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6 Ways to Protect Against Flood Damage

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Man cleaning and maintaining plastic guttering on a house Gutter maintenance in Chesterfield, MO

Measures To Secure Your Home From Flood Damage

Whether a natural disaster or pipe burst, flooding in your Chesterfield, MO, home is a situation you don’t want to find yourself in. Although it may be entirely unavoidable, there are measures you can take to better secure your home from flood damage.

1. Address Leaks
Instead of waiting for storm damage to turn a leaky roof into an expensive replacement or a pipe to flood the basement, regularly inspect the home for signs of a problem. Making repairs fast helps avoid extensive damage and mold growth.

2. Gutter Maintenance
A clogged gutter or downspout makes the water pool and settle around the foundation, which may result in structural damage and leaks.

3. Grading
Even if you keep your gutters clean, water runoff needs to flow away from the home. Ensure that the grading around your home is angled from the foundation to green areas. Additional soil may be needed to get a proper slope.

4. Waterproof the Basement
If water issues seem to frequently happen, consider investing in waterproofing the basement. This may be as easy as sealing cracks or require more expensive measures to keep water at bay. Installing a sump pump is another alternative to balance water levels. Be sure to install a system that is able to run on a generator or backup battery.

5. Raise Appliances, Electrical Components
Even if you take precautions, flooding can still happen. You can protect appliances and electronics by raising them off the floor a few inches. It is also worth considering having an electrician raise electrical switches, sockets, wiring and circuit breakers to be 12 inches above the projected flood elevation for your home.

6. Waterproof Valuables
Keeping valuables secure in locked containers is a given, but even those may not be able to resist water seeping in. Passports, birth certificates and other important documents should be stored in waterproof cases.
While flooding may be an unavoidable event, you can minimize the potential damage. If it still happens, count on a water damage and restoration expert to return your home back to normal.

What Is Category One Water Damage?

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

air movers placed alongside hallway of a commercial building Commercial water damage in Town and Country, MO

Business floods can be disastrous, but all flooding is not created equal. Flood restoration experts classify water into three categories: Category One, or “clean water”; Category Two, or “gray water”; and Category Three, or “black water.” In terms of flood cleanup, Category One is the quickest, simplest, and least expensive for you and your business.

Category One Water Sources

If your business flooding was due to a broken pipe, the floodwater might be Category One if the pipe in question was a supply line. Supply lines carry clean, potable water into your business. A broken supply line is a common source of Category One flooding. Other sources of Category One floodwater could include:

  • an overflowing (clean) sink
  • a malfunctioning ice maker or hot water heater
  • a broken toilet tank or clean toilet bowl
  • a fire hose
  • melting ice or snow

Category One Cleanup
The “clean water” in a Category One flood event is generally considered to be free from organic matter and other contaminants and is not substantially dangerous to humans or animals. Most business contents that have come into contact with Category One water can be dried out and fully restored, even carpet and carpet pads. Regardless of the category, floodwater should be dealt with as quickly as possible. Even a small amount of standing water – including Category One water – can cause mold to grow. Most importantly, Category One water can become Category Two or Category Three if it comes into contact with contaminants, such as those on or under the floor of your business, or if it remains standing for 48 hours.
Water damage, even from clean water, becomes more difficult and costly to repair with each hour that passes, and DIY cleanup attempts can waste valuable time. If you experience a business flood in Town and Country, MO, the smartest move is to call a water loss restoration company as soon as possible.

Everything You Need to Know About Preventing Secondary Damage

10/15/2020 (Permalink)

air movers between door of a home Secondary damage in Creve Coeur, MO

It's important to act quickly if your home in Creve Coeur, MO, has been affected by water damage. Failing to properly remediate water damage in a timely manner can result in various different kinds of subsequent issues, such as black mold, warped flooring and other types of structural problems.

What is Secondary Damage?

