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Steps to Take After Your Business Suffers Fire Damage

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Steps to Take After Your Business Suffers Fire Damage Fire damage in a Long View, MO building

A fire is a devastating incident, and you may feel overwhelmed if your business in Long View, MO, has been affected by fire damage. There are some key steps you should take in the aftermath of a fire in order to ensure that your business is up and running again as seamlessly as possible. Here are some tips to guide you through the fire restoration process and ensure that everything returns to normal again.

Stay Away From Damage

While you may be tempted to try to repair objects that have been damaged by the fire, it is best not to touch any damaged items in your business. Take the following precautions when surveying the effects of the fire:

  • Avoid washing walls or painted surfaces
  • Do not turn on lighting fixtures if walls or ceiling are wet
  • Keep your hands clean to avoid spreading soot particles
  • Refrain from cleaning damaged electronics

Staying away from damaged articles until a professional arrives can help prevent your business from undergoing further damage.

Call Your Insurance Company

Make sure to call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the fire damage. The faster you inform them of your loss, the faster you can focus on fire restoration and the less likely you are to miss important deadlines. Once you’ve spoken with an agent, you can make a fire insurance claim. Taking care of the logistics after an incident can help you be well informed during a stressful situation.

Turn off Utilities

Until help arrives, it is crucial to do what you can to minimize further damage. Turn off all the utilities in your building, including gas, electricity and water. You can shut off the water at the main valve and turn off gas and electricity at the meter. Once you’ve done this, refrain from using any utilities until a professional has inspected them properly.
Whether you need smoke cleaning services or water removal from firefighting efforts, a skilled fire restoration professional can conduct a fire damage assessment and help bring your business back to normal.

Candles are beautiful...until they start your house on fire!

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Candles are beautiful...until they start your house on fire! Candles can result in fire loss if not used properly.

According to the National Candle Association, more than 15,000 candle fires are reported annually. Typically that entails lovely meals, great music and ambient lighting like candles. 

Candle Safety

Here are some tips to burn your candles safely:

  • Always extinguish candles when you leave a room.  It's very easy to forget it's lit when the candle is out of sight.
  • Keep your candle away from flammable items.  Curtains, bedding, or paperwork don't take long to ignite. 
  • Make sure your candle is out of reach for children and pets alike.  They can easily be knocked over and result in an injury or a fire. 
  • Trim candlewicks to 1/4 inch before every lighting.  This helps to eliminate excess smoke and keeps the flame lower. 
  • Your candle should be placed on a stable, heat resistant surface.  Special attention should be given to the surface below since you don't want it to burn.

Special moments where candles are used are a time to enjoy spending quality time with those you love.  We don't think dealing with a smoke or fire loss would not necessarily qualify as "quality" time! 

But in the event of a fire, what should you do?  Call your SERVPRO of Lee's Summit professional at 1-816-246-5566.  We respond within an hour and can help you get on track immediately.  

How To Clean Your Building After a Toilet Flood

6/22/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial How To Clean Your Building After a Toilet Flood A flooded toilet carries serious contaminants that must be properly dealt with

How To Clean Your Building After a Toilet Flood

There may not much that is nastier to deal with than a sewer backup, and your business plan may not include the budget for a sewer cleanup, so in Kansas City, MO, it might be worth looking into flood insurance. Nonetheless, problems can occur and the unexpected can happen, throwing a wrench into the works. Differing from a category 1 or clean water flood, a flooded toilet carries serious contaminants that must be properly dealt with.

How Do You Clean Up Sewer Water

If the water is running clear, stops upon shutoff and is confined to a non-porous bathroom floor, you may be able to mop it up and clean it with detergent and chlorine bleach. If the water has any color to it, is coming from deeper in the drain or is spilling out onto carpeted areas, down a heat duct or is deep enough to be standing you will likely need assistance from a professional sewage cleanup service.

