Customer Spotlight: Brett Hoch
Water damage equipment during restoration at Hoch's home in Washington, Missouri.
An estimated 30 percent of water damage is caused by appliance failure.
Unfortunately for Washington, Missouri native Brett Hoch, he experienced an appliance failure when his dishwasher leaked for several days. The leaking caused water damage to two levels of his home.
“Unbeknownst to us, the (dishwasher’s inlet) valve had failed,” Hoch explained. “We didn’t know it was happening until the water saturated the drywall in the basement.”
The engineered wood flooring and subfloor of the house were also damaged. Hoch initially used his own fans to help dry the damage, but his insurance company recommended him to use SERVPRO of Franklin County to help mitigate.
“At that point, things were in pretty horrific shape,” Hoch said. “You guys came out the next morning, took out the rest of the drywall and removed things that were either damaged, ruined or had to be dried out.”
SERVPRO helped restore Hoch’s home for four days, drying out the structure and mitigating the damage. We were also able to cut down costs on his insurance claim, Hoch said.
“Because you guys sent samples of everything damaged to the insurance company, that helped save me money on my claim,” he said.
Production Manager Nate Gillespey kept Hoch updated throughout the process.
“Nate did a good job of keeping me informed and letting me know what was happening,” Hoch said.
Hoch is still in the process of repairing the damage caused by the dishwasher, but he believes SERVPRO helped him tremendously.
“At the end of the day it was worth the effort to get you guys in there,” he said. “I think in the long run you guys saved me a lot more money because of the mitigation you did.”
Five Ways to Winterize Your Home
Winter is coming.
As you prepare to put up the tree and hang the lights this holiday season, it’s important to remember to prepare your house for the winter, too.
Don’t forget to take these steps to get your home ready for the cold.
Clear the leaves and debris that have accumulated to ensure water can flow freely. This will help prevent icicles from forming in the winter. It’s vital to clean the gutters to avoid them getting damaged, which can lead to expensive repairs. To top it off, when gutters pile up with leaves, twigs and other debris, it can cause contaminants like mold and mildew to spread throughout your home.
Water expands when it freezes, causing pipes to burst and water to spew throughout your home. To protect your pipes, make sure to shut off all outside faucets and drain water out of valves. For particularly vulnerable pipes, heat cables are a smart solution, as they have built-in-thermostats that turn the heat on and off as needed to prevent freezing. If you’re leaving town for an extended period of time, turn your water off at the main shutoff so you don’t come home to frozen pipes.
- Flush Your Hot Water Heater
This is an often overlooked, yet simple way to make your water heater run more efficiently. Gunk and other mineral deposits build up in the heater over time, so it’s important to flush it through the drain valve every 1-3 years. This will not only make the heater run more efficiently, it will improve your water quality as well.
Cold air coming into the house can lead to higher gas bills. To keep the cold weather outside, caulk around your windows and use foam outlet protectors. You can also use thermal lined curtains or drapes to prevent cold air from slipping through window cracks.
- Bring In/Protect Outdoor Items
Outdoor equipment and furniture can be damaged by cold weather or snow. Protect your grill with a cover and move your furniture into the garage or basement, if possible. Plants and flowering trees should also be brought inside before temperatures drop below 45 degrees.
Ready For Winter Weather?
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 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 flood hazard potential.
- 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 SERVPRO of Franklin County about completing an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.
When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Franklin County to strike back.
Document Restoration Services
As a leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO knows timely mitigation is the key to reducing severity and recovering damaged items. Water– or smoke–damaged paper can rapidly deteriorate. Without proper handling, valuable files and irreplaceable documents could be lost forever. Let SERVPRO’s Document Restoration Team help you recover your damaged paper goods before it is too late.
SERVPRO’s technicians are trained to use the most advanced technology available for document recovery and drying; in fact, the Document Restoration Team uses the same technique 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.
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 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 photon 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.
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.
Five Fall Fire Prevention Tips
Keeping your family and home safe is important no matter the season. But fall brings more chances for safety to be compromised.
While autumn is a great time to light candles or build fires, there’s also an increased likelihood of a fire getting out of hand.
But, if you follow these tips, you can ensure both an enjoyable and safe fall for yourself and your loved ones.
- Check Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers
- The easiest way to stop a house fire is to make sure your house has preventative measures in place. Check to see if your smoke detector batteries are still working, and change them out if necessary. Also, make sure that your fire extinguishers still have liquid in them and are located in easily accessible places.
- Caution With Candles
- There’s nothing like candles to put you in an autumn mood. But it’s important to be mindful when you are using them. Don’t leave candles unattended and keep them away from children, pets and flammable objects.
- Fireplace/Pit Safety
- Similar to lit candles, you should never leave a fire alone. If you’re making a fire in a fireplace, use a screen to keep sparks and debris from getting out. When building an outdoor fire, be sure that the pit is on level ground. Keep the fire away from overhanging trees and close houses or buildings, and use wood that has been split and stored in a safe and dry environment for at least six months.
- Safety With Space Heaters
- Space heaters should be surrounded by at least three feet of empty space. If your space heater requires venting, make sure you have vented it to the outdoors. Remember to turn space heaters off when you leave the house/building or go to bed. Review Your Safety Plan Look over your safety plan and remind your family (or co-workers in the case of an office safety plan) of the procedures to take in the event of a fire. Locate all possible exits and establish safe meeting places to head to after getting out of the house/building. To ensure greater success, practice a fire drill so that everyone is on the same page.
