Recent Storm Damage Posts

How to Deal With Frozen Pipes in Winter Weather | SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills

1/31/2024 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills frozen pipes Frozen pipes? Call SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills

At SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills, we often see an increase in water losses during the winter. A major culprit of these losses are frozen pipes. 

When the water inside the pipes freeze, its molecules expand, which causes a blockage of ice that prevents unfrozen water from passing through. When the frozen pipe begins to thaw, the pressure from the water can cause the pipe to burst. 

How Can I Tell My Pipes Are Frozen? 

One of the most common signs that you are dealing with frozen pipes is when you turn on your faucet and no water comes out (similarly, if you flush your toilet and it doesn’t refill). If this happens, you should check your water source to make sure it’s still turned on and that a leak isn’t occurring. 

Another tell-tale sign of frozen pipes is when your water line is coated in frost or is bulging.

If you know that your pipes are frozen, you can either choose to address the issue yourself or call in professionals. 

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes cause an estimated $400-$500 million in damage annually. To avoid adding to that total, there are several steps you can take.

When the weather gets cold, you should drain water from pipes that are likely to freeze, such as sprinkler and swimming pool water supply lines. Outside hoses should also be disconnected and drained, and indoor valves supplying these access points must be closed.

On frigid days, let your faucets drip cold water. Having the water drip out will make it harder for the water in the pipes to freeze. Your thermostat should also be kept around the same temperature at all times, and your house temperature should never fall below 55 degrees. Garage doors should also be kept shut to protect water lines. 

If you are worried about your pipes freezing, you can also place a 60-watt bulb in the areas you’re concerned with. Just make sure none of the materials near the bulb are combustible. 

What If My Pipes Are Already Frozen? 

If you realize your pipes have frozen, the first step is to keep your faucet open. This will help with thawing and allow for moving water to flow through the pipe. 

You can also apply heat to the specific area of the pipe that is frozen. You can do this by wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe or heating the area with a hair dryer. Using towels soaked in hot water can help, too. 

Keep applying heat until water flow returns to normal. After the pipe has been thawed, turn on other faucets around the house to make sure you don’t have any more frozen pipes. 

If the pipe is inside an exterior wall, you should immediately call a professional contractor. It is likely that a hole will need to be cut in the wall toward the inside of the house to allow the pipes to be exposed to warmer air. 

Frozen pipes can be a catastrophic problem for your home, but taking proactive measures can help you address the problem before it even starts.

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 or

Tornado Safety

4/7/2020 (Permalink)

Tornadoes……Safety and SERVPRO Tips!

To be ready for the potential danger a tornado brings may seem impossible, but just like all storms…. the key to survival is being prepared! Tornadoes are a bit more popular in the southern states we refer to as “Tornado Alley” and I am sure most of us reading this have never witnessed the destruction and loss of life a tornado can cause. This still doesn’t mean that we ignore or ill prepare our homes and places of business. Here at SERVPRO we have a few tips!

For starters, you need to put together a Safety Kit. This kit should include everything from three days of drinking water, food (nonperishable), basic first-aid supplies, a battery powered radio, and flashlight supplies. Please Be Aware of your weather warning system, both where your home and place of business reside. It is important to know which days are drills, your designated safety location to relocate, and to stay updated on any changes. Then when or if the situation occurs Do Not Open Your Windows. In no way does opening a window save on the impact or damage a tornado will bring. This only gives debris and rainwater easy access to enter and damage the building. Finally, If You Are In An Automobile it is important to get to the nearest building and the lowest level possible. Find a safe location, possibly under a solid piece of furniture like a desk or under a basement staircase.

To explore the option of having a more detailed emergency plan you will need to contact one of our SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. They are here to help and can aid in the production of creating an Emergency Response Profile for your home or business! 314-858-1688

When Temperatures Plummet

1/12/2020 (Permalink)

When temperatures plummet, the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting skyrockets. In fact, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather and can cause thousands in water damage—easily $5,000 or more, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

The pipes most at risk are those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, and garages. But even pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls can freeze. The good news is there are some simple things you can do to keep your water running and your house dry.

