Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Our Newest General Manager!

6/21/2022 (Permalink)

Employee photos. Congratulations to our newest General Manager, Steve Burgdorf!

It’s time to announce our newest General Manager, Steve Burgdorf! Starting as a part-time employee over ten years ago, owner Kevin Thole says Steve has been instrumental to our mission and growth, rising through the ranks to his newest position.

In addition to his glow-up (featured above??), Steve has gained invaluable wisdom in the world of restoration and serving others. A typical day in the life of Steve includes showing up early and working late, solving problems and making sure operations run smoothly and efficiently. And while he’s great at those things, Steve’s favorite part of the job is helping people who have had their lives upended from property damage get back on their feet. There’s always something new, and the opportunity to see others reach their personal and professional goals gets Steve excited every day.

Steve is inspired by the positive and optimistic people around him — an optimism he also reflects — and relishes a challenge. Even when days are long and tough, Steve says that it is rewarding to know you’ve made a positive difference in people’s lives, and that makes everything worth it.

Thanks for all you do Steve! You’re a rockstar!

Stay tuned for an announcement regarding Steve’s other promotion this week!

Why You Should Avoid Drain Cleaners

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Drain cleaner ads, water pipe detergent with clear pipes section in 3d illustration Many people turn to drain cleaners for clearing clogs.

Drain Cleaners Should Be Avoided

Commercial properties often require the assistance of dedicated maintenance staff. The staff is responsible for maintaining all property components, including plumbing. A clogged drain is a common issue for maintenance staff, but not all employees treat the problem in the best way. Many people turn to drain cleaners for clearing clogs. Experienced plumbing professionals in Shrewsberry, MO, strongly advise against using such cleaners for several reasons.

1. Drain Cleaner Is Aggressive
Commercial cleaners are often more aggressive than necessary for breaking up clogs. The chemicals can wear down pipe surfaces, reducing the integrity of the system. Often, traditional sewage cleaning is a better solution than using cleaners. Augers and other tools scrub the pipe without damaging it.

2. A Cleaner Will Not Clear a 100% Blockage
A clogged drain can be partially blocked or completely blocked. A partially blocked pipe may be cleared using a gentle cleaner, but no cleaner will break through a 100% blockage. Instead, a maintenance or plumbing professional will need to use an auger or a drain snake. The snake physically digs into clogs, breaking them apart and removing them.

3. Cleaners Do Not Mix Well
Sometimes, people can get overzealous when trying to break up a clog. They may go through several cleaners, thinking one is better than the next. Unfortunately, mixing cleansers can present a safety risk. Mixing chemicals can lead to dangerous reactions, which can damage your plumbing further. If you want to try a cleaner for your drain, stick to using one product.
Often, a clogged drain is not a significant problem; an auger or drain snake can make quick work of it. However, using a cleaner for drains can make matters worse. Therefore, instead of trusting commercial cleaners, contact a local plumber and ask about the safest and best ways to clear a blocked drain.

How To Identify Black Mold

1/23/2022 (Permalink)

Mold contamination on a wall. Mold contamination in a home in Crestwood, MO.

Assessing the Presence of Mold

Black mold or stachybotrys is one of over 100,000 different species of mold. This species can be difficult to identify visually, as it is not always black in color. An environmental hygienist should perform a mold inspection and analyze samples to determine which type of mold is growing at a residence in Crestwood, MO. Here are several guidelines for assessing the presence of mold.

Locate the Colonies

A homeowner may look for indications of house mold. Keep a few basic guidelines in mind:

  • Do not attempt to cut holes in walls or disturb contents to find hidden mold
  • Avoid touching or otherwise disturbing colonies, as this may release spores
  • Note moldy odors, which may indicate the presence of mold

Mold releases microbial volatile organic compounds during its growth cycle. The musty odor is not necessarily caused by the presence of spores, but by off-gases.

Consider Colors and Growth Patterns

Mold may vary in color at different points in its growth cycle. This is one of the reasons why attempts to visually identify fungi may not be accurate, and a mold inspection is necessary. Stachybotrys may be dark green in color during the early stages of growth. This species is also not fuzzy and does not grow in geometrical patterns like some other species.

Hire an Environmental Hygienist

The best way to determine whether mold is present and identify the type of fungus is to have a specialist come to a residence and take samples. Depending on whether mold growth is immediately evident, a hygienist may take air samples to test for signs of mVOCs or spores to cultivate in a petri dish.

