3 Tips for Preventing Water Damage in Your Home
This is the after picture of a laundry room with water loss.
As a homeowner, preventing damage to your St. Louis, MO property is probably a priority for you. Stopping mishaps before they happen helps you avoid thousands of dollars in repairs and lost belongings, and this can be especially true in the case of water damage. Water in the home can be devastating to furniture, electrical systems and your home's structure, but fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to prevent this type of problem from happening.
1. Inspect Appliance Connections and Hoses Often
Your washer and dishwasher can cause considerable flooding if worn hoses or water lines break. Leaks are usually a sign that a hose or valve is failing, so it is important to address any leak right away. Preventative maintenance can keep your water appliances running at top efficiency, stop leaks or sudden floods in your kitchen or basement and may even save you money on your energy bill.
2. Watch for Warning Signs in Your Plumbing
Drips, leaks and discolored joints may point to a faulty or broken pipe in your bathroom or kitchen. Because malfunctioning pipes can burst without warning, this is not an issue to be ignored. Have a plumber replace worn valves, pipes and joints or perform pipe cleanup maintenance on sections that have become narrow inside due to calcium or lime buildup, as narrow pathways can cause water pressure to build and burst your pipes.
3. Check Basements and Crawlspaces
Clogged gutters and poor drainage can cause water to seep into your basement. If you fail to spot it, it can cause mold growth and damage stored items. A professional mold remediation and restoration company can remove water in your home and inspect your basement and crawlspace for signs of excess moisture and mold.
Water damage in your St. Louis, MO home can be costly and take months to repair. However, preventative maintenance might help you avoid the kind of trouble water in a home can cause and give you peace of mind that you are protecting one of your greatest investments. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on water damage.
How To Prevent Ice Dams
Every winter, if you live in a snowy area, your buildings are prone to hanging icicles and snowy roofs. While this may seem harmless, an ice dam is not. An ice dam is caused when the roof warms, melting the ice. Icicles and snow push the water back. Given the damage ice dams can cause, it is best to know how to prevent this from occurring.
1. Roof Ventilation
When you have appropriate attic ventilation, the cold air will flush out the warmer air. When it comes to proper aeriation, you will need about one square foot of ventilation per 300 square feet. This is at a minimum. Also, keep in mind that the shape of your roof can determine the sort of ventilation you need. One tip to remember is that it’s very difficult to have too much.
2. Attic Insulation
Not only will insulation help keep the heat in your business, but it will keep your roof from warming and causing ice to melt prematurely. With insulation, you should have at least 12 to 14 inches in your attic space. If you have less than eight inches, it is time to add more. In order to avoid too many gaps in your insulation, keep professionals in mind.
3. No Attic Bypasses
Did you know that a lot of the warm air in your home escapes through the attic? If you have unblocked walls, cracks in the fixtures, open plumbing or gaps in the drywall, you could be at risk of warm air escaping. When it rises, it can then leave through the attic and go straight through your roof. The best things you can do about air leaks are try to plug them with calking or rake your insulation. Heat tape or heat chord can also be used to keep an ice dam from forming.
Ice dams can lead to extensive damage in homes throughout the winter. The water can leak back into your business. This can lead to softening roofs, loose shingles and even mold. These tips should help keep your St. Louis, MO business safe from water damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on commercial storm damage.
The Secret Behind Mold Odor, Explained (and What To Do About It)
Most people are aware that mold has an odor, as the smell is very distinctive. Ask anyone and they’re bound to tell you that mold smells musty and stagnant, like a pool of water that has been allowed to sit and accumulate fallen leaves, mosquito larvae and other filth. However, though most people may be able to describe that musty odor in detail, not many people can tell you why mold smells. A mold remediation team in Maryland Heights, MO however, can. Mold smells the way it does because of mycotoxin and the following other compounds:
• Geosmin, which smells earthy, like the scent after it rains
• 1-octen-3-ol, which has been described as smelling “moldy” or meaty
• Borneol, which smells like camphor
• 1-butanol, which has a smell like alcohol fermenting
• 2-hexanone, which smells like acetone
• 3-octanone, which has a nutty or fatty odor
Each of these compounds contribute to the overall musty odor of mold, but the quantities vary. Though these chemicals can be toxic in large quantities, the amounts produced and released by mold are too small to be of any harm.
