Recent Posts

Flooded Commercial Business in Kirkwood, Mo

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

This flooded Business in Kirkwood, MO was the result of a near by lake flooding. The business office was flooded with muddy water causing not just water but mud to get everywhere. Our crews extracted the water throughout the commercial building. After the rest of the water was extracted the crews then tore up the tile flooring and took down the walls that were affected by the floor damage.The whole process took three weeks to complete. Three weeks may seem like a long time but with the amount of space that was damaged our crews kicked butt and got everything back "Like it never even happened." sooner than the business owner thought. The owner of the building was very pleased with how fast our crews worked and how great everything looked at the end.

Never use a DIY mold test, Heres why!

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

If you look on the internet, there are scores of DIY mold test kits. Before you invest in one of these kits, here are things you ought to know about mold:

  • Mold is everywhere and every single house has some form of “mold.”
  • Most self-test mold kits only tell you if your home has mold, but often provides false negatives and positives. It also does not tell you what kind of mold or how to kill it.

A true mold test can only be conducted by a Professional Environmental testing company; they determine the type of mold, the source of the moisture, and how to kill the mold at the core. They create a protocol, which can be read by an IICRC professional (like us!).  It’s best to use a testing company that does not do cleaning themselves because their assessment will be unbiased.

  • Mold is more often hidden, sometimes under the floor or in the walls, or in your air ducts

Where the mold is located, often dictates where the moisture is affecting the building

  • Untreated water damage may result in mold growth within 24-48 hours of the event

Wood, insulation, fiberglass, carpet and other organic substances become a thriving environment for mold once there is moisture present for more than 24 hours. After a week, it is almost guaranteed.

Free estimates or removing mold yourself cost homeowners more in the long run

Be wary of companies who advertise free mold testing. Free mold tests are often offered by people who are uncertified or inexperienced and if they do the mold testing themselves, they are using these kits mentioned above. Unless they are a certified Environmental Hygienist and have a PhD in microbiology, they do not have the knowledge or resources to truly diagnose the mold condition in your home.

  • The source of the mold is never addressed, so the problem is reoccurring.
  • They use the “self-test” kits mentioned above instead of environmental testing with diagnostics
  • Remove only topical mold instead of killing it at the source
  • They often remove more walls and floors than needed which increases the price to rebuild.
  • They do not remove enough, or don’t use the right materials which brings the mold back.

This means you have to pay to have it removed again, and have more sanitation and demolition performed, which increases the price to rebuild and replace tremendously.

What you should do instead

Having mold can be scary, especially if anyone in your home is prone to getting sick (people with asthma, low immune systems, allergies, babies and the elderly). We recommend the following course of action if you need to have mold removed from your home.

  1. Measure the area affected and check for moisture.
  2. Call your insurance company, ask:
  • If you are covered for mold
  • What is your deductible
  • What is your coverage
  • Ask for a company that they approve of for mold mitigation (Chances are, it’s us.)

If your insurance company says you can use anyone – or if you are not going through insurance then look for someone who is certified in

  • IICRC, Water Restoration Technician
  • IICRC, Mold restoration
  • IICRC, Applied Structural Drying
  • Now that you’re armed with knowledge, it’s time to start making some calls.

Now that you know your coverage, how much visible mold there is in your home, and whom your insurance company approves as mold remediation specialists. It’s time to start making some calls.

Coping with flooding in your Kirkwood, Mo Basement

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Have you recently suffered a long rain or maybe heavy storms in your area? Understandably, you may feel some apprehension before opening the door to your home's basement in Kirkwood, MO if you anticipate seeing water covering the floor. While your first instinct may be to grab your wet/dry vac, unfortunately there’s more involved in conducting a successful water cleanup in a basement flood.

How Does Water Get Into the Basement?

There is no one answer to how flooding occurs, but here are some common areas where water finds its way in:

• Window joints
• Cracks in the foundation
• The joint between the foundation footing and the wall
• Water heater or washing machine leaks
• Other joints in the walls, floor, and mortar
• Gutter cracks
• The floor drain
• The sump pump
• Burst sewer pipes

When Should You Call the Professionals?

