleanup.

How Pipes Freeze

Even when the temperatures outside fall below freezing, a quality plumbing system should have frozen pipes. If you've discovered that this has happened in your home, it's important to know the cause. Some of the culprits include:

  • Poor insulation
  • A broken thermostat
  • Insufficient taping

The Consequences

A pipe freeze can be anything from minor to catastrophic, and many issues in between. When this occurs, you face the possibilities of the pipe bursting. This could send gallons upon gallons of water all over your floors, walls, and possessions. Before the pipes rupture, you may notice cracks or splits. If you don't address and repair a frozen pipe, you could face water damage to the home's flooring and building materials. You could also lose furniture, clothing, electronics, documents, and personal items.

Salvaging Your Belongings

If frozen water does lead to a burst pipe and a flood, it's nice to know you can turn to professionals who can help. An experienced water removal and a cleanup company can save many of the materials you think were lost. While technicians may have to throw out sub-floor wood, the team can often spare drywall and some types of wood. One of the determining factors of whether the cleanup crew can save wood is whether it's swollen. If water swells up the wood, the restoration team will have to replace it.

Fixing the Pipes

Once you've located where the pipes are frozen, open the faucets of your home a little. Then, apply heat tape or use a blow dryer on the affected area.
Frozen pipes are common in older plumbing systems. Follow these tips if you face this troubling situation.

How to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Plumber repairing an hot-water heater Turning on the heater is the first line of defense against pipe freeze

How to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

Frozen pipes are a common frustration for many homeowners in Oakville, MO, as plummeting winter temperatures take a toll on plumbing fixtures. Water freezes in the pipes, expanding tremendously in the process. As a result, the pressure increases 1000 fold, and that’s when the real disaster strikes.
Pipes that are most likely to freeze include:

  • Outdoor water supply lines
  • Pipes in basements, attics and other unheated areas
  • Pipes running in areas with little insulation

Turn on the Heat

Turning on the heater is the first line of defense against pipe freeze. However, it might be challenging to keep the heat running, especially if you have a big house with multiple bathrooms. Even so, you have to work something out. Consider using fans to circulate the hot air and also leave all the internal doors open. The idea is to keep the temperature at 50F or above, even when there’s nobody in the house. That will mitigate the risk of flooding due to frozen pipes.

Let the Faucet Drip

Allowing the faucet to drip might seem like a wasteful idea, but it goes a long way in releasing pressure in the plumbing system. The constant flow in the pipes creates friction, which generates some heat. That makes it harder for frost to form in the pipes as opposed to when the water is still.

Insulate Pipes

Insulation is the best way to protect your pipes from freezing. The only problem is, it can be pretty expensive depending on the choice of materials and type of installation (new or old).
There are relatively inexpensive insulation options made of fiberglass, polystyrene, and foam. Then there’s an electric tape that heats the pipes as needed. You can also use duct tape and wounded up newspaper as a temporary solution.
That said, radiator heating and letting the faucet leak are just precautionary measures. Insulation is the best way to avoid frozen pipes in your home.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Grease Fires

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Chef cooking with flames Grease fire can flare up and spread fast in your Ladue, MO home

The Do’s and Don’ts of Grease Fires

A grease fire is one of the worst kinds of fires you can experience in your home in Ladue, MO. They can flare up and spread fast. It’s really important to be mindful of your actions and how they may affect the fire, so take some time to learn more now so you can act quickly and logically if you ever encounter such a fire. Here are the do’s and don’ts for grease fires:

Do

  • Do stay in the kitchen while cooking to prevent fires.
  • Do use a lid to smother the flames.
  • Do protect yourself from burns by avoiding anything that would splash or spill the fire.
  • Do use a dry chemical fire extinguisher.
  • Do use baking soda for small areas.
  • Do get everyone out of the house.

Don’t

  • Don't walk away from food that is cooking on the stove.
  • Don’t cook while sleepy.
  • Don't use water or any liquid to put out a grease fire.
  • Don’t use a liquid fire extinguisher.
  • Don’t use wet or dry fabric to smother the fire.
  • Don’t carry the fire out of the house.

It’s so natural for people to want to use water, but remember that is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Water just splashes the hot oil, causing it to jump to other areas like the wall, floor or ceiling. A grease fire can get out of control in a matter of minutes. If you aren’t there at the beginning when it is smallest, just get out and call 911.

Cleanup

Fire cleanup is overwhelming because so much is involved in discerning what can be cleaned and what must be replaced, but a fire damage expert can help with the assessment and the cleanup. When their experience and knowledge is specific to fire recovery, you will get the best care to resolve your problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Tips to Prevent Water Damage During Construction

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling removed. Ceiling removed in a Brentwood, MO commercial facility

Every stage of a construction project requires detailed planning. Water damage, such as water pipe repair problems during construction, is one area that should not be overlooked. It’s helpful to know the most common causes of water damage, such as a broken pipe, so that you’re able to prevent losses on your end. Here are some tips to help you avoid water damage during construction.

Understand Common Causes

There are two sources of water damage: external causes, such as rain and flooding, and internal sources including roofs and pipes. Frequently, the water damage can come from a combination of external and internal sources. One example of both includes an unsecured door or window during a major rainstorm. Some additional causes of water damage include:

  • Plumbing system
  • Roof openings
  • Improper drainage away from buildings
  • Cracks in foundation

Whether your source is external or internal, water damage at any level results in major delays and losses. Rather than deal with a water pipe repair mid-project, create a plan to prevent such an occurrence.

Establish an Expert Contact

One of the best things you can do as a Brentwood, MO, construction business owner is have access to a commercial water damage cleanup expert. Prompt attention to any type of water damage is critical. Have the contact information ready and clearly labeled so that once a disaster strikes, you and your employees know who to call. A water damage cleanup expert can handle any size disaster from pipe repair to flooded basements.

Inspect Water Exposures

A good way to prevent water damage from occurring is frequent inspection. During construction, daily inspection should be done to ensure that doors, windows, roofs, pipes and all other potential water damage areas are clear. It’s important to train employees to watch for water damage as well in order to report any concerns immediately.
If you’re hoping to avoid a water pipe repair during construction, make a plan to train all employees to inspect water exposure points daily. Be sure to have a water damage cleanup expert ready to assist you if damage occurs.

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
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.