Recent Posts

Sewer Backups in Columbia, Ashland, and Centralia

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Sewer Backups in Columbia, Ashland, and Centralia Have you experienced a sewer backup? Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Columbia to make it "Like it never even happened."

Sewer Backup—What is It and Am I Covered?

A sewer backup occurs when sewage from sanitary sewer lines back up into homes and businesses through drain pipes. Backups create damage to the structure of the property, contents, and can create health hazards.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, most homeowner and business insurance policies do not cover sewer backup. Typically, a specific sewer backup coverage needs to be added to your policy. For most insurers, this is a nominal cost on your annual insurance policy.

There are several causes for a sewer backup to occur in your property. Some include:

  • Blockages from Tree Roots
  • Sanitary Main Blockages
  • Aging Sewer Systems
  • Combined Pipelines 

What can you do to help prevent backups?

  • Dispose of grease and paper products properly
  • Cut back tree roots periodically
  • Replace your line with new plastic pipe
  • Correct any illegal plumbing connections
  • Install a backwater prevention valve

Experiencing a sewer backup?

 In the event of a backup, immediately arrange services for the cleanup of your property by contacting SERVPRO of Columbia at 573-449-1999.

Tips on What to Do Until SERVPRO Help Arrives

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not spread contaminated by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a chance of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans water to dry the structure and spread contaminants.

Be Prepared for Severe Weather

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Prepared for Severe Weather Build an emergency supply kit and be prepared for an unexpected disaster.

Are you prepared for an emergency?

 Ready.gov suggests you have supplies to last you at least three days. The Midwest tornado season, tends to occur from mid-March to June and Missouri is considered to be apart of “tornado alley”. As Missourians in Boone and Howard counties, we need to be prepared.

Here are some suggestions on items to have in your emergency supply kit:

—3-day supply of non-perishable 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 bag

—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

While creating your emergency supply kit for your home or business, create one for your vehicle.

SERVPRO of Columbia specializes in flooding and storm damage restoration. We have extensive water damage and storm restoration training that allows us to get your home back to normal quickly.

Heating Safety Tips

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Heating Safety Tips Did your heating equipment cause a fire in your home or business? SERVPRO® of Columbia services Columbia, Ashland, and Centralia area.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), half of home heating related fires occur in December, January, and February. Whether you are using the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable heater to keep you warm this winter, take these precautions to prevent a fire in your home or business.

Safety for Heating Equipment

  • Keep heating equipment three feet from children, pets, and anything that could burn.
  • Do not heat your home with your oven.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Heating equipment and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Always turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

If your heating equipment causes a fire in your home or business, call SERVPRO® of Columbia. We understand how devastating a fire loss can be and how it can make your home or business unlivable or unsafe.

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

Winter Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes Bursting

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Winter Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes Bursting SERVPRO® of Columbia can respond faster to your frozen water pipe disaster.

The temperatures have been dropping and the winter weather is here.  When the temperatures go below freezing level, your property is at risk for frozen pipes, which can create a major disaster in your home or business.

Be Prepared

  • Know where your water shut off is located, in case of a frozen water pipe burst.
  • Insulate exposed pipes in your home or business, especially if they are in unheated rooms.
  • Open bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors during cold spells to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  • During extremely cold weather, keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets. Running water is less likely to freeze.
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets and open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it completely drains and the inner valve is shut off.
  • Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
  • If you plan on being away from your property for an extended period of time, leave the heat on and set the thermostat to at least 55°F.

Discovered Frozen Pipe

  • First sign of freezing is reduced water flow from a faucet.
  • Keep the faucet open when treating frozen pipes.
  • Apply heat to the frozen sections using a heating pad, hair drier, or another safe heat source. Do not use an open flame device.
  • Check additional pipes and faucets for freezing.

When a Pipe Bursts

  • Shut off the water at the main valve.
  • Call your local restoration professionals, SERVPRO® of Columbia.

A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly. If winter weather causes water damage to your home or business, call SERVPRO® of Columbia. We are available 24/7/365 in Boone and Howard counties are ready to restore to preloss condition.

Holiday Safety Tips for Boone and Howard Counties

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Holiday Safety Tips for Boone and Howard Counties According to National Fire Protection Association, Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they occur, they are more likely to be serious.

The holiday season is here and we are able to enjoy time with our family and friends. Decorations bring the holidays to light. Keep your holidays merry and bright with these tips to help prevent damage to your home when choosing, placing, and decorating the Christmas Tree. 

Christmas Tree Safety

Tree Selection

· Choose a tree with fresh, green needles

· Make sure the tree needles to not fall off when touched

Tree Placement

· Trim 2” from the base of the trunk, then place in tree stand

· Always place the tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source, including fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.

· Do not block an exit with the tree

· Add water to the tree stand and water daily.

Tree Lighting

· Use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory.

· String of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections need to be replaced.

· Read manufacter’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.

