Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

How To Reduce the Risk of an Ice Dam

5/10/2020 (Permalink)

Icicles on a roof winter background image Ice dam in a Clayton, MO building

Winter can be brutal on your commercial property. Strong winds and heavy snow in Clayton, MO can wreak havoc on the roof and siding of your building. Water damage caused by an ice dam is also common in the winter. To reduce the risk of black mold, stay on top of the situation by looking for ice buildup on the roof.

What Causes Ice Formation?

The roof of your building is usually warmer than the outer edges because heat from inside the office rises through the ceiling. As the roof warms, it melts the ice on the roofing materials, which then flows toward the edges of the building. The water freezes as it hits the outer edges, forming an ice dam. This prevents water, especially on flat roofs, from draining properly into the roof drains. Water that sits on a flat roof will eventually cause the roof to leak.

How Can You Reduce the Risk of Ice Buildup?

Add more insulation above the ceiling to reduce the amount of heat that escapes.
Install heating cables to gutters and around the roof drains.
Inspect the drainage system routinely, especially after a big snowstorm.

How Can You Remove Ice Buildup?

If ice has already formed around the roof drains, you need to remove the water source quickly. Never chip away at the ice, however, since that can damage the roof and drains. For a flat roof, brush the snow off using a stiff-bristled push broom. Don't use a shovel, which can damage the roofing materials.
Removing the snow may not always take care of the ice buildup. To avoid having to deal with a leaky roof and the subsequent mold cleanup, you should call a professional right away to safely get rid of the problem.
Living in a cold climate brings with it many challenges during the winter. Reduce the risk of water damage repair by tackling that ice dam right away.

What Causes Mold to Spread?

3/29/2020 (Permalink)

Background of mold, sign that says ANYWHERE Mold can grow almost anywhere

Most Common Reasons Of Mold Growth

A fungal disaster will often require the expertise of a mold remediation company in Oakland, MO. While not every disaster will merit such a response, caution should be taken when mold appears in your home. Too many homeowners choose to handle the infestation themselves, which often results in spreading mold. To prevent the spread of mold, it is necessary to understand the most common reasons it occurs.

  • Water damage
  • Air circulation
  • Poor containment

Water Damage

Water damage is among the leading reasons for the development of mold species, like black mold. When leaks go unnoticed, it is not uncommon for a mold infestation to spread throughout the wall cavity, or under the sink. There are times when you might fix a leak and remove the contamination only to find that the growth has not stopped. In this scenario, you likely have more than one leak.

Air Circulation

It is necessary to understand that mold develops from spores, which are present everywhere. Although, when your home is already infested, it is easier for mold growth to transfer from one room to the next. HVAC systems make the circulation of spores throughout a home simple. Therefore, one of the first things you should do if you have an infestation is to seal the vents and turn off the system, reducing air fly and limiting spreading mold.

Poor Containment

Also, mold can spread when an infested area has not been adequately contained. Similar to air circulation, when an affected area is not sealed off with plastic over doorways and vents, it is easy for spores to transfer to another area in the home.
Spreading mold should be a concern of any homeowner with a fungal infestation. While it is tempting to DIY your way through projects like this to save money, it is in the best interest of your property and family to hire a professional remediation team.

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.

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”.

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.

How To Prevent and Eliminate Mold in Your Home

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold fungus growing in damp poorly ventilated bath areas. Mold tile joints with fungus due to condensation moisture Mold grow when you have a moisture problem

How To Prevent and Eliminate Mold in Your Home 

Mold is a nasty word that elicits fear and uncertainty in the hearts of homeowners. Finding out that you have a black mold problem in your Brentwood, MO, home is one of the last things you want to hear. Additionally, many homeowners incorrectly assume that a mold problem is gone once the home is dry. For these reasons, it’s important to know the proper steps to prevent and eliminate mold in your home.

Prevent Mold

While it is possible to eliminate mold, it’s a better idea to know how to prevent it from becoming a problem in the first place. Here are some simple steps that you can take to prevent mold:

  • Keep your home dry. Mold grows when you have a moisture problem.
  • Dry wet areas immediately and perform regular cleaning.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.
  • If possible, consider moisture-resistant materials such as drywall and black mold inhibitors.
  • Keep indoor humidity lower than 60% and let fresh air into your home.

If you want to avoid a large mold problem, do your best to prevent mold growing in your home by paying attention to the little things.

Eliminate Mold

If you’ve done a thorough investigation of your home and found mold, it’s critical to know how to appropriately eliminate mold. If the mold is fairly small and isolated, start by eliminating moisture. Remember, this is how the problem started.

