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3 Ways To Avoid the Stench of Mold

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

carpet removed from floor due to storm water contamination. Drying equipment is placed on area that suffered damage. Drying equipment placed in a Shrewsberry, MO home

3 Ways To Avoid the Stench of Mold

When water intrudes into your home in Shrewsberry, MO, it not only ruins your property, but it can leave the residence vulnerable to mold growth. As the spores spread, they bring with them an unpleasant aroma. To try and eliminate it, you'll need to take several steps, both on your own and with professional help. Here are three ways to try and kick that funky smell out of your abode.

1. Call in the Experts

Flood water that sits for any period of time needs attention. Call in a water restoration company to inspect the area and provide guidance throughout the process. As the experts look over your rooms, they can dry out water-logged walls and remove materials from the impacted areas. With their specialized equipment, they'll have options to alleviate the stench.

2. Get Rid of the Water

Sometimes people think that water isn't harmful; however, it is the activator for mold growth. Letting it sit can quickly instigate development. Prevent this by eliminating the excess liquid. You'll need to pull the water out from the walls and air. To do this, rent an industrial dehumidifier (or several of them) from a local home store. You may also invest in moisture absorbent products for smaller areas. Depending on the extent of trouble, you'll need to run the device over several days, testing the walls moisture levels regularly.

3. Move Items Out To Dry

Open up the area so that the room itself airs out. Then, evaluate the ruined furniture. Sometimes sofas and tables should be considered sewage loss since category three water has microbes. If you've suffered something else, such as a water main break, then you could try to treat the upholstery with white vinegar. What about the floor? You could try applying baking soda to the carpet. If that doesn't work, pull it up and discard it.
When water invades your space, take care to clean the impacted space immediately. Call in help and remove any spoiled items. Doing so can help avoid mold growth and reduce the chance for undesirable scents.

Preparing Your Business for a Winter Storm

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Snowstorm, snow-covered street and cars with a lonely pedestrian Winter storm in Shrewsberry, MO

Doing business in Shrewsberry, MO, means being ready for winter weather. Once a winter storm has passed, you can assess the damage and, if necessary, begin disaster restoration, but being prepared will not only help prevent damage, but also save lives and other costs down the road.

Stay Informed – and Share That Knowledge With Customers and Employees 

There are three levels of winter storm advisories issued by the National Weather Service:

  1. A winter storm watch means that there is a reasonable chance of significant ice or snow within 36 hours. Stay alert!
  2. A Winter storm warning means 4 – 6 inches of snow or ¼ inch of ice is expected within 24 hours. Be prepared!
  3. A blizzard warning means life-threatening winter conditions that should last at least three hours are expected to hit your area soon. Seek immediate shelter!

As soon as practical, inform customers via social media or other appropriate means about how this will impact your business, whether it means you will be closing or can’t provide services you ordinarily would. If you have essential equipment that relies on electricity, check your backup systems and plan for key personnel to shelter safely at the business. Have phones and chargers, flashlights, spare batteries, food and blankets stocked up. Also have any de-icing supplies you’ll need for immediately after the winter storm. You’ll also need a back-up heating source, a carbon monoxide detector and fire extinguisher ready.

Restoration of Storm Damage

Immediately after the storm, take any urgent steps necessary to secure your business from further damage, including tarping walls or roofs that have been penetrated. Before you reopen, use salt or other de-icing methods in areas used by employees and customers – the last thing you need is a slip-and-fall lawsuit!

A winter storm in Shrewsberry, MO, doesn’t have to be terrifying if you plan appropriately. If you have suffered damage, call your insurance company as soon as you can, and hire an experienced storm remediation company to prevent further damage and fully restore your company to pre-storm conditions.

Simple Steps To Make a Water Damage Claim

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

In a living room there is a lamp and wooden floor is wet Water damage in a Webster Groves, MO home

In the midst of bathroom full of bursting pipes in Webster Groves, MO, your first thought may not be of your insurance company. However, it should be. If you keep insurance in mind throughout the crises, you will have a better chance of receiving help from them.

