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Avoid and Recover From Sewer Backups

7/31/2021 (Permalink)

Split drainage pipe caused by ingress of tree roots Tree roots in your pipes can cause a sewer backup.

Sewer Backups: How to Avoid Them and Recover

When the sewer backs up, you may experience much more than damage from flood water. You'll also be at risk of the destruction of your property, expensive damages to your home, electrical malfunctions, long-lasting illnesses, and lasting odors. The best way to avoid these unpleasant circumstances is to act immediately. A quick response is the best way to prevent mold growth, further damages, and an increased amount of inconvenience.

Identification of Problem Areas

The first step in avoiding these consequences is to understand the most common causes of sewer backups. These include:

  • Old sewer systems
  • Single pipeline for sewage and storm water
  • Tree roots
  • Blockages in the city sanitary main

Homeowner Responsibilities

Did you know that homeowners in White House, MO, are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the pipeline between their house and the city sewer main? Part of your responsibility includes any part of that sewage line that extends into public streets or rights of way. If that line becomes cracked or filled with tree roots, you'll be responsible for any repairs and other remedial actions. You can protect yourself from some of the financial burdens with the appropriate insurance coverage, but routine professional inspections are the best way to protect against any financial or legal sewage loss.


You can also prevent backups in the lateral sewer line and protect against mold growth with several easy actions.

• Properly dispose of cooking oil and other forms of grease.
• Don't flush paper towels, diapers, wipes, and feminine hygiene products.
• Keep tree roots maintained.
• Replace old plumbing pipes.
• Hire a plumber to correct illegal connections.
• Install a backwater prevention fixture.

Expert Remediation

When flooding does occur, a thorough cleaning and remediation may be necessary to prevent mold growth, ongoing damage, and unpleasant odors. Work closely with a remediation company and immediately take steps to disinfect plumbing systems and home surfaces. Professionals should provide you with further instructions for appropriate cleanup, including disinfection and deodorization.

How To Reduce Flooding on Your Property

7/31/2021 (Permalink)

Picture of outdoor home flooded A flooded home in Mehlville, MO.

Areas Where You Can Make Changes To Prevent Major Flooding

With the increase in heavy rain events over the last 30 years, you may have noticed some outside flooding on your Mehlville, MO, property. The bad news is that there is nothing you can do to prevent a rain storm from deluging your land, but the good news is that there is plenty you can do to increase rain drainage. There are three main areas where you can make changes to prevent major flooding.

1. Around the Home

Drain spouts can be diverted to lead water into areas designed to absorb heavy runoff, such as rain gardens. A rain garden is a beautiful way to capture and use excess water. Native plants with a high tolerance for moisture are ideal. If you’re mulching your garden, use a heavier mulch that won’t float away as easily as lighter mulches will.

2. Around the Property

Adding a swale to your property can ease outside flooding issues. A swale is a depression in the landscape that redirects water drainage. This could be a natural depression or an excavated one. The purpose of the swale is to redirect the water to a point where it can be safely released, such as a dry well or a garden area with good drainage.

3. On the Driveway

Driveways can be made more flood-friendly by foregoing the cement pad and opting for more porous options, such as gravel, spaced paving, or a combination of the two. Drainage can also be created on the sides of the driveway, such as by installing driveway edging drains or channel drains.

Outside flooding doesn’t need to be a necessary evil on your property. A few preventive actions can greatly reduce the amount of flooding your property undergoes. You can make changes to the drainage on your home, your property, and your driveway to decrease flood damage. Prevent water damage before you need to call damage repair specialists.

Quick Guide to Your Commercial Mold Coverage

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold It's usually a good idea to employ a mold removal company to get rid of this growth.

Commercial Mold Coverage

Have you been smelling something musty in your Lemay, MO, commercial building? This off-putting odor could be a sign that you have mold growing somewhere in your space. It's often a good idea to hire a mold cleanup crew to remove this growth, but it may cost a lot upfront. Depending on the circumstances that brought about the growth, your commercial insurance may help pay for the cleanup. The exact coverage you have depends on your policy, but common covered circumstances include the following:

  • Flooding from natural disasters
  • Flooding from a burst water pipe
  • Flooding from fire sprinklers

You can learn more about the potential coverage you have by reading this quick guide.