Remove everyone from the area to avoid exposure
Find the water shutoff valve and turn the flow off, if possible
If the water is not running mostly clear, it may be coming from the sewer rather than the supply line
Water must be extracted and cleaned up
Sanitizing and disinfecting must be thoroughly done as sewage can be considered a biohazard

Cleaning and Disinfecting

The sewer line may need to be cleared professionally to unblock the drain. A sewer cleanup service may be necessary to help with that as well as the cleanup. Sewage water is likely to contain bacteria and viruses and it is critical to contain the spill and begin professional a sanitizing process as soon as possible, using industrial disinfectants. Every nook and cranny needs attention. Any rugs, carpets or soft surfaces will likely need to be disposed of.
Employ preventative measures such as regular drain and supply line inspections and enzyme treatments to reduce the risk of flooding. When prevention fails and the need for sewer cleanup occurs, take it seriously to ensure proper restoration.

Possible Reasons Your Toilet Is Leaking

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Possible Reasons Your Toilet Is Leaking Damaged toilet tank

Do You Notice Water Every Time You Flush?

You may have a leaking toilet. A buildup of standing water in your bathroom could lead to water damage, mold or mildew, so it’s best to find the source of the problem as soon as possible- especially in Kansas City, MO. As a complex system, there are multiple reasons this could be happening. Toilets are an everyday necessity, so be sure to take the proper measures to get it back in working order.

Diagnose the Problem

First you need to figure out where the water is leaking from. Clean up as much of the water as you can on both the floor and the toilet itself, so that you can follow the water as it builds again. Try flushing the leaking toilet to jumpstart the process. Usually the water seeps out below the toilet, which will be addressed below, but during this process more unusual causes may present themselves, such as a:

  • Damaged toilet tank
  • Valve that does not completely close
  • Sweaty bowl
  • Supply tube that is wobbly or movable

Tighten Up

Water pooling beneath your leaking toilet may be the result of floor bolts that hold the toilet in place becoming loose. Simply remove the protective covers and tighten each one with a wrench. Be sure not to make them too tight, or you could damage the toilet. You should visibly notice the leak stop. If not, there may be a deeper issue.

Wax Gasket

If tightening bolts did not stop your water flow, that probably means that the wax seal on your gasket is dry or cracked. Luckily, it is replaceable. Be sure to shut off the water and drain the toilet before beginning the process. Next, disconnect the water-supply tube and lift the toilet from the floor. You will need to scrape off the old wax before installing the new wax gasket.

Leaking bathrooms are no fun, but that does not mean they should be ignored. Diagnosing the problem is half the job. Feel free to reach out to a professional.

Prevent the Spread of Mold in Your Home

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Prevent the Spread of Mold in Your Home Save the mold cleaning for the professionals

Homeowners everywhere, certainly including Lone Jack, MO, will most likely face the horror of spreading mold at some point. You probably won’t escape it, no matter how clean your home is. Black mold can be especially worrisome. If you find it, what should you do to stop it from getting worse?

How Does Mold Spread?

Mold is a type of fungus. It reproduces via microscopic airborne spores which are invisible to the naked eye until they start breeding a colony. So, mold exists wherever there is air and is attracted to moisture. It also thrives in warmer temperatures, usually between 77 and 86 degrees. Mold grows as multicellular filaments called hyphae which give it a fuzzy appearance and emit a distinct musky odor. Spreading mold can cause structural damage to your home if left unchecked. Some common types of mold are:

  • Black mold — Stachybotrys chartarum
  • Blue/green mold — Penicillium
  • Pink mold — Aureobasidium
  • Yellow mold — Serpula lacrymans

What Not To Do

If you discover mold damage in your home, do not attempt to remove it yourself. If you do so, you are more likely to contribute to its spread rather than getting rid of it. There are specific steps to follow for the removal of mold, so it’s best to leave this process in professional hands.

What You Should Do

Your home can never be completely free of mold because of its nature as a microscopic airborne particle, but growth can be stopped and removed, and appropriate spore levels can be managed. Your first step is to set up a mold damage assessment. There are many specialists that offer mold remediation processes that include containment, removal of infested materials, air filtration, cleaning of belongings and restoration of the area. These techniques all follow strict protocols and professional standards.

Mold is an especially tough obstacle to overcome for the average homeowner. To avoid accidentally spreading mold and making it worse, don’t be afraid to turn to the experts.

FAQs About Fire Extinguishers

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage FAQs About Fire Extinguishers Learning about extinguishers can help you feel more prepared to handle a fire in your home

Learn How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

A fire in your home in Greenwood, MO, can be devastating, especially if the fire is not quickly extinguished. It can be useful for homeowners to learn about using a fire extinguisher, which can be a valuable tool that can help to protect your home.

