Recent Commercial Posts

Removing Moisture from Materials

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

The rate at which moisture moves through materials depends upon two primary factors: the type of material affected and the degree of wetness. The type of material affected will vary in permeability (ability for water to pass through the material), hygroscopicity (ability to absorb water), thickness, density, temperature and "R" factor (resistance to heat transfer). 

Each of these characteristics will influence the way in which water travel through the material. The degree of wetness will influence the moisture movement, in combination with other material characteristics, by indicating the type of water being addressed. Water will be present in one, two or three forms:

  • Surface Water
  • Free Water 
  • Bound Water

Surface water is readily available at the surface of a material. It is liquid, visible and will evaporate readily. All materials are capable of supporting surface water. Surface water is best removed physically using mechanical extraction equipment or other physical means. Minute amounts of remaining surface water are readily evaporated using large amounts of airflow and moderate temperature and humidity. 

Free water is present within a material but is not bonded. It exists in cavities, open pores and other air spaces within the material. It is liquid, generally visible by a darkening of the material (e.g., wood) and can evaporate readily. Most materials are capable of supporting (containing) free water. Materials not capable of retaining measurable amounts of free water are non-permeable, non-porous materials such as vinyl, vinyl composite, steel, rubber and some other solid, synthetic materials. 

Bound water is absorbed by the material and held captive by chemical bonds. It is similar to vapor in that it is not fluid, yet similar to a solid/liquid in that it is bonded to other molecules. Because it is bound to other molecules, it must first be freed before it can be removed.

Two Drying Methods

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

After making the decision of whether or not to dry a material, Project managers begin evaluating how to begin the restoration work. Many methods are available - each applying a different combination of humidity control, temperature, airflow and physical manipulation of the material (e.g., injection of airflow, perforation, removing finish materials). 

Our Project Managers use the information obtained during evaluation of materials to help select the best drying method for the job. Generally there are two primary methods to promote drying of affected structures: 1) disruptive methods and 2) aggressive methods. 

Disruptive Drying Methods

Disruptive drying methods involve removing wet items, injecting air to speed drying, or perforating surfaces to allow water to evaporate. The term disruptive is used because repairs will have to be done after the structure has been dried. Use disruptive methods when contamination, damage, cost or customer concerns require removal or manipulation of the affected material. 

Aggressive Drying Methods

Aggressive or "in-place" drying methods involve leaving wet items in the structure and drying them in-place using warm, dry direct airflow. Aggressive methods are used when contamination and damage are not concerns, and when it is cost effective to dry an item instead of replacing it. 

Project Managers will use aggressive drying methods when all of the following are true:

  • The water intrusion came from a sanitary source (Category 1).
  • Drying carpet and underlay (pad, cushion) in place will not cause structural damage to subfloor (especially hardwood).
  • Adequate dehumidification is available and usable on site. 
  • Deep extraction tools are available. 

The success of each decision made during the restorative drying process depends on the information upon which the decision was based. A skilled technician with quality meters will make the proper decision at each phase of the project. 

Installation of Air Movers

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Air movers specifically distributed to ensure proper distribution of air.

Air movers are placed in the environment to ensure rapid evaporation across all affected surfaces. The number of air movers necessary depends upon the number of wet surfaces, the amount of water present, and the ability for air to reach each wet material (e.g., wall cavities, behind cabinets, and under contents).  

The IICRC S500 Standard recommends that air mover installation quantities should be based on the amount of wet surface area in affected spaces. For the initial phases of drying, air movers should produce continuous airflow across affected material surfaces. A step-by-step process for determining the proper number of air movers is: 

  • Place one air mover for each affected area.
  • Add one air mover for every 50 to 70 sqft. of affected floor area.
  • Add one air mover for every 100 to 150 sqft. of affected wall surfaces (above 2') and ceiling surfaces.
  • Add one air mover for every room offset or inset greater than 18 inches.

This calculation should provide an appropriate amount of air movement for most water intrusions, but can vary depending of the situation and type of materials affected. 

