Recent Posts

What To Do If Your Washing Machine Leaks?

11/12/2022 (Permalink)

soap from a broken washing machine. The washing machine is one of the most essential household appliances

Washing Machine Leaks and What To Do

The washing machine is one of the most essential household appliances, so it’s no surprise that leaks can cause some serious damage. Water leaks are usually caused either by a faulty water hose or by a broken valve. Any leak in your home should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to flooring and walls. Here are some tips for fixing common washer problems and preventing future ones:

1. Inspect the Hoses

Check that there are no cracks or leaks in any of your washing machine hoses. Check for loose connections by simply pulling on both ends of each hose and making sure that it doesn't come off easily. If you see kinks, carefully straighten them out with a pair of pliers. Check for damaged hoses by running your hand along the length of each one to feel for rust or other signs of damage—a broken rubber washer can cause water to leak out during washing cycles, but these can usually be replaced cheaply at a hardware store. Leaks at the hose connections can also lead to flooding issues; if you notice any signs of leaking around where they attach to your appliance, look into replacing them before moving on!

2. Inspect the Water Shut-Off Valves

If your washing machine is leaking from the bottom, inspect the water shut-off valves. Make sure they are not leaking and check that they are connected properly. Check that they are not loose or broken.

3. Check for Loose Connections

If you suspect that the problem might be a loose connection, check to see that your hoses are properly connected and that they're not frozen. If there's any debris in the hose, try cleaning it out. If this doesn't work, you may need a new hose or a professional repairman to fix the leak.

4. Replace the Shut-Off Valves

Once you've checked the hoses and shut-off valves for leaks, it's time to replace them. If a hose is cracked or broken, you'll need to replace both of its ends in order to prevent another leak and potential flooding. (For example, if you have a double-hose washing machine with one hot supply line and one cold return line, replacing just one end of either line won't work.)

To replace a leaking shut-off valve:

  • Turn off the water supply at the main valve (if possible).
  • Unscrew the old shut-off valve from the faucet - take care not to let any water spill onto your floor!
  • Install new shut-off valves using thread sealant tape where needed; tighten screws until snug but don't overdo it because doing so could crack plastic parts inside your washing machine housing unit which could cause more damage down the road.

Act Quickly

If you suspect that your washing machine has a leak, the first step is to check the hoses and connections. If any of the hoses are damaged, replace them with new ones after shutting off the water supply valve at the main water supply line.

Replacing a defective shut-off valve can be a bit tricky, so it's best to call in an expert if you're unsure how to do it yourself. You may also need to repair any damaged walls or floors caused by leaking water as soon as possible in order to avoid further damage or injury to yourself or others in your home.

Water leaks can cause serious damage to your washing machine and the surrounding area. The best way to avoid any problems is by repairing the leak as soon as possible. If you are unable to fix it yourself, then contact a professional plumber who will be able to fix everything for you. If you have a water damage event in your Maryland Heights, MO Home, give SERVPRO of Northwest St. Louis a call! 

What to Do When Your Fire Sprinklers Go Off Accidentally

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler When your sprinklers go off accidentally they can cause major damage.

What to Do When Your Fire Sprinklers Go Off Accidentally

While fire sprinklers are there to protect your building, they can cause major issues such as flooding when they go off accidentally. It is best to have a plan in place in case this problem does occur. If this does happen, follow these guidelines to ensure that the damage is properly dealt with.

Shut off the Water Supply Line

The first thing you should do if you find yourself in this situation is to turn off the water supply line. This will stop the sprinklers from continuing to go off. This step is extremely important because the sooner you shut off the source, the less water damage there will be.

Clean up the Damage

In addition to cleaning up the standing water, you will need to deal with furniture and office equipment, and documents that got wet. You may want to consider calling a professional water restoration company to help you. The flooding needs to be taken care of as quickly as possible in order to avoid mold growth.

Call the Insurance Company

Your insurance company should be able to go over your policy with you to determine what is covered. You need to take pictures of everything that was damaged before you are cleaning up. They are far less likely to pay if you do not have evidence.

