Recent Posts

Support Children in Need in Kenya

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is excited to be a part of supporting children in Kenya, Africa. 

Our owners, Kevin and Rachel Thole along with others decided to pursue buying land and constructing a building for 18 children. With this facility there are opportunities to provide ongoing support and resources. 

Visit and see how you can be a part of the vision to change lives and make a difference. 

The Top 10 Sneaky Places Mold Hides in Your Home

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Top 10 Sneaky Places Mold Hides in Your Home At the first sight of water or mold damage, call SERVPRO of Affton / Webster Groves.

The Top 10 Sneaky Places Mold Hides in Your Home

Mold is pretty easy to spot when it shows up on old bread or around the walls in the bathroom, but unseen mold growth could be hiding in lots of out-of-the-way places in many Groves, MO homes. Spores hang in the air naturally and are a part of the environment. When airborne spores make their way to sources of organic matter with warmth and moisture, they can take hold and quickly establish colonies. In just an hour, a colony can double itself on moldy drywall.

Handle Existing Mold

When you find mold on wood, walls, and other home construction materials, there are certain things you should do to avoid spreading the spores.

  • Close off the area to prevent family members tracking spores throughout the house.
  • Remove water and prevent moisture from getting into the area.
  • Contact mold removal professionals to clean it.

It's easy to find DIY solutions to this problem, but you can't be sure you've completely resolved the issue without appropriate testing by mold remediation professionals. 

Check Common Hiding Spots

Where are the most likely places to find colonies of mold and mildew?

  • Detergent chambers, drip pans, and lint traps in appliances, such as the washing machine and the refrigerator
  • Inside chimneys, between the bricks, and around the chimney cap
  • Around window sashes and seals
  • Inside sink cabinets, at the base of the sink, and around pipes
  • Behind drywall and on the wood framing of the home
  • Underneath laminate and other flooring materials
  • Ducts, drain pans, and coils in air conditioners
  • Damp dishes that you don't use regularly
  • Inside the garage

You can avoid mold growth problems in these places by keeping a close eye on them. Take preventative steps such as caulking around windows and water fixtures, cleaning out rain gutters, and immediately addressing any leaks.

Keep Your Home Mold-Free

Mold growth can happen to any home, but annual professional inspections are a great way to prevent trouble. Keep a close eye on potential problem areas and complete home maintenance for preventative care.

4 Ways To Restore Damaged Documents

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 4 Ways To Restore Damaged Documents A dehumidifier can be helpful for gently drawing out moisture

Content Cleaning and Document Drying

Documents can sustain damage during any disaster. If the contents of a residence have suffered water or storm damage, the following steps may be helpful. Other document restoration methods may be necessary for papers damaged by exposure to smoke and soot or mold. Find out more about content cleaning, document drying and other services an all-in-one restoration company can provide.

1. Remove Excess Water

Documents damaged by flooding, a pipe burst, water leak or storm may become waterlogged. Removing excess moisture is the first step toward restoration. A homeowner can begin to mitigate damage by placing paper towels above and below each sheet of paper and regularly switching out these towels until most of the water has been extracted.

2. Air Dry and Dehumidify

Document drying is the next step in the document restoration process for materials with water damage. Restoration professionals may recommend leaving documents out to air dry. A dehumidifier can be helpful for gently drawing out moisture.

3. Freeze Dry

Documents that are not completely dry after 48 hours are at risk for mold growth. Fungus thrives where moisture and a food source, such as cellulose in paper, are both present. Homeowners can freeze documents separated with wax paper on the coldest setting. A restoration service can perform vacuum freeze-drying to vaporize moisture.

4. Remove Dirt and Debris

Once documents are dry, restoration professionals may attempt cleaning with specialized equipment. Depending on the condition of a document and the presence of contaminants, it may be necessary to make a copy rather than trying to salvage the original.

These document restoration methods are useful for water-damaged papers at a household in Crestwood, MO. Smoke damage or mold may call for other treatments offered by SERVPRO. The type and degree of damage will determine whether documents can be kept or should be copied prior to disposing of the originals.

