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How To Handle Water Damage to Your Property

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed on carpet floor of an office building Storm damage Ladue office building

If you’ve never experienced flood damage, the process of cleaning up may feel overwhelming. There’s much to consider, from the cause of the water damage to the safest way to commence cleanup. Some information may vary by location, but in Ladue, MO, the process can be streamlined by first performing a thorough assessment.

Why Assessment Matters

Unfortunately, not all water damage is equal; insurance coverage will vary based upon provider and cause of damage. While storm-related damage is often covered by property insurance, water damage due to flood waters requires a flood policy. It is therefore crucial to assess the cause of your water damage before moving forward.

How Damages Differ
It is not always clear what constitutes storm damage and what constitutes flood damage, as there is often overlap. However, the distinction usually comes down to the cause of damage. Causes of storm-related damage may include:

  • Lightning
  • Hail
  • Tornado/hurricane
  • Winter weather
  • Storm-related water

Water damage due to a compromised roof, debris, or high winds are typically considered storm-related water damage and are covered by property insurance. Any resulting leaks or pooling water also fall under this umbrella. The confusion occurs when a flood is caused by storms. Generally, water flowing into any place it does not usually dwell—regardless of cause— is considered flooding. In this situation, flood insurance is required in order to qualify for coverage.

How To Begin the Cleanup
Once you’ve determined the type of damage you’re dealing with, you can proceed to the cleanup process. First, notify your insurance provider and, if necessary, file a claim. Be sure to do this as quickly as possible; claims often must be filed within a certain timeline to be accepted.
After you’ve contacted your insurance provider, proceed with the actual cleanup process. It is often practical to consult a professional remediation company to ensure cleanup goes as quickly, safely, and smoothly as possible.
When you discover water damage to your property, it can be daunting to consider the best way to proceed. Remembering to verify the type of damage is crucial, as discerning between storm damage and flood damage can mean the difference between full insurance coverage and none.

Does Your Building Have Mold? How To Find Out

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up of person hand wearing gloves measuring wetness of a moldy wall Mold testing in a building in Brentwood, MO

How Do You Know It's There If You Can't See It?

As a contractor in Brentwood, MO, you’ve probably experienced a wide range of challenges in commercial buildings. From restorations to remodels, each project has different needs and solutions. One area of concern for commercial properties is mold contamination, especially in humid climates. Preventing mold is key, but how do you know it’s there if you can’t see it? An indoor environmental specialist can help you find out. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the process.

1. Signs Mold May Be Present
Although mold can hide within the structure of buildings, a major clue to its presence is a consistent fungal odor without an identifiable source. Make note of the conditions you observe. When or where is the odor the strongest? Does it become stronger when the heating or air conditioning is on? Has there been a water leak recently? These are signs that you may need a mold test.

2. Responsibilities of a Testing Specialist
A good indoor environmental specialist should operate independently from other parties to avoid conflicts of interest. The tester will first ask for a history of the building to assess any known issues. He or she may also do a walkthrough of the property and observe current conditions. Next, the tester will take samples from various parts of the structure, and he or she should do so in a minimally invasive way. After the on-site inspection, the tester will receive lab results and interpret them. You can then hire a mold remediation specialist if needed.

3. Steps To Mold Prevention
Humid environments provide habitat for mold. While you can’t control the weather, you can control the moisture levels inside your building with a dehumidifier. Dry surfaces inhibit mold growth, so monitoring spaces where water may collect can help prevent a problem in the future.
Remember, when you control moisture, you control mold. If you suspect there may be a problem, hiring an indoor environmental specialist can give you peace of mind and ensure the safety of all who enter the building.

5 Things To Do Before the First Winter Storm Arrives

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Insulation covers with the words COVER UP THE PIPES Ensure pipes are insulated to prevent disaster restoration

Prepare For The Impacts Of Any Upcoming Winter Storm

As the fall rolls around, commercial owners in Clayton, MO, should take some time to prepare for the impacts of any upcoming winter storm. While the weather cannot be stopped, sometimes the impact can be minimized. That requires a proactive approach now, focusing on reinforcing the facility's structure. Here five things proprietors can do to give themselves an upper-hand against the volatility of Mother Nature.

