Clearing Drains and Gutters Before a Flood
Before flooding hits Maryland Heights, MO you have the power to take action and lessen potential harm to your home. It is especially important to ensure excess water can easily drain away in a storm. At any time of year, leaves and debris can pile up in gutters and on top of storm drains, so be sure to always keep them clean. Following these simple steps while the sky is still clear can help prevent the worst of future flood damage.
1. Twice a year, clean your gutters. This approach is a great way to avoid severe flooding. Each spring and fall, remove the covers from dry gutters. Put on gloves, and use your hands or a small tool to brush away debris. With your hose, run water through the cleared gutter to confirm uninterrupted flow. Don’t forget to rake up leaves and debris and put them in a proper container when you’re done.
2. Practice other gutter etiquette. This includes fixing leaky gutters, either yourself or with the help of a professional. You should also direct gutter downspouts away from your foundation and your neighbors’ properties.
3. Keep leaves and sticks in a yard waste bin. Yard debris left lying loose on your land can quickly end up in drains. This will exacerbate any flooding caused by a storm and lead to more problems in the long run.
4. Take time to check storm drains for debris piled on top. If you notice leaves and debris lying on the surface of storm drains, act rapidly to remove them with a rake or broom. As always, put everything you collect into a yard waste bin or other container.
Storm damage in Maryland Heights, MO often includes floods, one of the worst disasters that can strike your home. In addition to taking smart steps after a flood, such as calling restoration professionals, use the above list now to keep gutters and drains clear and ready to do their job in a storm. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on storm damage.
3 Simple Steps to House Fire Preparation
If you have ever seen a home fire, you know how fast it happens. Such an event leaves a lasting impression, so you've taken steps to prevent this disaster from happening to your family in Maryland Heights, MO. You practice good fire safety such as using flashlights instead of candles, keeping lighters and matches where kids can't reach them, keeping space heaters three feet away from anything, and taking fire safety precaution around the stove. You've made all this effort to prevent a fire, but have you prepared your family in the event a fire actually happens? Here are three simple steps for fire preparation:
Have an escape plan. You actually need to have two paths planned for each room in the house and make sure everyone knows them. Keep escape ladders in upstairs bedrooms, and have drills to practice the plan.
Have a communication plan. In your fire preparation plan, designate an obvious location to meet. The place should be just far enough from the house to be safe, but so you can all account for everyone. Also, always have a designated contact for communication. The person should live far away so that she or he is unlikely to be in the disaster area.
Use fire alarms. You should have a fire alarm on every floor, outside each bedroom and inside each bedroom. Make sure children know what they sound like and what to do when they hear the alarm. Replace batteries every year for best fire safety practices.
The American Red Cross advises that you only have two minutes to escape once a fire starts in your home. It's especially important to discuss and practice the plan with kids regularly. During fire preparation drills, teach them to stay low while leaving the house during a fire because the smoke is dangerous. Using fire alarms and having an exit plan paves the way for a better chance of getting your family out safely during a fire. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on fire.
Is Your Ceiling Tile Discoloration Caused by Mold?
If you’re like most business owners, your ceiling may be the most often overlooked part of your building. However, ceiling tile inspection should become a regular part of your maintenance routine. You may be surprised to find tile discoloration or staining, which is often the result of tile mold caused by a water leak. The following tips can help you hold your ceiling to the same high standard as the rest of your business.
1. Inspect your tiles regularly. Sometimes ceiling stains can be the result of the age of the tiles or other internal factors. However, in most cases, a localized discoloration on the ceiling is a result of some type of water leak. What begins as a small leak could lead to larger problems if ignored. Even if a tile discoloration or stain appears small, larger water damage could be lurking on the other side. If the stain is spreading, action should be taken soon to prevent the onset of tile mold.
2. Remove or repair the source of staining. Upon removal of the damaged tile, the source of a water leak is sometimes obvious, but it could also be difficult to detect. If you are unable to properly identify what is causing your discoloration, consider an assessment by a restoration specialist to make sure the problem will not reoccur.
3. Replace or repair the damaged tile. After the source of the stain has been identified and repaired, the aesthetic look of the tile can be addressed. Some tiles are able to be cleaned or painted to match the rest of the ceiling. If this is not possible, the individual tile can be replaced. Either way, as long as the leak has been resolved, your ceiling should not need to be repaired in the same area repeatedly.