“Pipe insulation can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot at your local hardware store,” says Susan Millerick, IBHS spokeswoman. “So for not much more than the cost of the aspirin you’d need, you can avoid the headaches of cleanup, loss of precious keepsakes, and the cost of your insurance deductible.” Use the pipe insulation liberally to protect any vulnerable pipes.

Both the IBHS and the American Red Cross, which is in the business of emergency preparedness, have useful advice on how to prevent your pipes from freezing, as well as how to thaw them if they do. SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills is available 24/7/365 if you have suffered damage due to a frozen pipe. 314-858-1688

Bomb Cyclone hitting the Midwest

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Weather Radar showing the Bomb Cyclone over the Midwest Region.

In early March 2019, we experienced a winter storm that is know as a "Bomb Cyclone", but what is a Bomb Cyclone?

It is an intense and ferocious winter storm, and occurs when there is a rapid pressure drop, falling at least 24 millibars (which measure atmospheric pressure) over 24 hours, know as bombogenesis. This type of winter storm is expected to bring hurricane-force wind gusts, possible blizzard conditions and a flood threat across the Midwest.

The storm's heavy rainfall has caused major flooding and damaged many roads and bridges in Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. Numerous creeks and streams were out of their banks and caused widespread flooding. If your home or business is damaged due to flooding, call your trusted advisors at SERVPRO West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills today!

River Flooding Update

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

River Flooding Updated Map

The St. Louis area has experienced two major floods over the past few years resulting in a ton of damage to homes and businesses in the area. SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills is here to help with any damages that occur to your home or business.

Flooding can affect your home or business in multiple different ways. Heavy rain can cause a number of different issues for home and business owners in the St Louis area. It can cause over land flooding, hydrostatic pressure, over charged sewer lines and a number of other issues.

Keep up to date on how heavy rains and flooding can impact the Kirkwood and Sunset Hills areas. Check out the River Flooding Update Map to see what is going on in your area. If you are experiencing flood damage in your home or business, call your trusted advisors at SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills!

What is lurking in flood waters?

4/2/2019 (Permalink)

Underneath the surface of flood waters can be an abundance of danger: both living and non-living. The Environmental Protection Agency requests that everyone limit their exposure to flood waters. The agency states that flood waters may have high levels of raw sewage from both humans and animals embedded in the waters. In addition to that, many plants, factories, and farms may be overrun with flood waters, and some of those can leak toxic materials into the water, such as an oil refinery or nuclear plant. These issues can affect water mains, well water, and lines that can bring contaminated water into dry homes that may not even be flooded.

Unwanted animals may be lurking underneath the waters as well: crocodiles, snakes, fire ants, and even, if you're along a coastline, sharks.

On top of that, mold and standing water can both lead to unwanted visitors inside your home. Mosquitoes and insects tend to live, breed, and thrive in standing water, and mold growth can spike in the event of moisture. Getting rid of standing water near your home, in gutters, old tires, plastic covers tarps, pools, and buckets can certainly help.

While we can't totally alleviate the effects of flooding during severe weather, developing a flood plan for your family can help out.

Create a barrier of protection for areas that can be inundated with floodwaters, by way of perhaps sandbags. Additionally, secure food and water for your family in the event that clean, drinking water is scarce.

Officials urge storing in a cool place, at least 3 days of water for each individual person. Do not use or drink contaminated water for anything: brushing your teeth, washing dishes, making ice, or preparing food.

After the Storm, keep older and younger people with sensitive immune systems out of the home until your home or business can be restored by SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills. We are here to help 24/7/365. 314-858-1688

Why March Brings the Most Variety of Extreme Weather in the U.S.

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

When March arrives, what are the first things you think of? Spring, baseball, flowers blooming?

The atmosphere in March is often much less tranquil. Based on history, one could make an argument that March consistently sees the greatest variety of dangerous weather of any month in the U.S.

Why is this the case?

By definition, spring is a transition time between the persistent cold of winter and the heat of summer. The sun is increasingly higher in the sky each day, and there's increasing daylight, allowing the air to warm more efficiently.

