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Fire Commercial Cleanup Process

7/3/2020 (Permalink)

Structure of walls. Concept of process cleaning up after a fire loss Clean up after a fire in Creve Coeur, MO

Steps To Restore Commercial Buildings After a Fire

Smoke damage is one of the many concerns you may have after a commercial fire. Smoke can permeate through every inch of your building, leaving you with unwanted odors. In addition, some items may be damaged from fire, heat, water, or the flame retardant used by firefighters. You may wonder if your business will ever look like it did before the fire. Fortunately, there are several steps that are commonly taken to restore commercial buildings after a fire.

1. Assess the Damage
A professional fire remediation company usually sends an expert onsite to assess the damage. This professional will determine what type of damage you have and will develop a plan to clean, restore, and make your business look "Like it never even happened." During this initial visit, the person onsite will cover any holes in walls or ceilings to help protect your business from looters and inclement weather.

2. Remove and Clean Items
You may have special items such as area rugs, paintings, or documents that sustained soot damage. Some personal items may be taken offsite to undergo specialized smoke cleaning techniques.

3. Restore Structural Items
The fire or fire suppression techniques may have left you with water, heat, or smoke damage. Your restoration team will repair anything that is salvageable and replace what is not. This could include flooring, cabinetry, paint, or other items that are part of your building.

4. Smoke Cleaning
Without proper treatment, smoke odors can linger for years. As a final step, your restoration team may perform smoke cleaning services with thermal fogging techniques, ozone machines, or air scrubbers. Air cleaning processes are designed to remove all traces of smoke odor.
Restoring your business in Creve Coeur, MO, after smoke damage is a multi-step process. However, when you use a professional company, you will have access to experts that are specially trained in each of the necessary steps.

5 Cooking Tips for Fire Safety

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Closeup shot of blue fire from domestic kitchen stove. Gas cooker with burning flames propane gas. A clean cooking area is a safe cooking area

Five Cooking Tips You Can Use For Fire Safety

After a kitchen fire, a local restoration service can help put your Fernridge, MO, home back in order, but there are a few steps you can follow to help prevent a fire in the first place. Here are five cooking tips you can use for fire safety.

1. Keep The Cooking Area Clean

One way to help avoid fire damage in your kitchen is to keep the area clean. Grease and food residue can build up until it becomes a fire hazard. A clean cooking area is a safe cooking area.

2. Keep The Stove Free of Clutter

Keeping your counter clean and free of clutter is another step you can take. This will prevent things from getting knocked into a lit heating element.

3. Use a Splatter Guard

Using a splatter guard is one of the recommended tips for preventing a grease fire. This is usually in the form of a screen that can be set over a pot or pan when frying food. The mesh material can catch grease droplets and prevent them for getting into the heating element and parking a fire.

4. Stay Near the Stove

It’s highly recommended to never leave a lit stove unattended. This will allow you to be close at hand if something goes wrong giving you a chance to catch and mitigate any mistakes before a major problem occurs.

5. Use a Timer

If you’re multi taking in the kitchen you may want to use a food timer. This will help you turn off the stove on time before food has a chance to burn or catch fire.

Following these fire safety tips may help you prevent a fire in your home. Keep your cooking area clean and free of clutter, use a splatter guard when frying, and stay near the stove when in use. A timer is also a good idea. If a fire does occur a restoration service may be able to help with repairs.

A Big Disaster Calls for a Large Response

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Storage of drying equipment Large Loss Response Team

A Big Disaster Calls for a Large Response

Now and then, the nation faces a big challenge when it comes to a catastrophic loss to a community or state. This could be a major hurricane, the California wildfires, or the devastating breach of dams in Michigan. These large events can overwhelm the resources of an individual community. With its 1700 disaster remediation franchises spread throughout North America, SERVPRO is in a unique position to help businesses and homes recover. The company has done so in the past, and it will be ready for the next disaster whether it strikes in Maryland Heights, MO, or some other location.

A Strong Response to Flooding
In recent years, the country has seen torrential rains that have caused waters to rise in many areas. SERVPRO has deployed disaster recovery teams to help with water damage in the following areas:

  • The Louisiana floods of 2016
  • The Houston floods of 2015
  • The Mid-Atlantic floods of 2014
  • The Colorado floods of 2013

A professional flood disaster team has the resources and training to clean the aftermath of flood waters. Highly-trained technicians perform an inspection and assessment of each property and then determine the best course of action to accelerate recovery. In the case of a catastrophic loss to a community, additional resources are brought in from other parts of the country to handle the surge of property damage.