The Behavior of Smoke
If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Franklin County to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
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 of Franklin County professionals are 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, we will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and its contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows your local SERVPRO® franchise professionals to focus on saving your precious items.
We know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following points 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.
- Wet Smoke. (Plastic and Rubber) Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, and smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
- Dry Smoke. (Paper and Wood) Fast-burning, high temperatures; heat rises; therefore smoke rises.
- Protein Fire Residue. (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
- Fuel Oil Soot. (Furnace puff backs) While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, we can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
- Other Types. (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.
SERVPRO® of Franklin County professionals are trained to handle even the toughest of losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Franklin County to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
SAFETY FIRST: Before the Feast
USING A PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHER
A portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool when used correctly. To operate a fire extinguisher, the NFPA suggests remembering the word PASS.
- Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Encourage your family members and co-workers to do the same. Remember, extinguishers do have their limitations! It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your home or facility.
SAFETY FIRST - Before the Feast
Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could quickly become hazardous in a blink of an eye. According to the NFPA, cooking is the main cause of home fires and injuries, with the Thanksgiving holiday being the peak day for cooking related fire emergencies.
Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.
- Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
- Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while kitchen equipment is in use. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
- Keep small children away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove and oven.
- Keep anything flammable like potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels away from the stove, oven, or other appliances in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build-up.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen year-round. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of fire extinguishers if you are unsure.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all kitchen appliances like stoves, ovens, and toasters are turned off.
- Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside of bedrooms. Use the test button to check it is working properly every month. Replace the batteries at least once a year.
SERVPRO of Franklin County wishes you a safe and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.
Five Things to Put on Your Checklist This Fall
Fall is here, which means the leaves are changing colors, the temperature is dropping, and it’s finally time to take care of the cleaning you’ve been putting off all summer.
Here are five items to put on your checklist for your fall cleaning.
- Test and Clean Your Detectors
Make sure the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon detectors still have juice in them, and if necessary, change them out. If you’ve been putting this off, we suggest checking your detectors when you move your clocks back on Nov. 1. Remember to clean your alarms, as accumulated dust can cause them to underperform!
- Purge Your Pantry
Those hot dog buns you bought for your 4th of July barbecue have probably (okay, definitely) gone bad by now. Do a thorough sweep of your pantry and toss any items that have gone bad. Moldy food can cause mold spores to spread throughout the home, so be sure to wash your pantry with warm, soapy water or baking soda and a warm, wet paper towel.
- Get Your Carpets and Upholstery Cleaned
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away? If you are hosting family or friends this year, you might want to consider shampooing your carpets and vacuuming your upholstered furniture. If you want to treat yourself with an early Christmas present, consider hiring the professionals at SERVPRO to do the cleaning for you.
- Clean the Gutters
When sticks and leaves start to pile up in gutters, they can cause a leaky roof or damage to the interior or exterior of the home. It’s recommended that you clean your gutters twice a year, so get this completed before it gets too cold. Cleaning gutters can be dangerous! Be careful and use a safe and secure ladder.
- Check Your HVAC Unit
Nobody wants to have dusty air circulating throughout their house. Remember to clean and replace your air filters and wipe down registers to prevent dust and debris from being circulated. It’s recommended to get air ducts cleaned every 3-5 years, so if you’re past due for a cleaning, SERVPRO can get your HVACs cleaned to ensure quality air for you and your family.
The Science of Drying
SERVPRO of Franklin County has the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Did you know there is a science behind the process of drying?
The 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, SERVPRO of Franklin County is 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 a water damage, SERVPRO of Franklin County 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 “speed up Mother Nature” mean? 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 often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out. For this reason, SERVPRO of Franklin County has been trained to use professional equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more.
SERVPRO of Franklin County uses the latest technology to help ensure your property is dried quickly and efficiently. DryBook™ is a proprietary tool that:
- Manages industry drying requirements. n Provides real-time documentation on the drying process.
- Validates that services are executed to standard.
- Reports to all stakeholders involved.
- Allows real-time updates through DryBook™ Mobile integration. This improves results and restores your property at a faster rate, getting you back in your home or business sooner.
SERVPRO® also uses state-of-the-artmonitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.
The bottom line? SERVPRO of Franklin County has the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Have Questions? Call Us Today – (636) 583-5200
Cheap Carpet Cleaning Services Can Cause More Damage
SERVPRO is IICRC Certified and "Here to Help".
You might be thinking cheap carpet cleaning can help save money, but it might not in the long run. An uncertified carpet cleaning will be unable to give the service needed, especially considering that many homeowners wait until their carpeting is heavily soiled. An unskilled company can actually make the carpets condition worse and force a homeowner to spend more than planned.
Inconsistent quality of treatment is a major issue. With certification from the IICRC comes knowledge. By choosing a company such as SERVPRO of Franklin County, you know you are getting a professional that has been properly trained. In addition to poor soil removal overall, improper cleaning can leave the carpeting open for quick re-soiling, forcing additional treatment right away. Also, if a technician does not apply water or cleansing agents properly, it can cause health problems for the home’s occupants. Specifically, excess water will allow molds and bacteria to fester, and it may also attract pests. Untrained crews may also employ low quality cleaning agents as well, and if any residue is left behind, it may cause breathing problems or illness if it is ingested or inhaled.
Saving money can be a good thing, but not when it comes to carpet cleaning.
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 properly clean your carpets.
You know SERVPRO as a leader in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration, but our professional residential cleaning services can also make a dirty carpet "Like it never even happened."
Give us a call today for a carpet cleaning estimate: (636) 583-5200.