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4 Ways To Prepare Before a Flood

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Flashlight, portable radio, batteries, water bottles and a first aid kit Create an emergency kit

Keep Your Home And Family Safe

If you are expecting a severe storm in Chesterfield, MO, you may need to prepare for flooding. Even if floods are not common where you live, it is best to avoid unnecessary risks when it comes to natural disasters. Taking these critical steps can help keep your home and family safe.

1. Protect Your Belongings
Flood damage in your home can affect everything from furniture to electronics to art. If you live in a house with multiple floors, move what you can to a higher level. If your home is one story, place your most important items on high shelves. Airtight containers are great for paper documents or small possessions.

2. Inspect the Building
Buildings that are not in the best shape are more likely to be affected by storm damage. Check for cracks in the exterior as well as loose tiles on the roof. Make sure all doors and windows are properly sealed when closed to keep out moisture. Otherwise, these areas may develop mold growth. Emergency restoration services can help inspect your home and make necessary repairs.

3. Create an Emergency Kit
During a storm, you may experience power outages and other problems. Flooding can make tap water unsafe to drink, and floodwater in your home can contaminate food. Prepare for this by making a kit with flashlights, batteries, bottled water, and canned food that does not need to be cooked.

4. Find a Safer Location
In some cases, it may be best to leave your home entirely. Depending on the severity of the flood, you should take shelter in a safer area until the storm has passed. Do this before the roads are flooded since too much water can make driving hazardous.
Dealing with severe storms and flooding can be stressful. It may make your home feel less safe and result in damage to your property. However, there are always steps you can take to lessen the impact. Keeping these tips in mind can help you prepare for difficult situations.

3 Reasons a Basement Floods and How To Prevent It

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Rusty burst pipe spraying water after freezing in winter. A leaking or burst pipe is one of the most common culprits of water in a basement

3 Reasons a Basement Floods and How To Prevent 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.

What Makes Puffback Soot Hard To Clean?

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Old dirty brickwork in soot Puffback damage from an oil furnace may contain a mixture of soot and oil fuel

A furnace puffback can contaminate ductwork and any rooms in a commercial building with open air vents with soot. Find out what causes puffback damage and makes puffback soot difficult to clean. If a puffback occurs to a boiler or furnace inside a commercial building in Maryland Heights, MO, the property owner or manager should contact damage cleanup and restoration professionals.

The Causes of a Furnace Puffback

A puffback occurs when a furnace misfires and explodes. The following incidents precede most puffbacks:

  • Fuel vapors build up in the ignition or combustion chamber
  • Excess fuel explodes in the furnace upon ignition
  • Smoke and soot spread into the surrounding area or ductwork

Boilers and furnaces running on oil are more likely to experience puffbacks than gas furnaces. Oil furnaces require more maintenance to keep the burner, combustion chamber, chimney or exhaust, heat exchanger and fuel nozzle in working order. Oil also accumulates and does not dissipate like gas, which can also lead to a larger explosion.

The Composition of Puffback Soot
Puffback damage from an oil furnace may contain a mixture of soot and oil fuel. As a result, the residue left behind in ductwork and in any rooms in a structure with open air vents at the time of the incident may be sticky and difficult to clean. It will be necessary to arrange for duct cleaning in a structure with a forced air system and use surface and content cleaning solutions that are capable of dissolving this stubborn mixture in other locations.
Furnace puffbacks are not very common occurrences. The best way to prevent puffback damage is to have any type of furnace regularly serviced. Boilers and furnaces require maintenance at least once if not twice per year, ideally at the start and end of the season when the heating system is used most often in a building in Maryland Heights, MO.

How To Dry Important Documents

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up image of weathered documents There are multiples methods that you can use to restore any wet documents

Methods To Restore Wet Documents

If your commercial business in Manchester, MO, has experienced a natural disaster such as a flood, the restoration process can be hectic and confusing. After calling in a water damage restoration company and mitigating any immediate damages, you may be wondering how to care for the contents of your building, including any important documents that have been damaged by water. Luckily, there are multiple methods that you can use to restore any wet documents.

