Mildew, Dirt, or Mold? Here's How to Tell.
Specialists can help you plan for mold remediation.
Steps To Take If You Have Mold In Your House
Mold growth can happen in your University City, MO home wherever surfaces get wet. Mold remediation is expensive and the longer mold grows the harder it is to get rid of. That's why you want to get a mold test or call an Indoor Environmental Specialist at the first sign of a problem. How do you know if you have a serious mold problem and not mildew or dirt? Here are three steps you can take to find out.
Test surface spots for mildew or dirt.
Look for leaks around plumbing, ductwork, and your home's exterior.
Check surfaces for signs of rot.
Mold or Dirt - Telling the Difference.
Visible mold often appears as mildew. These black spots form on damp surfaces like bathroom tiles. While mildew will not damage your walls and floors, it can be a sign of mold beneath the surface.
Mildew looks like dirt. Dab a cotton ball in diluted bleach then rub it on the suspected mildew to tell the difference. If the spots disappear then come back, it's likely mildew.
Test for Rotting Surfaces.
Mold growing in walls or ceilings may not be visible. Take a pocket knife or another pointed tool and poke the surface you suspect of having mold. If the drywall or wood falls apart, there's a good chance you have an infestation. If you don't find visible mold an Indoor Environmental Specialist can do a mold test to confirm.
Check the Likely Suspects.
Mold needs moisture to grow. If you think you have mold near or below bathroom or kitchen fixtures, check your plumbing for leaks.
If you suspect mold in your walls or ceiling, check nearby ductwork or HVAC returns for leaks or damaged insulation.
Finally, check outside near where you think mold is. Look for excessive moisture or rotting wood. Damaged vents, roofs and windows leak into attics and walls and create perfect conditions for mold growth.
Take action if you think you have mold. If you're still not sure, your local Indoor Environmental Specialist can conduct tests and help you plan for mold remediation.
Quick Guide to Residential Fire Extinguishers
Having a fire extinguisher in your home in Clayton, MO can help you increase your chances of escaping from a fire.
Residential Fire Extinguishers 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.
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 are 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.
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.
3 Steps to Take in Case of a Flood on Your Commercial Property
Storm damage in a Richmond Heights, MO office building.
Steps To Take In Case Of A Flood
Flood damage is a common and devastating experience for property owners in Richmond Heights, MO. If you have experienced a flood in your building, you can take action immediately to prevent damages from worsening with time. Some common reasons for flooding include:
- Burst pipes
- Heavy rainfall
- Sewage overflow
The type of flooding in your building will determine what action you should take for cleaning and reparation. Here are three steps to take in case of a flood.
1. Determine the Type of Water
There are three categories of water from flooding. They determine the risk of hazard for bacterial and viral illness from contact with the water. Category 1 is sanitary water which normally comes from water supply lines. This water is drinkable and safe to clean without protective gear. Category 2 water is somewhat dirty and includes water from showers or washing machines. Category 3 water, or black water, is highly unsanitary and should be handled with care. Flood water from storms falls into his category.
2. Clean As Much Water As You Can
Time is important when water enters your property. Water that is allowed to sit on your property can dampen natural construction materials and furniture, increasing the risk for irreparable flood damage. Clean the water with rags, towels, mops, and any other tool that can sop up the moisture. If you are handling black water, use protective gear. You may want to hire a storm damage restoration service to aid in the cleanup of Category 3 water and restoration of your property.
3. Contact Your Insurance
If you have flood insurance, they can provide you a list of providers to aid in cleanup and repairs. They will often cover storm damage and sewer backup if it affects more than two acres of land. Contact your insurance company before hiring a contractor to help with restoring your property to prevent overspending.
Flood damage may not always be preventable but being prepared can make a great difference in costs and loss. Know what steps to take and lessen the damages made to your property by a flood.
Water Damage: The Forgotten Consequence of a Business Fire
Firefighters putting out the flames in an Oakland, MO building.
Water Damage: The Forgotten Consequence of a Business Fire
If there is a fire at your Oakland, MO, business, the potential for loss can be enormous. Fire can spread exponentially in the blink of an eye, destroying everything in its path. Your commercial property insurance will likely cover at least some of the cost to remedy the fire damage to your building’s structure and contents; however, in many cases, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s necessary to get your business up and running again. One often-overlooked consequence of a business fire is the likelihood of water damage to the property due to firefighting efforts.
Understanding the Consequences of Fire Suppression
When many people think about property damage caused by fire, things like soot damage and smoke odor are often the first to spring to mind. In truth, one of the most damaging and costly consequences of a fire is the property damage that results from putting the fire out.
Sprinklers: In commercial buildings, sprinkler systems often dump large amounts of water onto every interior surface, even those not at risk of fire damage.
Hoses: A fire hose can spray thousands of gallons of water into the property, often at an extremely high rate of pressure.
Chemicals: The chemical compounds and solvents in many types of fire extinguishing foams and powders may damage many surfaces inside your building.
