Recent Posts

De-Stink Old Smelly Jars with Two Simple Ingredients

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

It’s so nice to be able to reuse old glass jars for food storage. Occasionally, though, even the sturdiest container has to be recycled because it retains the smell of its previous contents. There is, however, a quick and easy way to get that old stink out of your jar and make it usable again.

You just need two things...

Mustard & Water

Yes, mustard! Turns out basic yellow mustard (no need to get the fancy Dijon or whole-grain kind) or mustard powder (if you’re truly old school) mixed with hot water will get out the smell.
Pour about a teaspoon of the yellow stuff in the bottom, add hot water and swirl or shake the solution with the lid on. Throw out the water, and then wash and rinse your container. It’s like the Ghost of Pickled Onions Past was never even there.

Plastic Containers Need More Time Than Glass

However, the swirl-and-dump method works best with glass. Plastic tends to hold aromas more tenaciously.
If something really stinky was being stored in a plastic container, you may want to leave the mustard-and-water mix in the plastic storage container for a few hours or even overnight.


Business Spotlight: ELS Properties

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

Business name:
ELS Properties

Year started: 2006

Address, hours and phone:
Physical: 407b Prairie Hill Court, Union, MO
Mailing: P.O. Box 1052 Union, MO 63084
Hours:Monday through Friday 8:30 – 5:00
Phone: 636-744-8585


Your Name: Ed Schmelz

What does your company do?
Provide quality rental properties to the community

What makes your company special?
We are locally owned and operated

What do you like most about doing business in your community?
I was born and raised in Union. I think it is a great town to live in and raise a family.

How do you support the community?
I do a lot of building in the area. I do everything I can to use local suppliers and contractors in order to spend and keep money in Union.

Personal info about yourself, married, kids: I have been married for 12 years to my wife, Cassie. We have two girls, Elliot and Eve, age 11 and 7.

Do you have a motto or words to live by?
If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Flood Clean Up Tips

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

Rising water is one of the gravest and frightening problems that a business or homeowner may face, and the resulting flood clean-up is both costly and time-consuming. It is a scary prospect watching floodwaters creep slowly toward the home or office. If high water makes an incursion, severe damage and a horrible clutter of muck, debris, and germs may follow.

Below are some useful flood clean-up tips for home and business owners:

  • Be on the lookout for wild animals, including snakes. Floodwaters tend to uproot them from their natural areas.
  • While cleaning up, wear protective gear such as boots and rubber gloves.
    The water is contaminated and can be considered hazardous.
  • Discard food items and drinking water if it has come into contact with the
    flood waters. This includes canned goods and bottled water.
  • Remove all soaked and dirty materials and debris, including wet insulation and drywall, residual mud and soil, furniture, appliances, clothing and bedding.
  • Follow the maxim: When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Remove any standing water and dry out the flooded area. Once the water is gone, use airmovers and a dehumidifier to dry out the area.
  • Disinfect - A disinfectant will help to kill bacteria that may be present.
  • Inhibit mold growth - After applying a disinfectant, apply an anti-mold spray to the area while wearing a mask for protection.
  • Dispose of damaged items - Check with the city’s waste management department to find out where to recycle chemicals such as paint and other toxic liquids, as well as electronics.
  • Flood clean-up after high water ravages a home or business is typically a burdensome and demanding task, this is just a few steps of a extensive process. It may also involve some danger, so safety concerns must take precedence.

If you need help restoring your home or business, we are always here to help.


6/29/2017 (Permalink)

General ARE YOU READY? Schedule your free Emergency Ready Profile

For the second time in less than a year epic rains have caused disastrous flooding in our area. This rain and flooding have caused millions and millions of dollars of damages to home and business.  Lives have been uprooted, and businesses have been halted. Some will never recover.  

Ben Franklin famously said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.  As many as 50 percent of businesses that did not have a disaster plan in place prior to the flooding may never recover.     Of the businesses that survive a disaster an overwhelming amount had a disaster plan in place.  Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or even a 100-year flood.  The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.  The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it now. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at your peace of mind.

Putting a disaster plan together sounds like a lot of work, right? Don’t worry, SERVPRO has you covered!  At no cost we can perform an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business. This is a disaster plan created specifically for your business. We will provide a concise profile document that contains all of the critical information needed in event of an emergency. We provide a guide to help you get back in your building following a disaster. We help you identify the line of command for authorizing emergency work to begin. We provide facility details such as shut off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.  All of this information is compiled in a concise hard copy as well as a smart phone app. You control who sees the information and who you want to share it with.    

One short story shows how valuable an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) can be for you.  Approximately a week before the polar vortex of 2014, one of our marketing representative had completed an ERP for a nursing home in Sullivan.  As the thaw came, so did the broken pipes.  This same nursing home had a sprinkler pipe break but using the ERP that we just completed, they were able to locate the shut off and limited the affected area to just two partial rooms.  Had they not known where to shut off the water, the damage and interruption would have been immense. This is just one of hundreds of examples of how the ERP can help your business. 

