Inspecting a Commercial Property for Mold
A mold inspection can remove at least one of the unknowns before a business adds a building to its property portfolio.
Buying a building is a significant investment for any businessperson, and there are a lot of moving parts to this type of transaction in Lee's Summit. Though it can be an expensive undertaking, hiring a professional to perform a mold inspection before the sale can head off major problems and remediation costs in the long term.
Where Mold Growth Can Be Problematic
To live in this world is to live with mold. At its best, it makes life better by contributing to the creation of bread, wine, cheese and some medicines, like penicillin. It does, of course, have serious drawbacks as well, though.
Prime spots in a building for a mold problem are well-known:
• Bathrooms are a place where mold can grow in grout, between wall tiles, and in the tub or shower.
• Windows that have been improperly sealed can allow moisture into walls or ceilings and facilitate mold growth. A mold inspection can reveal this to a potential buyer.
• Exterior doors without effective seals can allow moisture to collect and harbor mold.
Even slightly high humidity can facilitate the growth of mold. Experts recommend the prudent move of keeping indoor humidity levels below 45 percent.
Why Mold Growth Can Be Problematic
It isn’t only visible mold that can be troublesome to a property owner. Left unchecked, mold can destroy wood because it is an organism that feeds on surface nutrients. Mold that infiltrates drywall cannot be removed, and the affected area must be cut away. Carpets and insulation are also moisture-holding materials that mold can compromise to the point that they must be replaced.
Buying real estate can be a complicated process, and it is impossible to know everything there is to know about a building’s history or future. However, a mold inspection can remove at least one of the unknowns before a business adds a building to its property portfolio.
Water Damage Do's & Don'ts
No one wants to come home to a flooded basement or to wake up to the sound of a broken pipe spraying water on valuable furniture and household possessions. However, the possibility of water damage occurring in your Lee's Summit home is very real. Whether it is a pipe burst or a weather-related issue, it is important to arm yourself with some basic knowledge to deal with this type of emergency before it happens.
Here are a few tips to help in the event of water damage in your Massachusetts home:
- First, ascertain whether it safe to stay in the house.
- Make sure there are no active electrical devices or outlets immersed in or near the water.
- Note that wet floors are slippery and “slip and fall” hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Keep in mind that wet materials can be VERY heavy.
- Have your plumber’s phone number ready and available.
- Contact your SERVPRO Professional at (816) 246-5566 for complete restoration.
While waiting for your SERVPRO Professional to reach your location, here is what you CAN do:
- Shut off the water
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air condition on for maximum drying in the Summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects and other prized possessions to a safe, dry place
- Gather loose items from floors.
What NOT to do After Flooding:
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
Electrical Safety During a Flood
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There are many risks associated with flooding. One of them is the danger associated with your electrical system. It is critically important to treat all electrical appliances, equipment and outlets with caution. Here are a few safety tips:
- Never step into standing water that has covered electrical outlets or devices-the water could already be charged with electric current.
- If there are downed power lines in your area, you should avoid them and notify your local power company.
- Avoid areas where there are sparks or if you hear popping or buzzing noises.
- If you smell something that resembles plastic burning, this could indicate an electrical fire.
After any flooding event, you should consult a certified electrician to determine the extent of damage to your electrical system.
How to Perform a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Inspection
If you need professional fire, smoke and water damage cleanup and remediation after a fire, call the experts at SERVPRO of Lee's Summit.
Home Safety: How to Inspect a Fire Extinguisher
When was the last time you took time to check the fire extinguisher that sits under your kitchen sink? Or the one hanging from a dusty hook in your garage? If you’re struggling to remember, it’s time to check it. Like any other piece of safety equipment, a home fire extinguisher should be inspected regularly to ensure it’s in proper working condition. A fire extinguisher in good working condition is your first line of defense when a home fire erupts.
Ideally, you should inspect your portable home fire extinguishers every month.
Tips for Performing a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Check
Check the label or tag.
Every fire extinguisher, whether disposable or rechargeable, has a manufacturer’s label or tag. Read the tag and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance suggestions.
Check the tamper seal.
If the tamper seal has been broken or is cracked, a disposable fire extinguisher needs to be replaced. If it’s rechargeable, it needs to be serviced professionally. Check the locking or pull pin as well to make sure it’s in the correct position. If the pin missing, the fire extinguisher needs to be inspected or serviced by a professional.
Inspect for physical damage.
Physically inspect the fire extinguisher for obvious damage. This may include but is not limited to dents, corrosion, cracks and obvious leakage. If a fire extinguisher has leakage, it’s no longer under full pressure and may not work properly when you need it most. Check the fire extinguisher nozzle as well, to ensure it’s not clogged by grime, dust, bugs or leakage from the unit itself.
Check the pressure gauge.