Cost of Testing

Mold damage isn't always noticeable. Sometimes you have to have your building tested to determine if there is really a problem. Some policies may help pay for this testing. Other times, you may want to do testing after the cleanup is finished to ensure all of the mold has been removed. This may also fall under the coverage of your policy.

Cost of Primary Damage

No matter what caused the flood waters, chances are the liquid caused some serious damage to your commercial space. Your commercial insurance should help pay for these damages. This includes the removal of damaged drywall, flooring or ceiling tiles and the replacement of these materials. Anything that was directly affected by the mold could be covered by insurance.

Cost of Secondary Damage

Sometimes your mold cleanup team may have to tear out some drywall to gain access to the problem area. The drywall itself was not affected by the mold, but it still had to be removed. This secondary type of damage may fall under the protection of your mold insurance.

Every commercial insurance policy is a little different. Many will help pay for mold cleanup, but you can learn more about your specific coverage by talking with your insurance provider.

4 Steps to Clean Up After a Home Fire

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

Residential fire, burned bedroom, window and walls covered with soot... Emergencies require an immediate response. SERVPRO of Oakville/ Mehlvil is ready to help you start the restoration process as soon as the fire is out.

How To Clean After A House Fire 

A home fire in Bella Villa, MO is a tragic and upsetting event to experience. After you and your loved have survived the danger, you might wonder how to go about cleaning up the damage. Fire restoration experts who know the ins and outs of the process often recommend dry-cleaning and additional content cleaning methods. Here are some steps to help you get back on the road to restoration.

1. Eliminate Water

One of the unfortunate results of exterminating a fire is a lot of water and moisture in the home. Dry all textiles, clothes and drapes and quickly as possible to prevent mold from growing and spreading. Consider content storage for any items that escaped water or smoke damage.

2. Dry Clean Your Clothes

Most experts recommend dry-cleaning for clothing and other fabrics. Don’t wash any textiles in a traditional washer and dryer as that can lead to more damage. There are professional services that will help you safely remove soot from fabrics.

3. Get Rid of the Smell

Smoke leaves an unpleasant, lingering odor in the home. Open windows and place dehumidifiers and box fans throughout the area for some immediate relief. Venting the air as much as possible will help reduce the smell. In addition, professional companies eliminate odors using thermal fogging and ozone treatments.

4. Clean Non-Porous Items

Content cleaning of non-porous items is normally a much easier process because they are, by nature, less absorbent than porous ones. Professional services include high-pressure water and ultrasonic treatments to get your possessions back to their pre-fire conditions.

House fires are an unpleasant experience for anyone, but there are things you can do to get your home back in pre-fire shape. Some of the initial steps you can take yourself, such as dry-cleaning clothes, but experts can provide the best knowledge, tools and equipment to expedite the restoration process.

To Keep or Not To Keep Your Water-Damaged Carpet

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

two air movers placed on stairs, wet carpet Water damage to carpet on stairs.

When dealing with residential water damage in Bella Villa, MO, no issue can seem as daunting as assessing the damages to patches of carpet affected by water. Whether due to a pipe break or a natural disaster, water damage can become a nuisance to clean. However, depending on the type of water damage incurred, you may be able to rescue much of your flooring with some quick thinking and a careful approach to the issue at hand.

Inspect the Water Source

Though any sitting water can cause problems without proper restoration, some water damage can be easily and safely cleaned. “Clean water” damage can come from a number of sources:

  • Overflow from a sink or bathtub
  • Broken appliances like dishwashers
  • Water supply ruptures and malfunctions

In general, water sources that otherwise provide drinkable water constitute clean water. Such damage usually is easier to restore and proves safe to clean rather than replace.

Begin Work Quickly

Whether dealing with minor or large-scale water damage, working efficiently to repair it is crucial if you want to avoid more serious damages. Clean water can sit safely for roughly 24 hours, but after that point, even water from a clean pipe break may become grey or even black water that is more contaminated and cause damage that is more difficult (or even impossible) to restore. Restoration specialists can help expedite the recovery process and ensure safe cleaning.

Know When To Toss It

Replacing damaged carpet may be expensive, but keeping it in your house may later become even costlier. Damaged padding left unchecked can hide and contribute to damaged subfloors. This, in turn, can lead to structural damage as it wears through.