Managing Water Damage After a Business Fire
In addition to the property damage caused by fire, soot, and smoke, the large amount of water that is typically present after a fire can cause further damage, especially to porous materials such as drywall, wood, carpet, and upholstery. Worse still, mold spores will begin to grow and multiply, rapidly spreading throughout the property within a matter of hours after the fire. It’s critical to contact a professional remediation company with experience in cleaning up soot, smoke, water, and mold damage.
Unfortunately, putting out the flames is often only the beginning of a lengthy restoration process. An informed and thorough approach gives your business the best odds of overcoming the harsh effects of fire damage.
3 Tips To Minimize Odors After a Flood
Flood damage in Glendale, MO.
3 Tips To Minimize Odors After a Flood
After a flood, getting your business cleaned and ready to reopen can be an overwhelming amount of work. One often-overlooked aspect of flood damage cleanup is dealing with the odors that typically linger after a flood. These odors are typically caused by contaminants in the flood water itself, as well as by the mold growth that usually begins shortly after the waters recede. Try these tips to rid your Glendale, MO, business of unpleasant odors after a flood.
1. Act Quickly
It’s important to act quickly after a flood to minimize damage to your business. Evacuate the business, including any customers, clients, tenants, employees, and pets. You can contact your insurance agent and emergency cleanup crews even before the water recedes so that they can be on standby. In a flooding situation, time is always of the essence. The water often brings a host of contaminants into your building, and it only takes a matter of hours after the flood for mold growth to become rampant.
2. Protect Yourself
Flood water, especially water caused by storms or overflowing lakes and rivers, is often filled with dangerous contaminants. The water may contain all manner of chemicals, organic material, sewage loss from flooded and overflowing sewers, bacteria, and more. If you must re-enter the flooded building, wear protective gear and be careful to limit your exposure.
3. Enlist Professional Help
During a flood, highly contaminated water saturates and seeps deep into any porous materials in your business. Completely removing these contaminants and the resulting odors requires extensive training and specialized equipment. Be sure to call a professional flood remediation company, and don’t attempt to handle cleanup on your own.
Take immediate action and bring in professional remediation crews as soon as possible after a flood. Fast cleanup helps minimize offensive odors and mold growth in your business so you can get back to work sooner.
A Top-Down Approach to Flood Prevention for Businesses
Think of insurance as a backup plan.
Mitigating Flood Damage
Science predicts the climate will become increasingly unstable in the future. Expect to see more hurricanes, unusually high tides, more torrential rainfall, and other similar events. That means people need to reinvent their flood prevention techniques without causing further damage to the environment.
Here are some of the things businesses in Glendale, MO can do to mitigate flood damage:
- Make buildings flood resilient
- Design proper drainage
- Get flood insurance
Modify Buildings to be Flood Resilient
For a long time, people have been developing ways of keeping water out of their buildings rather than making them capable of withstanding floods. Aqua barriers, for example, prevent invasive water from getting into your property. However, it is not the most eco-friendly solution. It would be better if businesses concreted floors, raised electrical fixtures and waterproofed the walls to increase water resilience.
In the initial design, surface water was supposed to soak into the ground to complete its cycle. Unfortunately, concrete and other non-porous materials get into the way of this ecosystem, creating massive amounts of surface water. The easy solution to this problem would be to use porous pavements for paths and having a lawn or flower garden in the remaining space. If everyone did this, it would go a long way in the flood prevention efforts.
They say it’s wise to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, which is especially true for businesses in FEMA’s A and V zones. Think of insurance as a backup plan, designed to help you offset flood cleaning costs in the event of a disaster. Even so, do not assume that flood and storm damages are covered in the same policy.
There’s a lot more that goes into flood prevention, but these are the most important things you can do as a business. They are all aimed at helping you get back on your feet as soon as the flood water resides.
Microwave Maintenance Tips
Keeping your microwave clean will allow your appliance to have a longer life.
Microwave Maintenance Tips
Microwaves are a staple of convenience in almost every kitchen. In order to avoid a smoke smell in your home in Ladue, MO, when you use your microwave, though, you need to maintain it properly. Here are a few tips to ensure that this appliance lasts a long time and doesn't cause a fire.
Keep It Clean
Any appliance that you use to cook or reheat food is eventually going to get dirty. Ideally, everyone in the family will wipe down the microwave after every use, particularly if there is food splatter left behind. However, that is not likely to happen. Fortunately, cleaning the microwave is a fairly simple process:
- Fill a microwavable bowl with a vinegar and water mixture.
- Microwave on high for two minutes to create steam.
- Remove the bowl and wipe down the inside cavity with a gentle, clean cloth.
Even if you use your appliance multiple times a day, a quick cleaning once a week should be enough to get rid of stuck-on food. If the turntable can be removed, you can even wash it by hand with soapy water before returning it to its rightful place.
Replace Worn-Out Parts
Another reason your microwave may give off a smoke smell is a dirty vent grill filter. Models that are installed over your cooking range likely have a charcoal filter that helps exhaust smoke and fumes from your stovetop. Fire damage remediation experts advise that you change this filter every six months. You also will have to replace the light bulbs over the stovetop as well as the ones inside the microwave itself when they burn out.
The smoke smell from your microwave may not just be burnt popcorn but an indication that you need to clean it. Making these simple maintenance tips a part of your regular home care schedule ensures that this convenient appliance will have a longer life.