Your Building Envelope: Keeping Your Building Dry

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Be it via flooding, snowfall or old-fashioned rain damage, moisture entering your building can have dire consequences. Just a limited amount of water exposure can lead to things like mildew, peeling paint and even the dreaded black mold - all hassles nobody wants to face. This can be especially menacing during storm season, but it doesn’t have to be. Your building has a remarkably effective water prevention tool via its natural building envelope, but only if that envelope is built properly. Learn how your envelope should work to keep your Webster Groves, MO, building dry in a storm.

What Is an Envelope

Your building envelope comprises the exterior of your building, capable of repelling the elements. By using elements like:

  • structural integrity
  • moisture/temperature control
  • air pressure boundaries

it repels the sources of unwanted moisture. When it’s built properly, your building’s envelope protects you and your belongings from rain, snowmelt, groundwater and all of their unpleasant side effects. When it fails, however, things can get ugly.

Why Envelopes Fail

There are several reasons why a structural envelope can be ineffective against rain damage, starting with design deficiencies. If builders use materials that don’t work well together or don’t meet performance criteria for a specific environment, your building may struggle to keep moisture out. This can also happen when materials fail, and is common among sealants, glasses and metals.

Another threat is simply poor workmanship. Inexperienced or time-strapped workers sometimes cut corners, resulting in an envelope not installed per the manufacturing specifications. Even with the best installations, however, extreme winds, driving rain or dramatic temperatures can overload a structure’s envelope, making it vulnerable.

When properly designed and maintained, a building envelope does an amazing job keeping your building airtight. Be sure to schedule regular inspections to make sure all elements of your envelope are intact and your risk for suffering rain damage is minimal.

Don’t Panic: Here’s How To Put Out a Grease Fire

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Don’t Panic: Here’s How To Put Out a Grease Fire In Affton, MO grease fires can easily get out of hand fast.

How To Put Out a Grease Fire

You’re quickly trying to put together a five star dinner in the kitchen when all of a sudden you start to smell smoke. You realize that you let the oil in the pan get way too hot, and now you have a fire on your hands! In Affton, MO grease fires can easily get out of hand fast. Instead of panicking and watching your house go up in flames until firefighters come to save the day, follow these steps to put it out:

1. Call for Help

At any point, if you feel the fire is quickly getting out of hand, make sure to call 911 and get help right away. It is also a good idea to call in a fire damage repair company who will be able to deal with fire cleanup afterwards.

2. Don’t Reach for Water or a Towel

People often wrongly assume that dumping water on the fire will quickly solve the issue, but this isn’t true when dealing with a grease fire. Also, don’t try to swat away the fire using a towel since this will only make the flames spread.

3. Turn Off the Heat

You’ll have a hard time getting the fire to go down if you allow it access to more heat. Quickly turn your stove off!

4. Cover the Flames

Use a metal lid or other metal object like a cookie sheet to cover up the fire. Oxygen provides fuel to fire, so covering it will keep oxygen away from the flames.

5. Dump Baking Soda or Salt

Both baking soda and salt can help stop a fire in its tracks. While baking soda is fit for smaller fires, salt can be effective on even large fires. Use all that you’ve got to try and smother and absorb the fire.

Hopefully you will never have to deal with a grease fire in the first place, but don’t hesitate to follow these steps if your cooking ever literally goes up in flames!

Top 3 Hidden Places Mold Can Be Found in Your Home

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Top 3 Hidden Places Mold Can Be Found in Your Home Mold damage on a wall in Crestwood, MO

Top 3 Hidden Places Mold Can Be Found in Your Home

Remediating the issue of mold growth in your home in Crestwood, MO can be frustrating due to the amount of time and the cost of the remediation process. Though mold is often visible, there are several places within homes that many homeowners do not realize are susceptible to mold.