For the mold removal itself, it's usually best to consult a mold remediation specialist. They have the tools and knowledge necessary to ensure a systematic mold cleanup that leaves your home safe and thoroughly mold-free.

Understanding the steps necessary to prevent and eliminate black mold and other types of fungus growth are key to a healthy and happy home. Focus on keeping your home clean and dry, and in the event that flooding or another unexpected water event occurs, enlist the help of a professional mold removal company.

Best Food Practices Prevent Mold in Your Restaurant

8/2/2019 (Permalink)

Tupperware on a fridge shelf Keep food covered and refrigerated

Mold growth is never a good look for a business and the situation is worsened when food is in the area. For a restaurant in Oakland, MO, the presence of mold is one of the top things to avoid at all costs. Fortunately, a restaurant can do many things to reduce the conditions where mold might take hold. The most obvious culprit is high humidity, and the simple answer is to maintain a high level of ventilation in the building. Wherever there is a likelihood of excess moisture, such as where the dishes are cleaned, the presence of strong fans and quality ventilation system are a must.

Avoid Mold on Food

No matter how good a chef you have, if word gets out that food with mold on it has been served it can be hard to recover from that. Therefore, a few solid food practices go a long way, including the following measures;

  • Closely inspect all food going into the kitchen
  • Scrutinize all fresh produce for damage
  • Examine cured and cooked meats carefully
  • Maintain a clean kitchen and kitchen appliances
  • Keep food covered and refrigerated
  • Make sure food storage containers are tightly sealed

If your cooking area has ever been subjected to water damage, make sure the water remediation experts have given your building a clean bill of health. Your employees should be attuned to any unusual odors in the kitchen. Try to keep high humidity at bay by keeping your building at lower than 40% humidity.

Elude Fungus Growth

It may be tempting after a long hard day in the kitchen to just do a quick cleanup at the end of the night. Good food, though, is the livelihood of your restaurant so it always pays to be proactive. Sanitized counters, plates and utensils, refrigerators and stoves are less likely to support mold growth. Your diner’s reputation depends on it.

Welcome to the Team, Kelly!

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

It’s possible you may already know, but the Thole and Lang family SERVPRO’s just added an accomplished member to the team.

Kelly Kordick, of Iowa and Arizona fame, is joining the team as our Manager of Marketing.

Kelly comes with 9 years of experience from an Arizona SERVPRO where she was a meaningful and important part of that team.

During her years in Arizona Kelly established herself as a professional and a major team contributor. Everything that Kelly has accomplished she’s earned herself. She started in the SERVPRO world as a SMR and over time worked herself into the Sales and Marketing Manager role where she continued to thrive.

She has substantial experience in Storm response having been a Storm Team estimator for multiple disasters including Hurricane Sandy and the 2016 Boulder Floods.

Kelly brings a lot to the table and has the skills and that certain “know-how” to help our franchises reach greater heights of success — in other words, 2019 is going to be a good year.

We are proud and excited to have Kelly on the team and we are looking forward to what the future brings.

Thanks for joining me in welcoming Kelly to the team.

-Team Thole and Lang

SERVPRO of Oakville / Mehlville, SERVPRO of Affton / Webster Groves and SERVPRO of Clayton / Ladue

Rely on a Service Provider That is There for You Day or Night

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is the preferred provider in Clayton, MO and is the choice of many insurance companies and their adjusters.

Rely On A Service Provider That Is There For You Day Or Night

When a water or fire disaster happens at a business location, it can be a devastating event. Water damage and structural or smoke damage are all huge worries in the world of commerce. As soon as it is discovered, a fire or flooding situation should be reported and SERVPRO should be notified. Their 24 hour service is available any time day or night to help you make your way through a difficult and worrisome time.

1. Always Open

SERVPRO is open on a 24 hour, 7 days a week basis to serve their local community of Clayton, MO. This means national or bank holidays, weekends, any time they are needed. There is no waiting overnight for morning. When someone needs to make a frantic call because a disastrous event occurs at a commercial location in the middle of the night, they are ready.

2. Fast Response

When you put in a call a service technician will respond within just 1 hour and will arrive on site in 4 hours or less. These professionals will perform a thorough assessment of the damage and let you know within 8 hours what needs to be done. They understand that extensive damage can be sustained even after the fire is put out or a water main is shut off, and will be there within a few hours to begin assessing the damage.

