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4 Cooking Tips for Preventing a Kitchen Fire

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 4 Cooking Tips for Preventing a Kitchen Fire Kitchen fire in a Webster Groves, MO home

4 Tips You Should Implement to Prevent a Kitchen Fire

Every time you prepare to cook in your kitchen, it is important that you are aware of your surroundings and any potential fire hazards around you. The National Fire Protection Association states that cooking fires are the biggest cause of house fires, and the primary cause of cooking fires is unattended cooking. Here are four tips you should implement to prevent a kitchen fire in your home in Webster Groves, MO.

1. Stay in the Kitchen While Cooking

Never leave the kitchen when food is grilling, frying, boiling, or broiling. Even if you are roasting or baking food in the oven, stay close by and check on it regularly. Never leave the house with the oven or stove on to prevent extensive fire damage.

2. Keep Flammable Objects Off the Stove

Always make sure flammable objects like oven mitts, towels, or food wrappings are off the top of the stove. Even if you’re not using the stove, you can accidentally leave a burner on or the oven might get hot while baking or roasting something.

3. Roll Up Sleeves and Tie Back Hair

One of the most important tips for keeping yourself safe while cooking is to roll up long sleeves and tie back long hair. Also, avoid loose sleeves and other clothing that might get in the way and catch on fire while cooking.

4. Clean Up Grease Right Away

Prevent a grease fire by frequently cleaning oil and grease off your stovetop. If hot grease splatters while you’re cooking, quickly wipe it up.

All of these tips are great ways to prevent a kitchen fire from starting in your home. Remain attentive to your cooking, and act quickly if you see or smell something burning. In the case that a fire does start, be prepared to call 9-1-1 and have the number for fire damage cleanup services posted in your kitchen so you can quickly get the fire put out and cleaned up effectively.

Severe Weather and Apartments

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Severe Weather and Apartments Enact a detailed storm preparedness plan to protect your business in case of a weather emergency.

If You Are a Property Manager, Learn How to Protect Your Site and Your Occupants

If you are a property manager or small business owner in Affton, MO, you may have responsibilities to those who use your space. Learn how to protect your site and your occupants with a few simple storm preparedness considerations.

1. Vigilance

Don't wait until a storm is bearing down on your location to seek out information. Use a reliable local weather forecast to determine whether you should schedule work if you have employees, or notify your occupants if you manage rentals. Prevent storm damage by lashing down any large objects that could become windblown hazards. Responsible property management requires an emergency action plan in case you need to evacuate the area during high winds or flooding.

2. Evacuation

For optimal storm preparedness, your evacuation plan will need to involve a number of elements. If you have machinery that needs to be powered down in an emergency, make sure that a competent staff member is on the job. If you have children or elderly occupants in your rentals, keep a record, since this demographic is the most likely to need assistance when leaving the premises. Ensure that all insurance information and legal documents are in a secure safe immune to fire and flooding.

3. After Effects

Be sure to comply with any direct evacuation orders or other ordinances, and stay away from the affected area until an "all clear" is given. When you return, federal disaster management officials and insurance adjusters may need to speak with you regarding disaster relief or compensation. Have documents and proof of ownership ready, as this may assist you in getting the flood cleanup professional help that you need. Do not enter any buildings that have contaminated standing water or damaged electrical equipment.

A little negligence now may cut costs temporarily, but you could be responsible for the damages later on. Enact a detailed storm preparedness plan to protect your business in case of a weather emergency.

Steps To Take For Storm Damage Recovery

4/27/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Steps To Take For Storm Damage Recovery After the wind and rain of a severe storm die down, the scene of destruction may seem overwhelming.

After the wind and rain of a severe storm die down, the scene of destruction may seem overwhelming. You may wonder what to do while you wait for help to arrive. You may wonder what steps you need to take to put your life back together. If your property has been damaged by downed power lines or wind-blown tree branches, there are several steps you can take. Use the following storm tips to guide your actions.

Think of Safety First

Storm conditions can cause dangerous situations:

  • Collapsed roofing or walls
  • Standing water in the basement
  • Shattered glass or exposed nails
  • Damaged gas lines

In many situations, it's best to arrange for a temporary place to stay while your home is repaired. Contact property restoration professionals who can secure your property from further damage and take the first steps toward reconstruction.

