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What You Need To Clean After a Flood

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

drying equipment in bathroom Storm damage restoration in Leawood, KS

What You Need To Clean After a Flood

It's no secret that flooding can cause mold, mildew, and other damage to your home and belongings, but some of the things that need to be cleaned may surprise you. Adhering to these cleaning requirements can help keep you safe and prevent damage.
For a thorough flood clean, you should treat all surfaces:

  • Wood
  • Carpet
  • Vinyl
  • Fabric/upholstery
  • Kitchenware
  • Walls
  • Cabinets and counters

Before disposing of cherished or expensive belongings, you can check with a water damage restoration service in Leawood, KS, to determine if they are salvageable.

Walls and Flooring
Wallboard and plaster may have to be removed and replaced if the water was contaminated. If the water was clean, you may be able to cut a small hole at the top and bottom of the wall to allow water to drain and air to circulate.
Different types of flooring have different cleaning requirements. If possible, the carpet should be removed and taken outside immediately. You can then rinse it off, clean it with a flood disinfectant and allow it to fully dry. Tile and vinyl floors may trap moisture in the sub-floor, so they should be removed to allow air to circulate. Hardwood floors can buckle or crack due to water exposure and drying. You can mitigate buckling by removing some boards while the floor dries. Once wood, tile or vinyl floors have dried completely, they should be disinfected.

Fabric and Upholstery
Anything absorbent, such as upholstered furniture, should be considered contaminated. Such items should be taken outside to dry immediately. If you wish to keep them, you should have them cleaned by a professional restoration service.

Other surfaces, such as countertops, should be dried and then cleaned with flood disinfectant. Some items, such as dishes and glassware, can be submerged in cleaning solutions.
Following cleaning requirements for walls, flooring, fabric, upholstered furniture, and other surfaces can mitigate the risk of mold growth if you act quickly.

How To Flush a Water Heater

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a screw-nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler Keep your water heater in Prairie Village, KS, running smoothly

When you conduct regular maintenance on your water heater, it will stay in good condition longer and reduce the risk of costly repairs. Your maintenance plan should include periodically flushing your heater.

Let's Look At The Steps Involved

1. Turn the Heater Off

If you own an electric heater, turn off the supply line at the circuit breaker. For gas heaters, make sure the pilot is extinguished.

2. Attach the Hose
Using a standard garden hose, connect it to the drain valve. Make sure the loose end isn't placed near an area that would be negatively affected by the sediment or water. Don't forget to wear gloves to protect against hot water. If you encounter water damage during the process, call a water damage repair service as soon as possible.

3. Drain the Water
Drain the water heater tank by opening the drain valve. Turn on a hot water faucet in the kitchen to help the water drain more quickly. When the water flow begins to slow down, turn off the supply valve. When the water stops, turn the water supply valve on to quickly flush the system and then close it again.

4. Shut Off the Valves
Once the water heater flush is completed, close all the valves. Then, turn on the water supply and keep an eye on the kitchen faucet. When the water comes out smooth and without bursts of air, this means the tank is full again.

5. Turn the Power Back On
After the tank is full, turn on the power to the unit. Make sure the heating element is functional as well. Never turn the power on until you are sure the tank is full since this can damage the unit. Don't forget to turn off the kitchen faucet.
Keep your water heater in Prairie Village, KS, running smoothly for years with a little routine maintenance.

What To Do When Furnace Soot Contaminates Your Office

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Puffback. Soot webs on ceiling Furnace soot damage

When Your Furnace Malfunctions, Follow These Steps

If your company’s furnace experiences a buildup of oil vapors inside its ignition chamber, an internal explosion may be imminent. When this happens, soot can blow through your exhaust unit and into your heating system. The unwanted effects of this phenomenon are known as puffback damage.
Soot emitted from furnaces is dark and sticky, making it extremely difficult to remove. Because it floats through the air, soot typically travels a significant amount of space and particles are able to get inside everything. Besides coating ductwork, office equipment such as file cabinets, computers and phones remain highly susceptible. You may be forced to mandate that staff work from home until the cleaning process has concluded. When your furnace malfunctions, follow these steps.

1. Perform an Examination
Peek inside your heating device in Overland Park, KS, and check for anything that raises concern. The smoke that blows into ventilation systems spreads everywhere. Use your nose in every part of your building to detect nasty smoky smells and determine what areas are suffering from puffback damage. A commercial odor removal service will be required for complete elimination.

2. Contact Your Insurance
As soon as possible, file a claim. Report every element of loss that you observe and include pictures to support your assertions.

3. Hire an HVAC Technician
Only allow someone bearing relevant certification to alter your heating system. The consequences of letting uninformed individuals make alterations to your device could result in further trouble or void your warranty.

4. Employ a Soot Removal Expert
Special tools and cleaning agents are necessary to properly eliminate the stink generated by furnace puffback. A professional cleaning organization will also be able to decontaminate and deodorize every single area needing attention.
Unless you are a trained professional, never attempt to repair your oil furnace or clean up puffback damage. If your heating system malfunctions and triggers a stinky scenario, allow experts to set things right.

