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Storm Damage Versus Flood Damage

9/22/2022 (Permalink)

summer rain with hail falling on the slate roof Hail storm

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.

Damage Defined
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

9/12/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall due to humidity 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

9/1/2022 (Permalink)

Burned debris in a kitchen area, 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.

Why Does My House Have Mold?

8/20/2022 (Permalink)

Hand pointing to mold growth on ceiling Mold damage in Crestwood, MO.

Why Is Mold Growing In My House?

The moment you get a whiff of a musty odor, you know your home in Crestwood, MO, has a mold problem. When that happens, it best to have a black mold remediation and restoration do the mold cleanup to ensure it is done properly. While it’s good to know someone is there to make it “Like it never even happened,” avoiding an infestation altogether is ideal.

Common Culprits
The key ingredient for any type of fungi issue is a moisture problem. Mold needs moisture, warm temperatures and food, which are various organic materials in your home, to survive, thrive and grow. Below are some of the main culprits that quickly lead to a black mold problem:

Humidity: As moisture evaporates, it increases the humidity levels inside your home. Your clothes dryer and HVAC system often play key roles in that increase.
Leaks: A hidden leak, even if it is a small drip, means water is pooling somewhere and dampening materials. Along with pipes, roofs are a common area for undetected leaks.
Condensation: From cold metal pipes to concrete floors and windows, varying temperatures increase the chances of condensation and mold.
Ventilation: When air isn’t circulating properly, it may mean a missed spill takes longer to dry or aid in increasing humidity levels.
Wet Clothes: Most of your clothing has organic fibers. As the water sits, it creates an ideal locale for fungi to grow.
Damp Basement: The lower level of your home often lacks good ventilation and has higher levels of moisture in the air. Since water follows gravity, leaks on other floors may naturally lead right to the basement.

Prevention Tips
Any unexpected moisture that lingers longer than 24 hours means you are increasing the chances of a colony growing and spreading to other areas. While mold isn’t entirely preventable, keeping humidity levels below 55%, immediately fixing leaks, insulating pipes and windows, running a dehumidifier, and ensuring good airflow are easy and cost-effective ways to minimize the chances of dealing with a massive problem.
Avoiding black mold means knowing common areas it is found and taking measures to keep those areas as moisture-free as possible.

Business Insurance Is a Lifesaver When Recovering From Water Damage

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Business Insurance form in a clipboard Business insurance policies alleviate tension from financial costs and massive restoration projects.

Three Reasons To Invest In The Policy

When saturation impacts commercial property, an owner may feel lost and exasperated trying to pick up the pieces. The premises are in danger of developing mold, rot and structural deterioration; thus, the exposure and lingering water damage demand prompt and methodical care to ensure the establishment in Webster Groves, MO, can reopen, free of hazards. Business insurance may be the lifeline needed to stay in operation and survive the repairs. 


1. Receive Necessary Financial Support
Proprietors may face complete building overhauls. Remediation includes tearing out walls and flooring, purifying the air and vent system and tending to the source of trouble. The entire space must be disinfected and dried. These tasks add up to thousands of dollars, which owners may not have immediate access to. Many insurance policies cover the harm broken pipes caused. Owners pay a deductible amount; insurance, then, fronts the cost for everything else (within the coverage range). Also, merchandise and electronics may be harmed. Personal loss coverage allows for a check to replace or salvage these items.

2. Secure Authorized, Certified Assistance
Water damage treatment isn't easy, and inadequate cleanup could lead to future complications and additional bills. The insurer insists on proper methods, including the hiring of a reputable, certified water remediation company. The experts hold IICRC credentials, national professional standards, which layout a framework for meticulous care. In addition, Commercial Drying Specialists investigate the impacted sections. These workers have taken additional classes to understand the best processes to dry and sanitize the space. They can organize an effective plan and determine which technology to use to air out the area.

3. Enjoy Backup Reviews
Water cleanup errors or missteps could permit mold to grow or structures to fail. The insurer looks over the bills, damages and estimates to see that all necessary steps occur. An extra set of eyes is support to avoid more issues.
Business insurance policies alleviate tension from financial costs and massive restoration projects. Having it to help with water damage is an absolute must.

What To Do When Your Fire Alarm Is Beeping

8/2/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke surrounding a smoke alarm Your smoke alarm is an important part of your home.

