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Protect Your Business from Fire in 5 Steps

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Protect Your Business from Fire in 5 Steps Technicians cleaning after a fire loss in a Chesterfield, MO home

The National Fire Protection Agency reports that there were 475,500 structure fires in 2016. When you are responsible for a business, you need to take all the steps you can for fire preparation and protection in Chesterfield, MO. Not only is a fire life-threatening, but it can also be very costly in loss of property and loss of work.

So here are five steps to protect your business from a fire:

  1. Assess risk. Do you work with special materials that are combustible? Do you have metals that would be difficult to put out if on fire? Do you store or house significant amounts of flammable material, even things as simple as paper, pallets or plastic?
  2. Install protection systems. Be sure to hire specialized contractors to install protection systems like fire alarms and sprinklers, and be sure to keep fire extinguishers at key locations in your building.
  3.  Make disaster preparation plans. Make emergency plans and communicate them to employees. Be sure to train employees for special jobs in case of emergencies.
  4. Purchase insurance. One of the things you can do for fire preparation, is to purchase a good insurance policy. You will want to consider comprehensive coverage with property and building protection as well as some coverage for work loss.
  5. Protect data. Backup important data and records offsite or with a service.

In addition to assessing risk based on your environment or type of business, do a walk through around the building and assess for additional risks. Look for areas where fires are most likely to start, such as kitchens, appliance and industrial equipment. Look for clutter near heat sources and computers. Inspect use of circuitry and electrical cords. Fire preparation also includes making sure exits are free of obstacles so people can evacuate quickly.

Even with all that disaster preparation, you can prevent everything. If you do have fire damage, you can count on a professional restoration company to help you with fire and water mitigation services, so you can get back to work quickly.

Must-haves for Every Company’s First-aid Kit

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Must-haves for Every Company’s First-aid Kit Storm damage in Creve Coeur, MO

As a business owner, you’re focused on running your company efficiently, making profits, and meeting customers’ needs. But you also have a responsibility for the well-being and safety of your employees. One of the easiest ways to prepare for emergencies is to assemble a first-aid kit. If you don’t currently have one of these in your Creve Coeur, MO, office, it’s time to get some supplies together and place one in a prominent area.

Bandages

One of the most common injuries people suffer at work is a cut. This can happen regardless of the type of work you do. Even in a traditional office setting, a person could cut his or her hand on simple supplies or equipment. Appropriate bandages can control bleeding.

  • Have bandages in your kit of all shapes and sizes.
  • Make sure you have waterproof bandages in your kit as well.
  • As these may go fast, make sure you replace them as people use them.

Gauze Pads

Gauze pads are for more serious bleeding than typical bandages may be able to handle. The pads in your first aid kit should be at least 4 by 4 inches. In addition, it’s wise to have a few larger gauze pads (8 by 10 inches) for larger cuts such as those on the arm, leg or abdomen.

Antiseptic Wipes

Before apply gauze or a bandage to a cut, you should clean it with an antiseptic wipe. This will help reduce the risk of infection.

Blanket

Serious injuries could send a person into shock. Make sure you’ve got a blanket in your emergency kit to help calm the person and help with blood flow.

Gloves

Don’t attend to any wounds without first putting on a pair of latex gloves. Make sure you’ve got an ample supply in your kit.

It’s simple to put together a good first-aid kit. Make sure your employees know where it is, and stock it with these supplies.

The Art of Performing Successful Mold Removal

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

The Art of Performing Successful Mold Removal

For years now, mold has been used in wine and cheese production. It's also useful in the medication field as it's used to produce penicillin and other drugs. Like any other organism, mold is essential to the natural environment. It helps balance the ecosystem in one way or another. But this doesn't mean that it's good to have mold in homes. Mold damage can cost homeowners a lot of time, effort, and energy.

When most people hear about mold, the term "mildew" also comes to their mind. These fungi share some similarities. They both grow in moist warm areas and have a smelly odor. So they require deodorization during remediation. However, mold is different to mildew in terms of texture, size, and color.

Mildew is easy to treat with a scrubbing brush and a surface cleaner. What's more, it's easily identifiable because it is forms gray patches. Conversely, mold can either be green on black, depending on the species. Unlike mildew, it can cover large areas, and it's difficult to destroy using basic mitigation methods. With the right tools, anyone can eliminate mold. But sometimes the mold removal process gets tough. In instances like this, one may need to hire reputable companies that deal with commercial mold damage.