Determine the Cause

The insurance company will probably want to know what caused the fire sprinklers to go off in the first place. You may also want this information so that you can avoid having the same thing happen again later on. If you bring them to the manufacturer, they should be able to tell you what the issue was.
Acting fast is of the utmost importance when flooding occurs. Open all windows to begin ventilating the building until a water mitigation expert arrives. You can carefully begin to clean up wet areas, but they should be able to help you with the larger problems, such as wet carpets.

How do You Estimate a Fire Damage?

10/20/2022 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in St. Louis, MO.

How Do You Estimate the Cost of A Fire Loss?

If you have experienced a fire in your home in St. Louis, we understand that this is an incredibly stressful time for both you and your family. There will be a lot of questions about what to do next and how long it will take for repairs to be completed. Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible by providing you with the answers you need right away.

What Is Fire Damage?

Fire damage can be caused by many different things, such as a fire in your home, business, or vehicle. For example:

  • A fire in your home may cause smoke and soot damage to the structure of the place where it started.
  • A fire might cause water damage to your home, business, or other nearby structures.

There are many other types of fires that can result in property damage—and each type of fire has its own unique problems associated with it.

The process of estimating a fire damage is an important first step to recovery.

It gives you an idea of the scope of the damage and how long it will take to repair. The estimate also serves as a starting point for negotiations with your insurance company, which can lead to more money for your claim.

The amount that you receive from your insurance company will be based on several factors: what type of structure was damaged by the fire; whether any materials were irreparably damaged; whether or not there were injuries associated with this incident; and what caused the blaze (for example, arson). These factors are all taken into consideration when determining how much money should be paid out by an insurer after they've received an estimate from a certified technician.

How do you estimate a fire damage?

The first step in estimating the fire damage is for us to assess the damage done by the fire with highly trained staff members who have years of experience in assessing properties post fire loss. This assessment is typically done within 48 hours from when it happened so that you will know exactly how much work needs to be done before the insurance claims process can begin.

SERVPRO of St. Louis County NW can estimate your fire loss.

SERVPRO of St. Louis County NW will assess your situation and provide you with a report of your damages and solutions for restoration. The process typically starts when we arrive on site. We'll ask questions about the damage to get a better understanding of what happened, and then begin to assess the property's overall condition.

If your home or business in the greater St. Louis area suffers from fire damage, don’t hesitate, and give our SERVPRO of St. Louis County NW team a call today! Our crew is highly trained and experienced in fire damage cleanup and restoration and offers our services 24/7.

What Should I Consider as Part Of the Fire Damage?

10/11/2022 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Fire damage can be devastating.

What To Do After a Fire

Fire damage can be devastating. The flames, smoke, and water all create a toxic mix that can affect the safety of others who live in your St. Louis home. In addition to being dangerous, fire damage can also be expensive if you don't handle it properly. When it comes to fire and smoke damage, however, there are several things you should consider before hiring a professional restoration company.

Things to Consider

In addition to the fire itself, there are several other things you should consider when it comes to fire damage. These include:

  • The nature of the property damage. Fire damage can cause extensive damage to your property, including walls and roofs that have been burned away.
  • The cause of the fire. Fires can be caused by many different things, including electrical fires, cooking fires, and negligence.

Contact Your Insurance Company

After you've gathered as much information as possible and given yourself a chance to process the situation, it's time to talk with your insurance provider. Insurance companies want their customers to be protected in case of emergencies like this one, so they can provide useful information on how best to go about getting help and support.

If you're not sure if you are covered for fire damage or if there are certain exclusions that apply (for example, if your policy doesn't cover electrical or lightning-related fires), get an estimate from an expert in your area by asking around for recommendations or by looking online. You should also check with your insurance provider for additional information about what types of assistance may be available under the terms of your policy.

Document all items that are damaged by the fire damage.

Documenting the fire damage is an important step in helping you recover from the fire damage and making sure your insurance claim is paid. Insurance companies will carefully evaluate your documentation, so make sure to get it right!

