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3 Things to Remember About Mold Testing and Cleanup

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Close-up of person hand wearing gloves measuring wetness of a moldy wall Mold testing in Leawood, KS

3 Things to Remember About Mold Testing and Cleanup

Mold is a common problem for many homeowners in Leawood, KS. It can sometimes be difficult to remove once it has begun to spread, so it is important to catch it quickly. One way to do this is through mold testing. If you do not know much about this process, then you may find the following information helpful.

1. When Should You Have Your Home Tested for Mold?

While mold testing can be an important step in locating mold, you may not know when to have it done. If the first sign of mold that you notice is a visible growth, then testing is probably not necessary. However, sometimes mold is more difficult to find. If you notice a musty odor but cannot locate its source, this is a good time to have testing done. You may also need to have it performed if you have experienced water damage since this can often lead to fungus growth.

2. Can You Use a Home Testing Kit?

There are a wide variety of tests you can purchase to do on your own, but a mold kit will not usually yield any valuable results. The problem here is that mold spores are present in most environments, so a home kit can give a positive result even without any significant mold growth. If you suspect that you have a problem, it is a better idea to hire an experienced professional to test for you.

3. What Should You Do If You Find Mold?

If you do discover that there is a mold growth in your house, then you might decide to try to clean it on your own. This is a bad idea, however, since DIY mold removal can sometimes result in accidental spreading of spores. This is another task best left to the professionals.
You might think it is easier to look for and remove mold by yourself, but you will likely not be successful. Instead, hire a mold remediation company to perform mold testing and any necessary cleanup and repairs.

The Common Small Business Claim That Can Devastate Your Property

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Worn out pipes Outdated or worn out pipes can cause pipes to break

As a business owner, it's often a priority to keep your business structurally sound in order to prevent the need for a small business claim. However, many business owners in Prairie Village, KS, are unaware of one of the most common causes of insurance claims: broken pipes.

What Causes Broken Pipes?

There are a variety of reasons that a pipe can break or burst. However, some of the most common reasons for a pipe break include:

  • Water freezing in the pipes
  • Tree roots growing through pipes
  • Outdated or worn out pipes


How Are Broken Pipes Fixed?

After the cause of your broken pipe has been identified, one of the first steps in having your pipes fixed is making a small business claim. If a pipe is made of polybutylene, a material that is no longer used in the construction of pipes, then replacement is generally the best option. However, if frozen water or tree roots cause a pipe to burst, then it may be possible to only replace a small portion of the pipes. During this process, it's also often useful to contact water damage restoration specialists who can mitigate any flood damage that occurs as a result of the broken pipe.

Can You Prevent Your Pipes From Breaking?

Preventing an issue with your property's pipes be valuable and can save you a great deal of time and money. Having regular maintenance on your building's pipes is one of the most effective ways to prevent a broken pipe. Regular maintenance will allow a plumber to notice minor signs of a problem before a major issue occurs. Throughout the year, taking the time to check for any signs of water trouble can also be helpful.

Knowing a common cause of a small business claim can be useful to you as a business owner. To avoid making an insurance claim for a broken pipe, it can be wise to understand the causes of broken pipes, how pipes are fixed and what steps you can take to prevent a pipe break.

3 Easy Ways to Save Money on Home Maintenance Costs

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Someone's hand wearing a glove cleaning a gutter and has dirt with leaves on its hand Regular cleaning of your home’s gutters can help prevent devastating damage to your home.

Areas to Focus on To Save You Money Fast

Maintaining your home is often regarded as one of those tedious tasks that is easy to push to the side. However, as many homeowners have learned the hard way, every dollar spent on home maintenance has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars in total maintenance cost down the line. Here’s a couple of areas to focus on to save you money fast:


Look for Leaks


Water leaks are usually simple to fix but can easily lead to disastrous results if left unattended for too long. Mold and mildew can take root and grow in wet spots in your home and can be very expensive to remove. Get ahead of mold by conducting a sweep of your home and checking all plumbing for leaks. Walk through your residence and inspect for active dripping or water stains on ceilings and walls.

It is also important to check your roof after any major weather event to make sure no leaks have sprung. In the emergency event of major roof damage, have the contact information of a roof tarping specialist ready to mitigate further damage. This is a maintenance cost worth investing in.


Assess Your HVAC System


Having a well-maintained HVAC system can save you a lot of money in the long run. Heating and cooling systems that are in tip top shape run at peak efficiency, ensuring that you get the best value out of your energy costs. Routine monthly inspection of air filters should become part of your facility management plan for your home. Performing frequent maintenance on heating and cooling systems will help prolong the lifespan of your HVAC system.


Check the Gutters


Regular cleaning of your home’s gutters can help prevent devastating damage to your home. Gutters can become clogged with leaves, branches and other debris which could lead to wood rot, pest infestations and leaks. These costs can pile up quickly and can be avoided by annual maintenance of your gutters and downspouts.

Regular maintenance may not be the most enjoyable part of being a homeowner in Overland Park, KS, but knowing that putting couple of extra dollars towards maintenance cost can save you thousands in remediation.

