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How To Protect Your Home From Flooding

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

A downspout on a house, water pouring onto a concrete splash block, and over a sidewalk path during heavy rain Invest in downspout to redirect water collecting from runoff from your roof

Steps You Can Take To Increase Your Flood Safety

It’s probably not possible to completely flood proof your home. However, there are steps you can take to increase your flood safety.

1. Keep important equipment above the expected flood level. Find out what the expected flood level in your area of Maryland Heights, MO, is and make modifications to your home and its contents to keep important equipment out of the reach of floodwaters. Recommended safety tips include installing equipment, such as your furnace, water heater, electrical sockets, switches and circuit breakers at least 1 foot above flood level and moving valuable contents to higher floors.

2. Redirect water around your house. Observe the way water flows on your property. If you notice water collecting from runoff from your roof, you might want to invest in gutters and downspouts to redirect runoff away from your home. If the hills and valleys in your yard cause water to collect in areas that could overflow into your home, you may want to consider having your lot regraded. If you’ve noticed that water tends to accumulate in your street or storm drains, a call to local authorities may be needed to address flood safety issues.

3. Consider major modifications for high-risk property. If you have already experienced repeated flooding or know your property is in a high-risk area, you may want to consider taking more extreme measures to reduce your flooding risk. Homes that are located near flood-prone creeks and rivers may benefit from being placed on columns or stilts. Less drastic measures, such as foundation vents or sealants may also be worth considering for some property.

Some homes are more likely to experience flooding than others, but almost all property has some level of flood risk. A professional water damage repair and restoration service can help you recover from flood damage that has already occurred. You can help yourself avoid or reduce future flood damage by taking steps to increase your home’s flood safety.

Understanding Secondary Damage

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Wall is covered with mold due to humidity in the room Damaged wall covered with mold due to flooding in Fernridge, MO

Understanding Secondary Damage

If you have water damage in your building in Fernridge, MO, quick remediation is vital. If you delay or if technicians are not thorough, you will likely have secondary damage such as a black mold problem. The key to avoiding such damage is understanding how it occurs. Here are four additional problems that can happen if a water damage issue persists.

1. Material Disintegration

When materials such as drywall, ceiling tiles, floor pads or carpet become damaged by flooding, the damage doesn't stop on its own. The longer the affected materials are allowed to sit before mitigation happens, the more pronounced the damage can become. Walls that possibly could have been salvaged can become soft and bulging. Carpet fibers and ceiling tiles can begin to rot. The longer you wait, the more materials you are likely to have to replace.

2. Mold Growth

Black mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours after water damage has occurred. If you are not vigilant about calling water restoration specialists quickly, you may experience mold growth, which will then have to be added to the mitigation process. This can delay completion of the repairs significantly.

3. Electrical Issues

One of the first things you should do when your building floods is turn off the electricity. This is a safety precaution to help avoid electrical shock. Unless the electrical system is properly mitigated, however, that damage doesn't go away after cleanup. A qualified electrician should inspect for extra damage before the electricity is turned back on.

4. Corrosion

Metal items are particularly sensitive to excess moisture. High humidity levels can cause condensation on metal surfaces, allowing them to rust and weakening their strength. If these surfaces happen to be on pipes, this can lead to a much bigger problem down the line.
Even when flooding stops, new problems can still occur. Proper remediation is essential for avoiding black mold and other secondary damage after a flood.

How To Prevent and Unfreeze Frozen Pipes

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

The pipelines in the insulation and pressure gauges flow and return pipes in the boiler room of a private house household Insulate your pipes with rags or other covers

Steps For Repairing and Preventing Pipe Freeze

Frozen pipes do not just block the flow of water in your Maryland Heights, MO, home. They can also crack or burst, causing severe damage. The issue should thus be addressed as soon as possible. Below are some steps for repairing and preventing pipe freeze.