1. How Do You Know What Type of Extinguisher To Use?

There are several types of extinguishers, and it’s often important to use the right type of extinguisher to prevent major damage. When determining what extinguisher to use, it can be helpful to consider what types of fires are most likely to occur in that area. For example, to extinguish a kitchen fire caused by grease, you may want to have a Type B extinguisher. It can also be helpful to have extinguishers that can put out various types of fires.

2. How Many Should You Have in Your Home?

There are certain locations in homes that are likely to experience fires, and not having access to an extinguisher when you need one could result in major damage that necessitates help from fire damage restoration experts. It can be helpful to place the appropriate extinguishers in areas that are prone to fires. Common locations to place a fire extinguisher can include in garages, where gasoline could catch fire, in kitchens, where grease may cause a fire and near electrical equipment that could spark a fire.

3. How Do You Use an Extinguisher?

It’s often important to act quickly when extinguishing a fire. The acronym P.A.S.S. can be helpful to remember when learning how to use an extinguisher. P.A.S.S. stands for pull, aim, squeeze and sweep; when using an extinguisher, a person should pull the pin in order to break the seal, aim toward the lowest part of the fire, squeeze the extinguisher’s handle and then sweep back and forth to fully extinguish the fire.

Learning about extinguishers can help you feel more prepared to handle a fire in your home. It’s often wise to know what type of fire extinguisher to use in different situations, how many extinguishers you should have in your home and how to use an extinguisher.

Municipal Flood Prevention Techniques

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Municipal Flood Prevention Techniques If you want suggestions for how you can help in prevention efforts before high water situations, talk to a flood remediation professional in your area

Municipal Flood Prevention Techniques 

It may be impossible to control that natural factors that lead to high water conditions, but many communities have taken steps to reduce the risk of flooding. In fact, various methods of flood control have been practiced for many years, including

  • Reforestation
  • Levee, dam, and reservoir construction
  • Floodwater diversion, such as the use of floodways

Many of the modern methods used in urban and rural areas today have their roots in ancient flood prevention practices.

Sponge Cities

This method is commonly used in China and involves creating an urban environment where water can hold, clean, and then drain water naturally. This ecological approach involves using rainwater for daily living, such as irrigation gardens, flushing toilets, and recharging aquifers.

Flood Plains and Overflow Areas

You may already be familiar with some of these large open plains. Vast areas of open land around rivers play vital roles in water management and natural flood protection. Additionally, many city planners include "parks" at lower levels than the surrounding neighborhood. These overflow areas become ponds during storms or heavy rainfall and may save surrounding homes from water-filled basements.

Separate Systems for Storm and Wastewater

Many cities have taken an important step by running separate underground pipe systems for draining rainwater out of the sewer systems. This reduces the burden on wastewater treatment plans and improves the efficiency of functionality. Additionally, city workers take steps to keep sediment, debris, and other items out of the sewer system.

Sustainable Drainage

This refers to replacing non-permeable materials with permeable solutions. For example, a concrete walkway up to the front door won't absorb any water, concrete is non-permeable. However, a decorative stone walkway or a gravel path can absorb water. The more water is absorbed by the ground, the less risk of high water and can help stop flooding.

Flood prevention in Lee's Summit, MO, is a process that involves continued study and improved efforts. If you want suggestions for how you can help in prevention efforts before high water situations, talk to a flood remediation professional in your area.

FAQs About Cleaning Under Your Home After a Flood

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage FAQs About Cleaning Under Your Home After a Flood A home flood in Kansas City, MO, can cause a devastating amount of damage.

A home flood in Kansas City, MO, can cause a devastating amount of damage. Though many homeowners are eager to begin cleaning their homes, few people realize that the area underneath houses often need to be cleaned after a flood. Here are a few helpful things to know about cleaning crawlspaces after a flood.

What Are Signs of a Damaged Crawlspace?

Though damage in a crawlspace may not be immediately apparent, identifying damage in a timely manner is often important. The following are common indicators that a crawlspace has been affected by a storm:

  • An unpleasant, musty odor in areas above and around the crawlspace due to mold growth
  • Damaged subfloors or warped vinyl floors
  • High levels of humidity in rooms above the crawlspace

What Causes Damage to Crawlspaces?

