Recent Posts

Clear the Air: How to Address Mold in Your HVAC System for a Healtheir Home

5/17/2023 (Permalink)

mold around windows Mold can spread quickly through your home if your HVAC is not maintained.

Mold is a common problem in households, and it can grow in many different places, including your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. HVAC systems provide an ideal environment for mold growth, as they create a damp, warm atmosphere. Mold in your HVAC system can cause secondary damages, as it can spread mold spores throughout your home. In this blog, we will discuss how to address mold in your HVAC system.

Identify the Source of the Mold

The first step in addressing mold in your HVAC system is to identify the source of the problem. Inspect your HVAC system thoroughly for any signs of mold growth. Look for visible mold on the vents, ductwork, and other components of your system.

Call in a Professional

Cleaning mold from your HVAC system is not a task that should be taken lightly. It's important to hire a professional to address the problem. A professional HVAC technician will have the expertise and equipment necessary to safely and effectively remove mold from your system. SERVPRO has professional experience and expertise to safely remove mold from your HVAC and ensure your home is mold free.

Inspect and Clean the Ductwork

The ductwork is the most likely place for mold to grow in your HVAC system. A professional HVAC technician will inspect the ductwork and clean it thoroughly to remove any mold growth.

Replace Air Filters

Mold spores can accumulate in your HVAC system's air filters, which can lead to further mold growth. Replace your air filters regularly to prevent mold spores from spreading throughout your home.

Maintain Your HVAC System

Regular maintenance of your HVAC system is key to preventing mold growth. Have your system serviced by a professional HVAC technician at least once a year. This will ensure that your system is clean and functioning properly, and can prevent future mold growth.

Addressing mold in your HVAC system is a task that should be left to professionals. 
Mold can pose a significant threat to both your health and the integrity of your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system. Mold thrives in moist and humid environments, making the dark and damp areas of your HVAC system an ideal breeding ground. Once mold spores find their way into the system, they can spread quickly through the air ducts, contaminating the air you breathe and causing various respiratory issues. Moreover, mold can compromise the efficiency and functionality of your HVAC system by clogging air filters, obstructing airflows, and damaging vital components such as coils and insulation. Regular maintenance, including cleaning and inspection of your HVAC system, is essential to prevent mold growth and ensure a healthy and efficient indoor environment.

Identify the source of the mold, call in a professional, inspect and clean the ductwork, replace air filters, and maintain your HVAC system regularly. By following these steps, you can prevent mold growth in your HVAC system and ensure a healthy indoor environment.

Is Your Rental Property Protected? Understanding Renter's Insurance Coverage for Fire Damage

5/1/2023 (Permalink)

insruance Reviewing your policy and understanding coverage can help you understand what is covered incase of an emergency.

If you're renting an apartment or a house, it's important to consider getting renter's insurance. Renter's insurance helps protect your belongings in case of damage or loss due to various circumstances such as theft, water damage, and fire. But does renter's insurance also cover fire damage? In this article, we'll discuss the details of renter's insurance and its coverage of fire damage.

Understanding what insurance covers

To start, it's important to understand what renter's insurance covers. Renter's insurance typically covers your personal belongings such as furniture, electronics, and clothing. It also provides liability coverage in case someone is injured while on your rental property. Additionally, some renter's insurance policies may cover additional expenses such as temporary housing if your rental property becomes uninhabitable due to a covered incident.


When it comes to fire damage, renter's insurance generally covers the cost of repairing or replacing your damaged belongings. This coverage can also extend to damage caused by smoke and water used to extinguish the fire. However, it's important to note that not all renter's insurance policies are the same, and coverage may vary depending on the specific policy you have purchased.

Understanding the Circumstances

In addition, it's important to understand the circumstances that may affect your renter's insurance coverage for fire damage. For instance, if the fire is caused by your negligence, such as leaving the stove on or using faulty electrical appliances, your insurance company may not cover the damages. Similarly, if you fail to report the fire in a timely manner or fail to take reasonable precautions to prevent further damage, your insurance company may deny your claim.

It's also important to note that if you live in an area prone to wildfires, your renter's insurance policy may not cover damages caused by wildfires. In such cases, you may need to purchase additional coverage or a separate policy that specifically covers wildfire damage.

In conclusion, renter's insurance can provide valuable coverage for fire damage to your personal belongings. However, it's important to understand the details of your policy and the circumstances that may affect your coverage. By taking the time to review your policy and understanding your coverage, you can make informed decisions and ensure that you're adequately protected in case of a fire or other unexpected event.

What do I do after a pipe break?

3/6/2023 (Permalink)

copper pipes When your home suffers a water loss from a broken pipe, call the professionals.

A pipe break is a frustrating, stressful, and expensive problem to have. Fortunately, it's also something that can be fixed. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to minimize damage and speed up the repair process.

