Recent Posts

Specific Items You Can Save From Mold With The Right Treatment

11/29/2020 (Permalink)

The presence of mold, whether it comes from water damage or high moisture, can permanently damage your possessions. While there are items you should throw away, such as food and medicine, there are others with sentimental value you might hesitate to throw away. Mold cleaning, especially when handled by mold remediation specialists, can bring back some of these possessions with no health hazards and no permanent damage. Take note of the specific items you can save with the right treatment.

Leather Items

Leather can be an appealing choice for several items in your household. It can have a classy look that also brings extra warmth to the user.

  • Jackets 
  • Furniture
  • Baseballs and baseball mitts
  • Briefcases
  • Purses

It can be difficult to dispose these leather items if they suffer from mold damage. Thankfully, there are chemicals that can clean and fight the mold's mycotoxin, such as borax and tea tree oil. Ultimately, a remediation technician will make the final call depending on the item and damage. 

Clothing

Nothing can be more frustrating that seeing mold grow over your favorite clothes. Just as with leather, there are a variety of mold cleaning products such as hot water, vinegar, bleach or borax. There are even specialized laundry machines, such as the Esporta Machine, designed to remove all types of damage from clothes, including mold and mildew. Use these resources depending on the clothing's specifications so the cleaners avoid damaging them. Once again, consult with cleaning specialists for the best solution. 

Paintings

The paintings in your residence may effectively decorate your home but salvaging them from mold growth can be difficult. Painting over the mold is not recommended, as the paint can peel off and the toxins can remain. Instead, consult a specialist that can remove the mold safely with the right tools and chemicals. 

Even though mold can ruin many of your priceless possessions, they are not beyond salvaging. Research mold cleaning professionals and techniques, to bring your prized possession to former glory.

Why The Chemical Mercaptan Is a Lifesaver

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

The gas that heats many homes and provides energy for water heaters and clothes dryers is colorless and odorless. If it leaks from pipes or hoses it creates a dangerous situation due to its extreme combustibility. To make gas more detectable, engineers have added the chemical mercaptan, making it easily identifiable by its sulfurous, rotten egg smell. It is hard to estimate how many times a gas fire has been prevented by this chemical.

When a homeowner smells mercaptan it is a sure sign that somewhere in your home there is a gas leak. When this happens, immediate steps should be taken to shut off the gas or at least get people and pets out of the home and call the fire department. 

The Best Actions To Take With a Natural Gas Leak

Specific actions can reduce the likelihood of a gas fire in a home or apartment. The goal is to stop the gas leak or increase the safety of everyone in the home. Here are the most effective actions to take:

Check all the appliances that use natural gas, beginning with the stove since this is the most likely source. Many times burners do not light, or go out, allowing gas to leak into the home. If you can find the source of the leak and stop it the emergency is over.

Increase the ventilation of your home by opening windows and doors. This enables the gas to dissipate and not collect in a certain area, reducing the likelihood of a gas explosion.

Don't use electrical devices, or even turn on lights, as this could ignite the gas.

Evacuate the home and call in the fire department

The Best Way To Handle Fire Damage

A gas fire in your home is likely to cause soot and smoke damage and loss of property. Call in a fire remediation team that will respond quickly and clean up the damage in a professional manner.

Precautions To Take When Your Home Is in a Flood Zone

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Living next to the beach or in a low-lying area may be a lifelong dream, but it can come with added risks. One such risk is having a home in a flood zone. You don't have to give up what may otherwise be a great location, though. There are several precautions you can take to minimize your risk of flood damage.

Protect Your Home

An active storm season in Missouri can test the boundaries of your home like nothing else. While you may not be able to fully keep your home from flooding, there are several ways you can prepare for an upcoming rainstorm:

  • Put sandbags out as a barrier against rising water.
  • Install a sump pump in your basement on or the lower level of your home.
  • Place outlets or sensitive equipment higher on the wall or on a shelf.