Once the number of air movers to be installed has been determined, several factors will influence their actual placement. These factors include: the type of material affected, the degree of saturation, the accessibility of the actual wet surface, power availability and equipment availability. Below are some general guidelines for installation of air movers: 

  • Air movers are directed toward the wall at a 5 to 45 degree angle, depending on the type of air mover. 
  • The air mover's snout will almost touch the wall, within in 1 to 2 inches. 
  • All air movers in each area will face the same direction to ensure that air movers are not pushing against each other. 
  • When placing air movers, we need to consider the need for circulation throughout the affected area. 
  • Specialty air movers may be necessary if building cavities require air flow. 

Essential Elements for In-Place Drying

4/2/2019 (Permalink)

High value structural materials and contents that have slight reversible damage are dried aggressively. This procedure is referred to as drying in place. Drying in place means that the wet surfaces are dried with little or no manipulation.

Deep extraction tools combine three important elements that contribute to effective water removal: speed control, a vacuum seal and weighted compression.

  • Mechanical speed control is essential for a consistent extraction over the entire carpeted surface.
  • A reliable vacuum seal is essential to ensure air flows through the pad and carpet to remove water.
  • Weighted compression is needed to force the air to move deeply through the pad and remove the stubborn water the light wand would leave behind.

Thorough extraction requires these elements. Without them, highly porous materials like carpet and pad cannot be dried in place. Too much water is help within these materials to rely on evaporation alone to restore them.

Desiccant Dehumidifiers

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

Desiccant Dehumidifier used for Commercial Water Damage

Desiccant Dehumidifiers utilize chemical attraction instead of condensation to remove water from the air. Because they do not use condensation, they are not limited by low dew point temperatures, and when used properly, they produce the lowest vapor pressure of any dehumidifier. Portable desiccant dehumidifiers work best in cool and/or dry environments. The cooler and drier the air going into the desiccant, the drier the air will be coming out.

Desiccants are commonly used to dry dense materials (hardwood floors and plaster walls) due to the large vapor pressure differentials they can create between the surface and the air, Desiccants excel at large loss drying, because they can be made in virtually any size.

Desiccants do not collect water in a pan for automatic pump-out. Instead, they produce damp reactivation air, which must be vented outside the structure using temporary ducting. This venting often results in a pressure differential in the drying environment. The dry "processed air" is ducted into the affected area.

Desiccant dehumidifiers range in size and configuration dramatically. Desiccants used in restorative drying can be as small as a roll-on suitcase or as large as two semi tractor-trailers. Large desiccants are often self-contained dehumidification systems, utilizing onboard generators and running on propane or diesel fuel. When large catastrophic events occur, such as hurricanes or flooding, large desiccants can provide a means of dehumidification when little or no power is available.

How to effectively utilize Drying Chambers

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

Drying Chamber being set up by containing the affected area.

One way to gain efficiency in a drying environment is to set up a drying chamber. A drying chamber is defined as the area in which the Project Manager will manipulate and control temperature, humidity and air flow to promote evaporation. Drying Chambers can be set up in a number of ways, including:

  • Closing doors
  • Taping up plastic sheeting
  • Erecting semi-permanent barriers with plastic sheeting (Containment)

Inside the drying chamber is the best location for basic wet (salvageable) furnishing and contents. They will dry along with the structure.

Drying chambers can be very effective for large losses. If only a portion of the building is affected, we can contain the affected area to help speed up the drying process. Drying chambers can be an effective procedure for containing the potential spread of contaminants. Isolate contaminated materials by erecting containment barriers. Containment is even more effective when negative air pressure in maintained in the contaminated area. Negative air pressure is produced by exhausting air from the area with an air filtration device (AFD) while using barriers to restrict incoming air.

Flooded Commercial Business in Fenton, Mo

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

This flooded Business in Fenton, MO was the result of a near by lake flooding. The business office was flooded with muddy water causing not just water but mud to get everywhere. Our crews extracted the water throughout the commercial building. After the rest of the water was extracted the crews then tore up the tile flooring and took down the walls that were affected by the floor damage. The whole clean up process took three weeks. Three weeks may seem like a long time but with the amount of space that was damaged our crews kicked butt and got everything back "Like it never even happened." sooner than the business owner thought. The owner of the building was very pleased with how fast our crews worked and how great everything looked at the end.

