Stay Safe While Using Space Heaters
Be mindful when using a space heater. Keep your home safe.
It's getting to be that time of the year where a space heater seems like the perfect appliance to make a room a little cozier.
Fire does not care what season it is or whether or not it’s cold outside. Cold weather related fires are extremely common, especially when you are trying to keep warm.
Our offices in Lee's Summit have experience in fire damage from space heaters and can provide you with some tips to help avoid having to deal with these types of destructive events this coming Autumn and Winter.
SERVPRO of Lee's Summit technicians understand that accidents happen. Placing space heaters too close to other objects or using the wrong type of heater in a particular area can cause severe problems. Please take a moment to consider some factors leading to these fires.
Oil Heaters - Should be used in areas where there is the possibility of moisture. This eliminates any electrical hazards that may be present due to water conductivity. Always keep a safe distance to avoid contact burns.
Electric Heaters - These heaters come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be useful for many areas in your home. However, they should never be left unattended. Thinking of electric heaters as giant toasters can help you understand how important it is to keep a constant eye on them. Make sure you have sufficient wattage to run the device and never use extension cords.
Our SERVPRO of Lee's Summit staff gets an incredible amount of space heater-related calls every year when the weather gets to get chilly and blustery. People are trying to stay warm and use space heaters quite often for this purpose. However, using a space heater does not need to cause so many problems during a cold spell. Just use common sense, and always follow the directions of the manufacturer.
The professional technicians at SERVPRO of Lee's Summit state that you follow a few simple guidelines when operating your space heaters.
1) Always place space heaters on a flat, solid surface for proper stabilization.
2) Purchase heaters with an automatic shut-off feature to prevent dangers from tipping.
3) Maintain proper spacing between heaters and other objects in your home.
4) Never leave children or pets unsupervised around operating heaters.
5) Shut your heaters off properly before leaving your home or going to sleep.
Following these guidelines does not ensure that you will never have to deal with fire damage from space heaters. However, you are less likely to have an unwanted consequence. If this sort of incident still strikes your home this cold weather season, make the call to our offices at 816-246-5566 immediately. We will respond quickly and provide you with the services you need to get back to normal fast.
Understanding the Timeline of Water Damage
Understanding the Timeline of Water Damage
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Lee's Summit provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Lee's Summit arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 SERVPRO of Lee's Summit 816-246-5566
Here is a Typical Timeline for Water Damage:
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of Lee's Summit
SERVPRO of Lee's Summit specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Immediate Service in Lee's Summit, MO
SERVPRO of Lee's Summit provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Lee's Summit. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.
- 24-Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
- Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
- A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment
Have Questions? Call Us 24/7/365 at 816-246-5566
Whether your Lee's Summit home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us. Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:
- Water Damage Restoration
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Mold Remediation
- Storm Damage Restoration
- Cleaning Services
- Building/Reconstruction Services
There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Lee's Summit commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:
- Commercial Water Damage Restoration
- Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
Common Types of Mold Found in Homes
You need to know what type of mold you're dealing with for health issues.
Mold comes in many types and forms. In fact, there are more than 100,000 types of mold including about 150 types of mold found in homes--each of which can have several subtypes. The good news is that most people tolerate exposure to moderate levels of many different molds without any apparent adverse health effects. The bad news? Some molds may cause health effects.
In this post you’ll learn about identifying some common types of mold in your home.
The HGTV website provides some good mold information. The most common types of mold you may find in your home include aspergillus, cladosporium, and stachybotrys atra (black mold).
Aspergillus is a fairly allergenic mold that is commonly found on foods and in home air conditioning systems. Cladosporium is typically a black or green "pepper like" substance that grows on the back of toilets, painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts.
Black Mold (Stachybotrys Atra)
Black mold is most likely to appear in your home in places that are particularly warm, humid, and damp—like basements or crawlspaces that may have leaks or other sources of moisture. You can identify black mold by its black color. Most other molds are green or gray in color.