Turn off the water supply to the pipe.

The first thing you need to do is turn off the water supply valve for your home or business. This will stop any further damage before it can happen and keep you from wasting money on unnecessary repairs that could have been avoided if you had turned off the valve earlier. It's important that you know where this valve is located, so take some time now and check all of your pipes for signs of leaking or damage. If there's no sign of leakage anywhere else in your home, then this may be an easy fix but if there are signs of leaks or flooding in other areas around town, contact a plumber immediately.

Turn off the power to any heating or air-conditioning equipment near the leak.

Turn off the power to any heating or air-conditioning equipment near the leak, turn off the circuit breaker controlling your home's electrical supply. If you cannot locate a circuit breaker, call an electrician to turn off electricity at its source.

Clean up as much water as possible

Clean up as much water as possible using towels or mop, but do not use a vacuum cleaner. You want to stay away from electricity when your home suffers from a water loss. Vacuum cleaners can cause more damage because they suck up the water and pull it into the motor of your vacuum, which will then overheat and burn out your machine.

Call your local plumber for help.

In the event that you do experience a pipe break, it's important to know how to handle the situation. It's important to call your local plumber for help. If you try to fix the leak yourself, you could end up making things worse. Not only does this save money by avoiding unnecessary repair costs, but it also prevents damage to other pipes in your home or business. If you have any questions about how best to handle your leaky pipe problem, contact SERVPRO today!

Evacuation and Fire Escape Plan

2/5/2023 (Permalink)

fire escape plan Having a fire escape plan in place to help prevent injury incase of fire emergency

If you have kids or pets, your evacuation plan needs to be tailored a little differently than that of a household without little ones. In this guide, we'll walk you through some basic steps and considerations when preparing for an emergency situation. Check out our tips below!

Evacuation Plan

When you have kids in your home it is safe to have an evacuation plan in place incase of an emergency. Have a fire escape ladder, a smoke alarm and a fire extinguisher installed in the area of the home where the kids sleep and train them how to use in the case of an emergency. Consider having a first aid kit and firer blanket in case of an emergency as well.

Fire Escape Plan

The location of your nearest fire escape is important to know. A fire escape is any exit that leads out of the inside of a building, and can be used to exit in case of an emergency. There are several types of fire escapes, an exterior balcony, an interior stairway or hallway, and even a ladder that can be used on the side of a building.

If you don't have access to a balcony or stairwell, you may have access to a ladder on the side of your apartment building. This kind of escape route could be helpful if there's not enough time for you or your family members to run down several flights of stairs before the fire reaches them. Some apartments will have bars over their windows, which would prevent anyone from climbing out this way without breaking through glass first.

Be sure to know where all smoke detectors are placed within each room so they're easy reachable during times when everyone needs them most. Practice a fire escape plan and have a plan B in place with your family in case of a fire emergency.

We hope that this guide has helped you to think about how you can prepare for a fire. It's important to put together an fire escape plan, and have a plan B in case your home doesn't have sprinklers or other safety features. Knowing the best way out of your home can save lives!

Black Mold: Everything You Need to Know

1/18/2023 (Permalink)

Black mold growing on a wall. Black mold is one of the most common types of mold.

Black mold is one of the most common types of mold. If you see black mold in your home, it may be growing behind a wall or in the attic. Black mold can also grow on porous building materials like wood, drywall, and ceiling tiles if they're exposed to moisture for long periods of time.

Black Mold in Your Home

You can find black mold in other areas of your home, as well. Black mold will grow on wood, drywall, and other porous surfaces like carpets. The bathroom, kitchen, and basement are common places for black mold growth to occur because these rooms have high moisture levels which make it easier for mold spores to grow. If you have an attic or crawlspace in your home then these are also likely places where you may see black mold growing.

Mold Inspection

Mold inspection is necessary in order to determine the extent of the mold problem. You'll want to hire a professional certified individual or company who can provide you with an accurate assessment of your particular situation. This may include visual inspection, black light inspection, moisture meter testing, and more.

Remediating the Mold

If you discover black mold, don't try to remove it yourself. Black mold is often dangerous and should be handled by professionals trained in mold removal. If you discover black mold, don't try to remove it yourself. Black mold is often dangerous and should be handled by professionals trained in mold removal.

Mold remediation involves thorough cleaning of the affected area with specialized products to kill off any remaining spores or fungal growth. This may include using HEPA vacuums, sterile cloths, negative air machines and other equipment depending on the severity of your situation.

Mold removal can take a few days or weeks depending on how large the infestation is and whether or not you have to tear down parts of your home to get rid of it all. If you hire a professional, they'll remove all traces of black mold from your home and then sanitize everything with chemicals that are safe for humans but toxic for molds (like hydrogen peroxide). They'll also use ultraviolet lights that kill any remaining spores so that no new colonies can grow back in their place.