What To Do If Your Fire Alarm Goes Off

When you hear your fire alarm beeping, your first instinct should be to check for smoke or flames in your Affton, MO  home. If you do find a fire, get out of the house and call 911. Once the blaze has cleared, you should also contact your local fire damage cleanup specialists.


If there is no fire, your next course of action should be figuring out why your alarm was beeping.
Typically, a beeping smoke detector in the absence of fire signals that something is wrong with the detector itself. You need to make sure the device is working properly so it will alert you in the event of a real fire.


After all, a working smoke detector could give you a chance to extinguish the blaze before it causes severe fire damage. If your fire alarm is beeping when there are no flames, follow the below steps.

Reset the Device

Just like other electronics, a smoke alarm can be reset. Try turning off its power source, removing it from its bracket, and pressing down the test button for 15 to 20 seconds.

Change the Batteries

If you want to avoid the need for major fire cleanup in your home, you should change your smoke detector batteries every six months. Before taking the old batteries out of the device, be sure to note how they are placed in the alarm.

Clean the Alarm

Dust inside a fire alarm can also cause it to beep uncontrollably. The dust could also cause the detector to malfunction when there is actual smoke damage in your home. You can solve this issue by using an air blower to remove any debris.

Buy a New Device

If all else fails, consider buying a new smoke detector. Any alarms more than 10 years old should be replaced.


If you hear your smoke alarm beeping when it shouldn’t, you need to address the source of the malfunction as soon as possible.

Tips for Drying Water Damage

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Flooring removed on kitchen area, dehumidifier placed on kitchen area A dehumidifier helps remove the water in your home by evaporating water in the area.

Removing Water Damage

Water in your home or water in your business should be dried as quickly as possible after water damage has been assessed. Here are a few different ways you can try drying out after flood damage though you may want to hire an experienced water damage restoration company. Water cleanup can be harder than you think.

Drying Quickly

Mitigation of your water damage should be complete within 48 hours if you want to salvage your goods while avoiding mold and rust. If you're in an area that has low humidity, Start drying immediately by opening all the windows and doors to help with with air movement. Also, over all the closets and cabinets and all the drawers.

Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier helps remove the water in your home by evaporating water in the area. When you start using the dehumidifier close all the windows and doors. Since this will reduce air movement, you should find a couple of powerful fans capable of higher rates of air movement and place them throughout the area.

Removing Standing Water

A pump can be purchased to aid in water cleanup. If flood damage has left a large amount of water in your business, that water damage can be minimized if you work quickly. Mitigation can continue with a wet/dry shop vac. You can suck up water on the floor and even aid in the drying process with it.

Getting Rid of the Trash

Water damage causes many of your belongings to become ruined. You will have to remove all these objects during your water cleanup process can begin. Water damage restoration can't be completed until the drying is complete. Remove wet furniture and rugs to an area where they can get the sun and natural air movement. Remove any vinyl flooring that was victim to flood damage. Make sure you dispose of wet insulation as well.

Go With a Professional

Water damage and flood damage can be combated with silica gel packets that absorb moisture. Water damage restoration companies will be more efficient at removing water in business settings. Make sure that you contact someone right away.

Mitigation of both your water damage restoration project and water cleanup project can be taken into your hands, but it is smarter to hire a professional who has experience removing water in homes and water in businesses. If you don't do the job well enough, your house may end up being uninhabitable. Mitigation of the project should begin as soon as possible. 

3 Things to Look for in a Water Damage Restoration Company

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed on a long hallway of a commercial building Commercial water restoration in a building in Crestwood, MO.

Commercial Water Damage Restoration

It can be devastating to discover water damage in your property. You need to act quickly to get a professional out to your property to address the broken pipes immediately. Hopefully, you already know of a water cleanup company in Crestwood, MO to lend a helping hand, but if you do not, then here are some qualities to look for in an organization before you spend any money:

1. Insurances, Licenses, and Certifications

You do not want to hire anyone to work on your commercial building who is not accredited and certified to work in your state. Certification proves the contractor has acquired the necessary documents and has gone through training to clean up the damage concisely. Insurance is critical in case someone ends up suffering an injury on your property. If the water damage restoration company does not have insurance, then you could be liable and have to pay medical bills out of your own pocket.

