Recent Posts

SERVPRO Document Restoration Services

12/8/2019 (Permalink)

Image of fire damaged building with text "Here to Help" SERVPRO is "Here to Help" if your business experiences a fire. Our document restoration services can help you get back to business.

SERVPRO knows timely mitigation is key to reducing severity and recovering damaged items. As a leader in the restoration industry, we know water or smoke damaged paper can rapidly deteriorate. Without using the proper handling, files and irreplaceable documents can be lost forever. Let SERVPRO help you recover your damaged paper goods before it is too late.

Our technicians are trained to use the most advanced technology for document recover and drying. In fact, we use the same technique as the Library of Congress uses to dry water-damaged books.

Why choose SERVPRO® Vacuum Freeze Drying?

Vacuum freeze drying is the most efficient and effective way to salvage water-damaged documents. The Document Restoration Team uses sublimation—turning a solid directly into a vapor, skipping the liquid stage to avoid causing more damage to the documents. This process can recover even the most delicate items—from documents to photographs and x-rays, to entire business archives. All employees of the Document Restoration Team are HIPAA Master certified and once your items arrive at the SERVPRO® facility, 24/7 video surveillance is guaranteed.

Digitizing

With the new age of technology, digitizing records and documents has become a standard practice in most industries. This eliminates the need to have massive file storage rooms and allows us to access records at the click of a button. If your file room was damaged by water or smoke and needs to be cleaned, dried or decontaminated, digitizing might be a good choice to eliminate the need to have hundreds or even thousands of documents and records in storage.

Gamma Irradiation

Gamma irradiation is a process used for cleaning/disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. In a CAT 3 situation (sewage or flood water), documents are not only deteriorating but are also infected with all types of bacteria. In most storm situations, you are dealing with CAT 3 water; therefore, most of the affected documents you encounter will be contaminated. If this is the case, decontamination is always a must. In living cells, these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures. These photo induced changes at the molecular level cause the death of the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products.

Certified Destruction

Unfortunately, many businesses and government agencies have to dispose of counterfeit, faulty, expired or contaminated materials. All entities need to be certified that their products and materials are destroyed. The guarantee of certified destruction is to protect one’s liabilities, brand image or proprietary information. We guarantee certified destruction to give you peace of mind that your documents are disposed of properly.

SERVPRO’s goal is to make the process as simple as possible for customers. Contact SERVPRO of Franklin County for more information on Document Restoration services.

Heating Your Home Safely

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Image says "Make sure your space heater has an automatic shut off" If you experience a fire due to heating equipment, know that SERVPRO of Franklin County is "Here to Help' restore your home 24/7.

Now that winter is here brining shorter days and lower temperatures, you will be using your heat sources more often. To keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use fireplaces, 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 fi res 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 manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Franklin County. Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property. 

We will help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Are You Winter Weather Ready?

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

White home in snow with snow covered trees Be winter weather READY with these tips!
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.

  • 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.
  • Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help 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.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate a potential flood hazard.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ask us about completing an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment of your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business faster following a disaster.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Franklin County to strike back.

Smelly Microwave? How to Clean a Stinky Microwave

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Microwave with text "How to Clean a Stinky Microwave" Need odor removal? SERVPRO is "Here to Help"!

Smelly microwave? If you’ve burnt popcorn or experienced an “explosion” – it’s common to find yourself with a bit of a “smelly situation” when you open your microwave door.

Microwaves are made of heavy-duty plastic and are prone to lock in odors. It can sometimes be difficult to remove them. Luckily, we have a solution that may work for you!

Process to Clean a Stinky Microwave

A method to try when facing an odor filled microwave is using white vinegar.

Follow the steps below to help remove the odor:

  1. Wipe visible food and splatters out of the microwave.
  2. Bring 1-cup water and 3 tablespoons white vinegar to boil in the microwave.
  3. Turn off the microwave and leave the door closed for 10 minutes to let the steam cover all interior surfaces.
  4. Wipe the inside of the microwave with a damp, clean cloth.
  5. Leave the door open for an hour to let the appliance air out.

Preventing a Stinky Microwave

What can you do to prevent a smelly microwave? Clean it often! We recommend at least once a month, but whenever you have a “microwave mishap”, be sure to clean it up right away!

Be sure to wipe down the interior of the microwave and be sure to wipe any spills and remove any left-over debris. If you have any stubborn leftovers, use two parts baking soda and one-part water and let it set on the stubborn stain for about 5 minutes. Use a sponge and you should be able to remove that stubborn food residue. 

Another method is to use a lemon (sliced in half) and a tablespoon of water in the microwave for one minute. Use a rag of paper towel and wipe the steam from the door and sides. The lemon works as a natural deodorizer.

