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Mold Remediation Steps and Process

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Living room flooded Mold typically has two resources for growth: (1) water damage and (2) high humidity

Mold Remediation Steps and Process

While your home might have a mild case of mold growth, a more significant infestation might require the assistance of a mold remediation company in Leawood, KS. However, you might find that there are a plethora of companies offering such a service. Although not all of them will be equally qualified, all certified companies should adhere to a similar removal process and steps.

  • Resolve Underlying Issues
  • Contain the Area
  • Remove Contamination
  • Sanitize and Clean
  • Restore the Home

Resolve Underlying Issues

The first step of any mold removal is to ensure that the underlying cause for the problem is resolved. Mold typically has two resources for growth: (1) water damage and (2) high humidity. Therefore, a remediation company will search the contaminated area for signs of leaks or poor ventilation and attempt to resolve what they can before removing the infestation.

Contain the Area

Next, the company will contain the affected space. They will probably use plastic tarps, taping them over doorways, windows and vents. The goal is to minimize or control airflow so that the rest of the house does not become contaminated.

Remove Contamination

After sealing the area, the team will remove the mold growth from the area. They will need to bag, seal and discard porous items. However, sentimental items might be salvageable if the infestation has not spread too far.

Sanitize and Clean

Once the contamination is removed, the company will spend a considerable amount of time cleaning and sanitizing the space. They will focus on scrubbing down all non-porous surfaces as well as checking appliances for signs of mold.

Restore the Home

Once the team has finished removing the infestation and cleaning the space, they will perform air quality checks. If everything is in order, then they will begin restoring the area to pre-disaster condition.
Significant mold growth likely needs to be addressed by licensed and trained professionals. All companies will probably perform the steps above to ensure that your property is habitable.

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Fire Damage Restoration Services?

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Businessman present insurance concept with house on fire It is always a good idea to speak to your insurance agent ahead of time and find out the specifics of what your policy covers

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Fire Damage Restoration Services?

Whether your home in Overland Park, KS, has recently experienced a large blaze that claimed most of your belongings or a small ignition that quickly got put out, the cost of addressing damage caused by a home fire can be overwhelming. Here is some useful information on how much fire damage cleanup services typically cost and what your insurance plan should cover.

How Much Does Fire and Smoke Cleanup Cost?

On average, the overall cost for cleanup services after a home fire is between $3,177 and $7,863. To come up with an estimate, you need to consider the extent of the damage. There are several factors that have a high impact on the final amount:

  • Damage to the structure of your home
  • Presence of soot on belongings
  • Apparent smoke damage
  • Water damage from a fire hose or broken pipe
  • The need for odor removal services

Will Insurance Cover the Cost?

Most standard homeowners insurance plans provide some level of coverage for remediation after a fire, except for two situations. If it is determined that the cause of the fire was insurance fraud arson, you will not receive coverage and will likely face criminal prosecution. Additionally, you will not be covered if the house has not been lived in for over 30 consecutive days, which is considered a vacant home fire.

What Does Insurance Cover?

While every policy is different, homeowners insurance often covers the cost of repairing your home in addition to other structures located on your property. Additionally, your personal belongings should be covered, but you need to ask if your policy pays the fair market value of items lost or the replacement value.

While remediation services after a home fire can be extremely pricey, you can have peace of mind knowing insurance covers most types of fire damage. It is always a good idea to speak to your insurance agent ahead of time and find out the specifics of what your policy covers.

5 Tips for Preventing Mold

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

The top of a roof with several vents. 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.

Residential Storm_67_Mold Growth After a Flood

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Hand in blue glove tears off wallpapers damaged by fungus Mold removal in an Overland Park, KS home

If your Overland Park, KS, home experiences flooding, mold can begin to grow very quickly. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent mold growth after a flood.

Flood Cleanup Process

Mold growth can begin in as few as 24 hours after flooding, so it is important to clean up the affected areas as quickly as possible. The following steps outline the flood cleanup process:

  • Assess and document the damage.
  • Remove standing water.
  • Dry out soaked items.
  • Sanitize affected objects.
  • Restore and replace damaged items.

The most important step in preventing mold growth is drying out the property. For standing water, you may need special pumps or vacuums to extract the water. To dry out the remaining water, you can open windows and doors if the humidity outside is fairly low. Otherwise, you can use fans and dehumidifiers. After everything is dry, you will need to disinfect all affected objects. Then you can begin restoring and replacing damaged items.

Mold Removal Process

If you are not able to dry out your belongings quickly, you may end up dealing with a mold infestation. Every situation is different, but the following steps outline the general mold remediation process:

  • Contain the mold.
  • Filter the air.
  • Remove objects that cannot be salvaged.
  • Kill the mold on remaining items.
  • Repair or replace mold-damaged items.