Removing black mold is a step-by-step process that requires patience, an investment in protective gear, black mold removal products, and the courage to brave dark, cramped spaces inhabited by fungus. These are among the reasons why many homeowners hire SERVPRO of Lee's Summit to remove black mold.
Mold or Mildew: What’s the Difference?
Mold and mildew are types of fungi. Typically, mold is black or green, and mildew is gray or white. Mold tends to grows on food, while mildew grows on damp surfaces, like bathroom walls, basement walls, or fabrics. Mold grows in the form of multicellular filaments or hyphae, while mildew has flat growth. Mildew is often referred to as a kind of mold.
Orange or Red Mold
Mold that appears to be orange or red in color is usually found outdoors. It thrives on decaying plants and moist wood. This type of mold, which can appear slimy, is harmless. The main reason to remove it (should you decide to) is for appearances.
Often referred to as “bathroom mold,” aureobasidium is found on caulk, windows, bathtubs, and showers. It’s a black mildew.
This type of mildew is relatively harmless and grows in dust in homes. Wallemia does not need moisture to grow.
This toxic mildew is very common after a flood. Exposure to fusarium may cause some negative health symptoms.
The Importance of Testing
Unfortunately, you can’t identify most types of mold in your home with a photograph or with your naked eye. Most molds look similar. What you can do is send a sample for testing to a qualified mold laboratory.
We know mold. Call SERVPRO Lee's Summit at (816) 246-5566
Remember that it’s critical to know the types of mold and the amounts you inhale. If you’re concerned, consider testing the air in your home or call SERVPRO of Lee's Summit.
Water Damage Requires a Quick Response
Floods, rainstorms and tornadoes can become massive water damage threats to businesses during the often-stormy spring and summer months. Facilities plagued with such water woes this season must take quick action.
You won’t see it emphasized on the nightly news when a disaster hits, but water damage can represent potentially huge disasters for businesses and building owners and operators.
Water damage can mean much more to a business than just wet and soggy carpets. There are other common, more significant problems businesses face when water wreaks havoc on property, such as indoor air quality problems. Mold and mildew grow rapidly in damp, humid environments, leaving behind an unpleasant smell that permeates floors, walls and ceilings, even after the water has been removed. It also can create health problems for employees.
Damage to the building’s structure and foundation also can be an issue. When water sits inside a building for a period of time, the walls, ceilings and floors absorb the water, which threatens the overall structural integrity of the building and creates an unsafe environment. Total reconstruction of the building often becomes the only option.
Another major threat to business is the loss of expensive equipment, which often can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace.
To minimize water damage, there are two critical steps that need to be taken:
- Act fast to assess the situation; and
- Control the environment within the building.
Act Fast and Call an Expert
The absolute first step to take is fast action. Damage resulting from water and flooding is very progressive. The longer the water flows or wet conditions are allowed to exist, the greater the recovery problem becomes. A water damage consultant must come in immediately to survey the situation.
In a typical scenario, a team of water damage recovery professionals is dispatched to the site to perform a thorough inspection and fully determine the extent of the damage. A disaster reclamation partner also will develop an intense restoration plan and determine which items are worth restoring and which are better replaced.
You can’t always save everything by drying, but you can save a tremendous amount. It’s not unusual to save between 30 and 70 percent of the cost needed to reconstruct a facility.
Controlling the Interior Environment
Another key in limiting water damage is to quickly control three conditions of a building’s atmosphere: relative humidity, temperature and air circulation. Fast, effective action at this point will generally confine the damage to the area that was directly affected by the water damage event.
The most effective way to control these conditions in a high-moisture environment, especially a large facility, is to employ professional disaster drying that combines air movers with desiccant dehumidifiers.
Disaster drying often eliminates the need to rip out and replace walls, carpet, floor covering, hardwood floors and the building structure, which can be a huge expense. On top of that, you preclude the odors and staining caused by mold and mildew. These problems can come back to haunt you weeks later in a superficially dried building.