Choose SERVPRO for Odor Removal

If your home or business has an odor, from smoke to mold or any other type of smell, you need the odor removal experts.

SERVPRO of Franklin County is trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. These odors can come from several sources both inside and outside a structure.

We have the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor, and determining the conditions where it contacts surfaces, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace.

The science of identifying and eliminating odors can be a tricky thing, so give us a call, and leave the restoration to us.

Call us today for an estimate: (636) 583-5200

Reappearing Carpet Stains

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Image of carpet with "Reappearing Carpet Stains" Do you have reappearing carpet stains? Trust the professional with SERVPRO of Franklin County to clean your carpets.

Have you ever had a carpet stain reappear after cleaning?

You scrub and scrub and believe the stain has been removed, then come back the next day to find the stain back – although slightly faded.

Why does this happen? What can you do about it?

Why Do Stains Reappear?

When you complete DIY caret cleaning, you are likely dealing with soiling or wicking. When your cup of coffee meets the carpet on the family room floor, you immediately stop and treat the carpet. The stain goes away but returns later. Why?

The stains aren’t reappearing, the stain was never removed thoroughly to begin with.

Wicking is the result of a stain that soaked through the carpet backing and into the padding and subfloor. While the visible stain may have been removed, the spill in the padding makes it way back into the carpet through reabsorption. Wicking is what can make pet odor difficult to impossible to remove completely without removing the pad and treating the subfloor.

Soiling happens when residue is left over from when you cleaned. Maybe you were in a hurry and used dirty water, maybe you did not rinse the cleaned area, and it attracted more dirt.

Can You Prevent Reappearing Carpet Stains?

You can prevent soiling by making sure to use a clean, white towel and sitting it over the freshly cleaned area along with a paperweight to hold it down and absorb moisture.

The best way to prevent reappearing carpet stains is to have them treated by a professional. While not all stains can be successfully removed, we have a high rate of success removing difficult to clean stains on your carpet. DIY methods can damage your carpet fibers and often does not treat the stain fully.

SERVPRO of Franklin County Professional Carpet Cleaning

If you need your carpet cleaned in your home or business, give SERVPRO of Franklin County a call. Our professional cleaning can address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpet.

We will get the job done right. For a cleaning backed by state-of-the-art equipment, over 40 years of experience and Professionals trained to the highest standards, call us today: (636) 583-5200.

Faster to any size disaster

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Photo of our office in Union, MO Whatever the disaster, SERVPRO of Franklin County is there when you need help.

The teams at SERVPRO® are ready for any disaster, big or small.

And they understand what may be small in the grand scheme of things may be huge to you, and they’re ready to help you put your life, business, or property back together “Like it never even happened.”

What can you do to be READY? Be prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. Ready.gov suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit:

  • 3-day supply of nonperishable foods Water (one+ gallon per person per day)
  • First-aid kit
  • Prescription medication
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hygiene products
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Cell phone charger
  • Change of clothes
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Pet supplies
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container

You can also keep a condensed emergency kit in your vehicle as well.

For a more extensive list, check out Ready.gov.

Whatever the disaster, SERVPRO® of Franklin County is there when you need help, 24/7/365.

Cooking Up a Safe Holiday Season

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Firefighters and SERVPRO technicans outside of a fire damaged home. SERVPRO of Franklin County responds quickly to your fire or water damage emergency.

SERVPRO of Franklin County - Fire Damage Restoration Specialist Offers Franklin County, MO Families Tips on Cooking Up a Safe Holiday Season

Startling statistics underscore the need for caution in the kitchen.

Union, MO (Grassroots Newswire) 11/06/2019 -- Holiday party planning begins now for many families, and Jerry Alvey of SERVPRO of Franklin County, MO offers some important reminders to Union, MO residents to help ensure this season glows with the warmth of good food and good friends, and not with the glare of a devastating home fire.

“The holiday season is a time when many families plan big and elaborate meals for large groups of people,” says Alvey. “But all that cooking creates an extraordinary risk of fire. For a safe and festive holiday season, it’s important to understand that risk and take steps to minimize it.”

Cooking Fire Safety NFPA research reveals that in 2016, on average, U.S. fire departments responded to a home fire every 90 seconds. Cooking fires were the leading cause of these home fires and related home fire injuries and the second leading cause of related home fire deaths. Unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor in these fires.1

“Union, MO families should keep these statistics in mind as the holidays approach. According to the NFPA, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve2,” says Alvey. “Families should also be aware that frying poses the greatest risk of fire, in fact, the NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil.3 This video graphically illustrates the danger these devices can pose.” https://youtu.be/j3rF8F0JQRQ.