What Is Mycotoxin?
This compound is by far the greatest contributor to the musty smell that accompanies mold. Mycotoxins are toxic chemicals released by funguses that, in large quantities, are capable of causing disease in both humans and animals. However, the mycotoxins of many molds are generally harmless. Where circumstances are right, the level of mycotoxins can become high, though it is not quite clear why this is, as they are not necessary for the production of fungi. One theory of why they are present where there’s mold is that they effectively deteriorate materials, thereby creating a better environment for fungi development.
Most mycotoxins produce pungent odors, with the most common descriptors including:
• Cat urine
• Old cheese
• Wet dog
If you smell a strong, pungent odor that you believe to be mold, reach out to your Maryland Heights, MO mold remediation team right away. The sooner you resolve the problem, the better off you’ll be.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on mold.
After a Commercial Fire Is Extinguished, Water Damage Looms
Few things in the realm of business can be more difficult than having your building damaged by fire. If a blaze has scarred your commercial structure in Maryland Heights, MO fire cleanup may not be the only task you face. Water cleanup can be equally important. After firefighters have quenched the inferno, you must often deal with extensive water damage. Calling in an experienced fire restoration company can help you get your facility back in working order so you can get back to business. These are common steps many professional fire restorers use to repair destruction from fire and water.
1. Appraise Damage
Firefighters have likely worked hard to extinguish the blaze, and to do this, they used water—lots of water. Anything the fire did not destroy, including walls, floors, ceilings, equipment, inventory and various smaller items, will probably be soggy. Your instinct may be to rush in and plug in fans, but this is where an experienced restoration company can help. Simply drying things is usually not enough. Water cleanup may involve much more.
2. Properly Clean Items
Professionals will often take salvageable items off-site to be cleaned since your structure may not be inhabitable after a fire. If you have a waiting room or lounge area, for example, pillows and upholstery can be removed for cleaning. Fire restorers may bring in special equipment and products to clean and dry internal features and recoverable equipment and inventory. Proper smoke cleanup may also be important, as soot can be oily and should be carefully removed, and the smell of smoke can linger indefinitely unless addressed properly right away.
3. Renovate Walls and Floors
Sometimes walls, ceilings and floors must be completely redone after a fire. You may be surprised at the damage fire suppression techniques can do. An experienced restoration company, however, should know how to remedy structures during water cleanup.
Opening your business after a fire can involve many steps. The wisest decision can be to work with a restoration company that uses specialized equipment and expertise to restore your Maryland Heights, MO structure.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
Benefits of Professional Fire Restoration
A house fire can be a complete nightmare. For most homeowners following an incident, they wonder what to do next. Not only is there smoke and fire damage to contend with, but the efforts of firefighters can also put your belongings in danger. The cleanup process can be complex, and there is a variety of reasons to have a professional fire restoration team on your side.
1. Trustworthy Assessments
Keep in mind that during the blaze, firefighters will use large amounts of water to fight the fire, water that can then seep into carpeting and drywall. If left for too long, mildew and mold growth can begin to wreak havoc on your home. A professional team will look at all the possible signs of damage. With experience and licensing, you can trust that they will give you an accurate estimate of what it might take to restore your home.
2. Trustworthy Equipment
Specialized equipment may be necessary to fully clean and restore your home. Professionals may use dehumidifiers, special pumps or vacuum cleaners to remove water and soot. Additionally, they may need to utilize air movers and fans to clear out the smoky odors.
3. Trustworthy Restoration
If you choose to restore your home yourself, what happens if you miss mold-infested walls? Do you know how to check for all signs of structural damage? There are aspects of restoration that homeowners overlook. A professional has the know-how to guarantee that your home is ready when finished.