Stay Proactive

The best way to deal with a frozen pipe is to prevent it from happening at all. You can do this by insulating your pipes with rags or other covers. If the pipes are near an outlet, you may want to wrap them in heat tape that can be unplugged in the summer.
You should also keep the pipes exposed to as little cold air as possible. Repair any holes in the crawlspaces or walls immediately. You may even want to place a light bulb near the pipe to keep it warm.

Find the Frozen Pipe

If you do suspect that your home has one or more frozen pipes, you first need to find out which ones are affected. You can try running all the faucets in your house to see which one is not working. You should especially check the outdoor pipes and those near colder areas such as crawlspaces or air vents, as these pipes are more likely to freeze.

Unfreeze the Pipes

Once you find the frozen water pipe, open up the attached faucet along with nearby faucets. Running a small amount of water through the frozen section can unfreeze it faster.
You can then try warming the affected area with a heat gun or hair dryer. You may also opt for heat tape, hot towels or heat lamps. Pouring a bit of salt down the drain can also speed up the process.
If a pipe does crack or burst, water damage restoration experts can assist with home repairs. They should be able to dry and save any real wood or drywall affected by the water. Subflooring and cabinets, however, may need to be replaced. That is why you should avoid this situation by preventing and repairing frozen pipes in your home.

4 Ways to Protect Your Business from Flooding

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Excavation contractor using a track excavator during the installation of a new large block retaining wall A retaining wall will help floodwaters to enter your building

Four Strategies To Have Ahead of The Waters

Business owners in Creve Coeur, MO, know that it isn’t a matter of if but when a storm will create flooding. When that excessive moisture makes streams, creeks and rivers surge, it can feel like you are just hoping for the best. While floods can be chaotic and devastating, developing a flood prevention strategy can keep your business afloat. Below are four strategies to have ahead of the waters.

1. Continuity Plan

While one hopes the worst never happens, planning ahead for it can make all the difference. Recovering from a disaster is much more difficult if you are unprepared. A continuity plan should include four key elements:

Identify potential flood or other disaster risks.
Assess vital business functions and what is required to maintain them, such as communication systems, machinery or distribution methods.
Develop controls to minimize the impact of an emergency situation. Depending on this business, this may mean keeping important documents off site or moving critical equipment to a higher floor.
A plan only works if it is tested regularly and everyone in the company knows how to execute it.

2. Flood Insurance

Standard insurance policies typically do not include flood coverage. Although an additional cost, it’s worth it to have peace of mind that your property and flood cleaning will be covered.

3. Preventive Maintenance

If you own the building out of which your business operates, staying on track with general maintenance can keep excessive rainfall from building up. Regularly clean gutters, roofs and downspouts. If you don’t own the building, speak with the property manager to have a clear understanding of the maintenance schedule.

4. Water Barriers

For many businesses, the key to flood prevention is incorporating barriers. From simple measures like retaining walls and planting more vegetation to having sophisticated metal flood barriers or aqua-barrier dams, these work to displace the water and keep it from entering a building.
While flood prevention is important for any business owner, Mother Nature has a way of doing what she wants. If flooding overpowers your safety measures, rely on trusted professionals to get your business back on track.

How To Properly Clean Your Microwave

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Closeup of hand in protective glove wiping rag microwave. View from the interior of the oven Keeping your microwave oven clean is an essential aspect of basic kitchen maintenance

How To Properly Clean Your Microwave

Keeping your microwave oven clean is an essential aspect of basic kitchen maintenance. By cleaning your unit often, you can significantly reduce the risk of a fire. It’s crucial to be proactive in cleaning your kitchen appliances so that you can be well prepared to tackle any problems that may arise, whether it’s a smoke smell or a broken unit. Here are some simple but effective tips for cleaning your appliance properly and keeping your home in Country Life Acres,MO, safe from danger.

Clean the Grease Filter

You should always make sure that you’re cleaning the grease filter in your appliance at least once a month. To properly clean the grease filter, follow these steps:

  • Soak it in detergent and hot water
  • Remove debris from the filter by scrubbing it lightly
  • Steer clear of cleaning products that contain ammonia

While these guidelines are a helpful starting point, it’s a good idea to consult the owner manual that came with your microwave to ensure that you clean your grease filter appropriately.

