Central Missouri Mold and Mildew Peak Seasons

Mold allergies are a painful reality for many Missouri residents. Ten percent of the population has some form of mold allergy. Worse, a sufficient presence of mold spores can bring out a reaction in anyone. If you’re hiking outside during a moldy boom, you may find yourself suffering from runny nose, sneezing, and even asthma as a result. Knowing the Central Missouri mold and mildew peak seasons allows you to plan your life (and your cleaning schedule) to help limit exposure and ease symptoms.

July to Late Fall is Peak Mold Season

July through the late fall is peak mold season in Missouri. The mold boom often begins during summer thunderstorms. However, it also occurs gradually over time. Mold prefers a warm but wet climate, which means the weather controls how long the peak season continues. If you have a warm fall, you could still suffer from mold-related allergies into late October, even November. On the other hand, a cold snap may play havoc with other symptoms, but a very cold September can lower the Central Missouri mold population to manageable levels.

Conditions that Create a Mold Boom

Mold doesn’t just affect people during the peak season. There is mold present all year around. If you’re sensitive to mold, always watch the weather. A lot of humidity promotes mold growth. April flowers bring May flowers, but they can also bring a bumper crop of mold spores. If you know that you are sensitive to mold spores, treat them the way you would any other pollen allergy. It doesn’t have to control your life, but knowing when your morning run or weekend hike could be more difficult will help you plan accordingly.

How to Fight Mold

You don’t have to sit there and take mold allergies laying down. There are a few things you can do to make your home a refuge from mold. Start by cutting out mold in your home. Just as outside mold loves warmth and humidity, mold in your house does as well. Clean the bathroom and kitchen thoroughly, and don’t allow puddles of standing water to sit in your home.

When it comes to tackling mold from outside your house, you have to be a little more creative. Try to keep the windows closed during peak central Missouri mold season. Also, close them down if you’re having an especially hard day any other time. Use fans and HVAC systems to circulate your air. Remember to clean the filters on your furnace and get your ducts cleaned periodically. A good time to do so is at the end of peak central Missouri mold season, so you’re not dealing with recirculated mold spores the rest of the winter. If it’s been a while since you had your ducts cleaned, however, there’s no wrong time to start.

Mold and mildew can make life much more difficult for you. If it’s getting to central Missouri mold season, try to limit your exposure. Hope for a quick and crisp autumn! Cleaning your ducts and closing the windows can help keep mold spores outside, rather than circulating through your house.

Mid-Missouri Hoarding Cleanup: How Professionals Can Help

Finding mid-Missouri hoarding cleanup can be tough. The only thing harder is trying to tackle a hoarding situation on your own. Whether you’re a hoarder yourself who’s finally ready to get a fresh start, or you know someone who is, finding compassionate and competent help can turn your situation around. You should hire professional cleaners. Professional cleaners work harder, faster, and without judgment.

Getting the Work Done in One Push

Many hoarders have battled their accumulated possessions for years. Contrary to popular opinion, many hoarders want to stop. The problem isn’t just deciding that they want to change, but actually dealing with the many items that pile up during a lifetime of hoarding. Hoarders often follow common advice for cleanup, but end up getting nowhere on their own.

For example, some people offer advice on cleaning that doesn’t apply to an actual hoarding situation. Many hoarders try to do a little every day. A good goal is to try to clean for twenty minutes a day. In practical terms that means a hoarder would be cleared out years from now–even if they did spend twenty minutes a day, every single day. The strain of doing that is also essential. Getting rid of items is difficult for hoarders. It puts a mental and emotional strain on them. Professionals clean the whole house in one fell swoop. A large project spans multiple days.

Health Hazards and Other Problems

Mid-Missouri hoarding cleanup involves a lot of labor. It also involves exposure to potential hazards. Piles of items can attract pests and hide growing mold. Professionals have the equipment to handle these problems as they arise. They can make sure everyone cleaning is safe, and that cleaning up any problematic messes happens quickly and easily! Even well-meaning friends and family members can’t take on this level of risk as safely.

