How to Prevent Freezing Pipes
Allow your faucet to drip.
Avoid Frozen Pipes
Imagine hundreds of gallons of water flooding into your home. Frozen pipes can lead to this disastrous scenario due to the pressure that freezing water puts on a pipe that can’t expand; pressures can rise to over 2,000 pounds per square inch. So, pipe freeze prevention is crucial when you live in a climate that sees temperatures reach 20 degrees or below. Avoid frozen pipes by:
1. Letting Faucets Drip
If temperatures are expected to drop to 20 degrees or below, you should turn your indoor faucets on a slow drip. The constantly moving water keeps pressure from building up in the pipes.
2. Leaving Cabinet Doors Open
Every little amount of heat helps during extremely cold temperatures. Open cabinet doors to sinks to expose the pipes to the warmer air of the home. Also, leave the door open to any rooms that have plumbing but no air vents; these pipes are especially susceptible to freezing.
3. Wrapping Pipes
There are several ways to warm pipes. Electrical heat tape is the most effective method of pipe freeze prevention. It should be chosen for the most extreme climates. Thermostatically-controlled heat tape will automatically turn on when temperatures drop below a certain point.
4. Insulating Pipes
Foam insulation works well for more moderately cold climates. Foam insulation is easy to install; it’s usually just placed over the pipe.
5. Heating Unheated Areas
Unheated areas need to be heated to at least 40 degrees to keep pipes from freezing. However, portable heaters should never be left unattended, so it’s best to have a permanent heater installed.
6. Removing Hoses
Hoses that are attached to outdoor hose bibbs or sillcocks should be detached before the temperatures reach freezing. The water should be shut off to the faucet and the water drained.
Pipe freeze prevention is one of the most important proactive measures you can take during the cold weather months. If your Webster Groves, MO, home experiences a burst pipe, water damage cleanup experts can return it to its preloss condition.
Key Tips for Creating a Pet Fire Safety Plan
Your pets need their own emergency kit.
Creating a Pet Fire Safety Plan: Key Points
When there's a fire emergency, it can be stressful to get everyone to safety, including your pets. Therefore, it's essential to have a plan in place for not just your family's well-being but any four-legged friends as well. Here are some important tips for pet safety if a fire breaks out at your Webster Groves, MO, home.
Have Necessary Supplies Ready
Just as you would have emergency supplies like water, blankets and first-aid kits for humans, your pets need their own supplies as well. This includes:
- A stash of pet food
- Additional water
- Extra leashes, collars or other basic pet equipment
Keep these emergency items together in a safe space such as a car trunk in the event of a home fire.
Always Include Pets in Your Fire Emergency Escape Plan
Your pets are part of your family, so they should always be included in any emergency evacuation plans. Create an escape plan and practice evacuating with your family. During these practice drills, assign someone to take pets out of the home with them. Train pets to come when called to make evacuation easier.
Store Pet Documents Safely
When homes require extensive fire damage restoration services, oftentimes important documents are destroyed. Keep a fireproof box in your home with all your family's personal information documents, as well as pet documentation. Protect your pet's vaccination records and ownership papers as you would a passport or other personal documentation.
Prepare Alternative Shelter
If a fire displaces a family, their pets may not always be able to stay with them. An overlooked component of pet preparation is having an alternative shelter established in the event of a fire emergency. Ask a relative, friend or neighbor if a pet may stay with them under emergency circumstances.
Prepare to keep your pets safe in a home fire by having emergency supplies, practicing evacuation, storing veterinary documents safely and having an emergency shelter set up.
Our Newest General Manager!
Congratulations to our newest General Manager, Steve Burgdorf!
It’s time to announce our newest General Manager, Steve Burgdorf! Starting as a part-time employee over ten years ago, owner Kevin Thole says Steve has been instrumental to our mission and growth, rising through the ranks to his newest position.
In addition to his glow-up (featured above??), Steve has gained invaluable wisdom in the world of restoration and serving others. A typical day in the life of Steve includes showing up early and working late, solving problems and making sure operations run smoothly and efficiently. And while he’s great at those things, Steve’s favorite part of the job is helping people who have had their lives upended from property damage get back on their feet. There’s always something new, and the opportunity to see others reach their personal and professional goals gets Steve excited every day.