1. Gather Documentation
Have a disaster plan put together, detailing protocols for handling snow and ice. This should be in a binder, available for employees and yourself. Detail how to secure the premises, maintain communication, and tend to electrical and water hazards. In addition, review your insurance coverage. Have the policy number and a phone number handy. Should anything happen, you'll want to contact the agent immediately as well as a reputable storm restoration company. The specialists could help mitigate any storm damage.

2. Inspect the Roof
When autumn rolls around, contact a roofer to climb up and evaluate your shingles and flashing. Snow piles up; this is concerning for several reasons. The heaviness could weigh down the rooftop. The expert can check to see if it's sturdy enough to handle the impact. In addition, broken shingles or any current clogs in the gutters could pose detrimental, permitting leaks. These should be repaired to avoid future complications from the winter storm.

3. Look Over Your Windows
Walk around the building. Assess the openings, and reseal if needed. You don't want moisture accumulating.

4. Seal and Protect Pipes
Plumbers should examine water lines. As the temperature begins to drop, this system is more vulnerable, possibly bursting. Ensure they are insulated to prevent disaster restoration.

5. Check the Ventilation
Is your HVAC unit ready to pump out some warm air? You want it to function properly, keeping your valuables and yourself comfortable. Have an expert review the handler and ducts. Anything off should be fixed. Replace the filter now to aid in better service and air quality.
A winter storm is likely to happen. Think ahead. Your decisions now could assist in averting major construction later.

Be Prepared if Your House Exists in a Flood Zone

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Destroyed home after flood mirror reflection Hurricane Harvey disaster zone Flood zone in Rock Hill, MO

Is your residence located in a dangerous flood zone? If so, you need insurance before the worst happens.

Is Your House at Risk for Flooding?

FEMA analyzes the probability of a storm causing a flood to determine a given area’s risk rating. Here is how you can easily check your home’s hazard level:

Go online to FEMA’s Map Service Center.
Enter Rock Hill, MO, along with your street address, in the search bar and click Search.
The website will display a map that places you in a particular zone.

Residences in zones Z and V are at high risk, while those in zones B, X, or C are considered low risk. Flood zone AE is extremely safe, with only a 1% chance of flooding.

What Are the Basics of Flood Insurance?
The federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program offers subsidized insurance. Alternatively, there are many private flood insurers who offer protection. Either way, your fee will be based on multiple factors, including your building’s age, number of occupants, and, of course, flood risk. Most can expect to pay around $700 annually. If you reside in a particularly perilous area, costs can run as high as $6,000. Note, the IRS lets you claim flood insurance premiums on rental properties as a deductible.

How Do You Mitigate Flood Damage?
Reduce the destruction a flood might do to your basement by installing waterproof walls. Also, regularly check that your gutters and storm drains have not clogged. If possible, raise any electrical items above the worst possible water level and always store valuables and legal documents on your highest floor. Then, when there is a flood, hire an expert disaster cleanup service that can help restore the wreckage.
Determining your exposure to floods is a quick and easy way to identify whether you need immediate action. If you reside within a flood zone, acquire ample insurance, and reduce potential damages through simple preventative measures.

Improve the Outcome of Your Business Interruption Claim

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

When your Oakland, MO, property has been affected by flooding, you'll have to consider losses beyond the damage to your physical property. You'll face additional costs, including the loss of profits while your business is closed down for repairs. If you've prepared for this situation with a business interruption policy, there are some steps you can take to improve the results of your claim.

Choose a Reliable Advisor

An important first step is to contact an experienced consultant. This professional should

  • Provide a reasonable explanation of what will happen
  • Help you understand the legal scope of your claim
  • Steer you toward policy requirements and restrictions
  • Look after your interests

Your insurance agent is a valuable resource, but this professional tends to look out for the interests of the insurance company; make sure you have a knowledgeable advisor looking after yours.

Document and Record Damage and Communications

As soon as you notice the flooding, begin documenting everything. Keep written records of small and large water damage, listing equipment, furnishings, and inventory that has been affected. It's also a very good idea to take photographs of the damage. Every time you talk to a professional, such as your insurance agent, an assessor, or a water damage remediation professional, record the date and the content of your conversation. Keep all of this information in a safe place. The better you're able to organize your paperwork, the faster you can work through your claim.

Appoint a Contact Person for Your Business

Finally, appoint a single contact person to represent your business and properties. All communication from the insurance company and other professionals should be steered toward that person. If repair technicians, inspectors, or agents need to talk to someone else in your company, make sure that contact person is also present. This ensures a continuity of service.