Air Dry Method
Air drying documents is a natural and simple way to restore paper. This document drying method works best for only a short number of papers.
To do this, start by spreading your damaged documents onto a flat surface where they can stay for a few hours, such as:

  • A table
  • A desk
  • A hardwood floor

Be sure that wherever you choose to lay them, it has enough air circulation to speed up the drying process. You may also want to set up a fan to help circulate the air. If the documents still have excess moisture, use a towel to soak it up. Once the papers are somewhat dry, you can use a heavy object like a book to stop the edges from curling as the wet documents dry fully.

Freeze Dry Method
If you have many separate documents to dry, consider using the freeze-drying method.
To do this, get the papers into a sealable bag, like a ziplock, as soon as possible. Don't attempt to separate any pages, as that could cause further damage. Leave the bag with the papers inside in the freezer for a few hours until they are completely frozen. After they're frozen, you can removed the papers from the ziplock bag. Then, use the air-dry method to salvage the documents.
It's important to try and save as many documents as possible after the flooding of your commercial business. Use these methods as part of the restoration process to dry any wet documents.

How Can I Prevent Secondary Damage in My Facility?

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

The old wall in the bathroom is covered with mold due to humidity in the room. Damaged wall due to humidity

After a water leak at your facility in Fernridge, MO, you are aware of the damage water can do initially. However, if it is allowed to remain without cleanup, black mold and further damage can set in. It's best to take care of water issues quickly to avoid problems down the road.

What Is Secondary Damage?

After a flood, burst pipe or other similar incidents, water can seep into floors, walls or ceilings, creating structural issues such as:

  • Cracked walls
  • Buckled flooring
  • Musty odor
  • High humidity
  • Mold growth

These are signs of secondary damage resulting from water that remains in your building for too long.

How Can I Prevent Further Damage?
The best way to avoid damage is to call a professional remediation specialist that can help clean up water quickly before secondary damage has time to set in. Trained technicians can identify the source and check for contaminated water. They will conduct a thorough inspection of your building, survey the extent of damage and check for safety concerns such as hazardous materials and weakened structures. Furniture and contents can be blocked or moved so that cleanup can begin.
Pumps and industrial-strength wet/dry vacuums will be used to extract water from the area. Removing water quickly helps speed drying time and lessens the chance of black mold and other long-term damage. Hygrometers and moisture detectors will measure high humidity and saturation, and infrared cameras can seek out hidden water sources.
Air movers and dehumidifiers can be placed strategically around your facility to provide optimal drying. This process can prevent warped walls and floors, ruined carpet and mold growth.
If any materials have sustained permanent damage, they can be replaced. Walls can be repainted after thorough drying and furniture that was moved out can be brought back in.
Although regular maintenance is the best way to be proactive against water damage in your Fernridge, MO, facility, sometimes leaks can result from storms or other unforeseen circumstances. In that case, cleaning up water as quickly as possible will help prevent black mold or other long-lasting damage.

3 Fire Safety Tips for Smokers

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Image of cigarette in man's hand with smoke. Smoke outside

Safe Smoking Rules

When it comes to a residential blaze, the cigarette fire is still the leading offender. Smokers are not necessarily careless, but many are too comfortable with their habits. When a person becomes lax with cigarettes, it is easy to ignore falling ash or ember or get too relaxed while watching television. All it takes is a small accident to grow into an insurmountable fire. If you smoke and want to keep yourself and your family safe, consider these three safe smoking rules.

1. Smoke Outside
Most of the risks of a house fire come from smoking inside. Merely moving your routine to the outside significantly reduces the possibility of a freak accident.
Unfortunately, too many homeowners find outdoor smoking to be a nuisance. They do not want to be put out by the cold or inclement weather. However, spending your five-minute smoke break outdoors can almost ensure you never have a cigarette or ashtray fire.

