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The Incredible Abilities of Fire Sprinkler Systems

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Incredible Abilities of Fire Sprinkler Systems Smoke and fire damage in a Crestwood, MO commercial property

Fire sprinkler systems are an engineering masterpiece. Whether you already have a sprinkler system in place or you are considering them for an upcoming construction project in Crestwood, MO, here are some facts to help you understand how they work:

  • A fire sprinkler is activated by heat only
  • Smoke does not activate a sprinkler system
  • Only the sprinkler sensing heat will go off
  • Sprinklers connected on the same system do not go off just because one was activated
  • Most of the time, a fire is extinguished with just one sprinkler
  • Sprinklers help save lives by putting out fires
  • Sprinklers allow more time for evacuation by minimizing heat and smoke

How do they work?

When enough heat reaches the fire sprinkler, a tiny glass bulb breaks and releases water. When the bulb breaks, it also removes a plug that allows more water to flow from the connected water supply. They are very effective that often only one sprinkler is activated to stop a fire. Additional sprinklers are not activated unless they detect the right amount of heat, so the system is great at minimizing damage and reducing costs while saving lives.

Are they very costly?

The most cost-effective time to install a fire suppression system is during initial construction, when they only add an average of 2% to the overall cost of construction. Many people also elect to install them during a major remodel, but that cost varies a bit more depending on the building structure. The cost may be offset by discounts in your insurance premiums.

Is the water mess expensive?

Fire sprinkler cleanup is usually more minimal and less costly than recovery from fire damage. A professional restoration company can help mitigate damage from fire, smoke and water. A good company should have a mindset to recover what can be effectively saved, and be skilled in mitigation of fire, smoke and water damage. The right company can manage the entire process of your recovery, helping your people return to work faster.

Best Ways to Get Rid of That Nasty Sewer Smell From Your Building

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Occasional foul smells are something you have to deal with, but few things (if any) are worse than a sewer smell. It can be next to impossible to work if you have these odors in your building. At the very least, they can be unpleasant and bothersome. At the most, they can cause illness. Luckily, there are ways you can rid your workplace in Webster Groves, MO, of sewage odors.

Go the Simple Route

The terrible sewage smell may not require professional intervention or expensive methods for you correct. If you notice the smell coming from a sink or drain, try these steps:

  • Pour a couple of cups of tap water into the drain.
  • Wait a day or two to see if the smell goes away.
  • If the smell remains, or if it returns, you will have to go in a different direction.

Deep Cleaning

Your next step will require a little more time and effort, but it doesn’t have to take a lot of resources. There may be some backup in the drain, so you’ll have to clear out anything causing a blockage. Remove the grate over the drain. If may be caked with crusted debris or hard water, so you might have to use a flathead screwdriver or similar device to pry it open. Take the grate and thoroughly clean it with disinfectant or another agent. Also, clean the drain and remove any materials from the inside. Replace the grate. Evaluate whether the sewer smell is still present.

Get the Pros Involved

At this point, if you still smell the sewer gas stench, it’s time to call a plumber or other specialist. The issues may be much more extensive than you can solve on your own. A professional will have the tools and skills to resolve the smell.

You shouldn’t have to deal with a sewer smell in your building. Follow these smells to eliminate this situation.

When Flood Insurance Has You Covered

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage When Flood Insurance Has You Covered Air mover on water damage in a St.Louis, MO home

The process of restoring your home after a flood involves a multitude of steps. After you call a water damage restoration company to clean up, reviewing your homeowners insurance policy is vital. Knowing what your policy will cover can help you make informed decisions on how to move forward with the recovery of your property. Despite the variety of policies offered, you’ll find a basic level of coverage that is standard across the industry.

Broken Pipe Coverage

The water damage resulting from a broken pipe will be covered by most insurance companies. What is not included is the actual source of the flood. Understanding this detail will help you determine what is eligible for coverage and when you will have to step in and pay the remaining costs. Examples of broken pipe coverage are as follows:

  • Insurance will pay for the drywall replacement in your basement, not the broken drain pipe attached to your laundry room.
  • Coverage applies to the damage on your kitchen floors, not the broken pipe in your dishwasher.
  • Insurance coverage will restore your bathroom ceiling, not the broken pipe connected to your shower.

The costs to fix a broken pipe or appliance will be your responsibility. Taking this into consideration before flooding occurs can help ensure financial readiness when the unexpected happens.

Negligence or Accident

The circumstances surrounding the cause of the broken pipe will play a role in approval of your claim. In other words, if the pipe broke on a heavily used line that had been neglected of maintenance, coverage could be denied. However, a true accident despite routine care should always be covered.