Whether flooding was caused by a broken pipe or severe weather, you face many losses through damage and business interruption. Your quick and appropriate action can make a positive difference in the outcome of your claim.

4 Items That Can Be Cleaned of Mold

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Furniture with mold Furniture often becomes infested with mold after excess moisture

Items That Can Often Be Restored

The process of mold cleaning often focuses on removing mold from walls, ceilings, tiles, and carpeting. Sometimes, though, mold infests the personal belongings of a household, causing damage to such things as paintings, documents, keepsakes, and clothing. In some cases, the mold damage is too severe to save an item, but other times an experienced mold mitigation franchise in University City, MO, can successfully restore an item to good shape again. Trained technicians use a variety of sophisticated techniques to clean items that are delicate, valuable, and hold sentimental value. Here are a few items that can often be restored.

1. Paintings. Because paintings are often stored in attics and basements, they can become covered in mold. Special procedures are needed to remove mold from both the paints and the delicate surfaces of paper, canvas, and wood. Gentle, precise mold cleaning removes the mold and prevents further degradation of the painting.

2. Documents. Valuable paperwork can often be saved from additional damage through advanced mold remediation techniques. Restoration can be accomplished through a choice of drying procedures that eliminate the moisture that supports mold growth.

3. Personal Belongings. Such items as clothing and furniture often become infested with mold after excess moisture impacts a home. A pretest by an experienced technician can help determine if the item is a good candidate for restoration. The best choice of cleaning methods will be used to remove the mold.

4. Keepsakes. Many items in a home have sentimental value. Homeowners will go to great lengths to keep an important object rather than throw it away. Fortunately, many vases, pieces of unique furniture and fabrics are able to be restored with the appropriate cleaning steps.
Successful mold cleaning eliminates the effects of mold on homes and personal belongings. It removes the musty odors associated with mold growth and scrubs away the appearance of mold colonies on walls and ceilings. It can also restore many personal belongings.

4 Tips on Using the Office Fire Extinguisher

7/3/2020 (Permalink)

Man using fire extinguisher to stop fire in the office. Concept of protection and security A fire extinguisher is more than an everyday object you rarely notice—it’s a vital tool

4 Tips on Using the Office Fire Extinguisher

We’ve all seen a fire extinguisher around the office, but have you or your employees ever used one? As an employer in Richmond Heights, MO, it’s your responsibility to make sure your staff has the training to use this tool in the event of a minor fire. It seems simple, but with a little more information, you’ll be ready to handle this situation. Here are a few tips to get started.

1. Sound the alarm. At the first sign of smoke or flame, activate the fire alarm for the building and delegate someone to call the fire department. Locate the extinguisher and take it to the fire.
2. Prepare to evacuate. Make sure you have a clear path to escape before using the fire extinguisher. If fast-moving smoke or fire could block the way, and there’s no secondary exit, evacuate at once.
3. Use the P.A.S.S. technique (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep). First, pull the metal pin to break the seal. Aim the nozzle or hose low, near the bottom of the fire. Then, squeeze the handle to spray the foam, sweeping side to side. If you feel uncertain about doing any of this, don’t be a hero — get out quickly. Fire damage assessment specialists can restore any equipment casualties after the fire department puts out the fire.
4. Train employees annually. Fire safety tools won’t do any good if nobody knows how to use them. Pick a day each year to educate employees on the P.A.S.S. technique. You can even appoint a few people to respond to an office kitchen fire or another minor emergency. You should also include this training in each new hire’s onboarding plan.
A fire extinguisher is more than an everyday object you rarely notice—it’s a vital tool that, if used properly, can save lives. Armed with this knowledge, you might just be able to prevent a small fire from becoming a catastrophe.

Teaching Your Kids to Escape a Home Fire

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

girl crawling on the floor It’s best to crawl out during a fire instead of standing upright

Teaching Your Kids to Escape a Home Fire

There are generally hundreds of thousands of home fires each year; therefore, it’s wise to teach your children some fire safety tips. Your kid's safety can be increased by teaching them the following ways to escape a home fire.

1. Fire Crawl
Smoke and heat rise, so it’s best to crawl out during a fire instead of standing upright. Teach your kids two fire crawl methods: the dog and snake. The dog crawl involves getting down on your forearms and knees and placing your nose on the ground like a dog sniffing. The snake crawl is best if it’s too hot to have your bottom in the air.

