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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Take Precautions Before Vacation

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

During the summer months families try to take the time and get away for some quality time with each other. It is extremely important to remember the precautions around the home that one should take before leaving for an extended amount of time. It is important to unplug every outlet. This could be as simple as unplugging normal everyday items such as toasters, coffee makers and unused phone chargers. Taking the extra time to turn off water valves could result in a perfect vacation that doesn't end early due to a broken water line. It is also important to make sure you are taking double the precautions during the winter months in case of a frozen pipe. Most homeowners will choose to turn up the air, turn down the heat or turn off the controls completely when gone. These options should only be considered when the weather allows it to be. 

What the Hail?

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Recently a major part of Lincoln County was hit with some rather major storms. Earlier this week residents of Troy, MO captured video of what was the biggest hail storm the town had seen in over ten years. The hail was the size of golf balls in certain spots and rained down so hard and fast that the ground looked like it was covered in snow for about 30 minutes after the storm passed. Hail damage can cause more than just a dented car hood or a shattered window. Hail has been known to weaken roofs causing leaks to seep into homes. Broken windows allow moisture to creep into homes cause musty car upholstery. Did you know SERVPRO can remove mold and mildew smell from vehicles too? However big the disaster, SERVPRO is here to help!

The Dangers of Floods

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disaster in the United States. Whether you home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river, or even in the desert--there is always potential for flood damage. Fema.gov reports the in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past does not mean you wont in the future. In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate to low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to $27,000. According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than nay other weather related disaster. For more information you can visit www.fema.gov

Emergency Water Damage Tips

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source. 

Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power district to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock. 

Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. 

Place aluminium foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. 

Move any paintings, art objects, computers, Documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place. 

Do not enter effected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuits, breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards. 

Do not use household vacuum cleaner  to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner. 

Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. 

For any more questions or concerns regarding a water damaged home feel free to contact us 24/7 at 636-456-3422

Does Your Home Have A Mold Problem?

2/26/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today 636-456-3422

Is Your Home The Perfect Condition For Mold Growth?

2/26/2018 (Permalink)

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.

If you suspect mold, call us today at 636-456-3422

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties for mold remediation services.

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Services

2/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 636-456-3422

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties

SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. 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.

Are Your Employees Ready For A Disaster?

1/29/2018 (Permalink)

When you started your business did you imagine yourself being present 24/7? Most business owners do not have the ability nor is it practical to think you can be completely involved in your business every minute of every day. We hire employees we hope to trust and try to make sure they represent the ultimate goal of what your business is trying to achieve. However is it possible we might overlook the basic things employees should know? Do your workers know how to shut off the water or the electric? Would they know who to call in case you were out of town or unavailable during a disaster? It is important to discuss a plan with your employees in the case of a water or fire event. These events could be anything from something breaking within your building or an outside force such as a storm or heavy winds. When I was a a high school student working in a local restaurant our owner was out of town. There was a storm in which the roof had blown off causing it to look like it was raining in our restaurant!If we had an ERP, an Emergency Ready Profile from our local SERVPRO we would have been prepared for the situation. In an ERP you will learn all the shut off valves within your building as well as having a compiled list of emergency contacts. 

You Can Be Ruined Or You Can Be Ready!

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

Technology can now be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare your business.

Store Information Online: 

  • There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer free ways to store different types of files, from a word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary. 
  • Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and email for communication with family, friends business contacts, and others whom you may need to contact with before , during or after a disaster. 

Commercial Services

1/16/2018 (Permalink)

You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call in SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on SERVPRO to make your work space look its very best. SERVPRO will get the job done right and get it done quickly!

SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties offer cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing bio-hazard contaminants. They have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Their cleaning services include the following: Commercial Cleaning, Air Ducts and HVAC, Biohazard, Carpet and Upholstery, Ceilings, Floors, and Walls, Drapes and Blinds,  Odor Removal, Sewage, Trauma and Crime Scene, Vandalism

Is There Such Thing As Good Mold?

1/16/2018 (Permalink)

There will always be somedegree of airborne mold spores through the air in your home.It comes through gaps in doors, open windows, even on our clothes from us being outside. There is also normal mold in a home that can be taken care of with general cleaning such as mildew in the shower and that weird black stuff that stains the insides of our window tracks. These are "normal" because they are growing on non-porous surfaces and do not have a sustainable food source.

Now for the bad mold. Food sources within a home are pretty numerous. It can be anything from drywall to wood frames, debris and storage boxes. With a porous surface mold has something to eat. The removal of bad mold becomes hard for a homeowner to do on their own because not only does the source of the mold need to be treated, the mold itself removed properly, but the air needs to be treated for purity and a potential water source needs to be found. SERVPRO highly recommends using a professional such as ourselves for mold cleanup.

How Can You Prepare For MO Storms?

1/16/2018 (Permalink)

Living in Missouri makes it hard to prepare your home, your vehicles and your clothing choices. For example, today it is currently 2 degrees. Schools were cancelled by 6:00 a.m. this morning due to the harsh temperatures and buses not being able to keep batteries alive during the cold winter. However, by Sunday it will be back up to 60 degrees. The ground around our home is constantly freezing then thawing. It puts pressures on our foundations and our sump pumps. It makes us think about how insulated our homes are. It makes us worry if we will come home to a frozen or busted pipe. We have seen quite a few homeowners come home from winter vacations to a home filled with water. Luckily for everyone in Missouri, There is SERVPRO! For more general winter precautions check out our previous blog posts and our newslines!

Space Heaters & Heated Blankets

1/9/2018 (Permalink)

During the winter months its hard to stay warm. We bundle ourselves up in coats and heat up our cars a good while before we get in them. However once we get home we tend to use blankets, fires and space heaters. All of these items can allow us some level of comfort when the weather is chilly. However, do you really know the safety precautions to take for these items? Heated blankets are great for snuggling on the couch but once it is bedtime make sure they are unplugged and away from children. Ditch the old heated blankets! Newer heated blankets have timers and heat settings on them. Space heaters should not be left on during sleep either. It is important to keep running space heaters away from comforters, curtains and any object within its reach that could potentially catch fire. 

Are You Winter Ready?

1/9/2018 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for the coming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet, or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits. n Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries. n Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems. n Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. n Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present. n Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe. 