At the same time, there's still lingering snowpack and colder air in Canada and parts of the northern and western U.S. in March.

Superimposed on this tension between increasing warmth and lingering cold is a still-active March jet stream, often taking large southward plunges over the U.S.

When this happens, the potential energy of the temperature contrast gets released in the form of an intensifying low-pressure system that can spawn a snowstorm, severe weather outbreak, rainfall flooding, coastal flooding and high winds. 

Perhaps the most recent March poster child for such a storm with multiple facets was the aptly named Superstorm of March 12-15, 1993.

It began with a squall line of severe thunderstorms racing across the eastern Gulf of Mexico, driving storm surge over much of Florida's Gulf Coast. That squall line then raced across the Florida Peninsula, spawning 11 tornadoes. Wind gusts up to 109 mph were clocked in the Dry Tortugas, west of Key West. Havana, Cuba, suffered a blackout due to the high winds.

(MORE: Historic Coastal Floods in the East)

To the north, whiteout conditions were reported in Atlanta, 6-foot drifts were seen near Birmingham, Alabama, and double-digit snowfall fell in 20 states from Alabama to Maine. Thousands were isolated by snow in the Southeast, and over 200 hikers needed to be rescued in the Smoky Mountains.

For the first time in history, every major airport on the East Coast was closed for a period of time due to this storm.

While not every March storm is a "Superstorm", the history of March storms is a long one. Here are some highlights by impact.


Multiple parts of the county have seen their share of powerhouse March snowstorms.

(MORE: Where March is the Snowiest Month)

These snowstorms often either hook out of the Rockies into the Plains, or track up the East Coast.

In mid-March 2017, Winter Storm Stella hammered the interior Northeast with up to 4 to 5 feet of snow, a record snowstorm for Binghamton, New York. 

Denver's second heaviest snowstorm was a mid-March 2003 whopper, when over 2.5 feet of snow in less than two-days' time effectively shut down the city.

(MORE: 4 Dangers of Heavy, Wet Snow)

Just four days after spring officially arrived, over 6 inches of snow buried a swath from Atlanta to Charlotte to Raleigh in 1983

The deadliest March snowstorm was the infamous Blizzard of 1888, which dumped 40 to 60 inches of snow in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, wind-whipped into drifts which topped some homes. Four hundred were killed in the storm and its cold aftermath.

Here are a sampling of other notable March snowstorms:

  • Late March 1987: Three-day blizzard produced gusts to 78 mph at Dodge City, Kansas and Altus, Oklahoma. Pampa, Texas, picked up 20 inches of snow. Forty-six Kansas counties declared disaster areas.
  • Early March 1966: Blizzard across North Dakota, Minnesota produced wind gusts to 100 mph, whipping snow into drifts 30 to 40 feet high, paralyzing travel for three days. 
  • Early March 1717: Four separate snowstorms hit the East in nine days, with up to 4 feet of snow in Boston and drifts to 25 feet in Dorchester, Massachusetts. 

Tornado Outbreaks

While severe weather can occur any time of year the ingredients align, March is typically when arctic fronts become less potent enough to allow warm, humid air to surge north more often in their wake ahead of vigorous jet-stream disturbances swinging out of the West.

The tornado threat tends to be highest in March in a corridor from the Southern Plains into the Tennessee Valley and Deep South. Central Florida can also be a tornado hot spot in March. 

(MORE: Tornadoes in March)

On March 2-3, 2012, 75 tornadoes were spawned from the Ohio Valley to the Deep South, killing 40. EF4 tornadoes hit Henryville, Indiana, and Crittenden, Kentucky. EF3 tornadoes hit West Liberty, Kentucky, and damaged the Paulding County, Georgia Airport.

Occasionally, these outbreaks occur farther north, when unusually warm and humid air intrudes ahead of a powerful jet stream and frontal system.

On March 29, 1998, 14 tornadoes, 13 of which were spawned from one supercell, tore through southern Minnesota, including the towns of Comfrey and St. Peter.

Even in what most conventionally think of as "tornado alley", the March 13, 1990, outbreak was a massive outbreak for March.

