How to Get Your House Ready for High Winds
Storm shutters are the finest way to secure your windows.
Preparing Your House for High Winds
When the weather gets windy, we all know that it can be dangerous. But did you know that high winds also pose a serious risk to your home and family? In fact, according to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), nearly half of all tornado-related deaths are caused by flying debris—and 90 percent of those deaths occur in homes. That's why it's so important to take the necessary precautions ahead of time to ensure your home is ready for these potentially deadly storms.
Clean Up the Yard
To secure your home, you’ll want to remove all loose items from your yard. This includes:
- Decorative tree ornaments (such as lights and ornaments) that aren’t securely fastened to a tree trunk or other solid surface
- Excessive lawn furniture (like the massive patio sets) that could be blown away by high winds
Remove any dead or dying branches and cut back any branches that are overhanging the house from all trees in your yard. Also, trim back any branches that are touching the roof of your home, as this can cause damage to your roof in high winds. If you have a tree in close proximity to power lines, it is important that you do not trim those limbs because they could come into contact with those power lines and cause an electrical hazard. Finally, make sure not to trim back a tree near a swimming pool if there are children playing around it!
The best way to secure your windows is through storm shutters. If you don’t have storm shutters, you can board up your windows with plywood to prevent flying debris from damaging the window. Another alternative could be window clips. Although these are not as secure as plywood or shutters, they are a good option for a limited time. Window clips can be purchased at most hardware stores and will do wonders for preventing damage to your home when the wind kicks up. They're easy to install, so there's no reason not to do it!
To secure the plywood with nails, hammer in a nail near each corner of the window or door. Then, pull out the nail and move over 1/4 inch and hammer it back down again. Repeat this process until all four sides of the window are covered with nails. To secure plywood using screws, use a screwdriver to drive two small screws into each side of the plywood that faces inward toward your house (this could be between siding boards).
Reinforce the Doors
You can reinforce your doors with weather strips and door sweeps. Weather strips are made of rubber and stretch across the opening where the door closes, sealing out air and moisture. Door sweeps are similar but have a metal band attached around them to help keep out water and other debris.
Both products come in different sizes to accommodate any type of door, so make sure you measure your frame before purchasing new ones (you may need to look for a custom-sized model). Once they're installed on your doors, they're not that hard to clean or maintain—simply wipe them down occasionally with a damp cloth if they get dirty or dusty. And if you live in an area where hurricanes are frequent, take extra care because these two items will be exposed to high winds!
Brace your Garage Doors
You can install a 2x4 to brace the garage door. The 2x4 should be placed horizontally on top of the door and secured with rope or chain.
To properly brace your garage door, you will need:
- A large wooden board (a 2×4)
- Two small wooden stakes
- Rope (or chain)
Prepare your Roof
To prepare for high winds, you'll want to make sure that your roof is in good shape. First, remove any debris from the roof. This can include leaves and other plant particles (as well as insects) that may be caught up in the gutters or on the surface of your home's exterior walls.
Next, check over any areas where repairs have been made and ensure they're still secure by fastening them again if needed. Check for leaks around pipes or vents; these are especially common areas for water intrusion during storms.
High winds can cause extensive damage to your home. You may be able to save thousands of dollars in property damage and medical bills by taking some simple steps to protect your home from high winds.
Why is it important to protect your home from high winds?
If you follow these tips, your house will be ready for the storm! If you do experience storm damage, give SERVPRO of Affton/Webster Groves a call! We will get your Crestwood, MO home back to normal in no time.
Mold Remediation After a Flood
Mold cleanup is only one call away
When you have a flood, it's important to get the water out of your home as quickly as possible. But that's just the first step—you still need to deal with any mold growth that was caused by the flood. We've put together this guide on how to remove mold after a flood in order to help you recover quickly and safely after your disaster.
When you're at an Affton, MO home or office after a flood, it is important to wear long sleeves, pants and gloves to protect your skin. You should also wear goggles when cleaning up any standing water in order to protect your eyes from dust particles. Note that your socks and shoes will likely have mold growing on them after being exposed, so be sure to take those off before entering mold free areas. You may also want to consider wearing a respirator mask if there are high levels of airborne particles that can be inhaled into the lungs (such as after a flood).
Check Thoroughly for Mold
You will need to check thoroughly for mold. Mold can grow in tiny, hard-to-see places. Be sure you are checking all throughout the house to ensure you don’t miss any:
- Check the backs of cabinets.
- Look in hidden areas like behind the refrigerator, under sinks and in crawl spaces.