A mold inspection is the only way to obtain a definitive answer regarding whether black mold is growing in your home. Look for an environmental hygienist located in Crestwood, MO, or schedule a consultation with a full-service mold remediation company.

Important Smoke Alarm Replacement Tips

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light A smoke alarm can alert you of a fire, destruction is not always preventable.

Smoke Alarm Tips

With all the time you spend in your home in Shrewsberry, MO, you want to know that you will be prepared and promptly alerted if a fire occurs. With each smoke alarm in your home replaced as necessary, you can feel confident that they will alert you in case of a fire.

1. Frequently Replace Batteries

Thanks to technological advances, alarms do not need to be replaced as frequently as they did in the past. However, just because the alarms themselves need to be replaced only every 10 years or so, this does not mean you can go years without replacing their batteries. A smoke detector should have its batteries replaced once a year.

2. Test Your Alarm

Even when you replace the batteries of your smoke alarm as needed, dysfunctions can still occur. Checking every alarm in your home once a month can help ensure that each alarm is functioning as it should. With most alarms, you can do this by pressing a button labeled ‘test.’ When testing your alarm, be prepared for the loud, consistent noise it will emit. If you don’t hear this response, it may be an indicator that your batteries need to be replaced.

3. Listen for Beeping

A smoke detector or alarm that needs new batteries will often spontaneously make a short beeping or chirping noise. Even if you have replaced your batteries within the year, the series of chirps may indicate that another change is required. If the alarm continues beeping after the batteries have been replaced, it might be time for a new alarm.

Keeping every smoke alarm in your home up-to-date is an important way to protect your home, yourself and your loved ones. Although these measurements can alert you of a fire, destruction is not always preventable. If your home suffers from a fire, you may want to contact experts in fire damage restoration.

Beginners Guide to Cleaning Small Areas of Mold

10/10/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on wall Mold can grow anywhere.

How To Clean Mold In Small Areas

When you think of house mold in Crestwood, MO, you may picture huge sections of fungus growth that have practically taken over the home. However, mold does not have to come in large groups. If you catch the problem early enough, you may find small amounts of mold growth. Even small areas of mold should be cleaned by a professional mold removal team. Typically, this problem is addressed through a variety of steps.

• Increase the ventilation. Certain areas of your home may be more susceptible to mold growth than others. Your bathroom, for example, may have a mold problem that keeps coming back. You can address this issue by increasing the ventilation in the space.

• Clean regularly. In those areas prone to mold, you should also try to clean regularly. Doing normal cleaning can help reduce moisture buildup and remove unseen mold spores. If you notice mold, it may be time to call in the professional help.

• Don't cover it up. If you barely have any house mold, it may be tempting to simply paint over it. However, you need to remove the growth before painting or caulking. If you skip straight to the cover up, your paint will start to peel off.

• Stop moisture problems. Even small sections of fungal growth are likely caused by excess humidity and water. If you want to clean up your home, you need to fix any leaks and address humidity issues.

• Use the proper cleaning agent. Experts know how to get mold off of hard surfaces and porous materials. Using the right cleaning agent can make it easier to completely remove the mold growing in your house.

No matter how much house mold you find in your living space, you need to make sure it is cleaned up as quickly as possible. Small sections of mold growth still require the proper knowledge to ensure the issue is taken care of correctly right away.v

You Never Expected Mold to Be so Costly

9/9/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. 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

8/19/2021 (Permalink)

Mold testing kit 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.

Qualities You Want in Your Remediation Company

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

shelves with boxes, air movers. The faster you get things back to normal, the faster you can get on with your business.

Qualities You Want To Look For Before Making A Final Decision

Choosing a disaster remediation company is an important decision that is often made under stress. You want to hire someone who only works with your insurance agent. There are a few qualities you want to look for before making a final decision.

Vendor Compliance
The disaster remediation company you choose in Shrewsberry, MO should have a vendor program that:

  • Has a customer care program
  • Has compliance checks
  • Meets insurance requirements
  • Has a quality inspection and assurance program
  • Meets insurance company requirements

Making sure that the company can assure you that all of their vendors can meet or exceed expectations can save you time and money in the long run.

Electronic Filing
Electronic filing helps you file claims faster and easier than ever before. When your remediation company does most of the work for you, it makes it even easier. Some companies work with your insurance agent to submit your claim the same day they do the assessment. This way your pictures, claim and damages are all sent at once, which takes some of the post-disaster stress off you.