3. Preferred Provider

Because of their ready availability and best practices, SERVPRO is the preferred provider in Clayton, MO and is the choice of many insurance companies and their adjusters. They can handle any phase from cleanup to repair and understand the need for speed and transparency needed to gain and maintains trust.

Always open day or night, on a 24-hour basis these water and fire remediation professionals are there to meet your needs and can help provide a voice of calm and direction at a very difficult time. They can point you and your business in the right direction and help restore your peace of mind.

How To Choose the Best Air Filtration Devices

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

If you want to filter out cigarette smoke or pet dander, choose a purifier with a high quality HEPA filter.

How To Choose the Best Air Filtration Devices

Air filtration is a method used to clean air at the particulate level. Certain levels of filtration may be accomplished by preventing lint from plugging up the clothes dryer. On a larger scale, the air in your home can be cleaned with an appropriately sized air purifier. How can you tell which purifiers are the best investment of your money?

  • Review consumer ratings
  • Research independent test results
  • Look up product testing

Purifiers come in many different categories. The most appropriate appliance for your use depends a lot on your circumstances. Contact home odor and deodorization professionals to learn more about the specific needs of your home.

1. HEPA Air Purifiers

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air, and these purifiers are generally equipped with a HEPA filter that traps particles in the air. A good quality filter should remove 99.97 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger.

2. Electrostatic Purifiers

These appliances use electrical charges to filter particles from the air. Positively charged plates attract the negatively charged airborne particles. These air filtration systems don't require filters, require low amounts of energy, and run quietly.

3. Ionic Purifiers

The operation of these purifiers is similar to that of electrostatic air cleaners. Ionizers emit negative electrical charges that are picked up by particles as they pass through the purifier. The negative charges are attracted to surfaces in the room, so particles are removed from the air.

4. UV-C Light Purifiers

Some types of ultraviolet light, such as UV-C, are "germicidal," meaning they can kill cells by affecting their DNA makeup. UV-C lights can be used to combat viruses and vegetative bacteria. This type of purifier is also very effective at targeting mold spores in areas where moisture collects.

The best air filtration appliances are the ones that target the harmful particles in your Clayton, MO home. For example, if you want to filter out cigarette smoke or pet dander, choose a purifier with a high quality HEPA filter.

What Sets Top Disaster Recovery Teams Apart?

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Homeowners and insurance providers can count on SERVPRO of Clayton/Ladue

In the event of a severe storm or another type of disaster, extensive recovery resources may be necessary in Glendale, MO. The leading disaster recovery teams are distinguished by expertise, equipment and the ability to meet customers' needs. Learn more about what sets these services apart.

Local Franchises

Regional restoration experts gain experience in the types of damage that tend to occur in a given area that informs their approach to storm damage and other disaster responses. Local experts also stand out in other ways:

  • Ease of contact
  • Equipment availability
  • Fast response times

Homeowners should rely on the disaster and storm response capabilities of a nearby damage mitigation and restoration provider. The capacity of a team to provide critical services in the event of an emergency is increased when it operates out of a locally-owned franchise of a larger company.

National Support

Just because specialized cleaning and restoration equipment is available locally does not mean that every homeowner will benefit. A business that is part of a larger national network can bring in additional equipment and trained professionals. This allows a disaster recovery team to exceed the reliability and responsiveness of independent service providers.

Proven Expertise

A local franchise also draws on the extensive experience of an established mitigation and restoration company. This expertise includes several significant credentials:

  • A Preferred Vendor for most insurance companies
  • In-area and nationwide resources
  • Industry-leading certifications and standards

When it comes to choosing a disaster or storm response team, a local franchise can offer assurances that independent businesses cannot match. Homeowners and insurers are also more likely to obtain accurate estimates and schedules from an all-in-one mitigation and restoration service.

All of these factors combine to distinguish a disaster recovery team from the competition. Whether a residence has suffered fire, water or storm damage, homeowners and insurance providers can count on SERVPRO in Glendale, MO.

Keeping Employees Safe During Mold Cleanup

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold remediation equipment in Glendale,MO

As a business owner in Glendale, MO, you must constantly meet customer demands. When you are doing so, you must think about the wellbeing of your employees. As such, you likely have a system of health and safety regulations you closely follow. Sometimes, though, you must take additional steps to protect your workers. If you need to undergo mold removal, you must take additional care.