Record the Damage

When you have approval to safely enter your property, make photographic records of the damage. Include as many pertinent details as possible in these records. For example, you might write down the brand name and age of your appliances. Thorough records help ensure that you get adequate payments from the insurance company.

Understand the Specifics of the Damage

The steps you take may vary if the storm damage includes flooding or if it led to fire and smoke damage. Consult professionals in your area to get tips regarding safety, cleanup, and local laws. You may also get valuable advice about how to protect yourself from secondary damages.

Check Out Federal Disaster Relief

If the extent of storm damage was severe enough that the federal government has declared a disaster area, you may have access to low-cost loans. This funding can help you get your property back into its pre-damaged condition. You will need to provide specific documents and file those with the federal government to secure these loans, so be sure to keep your paperwork as safe as possible.

These storm tips should help you get started on the journey of getting back to normal. Work closely with Affton, MO officials for a safe, orderly process.

The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Water Damage

4/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Water Damage As soon as water covers areas inside your business, the damage is considered primary.

You have probably encountered someone that had water flood his or her home or business from a busted pipe, an unexpected storm, a backed-up sewer, or a leaky roof. As the water flows into unexpected areas, the result can be extensive water damage in building materials and office furniture as they begin soaking up the liquid. If the area is not cleaned and dried swiftly enough, black mold may even be the result. But did you know there are two types of water damage that can result from the flooding water?

Primary Water Damage

As soon as water covers areas inside your business, the damage is considered primary. If the water is clean, as from

  • a broken pipe
  • a running hose
  • an overflowing bathroom sink

the area can be cleaned and dried quickly with little or no resulting problems. If the water is a gray or black category, the area can still be cleaned quickly, but the contaminated nature of the water means the area needs disinfection efforts before it can be considered safe to move back into.

Secondary Water Damage

The damage that occurs after, but concurrent to, a water infiltration event is considered secondary damage. High humidity during a water problem can often exacerbate the situation and cause black mold to grow and corrosion to set in, and both are considered secondary problems. If building materials soak up water, another form of secondary type damage may result in electrical problems or wood floor delamination. Since most secondary problems are difficult to see, it often takes a trained water damage specialist to notice the tell-tale signs.

Trusting your commercial building restoration to a specialty team after a water flood issue may seem unnecessary, but hidden secondary problems such as black mold can cause extensive restoration costs if not caught early. Keep your building safe in Affton, MO by addressing the flood waters as soon as they occur.

3 Things You Should Know About Mold

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Things You Should Know About Mold Mold is everywhere and is therefore a common occurrence in many buildings.

Mold can be a frustrating problem for a Affton, MO business, but you may find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Mold is everywhere and is therefore a common occurrence in many buildings. Mold remediation can help to remove the problem and keep your business running smoothly. Here are answers to a few questions that you may have about mold.

1. What Is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that can be found in many environments, both indoors and outdoors. It spreads through mold spores and grows best in warm, moist conditions. There are many different species of mold, most of which are not harmful. However, some molds release a mycotoxin that can have more damaging effects.

2. Why Does Mold Have an Odor?

The reason that mold smells the way it does is because of the mycotoxin that it produces. It is a toxic substance that can create a very strong odor. Because of this, you will sometimes be able to smell the mold in your building before you see it. If you have a musty odor in your building, you can be almost certain that this is the cause.

3. How Can You Get Rid of Mold?

This question is a bit more complicated. Because mold is present nearly everywhere, it is not really possible to get rid of it completely. However, a professional mold remediation service can help. Its professionals will clean up any areas that have excessive mold growth and can also help prevent it from returning and causing damage to the building. Because mold thrives in moist environments, keeping up with regular maintenance and repairing any leaks right away are a good way to prevent further problems.

Mold can grow quickly, so if you see a growth or smell an unpleasant odor from the mycotoxin, don’t ignore it. Calling a professional service to help remove the fungus as soon as possible is the best course of action.

Welcome to the Team, Kelly!

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

It’s possible you may already know, but the Thole and Lang family SERVPRO’s just added an accomplished member to the team.

Kelly Kordick, of Iowa and Arizona fame, is joining the team as our Manager of Marketing.

Kelly comes with 9 years of experience from an Arizona SERVPRO where she was a meaningful and important part of that team.