Water damage is never pleasant to repair, but understanding its causes and effects can keep it from seeming an unmanageable disaster. If treated quickly enough, you may find your home’s pipe break is not a total wash.

Tips for Storm Preparation With Your Commercial Property

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door Let your staff know what is expected of them in times of emergency.

When you manage a commercial property, you must plan ahead for any foreseeable situation. To protect your business in Mehlville, MO, as well as the people who make sure it works, it is imperative to have a storm preparedness plan. These tips can help you formulate a plan so that you are ready for whatever the weather tries to throw at you.

Plan Basics

Successful property management entails working closely with the property owner to make sure that you are on the same page. Sit down with the owner and iron out the basic details of storm preparation:

  • Emergency contact numbers, such as relief services and storm restoration professionals
  • Staff roster and phone directory
  • Detailed emergency protocols
  • Special task assignment for personnel in charge of handling emergency protocols
  • Critical information list and a means of communicating it to tenants
  • Insurance policy review

Storm preparedness starts long before the storm hits. Having an action plan that both you and the owner agree upon is a step in the right direction.

Staff Expectations

Let your staff know what is expected of them in times of emergency. Designate essential personnel who will stay in the building during extreme weather to ensure that it stays operational. You should also have a detailed plan for shutting down operations and outline the specific criteria that lead to that decision. Most importantly, make sure employees know that a mandatory evacuation means everyone must leave immediately. Emergency training should also include information about how they will know it is safe to return to the building.

Timely Reporting

After the storm has passed, the reporting phase begins. Your insurance company will want detailed information on the damage the building sustained. Walkthroughs should be documented not just in writing but with pictures or video. The building's owner will likely be the one to work directly with the insurance company, but any contribution you can make to the process will probably be appreciated.

Storms are a given in some areas. You can manage the difficulties they bring with a good storm preparedness plan.

Hiring Professionals to Clean-up Fire Damage in Properties

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

dark background, tea cup covered with soot If your White House, MO home has sustained fire damage, call SERVPRO today!

Hiring Professionals to Clean-up Properties After Fire Damage 

It is not surprising for people to lose everything in their homes due to a fire that spreads quickly from the bottom floor to the top. In some cases, the fire damage in White House, MO  may not be too severe so the family should be able to salvage some of the things that are left behind in the home. Even though some homeowners and their families may start the clean-up process themselves as soon as they can enter back into their fire-damaged home, they may quickly discover that they need fire damage professionals to assist with the recovery process. 

These fire damage White House, MO professionals are not only trained to help the family to deal with these tragedies much easier but can also assist them in getting back to their normal life as quickly as possible. So, for homeowners who want to know what these professionals are responsible for doing, here’s a brief listing of some of their most essential activities. 

 #1 - Remove all of the items from the home that are not salvageable. 

Generally, people need to throw away burnt clothing, paintings, electronics, light fixtures, furniture and a host of other things unable to undergo restoration. Therefore, this is typically done first. 

 #2 - Determines how to deal with items that may be salvageable 

In some cases, there are items left in the home that can be salvaged or restored to a relatively new condition. For instance, some items may only have smoke damage because the flames from the fire did not touch them. With the help of these professionals, the smoke damage can be removed. Many times these professionals use a specific kind of disinfectant on window coverings, clothing, and other items to remove the smoke. 

 #3. Clean Carpets 

If the flames do not damage carpets, they can be cleaned. Therefore, the clean-up crew up often uses various kinds of equipment to get the carpets completely cleaned of the smoke. 

The Steps for Putting Out a Grease Fire

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen burned Kitchen fire in Lemay, MO.

Fires in the U.S. amount to many billions of dollars of damage to homes and businesses every year. For homeowners, a fire can start for many reasons and once it begins it can be hard to control. In addition to fire alarms and fire extinguishers, education is one of the best ways for people to reduce the costs of property damage from a fire. For example, knowing how to control a grease fire can turn a potential catastrophe into a manageable problem. Prevention is important. A stove should never be left unattended when grease is heating up. If the grease begins to smoke or gives off acrid odors, the burner should be turned down.