Steve is inspired by the positive and optimistic people around him — an optimism he also reflects — and relishes a challenge. Even when days are long and tough, Steve says that it is rewarding to know you’ve made a positive difference in people’s lives, and that makes everything worth it.
Thanks for all you do Steve! You’re a rockstar!
Stay tuned for an announcement regarding Steve’s other promotion this week!
Why You Should Avoid Drain Cleaners
Many people turn to drain cleaners for clearing clogs.
Drain Cleaners Should Be Avoided
Commercial properties often require the assistance of dedicated maintenance staff. The staff is responsible for maintaining all property components, including plumbing. A clogged drain is a common issue for maintenance staff, but not all employees treat the problem in the best way. Many people turn to drain cleaners for clearing clogs. Experienced plumbing professionals in Shrewsberry, MO, strongly advise against using such cleaners for several reasons.
1. Drain Cleaner Is Aggressive
Commercial cleaners are often more aggressive than necessary for breaking up clogs. The chemicals can wear down pipe surfaces, reducing the integrity of the system. Often, traditional sewage cleaning is a better solution than using cleaners. Augers and other tools scrub the pipe without damaging it.
2. A Cleaner Will Not Clear a 100% Blockage
A clogged drain can be partially blocked or completely blocked. A partially blocked pipe may be cleared using a gentle cleaner, but no cleaner will break through a 100% blockage. Instead, a maintenance or plumbing professional will need to use an auger or a drain snake. The snake physically digs into clogs, breaking them apart and removing them.
3. Cleaners Do Not Mix Well
Sometimes, people can get overzealous when trying to break up a clog. They may go through several cleaners, thinking one is better than the next. Unfortunately, mixing cleansers can present a safety risk. Mixing chemicals can lead to dangerous reactions, which can damage your plumbing further. If you want to try a cleaner for your drain, stick to using one product.
Often, a clogged drain is not a significant problem; an auger or drain snake can make quick work of it. However, using a cleaner for drains can make matters worse. Therefore, instead of trusting commercial cleaners, contact a local plumber and ask about the safest and best ways to clear a blocked drain.
Top 5 FAQs About Floods
Home in Crestwood, MO located in a flood zone.
Common Questions Regarding Flood Risk
Floods are a relatively common natural disaster that many homeowners have to deal with at some point, especially if your home in Crestwood, MO, is located in a major flood zone. Read on to have your most common questions regarding flood risk answered.
1. What is a Flood Zone?
These are the areas that have the greatest risk of succumbing to a major flood in the event of a severe storm or natural disaster. There are multiple different levels, but it's still best to anticipate the worst, just to make sure you're adequately prepared.
2. How Do You Know Whether You're in a High-Risk Zone?
The easiest way to gauge your personal risk is to check the map provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). There are several different maps provided, and each has its own unique information to offer regarding flooding.
3. How Can You Tell When a Flood is Coming?
The best way to stay informed is to sign up for an emergency broadcast alert system. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards is just one of the many channels you should pay attention to in order to stay up to date on an incoming flood or storm.
4. How Can You Gauge Flood Severity?
The National Weather Service (NWS) has a list of flash flood warnings, categorized in order of severity. These warnings typically pop up through your emergency alert channels within approximately 6 hours of heavy rainfall or severe weather. The three major classes are "Base," "Considerable" and "Catastrophic."
5. Can Flooding Occur Anywhere?
Flooding can occur anywhere in the United States, no matter what time of year it is. Of course, there are certain seasons when floods are significantly more likely. These seasons can vary depending on where in the country your property is.
Knowing your property's specific flood zone can help you prepare to face any imminent storms. If your property does succumb to water damage, then you need to contact flood remediation experts as soon as possible.
Sewage Backup in the Bathtub? Follow These Steps
A sewer backup is a big problem that only gets worse if it isn't handled correctly.
