Surprising Places Mold May Grow in Your Home
Mold can thrive anywhere with moisture and a food source such as dust, dirt, or debris
Places Where Mold Grows
A lot of people think of mold as a threat only after severe water damage, but that is not always the case. Mold can be tricky to locate in your home, and you don’t want to risk the damage it is capable of causing. If you suspect mold growth in your Lone Jack, MO, home, you should take action quickly. Mold can multiply rapidly for several reasons:
- Mold does not require sunlight.
- Mold can grow in either warm or cold environments.
- Mold can thrive anywhere with moisture and a food source such as dust, dirt, or debris.
How You Can Identify Mold
Many mold issues can be identified by sight and smell. A strong, musty odor is indicative of mold. Since it is a fungus, it can reproduce very fast when the conditions are right. Even places in your home that have not experienced water damage may harbor mold growth.
Where You Should Check
Any place that retains moisture can nurture mold. If you can see mold, you ought to have a mold inspection to check for moldy drywall, as well. Other places where mold can grow include window seals, air conditioners, chimneys, under sinks, and under laminate flooring. Because mold can grow so quickly, it can become a serious problem if left untreated. Professional mold remediation is likely needed for many of the locations where mold loves to grow.
You don’t want your Lone Jack, MO, home to fall prey to mold damage. You may have water leaks you don’t know of, or you may have high humidity levels – both of these can lead to mold growth. If you see mold on a wall or other surface, the issue could be bigger than you can see. It can mean you have mold under more surfaces such as flooring and behind your walls, so it’s imperative to hire experts in mold cleanup.
Is Your House in a Flood Zone?
House flooded in Lake Lotawana, MO
Is Your House in a Flood Zone?
When you bought your house, you may not have thought about whether or not it was in a designated flood zone. However, consider the following:
- Weather patterns are changing.
- Storms are becoming more severe.
- Hurricane season is getting longer.
How do you find out if your home is in danger?
Flood Insurance Rate Map
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) compiles several maps and documents that homeowners can use to find out if they are living in an area with a higher than average expectation of flooding. One of those is the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). This will tell you what the predicted level of danger is for Lake Lotawana, MO. There are different levels of risk: B, C and X are low to moderate risk areas, A designations are at a high risk of a flood, and V areas are coastal and can expect a lot of storm activity that can lead to floods.
Keep in mind you don’t have to be in a flood zone for the water to rise. Nearby construction can drastically change the runoff patterns in an area. Even if you have not had issues on your property in the past, a new subdivision can change how the water moves, and you could end up with a wet basement even if it has never happened before.
Construction isn’t the only thing that can change your flood zone designation. Storm activity is getting stronger, with much heavier rainfall in a shorter length of time, which can contribute to problems. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in 2017, 2 feet of rain fell in the first day and more than 200,000 homes were flooded, many of them outside a FEMA zone.
While you can find out if your property is located in a risky area, keep in mind that other factors can figure into the situation. If your home has water damage, make sure to find storm damage restoration experts that are Here to Help.
3 Ways To Keep Your Home's Pipes From Freezing
Let your faucet drip
Prevent Water Damage From a Pipe Freeze
It's often important for homeowners in Greenwood, MO, to avoid water damage in their homes. When it comes to avoiding frozen pipes in the winter, however, homeowners are often uncertain about how to prevent their pipes from freezing and bursting. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent water damage from a pipe freeze.
1. Let Your Faucet Drip
If you want to stop your pipes from freezing, it can be helpful to turn on your faucets just enough for water to slowly and continuously drip into the sinks. Though this may seem odd, even a small amount of consistently flowing water can help to prevent your pipes from freezing. Since temperatures tend to fall the most at nighttime, it can be especially helpful to allow your faucets to drip overnight.
2. Keep Your Home Warm
Frozen pipes can cause your home to flood, and as a result, you may consider contacting emergency restoration services. However, you can often help to prevent your pipes from freezing by keeping the temperature in your home well above freezing. Even if you are leaving your home for an extended period of time during the winter, it's still often wise to keep your home warm when it's particularly cold outside to ensure your pipes don't freeze.
3. Ensure Cold Air Isn't Entering Your Home
If your home has any small cracks or openings that allow air inside your home, the temperature inside your home can quickly drop, even if your heat is on all the time. Before the temperatures drop, it can be helpful to inspect your home for any small openings or cracks that might allow cold air to seep into your home. If you do notice any cracks, holes or openings, it's often helpful to use water-resistant sealants to stop the cold air from entering your home.
Avoiding frozen pipes can often help homeowners to prevent major water damage in their homes. Letting your faucet drip, keeping your home warm, and preventing cold air from entering your home can decrease the chance of your pipes freezing and bursting.
3 Ways To Guarantee Your Commercial Storm Insurance Will Work For You
A standard plan will usually cover hail damage, windstorms and tornadoes
When thinking about your business needs in Lee's Summit, MO, insurance coverage should be at the top of your priority list. Bad weather can shake your institution to its core, but there is no need to fret when you are confident that your storm insurance has you covered. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting your plan:
Check Your Coverage
Generally, your commercial insurance plan will cover most types of storms. For instance, the standard plan will usually cover hail damage, windstorms and tornadoes. However, it is important to triple check your coverage and understand exactly what you are protected against before disaster strikes.
If you’re able to see gaps in your storm insurance after reviewing your policy, it might be a good idea to shop around – either to replace your current plan completely or to supplement your coverage. It is best practice to ensure that the storms that frequent your area are covered and be on the lookout if earthquakes or flood damage are common in your area as they most times aren’t included. In this case it would be recommended to speak with an insurance agent that can suggest additional insurance plans.