Step 1- Damage Control

Try to remember to document everything with pictures and video. Save weather and news reports about the event, if relevant. If it is safe to do so, you should also prevent further damage from occurring, especially in the case of an internal water source like bursting pipes. However, in the case of flooding caused by a weather event, all you can do is wait for it to end at a safe location. Some tips for damage control:

  • Turn off your water
  • Turn off the electricity
  • Ventilate the space
  • Remove what you can

Step 2- Call It In

First, you should call you insurance company. You'll probably need to clarify with them what your policy covers in terms of water damage. Sudden, accidental water damage is often covered under an all-perils policy. Flooding is usually added separately. They may have some recommendations of water damage remediation companies that they work with- be sure to find one that will fix broken pipe, remove the water and clean all of your contents. If the area is not thoroughly dried you could be dealing with mold damage in the future.

Step 3- Gather Evidence

Your insurance company will probably want to send out an inspector to compile a file on the event and evaluate the water damage, in order to determine your compensation. It will make the process run smoother, so you get your money quicker, if you are prepared for this visit. Be sure to give them everything you documented about the disaster. Gather proof of value for everything damaged. Include estimates from repairmen and plumbers.
Incidences like bursting pipes are more easily resolved with the support of an insurance company behind you. In order to gain that support, you'll have to make a claim. Be sure to do it right!

Ditch the Sand Bags! Flooding Needs to Be Blocked but There Are Better Alternatives to Control It

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Water barrier of sand bag to prevent flood If you’ve had flood damage in Grantwood Village, MO, you need to act very quickly to minimize the damage

When the flood waters come, the most common item used for temporary protection is the sand bag. They do provide a certain amount of flexibility and control, but in fact they are pretty outdated in terms of flood control. There are a large number of alternatives in Grantwood Village, MO, and if you have any concerns about your property possibly flooding, you’ll probably benefit from learning about them, especially since most standard insurance policies don’t cover floods.

Water Absorbent Bags Can Work Surprisingly Well

A newer innovation in preventing flood damage is absorbing bags. They use various materials to absorb water as soon as it comes in contact, after which they expand and effectively create a water-tight dam thanks to the flood water itself. Some of the options for absorbent bags include

  • Special water-absorbent fabric
  • Sodium acrylate
  • Polyacrylamide
  • Super-absorbent or gelling polymers

Fight Water With Water

One of the most popular methods of creating flood dams is to use bags that can be filled with water. You can transport them anywhere and fill with a hose where needed, then drain them and they are easily moved again. There are a bunch of options available for water bags, including a number of different flood fence barriers, water bags and inflatable water dams. Small ones can be about the size and weight of a sand bag, while others can protect entire neighborhoods.
Another alternative to a sand bag would be to use whatever’s handy around the home. Some homeowners have used trash bags in a pinch, which can’t be fully filled but with enough of them, they have provided an effective barrier for some minor flooding.
If you’ve had flood damage in Grantwood Village, MO, you need to act very quickly to minimize the damage. Call an experienced flood cleanup company to bring in experts with the most advanced devices that are used to save as much property as possible. There’s quite a bit that can be done if professionals are called in immediately.

How To Safely Clean a Grill in 5 Easy Steps

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

The hands of someone cleaning a grill Cleaning a grill is an important part of maintaining a grill

Keep Your Grill Safely Clean By Following These Five Steps

There are many benefits to practicing consistent grill cleaning all season long in Affton, MO. For one, you will have better-tasting food. Additionally, maintaining your grill is an important step in reducing the risk of a grease fire breaking out. You should always have an extinguisher close by when you grill and know which fire cleanup crew to call. Keep your grill safely clean by following these five steps.

1. Get Prepared

Before you start any grill maintenance, you need to make sure that you have the proper supplies on hand and that the grill is ready to go. You will need a variety of cleaning supplies including a bucket of soapy water, a grill brush, a soft wire brush, and several towels. Check that all dials are switched off and disconnect the gas line.