Check that the pressure gauge needle indicates the fire extinguisher pressure is in the optimum operating range. Often the correct pressure range will be designated by green on the gauge.
Is the fire extinguisher full?
During your monthly check, lift the fire extinguisher and determine if it still feels full. If there has been a leak, it will feel light, and it won’t have the right amount of pressure to work correctly.
If you have a dry chemical fire extinguisher, it should be shaken once a month during your inspection. This helps prevent the chemical dousing agent from solidifying at the bottom of the unit.
Write inspection date on tag.
Keep track of every inspection date by writing it on the fire extinguisher tag.
Ensure easy access to your fire extinguisher.
Fire extinguishers should always be easy to access if there is an emergency. You don’t want to have to search for it once a fire breaks out. Don’t block fire extinguishers with furniture, boxes or any other items. Everyone who lives in the household should know where the closest fire extinguisher is located and how to use it in case of an emergency.
In the event of a fire emergency, first make sure to get people safely away, then call 911. A home fire extinguisher can be used to put out or control small fires, but it’s still safest to call professional fire fighters before you attempt to control a fire on your own.
How Professional Fire Damage Restoration Improves Your Business's Quick Recovery
Count on SERVPRO after fire damage in your business.
Recover after fire damage with the help of SERVPRO.
No business owner in Lee's Summit wants the focus for their clients or customers to be the company's ineffective recovery from a disaster. Keeping any damage from fire low key by trying to manage it in-house feels as though you retain control of both the recovery process and your brand. This benefits from this approach quickly become detriments when the challenges fire restoration derail your well-intentioned cleaning staff’s efforts. Involve our well-qualified and equipped fire damage crews to abate the effects fast and to health and restoration industry standards.
The fire damage in your Lee's Summit restaurant kitchen extinguished swiftly, but the damage is surprisingly pervasive. Smoke and soot are difficult to contain, especially when everyone involved concentrates on putting the fire out by any means possible. Concerns about the spread of fire residues assert after the fire department leaves. Our crews receive comprehensive training not only on basic cleaning at a fire site but also on a myriad of strategies to seek and halt migration of and remediate the non-combusted particles sent airborne during a conflagration.
Many restaurants use open layouts to connect diners to the magic occurring in the kitchen. With little blocking airflow, it is nearly impossible to stop fire residues from depositing on the tables, chairs, and flooring in your dining room. When SERVPRO’s crew arrives, we assess the extent of the fire damage apparent and plan to limit any further spread. If the majority of the damage is in the kitchen area, we can decide to set up a containment zone around the cooking area with heavy plastic sheeting and a negative pressure air scrubber system that prevents more residues from escaping into the spaces where your customers enjoy their meals. We use the walls and doors in place, but augment as needed to keep the spaces separated.
SERVPRO then matches the type of sooty residue with suitable cleaning tools and products. Kitchen fires are frequently protein based, laying down a thin but tenacious lacquer-like film that can require solvents to dislodge. We get to work in the containment chamber on the surfaces close to the fire center using techniques that minimize smearing and are appropriate for the damaged materials.
Meanwhile, in the parts of your restaurant further from the burning, we evaluate the type of soot and other residues that invaded before the establishment of the containment perimeter. SERVPRO technicians can vary the products, techniques, and tools if we encounter different types of residues. Lighter, ashy residues respond well to vacuums, dusting, and dry sponging. Stickier residues need the addition of cleaners with wetting agents and surfactants to loosen for wiping or scrubbing.
All spaces are likely to need deodorization, and SERVPRO employs cutting-edge technology to eliminate smells through chemical neutralization. Cover-ups like candles or air fresheners fail while our resources are broad and eventually remove the odors when our trained employees monitor the process, adjusting the methods until we achieve success.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary, call us today 816-246-5566.
You have heard of spring cleaning but what about spring maintenance?
Providing maintenance to your home structure, appliances, and systems within your home is just as important. While you finish up your spring cleaning go through our spring maintenance checklist to ensure your home is in great condition for the year.
Spring Maintenance Checklist
• Deck and Porches: Make sure railings are not loose.
• Drain Waste and Vent System
• Evaporative Air Conditioner
• Exterior Caulking
• Foundation: Check for cracks.
• Gutters and Downspouts: Check for debris and leaves and run a hose on your roof to check for proper drainage.
• Heat Pump: Lubricate blower motor.
• Hot Water Heater: Lubricate circulating pump and motor.
• Roof: Inspect roof surface.
• Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing.
• Window and Door Screens: Clean your screens and check for holes, patch if necessary.
• Window Sills, Door Sills, and Thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges or replace in needed.
Being Prepared for April Showers' in your House
Call us today with any water damage - 816-246-5566
Living in the Midwest can be quite exasperating at times; with having no beach within a 500 mile radius, to our inconsistency to decide what season it is. We never know what to expect so we have to be prepared for the unexpected.