Prepare for Damages
Secondary damages can be caused by flooding brought about by a storm, which in turn could lead to the growth of mildew and mold. These may not be included in your insurance coverage, especially if they are deemed avoidable. It would be best to undergo a mitigation and remediation process as soon as flooding occurs to avoid the excess harm that is caused when secondary damages are left unattended as these are unlikely to be covered by most plans.
Commercial storm insurance can offer you peace of mind and protection. While the weather is out of your control, having the best insurance coverage tailor fit for your business needs will make the recovery process much easier to handle after a storm.
4 Must-Haves for Your Business's Fire Escape Plan
After putting together the fire escape plan, it’s time for the drills
4 Must- Have Items In Your Emergency Escape Plan
Fire escape plans are essential for any business, not only for the safety of your employees but also for those who come and go from the offices. Not having a strategy can cause confusion that can lead to unnecessary injuries and an increased amount of property damage. Include these four must-have items in your emergency escape plan.
Put together a chain of command. Delegate one person to take charge of the evacuation plan from start to finish. Pick individuals to escort employees, customers and contractors from the building to a pre-planned meeting area. Others to include in the emergency escape plan are those in charge of the shutdown of utilities and those who aid disabled or injured people.
2. Evacuation Routes
Design a map showing all evacuation routes. Due to the drills you have, your employees will know where all the exit doors are; however, customers and contractors who are not familiar with the building need a map that is easy to read. Several websites have templates for devising a fire escape plan.
Choose someone to keep a headcount of everyone exiting the building. As part of your business, if applicable, use a sign-in sheet to keep track of people going in and out of your offices. The person in charge of the headcount can utilize the sign-in sheet and check off those accounted for.
4. Employee Training and Drills
After putting together the fire escape plan, it’s time for the drills. Practice at least twice a year, preferably more. Include medical preparation as part of the exercise. The American Red Cross provides training and certification classes in basic first aid and CPR for businesses and organizations.
It is ultimately your job to ensure the safety and well-being of those in the building. A fire escape plan can make your staff more confident they can get themselves and others out of a dangerous situation. A fire damage specialist in Edit, MO is a great person to speak with to organize the best safety plan for your business.
Is It Time To Get Pollution Liability Coverage To Cover Mold?
Ceiling tiles with mold
Something about the word “general” often tricks property managers into believing that any damage caused by mold will be covered by their commercial general liability insurance. Many people are confused and concerned when they learn otherwise. How will they pay for the 10 by 10 area of dry wall that was removed? What about all the carpeting that had to be ripped up or the replacing of the ceiling tiles? For that, they need pollution liability.
Who Needs Coverage for Mold Insurance Claims
No building is immune from mold. What is worse, any building may develop mold in places that are only discovered when the damage is costly to repair. This may occur in storerooms, filing cabinets or warehouses. Because of this, virtually every property manager should consider pollution liability, even when they do not handle asbestos or other hazardous waste. Here are some of the buildings most often affected by mold:
- Antique shops
Why You Need Mold Claim Coverage
Before the mid-1980s, many businesses did enjoy the inclusion of mold insurance claims under their general liability insurance. However, over time, insurers began to remove this from their policies. This may have been as a result of asbestos and the many other pollutants discovered in buildings built before 1980. It simply became too expensive to cover pollutants under regular insurance.
What Happens for Businesses That Have Coverage
When a building has sufficient coverage, this helps to ensure that their assets are protected. Work completed by mold cleanup specialists and any follow-up repairs typically get covered too. In some instances, a third party may choose to sue over the mold and any damage or complications it may have caused. Legal fees and the payout of settlements may also be covered.
Mold insurance claims in Cockrell, MO can be costly. However, if there is no special policy to cover these claims, they may be denied by the insurance company, forcing companies to pay out of pocket.
Flood zone in Greenwood, MO
If you’re in the process of buying a house in Greenwood, MO 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.
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.
3 Ways To Prevent Kitchen Fires When Cooking
Clean the grease from your stove top
How to Reduce the Chance of a Kitchen Fire
Though fires can start in any area of the home, many fires in South Lee, MO often begin in kitchens, and kitchen fires can cause widespread damage to homes. Fortunately, there are various tips you can follow to help to reduce the chance of a kitchen fire occurring in your home.
1. Don't Leave Cooking Food Unattended
When cooking, it can be easy to become distracted. Though you may be tempted to leave your kitchen while cooking, however, this can result in a fire. Items left on a stovetop can burn and catch fire in a short period of time if high heat is used, and if you are out of the room when the fire begins, you may not be able to stop the fire from getting out of control. For these reasons, it's generally best to stay in the kitchen when cooking.
2. Clean Your Kitchen Often
When it comes to fire prevention tips, cleaning your kitchen can be beneficial. If grease has spilled on your stovetop or in your oven, or if you use a dirty, greasy pan, a fire can start quickly. A grease fire can be particularly dangerous because it can spread at an accelerated rate and cause major damage to your home. Cleaning your kitchen often, however, can reduce the likelihood of grease causing a fire.
3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Though a flame in a kitchen doesn't necessarily spell disaster if it is quickly extinguished, fires that aren't quickly controlled can cause devastation to homes. If a home has been affected by major fire damage, many homeowners find it helpful to contact emergency restoration services. However, the sooner you are able to extinguish a fire, the less likely that your home will sustain major damage. Having an ABC fire extinguisher (an extinguisher that can put out fires caused by trash, grease or electricity) in your kitchen can be wise.
Since kitchen fires are incredibly common, knowing tips to prevent this type of fire can be useful to homeowners. Preventative methods can include remaining in your kitchen when cooking, frequently cleaning your kitchen and keeping a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
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!
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.
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.