Businesses all over Maryland Heights, MO are looking for ways to find a competitive advantage, and sometimes it’s in the overlooked details. Through frequently inspecting, analyzing and addressing your ceiling tiles, you can prevent or reverse damage left by water leaks or tile mold in your ceiling. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on mold.
What Is Business Interruption Insurance?
Give SERVPRO a call if you experience commercial water damage.
Imagine your commercial property in St. Louis, MO burning, flooding or being swept away in a tornado. Now, picture the devastation caused by loss of income and business operations during the restoration process. Finally, envision the alternative of being financially stable while your livelihood is being repaired. When your business is closed for an extended period of time, you can rest easier with business interruption insurance.
How Does Business Interruption Insurance Work?
Commercial property insurance typically covers cleaning, repairing and restoring your business assets after a fire or large amount of water damage occurs. Protect yourself further by doing the following:
• Before damage happens, talk to your insurance agent about adding on business interruption insurance. This is not a separate policy, but rather an add-on to your current commercial insurance or part of a policy package. Do not assume you have this type of insurance, and do not wait until after fire or flooding occur to look into this preventative measure.
• After damage occurs, such as from a broken pipe or fire, first call a reputable fire and water restoration company. The experts come to your property, assess the damage and immediately make a plan for cleanup and restoration. Second, call your insurance agent. If the restoration plan is covered by your commercial insurance and entails closing your business for a lengthy period of time, business interruption insurance kicks in.
• Look into the details of your insurance plan. This additional insurance typically covers lost wages, including employee pay, and business operating expenses that occur while the property is closed for reconstruction due to damage.
• Keep the timing in mind. Usually, this insurance takes effect two days after the damage occurs and lasts until the business returns to normal operations. Reopening is likely to occur within thirty days from the time restoration is complete.
When disaster occurs and your business in St. Louis, MO is on hold, your life moves on. The restoration expert helps your business return to preloss condition after flooding or flames, while business interruption insurance helps you remain financially stable during this period. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on commercial water damage.
Tips for Preparing for the Next Big Storm
Hurricanes, tornadoes, or even thunderstorms can cause major damage to your business. Flood water can soak into personal belongings, which can cause mold and destroy electronics. Violent wind can cause debris to break windows or damage roofs. This damage can have long-lasting effects that prevent your St. Louis, MO business from getting back up and running after a natural disaster. However, these tips could help mitigate the damage.
Storm Tip One: Scope Your Area
Making sure that your building is prepared for a storm is one of the best proactive moves that you can make to prevent damage. One way of doing this is surveying your building and its surrounding areas for objects that could cause damage:
• Overgrown tree branches
• Loose roof shingles or tiles
• Unsupported trusses or beams
Keeping maintenance up to date may help the restoration process move along more quickly.
Storm Tip Two: Prepare for the Storm Itself
In addition to flying debris, storms can cause water damage to commercial buildings. Along with causing damage to carpet, walls, and upholstery, flood water can wreak havoc on a company’s electrical system. There are some things you can do to prevent this:
• Back up any crucial data onto an external hard drive or data cloud.
• Unplug all electronic devices and move them onto a higher floor.
• Never enter a flooded building if you suspect there is a live electrical current.
Preventative measures could help to save valuable electronic equipment, along with time spent trying to get your business back to normal.
Storm Tip Three: Call a Professional
After a storm, flood water and debris can make for a disheartening sight. However, flood restoration experts can help to make the clean-up process as quick and painless as possible. They can help you by giving a professional inspection of the damage that the storm has caused, and begin a process of water extraction and dehumidification of your commercial building.
If you experience water damage at your commercial location, call in the experts. Their help, along with the right prevention, can provide a speedy recovery from a storm. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on storm damage.
How You Can Prevent Water Damage in Your Home
There is a popular expression that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when it comes to preventing the appearance of water in home spaces where it has no place being, no truer words have ever been spoken. Here in St. Louis, MO there are countless examples of homeowners having to hire a water damage repair company to perform cleanup from a broken pipe or a busted hose, yet if you keep an eye out for the signs of a problem by performing routine inspections and periodic maintenance, you can possibly avoid this costly path.