Fifty-nine tornadoes were spawned in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa, including a pair of F5s in Hesston and Goessel, Kansas. These were the strongest tornadoes reported so far northwest in the U.S. so early in the season.

Perhaps the most infamous March outbreak was the Tri-State Tornado Outbreak in 1925, claiming 747 lives in seven states on March 18, 1925.

According to Dr. Greg Forbes, severe weather expert for The Weather Channel, recent research has found that instead of being one single tornado, it's now believed a family of at least three tornadoes had a combined path of at least 235 miles in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

Here are some other notable severe weather and tornado events in March:

  • March 28, 2000: Back-to-back tornadoes struck Ft. Worth, then Arlington, Texas, shattering windows, killing three.
  • March 25, 1992: Hail up to 4 inches in diameter pelted the Orlando metro area, virtually shutting down the area's nursery industry due to broken glass.
  • March 28, 1984: At least 22 tornadoes tore through the Carolinas, including a 2.5-mile wide F4 near Tatum, South Carolina
  • March 25, 1952: Deadliest outbreak in Arkansas history, with 111 dead. In all, tornadoes claimed 343 lives in the South. One F4 tornado leveled the town of Judsonia, Arkansas.
  • March 20-22, 1932: One of the worst outbreaks in U.S. history from Mississippi to South Carolina to Indiana. Ten F4 tornadoes tore through Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee on March 21 alone.


Snow melting quickly during a sharp warm spell can and often does trigger spring flooding.

Some of the most serious flooding occurs when heavy rain falls in the spring as the ground is still soaked from absorbing spring meltwater. 

For this, March is almost synonymous with flooding in the Ohio Valley.

The early March 1997 flood was the highest in Cincinnati since 1964, and in some places in 60 years. Parts of the Ohio Valley picked up 10 to 13 inches of rain, sending the Ohio River and its tributaries into major flood. 

During the heart of the Dust Bowl, a mid-March "great flood" in 1936 set records in Pittsburgh, with additional flooding stretching as far northeast as Maine. 

(MORE: Flood Disasters More Common Inland)

Another destructive "great flood" in March 1913 was estimated to have claimed at least 1,000 lives, swamping the Miami River Valley of Ohio, including Dayton. 

Most recently, over 21 inches of rain triggered record flooding in parts of east Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi in March 2016. Particularly hard hit were the cities of Monroe and Shreveport, Louisiana, as well as the Sabine River.

East, West Coast Storms

We earlier mentioned the 1993 Superstorm as perhaps the ultimate, recent example of March's fury.

Certainly there are other examples of fierce nor'easters in March, including a late March 1984 storm that produced nearly 100 mph winds at Martha's Vineyard, and the infamously destructive Ash Wednesday 1962 storm along the Mid-Atlantic seaboard. 

Some March storms in the West can pack heavy snow, high winds and flooding rain.

From March 16-27, 2011, Tahoe City, California, picked up 82.5 inches, just under 7 feet, of snow.

In that same storm siege, over 11 inches of rain fell in the mountains above Santa Barbara, California, and winds gusted to 110 mph in Big Bear, California. 

By early March 1983, snow depths at Lake Tahoe reached 215 inches, prompting officials to warn cross-country skiers to avoid skiing into power lines buried by the massive snowpack.

Up to 18 inches of rain fell in parts of the L.A. Basin during that storm parade, punctuated by a pair of tornadoes on March 1, 1983.

An 8-foot wall of water roared down Santa Ana Canyon on March 3, 1938, after torrential rain, swamping areas between Santa Ana and Huntington Beach. Nineteen were killed and 2,000 were left homeless by this flood. 

Another 113 lives were lost in flooding along the Los Angeles River from that 1938 event. 

Jon Erdman

Tornado Safety- What You Should Do

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is just around the corner, the time of year when tornadoes are most common. However, powerful storms such as the ones which recently occurred in Alabama can happen at any time of the year. In fact, some experts say new parts of the country may see an increased threat of tornadoes in their areas.