The Desiccant Way
When a facility has been severely water damaged, you need high volume desiccant dehumidifiers. Some larger desiccant dehumidifiers can pull 800 gallons of water out of a building in one day, compared to the typical small refrigeration units that remove about five gallons a day.
Many people are surprised that “solid” materials such as concrete and hard woods absorb moisture. But they do and rather quickly.
Getting the water back involves a phenomenon called migration. Migration is the tendency for water molecules to move toward a low vapor pressure. When a room is filled with very dry air, which has low vapor pressure, trapped water migrates outward and is evaporated from the surface by the dry air. As the air in the room fills with water vapor, we expel it. We then replace it with more dry air and the process continues.
It’s also essential to be sure the equipment being used is sized right. Inappropriately sized drying equipment can lead to insufficient drying and long-term problems with the building. Only large-volume dehumidifiers could provide the massive drying power needed to dry the space quickly and thoroughly.
Best Defense: A Disaster Recovery Plan
To minimize damage and costs, companies need to think ahead about what to do in a water damage event and contact a water damage expert to create a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP).
A DRP can limit the extent of water damage occurrences by defining and prioritizing the recovery of areas within a facility and stating immediate next steps. Proper planning and fast action are most certainly the best defense to preventing a catastrophic water damage event.
What You Need To Know About Black Water
If your home has experienced serious flooding, you’re probably facing extensive water damage. Flood water is considered black water, which means you will need to call in experienced remediation specialists in Lee's Summit, MO, who understand the best practices for restoration to handle the cleanup. This is because black water poses a serious threat.
What Is Black Water?
During a flood, sewers and toilets can overflow, pipes can burst and flood waters can pick up any number of contaminants as they flow through an area. This contamination with feces, urine and other dangerous pollutants are what make flood water “black.” Any stagnant water that has been around long enough to support the growth of harmful bacterial is also considered black.
Why Is It Dangerous?
Contaminated flood water carries dangerous bacteria that can cause humans and animals to become sick. This can occur from accidentally swallowing water or having it come into contact with small wounds or scratches. This includes the flood water saturating possessions after the bulk of the flooding has receded, which is why you should not attempt your own water damage cleanup. Diseases that can be caused by black water include the following:
What Should You Do About It?
Because flood water is considered black water, you shouldn’t attempt to clean your own home after a serious flood. Contact a professional remediation service in Lee's Summit, MO, to handle it for you. After its representatives have assessed the situation, they will begin the process of extracting the remaining water, disinfecting your home and drying it out with industrial equipment. It’s critical this process happens quickly to avoid irreversible damage and mold growth.
When you’re facing water damage after a flood, don’t endanger your family’s health by trying to clean it up yourself. Hire a trained professional who has the knowledge and specialized equipment to handle the damage safely and effectively.
Keeping Your Business Above Water After Water Damage
Flooding and water damage events at Lee's Summit commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Lee's Summit
SERVPRO of Lee's Summit specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Pet Storm Preparedness
Don't let your pet be unprepared.
Pet Storm tips from SERVPRO of Lee's Summit -
Did you know that almost all dog and cat owners don't have disaster plans for their pets? SERVPRO of Lee's Summit urges you to make sure this isn’t you.
You made a disaster kit for yourself and family, so make one for your pet. This includes medical records and medication, food and water with can openers, leashes, and carriers.
- Keep pets inside during a storm. Animals can become confused and run away from home during a disaster.
- Arrange a safe haven for you and your pets during evacuation. Do not leave pets behind.
- Store an emergency kit—with items such as pet food, bottled water, medical records, a blanket, a flashlight and leashes—as close to an exit as possible.
- Make sure all pets wear collars and tags.
- Have your pet microchipped in case of a lost collar.
- Place a rescue alert sticker to your front home to let rescuers know that there are pets inside.
- Choose a caregiver to take care of your pet in the event you are unable to.
SERVPRO of Lee's Summit 816-246-5566
What Can You Do to Fix Moldy Clothes?
Your dryer is your friend.