To help you record this information as accurately as possible, here are some guidelines:

  • Write down all of the items you believe have been damaged by the fire damage. This includes things like furniture and clothing, electronics, appliances, and personal effects. If something isn’t listed here but seems damaged by smoke or water (or anything else), write it down anyway—you never know what could be useful later on.
  • Make sure each piece has its own line item on your list; if there are multiple items in one room or area that need to be separately documented (for example two sofas), make sure each sofa gets its own line item on your list rather than combining them into one entry under “sofas” or something similar. You may also want to include how much each item cost originally when purchased; if nothing else this should give insurance adjustors an idea about whether or not replacing these items following a fire would be relatively affordable ($5k couches vs $50k antiques) so they can start estimating costs ahead of time before determining whether or not they need further investigation. 

Hire a Professional

You should hire someone who has experience in restoring fire damage. You need to find a company that has experience with these types of restoration projects. They will be able to help you better understand the intricacies of your project and how they can help you restore it properly. SERVPRO of Northwest St. Louis is happy to be that expert for you! 

Fire damage is complex, so it's important to hire a professional that understands it well enough to give you good advice on how best to fix your home or business after a fire.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to fire and smoke damage. The good news is that by working with experts who have experience in this area, you can have confidence that we handle everything for you. We provide an initial assessment of the damage, then come up with a plan for how best to restore all your belongings. Our technicians will be able to clean up and remove debris from your home so there’s no interruption in living day-to-day life after the cleanup has been completed.

3 Ways Professionals Eradicate Smoke Damage

10/1/2022 (Permalink)

Wooden structures of a room Clean up after a fire in Manchester, MO.

Fire Restoration

When you think of fire damage, you probably see flames consuming a property, tearing the structure down. However, there is also another large issue in these types of disasters: smoke damage. For this reason, smoke cleaning practices can be imperative in dealing with any fire-damaged property in Manchester, MO. Here are three ways professional restoration experts may tackle this issue.

1. They determine the most effective cleaning method. Different materials call for varied ways of cleaning. For light damage, dry cleaning is often best. For heavier damage, wet cleaning may be required. Although wet cleaning is typically the stronger method of cleaning, it can’t be used for all materials. For everything else, spray-and-wipe cleaning and foam cleaning help. Additionally, there is abrasive smoke cleaning, which involves strongly scrubbing, and immersion cleaning, which involves soaking items in solution.

2. They move damaged items. Moving contents to a smoke-free location can help eliminate odor, giving it a chance to air out in a fresh environment. It can also protect the items from further damage that could occur if they are left in a fire-destroyed building. Finally, it clears space so building restoration can happen quicker.

3. They improve air quality. Generally, the main issue with smoke odor damage is the low quality of air after a fire. The smoke lingers, creating an unpleasant smell. One way to combat this is to change the HVAC filter, but professionals often use an air filtration device, ozone machine, or thermal fogger to improve the air. One thing you shouldn’t do is turn on any ceiling fans because their wiring could be ruined.

The above practices of smoke cleaning can help move the restoration process along, eliminating stress. Damage from fire doesn’t have to be debilitating if the correct steps are taken to restore a building’s contents. By relying on professionals to correctly clean and move objects and improve the air quality, you can be on your way toward recovery.

Why Does Mold Smell?

9/30/2022 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on wall STACHYBOTRYS ATRA Stachybotrys, commonly called black mold
You probably associate mold with a damp, musty odor. In fact, you’d probably sniff it out before you ever saw it. Most of the time, you’re actually detecting the fungus itself; sometimes, though, you’re smelling mycotoxin production, which happens when specific types of mold create toxins.

How Do I Know if It’s Mold?

How do you tell the difference between mold and a weird stench? Here are three signs you have mold in your building:

  • The scent doesn’t go away when you open windows or run fans.
  • The air smells damp even when the windows are open.
  • You’re sneezing all the time when you’re in a specific area.