It isn’t Their First Mid-Missouri Hoarding Cleanup

One of the challenges of hoarding is the shame that goes with it. For many people, the pain of having friends, neighbors, and even family members see the way they live is overwhelming. Professional cleaners coming in can be much easier to deal with.

First of all, this isn’t their first rodeo. Professional cleaners who handle hoarding situations have seen it all. It is their job, and nothing about it shocks them or causes them to pass judgment. The same way a cashier at the grocery store doesn’t care what you buy, from all healthy vegetables to a pile of party supplies, professional cleaners won’t judge about the job. It’s just another day at work.

Professionals can handle hoarding cleanup quickly, safely, and with less judgment. Professional cleaners tidy quickly, efficiently, and without judgment. They have the equipment to stay safe, even if cleanup unearths a health hazard. They can make this trying time easier and shorter, for you or your family.

 

Why Professional Cleaning is Needed for Smoke Odor Removal

Cleaning a smoker’s home is a difficult proposition, especially renovating a property that you inherited, or dealing with the fallout from a smoking tenant in a non-smoking property. It’s the kind of job you want to leave to the professionals. They have the experience to deal with smoke damage to every surface, paired with the technology to back it up. Don’t try to mask odors and end up dealing with a series of temporary owners. Instead, have smoke odor removal completed professionally. Contact a professional restoration company and destroy odor at its source.

Everything in the Home Will Be Affected

One of the man reasons to hire a professional cleaning crew to handle a smoker’s home is that it won’t be a small job. Even renovating an apartment is a huge task. The residual smoke odors seep into everything, from the paint to the drapes, to the carpet and beyond.  Months or years of smoking won’t come out of the home easily. Thankfully, a professional crew works efficiently to restore the home to its best condition in possibly years. Amateurs can’t compete over the long haul, and every smoker’s home is a long haul of smoke odor removal.

Technology is Key to Fighting Odor

There’s no amount of air freshener that can perk up the inside of a smoker’s house. Air fresheners are designed to mask odors, not eradicate them. You may not notice the smell for a while, but eventually, the smoke odor returns, always outlasting anything you put on top of it. However, professional cleaning with a restoration company works smarter, not harder. They actually perform smoke odor removal, not masking.

Modern cleaning technology allows restoration companies to tackle a foul odor at the source, right down to the molecular level. Breaking those bonds dissipates the smell, resulting in a cleaner, fresher apartment. It’s a lot better than just having the illusion of one.

Dealing with Soot and Stains

Odor is a significant problem with any smoker’s homes. Before taking care of it, it most likely holds all of your attention. However, once you handle the odor problem, other issues come into focus. Because smoke builds up over time, the property will also suffer from dinginess and stains. A professional cleaning strips that all away, making “frosted” windows shine like new. It also removes the buildup of smoke residue from walls, appliances, and carpets. A professional restoration team can assess what it would take to turn smoke damaged upholstery, furniture, and more into clean and useful pieces. In some cases, you save more money by replacing the damaged furniture.

Restoration of a smoker’s home is never easy, but not impossible. Professionals use the right technology to combat odors. They even find out what it would take to make the rest of the apartment like new, and then let you make the call to replace or restore. They’re also equipped to handle a job as challenging and complex as restoring a smoker’s home. Smoke odor removal is a challenge, but they’re up for it.

Four Features of Great Restoration Companies

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

Hiring a restoration company is the best way to get your house back to the way it used to be. If you want to meet or exceed the standards of your pre-disaster house, you need a great restoration company. A company who knows what you’re up against locally, has the right tools, and amazing customer service. If they work with your insurance too, they’re perfect.

1. Knowledge of the Area

The first thing you find in great restoration companies is extensive knowledge of the area they serve. While the theoretical mechanics of cleaning and restoration are the same everywhere, great restoration companies know what’s unique about your area. They know the pests that are most common and how to deal with them. They know if your area is currently having a huge explosion of molds, and therefore know to be relentless in cleaning up that puddle of standing water. They have the expertise to identify your problems and fix them in a way that doesn’t just make things worse.