It's not uncommon for small floods or leaks to go unnoticed for long periods of time, and subsequent damage can occur days, weeks, or even months following the initial incident. Some common examples of the damage that can follow include:

  • Black mold growth
  • Cracking plaster and sheetrock
  • Warped walls, floors and ceilings
  • Water stains

Standing water eventually evaporates on its own if the damage isn't properly addressed in a timely manner. Eventually, the air becomes saturated with moisture from the standing water, resulting in dangerously high humidity levels. Once the air becomes oversaturated, the moisture is driven into the drywall, ceiling tiles, furniture and other places in your home.

How Can You Prevent Secondary Damage?
The key to preventing subsequent moisture damage is catching and reacting to the initial flood as quickly as possible. The following strategies can also help you reduce your chances of experiencing moisture damage:

  • Mop up any standing puddles.
  • Ventilate wet areas by opening windows, using floor fans, or the AC unit.
  • Open furniture drawers to allow them to air out.
  • Move electronic devices and sentimental possessions to dry, elevated areas.
  • Hang blankets, furniture skirts, and curtains up to dry.
  • Elevate furniture on aluminum foil to prevent stains.

Because water damage can go unnoticed for long periods of time, it's important that you also perform regular home inspections to check for signs of leaks or flooding.
Reacting to accidents in a timely manner is the best way to prevent secondary damage, such as black mold, cracked plaster, warped flooring, and much more. If your residential property has recently experienced any type of water damage, it's vital that you contact flood remediation experts as soon as you can.

Do I Really Need a Security Fence After a Commercial Fire?

10/15/2020 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire If you experience a fire at your business in Creve Coeur, MO, a security fence can limit damage, liability, and worry

Do I Really Need a Security Fence After a Commercial Fire?

A commercial fire can, at first glance, feel like a total loss. Let the insurance adjuster determine the amount of loss and what is salvageable. In the meantime, it’s your responsibility to secure the property and protect the public. A security fence around the perimeter is a good way to accomplish both.

Risks

Major fire damage could take weeks or even months to repair. Taking security measures sooner rather than later can decrease worries by protecting your building and property from:

  • Trespassing
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Animal Entry
  • Insurance Issues

Animals and unauthorized people can affect the disaster area. This can not only cause loss of property due to looting but also more damage to the building and its contents. Good commercial property insurance covers the majority of the fire damage, as well as the resulting water damage and smoke damage. However, it likely won’t cover much, if any, damage indirectly incurred. Fortunately, this is fairly easy to avoid by installing a security fence.

Liability

It is important that security measures are put in place as soon as possible after a fire. Your insurance company expects you as the property owner to ensure that every reasonable step has been taken to limit the amount of further loss and damage. Failure to take this step leaves your business open to a variety of potential risks to your property. It also leaves your business in a precarious position regarding liability. There is no excuse for an unauthorized individual to be lingering on your property after a fire occurs, but it happens. Fire damaged buildings can be extremely dangerous to enter. You can be held responsible for any injury that occurs in or around your building, especially an injury to a child.

If you experience a fire at your business in Creve Coeur, MO, a security fence can limit damage, liability, and worry. You can also feel confident in hiring fire damage restoration experts to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.

Smother Grease Fires With These 3 Tips

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

pan on flames A grease fire can happen even when you’ve taken every precaution

Here Are 3 Tips To Help Keep Your Cool Around Hot Oil

Every cook understands that frying food can be a dangerous task. Not only do you have to worry about burning your nana’s famous chicken, but you also have to avoid starting a grease fire. 

Cook Carefully
A grease fire can start fast, so it is important to always keep an eye on your stove. Start with low heat and gradually work your oil up to temperature. Avoid plopping food into the pan. Dip it in slowly to cut down grease splatter. Finally, watch out for smoke and a strong burning smell. These are signs that your oil is too hot. Shut the burner off.