Bathtub Sewage Backup
Any type of bathroom flooding is a big problem, but sewer backup in the bathroom is an even bigger headache. Naturally, your best course of action is preventing the flood from happening in the first place, but that isn't always an option. Stay calm, and follow these simple steps if your home in Grantwood Village, MO, has recently experienced sewage backup in the bathtub.
1. Assess the situation: Sewer backup is a Category 3 water contamination, and a very dangerous biohazard. In some cases, it may not be safe to even enter the room or building where the flooding is. Before attempting to tackle the mess, always make sure the electricity is switched off and you're wearing the appropriate protective gear.
2. Don't make the problem worse: It's natural to want to continuously flush the toilet when the water won't go down. Do not do this. Instead, turn off all running water in the room. If a burst pipe is to blame for the flood, then switch off the water to the building.
3. Protect belongings in the room: Remove every single item in the room that has been contaminated by the sewage. This includes furniture, carpeting, shower curtains, and anything else that has come into contact with the water. Move these items outside where they won't cause further contamination. Open the windows and doors in the bathroom to help generate airflow into the room.
4. Call for professional help: Extreme bathtub backup might require professional assistance. Contaminated water can cause a lot of damage in a very small amount of time, so it's important to act quickly. Avoid personal contact with the sewage as much as you can, as the contaminated water can cause health effects.
A sewer backup is a big problem that only gets worse if it isn't handled correctly. Contact your local flood remediation experts in order to get the job done right the first time.
Electrical Fires and Your Business
Electrical fire is a common cause of fire damage in commercial settings.
Common Causes Of Electrical Fires In Your Business
When it comes to sneaky sources of flames and property damage, electrical fire is one of the top culprits. Frayed wires, outdated electrical systems, damaged cable insulation, and short circuits are some of the top factors. The most common causes of these fires include
- Faulty electrical outlets and outdated appliances with damaged cords or switches
- Cords that have been run underneath a rug
- Light bulbs with a wattage too high for light fixtures
- Power and extension cords that have been overloaded
- Inappropriate placement of space heaters, especially when they are too close to combustible items
- Old wiring systems that can't handle today's reliance on electrical appliances
One of the best ways to protect your commercial property from electrical sparks and destructive flames is to recognize these common causes of fire and take preventative steps.
Which Extinguisher Is Best?
Another important step in protecting your property is to install appropriate fire extinguishers throughout your buildings. After an electrical fire, computer cleanup is much more effective if the right type of extinguisher has been used. There are several types to consider; the most common are
- Clean agent extinguishers, commonly used in rooms with a lot of computer equipment
- Class K extinguishers, are the best option for commercial kitchens where grease fires are a possibility
- Wet chemical extinguishers, most appropriate for hot surfaces, such as in foodservice establishments
- Dry chemical extinguishers, best used for minor blazes in industrial settings
After a fire extinguisher has been used, contact a fire cleanup and remediation professional to appropriately clean up the residue from extinguisher discharge and to inspect your computer equipment for fire and smoke damage. If computer equipment is damaged and you use it, further damages and even new fires could take place.
What Other Preventative Steps Can You Take?
Electrical fire is a common cause of fire damage in commercial settings. Take steps to protect your Lakeshire, MO, business by understanding the most likely scenarios and taking steps to prevent them. Make sure you have the right policies in place and install the most appropriate extinguishers for each room in your building.
Three Reasons To Hire a Certified Damage Restoration Specialist
Drying equipment is placed to ensure all water is removed from the floor.
Three Reasons To Hire a Certified Damage Restoration Specialist
Whether you are dealing with a broken pipe, leaky roof, or flooding, a certified water damage expert can handle any type of water clean-up on a commercial property. You may find that specialists who have current certifications are able to resolve the problem quickly, limit secondary damage and that insurance companies are more likely to cover their work.
1. Certified Experts Handle Damage Quickly and Correctly
Restoration professionals with IICRC certifications, particularly the Commercial Drying Specialist certification, are capable of recommending the right methods for restoring a commercial property and contents to working order as soon as possible. This can help to minimize secondary damage and lost income.