Working With Your Insurance Company

Filing a claim with your insurance company comes near the end of your restoration journey. Familiarizing yourself with the specific terminology used by underwriters can help you accurately detail the flood damage. Rest assured that coverage in your St. Louis, MO, is always available to the prudent homeowner.

Five Essential Things To Do After a Storm

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

When major storms hit in Affton, MO it’s important to be ready. Your home and property may be damaged, roads closed, and power out. In the aftermath of such a storm, you may be unsure of where to turn or what to do. Here are five essential storm tips to keep your family safe and minimize additional storm damage.

1. Think safety first. This is by far the most important of all tips: Be safe! Gather family and pets into a room that is safe and dry, somewhere that hasn’t suffered damage to its roof or walls and that isn’t flooded. Don’t touch any electrical items in wet rooms, even fan or light switches. Don’t use candles in case there is a gas leak. Avoid wading in storm water, even if it’s still and only a few inches deep. Use only bottled water for drinking and cooking. Monitor a battery-powered radio for NOAA weather updates.

2. Disable utilities. If you can safely do so, turn off electrical circuits, natural gas lines, and plumbing. Storm damage to water pipes, gas lines, or electrical wires can be dangerous.

3. Prevent further damage. Think about other storm tips and what else you can do to keep the damage from escalating. If you can do so safely, evacuate your family and pets. Tie a tarp over a damaged roof. Remove or bolster a precarious tree limb. Dry and clean affected but salvageable items. Move sensitive items such as electronics and photographs to somewhere safe before moisture can set in.

4. Call a professional. Once everyone is safe, it’s important to begin cleanup and repairs immediately. A restoration professional knows exactly what to do and can help you safely and effectively restore your home.

5. Document the damage. Be sure to photograph the damage before repairs are made. This will be needed to document insurance claims. Call your insurance company to open your claim and ensure you have all the information they need.

Recovering from a major storm in Affton, MO can seem daunting. If you follow these five essential storm tips, you can navigate recovery quickly and confidently.
Visit http://www.SERVPROafftonwebstergroves.com for more information on storm damage. 

Consider Using These Alternatives to Candles

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that candles cause 2 percent of reported home fires? Before you light a candle in your Affton, MO home, you may want to consider using one of these candle alternatives instead. Many of the substitutes leave you with a reduced chance of starting a fire. If a fire does take place in your house, be sure to call a residential fire cleanup team as soon as you can.

• Candle Warmers: A candle warmer uses heat from an electronic or battery-operated base to melt the wax and release the intoxicating scent. This alternative allows you to use the candles you already own without the flame.
• Air Fresheners: If you use these home fragrance products to make your house smell better, you can turn to air fresheners instead. Whether you plug one in or use a gel variety, you can get a great smell without any fire.
• Battery-Operated Candles: Flameless candles offer the flicker you love without the potential danger. You can buy tealights that look like small candles or luminaires that also produce a scent.
• Light Strings: You may think light strings are only suitable for the holidays, but you can use this enchanting string to add ambiance to your space. Candle alternatives in this category may even allow you to use a timer so the product doesn't overheat.
• Diffusers: Essential oil and reed diffusers can be used to release scent into your home. These products help reduce the risk of candle fire because flames aren't used. Reed diffusers don't even require any type of heat or electricity source, which is an added bonus.

Whether you love the light or fragrance produced by candles, there are candle alternatives that are right for you. Homeowners everywhere can find a wide range of products that can either add ambiance, produce a flicker or improve the aroma, which makes the flame of a candle obsolete. Visit http://www.SERVPROafftonwebstergroves.com for more information on fire damage

Keeping the Office Bathroom Clean of Mildew and Mold

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fungi love bathrooms because certain areas get constant moisture, allowing them to thrive. You might see black mold or a cloudy white film of mildew to clean in areas that stay wet, such as your plumbing fixtures. Follow these steps to keep your office bathroom clean of mildew and mold.

Getting Mildew and Mold Out

Experts recommend a good scrub to get your bathroom in shape. Direct your cleaning crew to take the following steps or do them yourself:

· Protect your hands with rubber gloves.
· Wet a microfiber cloth with closed-loop mesh and scrub at the affected areas.
· Use a tile brush or toothbrush with tough bristles for small areas.
· If plain water doesn’t work, try spraying a solution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and letting it sit for 10 minutes before washing it off.
· If you have really tough mildew to clean, use a solution of half a cup of bleach and one gallon of water to scrub the area and wipe it with a clean rag.