A Coordinated Response to Storm Damage
Big storms in the recent past have also challenged communities. These destructive events include the Florida storms of 2016, the Polar Vortex of 2014, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Each time, SERVPRO professionals worked to help limit the catastrophic loss that companies and individuals faced. A coordinated response ensures that the necessary equipment is deployed to remove water from basements and to restore damaged drywall and carpeting. Restoration professionals also work with insurance companies to make sure claims are settled in an efficient manner.

4 Steps for Making a Water Damage Insurance Claim

5/23/2020 (Permalink)

Claim form for fill out Filing an insurance claim can help you alleviate the stress of paying for repairs yourself

Steps To Filing An Insurance Claim

A major flood in your Manchester, MO, home can ruin your day in a hurry. Whether the flood resulted from a pipe burst or a huge storm, the damage could be immense.
Thankfully, your homeowners' policy can help you deal with a water disaster. Below are the steps to filing an insurance claim.

1. Contact Your Agent
You will probably have many questions about the claims process. Your insurance agent should be able to answer them. Find out how long you will have to file your claim, and how long the process should take. You should also determine if the claim will exceed your deductible. If not, you may not want to bother with the filing process.

2. Fill Out Necessary Forms
If you do decide to make a claim, be sure to fill out the paperwork as promptly as possible. This will ensure that you get the insurance money when you need it.

3. Prepare for Adjuster's Visit
Before accepting your insurance claim, the company could send an adjuster to your home to access the severity of the damage. You should inspect your home for any structural issues and point them out to the adjuster when he or she arrives.
Be sure to make an itemized list of any belongings that were harmed, as well. Keep one copy for yourself and give the other to the adjuster. Provide photos and videos of the damage, as well. You may even want to include receipts for those items so the adjuster will know how much they cost.

4. Make Temporary Repairs
You will probably want to hire emergency restoration professionals to perform most of the cleanup duties. However, to ensure that the insurance provider accepts your claim, you should take steps to mitigate any further damage before the experts arrive.
Filing an insurance claim can help you alleviate the stress of paying for repairs yourself. Following the above steps should help the process go smoothly.

Can My Important Water-Damaged Documents Be Restored?

5/10/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents Wet documents are susceptible to mildew

Salvaging Paper Based Materials

Hard copies of records (e.g., paper documents and photographs) are an essential part of your system of recordkeeping; they need to be protected as such. So, it’s important to have a disaster plan in place for restoring wet documents as well as how to properly protect them before a loss occurs. Some common methods of salvaging paper-based materials are:

1. Digitizing
In the case of a disaster at your business, it’s crucial to the longevity of your business that you have backups of important paper items, such as documents and photographs. Digitizing these items not only protects them from being ruined in a disaster but also saves physical storage space to lessen the number of paper files in your office. Be sure to back up digital copies to an off-premises location.
2. Cleaning and Disinfecting
Whether a sewer issue, pipe burst, or a flood from heavy rain, the water likely contains toxic chemicals or harmful bacteria. Everything that comes into contact with the water, including paper-based materials, will need to be sterilized. The use of gamma irradiation is a very effective process that’s also safe for delicate materials.
3. Deodorizing
Wet documents are susceptible to mildew, which creates a musty odor that’ll be absorbed into the paper. Archival MicroChamber paper is made of 100% cotton and is good for removing odors that occur from mildew, mold, and smoke. It works for paper-based products, as well as photographs. Activated charcoal can also be successful for odor removal.
4. Drying
Quickly and thoroughly drying paper-based materials can be precarious but necessary for saving them. Vacuum freeze-drying is the most effective method of document drying, which is also used by the Library of Congress to dry priceless books and papers.
5. Re-jacketing
A severely water-damaged book may be falling apart. In addition to drying, it may require a new cover to keep it bound.
After a water disaster like flooding, your Bridgeton, MO, building could require several different types of remediation. Many wet documents should be salvageable if document restoration experts begin work as soon as possible.