2. Keep Ashtrays Away From Flammable Materials
If you smoke indoors, make sure you keep your ashtray away from flammable materials, including sofas and drapes. When you rest your cigarette in the tray or knock off the ashes, keep in mind that those ashes include hot embers, and if you’re not careful, that is enough to start a small, quick cigarette fire.

3. Ensure That Butts Are Extinguished Before Disposing
Many smokers have a bad habit of throwing used cigarette butts into the trash. If you do this, make sure that the butt is completely extinguished before throwing it in the bin. If you do not make sure, you risk needing a fire cleanup crew in Fernridge, MO, to restore your house. It is best to extinguish cigarettes in an ashtray and let them sit for a while or run the butts under water before discarding.
A cigarette fire is avoidable. However, it requires a commitment to fire safety, both for indoor and outdoor smoking.

Do DIY Mold Tests Work?

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Armor DIY test kit. For testing mold at home. Do DIY Mold test work?

Learn Why These Kits Are So Much Less Accurate

A business or commercial property owner might be tempted to try to save money by using a do-it-yourself or home mold test. Learn why these kits are so much less accurate than laboratory analysis of samples gathered by an indoor environmental specialist at a building in Maryland Heights, MO.

DIY Tests Detect Mold Spores
Airborne mold spores are present indoors and outdoors. A positive result on an amateur mold testing kit can indicate the presence of spores in air. These tests cannot identify growth or the toxicity of fungi.
Professional mold testing involves the collection and submission of samples from a building with a known or suspected mold infestation. A test may assess whether spore concentrations are high enough to suggest hidden mold growth or determine whether an infestation is toxic.

Lab Testing Identifies Species
There are anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 types of mold. The positive identification of any species must be left to scientists in a lab. It may be necessary to cultivate spores from samples to determine which species of mold is present and pursue the best cleanup method.
Depending on when a property owner calls an indoor environmental specialist, testing may be used to determine if an infestation is present prior to removal and cleanup or after remediation to confirm all mold has been removed.

Professional Testing Is the Best Option
Consumer mold tests range in price. Any money a building or business owner spends on a DIY kit to test for mold is wasted, as professional sampling and laboratory cultivation and analysis are necessary to determine mold species and toxicity.
An indoor environmental specialist can take the samples necessary to detect mold growth and identify species of fungi. If hidden mold is growing within the walls of a commercial property in Maryland Heights, MO, an inspection and mold test are the best ways to assess the severity of the infestation.

Why Does My Toilet Leak When I Flush?

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe If you notice your toilet leaking when you flush, don’t put off the repair

Common Causes Of A Leaking Toilet

If you notice your toilet leaking when you flush, don’t put off the repair. Even a small bathroom leak can cause serious damage to your floor, subfloor, and more. Avoid costly water damage restoration and check for these common causes of a leaking toilet.

1. Loose Bolts
Try tightening the bolts that connect the toilet to the floor. Using a wrench, tighten each bolt a quarter-turn or less at a time, alternating between bolts. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can crack the bowl.

2. Cracked Tank
Hairline cracks can be difficult to see, especially if they’re located in an out-of-the-way place. Inspect your tank thoroughly for cracks.

3. Worn Flapper
The flapper is the rubber part inside the tank that lifts when you flush. To check your flapper, add a few drops of food coloring to the water in the tank and wait for ten minutes without flushing. If the color begins to appear in the bowl, the flapper isn’t working correctly and could be the cause of your leaking toilet. The flapper is inexpensive and easy to replace.

4. Faulty Supply Line
The supply line can leak at the connections, or along the length of the tube. Certain types of supply tubes are prone to developing pinhole leaks and tiny cracks as they age. Run your hands along the entire supply line. Any dampness is a sign of a leak in the supply pipe.