For areas that don’t respond to any of these treatments, replace grout or caulking with materials that are resistant to bathroom mold and mildew.

Keeping Mildew and Mold Out

The best way to keep the bathroom clean of mildew and mold on a daily basis is by allowing air to circulate. You can do that in a few ways:

· If there’s a window in the bathroom, keep it open throughout the workday.
· Install an exhaust fan or ventilation fan.
· If you don’t have a window or built-in fan, use a dehumidifier or portable fan.

You should also check regularly for leaks underneath faucets and toilets. Make sure you fix these quickly to avoid mold buildup.

Finally, it’s a good idea to clean the bathroom once a week. Use bleach or bathroom cleaning products that contain bleach for best results.

Preventing the buildup of mildew to clean is as important in the workplace as it is in the home. However, if bathroom mold is out of control in your Affton, MO office, call a reputable mold removal company to help you get rid of it. Visit http://www.SERVPROafftonwebstergroves.com for more information on mold. 

When Plunging Fails, Call In the Snake

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Clogged drains can put a real damper on your bathroom routine in Affton, MO. Removing residue that accumulates near the surface of the pipe or plunging shallow obstructions can clear most drains; however, some blockage may require more intensive intervention. Most experts recommend using a coil snake to dislodge hard-to-reach buildup. If you’ve never used a coil snake before to unclog a drain, fear not; the process is relatively simple and straightforward.

1. Uncoil your newly purchased snake. Then feed the head of the cord down the clogged drainpipe. You may encounter resistance when the snake reaches the pipe’s curve.

2. Continue to crank the snake’s handle. Do this until you hit the solid obstruction causing the stoppage. You will know that you have hit the blockage when you can push no further.

3. Grind the head of the snake into the obstruction by rotating the snake handle. This should break up the debris that has stopped up the drain, or the head should grab onto any object blocking the way.

4. Remove the snake from the drainpipe. Now run your faucet at full force to clear any residual residue that may be lingering. After a few minutes, the sink should drain freely. If you notice any backup, try inserting the snake again and attempt to remove any remaining buildup.

Coil snakes are cost effective and easy to use, and they can be reused again and again. In cases where plunging and snaking fail to resolve a drainage issue, a more serious complication such as a pipe break may be the problem.

Don’t let your clogged drain in Affton, MO ruin your routine. By investing in a cost-effective home snake, you can easily unclog any stoppage that your sink strainer or plunger is unable to tackle. Take the plunge (pun intended), visit your local hardware store, and invest in your home snake today. Visit http://www.SERVPROafftonwebstergroves.com for more information on water damage

Category 3 Water Does Not Mean the End of Your Business

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Category 3 Water Does Not Mean the End of Your Business Give SERVPRO a call if you experience water damage.

Category 3 is the most severe type of water damage a business can suffer in Affton, MO. This water is heavily contaminated by harmful pathogens and toxins. Flood water and toilet overflow are major threats but can be mitigated with proper procedure. Knowing what that procedure is helps you understand what services you should receive.

Cleaning Up the Mess

Black water damage is so serious that it is necessary to consult a trained water recovery specialist. These professionals follow a typical procedure with industry-grade tools:

1. The restoration service evaluates the situation for safety concerns.
2. The water source is identified and remedied if possible.
3. Water is extracted from the carpet and hard surfaces.
4. A biocide is applied to kill dangerous microorganisms.
5. Affected carpet and porous building materials are removed and thrown away.
6. Drying perimeters are established.
7. Air blowers are placed and turned on.
8. The progress is monitored over time while drying.
9. New carpet is installed after the drying is complete.
10. Missing building materials are replaced.
11. A final sanitization and cleaning finishes the procedure before restoration.

Types of Category 3 Water

Category 3 water is extremely unsanitary, with many lurking contaminants. Flood water brings a multitude of impurities from the unclean water source and surrounding areas.

Though a more contained situation than a flood, flooded toilets or sewage line leaks can shut off only a part of your business with black water. The danger of viruses and bacteria is still serious, so these contaminated areas should be avoided without safety equipment.

Be Free of Category 3

The damage can get worse as flood water or sewage lingers. The building’s structure faces more erosion, and more microbes and pathogens grow and multiply as time goes on. However, with fast treatment, the damage to your commercial real estate can be mitigated and restored to a functional state. Visit http://www.SERVPROafftonwebstergroves.com for more information on commercial water damage

Preparing a Business for an Upcoming Flood

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Preparing a Business for an Upcoming Flood Give SERVPRO a call if you experience storm damage.