Why Bleach is not the Answer to Mold

5/10/2020 (Permalink)

Clorox bleach on white containers on a store shelf. Bleach is not a solution when it’s time to clean up mold

If you’re a commercial property owner, your tenants depend on you to make sure that the building is fit for use. As a commercial landlord in Manchester, MO, it is your responsibility to restore the affected areas as well as address the problem that led to the mold buildup, such as water damage from a broken pipe or a sprinkler system. If your building has a mold problem or requires fungus cleanup, you may be tempted to hire a regular cleaning service that will most likely attack the problem using bleach. Despite its effectiveness for some cleaning jobs, bleach is not a solution when it’s time to clean up mold.

The Trouble with Bleach

A dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite is what is commonly referred to as liquid bleach and it’s popularly used for cleaning and disinfection. It is not effective for fungus cleanup for the following reasons:

It is only recommended for use on non-porous surfaces. Unfortunately, mold is a fungus that can develop roots in porous surfaces such as carpet, wood, and drywall.
It loses its effectiveness over time. Chlorine evaporates quickly and an old bottle of cleaning solution may not be useful in killing mold.
It produces air pollutants that are harmful to people and pets. In this case, you’re using one toxic substance to fight another toxic substance.

Mold damage repair and restoration requires a more complex approach than a cleaning product containing some type of hypochlorite.

The Right Approach to Mold Cleanup
When mold becomes a problem, you’ll need to contract the services of a mold investigator who can not only determine the type of mold through sampling but can also assess the magnitude of the issue. This investigator will make recommendations as to the best way to handle the fungus cleanup. Leave the restoration process to knowledgeable and equipped experts who fully understand mold cleanup and can help reduce the duration of repair, getting you back to pre-damage conditions as soon as possible.

What To Know About Sewage Backup

4/27/2020 (Permalink)

Sewage water on the floor Sewage is considered black water

What To Know About Sewage Backup

If you think there’s a risk of having sewer backup in your Country Life Acres, MO, home next time a storm happens, then you may be wondering the best way to remedy this problem. There are a few things you should know about sewage in order to perform a proper clean up. Here are the top three.

1. Sewage is Black Water

It’s important to understand that any sewage, even bathtub backup, is considered black water. This is because there is a chance it has come in contact with fecal material and can spread bacteria. For this reason, it is important to wear proper safety gear when performing a cleanup and highly recommended that a professional be called.

2. A Professional Should Help With Cleanup

Any time a storm causes sewer backup in your home it’s a good idea to contact a local restoration service to help with cleanup and repairs. These professionals can handle a variety of issues that may result from backup problems, including cleaning the area and restoring any damaged surfaces. They may also be able to suggest mitigation measures to prevent this problem from happening next time there’s inclement weather.

3. The Affected Area Should Be Cleaned

It’s important to thoroughly clean and sanitize the area after dealing with any type of sewer flooding. Your restoration service should be able to help with this process, and may also be able to offer item cleaning services for any personal effects, such as bathmats or shower curtains, that may have been damaged.

When dealing with sewer backup, in your home it’s important to remember that sewage is considered black water meaning it can carry bacteria. For this reason, it’s best to contact a professional for help with any cleanup and repairs. It’s also a good idea to ensure that the space is properly cleaned afterward. Remember, if you have any further questions a professional can help.

Filing a Fire Claim Can Be Easy

4/18/2020 (Permalink)

Young handsome brunette man over isolated background making phone gesture and pointing front Take the time to first call your insurer

Keep In Mind The 3 Following Tips

It was painful to watch your life's work go up in smoke. Now that the flames are gone and the air is cleared, how do you rebuild it? For many business owners, it means creating a fire claim, offering some financial relief in a time of hardship. Don't let the thought of working with insurance bring you further down. You can do it. Keep in mind the following three tips.

1. Make a Call

As you begin the fire restoration stage, take the time to first call your insurer. During the conversation, open a claim, requesting financial assistance for the repairs. In addition, verify your deductible and as well as their coverage. Compare it with your own documentation, just to be sure. While you're on the phone, ask about any specifics that they require or any protocols that must be followed. It's important to be knowledgeable and in control from the beginning.