- Check for mold in hard-to-reach places like behind a wall or under the floorboards.
- Do not neglect to check for mold on your walls and ceilings if you have water damage from a flood or leaky pipes.
Get Ready to Clean
After the flood, you’ll want to start cleaning up as quickly as possible. Mold can grow at an alarming rate and soon spread throughout your home in ways that are difficult to contain.
A good scrubbing brush or sponge will help remove mold from surfaces such as drywall or plywood. Use hot water mixed with detergent to clean these areas thoroughly, paying special attention to any stains where water may have been trapped for a long time. If possible, wear gloves and protective clothing (like long sleeves) so that you don’t come into contact with any mold spores yourself during the cleanup process! If you do end up getting some on your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water before it has a chance to get into your system through open cuts.
Goggles should also be worn when dealing with any kind of cleanup project inside—these keep your eyes protected against airborne particles without obscuring vision too much for safety reasons! A respirator mask is recommended if there's more than just light dusting around (more than 1/4 inch thick).
Dealing with Porous Materials
You'll have to decide what to do with your porous materials. Porous materials like wood flooring, drywall, or ceiling tiles that have been wet for more than 48 hours should be thrown away. You can clean and dry carpets within 24 hours—but if you have carpeting it is important to get it cleaned as soon as possible (within 24 hours) so that mold does not grow in the fibers of your carpet.
It's important to take care of any mold growth in your house as soon as possible. If left alone, mold will continue to grow and spread throughout your home—so it's crucial that you remove it quickly and completely. If you suspect that you have a recurring issue with mold growth or if there is a history of flooding in your area, consider hiring an expert to check up on your home regularly. Your professional should be able to find any signs of water damage or potential sources for future leaks (such as faulty plumbing) so they can be repaired before they cause further damage.
Now that you know how to deal with mold, you can put the power in your hands to prevent it from growing on your property. Remember that prevention is key when dealing with this issue because once you have a mold problem, it’s difficult to completely get rid of and may take months or even years before it goes away completely. When you have a serious mold problem in your home or business, the best course of action is to call SERVPRO of Affton/Webster Groves!
What To Do About Water in Light Fixtures
Water in light fixtures often indicates larger problems with your home's roof or plumbing
What To Do If This Occurs In Your Home
Water damage can manifest in a variety of ways, including water in light fixtures. The following steps outline what to do if this occurs in your Affton, MO, home.
1. Disconnect the power and water. This step is crucial for ensuring your safety. Go to the breaker box and cut off the power to the area of the house where the water-damaged light fixture is located. Do not touch the fixture or light switch until the power is off. Next, turn off the primary water valve. If you are able to locate the main valve inside the home, cut off that one. It should be on the side of the house facing the street. If you cannot find that valve, go outside and turn off the water at the valve near the meter. The meter and valve are usually located under a metal panel near the street.
2. Address the source of the water and dry the property. When the power and water are off, you can work on preventing more damage from occurring. The ceiling damage that leads to water in light fixtures generally occurs as a result of a pipe or roof leak. You may have to tarp over the roof or call a plumber for help fixing a pipe break. If there is standing water, dry it up using a wet/dry vacuum, pump or buckets. A certified restoration service can help with drying out standing water, but it is important to act quickly to avoid further damage and mold growth.
3. Call an electrician. Hire a professional electrician to replace the light fixture. They have the skills to do this safely. Do not turn the power back on and do not work on the light fixture yourself.
Water in light fixtures often indicates larger problems with your home's roof or plumbing. Fortunately, there are professionals, including electricians and plumbers, that can help you with all of these issues.
How To Prevent Water Damage To Your Home
Keep rain gutters clear
How To Protect Your Home From Water Damage
Water damage is a serious problem that can lead to mold and mildew growth, as well as costly repairs. In some cases, it can even be dangerous if it goes unchecked for too long. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent water damage in your Webster Groves, MO home. By following these tips and being mindful of your surroundings, you will be able to keep your home safe from any unwanted moisture problems:
How Can Water Damage Affect Homes?
Water damage can cause serious problems in your home. The effects of water on your home's structure, as well as the mold that grows after this damage has occurred, are very serious and can lead to costly repairs or even complete replacement of the damaged areas.
Water can quickly cause electrical issues in your house. In some cases, electricity may have been running through an area before it was flooded with water, causing short circuiting or other electrical issues. This could pose a fire hazard or even be fatal if there is no way for you to get out of the house once trapped inside due to malfunctioning doors or windows which cannot open properly thanks to water damage.