Flooding caused by a storm or rising water is never welcome, and the damage can be extensive. It is wise to take preventive measures to prepare your business in Affton, MO in case of a natural disaster that may strike your area. The following tips can be very helpful in preparing your business for flood damage or storm damage.

1. Contact your insurance company about obtaining a flood insurance policy. Your business does not have to be located in a flood plain in order for you to qualify for flood insurance coverage. Obtaining this policy well in advance can provide you with peace of mind in case of an incident.

2. Prepare your building for an impending disaster. Walk around your building and consider preventive measures. If your structure has a basement and valuable equipment and furniture are stored in it, consider moving them to a higher level. If you believe a sump pump will be beneficial, purchase one ahead of time.

3. Make backup copies of important documents and store them in a safe location. Any sensitive or necessary documents, such as insurance policies and vendor contact information for example, should be copied and stored away from the business location, in an area that will not be affected by flooding.

4. Create an emergency kit. The kit should contain nonperishable food to last several days, large containers of water, a first-aid kit a battery-powered radio and personal hygiene supplies.

5. Plan an evacuation route. Determine which roads would provide the best route out of the area, as floods may make many local roads impassable.

6. In case of an emergency, prepare to evacuate immediately. If by chance you find yourself caught off-guard and floods are imminent, place sandbags in doors and windows and evacuate immediately. Make sure you have the phone number for a restoration company that can come to your building after the storm and assist with cleanup.

Natural disasters such as flooding can cause catastrophic damage. However, taking preventive measures can give the business owner peace of mind and allow business to return to normal as soon as possible. Visit http://www.SERVPROafftonwebstergroves.com for more information on storm damage. 

Affton Fire Damage - Handling Smoke Damage after a Fire

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Affton Fire Damage - Handling Smoke Damage after a Fire A home fire can also leave smoke damage that will need to be cleaned too.

The smoke that lingers after a fire has been put out can be more damaging than you might think. The problem that many homeowners have is that they don't think a fire or smoke damage could ever happen to them. The reality is that home fires are incredibly common, ranging from the very minor to the more major. Despite the fact that a minor fire may not cause a lot of fire damage in Affton, it can still cause smoke damage that is difficult to clean and dangerous to be living around.

Smoke damage that is a direct result of fire damage should ideally be cleaned by experts. Experts know how to get rid of smoke damage that might be present in the home after it has been ravished by flames. You should always look to hire a licensed and highly experienced professional who has extensive experience dealing with fire damage. The professionals will often start by evaluating the overall extent of the fire damage and smoke damage that is present in the home, and then they will go over prices and costs of fire damage remediation for you to get the issue cleaned up by their company.

There are a lot of reasons why handling smoke damage after a fire should be done by experts and as quickly as possible. The smoke that you find after a fire often contains ash, soot and sometimes even carbons and tar that might have come off of the flames. Also, carbon monoxide is incredibly common after fire damage has been exhibited. Carbon monoxide is one of the most dangerous things because it is odorless and cannot be seen or tasted. Therefore, you may not even know that you are surrounded by carbon monoxide until it has been properly tested. An expert fire damage restoration company will normally test for carbon monoxide levels in a home that has dealt with a fire.

Smoke damage can also be aesthetically damaging. Furniture, walls, ceilings and practically anything in your home can become black or gray from the smoke that has come off from a fire. Many things will need to be professionally cleaned, while other things might have to be fully removed from the home in order to get rid of the problem. Your remediation company will be the one who tells you what can and cannot be saved after you have dealt with massive smoke damage in your own home.

Fires are very common, and even the most minor fire can cause a lot of smoke damage. In fact, some homeowners who have simple fireplaces that are not well-vented could deal with smoke damage without a fire ever being an issue for the home itself. Handling the damage on your own should be avoided simply because of all of the expertise that needs to go into cleaning the mess. Also, you need to have a professional test the home or room for carbon monoxide to ensure that it is going to be safe for you or for them to go in there to clean.

SERVPRO of Affton/Webster Groves is locally owned and operated and serves Affton, Webster Groves, Crestwood, Shrewsberry, St. Louis, and the surrounding communities

SERVPRO of Affton/Webster Groves’ fully certified water removal staff can perform a complete damage assessment to your home of office, and then recommend and follow the industries standards to get your water removal restoration repaired properly available 24 hours a day

SERVPRO of Affton/Webster Groves is a 24/7 emergency water removal & flood clean up repair service company, Our technicians are highly trained and experienced with every water damage situation from sewage damage clean up to mold removal. 

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