1. Under Laminate Floors

Many people may not realize that there is mold under their floors until the floors need to be fixed or replaced. Generally, mold grows under laminate floors when moisture seeps through the laminate. Unfortunately, if mold is present under floorboards, there may be structural issues with the home if there is mold on wood present in the subfloors. Signs of mold under laminate floors can include a musty odor.

2. Drywall

If you notice mold growth on the outside of your walls, it is likely that there is also mold behind the walls. Moldy drywall is common in humid environments but can occur in homes in cooler environments that are not well-ventilated. When moisture is trapped in the walls, mold uses the drywall for a source of nutrients. Keeping the walls in your home dry and making sure your home doesn’t become too humid can help to prevent mold from growing on drywall and walls.

3. Under Sinks

Mold often grows close to water, which makes sinks the perfect location for mold to grow. High humidity levels in rooms where sinks are often placed also helps to contribute to mold growing under sinks in homes. Though many people keep their sinks clean, it can be easy to overlook underneath the sinks. Mold can grow on pipes, on wooden cabinets and on other materials under a sink.

Knowing the hidden locations mold can grow in your home can allow you to take steps to prevent mold growth in those areas. If your home is experiencing a major mold issue, however, you may find it helpful to work with mold remediation specialists.

3 Factors That Can Influence a Fire Damage Restoration Estimate

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Factors That Can Influence a Fire Damage Restoration Estimate Commercial property in Affton, MO suffered from significant smoke and fire damage

3 Factors That Can Influence a Fire Damage Restoration Estimate

When a fire hits your business or Affton, MO, commercial property one of the first things you may consider is getting an estimate for the restoration costs. There are many professional restoration teams that can take care of the many repairs that come with fire damage, but the type of repairs they need to conduct and the costs can be affected by a number of factors. Here are three that could play a part in the quote.

1. Additional Damage Types

When receiving your quote, fire damage may not be the only type of cleanup required. In many cases a fire can also lead to water damaged caused by fire suppression systems or broken pipes. Smoke remediation may also be required. Your damage assessment professional will look at all these factors when factoring your quote.

2. Cleansing Services

The estimate given by your restoration team may also be influenced by the necessary cleaning services required to get everything back to pre-fire condition. These may include smoke odor removal, cleaning of furniture and upholstery, electronics cleaning for affected technology, and in some cases document restoration.

3. Extra Services

Many restoration companies offer additional services you may need to get your property functional again. These can include board up services to protect the building from additional damage during the restoration, debris removal, security services for lengthy repair work, and even help with the insurance claim. The use of these services may have extra costs attached, and should be indicated in your quote.

When receiving a commercial fire estimate it’s important to understand that a number of factors may play into the final price. In addition to standard fire damage clean up, your restoration team may look to see if there are any additional damage types such as smoke odor removal or water damage. You may also have options for cleaning services for damaged items, including documentation and furniture. Additional costs could come from other services you choose to take advantage of as well.

Steps to Cleaning a Flooded Basement

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Steps to Cleaning a Flooded Basement Water damage to a hardwood floor in Webster Groves, MO

Steps to Cleaning a Flooded Basement

A house flood can happen unexpectedly, and if you live in Webster Groves, MO, you may come home one day to find a flooded basement. Insurance coverage will vary according to the policy, and after the initial shock and aggravation, it will be important to find out exactly what damage from a basement flood will be covered by your homeowner or flood insurance. Many insurance companies will connect you with professional water damage services that will do the heavy clean-up for you. In the meantime, you can begin initial cleaning of your waterlogged basement to prevent prolonged structural damage from the standing water. Here is where you can begin.

1. Choose Your Pump

You have got to begin the process of getting the water out of the basement. Depending on how much there is, you can either use a shop vac or a gas-powered pump. A shop vac plugged into an upstairs outlet can be used for a few inches of water. On the other hand, a deep basement flood requires extreme caution and usually a gas-powered pump is the best way to go to prevent electrocution.

2. Trash the Appliances

Any appliances that you have in the basement will most likely need to go. Appliances that have been in a flood usually cannot be salvaged, and this recommendation also includes any outlets, fixtures, or electrical motors that have been under water. Gas appliances and fixtures will likely have to be discarded as well.