Emergency Response
How your cleanup company responds to an emergency is important. Disasters do not only happen between 9 and 5. They often happen at the most inconvenient times. If your emergency happens in the middle of the night, you need a company that is there for you. You need a company that has 24/7 services like SERVPRO. They can get started on your recovery right away.

Offering Pretesting
A service that offers pretesting is a great way to make sure that your claim is processed quickly. During pretesting, the company assesses the damage and mitigates the problems. They can immediately make certain the water is off or that your inventory and belongings are drying. They can even begin the remediation process right away.
When you've suffered a disaster, you want a cleanup company that works with your insurance agent and can help you get your business back on your feet. The faster you get things back to normal, the faster you can get on with your business.

4 Things You Should Know About Mold Growth

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall 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.

3 Questions To Ask About Black Mold

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Stachybotrys Atha, black mold Stachybotrys Chartarum also known as black mold

Three Questions To Ask When It Comes To Identifying Black Mold

Finding a fungus spreading across the wall in your basement brings one alarming question to mind — is that a toxic mold? It might not be easy to tell, so here are three questions to ask when it comes to identifying black mold and getting rid of it.

1. What Does It Look Like?
Black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) stands out in two ways. First, depending on the stage of growth, the fungus will range from green to black in color. Because of its appearance, it can be confused with dirt or dust, making it harder to identify. Second, the mold has a musty smell that might remind you of damp soil. The smell is often noticed before the actual mold is discovered.

2. Where Is It Growing?
Stachybotrys chartarum prefers to grow in a warm, moist place with plenty of nutrients. It requires a constantly wet area, such as a room with an undiscovered leak or in a recently flooded home. The fungus grows on drywall, paper, wood and other materials that contain cellulose, because they are a good food source.

3. How Do You Get Rid of It?
Any mold problem should be taken seriously. While you might consider performing mold cleanup yourself, the job is best left to mold remediation professionals. They can identify the type of mold and start the steps needed for removing it from your home. After assessing the situation, these experts will go through the process of containing the mold, removing any infested material, cleaning affected objects, air filtration and restoration. By trusting your home to professionals, you can come out of the mold remediation process knowing that the problem has been solved.
Identifying and getting rid of black mold is no easy task, but with some general knowledge and the help of your local mold expert in Grantwood Village, MO, you can clean it up in no time.

Keep or Discard? Which Items You Can and Can't Save from Mold Damage

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

Moldy food Moldy food must be thrown away

Mold Cleaning Techniques

Mold and floodwater can inflict devastating amounts of damage to your home in Affton, MO. Picking through the wreckage can be heartbreaking, especially when sentimental items have been affected. While all hope might seem lost, there are certain mold cleaning techniques you can use to save your possessions.

Items to Throw Away
It's important to know which items simply cannot be saved when attempting to expedite your mold cleaning efforts:

Porous Objects: Because of their tendency to absorb water quickly, it's unlikely that you'll be able to save objects with porous surfaces. This includes items made of cardboard, padding, stuffed animals, upholstered furniture, carpeting, and mattresses.
Paper Products: While it is possible to restore these items, the process is rather costly and should be saved for sentimental items. Place any possessions you wish to preserve in the freezer to prevent mold damage from spreading.
Food Items: Moldy or water damaged food must be thrown away. The same goes for any water damaged food preparation appliances.

Items to Keep
Likewise, there are many types of objects that you can easily disinfect and keep:

Glass, Metal or Plastic Materials: Clean these items using either antibacterial hand soap or a homemade mixture comprised of 1 gallon of water and 1/2 cup of bleach.
Most Clothing Items: Time is of the essence with clothing, so make sure to wash them using regular laundry detergent as soon as possible. Leather clothing needs to be taken to a cleaning professional.
Electronic Devices: Appliances exposed to mold damage vary on a case-by-case basis. Any water-damaged electronics or appliances are potentially dangerous and need to be thrown away. You should consult a professional if you wish to restore these types of items.

Knowing which items to keep and which you need to get rid of can certainly help expedite your mold cleaning efforts. If you have any further questions or require additional help getting rid of mold, contact mold remediation experts as soon as possible.