Do Not Panic
If a fire does happen, resist the urge to douse it with water. Water only helps to spread the grease around. Remember these ways to put it out:

  • Turn the stove off so that there is no more heat source to fuel the flames.
  • Handle small fires by pouring baking soda or salt on them.
  • Smother the flames with a metal lid and leave it on the pan for a long time after you’ve turned the stove off.
  • Use a fire extinguisher if you feel safe doing so. If the fire is out of control, call the fire department.

Have a Cleanup Plan
It only takes a few flames to cause fire damage. In some cases, you might only need to open up the windows, turn on a fan and give the burned-on grease a good scrubbing with distilled vinegar to get your home back to normal. In other cases, it might take the help of a professional fire damage cleanup crew to get that stain off of your ceiling.
A grease fire can happen even when you’ve taken every precaution. Knowing what to do when there is one and who to call in Fernridge, MO, for fire cleanup will help you be prepared for any flames that might pop up.

Air Filters and Mold

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

Closeup view on air filter. Filtration concept. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.9% of particles .03 microns in size from the air that passes through

Air Filters and Mold

Light, low humidity and good ventilation are the enemies of mold and the mold spores it emits. An air purifier is one way to help discourage mold growth in your home, especially in common "mold magnet" spaces like basements and storage rooms. Of course, air filtration only lowers the concentration of mold spores in the air; it doesn't remove mold actively growing in a room. That's a job best accomplished by mold remediation experts in Maryland Heights, MO, particularly if you're facing a heavy mold infestation that threatens property and structural damage. When it comes to purifying your home's air, here are the leading technologies behind the most popular devices.

High-Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA Technology
Among the many air filtration options on the market, a HEPA designed air purifier is the traditional, industry standard.

HEPA mesh filters remove 99.97 percent of particles sized 0.3 microns or larger. (Most mold spores are bigger than 0.3 microns.)
Used by most U.S. health care systems, they're noted for their effectiveness and efficiency.
Replacement filters are comparatively high-cost.
Downside: mold can grow on the filter's surface if it's not changed regularly.

Photo Electrochemical Oxidation or PECO Technology
PECO purifiers are a more recent introduction to the market and feature a new nanotechnology that removes airborne pollutants at the molecular level.

Light-activated filter technology destroys particles passing through the purifier.
Unlike HEPA filtered devices (which trap pollutants), PECO purifiers kill contaminants outright.
Eliminate the chance of reintroducing contaminants into the air.
Filter replacements are expensive.
Downside: challenges to this system cite a slower removal rate of pollutants from the air.

Air filtration systems can help to significantly clean the air in rooms at risk for mold. Purifiers are a good investment together with other steps in mold prevention, most importantly, ensuring proper air circulation and controlling the build-up of moisture and humidity in your home.

How to Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

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.

Protecting Your Business from Winter Storms

9/11/2020 (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 to prevent a pipe break

Tips To Protect Your Business From Severe Winter Weather

If you operate a business in Manchester, MO and are familiar with the devastating effects of a winter storm, then chances are you have already put safety measures in place to deal with the cold months ahead. If not, then there are several tips that you can use to ensure that your business is protect from severe winter weather.

Staying One Step Ahead of the Storm
As winter approaches, you should stock up on necessary supplies and also inspect your business for potential weak spots. Some ways to prepare for a winter storm include:

  • Ensuring that you have snow shovels, salt, and other relevant supplies
  • Checking the roof for any leaks
  • Repairing cracks in walls and ceilings
  • Insulating pipes to prevent a pipe break
  • Cleaning heating systems and generators
  • Cutting tree branches that could fall on your business during a storm

You want to run through your storm checklist during the fall months, when you have the time "winterize" your business. One situation you do not want is to be caught off-guard by a sudden blizzard. Preparing ahead of time will protect your business from storm damage.

Recovering from the Storm
After a storm passes, you should thoroughly inspect your business for any signs of damage. Even something as tiny as a leaky pipe can turn into a major problem later on, so make sure to give ever area of your business a good once-over. Use snow shovels and blowers to clear the premises of any excess snow, and you should also use rock salt to melt any ice on sidewalks.