2. Amazing Customer Service

You may find that, post-disaster, you are not in a perfectly calm state of mind. You may find yourself repeating yourself over the phone, or struggling to answer questions when you book a restoration company. “Hello, part of my roof caught on fire and the rest of the house was doused with water trying to put it out,” is not a call you often have the chance to rehearse. Excellent customer service will settle you down and put you in control of the situation. It will offer estimates and have good communication every step of the way.

3. Understanding of Insurance

Whether you need your insurance company to reimburse you or you’d prefer the restoration company to bill them directly, you’ll find that great restoration companies are masters of insurance. One way or another, that’s how they get paid! Even though this may be something of a no brainer, it’s still important to make sure that your restoration company can handle it. Mistakes with insurance always lead to painful headaches.

4. The Right Tools for the Right Job

There’s more than one way to clean a spot. Some restoration companies want to cut costs on machines and equipment, so they lean more heavily on their labor force. They work harder, but not smarter–and your home deserves better. Find a company who has the right tools for the job. They’re investing their profits in the tools that will help them get ahead, and you stand a better chance of getting the best possible solution for your troubles.

Great restoration companies aren’t sending in a team armed only with a mop and bucket. They’re investing in technology that gets your home back to the way it was before, or even better. They understand insurance and follow through on what they have to do, whether that’s providing documentation or billing them directly. Their customer service is excellent, and their knowledge of your local area can’t be beat. That’s what separates a good restoration company from a great one.

What to Do if You Suspect Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes create a lot of damage in a short time. Any cold snap that dips below freezing can result in frozen pipes, and the odds are more likely in climates that rarely reach low temperatures. There is plenty you can do to prevent frozen pipes, but what can you do if you suspect a pipe is already frozen? If your water pressure has dropped to a trickle, get ready to find and thaw the pipe responsible.

Locate the Frozen Area

The key to saving your frozen pipes is to find the portion that’s frozen. Typically, this will be where the pipe is exposed, either on the outside of your building or along the outside wall. Check for frozen pipes by feeling for them. If you have several faucets that feed off one pipe at different intervals, they can also tell you where the blockage is happening. Once you’ve located the ice in the pipe, it’s time to thaw it.

Apply Heat to Frozen Portion of Pipe

Before you apply heat to your pipe, remember to open every faucet. When the ice melts, that water will need somewhere to go. Additionally, keeping the faucets running will help prevent the pipe from re-freezing as soon as you stop applying heat.

Your heat source should be electric or hot water in nature. Don’t use anything that uses an open flame; no portable stoves, no camp cookers, or blowtorches. These items can melt the ice but can boil the water in the pipe, creating highly pressurized explosions. Put the flames away and try something gentler.

An electric hair dryer is your best defense against frozen pipes. It has a relatively low draw on electricity, but it produces high, steady heat. You can easily direct the heat to target the section of pipe that needs it the most. In a pinch, you can also use an electric space heater set close to the pipes. There are also special heating tapes that you can wrap around a pipe and plug in. You’re unlikely to have that on hand, however, so plan ahead if that sounds like something you’d like to use.

Check Every Faucet

Frozen pipes are like mice: if you see one, there are almost certainly others. Check every faucet and exposed pipe in your building once you find one frozen one. It can be tough to find them all, but the one you don’t bother finding could be the one that bursts. Once you’ve checked a faucet, leave it running at just a trickle. You will pay a higher water bill this month, but it will be worth it!

It’s Better to Call a Professional Than Wish You Had

If you can’t find where a pipe is frozen or you aren’t thawing it within a reasonable timeframe, call for professional help. While it is possible to thaw frozen pipes yourself, it’s better to be safe than sorry. A professional can get your plumbing system working right away, and whatever the price it will be cheaper than calling them with a burst pipe and flooding building.

If you suspect a frozen pipe, don’t delay. You have to find the blockage within your pipe. Then, warm it with an electrical hair dryer or a space heater without an open flame. If you can’t find the frozen spot or you can’t thaw it, don’t delay: call in a professional to help!

