Recent Posts

Avoid Mold Growth Due to Winter Flooding

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

When it's warm outside in Overland Park, KS, it's easy to forget about the risk of frozen pipes, but this is the best time of year to prevent winter flooding. Protect your pipes from freezing by learning to recognize the risks, taking preventative steps, and how to respond when pipes do freeze. Some of the most important reasons to prevent winter flooding are the risks of mold growth and property damage.


Freezing Water Expands.


If you've left a cold drink in the freezer a little too long, you've probably experienced the results of water expansion. No matter what type of container water is in, when it freezes water expands and there's a tremendous amount of pressure on the container. Even metal pipes can break, leading to flooded basements and the risk of standing water where bacteria can grow. Watch out for:

• Pipes exposed to extreme cold, such as outdoor hose bibs, water sprinkler lines, and swimming pool lines
• Water supply lines in unheated areas, such as the attic, basement, garage, kitchen, or crawl space
• Pipes running along exterior walls where there's little to no insulation


Keep Things Warm.


There are several things you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing. Once you've located problem areas, you can add insulation to the pipes. Protect them from cold weather as much as possible. For example, keep the garage doors closed to retain some of the home's warmth and open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to let warmer air circulate around the pipes. When the weather is very cold, let a bit of cold water run through the faucets. The running water will prevent the pipes from freezing. During especially severe cold snaps, leave the thermostat set to daytime temperatures at night and even when you're away from home.


Call a Professional. 


Finally, if pipes have frozen, contact a professional for help. While waiting for a response, leave faucets open to allow water to flow through the pipes and use a heating pad or space heater to warm the pipes. An immediate response is the best way to avoid flooding and mold growth.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.

5 Tips To Prevent Kitchen Fires

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

In 2016, 50% of house fires in the United States were caused by cooking. As a homeowner in Overland Park, KS, follow these five helpful tips to reduce the chance of fire damage in your kitchen:


1. Pay Attention. 


Be attentive to your cooking and do not leave it unattended, even for a few minutes. If you must leave the house, turn off the oven first. Regularly check on the food, especially if you are frying, broiling or grilling. If you are not in the kitchen, set a timer so you know when the food is done. Double check that appliances are turned off before heading to bed.


2. Reduce Fire Hazards.


Move anything that is flammable away from heat sources in the kitchen, especially those that generate open flames. This includes dish towels, pot holders, grocery bags and long sleeves or hair when cooking.


3. Clean Surfaces.


Over time, grease and oil residue build up. Regular cleaning is one of the best tips to prevent a grease fire. If a grease fire occurs, never put water on it. Rather, cut off the oxygen to the flames by covering it with a pot or pan.


4. Take Precautions.


The kitchen is no place for small children while you are cooking. Teach your kids to stay at least three feet away from the oven for safety.


5. Be Prepared.


Protect your home by installing a working smoke detector in or near your kitchen, and on all levels of your home. Check the batteries and test the device on a regular basis. Keep a fire extinguisher within reach to combat small fires in early stages.

Follow the above tips to decrease the risk of fire in your home. Sometimes even taking precautions cannot prevent a fire in Overland Park, KS. If this happens, immediately get your family to safety and call the fire department. After the blaze is out, contact a fire restoration specialist and your homeowner’s insurance agent to learn about your next steps to restore your fire damaged home.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.

What Happens During Mold Remediation?

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

Many people worry about black mold, but any mold inside of a building is bad news. Molds feed on organic building material, such as cellulose in wood and paper, and during the digestive process, some molds make odorous byproducts known as mycotoxins. Here are the basic steps for remediation so you know what to expect for your facility in Overland Park, KS.


Basic Steps for Mold Remediation.


1. Stop the source.

When you find black mold, or any other mold, stop the source of the moisture and call immediately to schedule remediation work. A professional restoration company will be available for your emergency any time of day or night.

2. Inspect.

Professionals may use detection equipment to help find mold or water damage that can't be seen with the naked eye. This ensures thorough cleaning to reduce spread of infestation.

3. Prevent the spread of spores.

Personal safety and prevention of additional contamination are key priorities for remediation specialists. Prepare for all ventilation and HVAC systems to be off during cleanup. Negative air pressure and barriers may be used to create a containment area that reduces the spread of spores during mold cleanup. HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers are also used to contain spores during the process.

4. Removal of contaminated materials and mold remediation.

When black mold digests organic food sources, those materials are destroyed. Specialists are able to assess which materials can be cleaned with biocides and fungicides, and which must be replaced.

5. Cleaning of personal items.

There are many different ways to clean items depending on the type of materials involved. Some paper documents are critical to your business, and there are several processes that can be used specifically for document drying. Specialists will determine if your documents can be restored and which method is best.

6. Restoration of Structure.

Repairs, such as replacing some drywall and painting, or full replacements of structural material will be completed.

When it comes to running a business, downtime during a major cleanup process costs you additional money in lost work. Counting on professionals for mold remediation can get you back to work faster.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.