The professionals will wear protective gear like respirators and goggles so as not to breathe in too much dust while removing the infected areas. They will take protective measures against the mold to protect the rest of your home as well. 

If you believe that you have black mold, it is important to call a professional remediation company like SERVPRO of St. Louis County. We are certified by the IICRC and licensed. Black mold can be hazardous, so it's important to get it removed as soon as possible. If you're looking for a professional remediation company in the St. Louis, MO area, contact us today!

3 Reasons a Basement Floods and How To Prevent It

1/1/2023 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe A leaking or burst pipe is one of the most common culprits of water in a basement

Three Causes of Basement Flooding and How to Avoid It

A flooded basement has happened to many a homeowner. Because basements are at the lowest level of your home and partially underground, they are especially susceptible to flooding. Should your basement flood, you can work with a water cleanup and restoration service, but there are several issues you can watch for and act to mitigate to prevent water damage to your home.

1. Plumbing Leaks
A leaking or burst pipe is one of the most common culprits of water in a basement. Often a leak can go undetected for some time, so regular inspection of this part of your home is essential, especially if your basement is not used regularly.

2. Faulty Water Heater
A malfunctioning water heater is another likely reason for flooding in a home. An old tank can corrode, causing gallons of water to gush into your basement. Proper maintenance and inspection can help prevent a faulty tank from creating a major problem. If your water heater is over 10 years old, consider purchasing a replacement.

3. Excessive Rainfall
If your basement is not properly sealed, excessive water from a storm could find its way into your home and cause a basement flood. Inspect your basement walls and foundation and seal any cracks to prevent water from leaking in. Be sure to monitor storm drains near your home and make sure they are free from debris that can cause them to back up.
Water damage is a common problem for homeowners and one of the top five types of insurance claims filed by homeowners. All basement floods are not equal, so be sure you know what is and is not covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy. A licensed plumber or home inspector in Creve Coeur, MO, can visit your home and assess your risk of a basement flood. Understanding the risks and the maintenance required to limit potential damage is a must-do for all homeowners.

How To Recognize a Gas Leak

12/14/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchen stove and refrigerator damaged by fire Fire damage to a kitchen due to gas leak.

Everything You Need to Know About Gas Leaks

Natural gas is a very useful source of energy, but there are times when it can be harmful. This is especially true if your home has a gas leak. Natural gas leaks are extremely flammable and can cause serious injury if they aren't addressed immediately. If you suspect that your home has a natural gas leak, here's what you need to know about how to recognize one and what steps to take next.

Recognizing a Gas Leak

If you suspect a gas leak, there are signs to look out for. These include:

  • A strong odor (like rotten eggs)
  • Bubbling sounds
  • Flames or sparks

The safest thing to do in this situation is to follow the steps listed below, ensuring you evacuate the property as quickly as possible.

Steps to Take After a Gas Leak

If you smell natural gas, or if you suspect a gas leak:

1. Turn off the main valve to your propane tank.

2. Call your propane supplier immediately (or call 911 if it's an emergency). If possible, have the phone number and address of where you are located ready to share with them when they answer the phone.

3. Leave the area immediately and close all doors behind you after exiting so that no one else disturbs or triggers any potential leaks as they try to enter or exit through that door. Do not re-enter until after a professional has arrived at your home/business and found no problems with your pipes/piping system.

If there is an open flame nearby - such as from a pilot light on a water heater or stovetop burner - attempt to extinguish those flames before leaving; once extinguished, leave immediately without taking anything with you (i.e., don't turn off lights). 

Preventing a Gas Leak

Check for leaks. If you've recently used a new appliance, such as a dryer or stove, check for leakage from the connection points of the appliance in question—typically located at the back of it. You can also check by turning off all gas appliances in your home and then re-lighting each one separately to test whether there is any leakage when they are turned on again.

Keep adequate ventilation around gas appliances: Make sure there are no obstructed vents or exhausts on your range hood or laundry vent (also known as an "exhaust fan").

Don't use pilot lights to heat your home: If you have an older gas furnace that runs off of a pilot light instead of electricity, don't keep it running continuously; turn it off when you leave the house and turn it back on when you return. This will help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and make sure everything is working properly without wasting energy unnecessarily!

A natural gas leak can be a serious hazard, dangerous and deadly. Gas leaks can cause explosions, fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Natural gas also has the potential to cause property damage due to its flammability.

So, now that you know how to recognize a gas leak and what to do if there is one, it's time to make sure your home is safe. You don't want any of your family members or pets getting hurt because of a gas leak! If you think something might be wrong with the natural gas lines in your home, call an expert immediately.

If your home catches on fire due to a natural gas leak, give SERVPRO of St. Louis County a call.