Six Mistakes Homeowners Make That Cost Them Big in Water Damage Repair

Photo by Blake Wheeler on Unsplash

Photo by Blake Wheeler on Unsplash

Homeowners have a lot on their plate. Managing and maintaining a house is a never-ending chore, and it’s common to want to bump less pressing matters to the backburner. Water damage, however, is less of a sliding scale and more of an on/off switch. If you don’t have water damage, great! If you do, it’s serious by default. You can minimize water damage repair costs by avoiding these common mistakes.

1. Skipping Maintenance

“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” is great advice for relationships, but a terrible attitude to take into your home. Regular maintenance to your appliances, septic system, and pipes are what will keep your home dry. When you avoid maintenance, you’re setting something up to break. Whatever it costs to keep your home maintained is less than a water damage repair bill will be.

2. Letting the Small Things Slide

If you have a small water leak, don’t push it aside. It may only be costing you a few dollars a month in wasted water, but it could be causing a lot more than that in damage to your home. Even a mild, outdoor leak could turn into something that could affect your foundation down the line. Take care of things ASAP and your home will do better in the long run.

3. Not Doing a Summer Shut Down

A lot of water damage is caused by exposure. Aunt Jane visiting over the summer and leaving the attic window open when she leaves can let a lot of rain in if you don’t catch it. Take a day every year towards the end of summer to walk through your house. Check for open windows and cracks in your siding, leaks, and so on. Make sure you go into the winter with a house that’s ready to take on anything.

4. Calling Someone in the Morning

A pipe cracks at 2:oo am, and you think to yourself that you’ll have to call someone first thing in the morning. That’s already too late. As soon as you notice water leaking or water damage, call a professional. A great place will have someone available 24/7 to take your call and even send someone out there if needed.

5. Thinking Frozen Pipes Can’t Happen to Them

If you live in an area with typically mild winters, it’s easy to think that frozen pipes won’t happen to you. However, even a typically mild area can freeze hard, and all it takes is one unusually cold day. That one cold day this winter could sink you–are you ready for it?

6. Not Getting Flood Insurance

Many homeowners think that, since they have homeowners insurance, they’re set. That’s unfortunately not true. Most homeowners’ insurance plans don’t cover flooding from an outside source. If the water level rises enough to flood your basement, your homeowner’s insurance probably won’t be able to help you. Find out where your house is, risk-wise, on your city’s flood maps. Then get the insurance that makes sense for you. It can save you a lot in the long run!

These simple mistakes can usually be fixed in no more than an afternoon. Getting the right insurance and locking your house down for the winter will help you be prepared no matter what. Don’t assume that frozen pipes won’t affect you. Be ready, and know who to call when things go wrong.

 

How Jefferson City Residents Can Avoid Storm Damage

Photo by Gus Ruballo on Unsplash

Photo by Gus Ruballo on Unsplash

Like the Boy Scouts say, be prepared! While it’s always good to prepare early, the only time it’s too late is when the damage has already been done. As long as your property has yet to sustain damage, you have a shot at preventing it. Start by maintaining your landscaping and getting the proper insurance for your flood zone. From there it’s a question of building good habits and keeping your eye on the sky.

Be Aware of Storm Warnings

Storm warnings are essential to preventing storm damage. Leaving tools, heavy lawn ornaments, and garden debris around increases the odds of damage. If you get weather alerts on your phone, pay attention to them. Turn on the radio, check the internet, or watch TV long enough to find out if bad weather is coming your way. You probably won’t bring the grill in or do a quick check to be sure the back windows are closed if you don’t know a storm is coming.

Maintain Your Landscaping

Wild trees and shrubs are common causes of storm damage. You can prevent storm damage in Jefferson City by making landscpaing your priority. If you’re afraid that you can’t snip your tree without damaging it permanently, look into basic tree trimming services. If you’re not looking for a fancy job, you will probably be able to find someone competent at an affordable rate.

Check Your Flood Zone

While storm damage prevention is always the goal, it’s not always possible. You should take the time to find out what your flood zone is. Use this information to get the flood insurance that’s right for you. While your homeowner’s insurance may cover water damage from a burst pipe, it probably won’t cover natural disasters. The right insurance is the difference between a hassel and a disaster for your property and your wallet.