How to Keep Your Company Free of Black Mold

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on a wall Mold damage in Grantwood Village, MO

Use The Following Tips To Keep Your Company Clean And Employees Safe

No business owner wants the unpleasant experience of removing black mold from the company ventilation system. Once that musty aroma begins to fill the air, though, there is nothing to do but work to eliminate the problem before it becomes more severe. In addition to using a professional mold remediation team, business owners are advised to use the following tips to keep their companies clean and safe for all employees. How to Identify Mold.   
The first step is obvious: identifying the source and severity of the problem. Black mold is easily identified by its color; despite the name, it is more of a dark greenish-black. Through a professional inspection, business owners can quickly determine the type of mold. Additional facts that can aid in identification include:

  • The presence of mold in wood, cotton and other permeable materials
  • A mildew-like or musty odor
  • Visible black spots or rings

This type of mold can cause serious damage, so it is important to identify it as soon as possible. The sooner the problem is identified, the faster a solution can be put in place. How to Clean a Duct System. Professional mold removal involves scouring the air ducts for the presence of spores and mold growth. It is important to have the insulation examined as well because this will need to be replaced if any spores are present. While the removal process is important, it is even more essential to find the source of the initial growth. Usually, wet spots caused by leaky pipes or ducts are the culprits. Only once business owners have truly clean ducts is the problem finally solved. Solve the Problem Quickly. When a business owner's company in Grantwood Village, MO is infiltrated by black mold, it is important to act quickly. In identifying the problem in its earliest stages, business owners can avoid the long-term effects of mold growth and ensure that their employees are protected from harm.

How Black Mold Takes Hold in a Home

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on wall on the top it says MOLD Stachybotrys Atra, also known as black mold

A variety of microscopic mold spores are present in small quantities in every home in Crestwood, MO. Most of the time, people do not know they are there and they don't cause any problems. However, under certain conditions almost always associated with an increase in humidity or standing water, the fungus can form into unsightly and unpleasant mold colonies. A number of types of mold can take hold in a home, including black mold, known by its scientific name Strachybotrys chartarum. Most types of mold can grow quickly under warm, moist conditions. Mold can grow on just about any surface in a home, though it tends to favor wood, cellulose, paper, and carpeting. It can quickly spread into other areas of the home.

The Necessity of Mold Cleanup

Whether a home is infested with black mold or another type of mold, it should be cleaned up by a professional mold mitigation company. If left to its own devices, mold can cause the following problems in a home:

  • Unsightly blotches on walls
  • Unpleasant odors
  • Structural damage to walls
  • Infestation of personal belongings
  • Serious damage to paintings and documents

The longer mold is allowed to grow in a home, the more damage it can cause to drywall, carpeting, upholstery, and other items. For this reason, it is better to address mold as soon as possible,

The Importance of Mold Remediation
A professional company has the tools and expertise to remove outbreaks of black mold from a property. Highly-trained technicians can perform testing to identify the presence of mold growth and come up with an efficient plan to eradicate the fungus. Workers will treat the moisture problem that created favorable conditions for the mold to grow. They will also contain the mold so it does not spread to other areas of the home. The mold will be killed and then scrubbed clean from all surfaces. When addressed properly, a home will be free of mold colonies and odors.

4 Reasons SERVPRO Is Faster to Any Size Disaster

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers and dehumidifiers drying a room in a house Water restoration in Shrewsberry, MO

4 Reasons SERVPRO Is Faster to Any Size Disaster

When you need cleanup services after a disaster, time is of the essence. A quick response is essential to mitigate damage and get your business up and running as soon as possible. Consider these four reasons SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster.

1. Franchises Are Locally Owned
Because the more than 1,700 SERVPRO franchises are locally owned, their disaster response team can be on the scene quickly whenever they are needed in Shrewsberry, MO. The highly trained professionals at your local SERVPRO franchise are ready to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

2. Preferred Vendor of Many Insurance Companies
As a trusted leader in the industry, SERVPRO is a preferred vendor of many insurance companies. This relationship helps your insurance claim be processed quickly and easily. Faster insurance processing helps SERVPRO be Faster to Any Size Disaster and helps get your property cleaned and repaired as soon as possible.

3. One-Stop-Shop
Some disasters cause more than one type of damage. SERVPRO offers commercial water, fire, storm, and other professional cleaning services. Instead of having to wait on multiple vendors to address all of your different cleaning needs, you can count on SERVPRO. Whatever your damage, SERVPRO professionals can make it “Like it never even happened."

