You Should Have Bought a Houseboat: Four Steps to Prepare for Flood Season
Flood season can be a scary time of year, and you don’t want to get caught in flood water without a paddle.
The idea of being stuck in a flooded building, or on the roof of your car in the middle of floodwater, is not appealing to most people. While living in Affton, MO, may mean that some level of flooding is unavoidable, it doesn’t mean that you have to be caught off guard when the waters rise. The four steps below will help you know your risk, prepare for potential danger, and plan for a possible emergency.
1. Know Your Zone
The easiest thing you can do to prepare is to know your zone. FEMA has designated most geographic regions, specifying their likelihood of flooding. If you are in a moderate to a high-risk area, then flood preparation is for you. FEMA designed flood zones to help homeowners and governments plan for emergencies and protect their properties.
2. Create an Emergency Kit
When floodwater starts rising, you don’t want to be scavenging for things. An Emergency Kit is a good idea to save valuable time when you need to get out of your house in a hurry. You should take note of medications, charging devices, and any other specific needs of individuals or pets in your home.
3. Make Sure You’re Covered
You should check your homeowner's insurance policy and make sure that it covers flooding. If your plan does not include flooding and you are located in a moderate to high-risk zone, you may want to consider getting the additional coverage to protect against any potential damage.
4. Update Your Contacts
Lastly, you should update your family and friends about any emergency plans, this way they’re in the know and can inform first responders. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt if you have the contact numbers of emergency services, and even restoration specialists for after the storm to clean up any water damage.
Flood season can be a scary time of year, and you don’t want to get caught in flood water without a paddle. You should take the time now, when things are safe, to plan and prepare for the worst.
You Never Expected Mold to Be so Costly
Once the mold has been located and identified, mold removal can begin.
The first evidence of mold is usually visual. Tiny spots appear on a wall and you try to clean them like dirt. Eventually, they spread, and you are forced to admit that you have a mold problem. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on mold removal, so you start considering other options.
• If you find a way to clear up this bit of mold, is the problem solved?
• Should you get some mold test kits and do your own inspection?
• Is there anyone out there who will diagnose your problem inexpensively?
The Cost of Mold Inspection Does Not Improve With Time
Bringing in a certified mold inspector is your best option. Expect a basic home inspection to cost up to $600 or more depending on the magnitude of your mold problem. Procrastination can only make the inspection and subsequent mold removal more expensive.
Another expense to consider is the cost to repair damage caused by the inspection. To find hidden mold, the inspector may need to open walls, woodwork, and ceilings.
The Cost of Removing Mold Can Be Astronomical
Imagine a home in Affton, MO. that has so much mold that black mold removal isn’t financially viable. The only other available course of action would be to destroy the mold by incinerating the building. Most mold problems are not this extreme, but it is common for homes with serious mold problems to cost tens of thousands of dollars for removal and subsequent repair. These costs would not be necessary if the mold problems were recognized and addressed in a timely manner. Perhaps spending a few hundred dollars for a prompt mold inspection isn’t such a bad idea.
The Time Has Come to Remove the Mold
Once the mold has been located and identified, mold removal can begin. Mold infestation is a common problem, so you can expect to find mold specialists nearby. They will finish the job that the inspector started, and your home will return to a mold-free living space.
Why Your At-Home Mold Testing Kit Is Not Always Accurate
If you suspect you have mold growth in your home don't rely on a DIY mold testing kit.
Why Isn't Your At-Home Mold Testing Kit Always Accurate?
Many homeowners use DIY mold testing kits to determine if their home has mold, but professionals warn that at-home testing kits are not always accurate. In fact, they rarely ever are. If you bought a mold kit in the hopes of keeping your home healthy, this post outlines a few reasons why it might be better to ditch the kit and reach out to a professional Grantwood Village, MO, mold remediation expert to perform a test instead.
An at-home testing device may not be accurate for the following reasons:
- They don’t come with expiration dates.
- They are notorious for providing inconsistent results.
- There is no controlled sampling.
- They don’t account for dead spores.
- There is no inspection.
Why You Should Not Rely on a DIY Mold Kit
Bacteria can accumulate anywhere and on any item. If a mold testing kit has been allowed to sit on a store shelf for years, or worse, in a damp storage compartment, the kit itself may have spores attached to it. There is no way for consumers to know this, however, because there is no expiration date to refer to.