A home flood can cause major damage to both the interior and exterior of a home, and though crawlspaces are often overlooked, they are still prone to damage. When water quickly accumulates underneath a home and is not removed or drained, the structure of a home can be affected. Damage to crawlspaces can also occur if there are high levels of humidity in the area, which can cause building materials to absorb the moisture and weaken.

How Can Under Your House Be Cleaned?

Fortunately, there are steps that professionals from a storm damage restoration company can take to clean your home’s crawlspace. First, water is removed under the crawlspace. If mold and high levels of humidity remain present after the water is removed, professionals may create negative air pressure in the area to dry up the area. Once the crawlspace is dry, professionals can restore or replace any building materials that have been damaged.

Though a home flood can wreak havoc on your home, it can be useful to understand more about cleaning underneath your home. Knowing the signs of a damaged crawlspace, common causes of damage and how the underside of your house is cleaned can make the cleanup process seem less complex.

Characteristics of Category 3 Water Damage

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Characteristics of Category 3 Water Damage Sewage and flooding is considered Category 3.

In many situations, water can be a welcome sight. In other situations, it can be a nightmare. In your Lone Jack, MO, office, one of the last things you would want to see is flood water taking over. This emergency could ruin documents, equipment and supplies. Water damage could even make working in the building dangerous or impossible. Of all the types of water problems you could encounter, Category 3 damage is the worst.

What Is It?

Experts have a way to categorize the different level so water damage that can occur from flood water. Category 3 isn’t something you want to ignore or even be around. Here are some traits of this type of water:

  • Is contaminated with toxic or pathogenic agents
  • Occurs due to back-up sewers
  • Carries feces, pesticides or heavy metals

What Happens?

Water from this category is often called black water because of the materials found in it. This situation may not be because of a flaw in your building. Black water can come into your office due to sewage problems from the main city line. There are also cases where a toilet overflow could cause category 3 concerns.

Your Steps

If you notice black water at any time in your office, make sure you evacuate the building immediately. Identify where the water is located and how much area is affected. You should contact emergency services and your insurance company as well. Don’t go near the water, and don’t try to clean it up yourself. Instead, get in touch with a reputable commercial water damage restoration specialist.

How the Pros Handle It

A professional crew will extract all the water with high-powered wet vacuums. Once all the water is gone, the team will dry the floor, walls, ceiling and any other items. Next, a technician will sanitize the space to ensure mold doesn’t grow and that there is no presence of harmful materials.

Category 3 flood water is nothing to take lightly. Follow these guidelines and let a seasoned professional take control.

Where Do You Typically See Mold Growth at Work?

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Where Do You Typically See Mold Growth at Work? Mold damage in a Greenwood, MO building

There are many things you never want to come across in the workplace. Mold growth is definitely one of them. You can’t expect anyone to comfortable work in an area where this invader is present. It’s important to be aware of common problem spots so you can take proper action and guard against this unwanted intruder.

How it Happens

First, it’s helpful to understand the conditions under which mold develops. This knowledge can guide your prevention efforts in your Greenwood, MO, building. Here are the culprits:

  • Poor ventilation
  • Broken pipes
  • Improper sealing around windows and roofs
  • Lack of response to water damage

Bathroom Floors

The bathroom is a commonly busy area of your building, but it’s not one where you want to spend more time than necessary. Therefore, it’s easy for people to overlook mold growth here. Still, because of the presence of frequently running water from faucets and toilets, it’s easy to problems to arise. Leaking pipes and other plumbing deficiencies can encourage fungal development, especially if you don’t properly clean this area.

Roof and Ceiling

You don’t have to be a plumbing expert to know that there are pipes running in and out of the ceiling of your office. Water damage can occur here without anyone detecting it for months or even years. Over time, mold problems can show up. One clue that you have issues is if you see stains on the ceiling.

Walls

While mold may not readily show up on the outside of your walls, it could be present in the drywall, especially in high humidity areas. Slow leaks can trickle from the ceiling down the walls or up from the foundation.

You don’t want to find yourself in an emergency situation where black mold is present in your building. Look for signs in these areas. If you discover concerns, make sure you contact an experienced mold remediation team.