How To Extinguish a Grease Fire

If grease or oil does ignite, specific steps should be taken to protect a home in Lemay, MO. The actions for an oil fire or not the same for a fire fed by wood or paper or other combustible materials. The following steps can be taken to put out a grease or oil fire:

  • Smother the flames with a heavy pot lid
  • Spread baking soda on the fire until it is smothered
  • Use a chemical fire extinguisher (also known as a class K extinguisher)

These types of fires tend to burn hot and they can also cause a splattering of hot oil or grease. Water should never be used to extinguish this kind of home fire.

How To Handle Fire Cleanup
A fire mitigation franchise has the training and the equipment to handle the aftermath of a grease fire. A qualified company will make sure the fire damage is contained and doesn't get worse. Experienced technicians will clean up any of the remnants of water and chemicals caused by fire fighting efforts. They will also perform tests on belongings to see what can be saved and restored and what items will need to be thrown away. A professional cleanup saves time and money in many ways.

Avoid Mold After the Rain

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on corner of a window If your windows aren't properly sealed, you may easily get a moisture problem.

Mold Prevention In Your Home

While there may be nothing quite like a refreshing rain, it may also create the right environment for mold to grow in your Oakville, MO, home. Although a black mold remediation and restoration will ensure that the mold cleanup is done right, preventing the problem from happening is a better solution. When it rains, those drops seek to find any area of your home that has lost some of its integrity. Knowing potential problem areas and taking preventive measures are keys to ensuring your home is fungi-free.

Common Culprits
Mold, including black mold, need moisture, food and warm temps to thrive. Any rainfall provides that first requirement. Common areas of your home that could lead to the other conditions being met include:

Gutters: Clogged gutters or downspouts mean improper drainage and water either pooling or incessantly dripping where it shouldn’t.
Windows and Doors: From a misaligned door to missing caulk, if windows and doors aren’t properly sealed, you may easily get a moisture problem.
Roofs: High winds, broken branches and critters all have the potential to wear down shingles and lead to a roof leak.
Foundation: Any cracks in the foundation are a welcome entry point for rainfall.

Prevention Tips
Knowing the prime areas that rain could lead to mold growth makes it a little easier to prevent it from happening. Regular inspections prior to rainfall are essential. That may include checking all seals, looking for cracks and checking the roof for missing or damaged shingles. If you are unable to get to the roof, inspect the ceiling and attic for any staining or other signs of a leak.
If you have had excess moisture come in before, locating the source of the problem and correcting it is essential. If it happened once, it will happen again. Unfortunately, the next time may not be an easy cleanup.
If rainfall makes you think of black mold instead of a needed and pleasant experience, fortifying known moisture entry spots may help you get back to appreciating the rain.

4 Sand Bag Alternatives That Will Protect Your Property From Flood Damage

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

The plumber connects parts of the plastic water pipe using fittings, hands close-up. Plastic poly tubes

Alternatives To Sand Bags

For decades, business owners have used sand bags to limit flood damage to their properties. After all, they are easy to find and cheap to purchase.
Yet there are downsides to sand bags, as well. For starters, they can be quite heavy. A single sand bag may weigh around 29 pounds. Even if you are able to get the sand bags in place, they can be even harder to remove. That is because they are considered hazardous materials and cannot just be emptied into any Bella Villa, MO, landfill.
Luckily, there are other ways to block flood water and limit your need for cleanup and restoration services after a storm. Here are some alternatives to sand bags.

1. Plastic Poly Tubes
These long tubes can be filled with dirt or sand to make them higher. They can thus easily block the water from getting past a door. However, as with sand bags, they can be quite difficult to move into place.

2. Garbage Bags
For an inexpensive approach, try filling garbage bags with sand or dirt to create your own sand bag. This can take some time to do, so these bags are best for floods for which you can prepare well in advance. Still, making your own sand bags is cost-effective and should let you put more money back into your business.

3. Transportable Fences
These fences create a barrier that surrounds your premises and blocks water from entering. You can position them where you want, and setting them up does not require too much effort.

4. Flood Dams
You can even fight water with water by purchasing inflatable flood dams. Simply fill up these dams with water and place them around the perimeter of your property. This process is fairly quick and thus works well when you and your employees need to evacuate in a hurry.
When a flood is heading for your building, you do not need to use a sand bag to protect your property. The above alternatives could be just as effective.