The Best Tips for Water Mitigation

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

When you have a leaking water heater, it doesn’t take long for your Overland Park, KS, home to go from high and dry to a soggy mess. A failed water heater can come from many sources, but one thing is inevitable; once it goes south, it’s dragging your home down with it into the depths of a flooded house. So how do you handle the issues from a broken water heater?


Focus on Safety First.



Unless you’re an expert plumber, installation technician, and electrician, you likely won’t have the skills needed to repair your hot water heater yourself. Instead you’ll need help from an outside specialist, but while you wait for help there are a number of things you can do to prevent further damage and ensure safety when dealing with a leaking water heater.

• Shut off the water. Prevent further leakage by shutting off water to the damaged hot water heater.
• Shut off the gas and/or electricity. Whether your hot water heater is gas or electric, damage can lead to a dangerous situation with the source of power. Make sure to shut it off.
• Determine any electrical or other safety hazards. Water and home appliances often don’t mix, and it’s likely you have power outlets and/or appliances near your hot water heater. Make sure, before you enter the room, that there are no issues with standing water and exposed electrical outlets or cords. Use rubber gloves and make sure you’re grounded before touching any plugs or cords. Avoid stepping in standing water that may be in contact with electrical sources.
• Dry the area as thoroughly as possible. This should be done as quickly as possible to prevent water damage that can lead to waterlogged structures and black mold.
• Remove any waterlogged items. You may have to dispose of anything that’s been waterlogged enough to go sour or start to grow mildew or mold. One leaking water heater can lead to a host of other secondary damage issues.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.

Can Old Buildings Be Free of Pipe Problems?

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

If you own an older commercial building in Overland Park, KS, chances are you are aware of the increased risk your property has for problems. Old buildings are known for the following issues:

• Bad roofs
• Broken pipes
• Faulty electrical

Many buildings built between 1978 and 1995 were filled with polybutylene pipes. This plastic resin was thought to the be piping of the future, but today many experts believe it may be prone to burst pipes and other issues. If your building has these potentially failing pipes, can it be free of plumbing issues?


Regular Maintenance.



Regular maintenance of your plumbing can help you avoid water damage caused by broken pipes. Polybutylene piping becomes weaker when it is exposed to certain oxidants. The inner parts of the plumbing may become brittle and start to flake. If you do regular cleanings, you may be able to determine if your pipes are starting flake and weaken.


Annual Inspections.



If you have a rental property, you need to worry about your tenant's property as well as your own. You can hire a plumbing company to annually inspect your pipes. This inspection can help you locate hidden leaks and other potential problems before they grow into major floods. Having an annual inspection can also warn you if your system is starting to fail. If problems seem imminent, you may want to contact a commercial water damage restoration team for help.


Proactive Replacements.



You can ensure your building is free of major flooding caused by faulty plumbing by replacing the pipes. This can be a huge undertaking, but it may save you a future headache. If a pipe does burst, you may have to take care of more damage than if you simply replace the pipes now.

Polybutylene piping can last for a long time in your old commercial building or fail tomorrow. With this uncertainty, you need to be ready for anything and do what you can to take care of your plumbing.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.

Commercial Storm Insurance Coverage

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial property insurance is a vital resource for protecting your Overland Park, KS, business from serious financial losses. A comprehensive plan is generally best, but does it provide all the coverage you need? If you live in an area where storms are an issue, you may want to consider the value of commercial storm insurance.


What Does Storm Coverage Pay For?


Some commercial insurance coverage provides financial compensation for damages caused by storms. There are some exceptions to this type of protection, however. Some of the most common areas in question include:

• Normal wear and tear. Storm coverage isn't likely to cover damages caused by aging or heavy use. You'll need to show that damage was the direct result of the storm. This goes for your roof and other systems throughout the building.
• Contents of the building. Your business equipment, computers, inventory, and even furnishings are usually covered. Before a storm hits, be sure the coverage is high enough in case of a total loss. Most insurance policies place a specific dollar amount for the contents coverage.
• Cleanup and restoration. Some insurance companies offer a dollar amount for the value of your business, but some pay a percentage only after you have paid a certain out-of-pocket amount. Discuss this with your storm insurance provider. Whether you're facing repairs or complete rebuilding, you may find that restoration professionals are a valuable resource.
• Trees and wind-carried debris. Heavy winds can cause a lot of damage, whether it's from a tree dropped onto your roof or a swimming pool from a neighborhood near your building. The insurance coverage may pay for the cost of removal and any damage, but only if there's a direct relationship between the storm and the damage.


What Does Your Plan Cover?


Do you know what is covered by your storm insurance? If not, you should talk with your insurance provider before hurricane and storm season settles in. As the storm passes and summer works its way closer, many neighborhoods in Overland Park, KS, will feel the effects of heavy weather. Make sure your business is protected with the right coverage.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.

Why Choose a Water Mitigation Company?

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Once you have made arrangements for someone to come and begin the water damage and the flood damage mitigation, a high-speed pumping system will be set up to remove the standing water to the outside or to a tank truck. It won't take very long to remove water with this system, probably just a few years.