During her years in Arizona Kelly established herself as a professional and a major team contributor. Everything that Kelly has accomplished she’s earned herself. She started in the SERVPRO world as a SMR and over time worked herself into the Sales and Marketing Manager role where she continued to thrive.

She has substantial experience in Storm response having been a Storm Team estimator for multiple disasters including Hurricane Sandy and the 2016 Boulder Floods.

Kelly brings a lot to the table and has the skills and that certain “know-how” to help our franchises reach greater heights of success — in other words, 2019 is going to be a good year.

We are proud and excited to have Kelly on the team and we are looking forward to what the future brings.

Thanks for joining me in welcoming Kelly to the team.

-Team Thole and Lang

SERVPRO of Oakville / Mehlville, SERVPRO of Affton / Webster Groves and SERVPRO of Clayton / Ladue

Locally Owned Providers Mean Faster Response to Disasters

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Locally Owned Providers Mean Faster Response to Disasters SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many insurance providers because they give reliable and honest results and are “faster to any size disaster.”

Locally Owned Providers Mean Faster Response To Disasters

When businesses in Affton, MO suffer from the effects of fire or water damage, it can be catastrophic and in some cases, can make or break their sales. That is why it is critical to retaining clients that the damage and repairs be completed as quickly as possible, so customers don’t get in the habit of taking their business elsewhere. Dealing with SERVPRO, a well-known water damage remediation company known for living up to their motto of “faster to any size disaster”, will yield the most satisfactory results.

1. Locally Owned

With locations in neighborhoods all over the country, you can keep your dollars local and thereby support the communities by contracting with a SERVPRO professional water damage remediation company in the area. A local provider can handle the assessment of the situation, mitigation of damage to reduce loss and remediation or repair of a water or fire disaster.

2. Working With Providers

Professional and aware, such providers work tirelessly to ensure that they meet insurance company criteria for their clients in order to help an insurance claim be approved. They want both the insurance company and the client to feel good about the results. SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many insurance providers because they give reliable and honest results and are “faster to any size disaster.”

3. Fast and Efficient

A service provider that knows that time is of the essence in dealing with disaster situations will jump on board right away. Calling the locally owned company that is quick to help is the smart choice. Water left to seep into wood supports or sheetrock can mean tearing out some of the main structure and rebuilding. Gaping holes left in a roof or walls following a fire could mean looters or weather damage. Using the pros that get started right away and stay on task until things are set to rights, will ensure the best results.

Working with a local professional service provider who has an interest in the community ensures business and insurance companies in Affton, MO that the “faster to any size disaster” company has their best interest at heart as well.

3 Tips for Checking for Leaks in Your Bathroom

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Tips for Checking for Leaks in Your Bathroom If you do find water damage or a plumbing problem, it's best to contact a professional as soon as possible.

3 Tips For Checking For Leaks In Your Bathroom

If your Affton, MO has experienced a bathtub leak you may be wondering how to locate any other leaks that could occur in your bathroom. Fortunately, many water damage professionals recommend looking at a few key areas. These include

1. Checking the Drain Area

In some cases, if you have a shower pan leak, checking the drain area may give you some indications. In many cases, the first signs of a leak may show up around the drain and related pipes. This includes crawl spaces or behind walls where the pipes from the drains may be routed. A plumbing professional may be able to tell you some other signs you should be looking for.

2. Checking the Room Below the Bathroom

If you've experienced a bathtub leak then you may want to check the room below the tub to see if you can find any signs of water damage coming from above. This may include discoloration of the ceiling, soggy or peeling paint, or signs of dampness on the floor below where water could have dripped. In the event you find water damage, then you may want to contact a water damaged professional to take care of any repairs.

3. Checking for Wear and Tear

It's important to look for signs of wear and tear whenever inspecting your bathroom for possible leaks. Look for spaces of loose grout, peeling caulking, chipped tile or concrete, and for other general signs of frequent use. If you know the age of your bathroom fixtures, then you may be able to find other recommendations of things to look for from the manufacturer.

Whether you have a bathtub leak, a shower drain problem, or an issue with the bathroom sink, looking at these things may help you find a leak before it causes water damage. If you do find water damage or a plumbing problem, it's best to contact a professional as soon as possible.

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)

Why SERVPRO 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.