Wipe Down the Unit After Each Use

The best way to be consistent when cleaning your appliance is to wipe it down well after each use. This helps the unit function more effectively and prevents a smoke smell from occurring. Although this may seem like a tedious step, it’s necessary in order to properly maintain your unit and keep your home safe.

Clean the Vents

Finally, be sure to pay attention to the vent grill in your unit. This feature can accumulate large amounts of dirt and grease if isn’t cleaned on a regular basis. By taking a minute to wipe down your unit’s vents, you can help it stay clean and reduce the risk of a fire breaking out.
While it’s important to do what you can to maintain your microwave oven, accidents may still happen. If you notice a smoke smell coming from your unit, it can lead to fire damage and other complications. Don’t hesitate to call emergency restoration services no matter what state your home is in.

How To Prepare for a Winter Storm

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Snowstorm, poor visibility,slick roads and lots of traffic If you know a winter storm is coming, you can take steps to winterize your home

How To Prepare for a Winter Storm

Blizzards are a common occurrence in the winter. If you live in a blizzard-prone area, you know a winter storm can cause significant damage to your house and property. Knowing and preparing for possible damage can help prevent extensive destruction to your home.

Fast Repairs

If you have a storm rip through your area, it is best to seek storm damage repair experts immediately for significant damage that can cause dangerous conditions, such as the following:

  • Fallen trees
  • Roof damage
  • Electrical wiring

A heavy snowstorm can cause weak parts of your roof to cave in, while high winds can cause trees to fall onto your home. Keep in mind that such damage can pose a safety risk if not repaired right away.

Preventive Measures

If you know a winter storm is coming, you can take steps to winterize your home. Homeowners in Bridgeton, MO, should be especially aware of preventive measures they can take to safeguard their homes and property. That includes clearing tree limbs and branches away from your house so they don’t fall or smash into it.

Also check your roof tiles and shutters to make sure they are secure and won’t rip off during high winds. You can also insulate plumbing pipes exposed to the elements to help keep them from bursting in severe cold.

Emergency Preparations

You can hope for the best while preparing for the worst. During a blizzard, emergency officials recommend having essentials on hand, such as drinking water and nonperishable foods in case the power goes out and you can’t cook. Doing laundry beforehand can also help keep you and your family clean and warm in case you have to survive without power for a couple of days.

Having extra candles, matches, flashlights and batteries throughout your home can help save you from nasty trips in the dark. If you want to go above and beyond, you can also invest in a second generator.

This winter, be ready for the weather. Protect your home and your loved ones from a potential winter storm by weather-proofing your yards, windows and more.

Why Mold Test Kits Aren't a Good Idea

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

The Microbial test kit isolated on white background A mold kit won't usually be able to tell you anything specific or useful about mold

Why Mold Test Kits Aren't a Good Idea

You may think that bringing home a mold testing kit is an ingenious and self-sufficient way to be proactive about potential mold issues in your home in Manchester, MO. Although they are marketed this way, unfortunately, this isn't the case.

Unclear Results

A mold kit won't usually be able to tell you anything specific or useful about the mold levels in your home. They can require very precise techniques to only return a presence or absence result. Some common complaints surrounding test kits are:

  • Often can only test one small area at a time
  • Usually can only test for a few types of mold
  • Many won't tell you what type of mold has been found
  • Very easy to use incorrectly

Always Positive

Another reason that performing mold testing on your own is problematic is that it will most likely come back positive, even if mold isn't a problem in your home. Mold is everywhere, both inside and outside; spores float through the air at all times. The most important information for a responsible homeowner is the level and type of mold present. Spores also require certain conditions in order to start growing- organic material and dark, moist places are ideal. Don't let a false alarm cost you unnecessary remediation measures.