First Aid for Commercial Fire Burn Victims

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

First aid kit, green with white letters First aid for minor burns

Experiencing a fire in the workplace or other commercial building in Overland Park, KS, can be traumatic, both physically and emotionally. While trying to protect property from fire damage, or simply while trying to leave the building, occupants can easily suffer burns or other injuries. Burns are painful and can be extremely dangerous, so proper and immediate treatment is imperative.

Determining Burn Severity

Once help arrives, medics will look to apply first aid to those with the most severe injuries first. There are four categories ranked by severity that determine the necessary burn first aid course of treatment:

First-degree: superficial burns similar to a sunburn that only affects the topmost layers of skin
Second-degree: deeper burns that cause blisters, have a shiny red appearance, are swollen, and are painful to the touch
Third-degree: less painful because it damages nerve endings, this burn will appear black, brown, white, or yellow
Fourth-degree: potentially life threatening because the burn has penetrated through all layers of skin and damaged bones, muscles, and tendons

Treating Dangerous Burns

Those suffering from the most severe burns could stop breathing. If this happens, find someone who knows CPR to help the victim. Others may go into shock, need protection from extreme cold, or may be wearing restrictive items such as jewelry or belts. Always keep burn victims safe from further harm, remove anything restrictive, and keep their injuries elevated, clean, and cool. Ensure treatments are not too cold, as the burn area will be susceptible to hypothermia.

Additional Treatment Options

Fire damage to the skin should always be treated quickly and properly even in less severe cases due to the risk of infection. For first- and second-degree burns, apply a cool wet compress to the area. If aloe and bandages are available, apply those as well, and always take care to not break any blisters. Quick, thoughtful action immediately following a fire will help give all burn victims the best possible chance to recover from the incident.

Minimizing the Risks of Flooding at Work

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

The side of a home, the cutter drain with an extension to avoid water harming the home, with the words "avoid flooding" Make sure the property has functional downspouts that divert the water far from the foundation of your building

Running a business brings many challenging. Managing employees, keeping customers happy and building an economically sustainable building is always on your mind. Environmental damage to your Leawood, KS, building could be devastating. The repair and cleanup costs alone could be detrimental. Loss of work time could put you behind the competition. With a proactive attitude, you can reduce the flood damage in your workplace.

Check Out Waterproof Materials

Thanks to advances in building materials, there are several options you can explore to repel or resist water. These efforts may not completely keep an area dry, but they can be effective in helping you salvage important equipment, tools and structural components. Some items to consider include:

  • Putting a layer of waterproof veneer on the walls.
  • Add waterproofing to the floors.
  • Waterproof furniture

Wise Selection

Lowering your risk for flood damage may start before you even open the doors of your company. Carefully choose a location for your building. By consulting engineers and other experts, you can review areas prone to floods and choose to build elsewhere. Constructing on higher ground should put you in much safer territory.

Raise Them Up

If you have experienced water issues or flooding at work before, avoid additional damage by raising bookshelves, cabinets and equipment off the ground. Often, water comes in through the floor, especially on ground or sub-ground levels.

Proper Drainage

Storm damage can be severe after heavy rainfall, especially if your building is ill-prepared to send water away. Make sure the property has functional rain gutters and downspouts that divert the water far from the foundation of your building. Check these areas regularly, especially immediately following a storm.
Though you can have peace of mind to know that qualified flood remediation specialists can help you recover from even the worst flooding, you want to avoid as much damage as possible. Be responsible and use these strategies in your emergency planning.

Minimizing Water Heater Leaking

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Open smoke detector with water damage and water dripping from the bottom Leaking water heater in Prairie Village, KS

Water damage can come from a myriad of sources, but few are as costly as a leaking water heater. In addition to the cleaning and possible restoration of your home and belongings, the broken water heater in and of itself is quite expensive to fix, replace, and install. Not all water heaters are fixable, but those that are have the potential to be repaired during the professional water mitigation process in Prairie Village, KS.

Causes of Water Heater Leaking

There are a number of factors that can contribute to water damage and mold growth as a result of a leaking water heater. The most common reasons include:

  • Loose drain valve: these are often slow leaks and will only create more serious problems when left unchecked for an extended period of time
  • Too much pressure in the tank: when the water heater is set at too high a temperature, if water flow into the tank is set at too high a pressure, or if the pressure relief valve is defective, the tank will begin to leak in order to relieve pressure
  • Tank is too old: corrosion and rust naturally occur in tanks, so water will inevitably leak over time

Mitigating Water Damage

The only way to truly prevent water damage due to a leaking water heater is to keep close watch over the area on a regular basis. Ensure valves are secure, but not too tight as this will also cause a breakage and leakage. Know the age of your tank, as well as its life expectancy, and plan your finances accordingly in order to replace the tank before a problem occurs. Finally, always follow the tank’s recommended guidelines on water temperature and pressure, as undue force will greatly reduce the life of the tank. A broken water heater can be detrimental to your home and the space in which it occupies, so working with water mitigation professionals is an ideal way to keep your home safe from water and mold damage.