Importance of Smoke Alarms

1/9/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement. Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes. Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA). If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross. Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family.

Your Business vs. Ice Dams

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

It is often hard to know what kind of weather Missouri will bring during the winter months. Our winter of 2017-18 has brought us more snow already than in the entire winter of 2016-17. Having these previous "off-years" can make business owners unprepared and forgetful of how harsh mid-western winters can become. We remember to start our company vehicles a little earlier and salt our sidewalks. We prepare for employees to have to stay home more during snow days with their children. But what are the things we can't see that could put your business in jeopardy? Things such as Ice Dams can be a little known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can back flow under the roof's shingles and into the business's interior areas, as well as causing gutter and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside "check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your building. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane. 

Learn About Fires!

12/20/2017 (Permalink)

Learn About Fires

  • Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
  • Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
  • Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
  • Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio

Develop Fire-Safe Habits

If you do nothing else:
  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. If you smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside; choose fire-safe cigarettes; never smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen.
  • Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.

 For more information visit: http://www.redcross.org  

Worries of Winter Weather

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is cause by back flow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly. To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take according the American Red Cross. 

-Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses. 

-Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing. 

-When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes. 

-keep your heat set to the same temperature both days and night. 

Light The Night Safely

12/6/2017 (Permalink)

Pretty lights, candles and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season, However if they are not sued carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening. The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the risk of fire in your home or business this holiday season. 

Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators and heat vents. 

Make sure that light strings are other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, and heat vents. 

Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturers instructions.

Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed. 

Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed. 

Looking Out For Loved Ones

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

Mold can grow just about everywhere, however with a keen eye and sense of smell one could probably identify mold upon coming into contact with it. Most of us know someone who is of limited mobility. A good amount of our mold remediation jobs are from homes occupied with someone who has limited mobility and have not been able to inspect around the home or in a basement or crawl space. The homeowner only knows something is wrong because a smell has presented itself. It is extremely important to check on the elderly and mobility impaired homeowners. Another thing to keep in mind is the elderly tend to keep the heat up in their homes a lot higher than a younger person which means if they were to have a slow water leak or something of that kind, it could potentially produce mold faster than average.

Irma Stands No Chance Against SERVPRO

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Irma was the strongest of its kind since Wilma in 2005. It was the first category five to strike the Leeward Islands on record and followed by Hurricane Maria only two weeks later.  On September 6, Irma reached its peak intensity with 185 mph winds making it the second most intense tropical cyclone worldwide so far in 2017, behind only Hurricane Maria and the strongest worldwide in 2017 in terms of wind speed. During this time our Disaster Recovery Teams were headed down to the effected areas of Florida and still parts of Texas from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Our franchise team was down in Naples Fl. for over three weeks and helped many homeowners get back in their homes. SERVPRO provided generators, dehumidifiers, air movers and man power to the effected homes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who suffered because of the Hurricane and a very warm thank you to anyone who also helped others in the wake of this catastrophic event. 

Kitchen Cautions

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fire and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. its important to be alert to prevent cooking fires. 

Be alert! if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use to the stove top. 

Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food. 

If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. 

Keep anything that can catch fire-oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains-away from the stovetop. 

The Behavior of Smoke

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior 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. 

SERVPRO is thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins SERVPRO will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows SERVPRO to focus on saving your precious items. 

SERVPRO knows smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke: 

  • 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. 

Types of Smoke: 

  • 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. 
  • Fuel oil soot (furnace puff backs) while "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO can restore contents and structures quickly. 
  • Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care. 

Is Mold A Problem In Your Home?

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

Have a Mold Problem?

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional for mold remediation services.

What NOT to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

Hurricane Season 2017

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

The great thing about SERVPRO is that just people yopu don't live in an area that doesn't always get affected by certain weather events, does not mean that your local SERVPRO franchise is not helping with the aftermath of such disasters. 

Hurricane season is currently underway. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property-threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds and tornadoes. While the primary threat is in coastal areas, many inland areas can also be affected by these hazards, as well as by secondary events such as power outages as a result of high winds and landslides due to rainfall. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property, and take steps to protect your home or business. 

Carbon Monoxide: Is Your Home or Business Safe?

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, but a high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide, or CO, is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas, created when fuels like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas and propane burn incompletely. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning. it is estimated another 20,0000 visit the emergency room. and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups--including unborn babies, infants and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems--being more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide. All excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or idling cars left running in garages. Taking some basic precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home or business. 

It Takes Science to Dry!

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know there is actually a science behind the drying process? having 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, your local SERVPRO Professionals are trained in the sciences of drying and follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers a water damage, your local SERVPRO 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. 

Speeding Up Mother Nature

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO uses the term "Speeding up mother nature" a lot. What exactly does this mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will natural 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 your home or building is drying out.  SERVPRO professionals have the tool and equipment to help mother nature along, including equipment to help help dry hardwood floors, touch to reach spaces inside walls, and much more. SERVPRO also uses state of the art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business. 

When Disaster Strikes...

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO's disaster recovery team is poised and "Ready for whatever happens." Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. For example, here are some disaster events that SERVPRO has helped clean up:

  • 2016 East Tennessee Wildfires: One of the largest in history of Tennessee, the Great Smokey Mountains wildfires burned more than 17,000 acres and about 2500 structures in November 2016. The 12 crews that were dispatched worked a total of 78 jobs, where they mitigated over $1 Million in damages. 
  • 2016 Hurricane Mathew: Following the East Coast from Florida up to North Carolina, this hurricane caused major flooding, primarily as rivers rose in Easter North Carolina. SERVPRO had 169 crews dispatched. These crews took on more than 1050 jobs and over $7.5 million in damages. 

The Mold Mitigation and Restoration Process

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process. Call Your SERVPRO Professionals! The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO’s Call Center or your local Franchise Professional. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed. Inspection & Damage Assessment Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view. Mold Containment Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. Air Filtration Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. Our SERVPRO technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress. Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth. Cleaning Contents & Belongings SERVPRO Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment. Restoration Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. SERVPRO Professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.