  • Tornadoes can happen anywhere, at any time of day but are most likely to occur between 3:00 and 9:00 p.m.
  • The United States receives more than 1,200 tornadoes every year.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports there were as many as 800 confirmed tornadoes in 2018.
  • NOAA also reports the four deadliest states for tornadoes are Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas.
  • Most tornadoes occur east of the Rocky Mountains.
  • The area where we see the most tornadoes seems to be moving from the Plains states to the Southeast and Midwest, especially to states along the Mississippi River.


  • KNOW YOUR COMMUNITY’S WARNING SYSTEM. There are different ways to notify people about tornadoes. Many communities use sirens intended for outdoor warning purposes.
  • ·         IDENTIFY A SAFE PLACE IN YOUR HOME where you can gather – a basement, storm cellar or interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. In a high rise, pick a hallway in the center of the building as you may not have enough time to get to the lowest floor.
  • SECURE ITEMS OUTSIDE that can be picked up by the wind.
  • If you live in a mobile home, find a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. NO MOBILE HOME IS SAFE IN A TORNADO.
  • KNOW THE WARNINGS. A tornado watch means a tornado is possible. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. IMMEDIATELY GO TO YOUR SAFE PLACE.
  • WATCH FOR TORNADO DANGER SIGNS: dark, often greenish clouds, wall cloud, cloud of debris.
  • BRING YOUR ANIMALS INDOORS and maintain direct control of them.
  • IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE, look for the closest option to:

Seek shelter in a basement, storm shelter or sturdy building.

If you can’t walk to shelter, get into a vehicle and try to drive to a safe shelter.

If strong winds and debris are occurring, pull over and put your vehicle in park. Keep your seat belt on and engine running. Protect your head by leaning down below the windows, covering your head with your hands and a blanket or jacket.

Stay away from bridges and highway overpasses.

What should you do to be prepared for any weather emergency that threatens your community? Planning is the key. Being prepared is just a few short steps away:

1. GET A KIT. If you’ve ever fumbled to find a flashlight during a blackout, you know what it feels like to not be prepared. Get your emergency preparedness kit ready. You should include:

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and water—one gallon per person, per day for drinking and hygiene purposes
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit, medications and medical items
  • Copies of all important documents (proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Extra cash

2. MAKE A PLAN. Talk with household members about what you would do during emergencies. Plan what to do in case you are separated, and choose two places to meet - one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.

  • Choose a contact person from out of the area and make sure all household members have this person’s phone number and email address. It may be easier to call long distance or text if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service.
  • Tell everyone in the household where emergency information and supplies are kept.
  • Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case main roads are impassable.
  • Don’t forget your pets. If you must evacuate, make arrangements for your animals. Keep a phone list of “pet friendly” motels/hotels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.

3. BE INFORMED. Know the risks where you live, work, learn and play.

  • Arm yourself with information about what to do in case an emergency occurs. Remember that emergencies like fires and blackouts can happen anywhere, so everyone should be prepared for them.
  • Find out how you would receive information from local officials in the event of an emergency.
  • Learn first aid and CPR/AED so that you have the skills to respond in an emergency before help arrives, especially during a disaster when emergency responders may be delayed. A variety of online, in-classroom and blended (part online and part in the classroom) training courses are available at

SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills is ready to help our community. If you sustain damage from high winds or water during a storm we are here 24/7/365 to assist you. 314-858-1688

Record snowfall in Kirkwood Missouri could cause an Ice Dam in your home

1/13/2019 (Permalink)

Cross section of a home with an ice dam.

What is an ice dam?

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. 

What causes ice dams?

There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof's outside surface must be above 32 degrees F while lower surfaces are below 32. For a portion of the roof to be below 32, outside temperatures must also be below 32. When we say temperatures above or below 32, we are talking about average temperature over sustained periods of time.

The snow on a roof surface that is above 32 will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32 and freezes. Voila! - an ice dam.

The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on the average below 32. So the water above backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic space. From the attic it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish.