Understanding Mold

Mold growth can bring any business to a standstill. After all, if you have mold insider your warehouse, factory or other commercial facility, your employees may be at risk. In fact, mold may affect all parts of your business, including the following:

  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Inventory
  • Equipment
  • Structures
  • Furnishings

Removing Mold

Mold removal is not something you can take lightly. As you may know, mold spreads by distributing microscopic spores. These spores can infiltrate virtually all parts of your facility. Whether you have black mold or a different color mold, you need the right expertise and equipment to contain and remove it. By working with the right mold-remediation specialists, you can be certain you stop mold growth in its tracks. After a technician analyzes the mold in your facility, you receive a comprehensive plan for eradicating it.

Protecting Employees

You don’t want your employees to breathe mold spores. During the remediation process, technicians erect containment areas to prevent mold from spreading into parts of your facility where employees work. Before they install barriers, technicians survey your worksite to determine where mold is present. Moreover, because remediators use specialized equipment to find mold, they can determine which parts of your worksite employees should avoid until remediation is complete. Depending on the severity of your mold problem, these areas may be off limits for up to a week.

If you have mold in your commercial property, you must take it seriously. When you are undergoing mold removal, you must prioritize employee safety. With the right team, you can protect your workers while limiting downtime.

How To Prepare Your Business for a Potential Fire

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Be sure you have a fire escape plan in your Ladue,MO business and practice it often

A fire can have a devastating effect on the infrastructure and operations of any Ladue, MO, business. Although you can take steps to minimize your fire risk, the best strategy is to develop a strong fire preparation plan that outlines proper evacuation procedures and helps critical business operations continue.

Ensure Your Staff Is Prepared

If a fire erupts inside your building, the safe evacuation of everyone inside should be a top priority. To accomplish this goal, you should devise and communicate an efficient disaster preparation plan that includes the following details:

  • Establishes staff communication procedures
  • Clearly outlines the location of fire alarms, emergency exits and fire extinguishers
  • Instructs staff to close internal doors to help minimize fire damage
  • Assigns a location away from the building where staff should regroup

You should routinely review your fire preparation plan and update it as necessary. In addition, you can evaluate your staff’s emergency readiness by completing routine evacuation drills.

Safeguard Essential Documents

A fire can destroy both computers and essential documents. To safeguard important files such as financial records, legal documentation and personnel records, you should store backup copies in a secure location offsite where they can be accessed in the event of an emergency.

Develop a Plan To Continue Critical Operations

A fire may destroy essential equipment and cause significant fire damage that makes your building temporarily unusable. A well-devised disaster preparation plan should outline a strategy for critical business operations to resume while fire cleanup and restoration endeavors are underway. A thorough plan should outline a strategy enabling essential personnel to work from home or a temporary location and include a detailed communication plan to keep staff and clients informed until normal business operations can resume.

Devising a thorough fire preparation plan is an essential task that every business should complete. A well-devised strategy helps ensure the safety of your staff, may preserve essential documents and can allow critical operations to continue, which may help preserve your business in the long run.

An Ounce of Prevention Can Avert Sump Pump Disaster

11/18/2018 (Permalink)

An annual maintenance routine to your sump pump will ensure it to operate

Checklist To Use When Checking The Pump Equipment

A sump pump is an important safeguard for homeowners with basements, cellars, or homes in low-lying areas that tend to flood. It removes excess water from inside or around the home to a safe area away from the home’s foundation. Like most appliances and machines, it requires regular maintenance to remain in reliably working order.

A good rule of thumb is to check the pump at the beginning of the wet season or at the daylight savings time change. The following is a basic checklist to use when checking the pump equipment.

  1. Inspect the electrical connection. Examine the pump’s power cord for fraying or wear. Be sure to unplug the pump or switch off the circuit breaker when inspecting potential cord damage. Replace damaged or worn cords as necessary.
  2. Remove debris. Dirt, stray trash, and other detritus can clog the intake, preventing the sump pump from drawing in water and eventually causing catastrophic failure. Remove any potential obstructions not only from the sump, but also from the surrounding area.
  3. Examine the discharge pipe. Locate the end of the discharge pipe and inspect for any blockages. Pipes are typically covered with a screen or grate to prevent animals from entering or nesting in the pipe. Make sure the outflow is clear of debris and unobstructed.
  4. Evaluate pump operation. Fill a large bucket with water, and pour enough water into the sump to lift the pump’s float. Ensure the pump empties most of the water from the sump, or at least until the float returns to its original position.
  5. Expect the unexpected: Be familiar with professionals in Ladue, MO, who can repair or replace failed pumps or offer water damage cleanup should disaster strike.

Making sump pump maintenance an annual routine will ensure the pump operates when needed. After all, it will be better to find out the pump needs repair before the basement is covered in three feet of water.