Restoring Your Business
Severe weather damage may require professional services, including a winter storm restoration team. Though you cannot always be completely prepared for a winter storm, you can turn to outside resources for assistance. A professional clean-up team can repair damages and protect your business throughout the winter months.

Why Does Mold Smell?

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

Stachybotrys Atha, black mold Stachybotrys, commonly called black mold

You probably associate mold with a damp, musty odor. In fact, you’d probably sniff it out before you ever saw it. Most of the time, you’re actually detecting the fungus itself; sometimes, though, you’re smelling mycotoxin production, which happens when specific types of mold create toxins.

How Do I Know if It’s Mold?

How do you tell the difference between mold and a weird stench? Here are three signs you have mold in your building:

  • The scent doesn’t go away when you open windows or run fans.
  • The air smells damp even when the windows are open.
  • You’re sneezing all the time when you’re in a specific area.

Why Does Mold Have an Odor?
The aroma doesn’t come from the fungus spores themselves, but rather from something called microbial volatile organic compounds. Some MVOCs are waste products of growing mold, including mycotoxin gases. MVOCs’ odors depend on how much moisture is around and the material the mold is growing on.
Stachybotrys, commonly called black mold, smells like cat urine and freshly cut grass. Chaetomium has an earthy or damp odor. Other species have scents like anything from baking bread to stinky socks to wet dog.

What if I Find Mold?
These funguses can hide in walls, carpets, and insulation, coming from water leaks or damp weather. You can help keep mold damage out of your building by:

  • Keeping humidity levels low
  • Fixing leaking pipes, roofs and windows
  • Cleaning and drying a space after flooding
  • Properly ventilating laundry, cooking and shower spaces

If you do find signs of mold, such as that musty odor, make sure the spores can’t migrate into other parts of your building. Put up plastic tarps to enclose the space and use HEPA air filters to keep the air clean. Don’t try to clean up mycotoxin contamination yourself. Instead, work with a mold remediation company in Country Life Acres, MO. Professionals have the proper equipment to get rid of the damage safely.

3 Important Questions To Understand About Sewer Damage

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

Drywall tear out, air mover placed on the floor Drywall tear out in Bridgeton, MO

Understand The Answer To The Following Three Questions

If your business in Bridgeton, MO, suffered from a recent backup or overflow, then you will want to have a thorough sewer cleanup. The contaminated water can cause excessive damage to your property. If not sanitized properly, you could experience expensive renovations down the road. For this reason, you'll want to understand the answer to the following three questions.

1. Why Isn't A Mop Enough?
Your sewer backup exposed the premises to Category 3 water, a major host to fungus spores and bacterial microbes. Unfortunately, these organisms are so tiny that they can easily penetrate into porous materials such as drywall, ceilings, and flooring; thus, your traditional use of cleaning equipment and chemicals may remove surface-level contamination, but it cannot guarantee that everything is eliminated. To fully comprehend the extent of exposure, moisture levels should be read throughout various rooms. This can be done by specialists at a water restoration company.

2. Why Should Tear Outs Happen?
Because of the hidden nature of this devastation, sewer cleanup should include extraction. Any saturated items should be cut out and tossed, reducing spore levels immediately. The crews can help with this process, ensuring that infestations are kept at bay. Keep in mind that grout can take in liquid. Therefore, even tile may be suspect.

3. Why Dry Before You Disinfect?
After removal occurs, bring in dehumidifiers to air out the space. Any wetness left could allow for mold to grow. This breeding happens quickly, within one to two days. By reducing the dampness, you aid in minimizing the complication. Then, you can work on sanitizing the flooded toilet and other fixtures. Content cleaning crews can try to clean and salvage valuables such as upholstery, documentation, electronics, and furniture.
Efficient and prompt sewer cleanup may avert costly reconstruction efforts. It's important to evaluate the water's impact, throw out questionable objects, and concentrate on removing fluids.