Clean Your Gutters

Your gutters are there to protect your building from water damage. Water that flows off your roof will soften the ground around your foundation. This can lead to slipping, tilting, or even seeping through the foundation into your building. Through the spring, summer, and fall, leaves and debris fall into gutters. The debris breaks down inside your gutter. This semi-decomposed mess can be a real problem for your gutters. Once they’re backed up, the overflow can do serious damage to your property.

Storm damage can be anticipated, but not always prevented. Invest in the right flood insurance to keep your property safe. Be sure to prepare with maintenance, whether that means cleaning the gutters or trimming back trees. Keep an eye on the weather wherever you go, as that’s going to be a key reminder to take care of any lingering chores before the storm hits.

What Factors Into Water Damage Repair Costs

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Water damage repair costs depend on a variety of factors. The first factor is always measuring the extent of the damage. After that comes incidental costs. Your insurance company will ultimately have the final say in how much of the bill that you will personally have to pay.

Extent of the Damage

Water damage repair can be a quick job or a lengthy one. The extent of your damages will determine how long repairs take, and therefore, how much they will cost. The two factors below are ways to roughly gauge how extensive your damage is.

First, consider the source of the water. Dirty water (say, from sewage or unknown origins) is much more difficult to clean up. The teams will have to wear hazardous materials suits. The process for sanitizing the flooded area is more extensive. All of this adds up to a heftier price tag.

Second, consider the amount of time since the damage has occurred. If a pipe bursts while you’re on vacation and you don’t find out until a week later, you’re going to suffer some fairly serious damage. If you notice a leak within minutes, turn off the water, and immediately call a water damage restoration team, your damage will be much less extensive — even if the water was gushing out.

Incidental Costs

Incidental costs vary from job to job. You’ll have some control over them, but not always. For example, it may cost more money to repair your furniture than it would to replace it. You might be alright getting rid of some things, but almost everyone has a family heirloom they’d prefer to restore rather than toss.

Incidental costs include the costs of repairing or replacing items and features that were damaged. A full basement will cost more to repair than an empty one. Replacing your pipes and plumbing will also cost more than a flood that entered from outside your building.

Will Your Insurance Cover Your Home?

Whether your insurance will even cover the damage depends on the source of your water. Many homeowner’s insurance policies will cover things like damaged appliances and burst pipes. If your faucet starts spraying, you’re probably covered! On the other hand, standard insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. If the source of the water is outside your house, you’re probably not covered. If you want protection from rising water, storm flooding, and other situations, you have to invest in flood insurance. Though few people enjoy the extra insurance payment, it’s worth it to protect your home.

The extent of damage, the cost of incidental repairs, and how much your insurance will cover all play a part in water damage repair costs. It’s safe to say that it’s seldom a cheap experience. Do what you can to prevent water damage, and most importantly, try to control the extent of damage by calling a water restoration team ASAP after a leak.

Three Frequently Asked Questions about Missouri Water Damage Restoration

Residents who need Missouri water damage restoration have a lot of questions. How long will water damage restoration take? Is the water dangerous? What about my floors? Unfortunately, the answers to these questions depend on several factors. These general answers will help you understand the factors that go into water damage restoration, so you’re prepared when the restoration team gives you your personalized answer.

1. How Long Does Missouri Water Damage Restoration Take

Unfortunately, this frequently asked question often has more than one answer. Mostly, it depends entirely on the seriousness of the damage. Water damage is difficult to assess even on sight. The major problems are caused by water that you can’t see. Water that’s soaked into furniture, walls, and floors poses a more serious problem than any puddles you find. Even your water damage restoration team won’t be able to tell you the exact time of completion until the cleanup process is underway. Only then can they feel confident that they’ve found any hidden spots of water.

Most water damage jobs, on average, take two to three days to dry completely. However, damage from a more severe flood often takes longer. Moreover, the materials used to dry out the water also influence how long it takes. The only certain factor is that the sooner you begin the restoration process, the sooner your restoration will be complete.