2. Proximity

Time is of the essence when it comes to addressing flooding in your commercial building. You should hire a mold remediation company that can come out quickly because it only takes 24 hours for mold to begin to develop. Additionally, addressing the damage is sure to increase the likelihood of being able to restore valuables.

3. Experience

You do not want to address flooding in your building on your own because you likely do not have the supplies necessary to remove water. You also do not know how to properly repair damaged structures, such as drywall. The same principle holds true for the water damage remediation company in Crestwood, MO you hire. Always ask a contractor about the number of years he or she has worked in the industry. Hire someone who has been involved in this line of work for years as opposed to someone who just got a license.

How to Prevent Freezing Pipes

7/2/2022 (Permalink)

Faucet dripping Allow your faucet to drip.

Avoid Frozen Pipes 

Imagine hundreds of gallons of water flooding into your home. Frozen pipes can lead to this disastrous scenario due to the pressure that freezing water puts on a pipe that can’t expand; pressures can rise to over 2,000 pounds per square inch. So, pipe freeze prevention is crucial when you live in a climate that sees temperatures reach 20 degrees or below. Avoid frozen pipes by:

1. Letting Faucets Drip
If temperatures are expected to drop to 20 degrees or below, you should turn your indoor faucets on a slow drip. The constantly moving water keeps pressure from building up in the pipes.

2. Leaving Cabinet Doors Open
Every little amount of heat helps during extremely cold temperatures. Open cabinet doors to sinks to expose the pipes to the warmer air of the home. Also, leave the door open to any rooms that have plumbing but no air vents; these pipes are especially susceptible to freezing.

3. Wrapping Pipes
There are several ways to warm pipes. Electrical heat tape is the most effective method of pipe freeze prevention. It should be chosen for the most extreme climates. Thermostatically-controlled heat tape will automatically turn on when temperatures drop below a certain point.

4. Insulating Pipes
Foam insulation works well for more moderately cold climates. Foam insulation is easy to install; it’s usually just placed over the pipe.

5. Heating Unheated Areas
Unheated areas need to be heated to at least 40 degrees to keep pipes from freezing. However, portable heaters should never be left unattended, so it’s best to have a permanent heater installed.

6. Removing Hoses
Hoses that are attached to outdoor hose bibbs or sillcocks should be detached before the temperatures reach freezing. The water should be shut off to the faucet and the water drained.
Pipe freeze prevention is one of the most important proactive measures you can take during the cold weather months. If your Webster Groves, MO, home experiences a burst pipe, water damage cleanup experts can return it to its preloss condition.

Key Tips for Creating a Pet Fire Safety Plan

6/26/2022 (Permalink)

Puppy with an emergency kit Your pets need their own emergency kit.

Creating a Pet Fire Safety Plan: Key Points

When there's a fire emergency, it can be stressful to get everyone to safety, including your pets. Therefore, it's essential to have a plan in place for not just your family's well-being but any four-legged friends as well. Here are some important tips for pet safety if a fire breaks out at your Webster Groves, MO, home.

Have Necessary Supplies Ready
Just as you would have emergency supplies like water, blankets and first-aid kits for humans, your pets need their own supplies as well. This includes:

  • A stash of pet food
  • Additional water
  • Extra leashes, collars or other basic pet equipment

Keep these emergency items together in a safe space such as a car trunk in the event of a home fire.

Always Include Pets in Your Fire Emergency Escape Plan
Your pets are part of your family, so they should always be included in any emergency evacuation plans. Create an escape plan and practice evacuating with your family. During these practice drills, assign someone to take pets out of the home with them. Train pets to come when called to make evacuation easier.

Store Pet Documents Safely
When homes require extensive fire damage restoration services, oftentimes important documents are destroyed. Keep a fireproof box in your home with all your family's personal information documents, as well as pet documentation. Protect your pet's vaccination records and ownership papers as you would a passport or other personal documentation.

Prepare Alternative Shelter
If a fire displaces a family, their pets may not always be able to stay with them. An overlooked component of pet preparation is having an alternative shelter established in the event of a fire emergency. Ask a relative, friend or neighbor if a pet may stay with them under emergency circumstances.
Prepare to keep your pets safe in a home fire by having emergency supplies, practicing evacuation, storing veterinary documents safely and having an emergency shelter set up.