What to Expect After Winter Storm Damage

12/1/2022 (Permalink)

Two air movers drying the hallway of a home Drying out an area that was affected by floodwaters in Fernridge, MO.

What To Do After Water Damage From a Storm

After a winter storm in Fernridge, 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 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 of 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 is 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

What To Do If Your Washing Machine Leaks?

11/12/2022 (Permalink)

soap from a broken washing machine. The washing machine is one of the most essential household appliances

Washing Machine Leaks and What To Do

The washing machine is one of the most essential household appliances, so it’s no surprise that leaks can cause some serious damage. Water leaks are usually caused either by a faulty water hose or by a broken valve. Any leak in your home should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to flooring and walls. Here are some tips for fixing common washer problems and preventing future ones:

1. Inspect the Hoses

Check that there are no cracks or leaks in any of your washing machine hoses. Check for loose connections by simply pulling on both ends of each hose and making sure that it doesn't come off easily. If you see kinks, carefully straighten them out with a pair of pliers. Check for damaged hoses by running your hand along the length of each one to feel for rust or other signs of damage—a broken rubber washer can cause water to leak out during washing cycles, but these can usually be replaced cheaply at a hardware store. Leaks at the hose connections can also lead to flooding issues; if you notice any signs of leaking around where they attach to your appliance, look into replacing them before moving on!

2. Inspect the Water Shut-Off Valves

If your washing machine is leaking from the bottom, inspect the water shut-off valves. Make sure they are not leaking and check that they are connected properly. Check that they are not loose or broken.

3. Check for Loose Connections

If you suspect that the problem might be a loose connection, check to see that your hoses are properly connected and that they're not frozen. If there's any debris in the hose, try cleaning it out. If this doesn't work, you may need a new hose or a professional repairman to fix the leak.

4. Replace the Shut-Off Valves

Once you've checked the hoses and shut-off valves for leaks, it's time to replace them. If a hose is cracked or broken, you'll need to replace both of its ends in order to prevent another leak and potential flooding. (For example, if you have a double-hose washing machine with one hot supply line and one cold return line, replacing just one end of either line won't work.)

To replace a leaking shut-off valve:

  • Turn off the water supply at the main valve (if possible).
  • Unscrew the old shut-off valve from the faucet - take care not to let any water spill onto your floor!
  • Install new shut-off valves using thread sealant tape where needed; tighten screws until snug but don't overdo it because doing so could crack plastic parts inside your washing machine housing unit which could cause more damage down the road.

Act Quickly

If you suspect that your washing machine has a leak, the first step is to check the hoses and connections. If any of the hoses are damaged, replace them with new ones after shutting off the water supply valve at the main water supply line.

Replacing a defective shut-off valve can be a bit tricky, so it's best to call in an expert if you're unsure how to do it yourself. You may also need to repair any damaged walls or floors caused by leaking water as soon as possible in order to avoid further damage or injury to yourself or others in your home.

Water leaks can cause serious damage to your washing machine and the surrounding area. The best way to avoid any problems is by repairing the leak as soon as possible. If you are unable to fix it yourself, then contact a professional plumber who will be able to fix everything for you. If you have a water damage event in your Maryland Heights, MO Home, give SERVPRO of Northwest St. Louis a call! 

What to Do When Your Fire Sprinklers Go Off Accidentally

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler When your sprinklers go off accidentally they can cause major damage.

What to Do When Your Fire Sprinklers Go Off Accidentally

While fire sprinklers are there to protect your building, they can cause major issues such as flooding when they go off accidentally. It is best to have a plan in place in case this problem does occur. If this does happen, follow these guidelines to ensure that the damage is properly dealt with.

Shut off the Water Supply Line

The first thing you should do if you find yourself in this situation is to turn off the water supply line. This will stop the sprinklers from continuing to go off. This step is extremely important because the sooner you shut off the source, the less water damage there will be.

Clean up the Damage

In addition to cleaning up the standing water, you will need to deal with furniture and office equipment, and documents that got wet. You may want to consider calling a professional water restoration company to help you. The flooding needs to be taken care of as quickly as possible in order to avoid mold growth.

Call the Insurance Company

Your insurance company should be able to go over your policy with you to determine what is covered. You need to take pictures of everything that was damaged before you are cleaning up. They are far less likely to pay if you do not have evidence.

Determine the Cause

The insurance company will probably want to know what caused the fire sprinklers to go off in the first place. You may also want this information so that you can avoid having the same thing happen again later on. If you bring them to the manufacturer, they should be able to tell you what the issue was.
Acting fast is of the utmost importance when flooding occurs. Open all windows to begin ventilating the building until a water mitigation expert arrives. You can carefully begin to clean up wet areas, but they should be able to help you with the larger problems, such as wet carpets.