5 Tips for Preventing Mold

8/2/2019 (Permalink)

A good ventilation system can prevent mold growth in your building

5 Tips for Preventing Mold

When it comes to mold growth in Prairie Village, KS, even your business may be at risk. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help mitigate the problem.

1. Fix Water Damage ASAP

Mold spore growth most often occurs in areas of darkness and humidity. This means that areas affected by water damage are the most susceptible. It's best to repair any such places as quickly as possible.

2. Dry Damp Areas Thoroughly

If you have areas of dampness or flooding in your business, whether due to a storm or a broken pipe, then it's best to dry the area as thoroughly as possible. This can help prevent the creation of a spore growth habitat, as spores tend to dislike dry areas. You may also want to use a dehumidifier.

3. Use Proper Ventilation

One step you can take to help prevent mold growth, is having a ventilation system installed in your building. This can help prevent high humidity in the space, which in turn can help discourage the growth of mold spores.

4. Keep Things Clean

Another way you could help mitigate potential mold problems, is to keep your business clean. Doing so may allow you to spot potential problem areas, and take appropriate measures before a mold problem occurs.

5. Call an Expert

If you believe you may have mold on your business property, it's best to contact a professional remediation service. These professionals have the equipment necessary remove the mold before it spreads further.
If you're hoping to prevent mold growth on your business property there are a few steps you may be able to take. Keep your business dry, fix any water problems you may have as quickly as you can, use a proper ventilation system in the building, and do your best to keep the area clean. If you do believe you may have found mold it's always best contact professional.

What Happens When Lightning Strikes Your Home

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning is a part of nature and beyond your control

What Happens When Lightning Strikes Your Home

Between 2007 and 2011, the National Fire Protection Association estimates that U.S. local fire departments responded to an average of 22,600 house fires caused by lightning. During these years, lightning fire caused an estimated $451 million in direct property damage. Only about 18% of these fires occurred in homes but this accounted for 70% of the total property damage. There is always a chance that when a storm comes through your area, damage to your home can result. Effects of a strike could cause both a power surge and fire.

Power Surge

A power surge from a lightning strike occurs when the energy courses through the home’s wiring system. The upwelling of force can also affect the plumbing. The current runs throughout the house causing damage to electronics such as TVs, computers and possibly your alarm and Wi-Fi systems.

Fire

A lightning fire is a definite possibility. The strike will usually pass through the roof and into the attic causing the insulation and the structure to burst into flames. There is also a chance that a power surge going through the wiring in your walls can cause a spark which will turn to fire. If you see fire or smell smoke, leave the house immediately. Call 911 and let the fire department in Overland Park, KS, do a check of the property.
Lightning is a part of nature and beyond your control. However, protecting your home and your family from a lightning fire is doable. As a preventive measure, when a storm rolls through, protect your valuable electronics by unplugging everything which could be affected. Also, you can use lightning rods as a means of shielding the home. The rod is attached to the highest point of the house and conducting wire leads from the rod to the ground directing the hit away from the structure. Although you cannot totally prevent a lightning fire from occurring, be proactive in speaking with a fire restoration specialist.

Steps To Take Following a Commercial Building Fire

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial fire damage can be devastating. Follow these steps for cleanup and restoration.

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.

8 Steps to Follow After a Commercial Building Fire

  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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. If emergency personnel turned the electricity off, empty refrigerators and freezers. After emptying them, leave the doors open for air circulation. 
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

How To Make a Flood Damage Claim

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Severe storm damage to a home in Prairie Village, KS

How to File a Flood Claim With Your Insurance Company

A severe storm can cause a lot of damage. Trees can fall, debris can wreak havoc and the ground can become saturated quickly. If your home in Prairie Village, KS, floods as the result of a storm, having flood insurance can help cover the cost of storm restoration services. The following tips can help you file a flood claim with your insurance company so that you don't have to pay remediation expenses out of pocket.

Make Important Calls

The first thing you need to do is to call everyone who may need to be involved in resolving the flooding problem:

  • Government office in charge of city sewer system
  • Insurance company
  • Certified flood cleanup professionals

When a large portion of your area floods, it can affect the city's sewer lines, and officials need to know if you are experiencing any problems. Notifying your insurance carrier prompts an adjuster to visit your home and analyze the damage listed on your insurance claim. Arranging for technicians to arrive as soon as possible helps you prevent further water damage to your home.

Document Damage

To file a successful flood claim, you need proof of all the damage the flooding causes. Don't wait until your adjuster to arrives to document it. Take pictures and video so that you have evidence of the initial state of your home after the flood. After cleanup technicians arrive and pump the excess water out of your home, take more pictures of the water damage and make an itemized list of all the items that must be restored or replaced. Having information ready when the adjuster arrives can help you make a more detailed claim.
If the area where your home is located floods, you may not be able to avoid water damage. Knowing whom to call and the immediate steps to take can help you file a successful flood claim.