Why Does Mold Have an Odor?
The aroma doesn’t come from the fungus spores themselves, but rather from something called microbial volatile organic compounds. Some MVOCs are waste products of growing mold, including mycotoxin gases. MVOCs’ odors depend on how much moisture is around and the material the mold is growing on.
Stachybotrys, commonly called black mold, smells like cat urine and freshly cut grass. Chaetomium has an earthy or damp odor. Other species have scents like anything from baking bread to stinky socks to wet dog.

What if I Find Mold?
These funguses can hide in walls, carpets, and insulation, coming from water leaks or damp weather. You can help keep mold damage out of your building by:

  • Keeping humidity levels low
  • Fixing leaking pipes, roofs and windows
  • Cleaning and drying a space after flooding
  • Properly ventilating laundry, cooking and shower spaces

If you do find signs of mold, such as that musty odor, make sure the spores can’t migrate into other parts of your building. Put up plastic tarps to enclose the space and use HEPA air filters to keep the air clean. Don’t try to clean up mycotoxin contamination yourself. Instead, work with a mold remediation company in Country Life Acres, MO. Professionals have the proper equipment to get rid of the damage safely.

Protect Your Business’s Roof With 3 Simple Tips

9/15/2022 (Permalink)

Construction engineer uniform safety dress safety inspection of metal roofing for industrial roofing concept with copy space Schedule routine inspections.

Roof Damage Containment

If you are like most business owners, you probably think very little about the roof that covers your building. Nonetheless, if your roofing system springs a leak or otherwise fails, the damage to your company’s inventory and equipment can be significant. To avoid a catastrophe, you must work to contain roof damage.

1. Trim Overhanging Branches
You can’t control the weather. When a thunderstorm or tornado rolls through, wind damage can be extensive. While you can’t keep shingles from blowing off the roof of your business, you can keep overhanging branches from falling onto your building. By regularly trimming trees and removing other debris, you decrease the chances that a falling limb may crash through your company’s roof.

2. Schedule Routine Inspections
Roofs are funny things. Often, roof damage takes years to reveal itself. When it does, it may be too late to repair the roofing system. If you are worried about the condition of the roof over your business, schedule regular inspections. For new roofs, having a technician take a look every three or four years is likely sufficient. For older ones, ask someone to crawl on the roof every year or so.

3. Replace Old, Damaged, or Ineffective Roofs
Damaged roofs are dangerous. As such, scheduling a roof rebuild is simply something you can’t afford to delay. Replacing your company’s roof with a modern one is an effective way to protect the equipment and inventory inside your buildings. It is also a good way to safeguard your employees and customers.
Even with your best efforts, you may not be able to completely avoid roof damage. If your building’s roof springs a leak, the contents of your buildings may sustain considerable damage. Fortunately, a reputable restoration service in Creve Coeur, MO, can likely help you with clean-up. Still, to increase your odds of avoiding disaster, you must spend a bit of time thinking about your business’s roof.

What To Do When Disaster Strikes

9/6/2022 (Permalink)

Hurricane Damage to Storefront Disasters can never be fully anticipated, but there are key steps that can be taken to mitigate the impact.

Preparing for the Storm 

Disasters are costly, often dangerous, and may require 24 hour assistance. Here are some steps to take when dealing with a disaster that will help you limit damage to your property and recover as quickly as possible.


1. Plan Ahead To Ensure a Fast Response


You are more likely to respond to a disaster quickly and efficiently if you make a plan ahead of time. Homeowners should inform their family or roommates of the disaster plan, taking care to practice key steps with children when necessary. Business owners should develop a disaster procedure and train employees to follow it. Be aware of the entrances and exits to your building, and display egress maps prominently in high traffic areas. Create a list of contact information for emergency services, community disaster resources, and 24 hour building restoration services.


2. React Appropriately


While some disasters are not immediately dangerous, all disasters increase the likelihood of danger. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, the most important step is removing yourself from harm’s way. Once you are safe, inform those around you of the danger and report the disaster to emergency services.