2. Stay in Contact

With the fire claim open, you now can work with a fire remediation company in Town and Country, MO. During each stage of the process, email your adjuster, letting them know about the progress and getting approval to move forward. At times, you may need to have the agency's inspector look at the building too. The reports are compared, granting permission to receive the funding. In the meantime, request an immediate okay to secure the property. Insurance companies want this to prevent further destruction. It also hinders vandals from entering.

3. Document Everything

The fire damage destroyed so much. While you may not want to see it, you need to have evidence of it. Take pictures of anything and everything, validating your requests for property loss replacement. Save the photos to your hard drive and e-mail them to your insurance agent. Finally, save your receipts. As you purchase items, it's important to note where the insurance money went.
A fire claim can be a lifeline that doesn't stress you out. Use it to get back up and running.

How Towns Can Prepare For Floods

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

Excavation contractor using a track excavator during the installation of a new large block retaining wall Retaining walls can prevent flooding in your Chesterfield, MO property

Towns that are located near a body of water must be prepared for potential flooding. No system can stop the flow of water completely, but there are some smart flood prevention guidelines that many towns have implemented to reduce the risks.

Build a Retaining Wall or Sea Wall

It’s important to note that before any construction can occur, builders need to have permission from the town’s planning commission so that drainage systems and waterways won’t be blocked. The types of construction that can be built for flood prevention include retaining walls and sea walls.

Retaining walls – These embankments can be built of stones, bricks or other materials that are placed at the edge of the water to raise the land's level and prevent flooding. Soil is typically packed behind the retaining wall to keep it in place. A levee or dyke is a type of retaining wall.
Sea walls – This type of wall is constructed along the coastline to defend against waves eroding the shore. The greater the risk of large waves, the taller the sea wall should be built.

Grow More Green Spaces

Green spaces not only look pretty but they also absorb a lot more rainwater than concrete can. Planting grass, trees, and gardens are sound investments for towns concerned about flooding. Parks also create pleasing spaces for people to spend their leisure time.

Keep Sewer Systems Clean

Debris, such as leaves, branches, and dirt can clog the sewer, increasing the potential for flooding. Maintaining the sewer system and cleaning out the manholes periodically will reduce the need for flood cleaning should an emergency arise.

Consider Submersible Pumps

Submersible pumps redirect water from the source to other outlying areas, such as rivers, floodplains or temporary detention basins. Pumps only require electricity so they aren’t costly to run.
While you can't totally avoid flooding in Chesterfield, MO, these flood prevention suggestions will help to mitigate the risks.

Saving Your Artwork and Paintings From Mold Damage

3/29/2020 (Permalink)

brush, drawing beautiful interior over dirty image. concept Prevention is the greatest step you can take toward protecting your paintings

Your valued belongings can become ruined if a basement storage area floods, or the roof leaks, leaving items in the attic wet. Of course, mold remediation efforts may help save structural materials, such as studs, subfloors. Other materials may or may not be saved according to the assessment of a professional mold cleaning service in Creve Coeur, MO.

How to Safely Store Your Paintings

Whether you are rotating your art or just need to temporarily relocate treasured paintings while you remodel or move, there are some things you can do to minimize potential damage from moisture and mold.

  • Make sure paintings are completely dry before storage
  • Never store paintings in a damp location such as a basement
  • Remove paintings from their frames before storage and wrap loosely in acid-free brown paper
  • Place your paintings in an upright position in a cool room and use a dehumidification unit in the room, especially in humid climates
  • Check the paintings periodically to make sure they are safe from mold damage

When Paintings can be Saved

Although prevention is the greatest step you can take toward protecting your paintings, things can still happen, or they may not have been stored correctly. If mold damage does occur, it does not necessarily mean that your valued canvases have to be thrown out. In many cases, there are some ways to perform mold cleaning on your paintings.

Mold Cleaning for Paintings

Use a mixture of 70% alcohol in water and lightly mist any moldy splotches, but do not saturate. You can repeat when the mixture dries. You could also dip a cotton swab in the mixture and gently dab at the mold spots. During black mold cleanup care must be taken not to rub or wipe anything across the painting, as the alcohol could act as a solvent on certain mediums.
Use care in the preparation and storage of your artwork to save work later. It is good to know, however that in the event a special possession is contaminated by mold colonies, mold cleaning can potentially restore it.