Heavy Storms Cause Damage In Troy, MO

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

On Sunday July 23rd, Most of the State of Missouri suffered heavy thunderstorms. This thunderstorm was quite heavy compared to the occasional rain that we have had through out the summer. Around 1:30 am, most residence awoke to heavy and loud winds rebounding off of their homes, mine included. The house shook with every thunder clap causing windows to rattle. As the electric flickered on and off the storm got eerily quiet while the wind picked up. Its moments like this when you wonder if this is the time you need to wake up your family and head to basement. However as I sat in my bed looking at the radar it was just thunderstorms. Waking up in the morning was a whole other story. The neighborhood looked like a tornado had hit it. As calls started coming into our office about water damage from the storm and trees falling on houses, it was not hard to believe that this storm could have been something more than what I had originally thought. When storms like this happen so quickly it is hard for water to dissipate into the ground at the same speed causing back ups into homes and walkout basements to flood. This is where SERVPRO comes in! 

Why Insurers Choose SERVPRO

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties are trained, uniformed professionals using professional cleaning procedures, providing fast and efficient service to meet SERVPRO's high standards of excellence! 

Our equipment consists of state of the art truck mounted unites, extractors, dry cleaning machines, dehumidifiers and other cleaning equipment that is designed to cost efficiently arrest any further damage to the structure and contents and return your insured property to its preloss state in most cases. Only SERVPRO professionals are licensed to offer our exclusive line of products. 

Pop-Up Storms Causings Quick Damages

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

This past memorial weekend has brought a lot of interesting weather. Like many of you, our families traveled to go fishing to some of Missouri's best lakes, such as Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock and Mark Twain. On our way up to the Ozarks we experienced bright and clear blue skies until we reached Eldon, MO. The skies has switched quickly to a greenish grey. A light rain turned into a heavy downpour with golf ball size hail. At this point we all started getting National Weather Alerts on our phone for a Tornado Warning. We were pulled over on the side of the highway as did most of the vehicles around us. In the two and half hour drive the temperature had fluctuated 25 degrees causing very unstable weather. As the rain started to dissipate enough to keep pedaling our way down the highway the skies began to clear and the sun was out shining brighter than it had earlier that day. Most Missouri residence are used to this type of severe fluctuations in weather, however older homes or homes that have poor drainage cannot handle pop up storms. The amount of water that is being produced cannot be properly ran off or drained due to backups. This can lead to damage in basements or roof leaks. In which case, this is why SERVPRO has a 24 Hour emergency service team ready to take action when Missouri's pop-up storms cause trouble in your area. 

Flooding In St. Louis For Two Years In A Row

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

The St. Louis Post Dispatch recently had an article about the drastic flooding we have had in our region in the past two years. The article states "Residents of waterlogged communities along the Meramec River and other swollen area waterways have experienced something unusual for the region.


In a span of just 16 months, the people of cities like Eureka, Pacific and Valley Park have twice braced for and dealt with so-called “100-year” floods that have left damage, financial loss and heartache in their wake. Now, as the floodwater recedes in some communities, residents are left wondering how soon the next catastrophic flood will arrive.


Answers from experts are not reassuring.


 

Officially, neither the 2015 flood nor last week’s disaster on the Meramec qualify as 100-year events — though that may be small comfort.


“This flood we’re preliminarily calling an 80-, 81-year event,” said Bob Holmes, the Rolla-based national flood coordinator for the United States Geological Survey. The 2015 flood, he says, ranked as a “91-year” event based on flood records for the Meramec at Eureka.


Though Holmes points out that it’s “not unheard of” to have floods of that severity happen in such close succession, others think it’s more than just a stroke of bad luck. They assign blame to worrisome climate trends that boost the likelihood of major rain events or failed flood policy that both constricts and swells waterways through levee construction and flood plain development.


Combined and left unmitigated, some say, both those factors mean the region’s flooding problems will persist .


“When you live in an area that can flood or develop in the flood plain, you’re always playing a bit of Russian roulette with the river or the climate,” Holmes said. “As we get in a wetter climate cycle, it could happen more and more often.”


Extreme bouts of precipitation don’t always translate to extreme floods, owing to a variety of factors such as soil moisture. Nonetheless, flood risk is rising with episodes of heavy rainfall becoming more common in the Midwest, says Ken Kunkel, a professor who researches extreme weather at North Carolina State University and is also involved with the National Climate Assessment.


“Every decade has been higher than the previous decade in terms of these events,” Kunkel said.


He says studies link more frequent downpours to rising global temperatures, which add more water vapor to the atmosphere, increasing the potential for precipitation whenever a storm system comes along.


“They’ve got more fuel to work with, with more water vapor,” Kunkel said.


At Sullivan, in the Meramec Basin, the National Weather Service reports that 11.88 inches of precipitation was recorded over a 10-day span from April 26 to May 5. That total approaches a 100-year rain event in terms of likelihood, based on probabilities from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


That rain, however, came in a few distinct waves, which stack up as a series of smaller or less-historic rain events when viewed over different time intervals. Sullivan’s largest three-day rain total of 6.7 inches, measured from April 29 to May 1, falls between a 10-year and a 25-year rain event, according to NOAA.


All that rain capped a historically wet month for Missouri. Patrick Guinan, the state climatologist, said preliminary data suggest that the month will rank as the wettest April on record, with a statewide average just shy of 10 inches of precipitation — about a quarter of Missouri’s annual average.


But not everyone thinks climate change or sheer rainfall are the sole explanations for recent near-record-level flooding around St. Louis.


“Land use is really a huge factor in flooding,” Holmes said. “From what I’ve seen, it trumps climate change in some areas.”


It’s definitely “a bigger game-changer,” he says, in urban areas, where paved surfaces drive more runoff into waterways and still more water is diverted by levee systems.


‘A constricted river’


Bob Criss, a professor at Washington University’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences who studies flooding, agrees that the cumulative impact of diverted water — and not rainfall — best explains the region’s recent major floods.


The problem, he says, was especially apparent with last week’s crest of the Mississippi River. Such a big river, he says, should not normally be so sensitive to similar episodes of rain. But he says it’s increasingly behaving like a small basin “because it’s far too squeezed” by levees that amplify flood severity.


“An event like this should not be setting the all-time (flood stage) record at Cape Girardeau, which it’s about to do, or maybe be No. 2,” Criss said. “This is not climate change. This is a constricted river.”







The Mississippi, he notes, has only eclipsed a 40-foot flood stage at St. Louis about 10 times since 1785, but has done so in 2013, 2016 and now again in 2017.


