Holiday Home Safety Tips
Call SERVPRO of Lee's Summit if you have any damage to your home during the Holidays. 816-246-5566
Holidays are near which means more entertaining and cooking; which could increase the risk of fire and accidents.
Follow these tips to stay safe during the Holidays:
- Before you go to bed or leave the house, make sure you turn off all the lights to refrain from a fire.
- Use only non-combustible and flame-resistant materials to trim your tree.
- Make sure you keep an eye on your food; unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires.
- Have a steady base so the tree won't tip over easily.
- Decorations should be at least 6 inches above children's reach.
- Replace old mittens or mittens with threads loose to protect your child from getting it tangled around their neck and choking.
- Do not discuss travel plans with strangers.
- Have a neighbor or close relative keep an eye out on your house.
Top 5 Most Common Causes of House Fires
If you experience a fire in your home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Lee's Summit at 816-246-5566
Here are top 5 most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.
From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.
- Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
- Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
- Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
- Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.
- If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
- Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
- Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
- Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
- Electrical & Lighting
According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
- Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords.
- Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
- Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
- Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.
- Dryers & Washing Machines
Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage.
- Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
- For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
- Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
- Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.
- Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
- Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
- Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
- Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.
Tips to Avoid Freezing Pipes
Don't let frozen pipes flood your life with unexpected problems!
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
Water has a unique property in it that expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the “strength” of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
If your pipes do freeze and cause damage to your home or business, STAY CALM AND CALL SERVPRO, we can make it “Like it never even happened.®”
During a freeze, Take Preventative Action
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55°F.
To Thaw Frozen Pipes
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electrical heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes in towels soaked by hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Commercial Cleaning Services
Call us today 816-246-5566
If you are a business owner, or run a particular business that receives a lot of visitors and foot-traffic, you know how important it is to keep your business looking clean and in good shape. A lot of times, you don't have the time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office.
When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of Lee's Summit for prompt service. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best.
SERVPRO of Lee's Summit offer cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our cleaning services include the following:
- Air Ducts and HVAC
- Biohazard and Sewage
- Trauma and Crime Scene
- Carpet and Upholstery
- Drapes and Blinds
- Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
- Odor Removal and Deodorization
3 Warning Signs of Mold
Be on the lookout for these signs of mold!
Nothing sends shivers through a homeowner's spine like mentioning the word "mold." Not only can it cause damage to your home and make it hard to sell, it also can be a health hazard to you and your family. Here are three warning signs of this insidious fungus that you don't want to ignore:
1) Water spots
Any wet spot in your home can be a potential sign of fungus growth. This can include water spots on your ceilings or walls, or on floors in your basement or crawlspace. If you find evidence of water spots, you need to find the potential moisture source and get it taken care of promptly. Using a highly-recommended remediation company like SERVPRO of Lee's Summit is the best option.
If you find a spot on a wall or floor that's discolored, it is a potential sign of mold. Discoloration that is green or black is a definite warning sign of fungus growth. However, any discoloration can mean growth is present, even if it isn't of the tell-tale colors.
3) Bad smell
If you have fungus growth in your home, it can cause a bad smell. Depending on the type of growth and how much of it you have, you could have a very strong smell or one that is faint. It can smell musty or earthy, or it can produce a smell that is more pungent. Any bad smell needs to be investigated.
Mold can be harmful and is not something to be ignored. If you experience any of these warning signs, call SERVPRO of Lee's Summit to investigate. Our staff receives extensive training on how to effectively deal with mold infestations. We also have the equipment and start of the art techniques to carry out remediation tasks and keep your home safe and clean.
How SERVPRO Assesses Flood Damage After a Dishwasher Breakdown
Lee's Summit flooding relies on SERVPRO for cleanup and water removal.
SERVPRO's Array of Measuring Devices Ensures a Dry Home Post Flooding
Dishwashers are a welcome addition to many households. After all, who does not love being able to simply rinse the dishes, set the cycle, and let the machine do the work? It is very convenient. However, like any other appliance, a dishwasher might malfunction, and a dishwasher breakdown often equals a flood of water in your kitchen.
Flood damage to your Lee's Summit home can be a serious cause for concern. A dishwasher might cause a surprisingly large flood in your kitchen, so naturally, you want to get that cleaned up as quickly as possible to mitigate any further damage. That is why we recommend you put in a call to SERVPRO at once -We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.