It's also a good idea to have an evacuation plan, just in case the water rises so high you need to leave your home. Even if your home floods, you can have measures already in place to deal with the fallout. 

Purchase Insurance

If your home is in a flood zone, you need to have flood insurance. This coverage is not typically part of your homeowners policy, so you'll need to purchase it separately. If your insurance company doesn't offer flood insurance, you can get a referral for a company that does from the National Flood Insurance Program.

Plan for Remediation

Flooding can produce serious damage to your home. Have the contact information for local flood restoration specialists handy. They can assess the damage to your home and give you an estimate of how much the repairs are going to cost.

When your home is in a flood zone, you have to take some factors into consideration that other homeowners do not. You may be able to minimize some damage. For the damage that you can't avoid, though, you need trusted cleanup professionals and an insurance policy that covers it.

Is Your Business Prepared?

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Up to 50% of businesses never reopen following a disaster. This usually happens because the amount of damage was too large and too expensive to recover from. Your business should be prepared to minimize the damage to your business so that doors can open back for business.  

There are a few things you can do make sure your establishment is ready.

Continuity Plan

Business that do reopen after a disaster most had a preparedness plan. You must identify the components of your business that are essential for it to continue running. Prepare a plan with the appropriate staff as well. Your staff must know who and what should happen in the case of an emergency.

Prepare your Emergency Plan

Have a plan in place. Letting SERVPRO prepare an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) will help minimize the damage by having a quick response to an emergency. Knowing what and when to do will ensure that the right steps are taken.  Something as simple as just knowing where the shutoff valves can save you from extensive water damage.

Review Your Insurance

Make sure you are familiar with your insurance. You need to know who to call when you need answers regarding your business. Understanding your policies will help you be able know what is not covered and reassess if your needs require more coverage.

Cyber Security

The physical damages to your property but also internal damage to important files and data. Be sure to have all your data backed up.

ERP's and Why They Are Important

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Being a business owner can have many responsibilities, and you may have to take on multiple roles.

In most cases, disaster is the last thing you are thinking about, but every business owner, regardless of how new or old your business is, should have a plan and guide for what to do in the event of a disaster.

SERVPRO offers a free community service called the "Emergency Ready Plan", or an ERP.

ERP's are handy little guides that we make at SERVPRO that contain basic information regarding your property, who owns the property, and where your emergency shut off locations are.

We document and photograph where your electrical, water, and gas shut offs are, as well as your sprinkler system and security system. We also have the contacts for those utilities companies in the event that you must make contact.

Key contacts are also listed in the ERP, such as the owner, the insurance agent for the property, the SERVPRO representative, and the managers of the building.

The emergency contacts and services page has the fire department and police department's emergency and non-emergency numbers as well, that way, if contact is needed, you know where to find all those phone numbers and contact points.

It's very beneficial to have an ERP because although the business owner might know where everything is and who to contact, your employees might not know. Having a guide like this can help so much if the business owner is not present.

ERP's are very convenient as well, we are able to provide a paper copy, and we can provide a digital version on the Ready Plan app! Which makes ERP's very easy to access in times of need.

When you run a business, it's good to prepare for not just the next day's shift, but for the things that happen unexpectedly.

SERVPRO is always here to help!

Expertise 2020 Award

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Presented by Expertise is an award badge SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas City earned for being published in their 2020 release of the Best Water Damage Restoration Services in Kansas City. 

Flood Risks

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

If you’re in the process of buying a house or you’re looking for a new home owners insurance policy, you might be familiar with what a flood zone is. If you don’t know what they are, you might want to start reading up on them.

Zoning for Floods?

A flood zone is an area in a specific geographical space that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has determined has at least some risk of flooding. There are four primary types of zones, which correlate to the severity or category of excessive water events that can occur in that area.

  • Moderate to Low Risk Areas
  • High Risk Areas
  • High Risk – Coastal Areas
  • Undetermined Risk Areas

How to Find Your Zone

Each area’s zones are depicted on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map, also known as FIRM, which can be found online at https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance-rate-map-firm. You can also contact your local municipality or look on their website, most of cities will have zoning information available online. You can try searching for the term “flood elevation certificate” for faster results. 