Keep Rain Gutters and Downspouts Clear
A clean and secure gutter system should be your first line of defense against water damage. Cleaning gutters regularly will ensure there are no tree branches, leaves or other debris that could become lodged in the downspout. If you notice a buildup of dirt or grime on your roof, it’s time to clean your gutters.
If you have clogged or damaged gutters, water can leak into your home through both corners that meet at an angle (called valley joints). In addition to keeping them clean and free of debris, it’s also important to have any broken sections repaired immediately so they don’t lead to leaks later.
Do Not Leave Dishwashers or Washing Machines Running When You Are Not Home
If you leave the washer or dishwasher running while you are not home and something goes wrong, it will cost thousands of dollars to repair the damage. You may think this is an unlikely scenario, but it happens more often than you think. Many people have experienced massive flooding in their homes because they left their washing machine running empty or did not properly secure their dishwasher door when they were done with a load of dishes. The best way to prevent this from happening is by following the simple rule that if any appliance has water flowing through it when you leave your house, turn off the water supply before leaving so nothing can leak out during your absence
Check Pipes and Hoses For Cracks or Leaks
You can do this by turning off the valve at the meter or basement floor and looking for drips or pools of water. You should be able to hear a leak, but if you can't then try placing a dish towel where you suspect there might be one and wait for it to absorb any moisture that may have gathered there. If it does, then you know that's where your leak is. If not (or if there isn't any moisture), then turn on the faucet; if no water comes out after 10 minutes of waiting, then check all places where pipes could possibly lead into the walls (ex: behind toilets).
Check your heating system once every month during winter months so that you're ready to fix broken parts before they cause bigger problems down the road!
Check Around Your Water Heater
A leaky water heater is usually the first sign of a water problem in your home. It's important to check around your water heater and look for signs of water on the floor underneath it. If there is no drain, it's possible to create one by drilling a hole into an exterior wall, running PVC pipe through it, and connecting it to an existing drain.
If you find that your tank is leaking or cracked, then replacing just the tank may be enough. However, if this doesn't solve the problem then repairing cracks in pipes using epoxy can also work well.
When To Call a Professional
- When the damage is too extensive.
- If you are not sure what to do.
- If you are unsure of the source of the water.
- If you are not sure how to fix it.
It’s important to avoid water damage in your home as much as possible. If you notice any leaks or signs of water damage, call a professional immediately.
3 Easy Tips to Prepare for a Storm
Flooded business in Lakeshire, MO.
Prepare For a Storm
Some storms can pass with little to no impact, while other storms may be utterly devastating. If you’re about to be hit with a storm that may flood water into your home, it’s important that you prepare for it. The more prepared you are, the less your home will be impacted by water damage and the less your flood specialist will have to deal with.
1. Protect Against Flooding
You can take on this first step before there is any sign of a storm. It’s preferred that you flood-proof your home before there is a problem with flooding. First, you can make sure that your basement and walls are sealed with a waterproofing compound to give it a defense against the flood. Second, if you know that a storm is coming, you can construct barriers to stop the flood water from getting into your home.
2. Protect Yourself and Your Belongings
If a flooded building is imminent, then it’s time to be prepared for the water. First, you need to make sure that your valuables are on higher ground. If you have an upper floor, move your valuable items there. Additionally, you should make sure that all of your utilities are turned off from their main switch and disconnect all electrical appliances. When there is a flooded building, it’s possible that water could cause an electrical situation if these items are left on.
3. Pack an Emergency Kit
If you know that there is going to be a flood, it’s possible that you will only have to deal with the pain of water removal once the storm is over. However, in more serious scenarios, you may be required to evacuate. Always have an emergency kit with extra clothes packed and kept dry away from the flood.
Flood water can strike anywhere, and it can strike anyone. You should never be underprepared when dealing with the prospect of water damage in Lakeshire, MO.
What To Expect After a Partial Fire Loss
Exterior fire damage
What to Expect Following a Minor Fire Loss
When your facing a partial loss, it can seem like the entire world has fallen apart. However, this is not always the case. In many cases, partial losses can be addressed in a way that will get your life back to normal quickly and easily. You just need to know what to expect after a fire or another disaster happens in your home or business.
While partial losses do not have to cause as much damage as a total loss, they still cost money and time to fix. Why? Because they are often more expensive than a single replacement item would be if you were not suffering from a partial loss. For example, if your car is damaged in an accident and the door needs replacing but not the entire vehicle, you will likely have to pay significantly more for this service than if you had purchased just one new door instead of having it repaired at all.