2. Insurance Companies Prefer to Work With Certified Experts
When it comes to water clean-up, insurers can count on certified experts to get the job done. Certified specialists are also more likely to guarantee the quality of their work. If you do experience mold growth or other secondary damage following restoration, you may not have to foot the full cost of mitigation if you have followed the recommendations of a certified service.
3. Less Secondary Damage May Occur
Certified experts are aware of the risks of allowing water damage to linger. This can help to prevent secondary damage from starting to develop or becoming a severe problem. Mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours following water damage, so it is a good idea to get an expert on the scene as soon as possible.
Certified water damage restoration professionals have the expertise and equipment necessary to perform water clean-up. If you need to restore damage from a broken pipe or any other source in a commercial property in Shrewsbury, MO, look for a clean-up and restoration service that employs IICRC-certified experts.
How To Identify Black Mold
Mold contamination in a home in Crestwood, MO.
Assessing the Presence of Mold
Black mold or stachybotrys is one of over 100,000 different species of mold. This species can be difficult to identify visually, as it is not always black in color. An environmental hygienist should perform a mold inspection and analyze samples to determine which type of mold is growing at a residence in Crestwood, MO. Here are several guidelines for assessing the presence of mold.
Locate the Colonies
A homeowner may look for indications of house mold. Keep a few basic guidelines in mind:
- Do not attempt to cut holes in walls or disturb contents to find hidden mold
- Avoid touching or otherwise disturbing colonies, as this may release spores
- Note moldy odors, which may indicate the presence of mold
Mold releases microbial volatile organic compounds during its growth cycle. The musty odor is not necessarily caused by the presence of spores, but by off-gases.
Consider Colors and Growth Patterns
Mold may vary in color at different points in its growth cycle. This is one of the reasons why attempts to visually identify fungi may not be accurate, and a mold inspection is necessary. Stachybotrys may be dark green in color during the early stages of growth. This species is also not fuzzy and does not grow in geometrical patterns like some other species.
Hire an Environmental Hygienist
The best way to determine whether mold is present and identify the type of fungus is to have a specialist come to a residence and take samples. Depending on whether mold growth is immediately evident, a hygienist may take air samples to test for signs of mVOCs or spores to cultivate in a petri dish.
A mold inspection is the only way to obtain a definitive answer regarding whether black mold is growing in your home. Look for an environmental hygienist located in Crestwood, MO, or schedule a consultation with a full-service mold remediation company.
How Do Fire Sprinklers Work During a Fire?
How do fire sprinklers work?
During a Fire, How Do Fire Sprinklers Work?
For many Webster Groves, MO, business owners, knowing that a fire sprinkler is installed at their commercial property provides great peace of mind. But how does a sprinkler actually work when a fire is taking place? Here are the steps involved in its operation and some other facts you may not know.
Sprinkler System Benefits
There are a great number of benefits to installing fire sprinklers in your building, including the following:
- They reduce the heat, smoke and flames present during a fire.
- They can minimize the risk of property damage.
- They often put out a fire before firefighters even have a chance to arrive at the scene.
Since a fire sprinkler system can save lives and reduce the risk of damage, it really does pay to have one installed at your place of business.
How Sprinklers Operate
A sprinkler system consists of a pipe network filled with pressured water. This network is installed behind your building’s walls and ceilings, with the exterior sprinklers placed along your piping system. If a fire should occur, the sprinklers close to the flames become activated by a high temperature - never by smoke. The pressure system allows the sprinklers to shoot out water in a forceful manner, leading to fire suppression and possibly extinguishing the flames completely.
Fire Sprinkler Cleanup
By now, it is likely that you are convinced of the many safety and financial benefits of installing a sprinkler system. But what about the destruction caused by all that water? Fortunately, a commercial fire restoration company can help. In addition to assisting you with loss from the smoke and flames, fire damage technicians can help you clean up any water damage that occurs as a result of the sprinklers. In some cases, even important documents can be dried or otherwise salvaged.
A fire sprinkler system will help you protect more than your property. It will assist you in ensuring the safety of you and your workers in the event of a commercial fire.