An essential element of our job is assessing the damage to your home. A thorough assessment lets our experts know how much moisture is present, which is vital information that we need to decide upon the best course of action.
A visual inspection is an important first start, but of course, that is only one part of the process. Our teams come prepared with a range of powerful equipment to help us assess the flood damage to your home:
A moisture sensor to help us ascertain how deeply water has penetrated into soft materials. The sensor displays a blinking light and makes an audible beep when moisture is present, and this allows us to measure the extent of the damage. We have other models that work silently.
A moisture meter to help us measure how much moisture is in any structure. Meters are useful for testing the damp content of every part surrounding your dishwasher including not only the floor but also walls, wall insulation, cabinets, and rugs or carpets. Do not worry if you have a wooden floor. Our SERVPRO experts also come equipped with penetrating moisture meters that can be used to take a reading under wood flooring or even inside the wall. Our technicians calibrate the instrument to suit the material that we are testing.
Thermo-hygrometers. Thermo-hygrometers measure the temperature and the relative humidity in your kitchen. Our technicians use these readings to determine the extent of the water damage. This is usually used after the water has been removed, a verification that a standard RH has been attained.
A complete evaluation of the situation assists us in drawing up an effective individual drying plan for your kitchen. We monitor moisture and humidity throughout the drying process so you can rest assured your kitchen is at optimum dryness and humidity before we call the job done. We can also provide documentation to your insurance company.
Dangers of Flash Flooding
If flooding does occur in your area, listen to and adhere to weather alerts and warnings and know your risk!
Flooding is the number #1 weather related cause of death, with majority of those deaths caused by flash flooding. Flash flooding is when there is a large amount of rain that comes down within minutes or hours. Other causes can be heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, tropical storm, or melt water from ice or snow flowing over ice sheets or snowfields.
If flooding does occur in your area, please remember
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for current and forecasted conditions in your area.
- If flooding begins in your area, go to higher ground immediately.
- When driving, always be aware that the road bed under flood waters may be severely damaged. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Remember that it takes only two feet of water to carry away a vehicle, including pickups and SUVs.
- When walking, do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Remember that it takes only six inches of rushing water to knock an adult off his feet.
- If your vehicle stalls, get out immediately and go to higher ground.
- Be extra cautious at night, when it is harder to see possible flood dangers.
- These four words could save your life: TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN.
When it comes to water damage from flooding, safety is the number one priority. When you can insure the safety of your family and conditions have improved, that is when to call in the professionals and assess damage. Our SERVPRO team is ready for whatever happens.
The Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage
Speciality drying equipment for large commercial water damages.
Work Place Water Damage is Restored by SERVPRO
When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms.
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings.
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.
2. Damaged appliances and equipment
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency.
3. Broken pipes and plumbing
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result.
4. Backed up sewer lines
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings.
Storm Preparation: Are You and Your Family Ready?
Contact us today with more information 816-246-5566
When the weatherman says take cover because there’s a hurricane on its way, the last thing you need to worry about is storm preparation. A little effort now, before disaster strikes, can bring peace of mind and yield big savings in the future. Here are some tips to help you plan ahead, so that you won’t have to face storms unprepared.
- Check your insurance policy to make sure it reflects the present state of your home. Think about adding flood insurance, as well as coverage for extra living expenses in case you are unable to stay in your home immediately after a storm.
- Making a home inventory is a critical component of storm preparation since it will make filing a claim easier and save time. Document the contents with a video camera or some other inventory tool. Retain receipts for any valuable items and consider getting separate coverage for these.
- Make an emergency supply kit containing basic survival items. This should include a 2-week supply of water and non-perishable, ready to eat food for each member of the family, as well as pets. If you need to evacuate your home, you’ll want a three-day supply of the same.
- Storm preparation must also include an evacuation plan.
- Gather important documents to take with you – for example, personal ID or driver’s license, insurance policies, social security cards, marriage and birth certificates, etc.
Contact our emergency restoration specialists at SERVPRO when fire or water damage occurs in your business or home. We’ll start your journey to a full recovery with our vast experience and state-of-the-art equipment, and we’ll work with your insurance company.
What to do if you Find Mold in Your Home
If you have any questions about Mold, do not hesitate to contact Lee's Summit SERVPRO directly at (816) 246-5566.
In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO of Lee's Summit has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.
If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:
- Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
- Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
- A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Lee's Summit for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.