A partial loss can take longer than expected to fix because there are multiple parts involved in any given repair job—and each part may need replacing before proceeding with the next step in fixing your home or business property after it's been damaged by fire or floodwater. This means that even though part of what makes up your building might still be OK after being flooded out (say because only one room was affected), it's gonna be harder work getting everything back together again once everything has dried out enough so that repairs can begin properly.
Before the Disaster
You should come up with a plan for when disaster strikes. Your plan should include information about how you will exit your home, where everyone is going to meet up after they leave their homes, and phone numbers of local shelters or hotel options in case everyone needs somewhere else to stay until the damage from the fire is cleared away (if this is possible). Make sure everybody knows what kind of clothing they need for different weather conditions as well as whether or not pets are welcome at these shelters or hotels.
You should also create a checklist of what items need to be taken out first during an evacuation so that when things get hectic there will still be time left over at the day's end for everything else—including saving some money on insurance premiums by making good decisions now.
Take Action Quickly
Partial loss fire restoration can be a stressful process. However, it's important to remember that there are many steps you can take to speed up the process and make sure your home is restored as quickly as possible.
Ventilation is key in a partial loss situation, as smoke damage will occur if the area isn't properly ventilated before any work begins on restoring the property.
Once you've decided whether or not it's safe for your family or pets to return home (or if they should stay somewhere else), ask your property manager about how long it will take for repairs to be completed so that you can plan accordingly. If there's damage from flooding, it's best to wait until after all repairs have been made before moving back into your house; this will allow any mold present in your walls time enough to dry out without being exposed again by living within those walls at a high humidity level day after day.
Insurance companies generally pay for certain types of repair work when it comes to water damage restoration, so it's important that you know what kinds of repairs they cover, but they don't cover everything. For example, if there are any items missing from your home after a flood or sewage backup (such as furniture or appliances), then the insurance company may not be responsible for those losses unless they were specifically listed on your policy as being covered by the policyholder at no extra cost. Similarly, if some parts of your house have been damaged by mold growth during this time period then those costs aren't typically covered under most policies either since mold growth is considered an "act of nature" which usually isn't included in most standard forms within homeownership programs in particular situations like these ones.
A partial loss can be a scary thing, but it doesn’t have to be. If you take the right steps and do your research beforehand, then you can minimize the damage that comes with these kinds of fires. When you experience a loss - partial or whole, SERVPRO of Affton/Webster Groves is here to help restore your St. Louis home or business.
3 Steps To Creating a Viable Continuity Plan for Your Business
Having a business continuity plan in place can help you get back to business as soon as possible.
Three Steps to Developing a Workable Business Continuity Plan
When a water disaster impacts your Grantwood Village, MO business, one major concern you may have is how the damage is going to affect your customers and employees. A work stoppage can have a significant impact on your business and cause you to lose time, money, and clients. However, having a business continuity plan in case of a flood or other disaster can help you be better prepared and reduce downtime, and there are a few steps you can take to create this plan.
1. Understand Your Needs
Before you can create an emergency response plan that works for you, it is important that you understand which facets of your business are the most important in case of a flood and where you would put your focus first. Creating a business impact report might help you address these needs and allow you and your managers to follow a unified plan in case of a disaster.
2. Create a Strategy
Once you understand your company’s needs when it comes to preventing or reducing a work stoppage in case of an emergency, it is important that you identify strategies that may help you fulfill them. Consider factors such as what financial resources you might have to make repairs and what kind of recovery options you might have at hand. Review these with your managers, and work to close as many resource gaps as possible.
3. Organize Teams
Creating effective teams to manage a work stoppage can be an important aspect of any business continuity plan. Because there are many facets to managing this issue, having informed teams organized and ready to react to an emergency can be vital to getting your company up and running again as soon as possible.
When your Grantwood Village, MO business experiences a disaster such as a flood or fire, a work stoppage can seriously impact its success. Having a business continuity plan in place can reduce this type of disruption and help you get back to business as soon as possible.
Storm Damage Versus Flood Damage
Storm Damage Versus Flood Damage
You might not see a huge difference between storm and flood damage, but your insurance company sure does. It's absolutely vital to make sure that your Shrewsberry, MO, business is covered for both types of damage. Getting to know the ins and outs of your specific insurance policy can help prevent you from suffering thousands of dollars in property damages.