If you have suffered basement flooding, your best bet is to call restoration specialists who are trained in removing the water and fully drying the area. Their expertise and high-end equipment can restore the room to its original condition. They can also test for hidden water damage lurking behind walls, which can often lead to the development of black mold.

What Is the Restoration Process?

Prior to beginning the restoration process, the specialist must determine any and all points where the water has entered the basement. Repairing the sources of the water prevents additional water from coming in and often includes sealing cracks, joints, and hose or pipe repair.

Professional machine extraction and dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air and the furniture, floors and assorted other materials. Carpet and padding often needs to be removed, and the professionals will determine how much of the baseboards, insulation and sheetrock require removal. After cleaning and sanitizing the affected area, the drying process begins and often requires upwards of three days to complete.

Flooding may seem disastrous, but you can get your basement back. The professionals will work alongside your insurance company to formulate a plan for basement reconstruction and restore your home back to normal. Visit http://www.SERVPROwestkirkwoodsunsethills.com for more information on commercial water damage or water damage in a residence. 

Smoke Dectors Save Lives

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. To lower these rates make sure you replace all of your smoke detectors every 10 years. Here are of couple of things you can do to prevent fires in your Kirkwood/Sunset Hills home or or business!

  • Make sure all of your smoke detectors are interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • All of your smoke detectors should be tested once a month.
  • Larger homes or businesses will acquire extra smoke detectors.

Your Kirkwood/Sunset Hills home or business is where we are at the greatest risk and where we
must take the most precautions. Most deaths occur from inhaling smoke or poisonous
gases, not from the flames. SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/ Sunset Hills if here help if your home or business has a had fire due to faulty smoke detectors. Give us a call at 314-858-1688 and we'll make everything "Like it never even happened."

Remediation does Not address ongoing moisture issues!

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

We can all agree that the physical removal of mold under controlled conditions is the proper way to address remediation. Seasoned owners and technicians are often quick to remind people that, “as long as you remediate properly and keep the area dry once remediated, you wont have future problems”.

However, while this is true, the thing that this industry seems to be missing is the relationship with between temperature and humidity, otherwise known as dew point. It doesn’t matter how dry and area is today. If the dew point rises and condensation occurs, moisture content in structural substrate rises, producing conditions conducive to mold growth. We see examples of this daily in attics, basements, crawlspaces and exterior wall cavities. There was no water intrusion or no leaky pipes, but there was the condensation caused by temperature changes that resulted in hitting the dew point over enough cycles that moisture content increased and the resulting conducive condition lead to mold growth. So while, yes, keeping an area dry is an absolute must, it takes specific engineering controls to prevent condensation from leading to moisture content increases and therefore mold growth. Our crews here at SERVPRO west Kirkwood and Sunset Hills have all the necessary equipment to treat and make sure that everything is taken care of. Give us a call at 314-858-1688.

Dryer Fire Prevention Tips in West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that failure to clean the dryer (34 percent) is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires?! Most of  clothes dryer fires happen in the fall and winter months, than in spring and summer, because of all the bulky clothing you are drying.

Some tips to help prevent dryer fires are: 1. Clean out the dryer vent every time you dry a new set of clothes. 2. Don't add as much clothes to the dryer s you would in the spring or summer. 3. Keep area around the dryer free of flammable items. Clothes drying fires account fro 92 percent of all fires.  For more safety tips and prevention checkout: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Safety-in-the-home/Dryers-and-washing-machines

If your West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills home or business has been affected by a clothes dryer fire give SERVPRO a call at 314-858-1688 and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

Busted Pipe in St. Louis, Mo

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

This water damage was cause by a busted pipe running to a spigot affected most of a finished basement. Our professional crews here at SERVPRO West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills had to extract standing water and remove some carpeting. The crews also had to cut affected walls at 2 ft. and spray affected areas with sporicidin. Spraying sporicidin on the affected contents reduces microbial growth. The homeowners were very please with how quick and thorough our crews were to their home and all of their stuff throughout the home. The family was grateful to have their home back to normal after 4 days! In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately.  For help restoring your home or business after a water loss, call SERVPRO of West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills at 314-858-1688 and we’ll make it “Like it never eve happened.”

