How Accurate are Mold Testing Kits?
Mold Testing Kits: How Reliable Are They?
If you are curious whether mold is growing in your home, you may be considering a DIY mold test. It is possible to predict the outcome of one of these consumer mold tests without acquiring the kit or knowing anything about conditions in your residence. Mold spores are present in every home. This is why you should hire a certified environmental hygienist to perform mold testing and identify which type of mold is present in your home, as well as any risks.
• Home testing kits pick up various traces of mold present in your home. These kits are not as accurate as trained mold testers and may not reveal the extent of mold contamination.
• The presence of airborne mold particles is not as serious as actively growing mold colonies. Mold testing kits can return positive results for types of mold that are not at problematic levels or points in the growth cycle.
• The results of a DIY test are not as trustworthy as a professional mold test. Breathe easier knowing that the results of a professional test are more accurate than a home mold kit. Insurance companies also prefer to work with certified professionals.
• An environmental hygienist can give you definitive answers regarding mold in your home. A DIY test may heighten concerns without providing the information you need to resolve the issue. A hygienist can recommend containment and cleanup strategies.
Rather than wasting time and money on DIY testing, contact a certified mold remediation service in Prairie Village, KS. Experts can administer precise mold testing, provide detailed analysis, and identify the causes and effective cleanup methods. A consumer mold kit may seem more affordable in the short run, but you are likely to receive results that don't provide you with a clear plan of action and may end up costing more than an accurate professional diagnosis in the long run.
The Best Tips for Water Mitigation
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 to repair your hot water heater. 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 power source. 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.
3 Tips To Reduce the Risk of a Kitchen Fire
Kitchen fire in Leawood, KS
Three Tips That Will Help You Avoid A Fire While Cooking
Kitchen fires are the most common cause of house fires. Here are three helpful tips to help homeowners and residents avoid starting a fire while cooking and minimize the risks associated with kitchen appliances such as the cooktop or range in a home kitchen located in Leawood, KS.
1. Always Monitor Cooking Food
It is easy to lose track of time when you step away from the stove or oven. For this reason, it is advisable to make an effort to stay in the kitchen or delegate this responsibility the entire time you are cooking over an open flame. If you must leave the room, always set a timer that you can hear anywhere, and be sure to check back frequently.
2. Be Careful With Hot Oil
One of the most damaging types of kitchen fires is a grease fire. Many types of hot cooking oil can catch fire independently between 750 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit with a flashpoint around 600 degrees. One of the most important tips for putting out grease fires is to try dousing these extra-hot blazes with baking soda or salt or depriving the flames of oxygen with a metal pan or lid rather than using an extinguisher, which may cause the fire to spread.
3. Check Cooktops and Ranges
Homeowners should make sure that no combustibles such as cookbooks, loose-leaf printed recipes, or towels are stored too close to the stove. If flames shoot up or start to spread, the severity of fire damage will rapidly escalate if flammable items are nearby.
These tips address the leading causes of kitchen fires. Always practice fire safety by avoiding overloading circuits and identifying exposed wiring that could start an electrical fire at a home in Leawood, KS. Taking fire safety precautions has the potential to reduce personal safety risks and minimize the severity of fire damage.
Do You Need Business Interruption Insurance?
Business interruption insurance protects a temporarily closed business.
As a business owner, you know that insurance can save you in extreme circumstances. Business interruption insurance is no different. It encompasses the costs associated with keeping your business afloat when trying to rebuild after an unexpected event. Find out if you need this type of insurance in Prairie Village, KS.
What Is Business Interruption Insurance?
Business interruption insurance protects a temporarily closed business. Most commercial property owners know that property insurance is a necessity, but have you considered the potential costs of a temporary shutdown? Also known as business income insurance, this type of coverage doesn't deal with the physical rebuild of your business. For this, you need a trustworthy damage remediation team.
However, it does help with inevitable financial issues to keep you afloat. Being forced to close due to a disaster event can impact the costs associated with running a company. Some of the aspects that business income insurance can help with include:
- Employee pay
- Property taxes
- Property rental fees
- Temporary relocation fees
- Training on new equipment
- Lost income
If your business comes to a halt, you won't be able to bring in as much income, if any. Based on your net income in previous months, this coverage can reimburse you, among other things.
What Should You Consider When Purchasing?
As with all insurance, there are aspects to consider before purchase. Before signing up, you should assess:
- Budget constraints
- Natural disaster probability
- Age and reliability of structures
- Ability to operate without a physical location
Of course, with digital innovations, some businesses can survive a bit better by moving things online. You need to consider how well your business can handle a disaster, and adjust accordingly.
How Much Does It Cost?
The price of business income insurance will vary depending on a variety of factors. Some of these are:
- Size of business
- Industry-related risks
- Coverage limit selected
You can determine how much coverage you would need in the event of needing to close for a while. Have this at the ready when selecting business interruption insurance. However, this insurance can be a saving grace when times get tough.