3. Evaluate the Drywall and Floors

If the drywall has been under water, it will have to be removed, as will insulation. If these items are above the water line, they can often be salvaged. Flooring most likely will need to be replaced. Carpet can sometimes be dried and put back.

A basement flood can be a nightmare for any homeowner or renter in Webster Groves, MO. Being proactive in cleanup until the professionals arrive can give you a sense of control in an uncontrollable circumstance.

3 Methods For Detecting a Washing Machine Leak

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Methods For Detecting a Washing Machine Leak Check to see if the machine door is properly sealed

3 Methods For Detecting a Washing Machine Leak

When life gets busy and you rarely find yourself in your Affton, MO, home, it can be difficult to keep up on the maintenance around the house. Therefore, it becomes easy for a few things to start falling apart, or in this case, springing a leak. If you’ve come across water damage in your laundry room, here are three methods for detecting a washing machine leak and protecting your residence from further problem areas in the future.

1. Fill the machine to find the exact source. If the washing machine seems the most likely culprit of damage from consistent moisture, it’s time to do some investigating. The best way to accurately check your washer is to run it through the fill cycle when it’s empty, pulled away from the wall so you have access to the hoses to see if and where a leak has occurred.

2. Inspect the washing machine’s pump. A drainage pump, located in the inside bottom of the machine, is used to unload the water from the interior during different cycles. If a washing machine leak is detected when you’re running the drain or wash cycles, remove the back panel and look at the pump to ascertain if there’s any water spilling through due to a shoddy clamp or a loose hose.

3. Check to see if the machine door is properly sealed. Front-facing washing machines can often have problems with the door catch. Look over your washer door to see if the seal is faulty or worn enough to allow water to pass through; if so, it’s time to replace it to prevent further leakage.

When you’re dealing with growing water damage in the laundry room of your Affton, MO, home, and you’re having trouble finding the source of the problem, it’s smart to search for a washing machine leak first. If the situation has caused extensive harm to your residential property, water damage restoration specialists are key to helping you fix the issue and repair your home as quickly as possible.

Stay Safe in the Kitchen This Holiday

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Stay Safe in the Kitchen This Holiday Test your smoke alarms in your Webster Groves, MO home before the holidays

Did you know that the winter holidays are the times when most home cooking fires happen? It’s popular to celebrate the holidays with family and feast, but the additional chaos brings more opportunity for accidents. Give the firefighters in Webster Groves, MO, a break, and make some plans to keep your family safe from fire damage this holiday season.

Top Ten Holiday Kitchen Tips for Fire Safety

Additional people and extra cooking mean you have more risk than normal, so it’s a good time to make sure you are extra careful in the kitchen. Take some time before everyone arrives to prepare the kitchen for holiday safety. Here are some kitchen tips for before and during the holidays:

  1. Test your smoke alarms before the holidays.

  2. Clean your stove and oven to reduce grease buildup.

  3. Keep kids and pets out of the cooking area, using a physical barrier if necessary.

  4. Cook only when you are alert. Falling asleep with food on the stove is a common way fires start.
  5. Don’t leave the stove unattended while cooking.

  6. Plan to be home as long as it takes to cook your turkey or other large items.

  7. Keep clutter off the kitchen floor so you have plenty of room to move around the cooking area.

  8. Ensure that cords are not hanging where they might be snagged by someone walking by or grabbed by children.

  9. Keep flammable items away from the stove. Make sure your guests aren’t using the stove as a landing pad for food packages, paper towels or oven mitts.

  10. Don't put out a grease fire with water. Use a lid and turn off the heat.

You can really help reduce risks and keep your family safe by following these simple tips. Most of this advice comes down to staying alert in the kitchen.

If you need help to clean up after a fire, count on a fire damage specialist to get you through it. Unlike most contractors, these professionals deal specifically with fire recovery and can guide you through cleanup, repairs, and care for your personal belongings.