Some people may think that these zones can only be found next to a large body of water or along a river or stream, but that’s not the case. Houses that are nowhere near a body of water can experience a flood if there’s a large rain storm. 

Emergency Preparedness

Knowing what kind of flood zone you live in can also be helpful for storage options and emergency preparedness. If you live in a high-risk zone, for example, you probably don’t want to put boxes directly on the floor, and you might want to increase the number of your emergency supplies. 

If you weren’t aware that your home is potentially at risk for a flood, and a storm causes water related damage, you should contact a storm damage specialist in your area to determine your best course of action and get the damage repaired as quickly as possible. 

What To Do Right After a Storm Damages Your Home

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

You hear the wind blowing and the rain pounding on your window panes, and you hope your home will remain untouched by the storm. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A tree falls on your roof, and water pours into your home, soaking your carpets and covering your hardwood floors. Here's how to stem the tide of storm damage in the event's immediate aftermath.

1. Document Damage Before Attempting Immediate Repairs

If you are planning to submit a claim to your insurance company for the damages, you will want to record them prior to attempting any immediate repairs. Make a list of damaged items, and take photos or video of each.

2. Make Immediate Repairs Only To Prevent Further Damage to Your Home

Take the following steps when attempting immediate repairs or cleanup:

  • Cover leaking roofs with a tarp to prevent more rainfall from entering the home.
  • Pull up wet carpet to prevent mold and move it to a dry location. 
  • Throw away all perishable food that has spoiled.

Make sure all articles being removed from the home were documented on the inventory list of damaged items.

3. Exercise Caution If You're Staying in a Damaged Home 

To restore lost electricity in your home, use generators outside, away from windows and doors. Make sure your sewer system is working before flushing toilets, using water stored previously for this function if necessary. Open windows and run fans inside your home to circulate air and aid the drying process.

You may also choose to contact a company that can perform emergency restoration services in your home. If so, keep receipts for services provided, as well as for any purchases made for immediate repairs, such as a tarp for the leaking roof.

Hopefully, your home will never be subjected to storm damage. If it is, however, these storm tips can get you started on the road to recovery and get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. 

Firework Safety

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

A holiday weekend like the Fourth of July brings much fun, but can also lead to disaster if the right precautions are not taken. Here a few quick and helpful tips to stay safe and enjoy your holiday. 

  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Never light fireworks indoors
  • Keep fireworks away from houses and flammable material 
  • Never point or throw fireworks toward another person
  • Only light one device at a time
  • Maintain a safe distance after lighting a firework

Although sparklers are a simple and fun firework for kids to use, they can still be quite dangerous if not handled properly. Sparkles can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. Sparkles are not advised to children under the age of five, unless accompanied by and adult. Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers, or colored streamers for children when trying to celebrate safely this Fourth of July!

Checking For Mold

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Mold is not only detected visibly, but also through air sampling. Air sampling is used when mold may be in hidden spots. An industrial hygienist helps to get the most effective results when testing for mold. They are trained to know the ins and outs of how mold shows up in the air in your home. To get rid of mold, you must first recognize it. This involves air and surface samples. Industrial hygienists collect these samples to determine if mold is one of three kinds; allergenic, pathogenic, toxigenic, or even a mixture of all three. It is crucial in understanding the type of mold and level of infestations when mounting a good mold cleaning effort. 

You may try to cut costs by using a home kit, but in the long run this may be a costly mistake. There are several ways those kits can be misleading. They often lack the sensitivity to detect specific concentrations of mold to determine where infestation is heaviest. If an area is too secluded, the kit may not detect airborne spores at all - or worse, may indicate a mold problem where none exists. This can result in mold remediation bills for an issue you never even had! If you suspect mold or have frank mold damage, tackle it the right way by contacting a mold cleaning company to check your home’s air and surfaces and get the mold out fast.