Frequently Asked Questions About Water Damage!

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

Whether a person has been the victim of water damage or is just researching for information on some of the mitigation steps he can take, there may be a number of questions he might have. In this regard, such a person might want to get as much information as possible. There are many avenues where he can get the information on water cleanup, restoration, and mitigation services. However, the best option is to ensure that he is getting the advice from professionals with a wide range of experience in handling water damage restoration. Still, providing readers with some answers to the commonly asked questions can help to save them the trouble.

What causes flood damage?

There are various factors that can lead to water damage. A supply line break can occasion a leak that floods the house. A pipe break or a blockage in the sewer system can also contribute to water damage. There are also some accidents such as forgetting to properly close the taps, rain storms, among others that can lead to a flooded home. If the home is left unattended for some time, it may give an appearance of drying, but this might only mean that the water has seeped deep into the floor and walls and is causing internal damage. This is especially the case if the supply line break occurs in an area that is not accessed regularly such as the basement.

What are the dangers of flood damage?

The most dangerous thing about water in the home is letting it stay. If the water cleanup does not take place immediately, the water in the business causes more havoc. It starts to soak into the surfaces that it comes across. This means that if the house or business place has wooden floors, it seeps deep into the wood weakening the structures. It also increases the risk of mold developing. The last thing a home owner wants after flood damage is a mold infestation. This can result in the compromise of the structural integrity of the house. Thus, a flooded home needs immediate drying.

What is the first step after getting a flooded home?

Calling in a professional restoration company should always be the first step. These are professionals that possess not only the know how to handle water cleanup, but also the equipment. They can carry out an assessment of water in business and advice on what needs to be done for restoration. If they are consulted early on, they can also provide mitigation advice to reduce the risk of suffering flood damage.

What is to be done after a pipe break?

If there is a noticeable leak from a pipe break or supply line break, the first step is to try and see if the leakage can be stopped. This would entail closing the mains supply of water in the home. If there is some water in the home, then the electrical supply should be switched off. This would help to minimize the risk of damaging the appliances. The restoration company should then be called in to assess the extent of water in business.

Is water damage covered by homeowners insurance?

There are certain instances when insurance can cover damage occasioned by water in the home. These may include an accidental and immediate pipe break or supply line break. However, flood damage is not usually covered by insurance. The damage brought on by a flooded home would fall under the category of “Act of God,” something not insured. Thus, the homeowner should inform the restoration company of any insurance coverage so that they can determine whether the water cleanup would be covered. The insurance may cover the costs of drying the home.

What does the restoration company do?

Once the professionals from the restoration company get to the site of the water cleanup, they carry out an assessment. The best professionals provide upfront pricing on the water cleanup, drying, and restoration services to be provided. They also provide mitigation services which are important in ensuring that incidences of water in business do not occur often.

Visit: http://www.SERVPROwestkirkwoodsunsethills.com for more information on water damage.

Three Helpful Tips For A Mold Free Home While Your Away!

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Vacation time is just around the corner so, you want to make sure you're West Kirkwood/ Sunset Hills home is the best condition so no tragic situations occur. In order to get the most out of your vacation, you probably want to make sure that your house is in the right condition to leave it. No matter where you live, mold can spread while you aren’t there. It’s important to make sure that you don’t have to come home only to start a cleanup effort. These three easy tips on mold prevention while on vacation should help ease your mind.

1. Check Home in Advance

As the date of your vacation comes closer, the checklist of things you need to do before you can leave gets longer and longer. The one thing that you don’t want to skip out on is ensuring that there isn’t any mold in your home. The first tip in mold prevention is to make sure that there isn’t any fungus that can spread. If you want extra reassurance, you can have a specialist perform a mold test.