Criss is one of a group of area flood policy critics who suspect levees are chronically built higher than their authorized height. That belief was recently bolstered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Rock Island District upstream from St. Louis, where officials reported that approximately 40 percent of the district’s Mississippi River levees are overbuilt.


It is unclear at this time whether those levees have contributed to flooding in the St. Louis area. The corps’ St. Louis District is conducting a similar investigation into local levee heights, set to be completed by March 2018.


Some residents in flooded communities on the Meramec are wondering whether there are enough flood control systems in place.


“There was a serious pursuit of damming this river up, some time ago,” said Fenton resident, John Huff, referencing a failed bid in the 1970s and ’80s to situate a dam near Meramec State Park in Sullivan. “This levee system isn’t working.”


Though some say it may have helped with flood control, dams come with their own complicated web of costs and benefits. Criss, for one, says it would have been the wrong approach, especially given the number of caves in that location.


“The whole area is Swiss cheese,” Criss said. “You cannot build a dam on that kind of rock.”


Plus, he points to severe floods in northwest Missouri in 2011 as a powerful illustration that dammed watersheds aren’t immune to flooding.


 

“That is just downstream from the largest network of flood control dams in the world,” said Criss, adding that those floods were largely triggered by rain as far up the Missouri River as Montana. “All the reservoirs were full. … You had to dump water from every reservoir down the line.”


Rising costs


Frequent floods aren’t just exhausting — they’re also expensive.


“Since 2011, the Mississippi River Valley has sustained over $50 billion in natural disaster impacts,” said Colin Wellenkamp, executive director of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, which addresses river management issues.


Missouri alone has been affected by four separate billion-dollar flood events in the last decade. In inflation-adjusted records dating back to 1980, NOAA reports that only one other such event — the Flood of 1993 — surpassed the billion-dollar threshold in the state.


Some say policymakers need to adjust to new recurring climate extremes, or continue to pay a hefty price.


“It is becoming, more and more, a normal of extremes,” Wellenkamp said. “The happy medium is becoming less and less frequent.”


He says greater regional coordination will be required to restore “natural infrastructure” such as flood plains and wetlands to absorb flood risk along the river, instead of defending localities by simply “sending risk downriver.”


“It is certainly changing the calculus of how these challenges are approached,” Wellenkamp said. “The more conventional ideas don’t seem to be cutting it anymore. We need to approach these problems from larger, regional scales.


“Once upon a time, you could just focus on your part of the river,” he added. “Now it’s ballooning into a regional question.”


While many agree that a different approach will be needed going forward, some also wonder whether that should apply in the immediate aftermath of the latest flooding around St. Louis, broaching the difficult question of whether it’s prudent to rebuild in some areas.


“I feel badly for these people — this is a tragedy,” said Criss. “But there’s a point, are you really going to replace that carpet again?”


He noted that areas along the Meramec near Pacific, for instance, have been inundated in 1982, 1994, 2008, 2015 and again this year.


“There’s a point where one has to realistically evaluate the situation,” Criss said. “We have to expect higher water with increased frequency.”


When these unavoidable weather events happen, SERVPRO is equipped to handle any disaster large or small. Its imperative to call a professional instead of trying to clean up on your own. We are a 24/7 Emergency Service team who is faster to any size disaster. 


 


 


Grey, B. (2017, May 8). Two Catastrophic Floods In Less Than Two Years Wasn't Just A Case Of Bad Luck. Retrieved May 9, 2017, from http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/two-catastrophic-floods-in-less-than-two-years-wasn-t/article_33e07bfa-16dd-575b-8e18-9a6e2a2eebd0.html

Give Your Carpets A Spring Break!

4/19/2017 (Permalink)

Its that time of year again where we get to finally open our windows and let the fresh air in! The sun is out later in the evenings and the barbecues and family get-together's have started. The flowers and trees have started to bloom and it smells like fresh cut grass outside. However its not all sunshine and rainbows! What happens when your family comes over for a barbecue and the kids get ketchup and mustard all over your beautiful white carpet? Carpets are a sponge for allergens and bacteria causing spring allergies to worsen and linger for longer than ever needed. Its is extremely important to create a carpet cleaning regimen that way your home is always smelling fresh and clean. And not just smelling fresh and clean--internally, the carpet itself is healthier therefore not just clean on the outside but through the pad as well. So before you invite the family over or lay the blankets on the living room floor for a spring break movie night with the kids, make sure you call SERVPRO. Our showcase carpet cleaning will have your home party ready! 

March Is Red Cross Month

3/28/2017 (Permalink)

Founded in 1881, the American Red Cross is a charitable organization that relies on donations and volunteers to carry out their mission. Whether it is disaster relief, blood donations, military family support, or training and certification in CPR, life-guarding, first aid and more, the Red Cross is committed to helping those who need it most. The American Red Cross is part of the Global Red Cross Network, the worlds largest volunteer network found in 187 countries, according to the redcross.org. 

Every year, March is declared Red Cross Month by the President of the United States. The American Red Cross celebrates by honoring the "everyday heroes" who support and carry out the mission of the Red Cross by donating, giving blood taking a class or volunteering. 

SERVPRO began a partnership with the American Red Cross in 2013, and became an official disaster Responder partner in 2016. The Disaster Responder Program provides families and individuals immediate support, comfort and assistance when a disaster such as a house fire happens to them. Disaster Responders also help communities prepare for disasters ahead of time by participating in preparedness activities such as the Smoke Alarm Installation Campaign. To learn more about the American Red Cross, or how you can get involved, visit redcross.org.

Understanding Water Types

3/24/2017 (Permalink)

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup. There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or  other water sources; rainwater is also considered clean.  The term grey water is used  to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes grey water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals. Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive. 

 

Damage from Clean Water: 

-Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so. 

-Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electric shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist. 

-Remove as much excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items. 

-Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying. 

-Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place. 

-Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining. Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electric shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner. 

-Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. 

Damage from Contaminated Water: 

-Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items. 

-Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas. 

-Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air. 

-Do not use household fans to dry the structure; airflow could spread contaminants. 

-Discard any food and or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas. 

When you have water damage don't' leave your property to chance. CALL SERVPRO TODAY! 

Preparing For A Flood:

3/13/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding can happen fast in many environments. The American Red Cross recommends  having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an evacuation due to flooding. 