Alvey offers these additional cooking safety tips from FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration.4

  1. Keep an eye on what you fry: If you see any smoke or the oil starts to boil, turn the burner off.
  2. Stand by your pan: If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.
  3. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so that no one can bump them or pull them over.
  4. Wear short sleeves or pull sleeves up: 18 percent of cooking fire fatalities in 2016 were caused by ignited clothing.2
  5. Keep a pot lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover a pan if it catches on fire.

“Taking common sense precautions like these and keeping kids and pets out of the kitchen during meal prep can help keep your holiday celebrations safe,” says Alvey. “The precautions you take could help prevent a devastating home fire, a tragic injury, or even the loss of life. While SERVPRO disaster response professionals are fire damage restoration specialists, they know how important it is to keep the focus on fire prevention, because for some types of loss, there is no remediation.”

SERVPRO is an industry leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services. For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com.

For more information on SERVPRO of Franklin County, please contact Jerry Alvey at 636-583-5200 or jerry@SERVPROoffranklincounty.com.

Citations

  1. https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics/Factsheets/FireLossFacts.pdf
  2. https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics/Factsheets/CookingFactSheet.pdf
  3. https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire/Cooking/Turkey-fryers
  4. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/cooking.html

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About SERVPRO® Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

Flood Damage Restoration Recommendations for Uninsured Losses

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technican and customer in front of customers home. SERVPRO of Franklin County is here to help with your water damage, please give us a call 24/7.

It is never too soon to start to consider what steps need to be taken especially when you don’t have adequate insurance for water damage.

The following recommendations assume a flooding situation with horizontally traveling Category 3 (unsanitary) water containing silt and other contaminants have infiltrated into homes and businesses to a depth of a few inches or feet and remained for multiple days.  When structures are completely submerged or remain substantially flooded for several weeks, more elaborate procedures may be required.

  1. Foremost, consider safety:
    1. Evacuatepotentially respiratory or immune-compromised, or non-essential persons (e.g., children, the elderly, pregnant women; those recovering from extended illness or surgery, or those on regimens of prescription drugs or chemotherapy). When medical questions arise, consult with public health professionals.
    2. Before entering a heavily flood-damaged structure, open windows and doors and air it out thoroughly. Ventilation must be maintained during and following the restoration effort. This reduces but does not eliminate, the potential for inhaling pathogenic (disease causing) microorganisms.  Also, allow as much sunlight into the structure as practical, since fresh air and ultraviolet light help inhibit microorganism growth.
    3. Consider the structural integrity of a damaged building before entering. Wear protective clothing, boots with steel or fiberglass shanks, and a hard hat.  Have the building checked by a qualified builder or structural engineer when in doubt.
    4. Ensure that electrical shock hazards have been eliminated. Consult a licensed and qualified electrician when questions arise.
    5. Protect yourself from pathogenic microorganisms.Wear protective gloves before handling contaminated materials.  Splash goggles should be worn to protect and prevent microorganism entry through the eyes.  A vapor respirator (paint respirator) should be worn to prevent inhalation of most microorganisms or spores.
  2. Remove quantities of debris(silt, vegetation, floating objects) with shovels, rakes or any safe means practical. Clean and sanitize all tools when complete.
  3. Remove and dispose of drywall (Sheetrock®), paneling or other wall materialsup to a point 15-24″ inches above the visible water line. If practical, stay within four feet of the floor to salvage as much wall material as practical since drywall is usually installed horizontally in 4’x8’ or 4’x12’ panels.
  4. Remove and dispose of insulation materialsexposed during wall removal. Look for evidence of moisture wicking up insulation materials.  Leave only materials that are durable, dry and minimally porous, and which can be cleaned and decontaminated with relative ease.
  5. Remove and dispose of carpet, cushion, pad, felt and sheet vinyl, or laminate flooring materials. Porous materials may absorb considerable quantities of water and contaminant, and non-porous materials may trap moisture to prolong drying.  The inevitable result will be rapid microbial growth, along with associated odor and potential health hazards.  Solid wood flooring should be removed since contaminants and moisture collect underneath in hollow areas between the wood and subfloor. The following procedures may require the assistance of a professional water-damage restorer, who has specialized biocides, and application and extraction equipment, if available.
  6. While maintaining ventilation and respiratory protection, liberally spray durable salvageable materials (e.g., studs, decking, joists) with appropriate biocides.Household chlorine bleach (e.g., Clorox®) mixed 1 part bleach to 11 parts water (½%) may be used on durable, colorfast surfaces.  Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia or strong acids!
  7. Following application of properly diluted biocides, brush agitate all areasto remove visible soils and to encourage biocide penetration into cracks and crevices. Professional restorers use pressurized spraying to accomplish this step.
  8. When fresh water is restored within the structure, flush contaminants from salvageable surfaces with a water hose or pressure washer.Work from top to bottom and from walls to flooring.
  9. Wet vacuum or mop up excess rinse water from flooring materials immediately.Thoroughly flush all contamination from wall frames.  Pressure washing, if available, is specifically recommended to flush contaminants from hard-to-access areas, following contaminated water removal with industrial wet vacuuming equipment.
  10. Repeat steps 6-9 as necessary, until all surfaces are clean and contamination is physically removed.
  11. Lightly spray a final application of an approved non-chlorinated disinfectant to all salvageable surfaces.
  12. Dry structural components with plenty of air circulation, while maintaining constant ventilation (weather conditions permitting). If practical, take advantage of low outside humidity (check local weather reports).  Use oscillating or box fans, moving them around the structure every few hours.  Avoid temperature extremes that might slow drying or promote microorganism growth (68-86oF/20-30oC is ideal for growth).  Rent high-volume professional drying equipment (airmovers and dehumidifiers) if available, especially in areas where ventilation is not possible (sealed buildings, security issues).  All electrical components that were below the water line should be checked for operational safety by a qualified contractor.
  13. Leave cleaned structural surfaces exposed for several days or even weeks, or until you are sure that they have returned to within four percentage points of normal moisture content (generally the normal moisture content of structural wood is around 10%). Otherwise, subsequent structural damage and health hazards can result after wall and flooring materials have been replaced or painted.
  14. Durable, colorfast contents (e.g., washable clothing, dishes, glassware, furniture) might be salvageable if washed in warm detergent solutions. Common sense and caution should be used in determining contents salvageability.