4. Advanced Technology
Technology in the restoration industry is constantly changing. SERVPRO technicians are trained in the latest techniques and provided with the most advanced equipment to restore your property to preloss condition rapidly and effectively. SERVPRO uses specialized equipment to detect and measure moisture, extract water, dry outbuildings, remove odors, and sanitize property. These techniques not only thoroughly clean and restore your property, but can help prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms.
As a locally owned, highly trained, professional cleaning and restoration service, SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster. SERVPRO professionals can help you recover from any disaster and get back to business quickly.

How To Eliminate Mold Odors

5/9/2020 (Permalink)

Thermal fogging. Deodorizing equipment. Removes mold odors Thermal fogging may be necessary to eliminate a residual mold smell during mold remediation

Here Are Three Measures To Resolve a Mold Problem

Many mold species produce musty odors. Mold smell is often a clear indication of a moisture issue at a building in Webster Groves, MO. This characteristic odor originates with microbial volatile organic compounds released into the air during the fungal growth cycle. Mold remediation professionals will take three measures to resolve a mold problem and eliminate residual odor.

1. Locate Mold Growth
The first step toward solving a mold problem is to locate growth. A fungus smell may be more intense near active growth. This is only a good index if the air is not circulating throughout a structure. If you smell a musty odor, turning off the HVAC system and fans can prevent spores from spreading and make it easier to pinpoint the location of an infestation.
2. Remediate Mold Damage
Getting rid of every trace of an infestation is the best way to banish mold odor. In addition to removing mold and infested materials, it is also necessary to filter spores out of the air and clean air ducts to prevent the problem from recurring. Spores are not the source of a mold smell, and these measures may not be sufficient to eliminate microbial volatile organic compounds from interior air.
3. Use Deodorizing Treatments
Methods of deodorization such as thermal fogging or running an ozone machine or hydroxyl generator may be necessary to eliminate a residual mold or mildew smell during mold remediation. It is essential to remove mold prior to deodorizing a building. If spores are still present in a structure and moisture levels remain elevated, mold may start growing again and release more mVOCs into the air.
Cleanup professionals often filter the air in a structure after mold has been contained to capture spores and reduce odors. Deodorization may be pursued as part of the remediation process to get rid of mold smell after eradicating a fungal infestation.

Where Does Mold Grow?

3/29/2020 (Permalink)

Old faucet (water tap) over sink in the bathroom. Dirt Bacteria. Hard water stain of soap and mold. Time to clean. Copy space Mold and mildew growth require a water source

Mold damage to your Grantwood Village, MO, home can cause serious problems. Knowing where the growth is most likely to occur can help you prevent infestations.

Water Sources

Mold and mildew growth require a water source. This can come in many forms, from high humidity to flood waters. The following places are the most likely to have enough moisture to sustain a fungal infestation:

  • Bathrooms
  • Basements
  • Around leaks

The best way to prevent mold colonization is to keep your home dry. Repair leaks and clean up standing water as soon as possible. Keep the indoor humidity below 50%. You may need to run a dehumidifier or the air conditioner in wetter months. If the outdoor humidity is low, you can open windows and doors to help keep your home dry. A ventilation fan can home in handy in humid bathrooms.

Food Sources

Mold growth also requires a food source. Organic materials are excellent nutrient sources for fungi. Pulpy products, such as wallpaper and documents, are ideal. Wood, carpet, dust, and drywall can also support mold growth. If your home is especially prone to mold damage, you may choose to replace some materials in your home with their mold-resistant counterparts. An air purifier can help reduce the dust in your home. As an added bonus, the filter can trap the microscopic mold spores before they have a chance to grow.

Heat Sources

Mold and mildew also need warmth to grow. Temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit are most conducive to mold growth. Depending on your family's preference, your home may fall into this range. If necessary, you can run the air conditioner to keep your home below 70 degrees.
Knowing the conditions and locations ideal for an infestation can help you catch fungal growth early. However, if your home does suffer mold damage, you may need a certified restoration company to perform mold remediation quickly and effectively.

How the Pros Respond to Large-Scale Disasters

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of the SERVPRO office (outside) SERVPRO of Affton/Webster Groves

As a business leader, you've already got enough on your plate. When a disaster hits your workplace, you may feel helpless and not know how you can possibly recover. Fortunately, professional cleanup companies have the skill and experience to help you with disaster recovery in even the worst situations. When you need a quick response and reliable service, contact a specialist.