If you’re an insurance agent, you should not only ask us to do an ERP for your office, but also all of your business customers.  Can you imagine how beneficial this free service can be for your customers?    If you’re a business, you should be calling us right now to get this done. If not, like our old friend Ben Franklin might say, “You are planning to fail!”.

Give us a call right away to schedule your free Emergency Ready Profile. It will only take a small amount of time and the value is priceless.  SERVPRO of Franklin County where Our Business is Putting you Back in Business.  636-583-5200

SERVPRO – Faster to Any-Sized Disaster.

6/29/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage SERVPRO – Faster to Any-Sized Disaster. SERVPRO – Faster to Any-Sized Disaster

Kim and Dan Akers had dealt with flooding before, but they had never seen anything like this. The Akers family’s St. Clair property had flooded before in 2008 and again in 2015, but both of those times they were able to deal with the damage themselves.

After the Meramec River flooded April 29, the Akers family found their residence with close to 6 feet of water. This time, they had to call in outside help to get their home back in order.

“It was pretty devastating, I wasn’t real sure if it was all going to come back together or not,” Kim Akers said about her flooded home. “It was a record flood. Before the most we had was about two, maybe three feet in the living room. This time it was way above my head.”

The Akers family called SERVPRO Franklin County for help. SERVPRO gutted the house, cleaned and sanitized the structure, removed mold, dried out the house and cleaned the air ducts.

Akers said that the mold could have been a result of not properly cleaning after the previous floods.

“My husband and I both have had issues with our sinuses running while we’re in the house, and after seeing what we saw, there was probably mold in the house that we didn’t know was there,” she said.

Though the Akers aren’t back in their house yet, they believe that their decision to use SERVPRO will get them home faster.

“I’d definitely recommend SERVPRO,” Kim said. “You guys did a good job and took a lot of the workload off of us. In the flood of 2008 it took 13 months for us to get back in the house because we did everything ourselves. It’s going to take a little while to get back in this time, but I don’t think it’s going to take near as long.”

SERVPRO – Faster to Any-Sized Disaster. 

Will Flooding Continue?

6/29/2017 (Permalink)

Community Will Flooding Continue? Franklin County, MO - Flooding 2017

For the second time in a little over a year, our state and county were hit hard by flooding. The storms of late April and early May resulted in evacuations, hundreds of road closures, damage to businesses and residences and five fatalities.

When the rain finally let up and the water crested, an estimated $86 million worth of damage was done in Missouri, including $28 million in costs for individuals whose homes and belongings were affected. The number of homes destroyed by the flooding totaled 369, while 848 had major damage.

Unfortunately, major flooding in the region has become more common in recent years. In December 2015, an estimated $56 million in damage was caused by flooding.

 The cities of Franklin County haven’t been immune from the flood damage, as areas along the Bourbeuse, Missouri and Meramec Rivers have been devastated, and at least 12 rivers and major creeks saw record flooding in 2017.

In both the 2015 and 2017 floods, flood water reached up to 5 feet. Currently, codes require new buildings to be built 1 foot above the basic flood level, but some homes that were elevated to 2 feet above the base level still received water on the floor in the most recent flooding.

After two major floods in a 17-month span, the question is, will major flooding become the new norm?

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States, according to the Insurance Information Institute, and it is the most frequent reason for declaring a federal disaster.

Missouri has two types of ways floods develop – flash floods and overbank flooding. Flash floods are quick rising floods and normally occur as a result of unusually intense rains over a short period of time, usually hours. Overbank flooding is commonly found in the Midwest and occurs when rivers reach their capacity and can no longer hold excess rain water or ice melt.

The recent floodings were of course due to intense amount of rains, but there is another culprit – us. We use levees as a means of protection, but sometimes they can be just as harmful as they are helpful. Levees can disrupt the natural flow of rivers, which result in catastrophic events. As more businesses and houses have been built near rivers in recent years, more levees have been built. Levees narrow and straighten the river which forces water to flow higher and faster, instead of outward which slows the river as it spreads.

And although it’s impossible to say how much of a role climate change played in the flooding, many scientists believe it has caused more unpredictable and vicious storms in recent years.

If the trend continues, we could see flooding be more commonplace. If that is the case, it’s important to have a plan in place to deal with the water.

SERVPRO of Franklin County is here to help in any disaster situation. If it’s a residential loss, we want to have your family back at home as soon as possible. If It’s a commercial loss, our goal is to have your business up and running in no time.

To be prepared, SERVPRO recommends using our free service, the Emergency Ready Profile. By developing a SERVPR ERP for your home or 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 home or business.

.Information in this article was found on, and

Extreme Heat

6/23/2017 (Permalink)

General Extreme Heat Preparing for extreme heat

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight.

Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect. According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50–90°F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces—often in more rural surroundings—remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure.”

Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).

If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter.

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

What To Do After Smoke Damage Has Happened?

