Recent Posts

Content Restoration 101: What Can You Salvage and What Should You Throw Out?

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Content Restoration 101: What Can You Salvage and What Should You Throw Out? Fire causes smoke and soot damage to your belongings and we have the cleaning techniques to restore to pre-fire conditions

In the aftermath of a house fire, it is common for people to feel devastated if they find that many of their personal belongings have been damaged by fire, smoke, or water. If your home in Maryland Heights, MO, has recently been affected by a fire, you’ll be relieved to know that a fire restoration company can clean and restore many of your possessions using methods like dry-cleaning, abrasive cleaning, and freezer drying. However, there are some types of items that are unsafe to keep after a fire. Here is some valuable information on which of your belongings can possibly be salvaged and which items will need to be thrown out, so you can know what to expect for the content cleaning process.

Unsalvageable Items

While many items can be restored depending on the extent of the damage, you’re best off always throwing away the following items:

  • Non-perishable items affected by heat
  • Perishable food items left at room temperature or smelling of smoke
  • Charred or burnt clothing
  • Medicine and cosmetic items exposed to high temperatures or soot

Content Restoration

Most of your other belongings will be eligible for restoration. Most common household items like smoke damaged clothing, house decorations, and furniture will be put into content storage and cleaned using a variety of methods including:

  • Spray and wipe
  • Dry-cleaning
  • Wet cleaning
  • Foam cleaning
  • Abrasive cleaning
  • Immersion cleaning

Electronics require special handling and can be permanently damaged if mishandled, so never turn them on right after a fire has occurred. Important documents and photographs may be salvaged using methods such as dehumidification or air, freezer, vacuum freeze, and vacuum thermal drying.

Except for the few exclusions listed in this guide, fire restoration specialists have the necessary expertise to evaluate your belongings and decide what can be salvaged. They restore your items using the best cleaning methods whether that just involves light dry-cleaning or heavy cleaning and drying services.

Planning for Storm Disruptions

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Planning for Storm Disruptions Flood damage in Fernridge, MO area

How to Prepare for a Severe Weather Event

Many business owners and property managers in Fernridge, MO, don't know how to prepare for the downtime and property damage that can come from a severe weather event. With a simple storm strategy, you can be ready to contact a flood cleanup company should the need arise.

1. Immediate Response

If a natural disaster or other flood damage scenario strikes your area, you must be ready to contact your insurance company and other local officials with relevant information. This will include the details of your policy and proof of ownership for any properties you own or manage. This will facilitate the allocation of any funds from the corporations and government agencies that have been assigned to help. A qualified flood cleanup professional can begin removing water and contaminated items from your buildings at this stage. Ask your chosen restoration company about sensitive document recovery as well.

2. Future Protections

Having to resort to a flood cleanup company in this way is not always the most cost-effective method of maintaining your property. A majority of insurance claims for building damage result from water entry. By stopping the water before it gets into your building, you can reduce the financial strain on your business.

3. Best Practices

Maintain your building envelope by keeping the shingles and gutters in good shape. This will deposit rainfall away from the roof and foundation of the building, preventing flooding and mold growth. Use gravel or heavy mulch in your landscaping to prevent erosion. Over time, soil loss can lead to rivulets and puddles that can direct water toward the walls and doors. Extra landscaping may be necessary if your business is located in an especially high-risk area. Create swales with surplus earth and plant water-tolerant shrubbery and trees to keep your topsoil where it belongs.

While a number of reasonably-priced flood cleanup company options exist, it will always be more efficient to stop storm damage before it starts.

What To Do When a Storm Approaches

4/27/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What To Do When a Storm Approaches Many circumstances can lead to flooding.

Many circumstances can lead to flooding. These include

  • Heavy rain or snow
  • Coastal storms and heavy wind storms
  • Overflowing dams
  • Damaged sewer systems

When flood water rises, it may lead to power outages, lack of transportation, flooded buildings, and landslides. These situations make up the most common natural disaster in the United States. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect your Manchester, MO home and family from harm when storms develop.

Protect Your Family First

The safety of your family should be your top priority. The rise of flood water often leads to unsafe conditions. The best way to maintain safety is to follow the instructions of local authorities. Follow this list of dos and don'ts.

  • Do go around pools of water; don't drive through them.
  • Do avoid bridges over fast-moving water.
  • Do move to higher ground or go upstairs in your home.
  • Do evacuate when told to do so.
  • Don't re-enter your home until you have permission from first responders.

Prevent Damage to Your Home

There are steps you can take to protect your home as well as your family. Before storms or damaged sewer systems lead to water damage, make sure you know what the risks are to your family. Check with your local government to determine the risks of flooding and the most common type of situations. Next, keep supplies on hand to board up your windows and plug any drains in your basement. Consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. Protect important documents by storing them in a waterproof container.