Advantages of Calling the Pros

Certified disaster cleanup experts have what it takes to get your business on track. Whether it's a fire, flood, storm damage or something else, the incident doesn't have to derail your business. The company provides the following benefits:

  • The technicians have the right equipment.
  • The company uses industry-standard techniques.
  • The company will respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For Widespread Disasters

For minor or moderate incidents, the disaster recovery team can have you back in business quickly. Of course, in the most severe circumstances, more effort is required. The cleanup company can mobilize its forces and send additional equipment and supplies to local franchises. The best disaster cleanup organizations have a team in Affton, MO, near you.

The Process

For storm response or to help you clean up and rebuild after another disaster, the company will first assess the damage and make a plan. Technicians will share this information with you so you know the time frame and how it will affect your business. Next, team members clean up the damage. This may entail removing water or addressing smoke damage. Crews will salvage any materials they can and will replace those items that are beyond repair. Restoration may include rebuilding the roof, foundation or other areas of the building such as flooring, walls or ceilings.
Disaster recovery doesn't have to be an impossible task. When you call upon a professional company with a strong track record of success, you can have peace of mind.

Tips for Putting Up a Temporary Security Fence

12/28/2019 (Permalink)

A woman is upset about her building which has burned down Fire damage in Marlborough, MO

Tips for Putting Up a Temporary Security Fence

When you experience a fire at your Marlborough, MO, commercial property, your buildings, inventory, equipment, and other belongings become vulnerable to theft and vandalism as a result of the fire. At this point, it's important to protect yourself against further losses, such as with a security fence. Other elements of protecting against losses include

  • Contacting your insurance agency
  • Waiting for professionals before removing or cleaning items
  • Making a written and video record of the damage
  • Saving receipts for all repair work

If you have sensitive information or dangerous substances on your property, discuss appropriate actions with the insurance company and the fire damage cleanup and repair professionals.

Security Is Your Responsibility

Although there will be several parties involved in the reconstruction of your fire-damaged property, including the insurance company, adjusters, the fire department, and cleanup and repair crews, you are ultimately responsible for making sure your property is secure. A temporary security fence is just one part of that effort.

Tips for Choosing Temporary Fencing

As you go about choosing the best type of fencing for your property, consider the following tips:

  • Understand the point of the fencing. Are you trying to keep everyone out or prevent goods from being removed from the property? Do you need multiple points of access? How will authorized people gain entry?
  • Consider the type of landscape surrounding your property. There may be some challenges and hazards to consider.
  • Make sure the fence is secure enough. You may require maximum security or maybe a simple fence will be adequate. Remember the main purpose of the fencing.
  • Balance your potential financial losses with the cost of installing temporary fencing.
  • Look for a reputable company. Ask for recommendations and check into past jobs.
  • Find out if there are any legal requirements regarding fencing. Hopefully, the professionals providing the temporary fence are familiar with these guidelines.

Carefully consider your options as you secure the safety of your buildings and belongings. Remember that the aftermath of a fire is a particularly vulnerable time for commercial properties. Discuss the need for a security fence and further steps with the professionals you've hired to handle fire damage cleanup and recovery.

Understanding Where You Might Find Mold in Your Home

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Mold spots behind wall paper. Mold damage should be handled by a professional, especially if it has infested large areas of your home.

While it should go without saying, mold damage should be handled by professional remediation companies in Affton, MO. However, it is understandable if you want to make sure that you actually have an issue before calling in the calvary. Therefore, if you smell something musty in your home, then there are at least three areas where mold might be lurking.

Porous Items
Wall Cavities
Damp or Humid Areas

Porous Items

While mildew growth is common on hard surfaces, mold is typically found infiltrating porous and organic items. For example, fabrics, drywall, floor pads, insulation are all possible locations for mold. However, to narrow down your search, consider where you have seen any water damage. For example, did you have a flood in your basement? Then check around baseboards for any signs of damage or discoloration.

Wall Cavities

If you did experience flooding in your home, or if you recently repaired a burst or leaking pipe, then you may have mold damage within the affected wall cavity. Mold thrives in dark and damp environments, and even if the source was repaired, there still might be some residual growth.