2. Is Water Damage Dangerous

Again, this answer to this question depends on other variables. For safety’s sake, the short answer is yes. However, the longer answer is that there are two kinds of water damage: immediately dangerous and eventually dangerous. Immediately dangerous water is water that poses a health risk as it is. This is typically water that’s flooding in from outside and water that’s backed up through a sewer or otherwise contaminated area. If outside water is flooding in, you don’t know what could be in it. Steer clear, as bacteria has already contaminated any water coming through the sewer. Water that passes through a contaminated area is also dangerous. For example, if a clean water pipe bursts in your garage then oils and debris can contaminate the water on the floor. Other contaminants include solvents, weed killer, and other chemicals.

If a clean water pipe were to burst in your kitchen, on the other hand, the leak is not immediately dangerous to your health. If you would usually drink or shower in the water, and you can find the source, so you know it’s not running through something, you’re fine for now. However, the longer the water is standing the odds are greater that it will become contaminated. Both bacteria and molds love standing water, and even insects can thrive in that environment. Clean water standing for more than 24-48 hours becomes suspect and could be dangerous.

3. Are Wood Floors Ruined by Water Damage

Yes, water damage ruins wood floors; but don’t give up hope too quickly. Most of the buckling and warping that wood floors undergo when they dry is the result of uneven drying. Water damage restoration professionals can work to set up optimum drying conditions. This helps the wood to dry back to its usual shape without twisting. This process isn’t 100% effective, but you may find your wood floors in better condition than you’d feared.

Missouri water damage restoration isn’t easy. A lot depends on the specifics of your case. The one thing that you can count on is your water damage restoration team. Trust their experience, and get the answers to your pressing questions.

How to Fight Odor in Your Home

Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash

Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash

Every house has its own smell. It’s a combination of the brands of cleaners, detergents, and air fresheners used in the house. Mix in what the family likes to cook, pets, and how often the garbage is taken out, and you have a unique but hopefully pleasant scent. The goal of fighting odor isn’t to blot everything out, but to eliminate the bad so the good shines through.

Be Proactive Against Stench Sources

How do you fight odor without breaking a sweat? Don’t let it pop up in the first place! Identify the main causes of odor in your house and take steps to prevent it from popping up. Make a schedule so your dog gets a bath before you wrinkle your nose when he walks in. Date the food in the fridge so you can tell at a glance when it’s time to toss something. Remove shoes in the entryway so you don’t track dirty through the house. Whatever the culprit of stench in your home is, work on building habits that nip it in the bud.

Don’t Just Cover Up

The problem with a lot of air fresheners is that they don’t actually tackle the source of the problem. If you’re wondering how to fight odor that air fresheners can’t touch, aim for the source. A powerful air freshener can certainly make a room more pleasant to be in, but when it wears off you’re going to be faced with the same problems. In the battle against odor, you’re always going to want to think “cleaning” not “covering.”

Carpet Cleaning Helps a Lot

Carpet cleaning goes a long way to keeping your home fresh and clean. Fabrics absorb odors from the air and from anything that’s dripped or patted onto them. The mud that you tracked in could get deep into the carpet and harbor mildew, causing a bad smell in your house. Professional cleaning lifts the dirt, germs, and smells right out of fabrics. A fresh smelling carpet can lift the odor from a whole room!

If you have a lot of fabrics in your decor, it’s worth it to inquire about steam cleaning cushions and drapes as well. They can also harbor scents you’d rather forget! Your professional cleaning team may have ways to quickly and easily clean your whole selection of fabrics.

When to Bring in Professional Help

Fighting odor in your house takes a lot of time. Getting a professional carpet cleaning is a great place to start, but typically you can do the bulk of the work on your own. The exception is when something truly smelly goes down in your house. Maybe a pipe burst while you were on vacation, and by the time you come home, every room smells of mold. Maybe a hoarding situation has left ground-in, old odors that you just can’t get rid of. Whatever the cause, if you have serious stink, you need serious help.

If you’re wondering how to fight odor in your home, the first step is always to clean the source. Scrub the trash can, wash the dog, and soak the fridge. Once you’ve tackled that, you’ll know whether you just need a helping hand or true professional help. You can have an odor-free home!