Take Action When a Storm Approaches

If you know that a storm system is on its way, consider buying a sump pump. You should also move appliances and valuables to higher levels of your home. Turn off the electricity to lower levels of the home. Clean out drains and gutters around your home.

Taking steps before a storm to control flood water and keep it out of your home is a good way to protect your home and your family. Check with water damage remediation professionals to learn about more steps you should take.

When a Toilet Overflow Damages 2 Floors

4/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage When a Toilet Overflow Damages 2 Floors Once the area damaged by the flooded toilet water is completely dry, deodorization and disinfectants can be used.

If your multi-story commercial building in Manchester, MO has sewer damage or a toilet overflow, chances are pretty good that the water has contaminated more than one floor. Since the polluted water is considered a category three liquid, common cleaners are not considered adequate to abide by OSHA standards. Contacting a certified water mitigation team is the best first choice in dealing with the water intrusion. Here are three steps the professionals often use to mitigate the problem.

1. Water Removal

After turning off the water and contacting the sewage company, the team may try to identify the source of the water. Once the source is located and identified as a cracked toilet bowl, overflowing base, or damaged wax ring, the liquid is removed, and the drying process can begin. While the area is drying, an inspection of damage can take place, and signs of secondary problems can be found.

2. Tear-Out

Water from an overflowing toilet is sewer damage and considered black water. That means the area will need to have a tear-out of all carpet, padding, wet insulation, and water-soaked plasterboard. If the water damaged more than one floor, tear-out can often include two floor structures, one ceiling, and sometimes multiple walls. The area is then left to dry using commercial fans and dehumidifiers.

3. Area Disinfection

Once the area damaged by the flooded toilet water is completely dry, deodorization and disinfectants can be used to bring the area up to OSHA standards. This can sometimes include treating the bare wood with a mold inhibitor in case fungus spores have attached themselves to the miniature cracks the water damage caused. After the area is thoroughly disinfected, a rebuilding and restoration team can begin work.

Sewer damage in a multi-floor commercial building can easily be dealt with by a certified water mitigation team. They can get the area repaired or restored quickly so that you can resume operations.

3 Reasons To Add Mold Coverage to Your Pollution Liability Policy

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Reasons To Add Mold Coverage to Your Pollution Liability Policy Mold damage will often require the work of a mold remediation service.

When you are taking out insurance for your Manchester, MO business, you might wonder if you really need to add mold coverage to your Pollution Liability policy. While it may seem unnecessary, it can be a good idea to have it added. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Mold Is a Common Problem

Mold is everywhere. There are numerous species of mold that can be found both indoors and outdoors. Because of this, you can find mold growing in many buildings. If you do not have coverage, it is likely that any mold insurance claims you make could be denied.

2. Mold Coverage Is Often Limited

While there are some circumstances in which you may be able to file a mold claim under your general insurance, this is not always the case. Even if the claim is approved, the extent of repairs or remediation that your insurance company is willing to pay for can be very limited. If the cause of the damage does not fall under a covered peril, then they may not cover any work at all.

3. Mold Can Cause a Lot of Damage

Because mold spores can spread extremely quickly in the right conditions, it is possible that your building could suffer a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Mold can find a home inside of your walls before you’ve even noticed it. If you start to see a growth forming, it is possible that there is much more hidden where you cannot see it. It can also spread to carpets and fabrics which may then need to be replaced. If your mold insurance claims are not approved, it can be very costly to have repairs done.

Mold damage will often require the work of a mold remediation service. Adding mold coverage will make it easier for you to make mold insurance claims and can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

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

Disaster Recovery Teams Assist Local Franchises in Large Loss Situations

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Teams Assist Local Franchises in Large Loss Situations The Disaster Recovery Teams make every effort to support the local franchises.

Disaster Recovery Teams Assist Local Franchises In Large Loss Situations

There is one group of professional water remediation specialists that is well known for it “Faster to any disaster” responses within big cities and small towns of the United States and Canada. But did you know that SERVPRO also has a large loss response program that activates its own Disaster Recovery Teams? These teams are made up of technicians from unaffected franchises to go to communities where major storms or flooding have hit. They helped following 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, for instance, to assess and mitigate situations where the catastrophic loss occurred on a large scale, and they can help the people of Chesterfield, MO as well, should it ever be needed.

Falling victim to storm damage may make business owners feel that all is lost. They may not even know where to start, or whether it is possible to recover from such devastation. SERVPRO teams assist hundreds of overburdened local franchises in the affected areas in order to reach hundreds of more businesses quickly.

What SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Teams Offer:

  • They educate about how to stay safe around contaminated water from flooding and what can reasonably be done while waiting for professionals.
  • They reach many more businesses that may otherwise have to wait.
  • As a preferred provider, the teams can consult in the process of filing catastrophic losses with insurance companies.

Educating people about the difference between clean, gray and black water and their health and safety implications is a priority, as is recommending things that may need to be done while waiting for help. Wearing protective clothing around floodwater and debris, and keeping people out of any seriously compromised structures may also be advised.

Filing for coverage following storm damage is something that a professional water damage restoration company is trained to do and want both the business owner and the insurance company to be satisfied with services rendered. The Disaster Recovery Teams make every effort to support the local franchises in Chesterfield, MO in reaching the many catastrophic loss situations that accompany a major storm system or rising floodwaters.

3 Reasons a Water Heater May Make Noise

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Reasons a Water Heater May Make Noise In many cases, especially with heaters that have been in use for a while, settlement can get into the unit and settle.

3 Reasons a Water Heater May Make Noise

Most Manchester, MO homes have a water heater. One common occurrence that seems to happen with these units are a variety of unusual sounds. Fortunately, in most cases these sounds can be easily explained. Many professional restoration services agree that the following could cause sounds from a heater, and suggest looking for potential problems before you experience a break resulting in water damage.

1. Sediment Inside the Unit

In many cases, especially with heaters that have been in use for a while, settlement can get into the unit and settle. As this material is stirred, or in some cases as water is pushed through deposits, noises make can occur. A professional can perform a water heater flush to help correct this problem.

2. A Loose Heating Element

Another source of sound from your water heater could be the fact that the heating element isn't fully secured. As water moves around the tank it can cause vibrations in the element which can lead to a possible humming sound. Calling a professional to properly tighten the heating element may help to correct the problem.

3. Improperly Opened Valve

One noise common to water heaters is a high-pitched whistling type sound. In many cases this is caused when water is forced through a partially open valve, much the way steam tries to escape through the tiny opening in a teapot. In many cases you can look at your heater to ensure that all the valves are properly open in order to correct the sound.

When inspecting your water heater for the source of any unusual noises, try looking to see if there is an improperly open valve, a loose heating element, or any sediment inside the unit. The professional can perform a flush of your heating unit in order to clean out any of the elements, as well as replace or repair any damage parts.

SERVPRO in St. Louis helps make a difference in Kenya

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Northwest St. Louis County is excited to be a part of helping children in Kenya. 

Kevin and Rachel Thole, along with others decided to pursue buying land and constructing a building for 18 children. With this facility there are opportunities to provide ongoing support and resources. This has been an incredible opportunity to serve and help so many in need. 

Visit and learn how you can be a part of the mission to change lives and make an impact. 

Preventing and Controlling Mold Growth in Home

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Preventing and Controlling Mold Growth in Home Prevention is the best way to avoid large-scale mold damage in your home.

Preventing And Controlling Mold Growth In Home

Mold exists everywhere. It's in the air, in the soil, and on surfaces you touch every day. When you walk into your home, you're almost certainly carrying new spores into the house. Although molds have existed on earth for millions of years, you probably don't want to encourage their growth in your own home. Naturally, you'll worry about cleaning up water damage, but for the best protection, you need to know where it's likely to develop into colonies, how to prevent mold growth, and how to treat existing colonies.


Any moist, warm corner could be home for a new colony of mold. You may be vigilant about cleaning up spills but unaware of the mold growing under the bathroom sink. Some other common hiding spots include the following:

  • Lint traps and drip trays
  • Chimneys
  • Air conditioners
  • Under laminate flooring

A burst pipe in the basement attracts a lot of attention and cleanup, but a sweaty concrete crawlspace is as susceptible to water damage and the growth of mold.


Fortunately, there are some straightforward mold prevention steps you can take without too much time and effort:

  • Reducing levels of humidity
  • Fixing leaky windows, pipes, and roofs
  • Cleaning and drying any area affected by moisture
  • Increasing ventilation in vulnerable rooms, such as the laundry and bathroom

Prevention is the best way to avoid large-scale mold damage in your home.


When you do find mold growth in the home, you have two choices to resolve the problem. You can either clean it up yourself or you can contact mold remediation professionals. According to the CDC, if the affected area is less than ten square feet and if you cannot smell the mold, you can do the cleanup yourself. Otherwise, you should contact professionals.

Remember to reduce humidity, check out-of-the-way spots, and complete routine home maintenance to protect your Chesterfield, MO home and family from mold and water damage. Your work today could prevent expensive repairs tomorrow.