Differentiating between the two types of damages can be tricky. Insurance companies typically label the accident as storm damage if the destruction was a result of one or more of the following:
- Heavy rainfall
- Cyclones or tornadoes
- Hail storms
- Hurricanes or other tropical storms
While it is absolutely possible for the above incidents to cause flooding, your insurance company won't see it that way. Ever since the Queensland floods in 2011, the Insurance Code of Practice has defined flood damage as "the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any lake, river, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified, or any reservoir, canal or dam."
How to File a Claim
If your commercial building is covered, then you need to file your insurance claim as soon as possible.
Contact your insurance company to report the damage.
Separate your damaged property from your undamaged property. Don't throw anything away until your insurance agent has inspected it. Take plenty of photos of the damage as well.
Create a list of damaged items inside the building. Take photos and provide standard information, such as the items' models, serial numbers, and brand. If you still have any receipts or bills, include them in the report.
List any structural damage that you want the insurance adjuster to notice. As always, take plenty of photos.
Both severe storms and floods can cause massive amounts of water damage, but your insurance company still treats them like separate accidents. Make sure to contact remediation experts if your commercial building has recently suffered from storm or flood damage.
4 Things You Should Know About Mold Growth
Mold damage in Affton, MO
Things To Know About Mold Growth
It is not unusual to find mold growth in an Affton, MO, building. However, there are some things about this common problem that you may not know. The following information may be helpful if you find yourself with an infestation.
1. What Is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that needs moisture to grow. There are many varieties, so the appearance of the growth can range in color and texture. You may find green, black or orange mold in your building, and it might be fuzzy, slimy or powdery depending on the particular type.
2. Where Does Mold Come From?
This fungus is spread via mold spores which are too small to be seen with the naked eye. They often travel on air currents or on shoes and clothing. Mold is present in many environments but does not usually cause any trouble unless high humidity or another moisture problem creates the right conditions for growth.
3. How Do You Know if You Have Mold?
You may not always be able to tell right away if you have mold growth in your building. If it is located in an area that is difficult to see, the first sign might be a musty odor. In other cases, it can show up as a discoloration on surfaces such as walls and flooring. If you find mold or suspect that it may be growing, a mold damage remediation company can perform an inspection to locate and remove it.
4. Can You Prevent Mold?
The good news is that mold can usually be prevented by keeping moisture levels low. One way to do this is to have any water damage repaired as quickly as possible, whether that is something severe like flooding or a seemingly small issue like a leak. Dehumidifiers can also be helpful if there is a lot of moisture in the air.
In most cases, mold growth is no reason to panic. It is usually harmless and can be removed with the help of a professional. Taking steps to prevent it from growing or returning can limit the damage that it causes.
Fire Damage Event in Your Home
Fire damage in a home in Shrewsbury, MO.
As restoration specialists with extensive experience in handling house fire damage, the professionals of SERVPRO are aware of the difficulty for you to cope with the trauma of a conflagration. It's important to be prepared when a fire strikes your home in Shrewsbury, MO. The following list can help you decrease stress, increase personal safety and limit damages.
During a Fire When At Home
1. Check Your Doors Before You Open Them.
Before you open your doors, look under them to determine if any smoke is being emitted. In the event that there is smoke, move to another door for exit. If you don't see any smoke, make sure that you place the back of your hand against the door before opening it. A very warm door indicates that the fire may still be in full effect. If there are no doors through which you can safely exit the home, try a window.
2. Exit The House
As soon as you realize fire is taking place, you need to get out of the house. Although you may want to grab personal belongings that are of sentimental or monetary value, consider safety first.
3. Do A Head Count
After you and your loved ones have exited the home, make sure all the family members are safely out.
After a Fire
4. Call The Red Cross, if necessary
The Red Cross will direct you to a safe place where you can find food and shelter for the night. This is an option that hopefully, you will not need.
5. Call Your Insurance Agent.
Your insurance agent will send out an adjuster to evaluate the fire damage. Also, inquire if your insurance company has a working relationship with SERVPRO. Hundreds of insurance agencies and property management companies do have SERVPRO on their speed dial, and a quick phone call can dispatch a fire damage restoration expert to your home within the hour. A careful assessment, inventory documentation, and action plan can already be initiated.
6. Don't Reenter Your Home.
Be sure not to go back into your living space until you've been cleared by the local fire department.
7. Compile Important Documents.
Get all of the important records and documents you can find together. Take computers and laptops for digital records.
8. Keep Receipts Of "Disaster Expenses."
Make sure that you're keeping records of any expenses you incur due to the disaster.
Getting You Back Home
The team from SERVPRO will offer outstanding customer service. You will always be in the loop as to the progress of the fire damage restoration progress in your Shrewsbury, MO home.