Some disasters do not require emergency services. In these instances, assess the damage and determine what you can do to limit the spread of the disaster. This may mean moving undamaged items to a secondary location or making temporary repairs to your property. Be sure to document damage thoroughly for insurance purposes.


3. Repair and Restore


Whether you’re dealing with a leaking roof in your home or a kitchen fire in your St. Louis, MO, restaurant, restoring damage quickly is essential. SERVPRO is always open, with 24 hour cleaning and restoration services standing by to assist you. Customers will receive a call within an hour after initial contact. Personnel can be on site within 4 hours and can supply verbal instructions about your next steps within just 8 hours.


Disasters are stressful and even dangerous, but having a plan and responding appropriately can limit long-term damage and help you prepare to restore your property.

How You Can Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

9/1/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed on laundry room. Water cleanup in a home in Bridgeton, MO.

There is a popular expression that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when it comes to preventing the appearance of water in home spaces where it has no place being, no truer words have ever been spoken. Here in Bridgeton, MO there are countless examples of homeowners having to hire a water damage repair company to perform cleanup from a broken pipe or a busted hose, yet if you keep an eye out for the signs of a problem by performing routine inspections and periodic maintenance, you can possibly avoid this costly path.

Steps You Can Take To Prevent Water Damage

To help in the prevention of water damage in the home, there are a number of things you should be regularly checking:

  • Ventilation systems, heaters, and air conditioners
  • Appliances
  • Whole-house plumbing concerns
  • Mold Growth

Water in a home is insidious insomuch as it can sneak into areas you cannot easily detect. A broken pipe cleanup is troublesome enough, but the slow leaks that are hard to spot can lead to damage that could already be quite substantial by the time the problem is finally found.

Check Appliances and Water Fixtures Regularly

You should check your heater and air conditioner twice a year to make sure they are working correctly. You should never see any water coming from these units. Appliances generally cause problems not so much because of the unit itself but rather a broken pipe or hose leading to the unit.

Bathrooms are an obvious location for water leaks because of all the fixtures in that room that use water. If home appliances and fixtures are leaking, mold growth can become a concern.

Things To Remember on a Daily Basis

You should always be on the lookout for any signs of water in home spaces where it does not belong. Even the smallest leak can be contributing to a much bigger problem beneath the surface, yet with some simple, regular maintenance, you can most likely avoid major water damage.

Do DIY Mold Tests Work?

8/20/2022 (Permalink)

 Mold Armor DIY test kit. For testing mold at home. Do DIY Mold test work?

Learn Why These Kits Are So Much Less Accurate

A business or commercial property owner might be tempted to try to save money by using a do-it-yourself or home mold test. Learn why these kits are so much less accurate than laboratory analysis of samples gathered by an indoor environmental specialist at a building in Maryland Heights, MO.


DIY Tests Detect Mold Spores
Airborne mold spores are present indoors and outdoors. A positive result on an amateur mold testing kit can indicate the presence of spores in air. These tests cannot identify growth or the toxicity of fungi.
Professional mold testing involves the collection and submission of samples from a building with a known or suspected mold infestation. A test may assess whether spore concentrations are high enough to suggest hidden mold growth or determine whether an infestation is toxic.


Lab Testing Identifies Species
There are anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 types of mold. The positive identification of any species must be left to scientists in a lab. It may be necessary to cultivate spores from samples to determine which species of mold is present and pursue the best cleanup method.
Depending on when a property owner calls an indoor environmental specialist, testing may be used to determine if an infestation is present prior to removal and cleanup or after remediation to confirm all mold has been removed.


Professional Testing Is the Best Option
Consumer mold tests range in price. Any money a building or business owner spends on a DIY kit to test for mold is wasted, as professional sampling and laboratory cultivation and analysis are necessary to determine mold species and toxicity.
An indoor environmental specialist can take the samples necessary to detect mold growth and identify species of fungi. If hidden mold is growing within the walls of a commercial property in Maryland Heights, MO, an inspection and mold test are the best ways to assess the severity of the infestation.