Steps You Can Take To Prevent Water Damage
To help in the prevention of water damage in the home, there are a number of things you should be regularly checking:
• Ventilation systems, heaters and air conditioners
• Whole-house plumbing concerns
• Mold Growth
Water in a home is insidious insomuch as it can sneak into areas you cannot easily detect. A broken pipe cleanup is troublesome enough, but the slow leaks that are hard to spot can lead to damage that could already be quite substantial by the time the problem is finally found.
Check Appliances and Water Fixtures Regularly
You should check your heater and air conditioner twice a year to make sure they are working correctly. You should never see any water coming from these units. Appliances generally cause problems not so much because of the unit itself but rather a broken pipe or hose leading to the unit.
Bathrooms are an obvious location for water leaks because of all the fixtures in that room that use water. If home appliances and fixtures are leaking, mold growth can become a concern.
Things To Remember on a Daily Basis
You should always be on the lookout for any signs of water in home spaces where it does not belong. Even the smallest leak can be contributing to a much bigger problem beneath the surface, yet with some simple, regular maintenance, you can most likely avoid major water damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on water damage.
Water and Flood Damage in Northwest St. Louis
It can happen anywhere and at anytime, all is going well and suddenly you notice a drip into your tub or from your kitchen faucet. You think nothing of it and go on about your day. Soon the drip becomes a steady stream and before too long you have a puddle on the floor or water collected in the tub. Usually this is easily rectified with a few towels and some elbow grease. As long as you ensure proper ventilation of the area and allow for drying time you've likely avoided a more serious water damage problem. Luckily many times a small leak can be fixed without outside help.
However what if your leak is unseen, lying in a wall or within your plumbing. This could cause further water damage and would need to be dealt with by a water cleanup professional. These professional companies have the knowledge and proper equipment to deal with water damage and water cleanup in an effective and efficient manner. They will know proven methods to ensure proper air movement and adequate drying times for water in a home.
Once you've determined that professionals are needed to solve your water issue there are many factors to consider. You want to make certain that the company is reliable, trustworthy, and knowledgeable. As an example the following services are those provided by a flood restoration company that services the greater St. Louis Missouri area. What this company offers can serve as a guideline when selecting a company whether you're in Missouri or elsewhere.
The first important step is that you ascertain that they company will provide service to your home. This particular company offers service within a 100 mile radius of downtown St. Louis, MO. This includes a fairly large service area in MO but some companies might not travel that far. Another thing to watch out for is hidden fees. The company may provide service in your area but may charge a fee either in the form of a service fee or a fee for the driver's gas. This would be a question to ask the company you're considering using.
Another thing a company might provide is free estimates. This means that they will give you a price that they think will cover the cost of your repairs. Make sure you know the terms of this estimate. Some questions to consider:
1. Is the estimate only provided over the phone?
2. Is the estimate only provided via an online questionnaire?
3. Is the estimate provided after a technician visits your home to assess the damage?
It is important to ask about the estimate and make sure that you are clear with what it entails.
If caught early and professionally treated by a reputable company utilizing the tips above water and flood damage can be rectified. Professionals will effectively and efficiently restore your home or business! Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on water damage.
A major burden in dealing with any home repair is cost.
It is important to ask about the estimate and make sure that you are clear with what it entails.
Luckily if you have homeowners insurance you can often get a restoration project covered after water in a home or flood damage. This would be something to check on with your insurance company. Homeowners insurance might cover the job but oftentimes specific flood insurance is required. Apartment and condominium dwellers should not despair as renters insurance may cover a water issue as well. This particular company accepts all insurance claims which will provide some financial relief. They will also work with your deductible which can ease some of the financial strain. When working with any company it is important to establish what they'll accept as far as payment is concerned. Also this particular company will bill your insurance company directly thus saving you time.
In addition to free estimates and working with one's insurance, this company also provides discounts for veterans, seniors and law enforcement officers. This could be of great benefit to many people and should be looked for or asked about when researching a company.
Another thing to consider is what services the company provides. For instance this company specializes in the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) sewer backups which means that they know how to deal with the specific sewer system in the region. This company also offers rapid response for flood mitigation. Flood mitigation involves minimizing water exposure to walls, ceilings, floors, and the contents within the area. This company will also deal with broken pipes, perform emergency water extraction done by experienced technicians using professional machinery and will ensure structural drying and will clean, sanitize, and deodorize the area. All of these are important to look for in the company you choose.