2. Clean the Grates, Plates, and Drip Pan

Carefully remove the grates and metal plates from the grill and place them in the bucket of soapy water. Detach the drip pan, empty it out, and add it to the bucket. Allow these items to soak for five to ten minutes and then use the grill cleaning brush to scrub. Finish by spraying them off with a hose.

3. Clean the Burners

Completely clean the burners of any ash, grease, or other residues using the grill brush. Using the soft wire brush, make sure to unclog all the burner holes.

4. Clean the Interior of the Grill

Wash all interior surfaces with the soapy water and scrub off any grease and smoke buildup. Next, rinse off all the soap with clean water and use towels to dry.

5. Heat the Grill

Finish grill cleaning by putting all parts back in their proper place. Heat the grill for at least ten minutes before attempting to cook anything.
From better tasting food to a safe fire-free grilling experience, cleaning is an important part of maintaining a grill. Periodically deep clean your grill with these easy steps.

Act Quickly To Reduce Mold Damage After a Flood

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

It takes just 24 to 48 hours for mold growth to occur in your flood-damaged home. You should begin the process of cleaning and drying out your property as soon after flood damage occurs as possible.

Importance of Removing Mold Quickly

Mold in your home should be removed quickly for these three reasons:

  1. More growth will occur the longer you wait to begin cleaning and drying out your property.
  2. Mold often gives off unpleasant odors that can make your home unlivable if allowed to grow severe enough.
  3. Mold can lower the value of your home. You may be required to disclose mold damage to any potential buyers. Consult a realtor or real estate lawyer in Webster Groves, MO, to determine how this might affect you.

Mold Removal Tips

Your priority should be to eliminate standing water and dry your property out as quickly as possible. Mold growth and bacteria can continue to be a danger while there are high levels of moisture in your home. Blowing air and disturbing mold-infested items can cause mold spores to spread throughout your property, so it may be best to contact a disaster recovery service to professionally dry out your home and perform mold remediation.

If you do attempt to tackle the project yourself, make sure you wear protective gloves, eyewear and a breathing mask and have proper ventilation. Opening your windows may help with ventilation. You may be able to clean and disinfect items made from hard plastic, metal or glass with a non-ammonia-based soap. Anything made from a porous material, such as carpets, clothing or upholstered furniture, should be discarded if it has been exposed to mold.

Mold growth can cause serious damage to your home. However, if you act quickly to address the problem, you can stop it before it gets out of hand and reduce the amount of damage to your property.

Saving Art From Mold Damage

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Professional restorer working at an ancient paintings representing religious scenes, inside a museum laboratory Humidity can ruin pictures and art

Saving Art From Mold Damage 

If you’ve had a brush with disaster in your Crestwood, MO, home, then you are probably facing a hard decision regarding your art collection. Water damage can lead to mold damage, which can spread rapidly if left untreated. Luckily, you don’t have to say goodbye to your paintings – restoration is often possible. Whether you need mold cleaning services for your art studio or a curated collection of professional pieces, some objectives remain the same. These are the goals:

  • Remove any storage materials and frames for cleaning or disposal.
  • Remove the mold safely and effectively while preserving the artwork.
  • Prevent the mold from returning and spreading.

Act Quickly

Don’t delay in taking action to save your paintings. Mold spores live everywhere, and as such, they can multiply quickly after water damage – or even if your artworks are just improperly stored. Paintings that are kept in damp, dark areas, for example, can harbor mold without experiencing any water damage. You can rescue your works of art if you make a plan quickly and enlist the help of mold cleaning experts to create a professional mold remediation plan that will improve the chances of restoration.

After your artworks are restored, it’s important to keep them displayed or stowed safely so the mold does not return. They need to be in dry conditions and any storage materials or frames need to be properly sanitized or replaced.

Don’t Panic

Mold can be a scary situation to face. You don’t want to lose your treasured belongings, but taking the wrong action can also damage them further. Paintings vary greatly in composition, and it’s important to know what type you have to treat them properly. It’s best to contact professional mold remediation teams to safely and effectively restore your paintings.