5. Dry Wax Ring
Over time, the wax ring that seals your toilet to the floor can dry out or crumble. If water is leaking from the base of your toilet, a faulty wax seal is likely to blame. Replacing this ring is not difficult, but you will need to remove the toilet to do so.
If you still can’t determine what’s causing your leaking toilet, contact a Maryland Heights, MO, plumber to investigate the issue. Always repair a bathroom leak as soon as possible, before it becomes a bigger problem.

Check These Household Locations for Possible Mold Growth

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Mold damages on wall Walls and floors are regularly exposed to water and materials that feed mold spores

Check The Following Locations For Ideal Mold Conditions

Mold growth is likely to take place when high humidity, nutrients and warmth combine. These elements are present throughout your Bridgeton, MO, home, so preventing them can be challenging. It is important to be diligent about mold prevention by inspecting the house and controlling these factors. Besides obvious places like kitchens and bathrooms, check the following locations for ideal mold conditions.

Walls and Floors
The surfaces in your house, mainly the walls and floors, are regularly exposed to water and materials that feed mold spores. These factors, with the right temperature, can result in a fungi invasion. If you spot it above these surfaces, you should also inspect the other side since plumbing systems usually run by them. This means a moldy drywall can warn you about additional mold on the other end, as well as a pipe leak or other plumbing issue you could have missed.

Nutrient-Rich Surfaces
One of the key ingredients in mold growth is nutrient that helps bacteria develop and thrive. There are multiple materials and surfaces with these materials throughout your property that attract mold. Food that has been left out for too long invites the fungi to consume it and grow over it. Paper products such as books, newspapers, and wallpaper can also bring in mold if wet or under humid conditions. The interiors of your car may contain enough moisture and filth that encourage mold to grow.

Children's Rooms
While you expect places like the bathroom, the kitchen and the basement to have the highest mold potential, you may be surprised that your child's room is just as likely. They usually lack the hygienic discipline that teens and adults have, so they can bring inside more dirt and water than ideal. They can also slobber on their toys, which increases the germ count. Be diligent about cleaning and disinfecting their toys and possessions, especially mold on wood toys.
Mold growth can occur anywhere, so it is important to stay vigilant over every corner of your home. Contact mold remediation services if you find it or suspect its presence.

Inspecting Your Building's Exterior To Prevent Storm Damage

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

Building inspection report Inspect your buildings exterior to prevent storm damage

Inspect The Following Areas In Your Building

The key to keeping your building maintained in Country Life Acres, MO, is to nip any potential problems in the bud that could grow worse in a storm or inclement weather. This includes the exterior as well since this is what will take the full brunt of a storm. Keep up your building's exterior maintenance by regularly inspecting these areas:

1. Windows
While you should regularly inspect your building's windows and the materials surrounding them throughout the year, this is especially important to do before winter hits. Windows and their sills and moulding are often some of the first places water and wind will begin to wear away, especially during freezing temperatures. Before the weather gets cold, check these areas and have them and sealed or repaired if need be. Your energy bill will thank you as well.

2. Doors
Similar to windows, doors are another weak point in your exterior maintenance efforts. Check them regularly to make sure the air and water is sealed out when they're closed and to make sure the doorjambs are still in good condition. If you have a lot of glass doors, you might also want to consider more energy efficient options to keep your costs down.

3. Walls
Air and water can sneak through tiny holes in walls that may quickly grow during a storm. If this goes unnoticed for too long, you'll need to call a storm remediation company to come clean up the damage and fix your walls. You can avoid this in the first place, though, by regularly inspecting your building's external walls for cracks, holes or broken seals. Even if these are only in your building's cladding, it's important to repair these quickly to prevent further problems with the rest of the walls.
Don't wait until your regular professional building inspection to look for weak spots in your building. Make exterior maintenance a priority by scheduling times to inspect it yourself so that you can stave off any damage.