When it comes down to it, a fire in your St. Louis, MO home can be devastating. You have to be on the lookout not only for fire damage, but also from the damage caused by a fire hose. No matter how much or how little damage was incurred, however, a professional service is sure to go a long way in restoring the appearance and overall functionality of your residential property. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on fire damage.
What to Expect After Winter Storm Damage
After a winter storm in St Louis, MO you may be at a loss. If your home has been damaged, you may be unsure of where to go from there. The best defense against storm damage is to be prepared in advance, and information is key. From water removal to what you may need to tear out, here are four steps to follow after water damage from a storm:
1. Extract Water
First and foremost, following a winter storm that has resulted in flooding, you need to extract the water. You can utilize the help of a professional service to remove the water from your home so that you can begin the storm restoration.
2. Tear Out Wet Contents
Wet materials cannot stay in your home. Mold grows quickly. Within the first couple days, you could have a serious mold situation on your hands. To avoid that or to guarantee that it doesn’t get worse, you should remove all wet contents as quickly as possible. This could be clothing, furniture or even drywall that is damaged beyond repair. Tear out anything that is wet and will not dry within the house.
3. Dry Out Flooded Area and Contents
You can lay out your contents in the sun to dry, while waiting for the inside of your home to dry up also. Inside, you can utilize fans and dehumidifiers to rid it of moisture. Most people prefer investing in a dehumidifier to help rid the inside of any extra moisture.
4. Restore Home
Once you tear out any of the furniture or components of the house that are damaged beyond repair, you can work on restoring your home.
While laying out the steps seems simple, dealing with an actual flood can be a challenge. With the help of a restoration specialist, you can clean and build your home back to the way it was quickly and efficiently. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on storm damage.
How to Avoid Coming Home to a Flooded Home
Imagine coming home from a long, relaxing vacation only to find out that a pipe burst and has flooded your home. It’s not the “welcome home” gift any homeowner wants. You can avoid needing water pipe repair from a broken pipe by doing a few things before you leave:
• Shut off water supply
• Check your pumps
• Fix your gutters
These three steps can keep your post-vacation glow going a little while longer. Here is how to fully complete each part.
Shut Off Water Supply
If you can do so safely, shut off the main water supply to your home before you leave. This simple step can help ensure that even if a pipe breaks in the middle of your trip, you can avoid coming home to a flooded home because of it. If you can’t shut the main line off, you can go through the house and close individual valves. Don’t forget about exterior faucets!
Check Your Pumps
If you have a basement in Country Life Acres, MO you need to test your sump pump before you head out. Pour some water down the pit. Watch the water to make sure it goes out the way it should. If everything looks okay, you can feel relieved. If something seems suspicious, give a plumber a call just to be safe.
Fix Your Gutters
All the water pipe repair work in the world can’t stop all floods. Make sure to protect your home against floods that could hit come from a large rainstorm. Give your gutters a once-over to make sure they are in working order. They play a big role in keeping the water outside. Furthermore, you should consider adding downspout extensions if yours do not extend at least 10 feet away from the side of your house.
Doing these three things before you take off can help you relax while you’re away. You can avoid having a broken pipe, flooded home, and water pipe repair bills. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on water damage.
Minimal vs. Extensive Damage After a Sewage Backup
Sewer cleanup in Maryland Heights, MO requires the assistance of a professional team. A sewer backup will most likely bring in various types of contaminants into your commercial building, which can be dangerous to address on your own. Whether the backup came from a flooded toilet or a backed-up septic tank, a professional will be able to adequately fix the issue regardless of if the damage is minimal or extensive.
Minimal water damage can typically be addressed by cleaning up the water and disinfecting the surrounding area. The steps one can take to handle this problem involve:
* Cleaning the walls, closets and floors
* Disinfecting every area affected by flood water
* Salvaging as many belongings as possible
* Bringing fresh air into the room by opening windows and running fans
When it comes to disinfecting a room requiring sewer cleanup, it is best to leave it to the professionals. The reason is that it is dangerous to mix certain chemicals together, and you do not want to put yourself in any danger. For example, if you mix ammonia and bleach together, then you end up with ammonium chloride and chloramine, which are both extremely toxic. You can create a fairly good cleaning formula by mixing one gallon of water with one-quarter cup of chlorine bleach.