With fast action and expert help, mold cleaning doesn’t have to cause you a headache. You can keep your treasured belongings in great shape and enjoy them for years to come with the right plan.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes underneath sink

Having a frozen pipe in your home in Concord, MO, especially during winter months, can create major issues and damage, especially if you’re not home to find the flooding until a month later. All too often, people go on vacation to a warmer climate and come back to thousands of dollars-worth of damage because they weren’t aware of the importance of pipe freeze prevention and didn’t take the necessary precautions to ensure their water pipes were prepared for the cold weather.
Once ice begins to thaw in a burst pipe, it can leak hundreds of gallons per hour into your home. Pipes that are most likely to freeze include those that run through outside walls, those placed under a sink, especially if near an outside wall, any that run through unheated basements or crawl spaces, and those that supply outdoor faucets.

Pipe Freeze Prevention

If you’re home and expect the weather to be unusually cold, you can leave your faucets dripping a little bit during the coldest times of the day.
Keep cabinet doors open to allow house heat in.
Wrap problem areas with electrical heat tape.
Use foam insulation wrap on pipes in unheated areas. If the air is cold enough for long enough, it could still freeze eventually.
Install a permanent heater in very cold areas of the home with many pipes, just to keep the air above freezing.
Disconnect garden hoses during the freezing months, turn off the water to the faucet, and drain the remaining water out.

Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

It’s possible to catch your frozen pipes before they burst, and if you do, they should be thawed immediately. You can tell if there is a frozen pipe somewhere if your water pressure is below normal during winter months, at a sink, for example. To fix it:

  • Turn off the water to your sink or to the whole house.
  • Open the faucet with the low pressure.
  • Find the pipe for that sink and follow it to the most likely spots near uninsulated areas.
  • There may be frost or ice around the frozen part, or a bulge.

Pipe freeze prevention is critical for homes in climates that have freezing temperatures. If you’ve experienced a home flood due to frozen pipes, there are flood remediation companies that can help you clean up the mess and repair any damage your home has sustained.

Electrical Fires and Your Business

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Install appropriate fire extinguishers throughout your buildings

Common Causes Of Electrical Fires In Your Business

When it comes to sneaky sources of flames and property damage, the 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, the best option for commercial kitchens where grease fires are a possibility
  • Wet chemical extinguishers, most appropriate for hot surfaces, such as in food service 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 buildings.

What Property Managers Should Do Before, During and After a Storm

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Be prepared

Steps To Keep Your Building Secure Before, During and After a Storm

When you manage a commercial property in Marlborough, MO, you may not always think about storm preparedness. Yet natural disasters continue to occur throughout the county. It is thus important to get your building ready for a hurricane or other severe weather event. Here are some steps you can take before, during and after a storm to keep the building secure.

Be Prepared

Before storm season even begins, property managers should come up with a detailed game plan for handling harsh weather. The plan can include evacuation routes and emergency contact numbers. You should also review your contract with any security personnel so you know what to expect from them following the storm.

Perform Necessary Grounds Maintenance

Any good storm preparedness plan also includes grounds maintenance. If weather forecasts indicate that a storm is coming, you should prepare the surrounding area accordingly. Make sure to remove any large rocks or tree limbs close to the buildings. You should also empty out all of the dumpsters.

Assist With Evacuation

Property managers should also provide evacuation assistance for tenants. In the hours leading up to the storm, engineers, front desk workers and managers should stay behind to help others get out of the building.
These essential property management employees should leave the area once a mandatory evacuation is announced. Make sure to give them your cell phone number or email address so they can find out when they to return to work.

Report Any Storm Damage Immediately

Once it is safe to return to the building, have your staff members inspect the property for flood damage. Take photos and videos of any issues and hand them over to the property owner. The owner can then contact a commercial building restoration services company for storm cleanup.
Your property management duties don’t stop during or after a major storm. If you follow the above storm preparedness steps, the flood cleanup process will be much smoother.