Recent Posts

Holiday Decor, Storage, and Mold…. Surprise!

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Discovered behind storage box Area of mold was found while looking for Halloween decorations in the basement of a home in Kirkwood, MO.

As we begin to enter our closets, attics, and basements we get excited for seasonal décor and all our future company. The only down fall is that these are areas of our homes that we usually only enter a few times a year. We get out our pumpkins and scarecrows, followed by a plastic turkey or two, then finally that beautiful tree and all the totes that hold our precious memories. With that being said, we usually discover dust, possible mice droppings, and unfortunately mold!

Upon the discovery of mold or anything you think may be a form of mold, it is best to reach out to your local SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills franchise. After a few simple questions, a Franchise Professional will be able to schedule and perform a proper inspection. We advise that you leave all content in place until we have properly assessed the damage. There are multiple steps that are taken when treating and removing mold.

We would begin services by providing mold containment. This would prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area. Following the containment, a certified technician of  SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills  would use specialized filtration equipment to capture microscopic mold spores. This equipment may vary depending on the materials and the size of the contaminated area. Technicians would properly remove and dispose of all mold-infested porous materials, such as drywall and flooring. Finally, cleaning and sanitizing those belongings that you so desperately want to display is the last step in making your home safe and ready for the holidays! Our professionals are available 24/7 for all your restoration needs -314-858-1688.

Soot Damage

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

Black Soot on tile floor Fire Damage in Sunset Hills, MO

Smoke and soot from a fire is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home or business causing hidden damage and odor. SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills’s smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure

Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor

The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  The professionals at SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills – 314-858-1688

EPA Compliance Advisory on Product Claims

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

 

The U.S. EPA recently issued a Compliance Advisory titled “What You Need to Know Regarding Products Making Claims to Kill the Coronavirus Causing COVID-19”. 

The purpose of the Compliance Advisory is to address concerns related to products being used to disinfect surfaces which include claims to kill and/or be effective against SARS-CoV-2, the
coronavirus causing the disease COVID-19. For some of these products, those claims have not been reviewed or accepted by EPA and, therefore, may present a risk to consumers, and healthcare
providers in particular.

The EPA uses the following very strong language that is helpful in advising our clients and
customers regarding the increasing number of new age products and methods that are being pitched with dubious efficacy and other claims in connection with COVID-19, and challenging the use of those questionable products and methods in the marketplace:

It is unlawful for any person to distribute or sell a pesticide in the United States making claims
to that it will kill a particular pathogen, unless that pesticide is registered with EPA and that
particular claim has been deemed acceptable by the agency. The EPA is receiving a steady stream of tips/complaints concerning potentially false or misleading claims, including efficacy claims,
associated with pesticides and devices. These tips/complaints are being actively reviewed and
efforts are being made to identify potentially violative products. The EPA intends to pursue
enforcement against products making false and misleading claims regarding coronavirus. The EPA is working with e-commerce platforms to remove/prohibit these fraudulent and/or otherwise inefficacious products from the marketplace. The EPA is also coordinating with the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal partners to bring the full force of the law against those selling or otherwise distributing violative products.

SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills consistently uses only SERVPRO approved cleaning and disinfecting products and methodologies to help combat the COVID-19 crisis. We are always here to help. 314-858-1688

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Program Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Program

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we are all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we have developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we are offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you have selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We have cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you will be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.We are Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities, we all call home. 
  • Call SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills today at 314-858-1688 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.
  • Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

What's Safe to Flush or Drain?

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

What’s Safe to Flush or Drain?

Disposing of the wrong items in a toilet or drain can cause blockages and slow drainage, flooding, and hazardous sewage back-ups into your home or yard. Fixing them can require costly and disruptive repairs for you and contributes to sewer rate increases for the whole community. Don’t let your hard-earned money go down the drain. Follow these guidelines at home and work.

The sewer pipes that serve the toilet, shower, bath, sinks, washing machine, and floor drains in your home or business are designed to carry only three things: human body waste, toilet paper, and wastewater. When other items are put down the drain, they can combine to cause clogs, put additional stress on the pipes, or get caught up in our wastewater treatment facilities. This material then needs to be trucked to a landfill, causing extra work and expense, and higher rates for customers.

Don't Flush or Drain (Just to name a few!)

  • Bones
  • Bread Dough
  • Butter
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Gravy
  • Paper Towels
  • Rubber Bands
  • Tampons
  • Wet Wipes

DO:

  • Place a wastebasket in your bathroom for disposing non-flushable items.
  • Place liquid cooking fats, oil and grease into a container with a lid and dispose of in trash.
  • Wipe down greasy pots, pans and dishes before washing.
  • Have your sewer rodded or snaked regularly.
  • Dispose of old medicines or drugs at an approved drug take-back site or event.
  • Dispose of motor oil, paint, grease or other dangerous fluids at the St. Louis Household Hazardous Waste collection facility.

If your home or business sustains a backup we are here to help 24/7/365 days!!! Call SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills  314-858-1688

Grilling Safety

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

It happens every year. The weather gets warmer, more people use outdoor grills – and incidents of grill-caused fires go up. In 2013-2017 outdoor grilling causes an annual average of 10,200 home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills, the association adds. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 64% of households own a gas grill, 44% own a charcoal grill and 9% own an electric grill.