Mold Inspection Before Buying a Building
Conducting a mold inspection before purchasing a building can save you a lot of money in repairs later on.
Before purchasing a building, buyers typically have it inspected. This alerts the buyer of any structural damage or other problems that can impact the decision to buy the property or the price they are willing to pay. During this process, a mold inspection can be conducted to determine if the building has a mold problem.
Where to Look
Mold can be found in many different locations within a building:
- Air ducts or HVAC systems
- Basements or other areas that have experienced flooding
- Ceiling tiles
- Near leaking pipes
While the buyer may be able to spot visible mold on their own, a professional building inspector will be able to identify more subtle signs and check the area more thoroughly.
Some buildings have a higher risk of mold presence than others. If the building you are considering purchasing has a high risk of mold, you should definitely have a mold inspection performed before buying it.
Mold grows in warm, moist environments. Buildings that have experienced flooding, leaking pipes or sewage backup should be considered high risk. Humidity should also be considered. Very humid climates allow moisture to accumulate in buildings, leading to mold growth. When deciding if you want the building inspector to check from mold, keep these high-risk factors in mind.
A building with a mold problem poses significant risks that must be addressed immediately. Mold can damage building materials, such as wood, and threaten the structural integrity of the building. If this is the case, a mold remediation service in Leawood, KS, should remove the mold and repair any damage immediately. They should also treat the area with a disinfectant to prevent the spread of toxins.
Conducting a mold inspection before purchasing a building can save you a lot of money in repairs later on. Discovering a mold problem early helps ensure the safety of the building and its inhabitants.
How To Prepare for an Insurance Adjuster's Visit
The Insurance Adjuster works closely with our team from start to finish
When a homeowner suffers from devastating damage to their property, there are many issues to handle. During the process, a home adjuster must assess the damage to determine the value of the destruction. The assessment includes the costs of repair and cleanup, as well as any necessary restoration. To make the process go smoother, there are some valuable preparations to consider.
What Preparations Are Important Before the Adjuster Arrives?
Call your insurance agent as soon as possible after the event to make sure the damage is covered under your homeowner's policy. There may be an insurance claim filing deadline, so ask about that as well. Many other preparations are important to receive a fast response.
Make a list of all damaged and destroyed belongings and furniture. If possible, include the approximate age of each item and the cost to replace it. Take pictures of the damage as well, because it's important for the home adjuster to review the damage at the time of the catastrophe.
If the house is safe to occupy, inspect the structure thoroughly. Look for cracks in the drywall and ceiling, and make a note of each damaged structure.
Before you submit the damage list and any receipts, make a copy for your records.
Request repair bids from licensed contractors in Overland Park, KS. These bids will speed up the claims process.
To protect your home from additional destruction, remove damaged furniture from the house. Keep it in the garage or outside, however, because the adjuster will need to examine it. If the damage is extensive, call an emergency restoration service right away.
It's critical to remember that flood damage is excluded under a general homeowner's policy. The federal government offers a separate policy for flood insurance claims.
The more preparations you take before the home adjuster arrives, the quicker your claim will be processed. This will help you get your house back to its original condition as soon as possible.
5 Reasons You Might Have Mold
Mold grows in unvented bathrooms, around leaky pipes, and underneath sinks with damaged seals.
Don't Let Black Mold Invade Your Home
Mold is a persistent organism that can grow just about anywhere in your Leawood, KS, home. Black mold is much more likely to appear in areas that come into frequent contact with water, or places that have just suffered some form of water damage. If you're unsure what exactly is causing your mold problem, you might want to look into the following possible causes.
1. Your Home's Humidity Is too High.
Higher humidity levels can lead to a buildup of condensation, that eventually causes mold growth. This additional moisture in the air can become trapped in your carpeting, walls, ceilings and other locations. You can prevent this issue by ventilating your home properly or investing in a dehumidifier.
2. You Left Damp Items Inside.
Chances are, you've forgotten to hang up a load of laundry after washing at least once or twice. While this is an easy mistake, it can have potentially disastrous consequences. Black mold only needs about 24 hours to begin growing, meaning that the pile of damp clothes you left out for a day or two could be the root of your issue.
3. Your Roof Is Leaking.
Smaller leaks are easily overlooked, but that doesn't mean that they can't wreck havoc on your home. The water that seeps in through the leak can become trapped in your ceiling or attic, eventually resulting in a moisture problem that causes unwanted mold growth.
4. You Recently Suffered a Home Flood.
Flooding, unfortunately, coincides with plenty of secondary damage. You might think that your problems are over after you clean up the water, but the mold issues have only just begun. It's a good idea to contact mold cleanup professionals, as well as flood remediation experts, whenever your home suffers extreme water damage.
5. You Have a Leaky Pipe.
Along with driving your water bill through the roof, a leaky pipe can cause disastrous amounts of mold damage. It doesn't take a ton of additional moisture to invite mold growth, so that persistent drip might be more dangerous than you think.