Here at SERVPRO, we are prepared to clean up your house fire on Monday - to your flooded basement on Wednesday. Here are some helpful tips to keep your house safe before and after experiencing inconvenient crisis.
Important Warnings about Water Damage:
- Do not go into rooms with standing water if the electricity is still on!
- Do not use electrical appliances while on wet surfaces.
- Do not use any ordinary vacuum to remove any water.
- Do not lift tacked down carpet without professional help.
After Experiencing Water Damage:
- Use fans to circulate the air and assist with drying.
- Use dehumidifiers if available.
- Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe furniture dry.
- Lift draperies off carpet, loop through a coat hanger, and place the hanger on the draper rod.
- Prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying and place small wood blocks under furniture legs.
- Remove wet area rugs or other floor coverings.
- Open furniture drawers, closet doors and luggage to enhance drying.
- Move photos, paintings, and art objects to a safe, dry location.
- Remove wet fabrics and dry them as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Do not remove damp books from shelves. Leave tight to prevent pages from rippling.
- Control interior temperatures with heat or air conditioning. Keep interior temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees.
All About Fires
If you have a fire loss, call us - 816-246-5566
House fires are dangerous and can become life-threatening in just two minutes. It will only take 30 seconds for a small candle flame to engulf the window curtain and then create a thick black smoke that will fill your house. The smoke and gases are more deadly than the fire itself, so you must take extra precaution when you smell smoke.
Make sure you plan and create a fire escape plan and practice it with your family. Check your smoke alarms monthly to make sure the batteries are still working; working fire alarms increase your chance of survival.
If you do experience a fire, take these precautions:
- Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisons gases collect first along the ceiling.
- Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
- If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
- If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 911 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is.
- If the pets are inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
- If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. Call 911 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
- If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll. If this is not possible, smother the flames with a blanket or towel. Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth.
Make sure you take precautions when you are cooking and smoking, or have portable space heaters and fireplaces to prevent those preventable house fires.
The Storm has Passed but are YOU in the Clear?
Be prepared, have our number handy - 816-246-5566
Here in the midwest, we get anxious when tornado season comes around. Severe storms come through your life fast and turn it upside down.
Make your mind at ease with a few of these tips to stay safe after the storm has passed.
Your first instinct after a storm is to go outside and see what the damage is, DO NOT do that. There could be broken glass and other sharp objects that you can’t see.
If you smell gas, make sure you find the main gas line, if possible, and shut it off. If you can’t turn it off then call the gas company immediately.
If you see a power line on the ground, wait until help gets there. They could be energized and very dangerous.
If there are people depending on you, kids or elders, then you must stay calm. They look to you for peace and if you start to freak out then it will just cause more chaos.
Be prepared; if you have notice that a severe storm is coming, take precautions and pack a bag of necessities.
Also, know how your insurance policies work. A few questions you may ask yourself is:
- Is my vehicle covered for storm-related damage?
- Will my insurance rates go up because of storm damage?
- How do I file a claim for storm-related damage?
- What if I can’t tell if the damage is more than my deductible?
We hope you don’t go through a sever storm, but if you do we hope that your are prepared.
Is Mold Covered by your Homeowners Insurance?
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Most owners insurance comes down to the source of the moisture to where the mold damage started. If you are unsure if your homeowners insurance covers mold, go over your policy. Make sure you look for mold exclusions or limitations and call your agent if it still unclear.
If mold results from a sudden and accidental damage, like a pipe bursting, the cost of mold remediation would be covered. Now, if it mold shows up because of neglecting home maintenance then most claims would be rejected.
Here is sample of damage done by an inch of flood water:
- Replace carpet, flooring: $2,700
- New baseboard molding: $2,250
- Replace drywall $1,350
- Cleanup, materials: $1,000
- Bookshelves, lamps: $500
- Total: $7,800
Source: National Flood Insurance Program - https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program
You could also buy a mold rider as an add-on to your existing policy for extra coverage. If your insurance carrier doesn’t provide a rider, specialty companies might sell you a stand alone mold policy. Just to warn you, there will be a big price tag for that route.
If your insurance does not cover mold at all, moisture prevention is the key.
To help prevent mold growth, take the following steps:
- Lower indoor humidity with air conditioners, de-humidifiers, and exhaust fans
- Inspect hoses and fittings on appliances, sinks, and toilets
- Use household cleaners with mold-killing ingredients like bleach
- Opt for paints and primes that contain mold inhibitors
- Clean gutters to avoid overflow and check roof for leaks
- Avoid carpet in wet areas like basements and bathrooms
- Remove and dry carpet, padding, and upholstery within 48 hours of flooding
Source: House logic https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/homeowners-insurance-mold-covered/