Because mold spreads so quickly, it is important to keep the mold contained while you work. In many cases, this means simply turning off the heat or air conditioning. Then you will filter the mold spores out of the air using a HEPA filter and remove objects that are too mold-infested to be fully cleaned. The remaining objects should be sanitized with an appropriate cleaner. After everything is free of mold, you can repair and replace mold-damaged items.
Flood damage and mold growth may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there are restoration specialists that can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

The Benefits of an Emergency Board Up After a Fire

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Blue cape cod style suburban home boarded up Boarded up home after a fire in Prairie Village, KS

After your house in Prairie Village, KS, has gone through a dangerous fire, it is common to cover some parts in a practice known as an emergency board up. In a board up, professionals place boards over damaged and vulnerable windows, doors and other weaker parts of the house. While you might be tempted to overlook this option, it can provide multiple benefits to the survival of the building.

Protection Against Further Damage

The fragile position of the damaged home can make it vulnerable to multiple hazards and risk factors.

  • Strong winds
  • Rain and storms
  • Intrusion by wildlife
  • Trespass by humans
  • Other environmental conditions

Boarding up the house prevents the fire damage from escalating, also reducing the work performed by fire cleanup specialists. Some companies even offer these services as part of the restoration process.

Prevention of Insurance Loss

After a devastating home fire, one of the first actions you might take is calling the insurance company. While you might receive coverage for the fire, companies look for any reason to drop coverage if the homeowner does not make effort to stop the damage. In fact, some insurers even require tarp over and board up for the affected residence. Avoid the additional trouble and request this practice to decrease the destruction and keep your insurance coverage.

Avoidance of Human Intrusion

Even though the burned house is exposed to a variety of risks, human trespass is perhaps the most dangerous one. Intruders can exploit the weakened areas as entry points and either rob the area or vandalize and increase the damage. Additionally, if someone gets injured during a stay in the house, you could be held liable, even if they broke into the place. Emergency board up resolves this potential problem.
Even if a home is greatly destroyed, a board up can play a significant role in its restoration. This practice can protect your home from increased damage, ensure your insurance coverage and stops criminals from breaking in.

The Who, What, When, Where and Why of Basement Flooding

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in Overland Park, KS

The Who, What, When, Where and Why of Basement Flooding

Flooding is a phenomenon that can humble a homeowner in Overland Park, KS. The power of water is always intimidating to face. Take it slow and assess your situation before moving forward.

Why Is It Flooded?

A basement flood can come from a lot of different places. Oftentimes those sources are out of your control. If the flood is weather related, you will need to wait until the storm has passed and your yard is no longer flooded before you can do anything about your basement. Some common examples of sources of flooding are:

  • Heavy rain or storm
  • Pipe rupture
  • Appliance malfunction
  • Improper basement sealing

What Can You Do?

The first thing you should take care of is stopping the flow of water, if possible, by turning off the main water line. Then you can minimize the hazard to your safety by turning off the electricity and wearing protective gear like boots and gloves. You can rent submersible pumps from hardware or construction stores to get all the water out of there. Be sure to point the loose end of the pump away from the house, preferably into a storm drain. Then you will need thoroughly dry everything so that you don't end up growing mold, as well.

Who Should You Call?

If you don't have any experience with pumps, it's probably a good idea to call a professional water damage remediation company. They have specialized knowledge and tools to thoroughly remove all signs that there was a flood. They can handle every aspect of the situation, including pipe repair. They will also know exactly what will need to be thrown away, and what can be restored. You should also call your insurance to find out if they will cover the costs.
Each and every flooding scenario is different, depending on the circumstances of its origin and the capabilities of your household. Exercise precaution and don't make any hasty decisions. Your basement is counting on you!

5 Steps for Developing a Business Continuity Plan

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Paper with words BCP Business Continuity Plan and there is a pen and pair of glasses on top of the paper Hopefully putting a continuity plan into action never has to happen

The Development of a Plan Should Include Five Elements

While you hope your business in Leawood, KS, won’t be hindered by flooding, storm damage or other natural or accidental disasters, planning for the worst can reduce the potential of disastrous downtime. Successfully navigating the unexpected and recovering from it as quickly as possible is the key role of a continuity plan. The development of a plan should include five vital elements.

1. Risk Assessment

The first step in a continuity plan is evaluating what potential risks your business or property may face. A walk-through of the property and understanding of a building’s location can help you assess what you prioritize what you may face.

2. Impact Analysis

After prioritizing, it’s necessary to look at everything it takes to keep your business running. From security to IT to vendors, reviewing how every step works will help you prioritize and develop strategies to keep them up and running or get them back to running quickly. This includes determining how long your business can run while not operational.

3. Development

Preventing disruptions is the ultimate goal. After the first two steps, you may find potential structural issues that can be repaired before an incident happens. For nature related events, it provides a means to strategize ways to protect resources, employees and tenants while minimizing damage. Part of this plan may involve setting up a response team as well as having a professional service already researched to assist with cleanup.

4. Implementation

This vital step involves sharing the plan with everyone involved. Every employee, tenant and even vendors should know what to do in an emergency.

5. Review

The best plans only work if the people involved have a clear understanding of what to do. A quick memo can easily be forgotten six months down the road when an event happens. Doing a run-through throughout the year will ensure key players know their roles and provide insight on ways to optimize the plan.
Hopefully putting a continuity plan into action never has to happen. Whether small or large, having one is still the best bet in keeping your business afloat during trying times.

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.