Preventing and dealing with ice dams

        Immediate action

  • Remove snow from the roof. This eliminates one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. A "roof rake" and push broom can be used to remove snow, but may damage the roofing materials.
  • In an emergency situation where water is flowing into the house structure, making channels through the ice dam allows the water behind the dam to drain off the roof. Hosing with tap water on a warm day will do this job. Work upward from the lower edge of the dam. The channel will become ineffective within days and is only a temporary solution to ice dam damage.

        Long-term action

  • First, make the ceiling air tight so no warm, moist air can flow from the house into the attic space.
  • After sealing air leakage paths between the house and attic space, consider increasing the ceiling/roof insulation to cut down on heat loss by conduction.The proper new construction practices to prevent ice dams begin with following or exceeding the state code requirements for ceiling/roof insulation levels.Recessed lights, skylights, complicated roof designs, and heating ducts in the attic will all increase the risk of ice dam formation.Moisture entering the home from ice dams can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. These biologicals can cause respiratory problems. It is important that the growth of mold and mildew be prevented. This can be done by immediately drying out portions of the house that are wet or damp by calling SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills at 314-858-1688 for all your emergency water damage restoration needs 24/7/365.

Sump Pump Damage in St. Louis, MO

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

In this picture you can see the extent of the failure.

This St. Louis office building suffered serious damages after a recent sump pump failure. Notice the extent of the sump pump failure as the water has spread throughout the whole office. Our crews extracted all the water from the building and made sure the problem with the sump pump was fixed to make sure it wouldn't over flow again. In this picture you can see a green hose and a tool that looks similar to a vacuum. The vacuum and hose are used to extract all the sump pump water from the carpet and into a bucket in the other room. The whole process took our crews a total of seven days to complete. The customers from the office were very happy to have their office fixed and not filled with water anymore. For help restoring your home or office after a sump pump failure, call SERVPRO of West Kirkwood at 314-858-1688 and we'll make it, "Like it never even happened." For more information on water please click the link:


7/31/2017 (Permalink)

When mother nature is at her absolute worst, SERVPRO of West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills is at its best! Immediate response, expert assessment and specialized equipment are paramount in the aftermath of a severe storm or wind damage. As with any of our core services, SERVPRO West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills takes extra special care in salvaging and restoring  any property that may have been affected.

Severe weather never sleeps and neither do we! SERVPRO of West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills is always a mere phone call away when disaster strikes. Our Storm Response Team travels nationally to any area devastated by natural disaster. Give us a call at 314-858-1688 or check out our other storm blogs! Our crews will make it "Like it never even happened."

What's comes after the floods.

6/27/2017 (Permalink)

Nobody expected that the creeks and rivers could rise that far. They never have before. Now, the house is a muddy mess of debris, water and extensive damage. For some people, moving would be the first thought that came to mind. However, others want to stay in their homes, repair the water damage, and live on in the house they love.

Flood damage is more than just the standing water left after the creek recedes. It's ruined carpets and furniture, wet plaster and more. Water in the home or business is just the start of the problems. Without proper clean-up and sanitizing, mold can grow, floor damage can be permanent and drywall can be ruined. It is imperative to immediately start the restoration process to help limit the damage and mounting costs. A call to a professional water mitigation company should be the first step taken by a home owner after flooding occurs.

Water cleanup begins with bringing in equipment to extract the water in the home. Pumps and specialized vacuums are used to suck up the water. Restoration is a process. Once the puddles have been cleared, the next step will begin. The water damage will be in the walls, floors and furnishings. Drying is imperative to help stop the damage and to prevent mold from growing.

Fans, dehumidifiers and other equipment will be brought in to help dry out the water in walls and moisture from furnishings and floors. Thoroughly drying water in the home will save thousands of dollars worth of damage later.

Restoration from the devastation of flood damage is not an easy process. A professional service should be called to handle the process so that it is done correctly. For instance, not many individuals would know that after the water in their business is removed or the water in their home is dried, more steps are still necessary. Sanitizing the surfaces, furnishings and anything else the water touched should be done.

Water in the business or home could have left a foul odor. Professionals can remove the lingering odors left even after the water cleanup. Mitigation professionals know how to use fogging equipment and industrial air scrubbers to help remove the last traces of the water damage.