2. Keep Heat Low

What to do with your thermostat when you leave has everything to do with what time of year you vacation. Heat helps create the perfect environment for mold growth. If you’re leaving in the winter, then it’s a good idea to turn off your thermostat entirely. However, if you’re leaving in the summer, you may want to set it cooler. While you don’t want to waste energy on your air conditioning, you can keep your home at a temperature about five degrees higher than what you find comfortable.

3. Turn Off Water

Together, moisture and heat can derail your efforts against mold. If you’re leaving for a significant period of time, it’s smart to turn off your water entirely. After all, if there are any leaks while you’re gone, you won’t be able to catch them in time to prevent water damage.

If you’re on vacation, you deserve to relax without worrying about what might go wrong in West Kirkwood/ Sunset Hills while you’re not there. Simple mold prevention can help reduce the risk of mold. Visit http://www.SERVPROwestkirkwoodsunsethills.com/mold-remediation for more information on mold.

Common Myths About Fire Damage

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

A fire in your West Kirkwood or Sunset Hills business or home can fill with smoke and soot so quickly that no one even has time to respond. When hiring a fire damage restoration team to help with the fire cleanup, the owners of those buildings sometimes remember some of the myths or misconceptions that they heard in the past and think that the company will charge them an arm or a leg or make mistakes when cleaning up the smoke damage that will impact the building later. Those owners can take a look at some of these fire damage misconceptions and find out exactly what the restoration company must do.

Fires Strike Older Homes More Often

Many people think that older homes are more prone to fires than newer homes because modern homes have more preventative features like smoke detectors and alarms. The truth is that newer homes are still at risk of fires that lead to soot damage and a thick smoke smell. Modern homes often feature more inexpensive building materials than older houses do. Those building materials can actually help the fire spread much faster.

Never Board Up a Home During the Fire Cleanup

Some building owners will actually fight commercial fire damage and fire damage restoration professionals when it comes time to board up windows. They swear that there is no benefit to boarding up the building and that leaving it exposed can actually help reduce the smoke smell they notice. While it is true that fresh air can reduce the smoke smell after a fire in a home or a fire in a business, it's untrue that using boards doesn't have any benefits. Fire damage restoration professionals board up windows and doors as a way to block off that building. This keeps birds, squirrels and other wild animals from nesting inside and also keeps the home safe from thieves. Robbers often seek out homes with fire damage and steal anything worth value because there isn't anyone living there.

Soot Damage is Easy to Clean

Those who think soot damage is easy to clean are those who never tried to clean it before. They do not realize just how much soot can build up on the walls during a routine fire in a home. The soot damage can look like large and thick streaks that spread from the source of the fire and along the walls or floors. Using ordinary soap and sponges can make those streaks look worse and cause the soot to spread along those walls.

Fire Damage Restoration Takes Months or Years

Though some people think that fire cleanup takes months or even years, the time it takes depends on the severity of the fire in a home or fire in a business. During the initial inspection, the restoration company will check the severity of the fire damage and determine what they need to do, which will help them create a fire cleanup estimate. This estimate will include the cost of fixing any smoke damage, repairing the effects of the fire damage and removing the smoke smell in the building. A residential or commercial fire damage estimate should state how long it will take and the total cost too. Homes or buildings that have limited smoke damage may only need to limit access for a few days.

No one ever expects to live through a fire in a business or home, but this is something that millions of people experience each year. Residential and commercial fire damage experts do inspections to determine the seriousness of the fire and the fire cleanup steps necessary. A restoration company may recommend specific techniques to clean up smoke damage and products that will help with the fire damage restoration process. A top restoration company will employ professionals who can help with both commercial fire damage jobs as well as residential jobs and board up the windows and take other steps to secure the building. Visithttp://www.SERVPROwestkirkwoodsunsethills.com/fire-smoke-damage-restorationfor more information on Fire Damage!