When all of the standing water has been removed, a drying process will begin by using large industrial fans to create air movement over the entire area that was flooded. This is also a part of water cleanup process and it might take three or four days for it to be completed. When the drying process has been completed by the air movement then the fans are removed and the next part of the water cleanup can continue.

SERVPRO of Leawood / Overland Park will be there to help you clean up the mess of water damage.

Steps To Take Following a Commercial Building Fire

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

A house fire can be an upsetting experience in Overland Park, KS. Beyond losing precious items, the aftermath of a blazing fire can leave you unsettled and frightened. Once the fire is out, you may immediately think about calling commercial fire restoration and cleanup services, but before you do, consider these steps.

1. Contact your insurance company and request a meeting. If possible, you may want an adjustor on site during the first walkthrough. If the adjustor cannot visit the site immediately, take pictures.

2. Ask fire officials when it is safe to re-enter the building. The fire may be extinguished, but without knowing the amount of destruction to the structure, you may not be aware of where the safety zone is.

3. Request a copy of the fire report from the fire department. Not only can it have pertinent information for your insurance claim, but it may also have information to help you identify what data is still missing and possibly necessary for fire restoration specialists.

4. To prevent possible looting, or additional vandal destruction, secure the building. Most fire insurance specialists can offer information on how best to protect the structure.

5. Contact a commercial fire cleanup and restoration crew to assess the damage. Professional cleaners can help with water, soot, and smoke cleaning, as well as sanitizing the damaged areas.

6. If emergency personnel turned the electricity off, empty refrigerators and freezers. After emptying them, leave the doors open for air circulation.

7. If water was used to put out the flames, wiring might be damaged. Heat and water may also have damaged appliances. Before turning on lights, appliances, or HVAC systems, check with repair services.

8. If the damage is extensive, contact utility companies regarding service. Suspending utilities during restoration is often necessary.

Fire restoration can be a big operation whether it involves minor damage or extensive rebuilding. By following the above steps, you may find the process less stressful or overwhelming. You can also protect your building from additional damage.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.

What Do You Need to Do When You Have a Mold Emergency

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Mold damage can sneak up on you. Sure, your Overland Park, KS, home may show some early signs of mold growth, but as someone unfamiliar with this fungus, you may miss the initial clues. By the time you realize what you’re dealing with, the fungus may have spread to large portions of your house. Whether you find mildew or black mold growing in your residential space, you need to take quick action to ensure this mold emergency is taken care of.

Calling in a local remediation team should be your first step. These experts can help you make sure everything is done correctly. In case they can't get there right away, keep these tips in mind to address your mold emergency immediately.

• Stop airflow. Mold spores can hitch a ride in the air to get to new parts of your house. When you notice a patch of black mold, you may need to turn off your HVAC unit to make sure the spores can’t spread to new areas.
• Turn off water. A moisture problem may be the cause of your sudden catastrophe. If you want to get rid of the fungus, you need to cut off the water supply. If you have a leaky fixture or a burst pipe, you need to turn off your home’s water until the damage can be assessed.
• Schedule an appointment. Plumbers and mold cleanup crews may have busy schedules. Even if no one can make it out to your home today, you still want to get an appointment on the books. Call the professionals you need for your emergency and make an appointment as soon as possible.

Black mold can be a major problem for your Overland Park, KS, home. Depending on when you find this growth, you may already be in the throes of an emergency. Acting quickly can help you clean up your house and make it livable again.

How To Select the Best Fire Extinguisher for Your Home

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Not all fire extinguishers are created equal. When shopping for one for your home, it’s important that you understand the differences between each type of fire extinguisher, what they’re used for and how to select the right one for your home. There are a few factors to consider before making your purchase:

• Size
• Classification
• Use


Size


There are four different sizes for extinguishers used to fight home fires: 10-pound, five-pound, two-pound and stove-top. The 10-pound extinguisher is best for garages, sheds and outbuildings in which a fire might have the potential to grow without being noticed.

A five-pound extinguisher is best for in the home and for combatting kitchen fires and electrical fires. If you want to be able to combat a home fire, the five-pound fire extinguisher is ideal.

A two-pound extinguisher is best for on-the-go, such as in a vehicle. These models are typically disposable and come with mounts to keep them from rolling around in the trunk.

Stove-top extinguishers are exactly what they sound like—extinguishers used to fight stove fires. They’re lightweight and can be mounted directly on the range hood for easy access.


Classification


Home extinguishers are labeled as either A, B or C. Models with an “A” are effective on ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood and cloth. Those with a “B” are ideal for flammable liquids such as oil or grease. Extinguishers with a “C” can be safely used on live electricity.


Use


Finally, you want to consider ease of use. An extinguisher won’t do you any good if you do not know how to use it or if you do not have the capacity to operate it. When shopping around, ask a technician for a demonstration or, at the very least, step-by-step instructions.

A fire extinguisher needs to be a part of your fire preparedness plan. Talk to your local Overland Park, KS, fire remediation team about selecting the best model for you and your home.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.