Don't let black mold invade your home. Contact mold remediation professionals immediately after you discover the problem.
How To Replace a Toilet
Remove the old toilet.
How To Replace a Faulty Toilet
If you find you have a leaking toilet, it is best to fix it as soon as possible to avoid further damage. You may wonder how to get your business in Prairie Village, KS, back to normal with minimal impact on your bottom line. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to easily replace a faulty toilet.
1. Turn Off the Water
Be sure to turn off the water before beginning any work. The shutoff valve is usually located on the floor or wall behind the toilet. Turning this knob in a clockwise direction will stop the flow of water coming into the tank.
2. Soak Up the Water
Before removing the leaking toilet, get rid of the water by flushing and holding down the handle until no more water is passing through the bowl. Use a cup to dip out any water that is pooled in the old toilet and then soak up any remaining water with a sponge.
3. Remove the Old Toilet
Loosen the compression nut attached to the shutoff valve and then disconnect the water supply tube. Remove the caps and nuts from the closet bolts. Once the toilet has been set free, gently rock it back and forth to release any seals and then pull up on the bowl.
4. Install the New Toilet
Insert a new wax gasket over the closet flange. Carefully set the new toilet over the new gaskets while holding onto the seat hinges. Use the closet bolts to help guide the toilet into the right place. Push down on the toilet while tightening the bolts. Your toilet repair will be done once you replace the bolt caps, reattach the supply hose, and turn the water back on.
A leaking toilet can be more than a nuisance. Over time, it can cause water damage that can ruin floors or seep into subfloors, baseboards, or walls. If you have experienced water damage, you can hire a professional water remediation company to disinfect and restore your building to its previous condition.
How To Stay Safe During a Flood
Plan ahead by assembling a portable flood preparedness kit
Flood Safety Guidelines
Flooding poses risks to residents of Overland Park, KS, as well as first responders. The following flood safety guidelines are helpful when preparing for flood conditions.
Follow Evacuation Orders
Residents should stay apprised of flooding risks and prepare to evacuate as soon as an order is issued. Plan ahead by assembling a portable flood preparedness kit that includes the following items:
- First aid kit
- Non-perishable food
- Flashlights and batteries
- Sleeping bags
- Jumper cables
If a homeowner plans to stay at home, he or she should gather most of these items and store a home preparedness kit above the anticipated flood level. Stock up on enough food and potable water for several days.
Flood water may contain chemicals, heavy metals and pathogens. People should avoid drinking or making direct contact with this water. One of the most essential flood safety measures involves exercising caution near moving water. A person can easily lose his or her footing in six inches of moving water and vehicles may float in 12 inches of water.
Tips for First Responders
First responders should take additional precautions. Here are three of the best safety tips:
- Avoid electrical components
- Get immunized
- Wear personal protective equipment
Responders can reduce electrocution risks by avoiding downed power lines and making sure that the electricity has been shut off in any flooded structures they enter. Exposure to disease is another preventable risk. The Center for Disease Control recommends a tetanus booster for all disaster relief workers and the Hepatitis B vaccine for medical care providers. Relief workers should wear insulated and watertight electrical hazard boots, hip waders, waterproof work gloves, and eye protection. Respirators may also be necessary.
These flood safety suggestions can help to keep residents and first responders safe. Homeowners should contact a damage mitigation and restoration company if flood waters breach residences located in Overland Park, KS.
3 Steps To Keep Your Pet Safe In a Fire
Notify rescuers that you have pets inside your home with window clings.
Three Ways To Keep Your Pets Safe In the Event of a Fire
In emergencies, pets rely on their owners to protect them from harm. Taking preventative measures and coming up with a pet preparation plan will help pet owners in a fire. Be prepared for a fire emergency at your Prairie Village, KS, home and keep your pets safe by following the steps below.
1. Include Pets In Your Evacuation Plan
When making a plan for you to leave your home in the case of a fire, make sure your pets are a part of the evacuation. Decide who in your household is going to retrieve your pet, and practice escaping with your animals. Determine in advance where they will stay while you have professionals restore your home after the fire.
2. Ensure Pets Are Located In a Fire Emergency
Keep pets near an accessible entryway when you are not home. This will help firefighters locate your pet in the event of a rescue. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification tags and that a leash is nearby, further helping officials safely remove your pet from a fire.
Additionally, you can notify rescuers that you have pets inside your home with window clings. The signs let firefighters know how many pets are inside the house, so they can make sure they are keeping all of your animals safe.
3. Protect Important Pet Documents
Store your pet’s vaccination records and any pet ownership documents in a firebox. In the event of a fire, your important paperwork will be kept out of harm’s way and can be retrieved after your home has been deemed safe.
Protecting your pets in a fire emergency is a priority for any pet owner. While you never want to put yourself in danger to rescue your animals, keep pet safety in mind when preparing in advance for a potential home fire.