Coping with flooding in your Fenton, Mo Basement

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Have you recently suffered a long rain or maybe heavy storms in your area? Understandably, you may feel some apprehension before opening the door to your home's basement in Fenton, MO if you anticipate seeing water covering the floor. While your first instinct may be to grab your wet/dry vac, unfortunately there’s more involved in conducting a successful water cleanup in a basement flood.

How Does Water Get Into the Basement?

There is no one answer to how flooding occurs, but here are some common areas where water finds its way in:

• Window joints
• Cracks in the foundation
• The joint between the foundation footing and the wall
• Water heater or washing machine leaks
• Other joints in the walls, floor, and mortar
• Gutter cracks
• The floor drain
• The sump pump
• Burst sewer pipes

When Should You Call the Professionals?

If you have suffered basement flooding, your best bet is to call restoration specialists who are trained in removing the water and fully drying the area. Their expertise and high-end equipment can restore the room to its original condition. They can also test for hidden water damage lurking behind walls, which can often lead to the development of black mold.

What Is the Restoration Process?

Prior to beginning the restoration process, the specialist must determine any and all points where the water has entered the basement. Repairing the sources of the water prevents additional water from coming in and often includes sealing cracks, joints, and hose or pipe repair.

Professional machine extraction and dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air and the furniture, floors and assorted other materials. Carpet and padding often needs to be removed, and the professionals will determine how much of the baseboards, insulation and sheetrock require removal. After cleaning and sanitizing the affected area, the drying process begins and often requires upwards of three days to complete.

Flooding may seem disastrous, but you can get your basement back. The professionals will work alongside your insurance company to formulate a plan for basement reconstruction and restore your home back to normal. Visit http://www.SERVPROfentonsouthballwin.com for more information on commercial water damage or water damage in a residence. 

Smoke Dectors Save Lives

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. To lower these rates make sure you replace all of your smoke detectors every 10 years. Here are of couple of things you can do to prevent fires in your Fenton/South Ballwin home or or business!

  • Make sure all of your smoke detectors are interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • All of your smoke detectors should be tested once a month.
  • Larger homes or businesses will acquire extra smoke detectors.

Your Fenton/South Ballwin home or business is where we are at the greatest risk and where we
must take the most precautions. Most deaths occur from inhaling smoke or poisonous
gases, not from the flames. SERVPRO of Fenton and South Ballwin are here help if your home or business has a had fire due to faulty smoke detectors. Give us a call at 636-527-5990 and we'll make everything "Like it never even happened."

Flood or water Damage in your Fenton or Ballwin home?

5/4/2017 (Permalink)

Every flood or water damage event is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The next 6 steps will inform you exact steps SERVPRO uses for flood or water damage.


Step 1 - Emergency Contact


The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will guide you through the crisis and may ask several questions to help us better understand the equipment and resources.


Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment


We determine the scope of your water damage at this stage. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration.


Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction


The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.


Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification


We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. Our Professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.


Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing


We clean all of the restorable items and structures damaged by the water. We are adept at cleaning contents using a number of techniques. Our professionals are trained to provide sanitizing treatments and to remove odors and deodorize your property.


Step 6 - Restoration


Restoration is the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-water damage condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.


All of these steps help SERVPRO of Fenton and South Ballwin restore your home or business after flood damage occurs. Give us a call at (636) 527-5990 and well make your property "Like it never even happened."

Restring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage

4/24/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events in commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, SERVPRO of Fenton and South Ballwin will work as quickly as possible to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals here at SERVPRO are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your Fenton or South Ballwin business, give us a call at 636-527-5990 and we’ll be there fast with the help you need!

We Can Help Your Business

4/13/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is not just a name, it is a promise. A promise to make it "Like it never even happened." We understand that your emotions can be all over the place, and you have a right to feel confused and frustrated, no matter if it is your home or business because you want the job done NOW. We also understand when it is your business there needs to be a hustle to get the job done and done right, for you to open back up as soon as possible, because when you're close, you are not making money. We will work our hardest in restoring your business so you can feel "Like it never even happened" because that is the SERVPRO promise we make when we take your job. So if your Fenton or South Ballwin home or business is in need of us, give us a call at 636-527-5990