-Water, 3 day supply; one gallon per person per day

-Food, 3 day supply of non perishable, easy to prepare food. 

-Flashlight

-Battery powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

-Extra Batteries

-First Aid Kit

-Medications (7 Day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)

-Multi purpose tools

-Sanitation/Personal Hygiene Items

-Copies of Personal Documents

-Cell Phone with Chargers

-Family Emergency Contact Information

 

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

1/25/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met. Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries. In larger commercial facilities, hard wire or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detecting in just one area. If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross. Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. 

How to Prevent and Thaw Frozen Pipes

1/24/2017 (Permalink)

  • Water expands as it freezes, which can place  a great deal of pressure on whatever container it is enclosed in, including pipes, causing them to burst. 
  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold will freeze most frequently, such as those connected to outdoor hoses, swimming pool supply lines, and water supply lines in unheated interior areas such as crawl spaces or attics. 
  • There are simple steps that you can take to prevent frozen pipes before the onset of cold weather: 
    • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines and do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. 
    • Remove, drain and store hoses outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs and open the outside hose bibs so water can drain. Keep this valve open so any water that remains in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break. 
    • Locate water supply lines in and around the outside of your home that are in unheated areas and insulate these pipes. There are specific products designed to insulate pipes such as pipe sleeves or heat tape and even newspaper can provide protection to pipes that are exposed to extreme cold.

9 Ways to Curb Moisture Indoors

1/24/2017 (Permalink)

1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them. You can't mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold-resistant. Do an audit of your home: where are the problem areas? Does the basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on an upstairs window? Is there a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters. Or it may be a matter of major excavation and waterproofing. Whatever the case, address the problem now. It might cost some money up front, but it will surely be more costly down the road if mold continues to grow unchecked.

2. Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you've experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can't be completely dried. Even everyday occurrences need attention: don't leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don't leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mold can spread quickly. Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.

3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. It may be that your routine domestic activities are encouraging the growth of mold in your home. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in humid climates), but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer. Your energy-efficient home may be holding moisture inside, so open a window when cooking or washing dishes or showering, or run an exhaust fan.

4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products. Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. Traditional drywall is composed of a gypsum plaster core pressed between plies of paper. Mold-resistant drywall is paperless — the gypsum core is covered in fiberglass, making the surface highly water-resistant. Moisture-resistant drywall is especially valuable in areas prone to wetness, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and kitchens. Not only is traditional drywall more susceptible to mold than the paperless kind, but it is also difficult to rid of mold, and removal and replacement can be expensive. Mold-resistant gypsum board is also available; the core of the drywall is developed in such a way to prevent moisture absorption, and thus prevent mold growth.

 

5. Monitor humidity indoors. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. You'll also be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to potential problem areas in your home. Telltale signs of excessive humidity include condensation on windows, pipes, and walls. If you notice condensation, dry the surface immediately and address the source of moisture (for example, turn off a humidifier if water appears on the inside of nearby windows).

6. Direct water away from your home. If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.

7. Clean or repair roof gutters. A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

8. Improve air flow in your home. According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air is able to hold less moisture. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.

9. Keep mold off household plants. They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house. Instead of getting rid of your plants, try adding a bit of Taheebo tea to the water you give to your houseplants. The oil of this tree, which withstands fungi even in rain forests, helps hinder mold growth in plant soil and can be found at natural food stores.

Finally, educate yourself on your region's climate — be it the cold and wet Northeast, the hot and wet South, the hot and dry Southwest, or the cold and dry West — and how it responds to moisture. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to mold prevention. Knowing what works for your climate and your home is an important first step.

Call The Cleanup Team That Is Faster To Any Size Disaster

1/23/2017 (Permalink)

The first 48 hours after a disaster to your business can make the difference between restoring versus replacing damaged property and personal belongings. Rapid response and timely mitigation can help prevent large larges from creating long term problems. SERVPRO professionals understand returning your business to normal is a primary concern. Our Response Teams are trained in caring for both you and your property. By responding quickly with a full line of cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO professionals can help you get your business back up and running quickly and help protect your property and belongings. 


If your home or business suffers a disaster, contact us today to make it "Like it never even happened." When a fire or water damage takes control of your life, SERVPRO will help you take it back.

"Cents" of Smell

1/11/2017 (Permalink)

Create an Impact

You only have on chance to make a first impression with your customers. Using safe and biodegradable products, SERVPOR can create a fresh, clean and long lasting impression. 

Ways to Impress Your Customers:

  • Clean dirty and stained ceilings
  • scrub lobby, furniture and draperies. 
  • Establish maintenance plan for furnishings, carpets and draperies.
  • Clean HVAC and air duct systems. 

Clean Sweep for Ducts: 

Improve the Air Quality  of Your Business

When Addressing the air quality, inspecting the duct-work is SERVPRO's first order of business. Dirty Ducts can work to circulate odors and contaminant like mold and irritating dust throughout the building. 

SERVPRO uses proven Portable Ventilation and Air Duct Cleaning System to examine duct-work and make a clean sweep removing years of dust and grime. 

THE SERVPRO DIFFERENCE

  • Reduce potential for mold growth 
  • Remediate bacteria, fungi and mold
  • Restore peak energy efficiency. 
  • Eliminate offensive odors. 
  • Free written inspections and estimates. 

 

Disaster Recovery Team

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO knows that no matter what size the disaster is the issue at hands needs to be taken care of, and fast! We can handle any size disaster to get your home or large facility back and running after a natural disaster. 

When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is poised and "Ready for Whatever Happens." With a network of nearly 1700 franchises, the SERVPRO system strives to be faster to any disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing experience, additional manpower, equipment and other resources, The Disaster Recovery Team assists your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team has responded to hundreds of disaster events. In the aftermath of disaster, there is only one objective, to help make it like it "Like it never even happened."

 

Managing Mold

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

Mold-Its a four letter word that makes most people cringe. But contrary to popular belief, not all mold is dangerous; some mold is even quite useful. Fungi and mold naturally occur in our enviornment . More than 100,000 different types of fungi have been identified. Fungi is present in our everyday lives in bread and baked products; the unique flavor of blue cheese is the result of mold. Though some types of mold can be harmful. Excessive amount of mold and mold exposure may present health concerns for some people. 