When researching a company to use in case of flood damage in a commercial area the steps are similar to that of a residence. You must establish wether or not the company will address an issue of water in a business. Once a company is found they will likely follow these important steps:
- They will first ensure that the work area is safe. This may mean that they will remove hazardous materials and will ensure that there are no electrical cords or live wires in the vicinity.
- The company will find and inspect the source of the problem.
- They will work to keep the affected area well ventilated and dry by increasing the air movement.
- They will look to see if any mold and/or mildew has accumulated. If so steps will be taken to rid the area of mold and/or mildew.
- They will take steps to ensure that mold and/or mildew does not occur in the future.
Another potentially dangerous problem that can occur in a home or with water in a business is the need for sewage mitigation. This is necessary if sewage, sewer water (often called black water) is present. Black water can be dangerous and cause health problems in children and the elderly. If this treatment is needed the black water is extracted, and the area is dried, disinfected and sanitized.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on water damage.
Smoky Smells and How To Get Rid of Them
Give SERVPRO a call if you experience fire damage.
Smoke is both nostalgic and insidious. The benign side of smoke invokes warm memories of campfires and delicious barbeque. When the wafted particles from combustion are unwanted, however, the pernicious odor can linger and cling to almost anything. The difficulty of removing such a stench can be daunting, especially when in the home. That’s why home deodorization is best left to the professionals of St Louis, MO.
Taking Steps To Minimize Cigarette Smoke Odor
Stopping smoky smells from ruining the home begins with preemptive mitigation and ends with cleaning, airing, and replacement. Some actions that can be taken to prevent the need for and the successful implementation of home deodorization are as follows:
• If at all possible, don’t smoke cigarettes inside the home
• If you do smoke, keep cigarettes away from items that easily absorb odors (carpet, drapes, or cushions)
• Clean cigarette smoke from washable surfaces using an appropriate detergent for the item being cleaned
• Enlist the help of a professional with an IICRC
Lessening the Number of Activities That Produce Smoke
A great way to keep smoke from turning your home into a delicious rack of ribs or an ashtray is to decrease the number of activities that produce smoke within the house. Cigarette smoke is the leading cause of unwanted smoke odor, but cooking smells and fires also can be major contributors. Try to refrain from burning meals while cooking and don’t utilize the wood burning fireplace.
Addressing the Smoky Smells
Home deodorization is an unfortunate and sometimes inevitable reality when dealing with smoke. Deodorizing sprays and scents serve only to mask the smoke smell. Your best bet is to thoroughly clean the affected area with soap and water and increase the ventilation in the rooms that have been subject to smoke. When all else fails, call in a cleaning service that specializes in the removal of smoke from home items. Many items and rooms can be completely rid of smoky odor with the right treatment over time. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on fire damage.
You’ll Find Mold in These Six Surprising Places
Give SERVPRO a call if you notice mold growing in your home.
You may think you’ve ferreted out all the mold in your St Louis, MO residence, but the odds are you don’t even know all the places to start looking for mold growth in your home. Mold isn’t just a surface issue; did you know if you have mold on your walls, it’s likely you also have mold behind your walls as well? And not just there. Let’s take a look at six places where you might find mold, as long as you know where to look.
1. Behind your walls. Moldy drywall can leave your entire house smelling musty and can let mold spread unchecked and out of sight.
2. Underneath your carpeting. If moisture gets trapped under your carpet, it’s a perfect space for mold to grow – enclosed, dark, with pockets of wetness for it to feed on. It will also feed on organic matter such as carpet glue and carpet fiber.
3. Inside the wood of your floors. Because mold feeds on organic matter, older wood floors can be ripe for this. Mold on wood happens when wood gets old and begins to soften with frequent water absorption.
4. Under sinks. Drips and leaks can slowly accumulate under sinks until you don’t even think to check in this out-of-the-way place when mold growth can be slow – but once it starts, it’s hard to get rid of.
5. Underneath laminate flooring. Laminate flooring has many of the same problems as carpeting, and once moisture is trapped underneath, mold will happily devour the glue on the laminate.
6. Inside your appliances. Refrigerators and air conditioners are the worst culprits when they can often accumulate condensation that feeds mold. Any appliance that attracts condensation can grow mold, though.
Sometimes, you may not be able to identify mold growth in small spaces or have the tools to check for mold underneath flooring. That’s when a mold remediation specialist can come in handy – to help you get your mold problem under control. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on mold.