Water damage is classified as extensive if the damage extended into more than one room. In many cases, a simple cleaning and disinfecting will not be enough. Professionals in Maryland Heights, MO will need to remove badly damaged items out of the room and replace them with something else. This is certainly the case with drywall affected by flood water. The longer water is allowed to stand in a room, the greater the likelihood it will create extensive damage that cannot be rectified with normal cleaning procedures. Bring in the experts sooner rather than later to handle sewer cleanup so you can return your commercial building to its pristine quality. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on commercial water damage.
Why Does Mold Smell?
Why Does Mold Smell?
Many people are familiar with the musty odor of mildew or mold, but fewer are aware of what actually gives mold its characteristic stench. Mold releases strongly-scented microbial volatile organic compounds into the air and mycotoxin is the source of the odor. You can remedy the growth and smell of mold by hiring experts in St. Louis, Missouri who specialize in clean-up and mold remediation.
Does the Smell of Mold Indicate Its Presence?
A moldy smell can indicate that an environment is ripe for mold growth, at the very least, or perhaps that mold is already growing. Other warning signs include evidence of:
Water leaks and damage
Mildew (early stage mold)
Even if you cannot see evidence of mold out in the open, you are not necessarily in the clear. Mold can grow under carpets or behind wallpaper. Avoid hunting for the source of a moldy smell on your own, as disturbing a colony may release spores into the air.
Should You Contact An Expert if You Smell Mold?
It is generally better to be certain and safe than uncertain and sorry. A musty odor resulting from mycotoxin can be a warning sign that immediate measures should be taken to prevent mold from turning into a serious problem. When you hire experts, you don’t run as big of a risk of misidentification or failed attempts to locate, clean, and remediate mold.
What Can You Do About Mold Smells?
Other than having your home or commercial property professionally cleaned and remediated by experts specializing in treating mold, you might also consider running an air filtration device with HEPA technology.
If your home or commercial property has developed a musty odor, you may want to have indoor environmental specialists in St. Louis, Missouri test the structure. They can determine whether mycotoxin or other evidence of mold is present and whether clean-up and mold remediation are needed. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on mold.
How to Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home
How to Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home
Everyone has seen a fire extinguisher hanging on a wall, but few people understand how to use it. This device can save you from calling the St. Louis, Missouri fire department or restoration experts during a small mishap. Educate yourself on basic information about this item and how to operate it properly.
Different Types of Fire Extinguishers
When shopping for an appropriate extinguisher for your home, you have to consider the types of fires you might encounter. There are five common types of extinguishers:
Type A – for use on materials such as cloth, paper and wood
Type B – for use on combustible liquids such as grease, gasoline and oil-based paints
Type C – for use on electrical appliances, tools or anything plugged into a socket
Type D – for use on flammable metals
Type K – for use on cooking oils and fats, and appliances such as stoves or grills
There are also multipurpose extinguishers that can fight several types of fires. The most common one used in homes is a multipurpose A – C device that can quell a kitchen fire or appliance explosion.
The PASS Method
To safely operate an extinguisher, you should remember the acronym PASS. It stands for the following:
P – Pull the pin, also known as a locking mechanism. Make sure the nozzle of the device is pointing away from you.
A – Aim at the fire. Try to shoot for the base instead of the top of flames.
S – Squeeze the lever. Do it slowly and evenly for a steady stream of chemicals to escape.
S – Sweep the nozzle from one side of the flames to another to minimize fire damage.
Owning a fire extinguisher is a great way to protect your home in St. Louis, Missouri. Understanding which type to purchase and how to use it can be beneficial during an emergency. Proper use of an extinguisher can put out a fire faster and prevent a call for assistance. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on fire damage.