After the restoration process of water cleanup, drying, sanitizing and odor elimination, there is still one last step in the water damage mitigation process - repairs. Water in a business can damage walls, carpeting and flooring. Drywall may need to be replaced. Electrical outlets and wiring should be checked for damage. Water in a business may have warped sub-flooring, damaged floor joists and wrecked major appliances. Time is money, so flood damage needs to be taken care of as quickly as possible. Quick yet thorough mitigation will get a business back up and running after flood damage has occurred.

Storms, floods and even appliance malfunctions like a dishwasher overflow can cause homes and businesses the headaches of having to deal with the water cleanup process. Nobody wants to go through it, but when it happens a person shouldn't go through it alone. Our crews here at SERVPRO West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills know exactly how to deal with the devastation left behind after the floods.  Since professional water damage restoration companies have the equipment and training to handle cleaning, drying and even rebuilding homes and businesses, they should be the first choice for mitigation.

Sure, the damage is devastating and overwhelming. Of course, nobody wants to go through flooding and the after-effects. The reality is that these occurrences can and do happen every day. The good news is that there are people specifically trained to restore homes and businesses to their pre-flood conditions.
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restoring lives in west kirkwood and sunset hills

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

When the record breaking flooding occurred a couple weeks again St. Louis, MO, we promptly dispatched our SERVPRO of West Kirkwood and Sunset hillsteams to assist in the unprecedented recovery efforts. We were very happy to help many grateful business and home owners during their desperate time of need. Our highly trained technicians are water and storm damage specialists. The goal is always the same, to return your commercial or residential property back to pre-storm condition. Using scientific drying techniques and advanced equipment, we document the drying process to insure the business or home is ready to return to. When water damage happens, a quick response is very important. Night or day, St. Louisbusiness owners and residents can expect our local team of professionals to respond immediately to your water emergency. So give us a call at 314-858-1688.

Quick Helpful Tips For Working With Your Insurance For Restoration

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Regular life is stressful enough, but if you are surprised with flooding or other water damage in your home, everyone in the household will be stressed. Whether the recent St. Louis flood damage leaves carpeting soaked and soggy or you have come back to a disaster after evacuation, severe weather and damaged pipes will cause significant worry about how to start putting back together your daily life.

However, you can prepare for these unknowns by knowing what to expect and create a plan in case of emergency. To assist you, SERVPRO of West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills has put together this mini-guide to help you understand the flood insurance claim process.

The first thing you will want to do is call your insurance provider. Although the U.S. government funds the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), local home and rental insurance companies are the exclusive sellers of Flood Damage Insurance. While you will be working directly with an insurance agent, SERVPRO can also serve as a liaison, helping you to navigate through the claims process.

After your initial call to your insurance company, contact your West Kirkwood or Sunset Hills SERVPRO at 314-858-1688. We are available every day, all day, to handle your emergencies. Even if you are not able to reach your insurance agent immediately, SERVPRO will take your call and begin to work with you on first response remediation solutions. Have questions about what to do first or what items can be restored? SERVPRO is here to answer those questions and more! Our compassionate team understands your distress and will guide you through the storm damage restoration process.

Now you can begin your water damage restoration. We pride ourselves on having the fastest response time to storm damage in your area. We will arrive at your home prepared to conduct an inspection and moisture readings, create a scope of the damage and provide an estimate for you and your insurance provider. Our team will arrive prepared and ready to start immediately. Using our dedicated SERVPRO Claims Information Center (CIC) we can store and access your information easily and quickly.

Our SERVPRO team members are the premier flood and water damage restoration experts in The West Kirkwood and Sunset hills surrounding areas. We are also the preferred remediation team for home insurance providers, and the most trusted helper for storm disasters. Storm damage restoration and navigating flood insurance claims can feel stressful, but we are here to assist you with every stage of the recovery process.

For emergencies and other situations, call 314-858-1688 anytime to reach your area flood damage experts, SERVPRO West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills. We help residential and commercial property owners when natural disasters, water damage, sewer backups, floods, mold infestations, fires and other events happen.