The intrusion of water into your home or business may result in mold growth. Water intrusions can be cause by storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long standing leaks and poor humidity control. When these water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can be an increased risk of harmful mold growth. Mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water damaged environment are not controlled, mold spores can grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, like wood, drywall, paper and insulation, provide a food source for mold, allowing growth to flourish this can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat. 

When determining if you have a mold problem, be alert for; the presence of visible mold, strong musty odors, evidence of past moisture problems and excessive humidity. 

Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professionals

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professionals  evaluate the quality of the air inside a structure. Some specialize and are skilled in testing buildings for the presence of molds. Using various testing devices, these professionals collect air and surface samples to compare the indoor mold spore count to the outdoor environment. If you have concerns about mold, SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties can assist you in locating a qualified indoor Air Quality/ Environmental Professional. 

SERVPRO cares about proper restoration of your structure. In most water damage situations excessive mold growth is not a problem and SERVPRO can safely restore your building to pre-loss condition. The need to address the presence of mold can only be determined by an on-site, indoor environmental inspection. Please keep in mind SERVPRO does not interpret insurance policies or overages; you must consult your insurance company                                                              to determine the scope of the policy coverage. 

Attention Businesses: Having A Hard Time Keeping Up With Carpets?

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

WE KNOW STAINS!

Since 1967 SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have been handling stains and soils of all tupes from residential homes to commericial facilities. Using IICRC (Institution of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) standards for carpet care as a guide, a SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties Professional will walk with you through your business and guide you in the best decisions to care for your carpet. It is extremely important to remember that when it comes to your business, first impressions are important to clients, customers and consumers. Having a clean office or facility is the quickest and easiest way to make a lasting impression. 

We will take time to: 

  • Show you what carpet cleaning options would be best for your carpets level of soiling.
  • Give you an estimate of time and cost of the carpet cleaning.
  • Explain the benefits of soil protection. 
  • Explain the advantages of a clean carpet for good indoor air quality. 
  • Explain how you can help prolong your carpets appearance with frequent vacuuming. 

For answers about carpet cleaning and care, contact SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties at 636-456-3422

Who Are You Going To Call When A Natural Disaster Effects Your Home?

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

Imagine your home being flooded. What do you do? What goes through your mind? As much as this is such as hard thing to fathom, it is not something that is far from someones reality. During natural disasters, people tend to go into a frenzy. Everyone you know around you is dealing with the same issue. Hurricaines, Tornadoes, flooding and snow storms are wide spread weather events which means you need someone whose going to treat you like your home or business like it is the only one with an issue? Calling SERVPRO is your best best. We are faster to any size disaster! We stand by our response rates to any disaster which is what sets us apart from our competitors.

Our guidelines require us to follow the protocol below:

-Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO professional will contact your insured to arrange for service

-Within four house of loss notification, a SERVPRO Professional will be on site to start mitigation services if necessary.

-Within eight business hours, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the adjuster by a SERVPRO Professional.

 

2017 Resolution: Plan Ahead!

1/2/2017 (Permalink)

With each new year, may people resolve to better themselves or so me part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile, ERP will ensure you are 'Ready for Whatever Happens" in 2017. 

In the event of an emergency the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut off valve locations and priority areas. The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 45 years experience and a System more than 1700 Franchises strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; and all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the SERVPRO READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips. 

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get your back in the building following a disaster. Don't wait until disaster strikes-Resolve to be READY. Call SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties to establish your Emergency READY Profile, and be "Ready for whatever happens" in 2017. 

Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile:
-A no-cost assessment of your facility

-A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency

-A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster

-Established your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider

-Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin

-Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. 

Halt Winter Heating Hazards

12/20/2016 (Permalink)

The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplace cozy, many people use alternative heating sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters and wood burning stoves. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire. 

-Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters. 

-Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home. 

-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. 

-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturers instructions. 

-Test smoke alarms monthly. 

Holiday Fire Facts

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. 

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 31 reported home Christmas Tree fires result in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home fires. 

A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four Christmas tree fires.

Two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles.

One third of all candle fires start in the bedroom. 

Its is extremely important to go through children's rooms and areas not normally occupied and check for any fire hazards that may cause an accident. 

Make sure all Christmas lights are turned off before going to bed. Tree lights can make trees become hot faster than you think especially while sitting on over night. 

Is Your Property Ready For The Winter?

11/28/2016 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact n your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. 

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits. 

-Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind and heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries. 

-Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can lead roof damages and interior water problems. 

-inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for property drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. 

-inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slips surfaces and post caution signs  where water could be present. 

Celebrate Safely With A Recipe For Safety

11/8/2016 (Permalink)

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Its important to be alert to prevent cooking fires. Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling boiling or broiling food. If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains away from the stove top. If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe. Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911 or call the local emergency number after you leave. For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed. If you try to fight the fire,  be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out. Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan covered until it is completely cooled. 

Can You Escape Under 2 Minutes?

10/18/2016 (Permalink)

Fire experts agree, people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. Ina matter of moments a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26% of families have developed a fire escape plan. Once a plan is in place it is critical that everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have a working smoke detector in place, building an escape plan, and practicing the escape plan. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan. The following are  few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they have escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the planned meeting space on your map.

 Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Place for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.

Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at the nighttime.

October is Fire Prevention Month

10/10/2016 (Permalink)

 

October is Fire Prevention Month, a perfect time to examine emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) designates a week each October to focus on fire prevention awareness. The 2016 theme is "Don't wait, Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years," designed to educate the public on the basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety. The NFPA recommends installing smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement. Did you know that roughly half of home fire deaths reduce from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep? Smoke alarms save lives. In fact, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half!

Stay safe and prepare now to ensure you are ready for any disaster. 

*Data provided by the National Fire Protection Agency

Hurricane Mathew

10/5/2016 (Permalink)

 

 

Hurricane Matthew passed over Cuba on Wednesday and continued its destructive path toward the Bahamas and the U.S., leaving behind a trail of devastation that includes at least 11 deaths.

Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have each declared a state of emergency. Officials issued stern warnings for millions of coastal residents to prepare to evacuate as the powerful category 3 storm slowly tracked north at 8 mph with 125-mph winds.

"A turn northwestward is expected on Wednesday, with the threat eventually shifting to the southeast United States," ABC meteorologist Daniel Manzo said. "Forecast models are still showing increasing chances that Matthew will come very close to the eastern shores of Florida on Thursday and into Friday."