In addition to there being no sell-by date, DIY kits are notorious for providing inaccurate results. Professionals have cited instances in which home kits detect an abundance of mold, but in which professional devices detected low levels of growth and vice versa. At-home kits cannot be relied upon to provide accurate results.
A controlled sample is necessary to evaluate the extent of the problem and determine whether or not one area of the home is, in fact, a problem area. However, most DIY kits don’t come with a dish to take a comparison sample. Additionally, at-home kits do not account for dead spores, which are just as harmful as live ones.
Finally, a DIY test kit cannot provide an inspection, which is key in mold remediation. Without a thorough inspection, you cannot know the true extent of your problem.
If you suspect that there is mold growth in your home, do not rely on a DIY mold testing kit. Instead, call in a Grantwood Village, MO, professional who can give you an accurate reading and advise you on how to proceed with remediation efforts.
4 Ways To Make Sure Broken Pipes Aren't a Problem When You're on Vacation
Hardfloor damaged by water
Avoid Leaky Pipes While You're Away From Home
When you take a vacation, you leave all of your worries behind. However, if you've ever come home to a flooded basement or living room, you know you have to take some precautionary steps to keep your trip worry-free. Following these simple tips could help you avoid leaky pipes while you're away from home.
1. Check for leaks. Before you leave for your trip, you need to make sure your plumbing is in working order. Check under sinks, by water heaters and at faucets for any signs of leaks or cracks. Make sure the hoses leading to the refrigerator, washing machine and dishwasher are in good condition and not kinked.
2. Fix any problems you find. If you did spot a leak, broken pipe, cracked appliance, or old hose, address the issue before your vacation. Fixing the problems now may decrease your chance of a flood filling your Lakeshire, MO, home. Water pipe repair should be addressed as soon as you find the problem.
3. Consider the weather. Do you live in a cold climate? If you're taking your trip during the winter, you need to worry about frozen pipes. To avoid the need for water pipe repair due to burst pipes, make sure any exposed pipes are insulated. You should also continue running your heat while you are away from home.
4. Have a backup plan. Even though you checked for problems and made repairs, something could still go wrong. Ask a neighbor or friend to check in on your home while you're away. Otherwise, consider turning the water off while you're gone to make sure there won't be any broken pipe issues.
No one wants to come home from a vacation to discover they have to schedule a water pipe repair due to a major flood. If it does happen to you, you can alleviate some stress by calling in a team of residential water damage experts.
Avoid Mold Growth Due to Winter Flooding
Add insulation to the pipes.
Reasons To Prevent Winter Flooding
When it's warm outside in Shrewsberry, MO, it's easy to forget about the risk of frozen pipes, but this is the best time of year to prevent winter flooding. Protect your pipes from freezing by learning to recognize the risks, taking preventative steps, and how to respond when pipes do freeze. Some of the most important reasons to prevent winter flooding are the risks of mold growth and property damage.
Freezing Water Expands
If you've left a cold drink in the freezer a little too long, you've probably experienced the results of water expansion. No matter what type of container water is in, when it freezes water expands and there's a tremendous amount of pressure on the container. Even metal pipes can break, leading to flooded basements and the risk of standing water where bacteria can grow. Watch out for:
- Pipes exposed to extreme cold, such as outdoor hose bibs, water sprinkler lines, and swimming pool lines
- Water supply lines in unheated areas, such as the attic, basement, garage, kitchen, or crawl space
- Pipes running along exterior walls where there's little to no insulation
Keep Things Warm
There are several things you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing. Once you've located problem areas, you can add insulation to the pipes. Protect them from cold weather as much as possible. For example, keep the garage doors closed to retain some of the home's warmth and open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to let warmer air circulate around the pipes. When the weather is very cold, let a bit of cold water run through the faucets. The running water will prevent the pipes from freezing. During especially severe cold snaps, leave the thermostat set to daytime temperatures at night and even when you're away from home.
Call a Professional
Finally, if pipes have frozen, contact a professional for help. While waiting for a response, leave faucets open to allow water to flow through the pipes and use a heating pad or space heater to warm the pipes. An immediate response is the best way to avoid flooding and mold growth.
Best Ways to Prevent Mold Damage
Mold damage can also be avoided with regular inspections.
The Most Effective Ways to Prevent Mold Damage
Are you a proactive business owner in Crestwood, MO? If so, you may want to start addressing mold and water damage before either is a problem. Taking preventative steps can help reduce the need for a major cleanup in the future. With the help of your commercial mold cleanup professional, you can finish projects in your building that could help prevent mold damage.