It's advisable to apply the right mitigation measures to ensure that mold damage doesn't ruin property. Homeowners can choose to carry out mold removal themselves or hire a remediation expert. Either way, the process will still cost money and time. However, this is the only option to get rid of mold in homes. The following are a few things everyone should know about the mold removal and deodorization.

In cases of commercial mold damage, it's advisable to hire a mold removal company. These companies know the best mitigation measures to take. Additionally, they can easily determine the type of fungus. This is important as it helps them ensure the remediation process is effective. Mold in homes can cause different levels of mold damage. Bathrooms are most susceptible to mold damage. The fungus causes discoloration to bathroom tiles.

Seeing molds in homes, especially on walls and ceilings, is a disgusting sight. Additionally, the smelly odor from the fungus can cause a lot of discomfort to the dwellers. Most people who don't know about mold remediation opt to replace tiles and paint damaged surfaces. To get rid of the smelly odor, it's recommendable to undertake deodorization.

After determining who will remove the mold, the next step should be to inspect the affected area. Mold can grow anywhere, so it would be wise to check under tiles, rugs, and floorboards. Consider checking between cracks too. The person taking care of the mold and the smelly odor needs to ensure no surface is left unchecked.

Next, the commercial mold damage and remediation specialist should work toward neutralizing the fungus. This is one of the most mitigation measures. If the specialist doesn’t neutralize the mold, the spores may spread to the other parts of the house. This will cause more problems as it will lead to further growth. The most common tools used to contain mold are duct tape and plastic sheets. The spores should then be eliminated using an air-filtration system to make the air safe to breathe.

The last step is to begin the actual removal process. When dealing with commercial mold damage, specialists use a special cleaning agent to scrub non-porous surfaces such as plastic and glass. One should be careful when cleaning porous surfaces. The best solution for porous materials is to replace them. Although will cost the homeowner money, it will help him/her save a lot of time and money in the long run.

So, it’s important to seek the assistance of experienced mold removal technicians. They know the best mold remediation and deodorization techniques. When dealing with mold in homes, it's advisable to use high-quality mold removal products. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on mold remediation.

Don’t Be Washed Away by a Kitchen Flood

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Don’t Be Washed Away by a Kitchen Flood Air mover on water damage in a laundry room in a Maryland Heights, MO home

As a homeowner in Maryland Heights, MO, even a small flood can seem like a major disaster. A kitchen leak can lead to costly repairs and major damage, especially if not properly cleaned up. Don’t let flooding in your home wash you away! Remembering a few simple steps can help you stay afloat.

Identify the Type

Before you begin any cleanup, you’ll need to know where the water is coming from and what type of water damage you have. There are three types you may encounter:

  • Category One is water that comes from a pipe carrying a fresh supply.
  • Category Two is water coming from a pipe or appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine that is somewhat contaminated, generally with dirt or detergent.
  • Category Three is water that is heavily contaminated with bacteria or microorganisms and can be extremely hazardous.

Unless you are experiencing a sewage backup, flooding in the kitchen is most likely category one or two. A leaky pipe or a problem with a dishwasher drain are often the culprits.

Remove Excess Water

Once you identify the source of the water in your home, you can begin the cleanup process yourself by removing as much excess water as possible. If possible, turn off the water supply to the area. Mop up as much as you can or use towels to blot water away. Pay special attention to wood and upholstery. Be sure to pick up any colored rugs or fabrics that may bleed and cause staining.

Consult an Expert

Once you’ve stemmed the flow, you will want to contact your insurance company to assist with any major costs, such as kitchen repair, you might experience as a result of the flooding. You may also wish to work with a restoration specialist to ensure a minor flood doesn’t turn into a more serious problem. Professional help can ensure water is dealt with properly and efficiently, reducing the risk of more serious problems such as mold or rot.

If you experience water in your home as a result of a kitchen flood, knowing what to do can be helpful. A professional can ensure the damage is cleaned up properly.

Clearing Drains and Gutters Before a Flood

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

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

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

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?

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

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?

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 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

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

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

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

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
• Appliances
• 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.