Professional Testing

To avoid all of the pitfalls of DIY mold testing and actually identify any problem areas in your home, you should turn to a professional. For the diagnostic stage, a certified industrial hygienist (CIH) is your best bet. They are trained in environmental health and safety in many different environments. If mold damage is found in your house, you'll want to research a local mold remediation company who can handle the proper mold cleanup, drying and restoration of your property.
Turns out, mold testing is a lot more complicated than it's made out to be. Being a prevalent and highly variable organism, mold requires specialized equipment, techniques and interpretation to fully understand it. Do what's right for your property and call in a professional!

How to Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

A picture of the PASS method on a fire extinguisher PASS method for a fire extinguisher

Basic Information On Fire Extinguishers and How to Operate Them Properly


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.

How To Make a Water Damage Claim

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare for the insurance adjuster

How To Make a Water Damage Claim

Seeing your home go through a flood or other devastating event that caused water damage, it’s important to make an insurance claim promptly so you can begin water damage repairs as soon as possible.

1. Review Your Insurance Policy
To ensure your claim is not denied, it’s important that you go through your policy to understand exactly what your responsibilities are in this type of situation. For example, if the flooding was caused by a crime, your policy may require you to report it to the police.

2. Call Your Insurance Agent

To make sure you fully understand the policy, and to begin your insurance claim, immediately call your insurance agent. Ask whether you’re covered, the time limit you have to complete the needed documents, and if you’ll need to collect repair estimates for any structural damage.
If your insurance claim will likely be accepted, fill out the necessary forms right away. These will be sent to you by the insurance company, and they are required to send them within a certain period of time.

3. Take Pictures and Keep All Receipts

Take pictures or video of all the damage as soon as you can. Then take steps to protect your home and belongings from further damage. Try to avoid throwing away anything you think the insurance company can replace so the adjuster can see it.
If you make temporary repairs and spend money doing it, you may be able to give the receipts to the insurance company for reimbursement. If the damage requires you to relocate temporarily, keep these receipts too.

4. Prepare for the Insurance Adjuster

Many insurance companies will want to send an adjuster to your home to determine how much they should pay. This may include a short interview with you to find out if it was truly an unavoidable accident or natural disaster, and then they will inspect the damage. It’s also helpful to make a list of damages that you can give to the adjuster so nothing is left out, including any damaged belongings along with their receipts or estimated values.

Fix Your Home

No matter how small your water damage is in Town and Country, MO, from a basement flood to a bathroom pipe burst, it’s important to know what your homeowner’s insurance can cover. Being aware of your responsibilities after the disaster is also vital, so you aren’t stuck paying an unexpected repair bill out-of-pocket.

Mitigation vs. Restoration After a Storm: What’s the Difference

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial cleanup in a Chesterfield, MO building

Mitigation vs. Restoration After a Storm

When bad weather strikes your Chesterfield, MO commercial business, the results can be devastating. Rain, snow and ice, and high winds can damage your building and the valuable products and/or equipment inside. Flooding is the most common occurrence after a storm, so you must first mitigate the problem by working with a flood cleanup company to remove the immediate threat before you can begin the restoration process and get your business back to full speed.

Mitigation

The mitigation process should begin as soon as water has entered your building. This is a quick process that is meant to remove the threat of additional damage and costly repairs to your business. A flood cleanup company will remove the water from your building in order to prevent:

Mold growth: Black mold is common after a flood and can only be prevented if water is removed quickly
Further damage: Standing water and saturation will quickly degrade walls, floors, furniture, and other items in your building
Termites: These wood destroying bugs thrive in warm, wet conditions, leaving your business vulnerable without help from a flood cleanup company

Restoration

Once all water has been removed and the extent of the damage has been evaluated, a restoration company can begin to help you rebuild your business. Unlike mitigation, restoration can be a lengthy process that is dependent on the extent of the damage in the building. As stated previously, water degrades the structure of your building, so any wall, floor, and roof repairs will be part of this process. Windows and doors may need to be replaced, and new carpeting and fresh paint will need to be applied. Your flood cleanup and restoration company will aim to restore your business to its previous state, so working closely with them to quickly move through the mitigation process and ensure thorough restoration of your building will help you get your business up and running at full speed faster.