No Atlantic storm on record has packed such powerful winds for such a prolonged period time as Matthew, as its slow trajectory and potent energy have wound a path of destruction that looks to continue as it approaches the U.S coast.

Matthew currently spans some 700 miles, with hurricane force winds extending 40 miles from the storm's center and tropical storm winds extending some 160 miles outward.

More than one million people were ordered to prepare to leave the coast in South Carolina, in a swath of the state that spans 100 miles inland from the shore. Florida, Georgia and North Carolina also ordered coastal communities to evacuate.

Lines backed up and shelves were cleared out at supermarkets in Florida, as residents stocked up on provisions and watched the storm's progress.

Even as the U.S. hurried its storm preparations, Matthew bore down on the southwestern islands of the Bahamas Wednesday, where residents braced for hurricane-force winds, a storm surge of up to 15 feet and as much as 15 inches of rain.

Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie voiced concern about the potential impact on the sprawling archipelago off Florida's east coast.

"We're worried because we do not control nature," he said.

At least five deaths took place in Haiti, which appeared to be hardest-hit by the storm so far. Thousands of people there scrambled for shelter amid reports of a powerful storm surge, violent winds and widespread flooding.

Raging floodwaters severed a key bridge linking the southern peninsula directly impacted by the storm with the rest of the country, raising fears that the worst of the damages has yet to be discovered.

 

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Right Equipment

9/12/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO understands that using professional equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing claims loss experience. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO will answer your call with fast action, exceptional equipment, and trained uniformed personnel. Certainly, the right tool for the job is vital to timely mitigation and restoration, but perhaps more important, SERVPRO fire damage professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration. For instance, knowing the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns are vital to proper restoration. 

-Wet Smoke-Plastic and Synthetics; low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. 

-Dry Smoke-Paper and Wood; Fast burning, high temperature, dry powdery, non- smeary residues. 

-Protein-Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor

-Fuel Oil Soot- Furnace puff backs. 

-Other Types- Tear gas, fingerprint powders and fire extinguisher residue. 

Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows SERVPRO to focus on saving your precious items. Isn't that what really matters? 

Understanding Mold

9/6/2016 (Permalink)

Mold can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen is present.  There are molds that can grow on wood, paper carpet, foods and insulation. Mold reproduces by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spore waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. Bacteria can start to grow within hours and mold can start to grow within days. Mold spores can lay dormant for years until an ideal growing condition develops in which they start to flourish. Especially during the summer, the warm humid conditions are a perfect microenvironment for mold growth. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth with often occur- particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all molds and mold spores in an indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling the moisture. Many types of mold exist. All molds have the potential to cause serious health effects. Most can produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people allergic to it. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants.  Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate and clean any existing mold growth indoors. The purpose of mold remediation is to remove them old to prevent human exposure and damage to building materials and furnishings. It is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just kill it. Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are still potentially toxic! Applying the appropriate restoration procedures within the first few hours of a water loss can save thousands of dollars in secondary damage. Before the growth of mold becomes visible, there will be a faint musty or earthy smell. In time, mold will appear on the outside of the wall as a stain or discoloration. In a standard situation, our SERVPRO team would examine the structure for any visible signs of mold nod remove the mold growth and excess spore returning the area back to normal levels. At SERVPRO we use a third party mold testing company if mold is not visible. 

Its The Water You Don't See!

7/21/2016 (Permalink)

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. We can answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by our franchise.

-Moisture sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

-Moisture meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings allowing us to monitor the drying process.

-Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.  

Celebrate Summer Safely

7/6/2016 (Permalink)

Summer is synonymous with barbeques, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms—especially in July. Each year around 230 people are injured badly enough to require medical treatments after firework-related incidents, according to the U.S consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.

There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbeque can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered. As your local SERVPRO professional, we want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to help ensure your summer celebrations are disaster free!

-Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

-The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and over hanging branches.

-Keep children and pets away from the grill area.

-Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

-Never leave your grill unattended.

- When using a charcoal grill, let the coal completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

-Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.

-Do not to try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire. Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over as they may still be active.

-The Safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals. 

The Science of Drying

5/31/2016 (Permalink)

Did you know there is actually a science behind the drying process? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring water damaged structure to its pre-loss 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 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 water damage, SERVPRO 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 takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out. 

SERVPRO uses equipment to help dry hard wood floors, tough to reach spaces inside your walls and much more. We also use state of the art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific drying process to help speed the drying of your home or business. 

Understanding WEA's

5/3/2016 (Permalink)

Living in the Midwest means dealing with unpredictable storms. These storms often lead to damaging wings, hail and tornadoes. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA alerts can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without need to download in app or subscribe to a service. WEA may share: 

-Extreme weather warnings

-Local Emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action

-AMBER Alerts

-Presidential Alerts during a national emergency

A WEA will look like the picture shown above. The WEA message will typically show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take and the agency issuing the alert. The message will be no more than 90 characters. 

Why should you buy a Weather Radio?

5/3/2016 (Permalink)

 One of the best precautions you can take is to purchase a good quality weather radio. A weather radio is designed to alert you to potentially dangerous weather situations, like a tornado. It allows you to be warned ahead of storms, providing you time to seek shelter. A weather radio is the most reliable source for weather alerts. 

Weather radios have made much advancement over the years and are very affordable. Most basic weather radios average around $30 and can be programmed to only alert you for the weather alerts that you choose. 

When shopping for a weather radio, look for the following key feature.

-Reviewable alerts (You can scroll through alerts and turn off the siren for alerts you do not wish to hear)

-Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) alert programming are alerts when specific counties are threatened, ensuring you only receive alerts for your county)

- Ease of programming. 

If you need help programming your weather radio, you can always contact your local National Weather Service office or for additional information, including county codes for your state, visit the NOAA Weather Radio Website at www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

1/20/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half. 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be install in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detectors requirements are met. 

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or client to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. 

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. 

-Install smoke alarms on every level of the home including the basement. 

- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance. 

-Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button. 

-Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps" the battery is low and should be replaced right away. 

-Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. 

Eliminate Heating Hazards This Winter!

1/12/2016 (Permalink)

The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire. 

-Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater. Have a three foot "Kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters. 