· Do not use lit candles to decorate tree.

· Always turn off Christmas tree lights before going to bed or leaving home.

Tree Disposal

· Remove tree from home/business when it is dry.

· Do not place dry tree in home, garage, or placed up against your home outside.

· Find a local community recycling program to dispose of tree.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.org), these Christmas Tree safety tips can reduce the chances of a fire ruining your holidays.

Please remember SERVPRO of Columbia is here to help you, if you find yourself faced with a holiday fire damage. We service Boone and Howard Counties and are available 24/7/365.

Deep Fried Turkey Safety in Boone and Howard Counties

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Deep Fried Turkey Safety in Boone and Howard Counties Deep fried turkey sounds delicious, but do you know how to safely cook it?

It is that time of the year again when family and friends come together for a feast. The highlighted dish for Thanksgiving is centered on the turkey. There are several ways to cook a turkey, but a favorite among some is deep fried. 

If you plan on deep frying a turkey this year, please keep the following tips in mind. SERVPRO® of Columbia would like everyone to have a safe holiday with their family and friends.

  • Thaw and Dry turkey completely before cooking.
    • Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every 5 pounds, according to The National Turkey Federation.
    • Ice or water that mixes can cause flare-ups
  • Fryer Setup
    • Use fryer outdoors and away from decks, garages, home, and other structures.
    • Keep children and pets away from fryer
    • Use on a flat surface to avoid accidental tipping
    • Tank and burner should be 2 feet apart
  • Measure the Oil
    • Avoid overfilling by reading the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Be Prepared
    • Use oven mitts to protect hands and/or arms
    • Safety goggles to protect eyes
    • Have a grease-rated fire extinguisher nearby and ready
  • Finishing Act
    • Remove pot from burner and place on level surface
    • Allow oil to cool overnight before disposing

Most importantly NEVER leave fryers unattended. Please be careful this holiday season and share these tips with your friends and family that enjoy fried turkey.

If you do become a victim of a deep-fryer fire, SERVPRO® of Columbia is here to help. We service Boone and Howard counties and are available 24/7/365 days a year. View our fire damage emergency tips to help minimize the damage to your home.

October is Fire Prevention Month – Every Second Counts

10/2/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage October is Fire Prevention Month – Every Second Counts Developing and practicing a fire escape plan can increase your chance of survival in the event of a fire. Photo provided by NFPA.org.

Every second counts during a fire. In just a matter of moments, a small flame can turn into a major fire. Be prepared and have a fire escape plan in place, to increase your chance of survival. The best way to be prepared is having a fire escape plan and working smoke detectors in place.

The National Fire Protection Association designates one week in October to focus on fire prevention. This year, it begins on Sunday, October 8th and ends on Saturday, October 14th. Their theme this year is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

Fire Escape Planning Tips:

  • Draw map of your home
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on upper levels
  • Choose an outside meeting place
  • Teach children how to escape on their own
  • Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at night

SERVPRO® of Columbia wants you to stay safe. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage in Boone or Howard counties, contact SERVPRO® of Columbia to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

*Tips provided by National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org.

Is Your Business Prepared for an Emergency?

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Is Your Business Prepared for an Emergency? Be prepared for a flood or fire damage in Boone or Howard counties with an Emergency Ready Profile.

National Preparedness Month is the perfect time to develop a readiness plan for your business in Boone and Howard counties. SERVPRO of Columbia is here to help you get a plan in place for free!

Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.

Schedule and ERP

SERVPRO of Columbia can put together an Emergency Ready Profile for your business for free. There are no contracts or obligations, we just want to help your business. Preparation is key for making it through any size disaster. Schedule an appointment today with SERVPRO of Columbia by calling 573-449-1999.

Boone & Howard Counties Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Boone & Howard Counties Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Boone or Howard county Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • 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.

Different Types 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. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Columbia will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, 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. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 573-449-1999

American Red Cross 2017 Centennial Chapter Awards

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Community American Red Cross 2017 Centennial Chapter Awards Kristen R. Dreher emceeing the event with Past Chairman, Jim Schulte during Central and Northern Missouri - 2017 Centennial Chapter Awards.

The Central and Northern Missouri American Red Cross Chapters held their annual volunteer recognition event.  Last year's Spirit Award Recipient, Kristen R. Dreher, emcee'd the event with the Past Chairman of American Red Cross Board of Directors, Jim Schulte. She felt honored to be able to co-lead the ceremony.

Kristen is the marketing representative for SERVPRO of Columbia. She began volunteering about four years ago, when SERVPRO started a partnership with the American Red Cross in 2013. Her passion for the organization has shined in her work towards the Hero's Dinner.

Awards given during the event for exceptional volunteers were Blood Services, Disaster Services, Preparedness & Health & Safety Services, Services to Armed Forces, and Support Services. Philanthropist Award, American Red Cross Spirit Award, and Volunteer of the Year were awarded to deserving recipients.