2. Bed Roll
Your kids safety is your primary concern. Another method you should teach them is the bed roll. As the heat rises, the temperature of the area close to the ceiling can be more than a hundred degrees hotter than the space below. Instruct your kids to turn to their side, reach their hand to the floor and gently roll off their bed without sitting up.

3. Door Check
Closed doors help stop a fire from spreading faster. However, when a door is opened during a fire, it can ignite a burst of fire from the fresh supply of oxygen. Coach your children to feel the closed door with the back of their hand first. If it’s cool or only slightly warm, they can slowly open the door leading with their shoulder. If it’s hot, they should choose another way to escape.

4. Other Tips
Once your children understand the basic fire escape methods, it’s a good idea to discuss special circumstances. If they get trapped inside a room, teach them to go to a window to escape. If the room is not on the first floor, instruct them to yell for help and wave something so the firefighters know where they are. It’s also important to emphasize that once they get outside to stay outside.
Kids safety during a fire can be increased by teaching them how to escape. While you hope that your Glendale, MO, home never catches on fire, a professional restoration company can assist you.

How SERVPRO Is Faster to Any Size Disaster

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial building with SERVPRO logo on the top SERVPRO is a leader in the restoration industry

How SERVPRO Is Faster to Any Size Disaster

Emergencies can happen at any time, on any day. Disasters don't adhere to schedules nor do they observe holidays, so you need to know who to call should a disaster strike. SERVPRO is at the ready any time you need emergency service for a water damage catastrophe. With 24 hour availability, including holidays, SERVPRO has people who can assist you quickly, no matter the time of day or scope of the damage.

How Quickly SERVPRO Responds to Your Emergency:

  • Within one hour, SERVPRO will respond to you with a call.
  • Within four hours, SERVPRO will be on-site to your location.
  • Within eight hours, SERVPRO will prepare and deliver a verbal briefing with a plan for your emergency.

Choosing a team of water damage specialists who guarantee a fast response and fast action is imperative. Take action immediately to counter damage effectively and manage and reduce the costs of remediation and restoration projects. Call your local Oakland, MO, SERVPRO professionals, who are always open and ready to help, whenever you require emergency water restoration service.

How Quickly Water Damage Can Occur:

Within minutes, water can seep into your property, building materials, and belongings.
Within 24 hours, materials begin to swell, crack, tarnish, and mold can take hold.
Within one week, materials begin to rust, corrode, warp, and mold or mildew grows and spreads.
Over one week, structures can incur significant damage, and remediation costs increase noticeably.

Water damage can set in quickly. When you experience a water emergency, you need help on the scene as soon as possible. To safeguard your property and your belongings, call the experts who will give you a fast response.
With 24 hour availability and over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is a leader in the restoration industry. Don't hesitate to call your local office, any time of day or night, when you need emergency cleanup experts.

5 Things To Know About Water Damage

5/23/2020 (Permalink)

Air mover and a humidifier placed on a floor, drying up damaged area If you have water damage in your home a local water damage restoration service can help

5 Things To Know About Water Damage

When there’s a pipe burst in your Ladue, MO, home you may be worried about water damage. Understanding water damage can help you deal with it quickly before additional problems occur. Here’s what you should know.

1. It Should Be Cleaned Up Quickly

The first thing that should be understood about flood water is that the water should be cleaned up as quickly as possible. This can help prevent it from seeping in and causing long term damage.

2. It Can Lead to Long Term Problems

If left to sit too long water can cause additional damage to your home. These include crumbling drywall, mold problems, warped wood, cracked tile, and rust in metal components.

3. It Can Occur a Number of Ways

Water damage can start with a number of sources. These include a pipe burst, water line leak, roof damage, storm flooding, or sewer back up. Knowing the source of the damage is an important part of the cleanup process as it can help the restoration team determine the necessary repair steps.

4. A Professional Can Help

If you have water damage in your home a local water damage restoration service can help. These professionals have the training needed to deal with multiple forms of damage that can result from flooding. With a little time they can have your home looking “Like it never even happened.”

5. Items Should Be Cleaned Too

You may also want to clean any affected items. The exact method will depend on the material type, but a restoration service can help with this as well. They can even help dry damaged paper goods such as books.

After a pipe burst, leaking roof, stormwater, or other water damage in your home, it’s best to contact a professional to help clean up the water as quickly as possible. Doing so can help prevent lot term problems. Affected items should be cleaned as well.