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What To Do After Smoke Damage Has Happened? Fire Damage Franklin County, MO

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Restoration costs increase and damages escalate when the cleaning process is extended. Quick action is the only way to minimize the destruction. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC, is a globally recognized organization whose mission is to establish higher industry standards. As a referral source for consumers, IICRC  certified firms are more likely to provide a faster, better service  than non-certified competitors.

The SERVPRO of Franklin County staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our training program includes the following:

  • IICRC Training
  • Employee Certification Training
  • Initial Franchise Training
  • e-Learnings
  • Continuing Education Classes

What happens only minutes after the disaster?

Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly.

Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing  can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacement.

If left untreated, within weeks the restoration process will take longer and cost more.  Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers. Replacement of property may be the best option at this point. The structure may continue deteriorating if not properly restored.

IICRC suggests the following steps after the incident:

  • Remember safety comes first. Do not enter the property without proper work gloves and  appropriate respiratory protection. Exposure to soot residue causes respiratory distress and other medical emergencies.
  • Bring along a few box fans. Upon entering the property open the windows and place the box fans in the windows to force out the contaminated air and dust. Proper ventilation helps to prevent further smoke damage and reduces potential injury to people.
  • Remove loose smoke contamination with a professional dry cleaning soot sponge.
  • Clean every surface with soap and water. Begin at the top and work down to the floor. Be sure to get inside cabinets and cupboards.
  • Using a high efficiency vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter, vacuum upholstery and carpet. A good filtration system on a high efficiency vacuum prevents the soot from being blown back into the cleaned space. Clean or change the filter regularly.
  • Launder bedding, clothes, curtains, and other washable materials. An alkaline cleaner neutralizes the acid found in the soot. Fine materials should be professionally dry-cleaned by a dry-cleaner who is experienced in smoke damaged articles.
  • Clean the exterior walls and eaves using a water hose attached to the proper cleaner. Agitate and loosen stuck-on soot. The smoke damage to the outside of the property will continue until the soot is removed.

Fire Damage Repair and Restoration

SERVPRO of Franklin County has the water and fire damage training and expertise to help you through this tough time. Once the fire department leaves, your Union home may suffer from water damage caused by firefighting efforts. We have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire and water damage and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

Have Smoke or Fire Damage Questions?
Call Us Today – (636) 583-5200

Dry Ice Blasting

6/8/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Dry Ice Blasting Dry Ice Blasting - Franklin County, MO

What Is Dry Ice Blasting?

Dry ice blasting is a revolutionary blasting method that uses dry ice pellets (CO2 in solid form) as the blasting material. The process is very environmentally friendly and provides a fast and effective alternative to traditional methods of cleaning industrial production equipment.

Dry Ice Blasting Is A Three-Step Process

Kinetic: When dry ice pellets are accelerated in a jet of compressed air and strike a surface at the speed of sound, they crack and loosen the coating of the surface being treated.

Thermal: The low temperature of dry ice pellets (-79oC/-110oF) makes the coating brittle, cracks it and loosens it. This allows dry ice to permeate the coating.

Sublimation: Dry ice penetrates the coating and immediately sublimes (passes directly from solid to vapor state). This results in a 700-fold increase in volume, an explosive effect that lifts the coating off the surface.

The Benefits Of Dry Ice Blasting

A Dry Cleaning Process: Dry ice blasting is a completely dry process because dry ice pellets consist of CO2 and vaporize immediately on contact with the surface to be cleaned.

No Waste Disposal: The system produces no waste products. Only the coating that has been removed remains to be disposed of, and this can usually be swept or vacuumed from the floor.

Environmentally Friendly: Dry ice blasting is completely non-toxic and no hazardous chemicals are used. Costs connected with the disposal of blasting materials and solvents are saved.

No Abrasion: Dry ice blasting is non-abrasive and therefore surfaces are treated very gently. Wear and tear resulting from the use of steel brushes, scrapers and other blasting materials is avoided.

Improved Production Quality: Dry ice blasting often allows for your production equipment to be cleaned while in operation without a need for dismantling or costly downtime.

Call SERVPRO of Franklin County for Dry Ice Blasting.

SERVPRO of Franklin County is locally owned and operated and we are proud to be part of this community. We are also part of a national network of over 1,650 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large-scale fire, water, and storm disasters. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. When various materials burn, the soot and residue they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.

  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  3. Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  4. Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  5. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  6. Cleaning and Repair
  7. Restoration

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (636) 583-5200

Why A Professional Should Clean Fire Damage

6/7/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Why A Professional Should Clean Fire Damage Fire Damage, Franklin County, MO

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately.
While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough.
Professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days’ pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.
If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.
This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative.

SERVPRO of Franklin County Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.

1.        Emergency Contact

2.        Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

3.        Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)

4.        Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

5.        Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

6.        Cleaning and Repair

7.        Restoration

SERVPRO of Franklin County has the water and fire damage training and expertise to help you through this tough time. Once the fire department leaves, your Union home may suffer from water damage caused by firefighting efforts. We have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire and water damage and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – (636) 583-5200