The reason clothing is so susceptible to mold growth is not just because of the mold-inviting circumstances within the laundry room. Generally, when it is worn, clothing collects sweat and skin cells, as well as dirt and other forms of moisture and organic material that mold loves to feast on. Then, it is placed in the laundry hamper and usually sits for days before it it is finally washed. This scenario is typical and may not result in a noticeable mold infestation, but should the soiled laundry be allowed to fester long enough, a mildew smell may be present, as well as visible signs of green, blue, gray, black, or sometimes even white mold on clothes.
Another scenario is becoming more common due to busy lifestyles and poor habits. The quick development of mold on clothes after washing may be surprising to some, but it is quite an ordinary occurrence for those with overwhelmed schedules or those who are vulnerable to procrastination because they often forget to remove clothing from the washing machine once the cycle is finished. As time passes, this leads to the rapid proliferation of mildew and mold on clothes after washing, due to the remaining moisture. Neglecting to put the wet clothes in the dryer for a few hours is not what makes mold grow. Neglecting the clothes in the washer for 6 hours or longer–sometimes a day or even a few days–is the problem. Before too long, a mildew smell will be detected in the washer and clothing. Some assume this is the residue of soap, and while that may be true to some extent, the fact of the matter is that most soaps contains lard and other organic (even synthetic) materials that mold can thrive off of. The smell is not necessarily the residue of soap, but an indication that mold is producing a secondary metabolite–the mildew smell–from consuming that soap.
What is a natural detergent to kill mold? Here is what you will need.
- Two 5 oz. organic castile soap bars (naturally-scented with lavender or peppermint is great but non-scented works just the same)
- 3 cups of washing soda (no, it’s not the same as baking soda)
- 2 cups of borax
- 30 drops of certified-pure lavender essential oil (optional but highly advisable for a mold killing laundry detergent)
Once you have all the materials, this is what to do.
- Cut the castile soap bars into small pieces or chunks. (This is crucial to avoid damaging the food processor.)
- Place the cut castile soap pieces or chunks in the food processor bowl. Pulse the soap on high until what remains are large crumbs.
- Add the washing soda to the food processor and pulse for 1 minute. (After pulsing, all the ingredients should be in powder form and well-combined. If not, try running the food processor again and then mixing with a spoon.)
- Empty the washing soda and castile soap into the storage container. Add the borax and blend well with a spoon.
- Add the essential oils of choice (optional but beneficial) and be sure to mix well.
Do not place this mixture into the drawer or dispenser, place it directly in with the laundry.
Methods for Removing Smoke Odor After a Fire
When you have a house fire in Lee's Summit, MO, it may seem like the smell of the smoke will never go away. Smoke particles can infiltrate every nook and cranny in your home. They can even imbed themselves into furniture, flooring and walls. Professional restoration experts, however, have methods for extracting smoke odor from your home as part of the restoration process. Here are some smoke cleaning processes that may prove effective in removing the stench from your home.
Air Filtration Devices
One of the first methods the experts are likely to try is an air filtration device. This air scrubber sucks in the air in your home and returns it clean and refreshed. The filters in this system are specially constructed to reduce smoke odor. Some common features of filtration devices that remove smoke odor include
• HEPA filters
• Activated carbon filters
• Treated filters that specifically target smoke
Another method of smoke cleaning involves the use of ozone machines. Rather than taking air in, these machines create and expel ozone, the same compound chemical created by a rainstorm that gives the outdoor air its fresh scent. The ozone flows throughout your home, oxidizing smoke residue and neutralizing its odor.
Thermal foggers create deodorizing droplets that permeate the air as well as porous materials in your home to get rid of smoke odor. Using heat and pressurization, the fogger creates tiny particles that can go wherever the smoke damage has gone. Your home is deodorized and cleansed of the stench of the fire.
One of the many advantages of hiring smoke cleaning professionals to remove odors from your home after a fire is that they are equipped with industrial machines that can be used to eliminate the smells. A process that would take weeks or even months with any device you could buy retail can be completed in a matter of hours or days with the advanced methods used by professionals.