Damp or Humid Areas

While mold growth typically occurs in damp or humid areas, those areas do not have to be hidden. For example, attics are renowned for being humid areas. Also, basements struggle with dampness. Therefore, purchase humidifiers to help control the humidity levels in your home, and also consider installing fans or other ventilation tools.
However, if you want to be sure that you have an issue before calling a remediation service, then check the common areas that mold might be lurking: porous items, wall cavities and any other damp or humid areas with poor ventilation. While mold is a dreaded disaster for many homeowners, it is one with a positive outlook on restoration.

Saving Art From Mold Damage

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Professional restorer working at an ancient paintings representing religious scenes, inside a museum laboratory Humidity can ruin pictures and art

Saving Art From Mold Damage 

If you’ve had a brush with disaster in your Crestwood, MO, home, then you are probably facing a hard decision regarding your art collection. Water damage can lead to mold damage, which can spread rapidly if left untreated. Luckily, you don’t have to say goodbye to your paintings – restoration is often possible. Whether you need mold cleaning services for your art studio or a curated collection of professional pieces, some objectives remain the same. These are the goals:

  • Remove any storage materials and frames for cleaning or disposal.
  • Remove the mold safely and effectively while preserving the artwork.
  • Prevent the mold from returning and spreading.

Act Quickly

Don’t delay in taking action to save your paintings. Mold spores live everywhere, and as such, they can multiply quickly after water damage – or even if your artworks are just improperly stored. Paintings that are kept in damp, dark areas, for example, can harbor mold without experiencing any water damage. You can rescue your works of art if you make a plan quickly and enlist the help of mold cleaning experts to create a professional mold remediation plan that will improve the chances of restoration.

After your artworks are restored, it’s important to keep them displayed or stowed safely so the mold does not return. They need to be in dry conditions and any storage materials or frames need to be properly sanitized or replaced.

Don’t Panic

Mold can be a scary situation to face. You don’t want to lose your treasured belongings, but taking the wrong action can also damage them further. Paintings vary greatly in composition, and it’s important to know what type you have to treat them properly. It’s best to contact professional mold remediation teams to safely and effectively restore your paintings.

With fast action and expert help, mold cleaning doesn’t have to cause you a headache. You can keep your treasured belongings in great shape and enjoy them for years to come with the right plan.

Prepare Your Company for Mold Insurance Claims

8/2/2019 (Permalink)

White corner with dark mold. Mold growth in an Affton, MO building

The presence of mold can be a difficult thing for a company to address. There are many issues to take care of in a short time. First of all, the mold must be cleaned up by a professional company located in Affton, MO. Then, you must be sure to communicate what is happening to your employees. At some point, you will need to look into mold insurance claims. This final task has been made a little more complicated due to recent changes in the way insurance companies process claims associated with mold damage and exposure.

The Recent Changes

The trend is for insurers to make a mold claim harder to be awarded for property owners and people exposed to mold. In short, it may no longer be covered under a company’s general liability insurance. The reasons for this are numerous and fairly complicated:

  • An increase in claims for mold exposure
  • A higher profile in the media
  • A revision of the insurance profiles for mold exposure
  • A trend toward insurers excluding mold coverage

Mold remediation is a difficult challenge to begin with. A more demanding insurance environment adds to the problem. The important thing is to continue having a dialogue with your insurance company and make sure you understand any changes to your company’s policy as it pertains to mold insurance claims.

The Best Path Forward

If one thing has remained the same it’s that the presence of mold requires a visit from mold remediation specialists. The experts will be able to address the situation and rid your building of mold in a short time. They are Here to Help your company address the problem. The quicker the problem is taken care of the less likely it is that there will be any mold insurance claims. A thorough and effective cleaning of the affected area with the proper equipment will create a healthy atmosphere for workers and customers.

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)

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.

The Top 10 Sneaky Places Mold Hides in Your Home

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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.

Planning for Professional Mold Cleanup

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Office affected with mold damage from water in Affton,MO

Mold Removal

To make money in business, your factory, warehouse, office or other commercial space must be clean and functional. As you probably know, few things can bring operations to a standstill faster than black mold. If you notice mold inside your facility, you likely want to contract with a professional remediation service for mold removal. Before you do, though, you should know three things about the cleanup process.

1. Removing Mold Does Not Take Forever

Depending on the severity of your mold problem, you can anticipate devoting three to seven days to mold cleanup. When you contract with a reputable mold-mitigation service in Affton,MO, you can expect to receive a full analysis about mold infiltration. Restoration technicians use both expertise and equipment to develop a removal plan. This plan includes a detailed timetable for eradicating mold from your commercial property.