What To Do When Your Toilet Overflows While You Shower
A snake contains a flexible, thin wire that you can push down a drain.
Steps To Remove The Clog From Your Sewage System
Have you stepped out of your shower only to find a puddle on the floor near your toilet? Your toilet may have overflowed while you were washing yourself. This typically results from a clogged pipe between the sewer and the toilet. The excess water could flood your bathroom and necessitate sewage cleaning services.
Below are tips for removing the clog from your sewage system. Keep in mind that you should only handle small issues on your own. If these steps do not work, you need to contact an expert in Clayton, MO.
1. Grab a Snake
A snake contains a flexible, thin wire that you can push down a drain. The wire then breaks up the clog. Look for a snake that is at least 25 feet long.
2. Try the Toilet
Start by pushing the snake into the toilet itself. Alternatively, you can remove the toilet and put the snake through the drain on the floor.
3. Check the Drain Cleanout
If this does not solve the issue, remove the cap from the primary drain in your crawlspace or basement. This typically requires the use of a pipe wrench. Some overflow may spill onto the floor, so prepare to do a bit of sewage cleaning once you remove the cap. You can then run the snake through the drain.
After steps two and three, run the shower to see if the problem has resolved. If not, you may have a clog deep in the main sewer line. There may also be a collapsed pipe or tree roots in the line. All of these issues require trained experts to resolve.
A toilet overflow can be particularly messy, especially if it takes place while you are in the shower. You may be able to clear a small clog by yourself. Larger or unreachable clogs, however, may require a professional plumber to deal with the blockage and sewage cleaning professionals to dry your bathroom.
Serving Adjusters and Their Clients
Commercial water damage in Brentwood, MO.
Serving Adjusters and Their Clients
SERVPRO has become a preferred mitigation and restoration company for insurance adjusters and their clients throughout its years of outstanding service. There are several reasons why everyone, from insurance adjuster to client, trusts SERVPRO's assistance in the worst of disasters. The company is renowned for:
1. Responding Quickly
The longer it takes to begin the remediation process, the more damage will result. A timely response from the mitigation and restoration company will begin the assessment so that the work can start as soon as possible. One hour for call response, on-site visit in a four-hour window and verbal briefing has an eight-hour window.
2. Serving as a One-Stop-Shop
SERVPRO is preferred by insurance adjusters and their clients because they're an all-in-one service advancing through the entire process from initial damage assessment until your Brentwood, MO, structure is fully restored. Fewer people will have to be involved in the process, allowing for a smoother process and going through fewer hands, ensuring that no information goes missing. From the client to the insurance adjuster to the restoration company, you don't have to worry about data being lost in translation.
3. Providing Accurate Estimates
Adjusters and their clients appreciate the expertise of SERVPRO's certified restoration professionals. From the professionals' training and knowledge to the nationwide data network of the Claims Information Center that provides extensive loss information, accurate estimates are assured.
4. Utilizing an Electronic Claims Service
SERVPRO's Claims Information Center is an excellent resource for adjusters, providing everything they need to navigate the insurance claim process, including access to all the information shared by the restoration professionals. Insurance agents and adjusters have access to the entire electronic job file, including the first notice of loss, detailed photos of the damage, cost estimates, actual cost and scanned paperwork. Additionally, they have access to nationwide reports and industry standards comparison data.
If a commercial property sustains damage from a disaster, it’s likely that the insurance adjuster will recommend SERVPRO. You can be confident that the insurance claim will be settled quickly so your rebuilding can begin.
Why Do Some Insurers Exclude Mold Damage?
Commercial mold damage in University City, MO.
A number of insurers exclude mold from commercial property insurance policies. The costs associated with fungus removal can be considerable, and liability for occupant exposure may also apply. Here are a few reasons why mold may be cut out of the primary commercial insurance policy for a building located in University City, MO, along with tips for restoring coverage.
Mold Is Secondary Damage
Proper mitigation, cleaning and restoration of primary water damage reduces the risk of a major mold problem. Mold may result from any of the following factors:
- Failure to stop the source of moisture
- Leaving surfaces or materials saturated
- Not lowering high humidity levels
It is imperative to fix a pipe or roof leak, clean and dry the affected area and maintain low relative indoor humidity levels. Restoration professionals recommend these measures to minimize water damage and prevent mold.
Cleaning Up Mold Can Be Costly
If water damage is not restored correctly, the expenses of recovery may be much greater than the cost of a timely response to the initial incident. Mold inspection, testing and fungus removal can tack thousands of dollars on to total restoration costs.
Liability for Mold Is Complicated
Property owners or managers who do not respond to reports of water damage, musty odors or visible mold growth in a timely manner with inspection and mold cleanup may be held liable for their lack of action. In general, commercial lessees have fewer rights than residential tenants protected by state habitability laws or warranties.
Mitigating and restoring water damage quickly is the best way to reduce the costs and risks associated with mold in a commercial building in University City, MO. Fungus removal may be necessary if high moisture and humidity levels are sustained. Owners and managers of buildings prone to mold should seek out policies that cover mold or add a mold endorsement to existing coverage.