Regardless of the type of grill you own, here are 9 BBQ safety tips that will keep you and your home safe for barbecuing season:

  1. Grill outside and away from any structures

Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only. However, NFPA reports that more than one-quarter (27%) of home fires started by outdoor grills began in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and 29% started on an exterior balcony or open porch. Pay attention to overhanging tree branches when you set up your grill.

  1. Make sure your grill is stable

Only set up your grill on a flat surface and make sure the grill can’t be tipped over. Consider using a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your grill to protect your deck or patio.

  1. Keep your grill clean

Remove grease or fat buildup from both the grill and the tray below the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, allow the coals to completely cool off before disposing of them in a metal container.

  1. Check for propane leaks on your gas grill

Before the season’s first barbecue, check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.

  1. If the flame goes out, wait to re-light

If you are using a gas grill and the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.

  1. Take care around the grill

Never leave a lit grill unattended. Don’t allow kids or pets to play near the grill. Never try to move a lit or hot grill, and remember the grill will stay hot for at least an hour after use.

  1. Be careful with charcoal starter fluid

If you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. If the fire starts to go out, don’t add any starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Consider using a charcoal chimney starter, which uses newspaper to start the fire instead of starter fluid.

  1. Wear the right clothing

Clothing can easily catch fire, so be sure your shirt tails, sleeves or apron strings don’t dangle over the grill.

  1. Be ready to put out the fire

Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a bucket of sand next to the grill. Never use water to put out grease fire.

These easy-to-follow tips will help you and your family to enjoy a safe summer barbecuing season. For those grilling over an open fire, check out these fire pit safety tips to keep you and your guests safe.

SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills is always here to help!! 314-858-1688

Private Sewer Line

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

A Guide to Your Private Sewer Line

What is a lateral line?

The lateral line connects your home or building to the public sewer system. Wastewater from your sinks, showers, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines flows through the lateral line to the public sewer system.

Who is responsible for maintaining and repairing the lateral line?

The lateral line, including connection, is private property. It is the property owners’ responsibility to maintain and repair the lateral line.

It’s important to keep the lateral line clear of obstructions and in good repair. This will greatly reduce the risk of blockages, clogs and water backups.

What causes lateral lines to become blocked or obstructed?

Lateral lines can be blocked or obstructed by items flushed down the toilet or washed down the drain, as well as tree roots, grease, and other obstructions.

How do I know if my lateral line is blocked or damaged?

Some signs that your lateral is blocked or damaged include slow draining, water pooling around the basement floor drains, sewage smell inside or outside the building, wastewater leaking from cleanouts, and wet ground in your yard.

Will insurance cover repairs to the lateral line?

Most homeowners’/business owners’ insurance policies do not cover damages caused by a problem with the lateral line. You should verify coverage with your insurance agent.

Many area municipalities offer lateral line insurance for their residents. This insurance helps offset the cost of repairing lateral lines. Please verify all information by contacting your municipality.

How do I get the lateral line repaired?

If you do not qualify for a municipal lateral line insurance program, then you should contact a licensed professional plumber.

How do I maintain the lateral line?

Have the lateral line inspected and cleaned annually by a licensed plumber.

Do not plant trees or large shrubs near the lateral line. Roots can enter the lateral line and
cause a blockage. If roots enter your lateral line, call a license plumber to clear the line.

Do not pour grease down the sink. When grease cools, it can build up in the lateral line and cause
a blockage. See Grease Management for how to properly dispose of grease.

Do not flush diapers, feminine hygiene products or other non toilet paper materials down the
toilet. These items can block the lateral line.

In some areas, downspouts are connected to the lateral line. Debris from the roof can wash into the gutters and eventually reach the lateral line. Keep gutters clean to keep debris from blocking the lateral line.

Repair or replace damaged lateral lines as soon as possible.

If your home or business sustains water damage we are here to help! 314-858-1688

Extreme Safety Tips

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick and overweight. According to the EPA, "the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50-90 degree hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces-often in more rural surroundings-remain close to air temperatures."

If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool.

Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.

The Science of Drying

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know there is a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills Franchise Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

    What exactly does it mean to help "Speed up Mother Nature"? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material - but only if the air is, indeed, drier. 

The only problem is nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

Your SERVPRO professionals have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more.

It's not only the equipment, but the technology too. SERVPRO had developed DryBook, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook Mobile, you can know exactly where your property is in the drying process.

Bottom line, SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills Franchise Professionals have the training and equipment to help make water damage "Like it never even happened."

We are always here to help! 314-858-1688

Smoke Alarms : Life Savers

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

We’ve all heard the low, quiet, annoying beeping sound from inside the house that feels like it never beeps when you are standing next to it. Yes, you know what we are talking about, the smoke alarm. Did you know that the beeping sound is a reminder to change the batteries and perform a quick service to ensure it is working properly? The question is, do you know how to service your smoke alarms? We found some tips from NFPA https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Smoke-alarms/Installing-and-maintaining-smoke-alarms

  1. Smoke alarms should be maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  3. Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
  4. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to keep smoke alarms working well. The instructions are included in the package or can be found on the internet.
  5. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  6. Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  7. When replacing a battery, follow the manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. The manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.

In the case of a fire emergency in your home or commercial business, SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills has the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home. Why should you trust us? Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property as an IICRC-Certified Firmed.

We are always here to help! 314-858-1688