2. Removing Mold Requires Special Equipment

If you need to tackle mold removal in your commercial building, you may find it tempting to use some bleach to scrub away surface contamination. This approach likely won’t get the job done, however. Mold reproduces through microscopic spores that spread quickly and easily. When you disturb surface mold, you can expect these spores to get virtually everywhere. When you contract with a professional mitigation technician, you can be certain the process is done correctly.

3. Removing Mold May Require Filtering the Air

To curtail future mold growth, you must remove mold spores from the air. You must also ensure mold hasn’t taken up residence inside your HVAC system. With the right air-filtration system, you catch spores suspending in air before they encourage mold to grow.

As a diligent business owner, you must do what you can to keep your company in business. If you have a mold problem, you may need to shut down until you can complete mold removal. With the right team, though, you can limit downtime and eradicate mold from your facility.

Top 3 Details You Should Know About Commercial Fire Sprinklers

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Complete your routine maintenance on your building's fire suppression system

Sprinkler Maintenance

A well-functioning fire sprinkler system is an important safety feature in many commercial buildings in Crestwood, MO. Although sprinkler heads are often easily recognizable, many people may have misconceptions about how fire suppression systems operate. Others may fail to understand the importance of completing routine sprinkler maintenance.

1. Heat Activates Sprinklers

Smoke and fire are companions. However, contrary to popular belief, smoke does not activate sprinklers. The air above a fire’s flames heats rapidly and rises to the ceiling. Significantly hot air near the ceiling expands liquid inside a glass bulb located within the sprinkler head. The expanding liquid shatters the glass, which activates the sprinkler head, causing pressurized water to douse the flames below.

2. Sprinkler Heads Do Not Activate as a Group

Another common misconception about fire suppression systems is that activating one fire sprinkler will activate every unit within the building. However, sprinkler heads activate individually when exposed to extreme heat. Sprinklers that are not near the blaze will not release water, which helps contain water damage to the area directly affected by the fire.

3. Completing Routine Maintenance Is Essential

Pressurized water is essential for fire containment. Without adequate pressure, water may not spray out efficiently, minimizing the sprinkler’s effectiveness. To help ensure optimal performance in the event of an emergency, you should complete routine maintenance on your building’s fire suppression system. A thorough inspection should verify adequate water pressure, check for potential obstructions and evaluate pipes for leaks.

Dirt and grime may also impede proper sprinkler functioning. To alleviate this potential problem, you should routinely perform a fire sprinkler cleanup by wiping sprinkler heads with a damp cloth.

A commercial fire can be extremely destructive. A well-functioning fire sprinkler system can help suppress a blaze and may minimize the extent of water and fire damage restoration requirements. Completing routine sprinkler maintenance is a critical task that you should not neglect because it helps ensure your system is ready to operate when necessary.

Cleaning Up: Storm Damage vs. Ordinary Damage

11/18/2018 (Permalink)

Storm water in Crestwood,MO

Know How To Identify The Type Of Water

When you're a homeowner in Crestwood, MO, cleaning and damage repair to your home are practically inevitable. Accidents happen, and Mother Nature is unpredictable. Some cleanup will be possible for you to do on your own, but almost all of it is easier with help from professionals. If your home experiences flooding, your first step should be to determine which category of water you are dealing with; this decides the type of cleanup you'll need. Once you've identified the water, you can call a water damage restoration specialist to get back on your feet.

Category 1: Clean Water

Clean water is water that has not been used before, such as from a broken pipe in your home or a leaky water heater. Many times, you can clean up after this type of flood and repair the damage on your own or with a little help from the pros.

Category 2: Grey Water

Grey water is classified as “lightly used” water, such as water from a dishwasher or irrigation water. This may include chemicals that, as a result of flooding, can cause additional damage to your structure and will require attention from a professional cleanup company. Restoration companies can neutralize potentially harmful agents in the water such as detergents and fertilizers.

Category 3: Unsanitary

Unsanitary, or “black,” water usually includes harmful contaminants such as sewage or industrial waste. Flood damage from a storm will generally be classified as Category 3 because it is often impossible to determine whether the water includes any material from broken waste pipes, runoff from landfills or even contamination from industrial complexes.

Flooding, from any source, is tough to deal with. Once you know the category of water and type of damage you have, you can call the right restoration company for your needs. This can help you get back on your feet quicker and with more confidence.