Where financial resources permit, comprehensive restoration should be accomplished by trained, Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Water Damage Restoration Technicians.  To prevent mold growth on structural materials, property owners should consider hiring a professional restorer to evaluate moisture levels in structural materials before reconstruction.

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

Please call us for more information regarding floor or water damage cleanup.

Is Duct Cleaning Worth It?

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

A photo of our office in Union, MO. Call SERVPRO for your air duct cleaning needs.

Did you know, that investing in regular air duct cleaning can reduce indoor allergens like dust, pollen and pet dander? Air duct cleaning is vital to the cleanliness of the air you breathe in.

Why Is Duct Cleaning Important?

The ducts in your furnace / air conditioner constantly collect dirt, dust and danger while in operation and even while idle. When you turn your system on, the particles can spread around in your home or business.

SERVPRO of Franklin County provides residential and commercial air duct cleaning that can improve the air quality in your Franklin County, MO home or business.

How Often Do I Need My Air Ducts Cleaned?

It is recommended to get your air ducts cleaned evert three to five years. However, if you have elderly family, young children, pets, or allergies it may be beneficial to clean your air ducts more often. Typically, if you see a lot of dust gathering on furniture items after just cleaning them, it can be a sign that your air ducts need cleaning.

Signs You Should Clean Your Air Ducts

If you are still uncertain if your air ducts need to be cleaned, here are some signs that you can look for:

  • Mold
    • If you see mold in or near your air ducts, you should immediately call SERVPRO of Franklin County for an inspection. We can seal and clean your air ducts as well as mold remediation to take care of any issues you may have.
  • Dust
    • As previously stated, if you find yourself constantly dusting your home, dust and debris in your ducts could be to blame. This can be a sign that your ducts need to be cleaned soon.
  • Pets
    • While pets are a great addition to any family, they leave dander and fur in your home. The duct system draws in this dander and allergens each time you use your air conditioner or heater. This can cause your air duct system to require cleaning more often.
  • Pests
    • If you find pests in your home, they could be using your duct system to get around. Air duct cleaning can remove the waste that pests leave behind.

Call SERVPRO of Franklin County for Your Air Duct Cleaning Needs

If you have additional questions about air duct cleaning services for your Franklin County, MO home or business, please give us a call (636) 583-5200. We are here to help!  We will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.

When they call you, call SERVPRO®

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO fire damage technician removing tile ceiling from a fire damaged restaurant in Union, MO. When they call you, call SERVPRO. We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists.

Mitigation requires quick action.

The faster SERVPRO of Franklin County arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results— including lower claim costs.

Within four hours of a loss notification, SERVPRO of Franklin County will be on-site to help ensure a fire damage is handled properly by utilizing the following services:

Structural Cleaning

After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. SERVPRO® will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found within the structure.

Contents Cleaning

All the restorable contents in the affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO can provide wet or dry-cleaning services. Additionally, all other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO of Franklin County can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items.

Deodorization

SERVPRO® of Franklin County provides specialized services that rid your insured’s home or place of business of offensive odors left behind by fire or smoke damage. We do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.  

If your business experiences fire or water damage, give SERVPRO of Franklin County a call.

We’re here to help 24/7, 7 days a week: (636) 583-5200.