-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 

-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. 

-Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home. 

-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. 

-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions. 

-Test smoke alarms monthly. 

What Will You Do When Disaster Strikes Your Business?

12/16/2015 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster. According to the latest research, of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready For Whatever Happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the even your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be as well. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. 

 This is a no cost assessment of your facility. It will include a concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency such as, Shut off valves, Emergency Exits and more--All with pictures of each area so quick action can be taken if need be. This profile will also contain a guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. It will establish our team as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. This profile will also identify a line of command for authorizing work to begin.  

Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for Whatever Happens" 

Is Your Property Ready For Winter?

12/9/2015 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleep or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared, and help take the sting out of winter weather.

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.

1.     Check your property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as heavy wind, heavy rain, ice and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.

2.     Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from the home or business. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect that can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.

3.     Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.

4.     Inspect property especially walkways and parking lots for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.

5.     Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potentially slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.

6.     Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outside faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe. 

Avoid Holiday Hazards

12/1/2015 (Permalink)

Candles, pretty lights and decoration are just a few of the items that add to the charm and cheer of the holiday season. However, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening very quickly. 

Review the Following simple safety tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to greatly reduce your risk in your home or business this holiday season. 

  • Two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns. 
  • Use sturdy candle holders that are not likely to tip over and place candles on clear, uncluttered surfaces. Consider using flameless candles instead of real candles. 
  • Make sure your tree and decorations are at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents. 
  • Make sure you have the correct type of lights for your desired decor. Some lights are designed for only indoor or outdoor use, but not both. 
  • Carefully inspect light strands before placing them. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of light sets. 
  • Remember to turn off outside decorative lights and Christmas tree lights before leaving or going to bed. 
  • Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. 
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer. 
  • Be prepared for Severe Weather!

    5/20/2015 (Permalink)

    Preparation is key is the key to making it through any size disaster and having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building faster following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Call us today to establish an Emergency Ready Profile for your property and be ready for whatever happens. 

    Build an Emergency Kit:

    • Water (One gallon per person per day)
    • Food (Non perishable, 3-day supply)
    • Manual can opener
    • battery operated radio
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Whistle to signal for help
    • Clothing
    • Dust masks or bandanas
    • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities 
    • Hygiene items
    • Important documents, copies of insurance policies identification cards and bank account information
    • Cash
    • Fire Extinguisher
    • Matches in waterproof container 

    Happy Customers

    1/15/2015 (Permalink)

    We love sharing letters and testimonials from our satisfied customers. Here is one we recieve from a family who suffered a water loss right before the holidays.

    "Having suffered a flooding catastrophe the Monday before Thanksgiving 2014, my husband and I were in a panic as to how this was to be fixed by Christmas 2014. Our insurance adjusters have us several companies to contact for estimates and SERVPRO was first on their list. It seems that Jacob Kyonka (Crew Chief) dropped everything he was involved in and made a beeline to our home to assess the damage. He gave us an estimate and time frame of completion, both of these seemed resonable and work started within days. His work crew was a young group of fellows who were very considerate of the customer. They had to maneuver basement steps, MANY MANY times and yet would always close the back door behind them (to avoid mice from entering) even thhough they had their hands full of debris and/or new construction. They stayed on task and asked many questions about how we would like things fixed and they always cleaned up any mess that was incurred during construction. They NEVER played loud music (Or any music at all) which was very refreshing. Any questions/concerns we might have were quickly answered/solved by Jake Kyonka even though we were some distance away from their main location. In conclusion, we would highly reccomend SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties to anyone who would choose to use their services. The cost was reasonable, the service was outstanding, and the job was well done. 

    Thank you Larry and Jill. We appreciate such a wonderful testimony and we are extremely happy to have great customers such as yourselves. 

    Reversing the effects of fire damage:

    12/18/2014 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage Reversing the effects of fire damage: These are matching end tables that had soot damage. The one on the left was cleaned with our SERVPRO wood cleaners and wood paste.

    After a family sees their belongings immersed in smoke damage, it is hard to imagine that these items could ever look like they once did. Rest assured, your furniture can be returned as good as new with our SERVPRO deep cleaning process. We can make items that were once blackened with thick soot be revealed back to its original state.  

    Pipes freezing and bursting during falling temperatures:

    1/8/2014 (Permalink)

  • Cold weather can have a huge impact on you home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is freezing temperatures, damaging winds,sleet or snow, all can cause serious property damage. While you can’t control the weather, you can take the steps to be prepared, and help take the sting out of winter weather. To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions before winter weather hits (again…)

  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. ( Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinets doors open allowing warm air inside o circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucet, consider shutting the water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing the pipe.)

     

  • Fall Fire Safety

    10/14/2013 (Permalink)

    Autumn is the favorite time of year for many people- the temperatures are cooler, the scenery is beautiful and colorful, and there are plenty of events and activities to keep us all busy. But, there are also some unique fire hazards, and it is to your advantage to plan ahead to ensure your fall season is safe and fire-free.  Keep these tips in mind:  be careful where you put your fall decorations, many are highly flammable so don't place them near open flames or heat sources; don't block escape routes with decorations; teach children to stay away from open flames; avoid billowing fabric when choosing Halloween costumes; try to use a flashlight or batter-operated candle in jack-o-laterns, and use extreme caution if using a real candle. Furthermore, be aware of the dangers of an excess of carbon monoxide. CO poisoning can occur from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or idling cars left running in enclosed spaces. Be sure that you have fuel-burning appliances inspected every year, that your fireplace and fuel-burning equipment is properly vented, and only use BBQ grills outside.

    Preparedness in Missouri

    7/31/2013 (Permalink)

    Community Preparedness in Missouri MO residents could experience any number of potential disasters.

    Recently, we did a presentation for the Horizons Club at First State Community Bank in Warrenton on "Preparing for Disaster in Missouri." We covered topics such as why preparation is important; preparation basics; safety tips for severe storms, lightning, tornadoes and flooding; and information on home fires. We appreciated the opportunity to speak with Warrenton residents about the value of being prepared and having a plan of action in case of any kind of disaster. Remember that SERVPRO of Lincoln & Warren Counties can help clean and restore homes and other structures after natural or personal emergencies, and we encourage everyone to have an emergency supply kit and create a disaster response plan for their own family.

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