• Tackle Repairs: Promptly taking on repair projects can stop mold growth before it happens. Even small issues, like a slow leaking pipe, should be taken care of right away. If the small leak is left unattended, water may start to pool within your walls or under your sink. This pool of water can encourage mold growth in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
• Perform Maintenance: You can't always stop a pipe from bursting. Sometimes disasters happen without any warning. However, performing regular maintenance on your plumbing may help prevent water damage that could lead to fungus growth. A functioning plumbing system is less likely to malfunction than one that has not been repaired or cleaned in decades.
• Remove Humidity: Humidity can be a big problem in any commercial building. Managing the humidity levels and removing excess moisture from the air are big steps in mold prevention. If you leave your building with 70 percent humidity for a long period of time, your chances of mold growing in that environment are high.
• Schedule an Inspection: Regular inspections can also help prevent mold damage. An inspector can check every nook and cranny of your building for signs of mold. If the fungus is caught early, the cleanup process will likely be less intensive than if the growth had spread.
Being proactive in the maintenance of your building is the best way to stop mold damage from ever taking place. Knowing where water damage is most likely and watching that spot can help keep your business running smoothly.
Five Important Fire Escape Steps for Kids
Nothing is more important than kids’ safety.
Five Fire Escape Steps For Kids
A home fire is a devastating event that one wants to go through. If you have small children in your Lakeshire, MO home, it is extremely important that they know how to safely escape the home should a fire occur. Below are five kids safety steps that will help keep your most precious family members safe in the event of a fire.
1. Fire Crawls
Kids should learn two ways to crawl out of the house. The first is getting down on all fours and putting forearms flat on the ground. Keep your nose to the floor like a dog sniffing. If the heat is too strong, keep your legs down, too.
2. Bed Rolls
Heat rises, so it’s important that children roll out of their beds instead of sitting up. Kids should turn or roll until their heads are facing the ground by the side, then put their outside hands down and slide to the floor.
3. Door Checks
Opening a door quickly can cause a flashover, when a fire gets a burst of oxygen. Kids should first feel the door. If it’s warm to the touch, they should slowly open it. If fire or smoke is visible, they should close the door right away.
4. Get Out or Get Help
For kids safety, find a secondary route in the event the main way is blocked. Teach kids how to open and climb out of a window if on the first floor, or to open a window and call for help if on a second floor. Older kids can learn how to use a fire escape ladder.
5. Stay Out
After a child escapes a home fire, they shouldn’t reenter for any reason. Tell them to wait outside and that firefighters will work on rescuing anyone left inside.
Nothing is more important than kids’ safety. Once everyone is out safely, you can start the remediation process.
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 homeowner's 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 in 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 the 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.
Best Ways to Get Rid of That Nasty Sewer Smell From Your Building
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.
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. It 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.
Fire Damage Crestwood - A Look at the Different Types of Smoke Damage
Fire damage in a Crestwood, MO home.
Different Types of Smoke Damage
While it’s true that fire damage in Crestwood, MO can be devastating, the smoke produced by the fire can cause substantial residual damage. Unlike the fire itself, smoke travels everywhere, including areas of your home that were not directly involved in the blaze. If not properly treated, smoke damage caused by even the smallest fire can make your property unlivable. As a result, smoke damage restoration is a primary concern during the fire restoration process.
Smoke damage resulting from fire damage in Webster Groves usually falls into four different categories. They include:
Dry smoke is usually the result of fast burning, high-temperature fires and emits a musky odor. Due to its powdery-like consistency, professionals can often remove it easily from solid surfaces. Unfortunately, it can become trapped in porous or cracked surfaces, where it is extremely challenging to remove.
Wet damage has an especially pungent smoky and is most often the result of a fire that burns slowly at low temperatures (often referred to as smoldering). This odor is the product of the sticky, thick film of residue that it often leaves behind on surfaces. Needless to say, this type of smoke damage is the most difficult to remove from both structures and belongings.
Produced when oil or a substance that is oil-based catches fire, petroleum smoke is extremely dark and has the potential to stain and discolor anything it comes in contact with. However, it is relatively easy to clean up using a degreasing agent.
Protein smoke, as well as the almost overwhelming odor it produces, is often the result of organic materials or food catching fire. Although the soot it produces tends to be difficult to see because of its light color, it is easy to feel. Despite its light color, it has the potential to damage the color of wood surfaces permanently.