Understanding Commercial Mold Coverage

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Insurance Having commercial insurance is crucial for protecting your business

Understanding Commercial Mold Coverage

Having commercial insurance is crucial for protecting your business in Prairie Village, KS, but when it comes to mold and fungus, the policy coverage can be perplexing. Contacting your insurance carrier for clarification is always recommended, but even then, the policy can still be confusing.
Most policies contain a broad fungus exclusion that limits the conditions under which mold is covered through the following exceptions:

  • There is a specified cause of loss that resulted from fungus or mold
  • The mold was caused by lightning or fire
  • Mold or fungus that was caused by something other than fire or lightning and is clearly specified in the Limited Fungus
  • Clause of your policy

How does the Limited Fungus Clause of your policy work?
The circumstances under the Limited Fungus Clause can vary with different commercial insurance providers and the details will be specified within your own policy. In general, the three following items are covered:

1. Removing and Replacing Property for Fungus Removal
The cost of removing and replacing any part of your property to access the fungus for removal. If a leaking pipe is causing mold damage in your building and parts of the wall need to be torn out to access the leaking pipe even though no mold is visible on the wall, mold insurance will cover the cost of tearing out and replacing the wall

2. Damage or Direct Loss to Covered Property
If there is damage or physical loss, the cost of removing and replacing the property is covered, along with the costs for removing the mold. For example, the costs for using a commercial mold removal and remediation service are covered.

3. Mold Testing
After repairing and restoring your building and the fungus has been removed, insurance covers testing to ensure the mold has been eliminated.
Commercial insurance can be unclear, and it is always a good idea to contact your insurance provider to get clarification on specific coverage under your policy. Understanding what is included, particularly under the Limited Fungus Clause, will help you take the appropriate actions to protect your business.

Fix That Water Leak in Your Building Before it Causes Extensive Damage

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Leaky faucet Repair your faucet before it causes serious water damage

Damage caused by a water event in your commercial building in Overland Park, KS, can create a serious situation. If you don't identify the problem quickly, it could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. There are many places for a water leak to occur inside your building. Let's look at the most common culprits.

Leaks Inside Commercial Buildings

To avoid expensive water bills and serious water damage, be aware of the most common places for leaks to happen.

Toilet leaks - The toilets in public bathrooms get a lot of use. Because of this, parts tend to wear out quickly, allowing water to leak. Inspect the toilets frequently for any sign of leakage.
Leaky faucets - Rubber washers wear out over time, due to continued use. Once the washer refuses to create a watertight seal, the faucet will leak. If the leak isn't addressed, you may eventually need to replace the entire faucet.
Plumbing leaks - A pipe break or broken water supply line can cause an extensive water leak. Some piping systems are installed inside the walls, which makes it difficult to find the leak. Musty smells and mold patches are indications that you have a hidden problem.

If you are dealing with a serious water event in your building, it is critical to call a water damage repair service right away to assess the situation and restore the damage.

Leaks That Start Outside the Building
Roof leaks are common in flat commercial buildings, because it is harder for the water to drain well. Strong winds and hail make the situation even worse. Have your maintenance staff check the roofing materials and flashing on a routine basis to look for any signs of wear. Drains and pipes must be properly secured and cleaned. Remove leaves and dirt from gutters to allow water to drain off the roof properly.
Always take a water leak seriously at your property to avoid costly repairs and high water bills.

3 Tips To Reduce the Risk of a Kitchen Fire

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

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.

5 Reasons You Might Have Mold

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Old faucet (water tap) over sink in the bathroom. Dirt Bacteria. Hard water stain of soap and mold. Time to clean 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.

Dealing With Damage to Carpets and Other Items After Flooding

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment on carpet Wet carpets are salvageable

Dealing With Damage to Carpets and Other Items After Flooding

If you have had a pipe break or other flooding event in Overland Park, KS, many of your items have likely been inundated with water. You are probably wondering whether removed items can be returned to their previous places. You may also be concerned about the possibility of a mold infestation. The future of your items depends on the length of their exposure to moisture and the source of the floodwater in your home.

Water Sources
Most flooding in residential homes comes from clean sources of water such as:

  • A pipe break
  • Broken supply lines
  • Leaky faucets
  • Other major leaks

When flooding is caused by clean sources, you can return your items as long as they can be properly dried. Because mold can grow very quickly after flooding, it is essential that you dry your possessions as soon as possible. If any large item was soaked for more than 24 hours, you should replace it.
Dirty water caused by septic overflows or large-scale flooding may contain contaminants that are difficult to get out of carpets and other items. If you have a carpet that spans the entire area of the flooded space in your home, it is generally more cost-effective to replace it than to try to clean and restore it after exposure to contaminated water.

Evaluating Your Items
The first step in the restoration process is to remove furniture and other objects to a higher, drier location. Dry immovable carpeting by opening windows and turn on as many fans as possible. You should inspect every surface of each item of concern. Sometimes, the tops of rugs or other flat items are dry while there is still moisture underneath. Similarly, material inside furniture can be wet even if the outside is dry.
After a pipe break or other flood in your home, you may be unsure what to do. Once you have stopped the flow of water, you may need to have dry wall torn out and your home may require other intensive remediation. A restoration professional can help guide you through the process.

How You and Your Town Can Prevent Flood Damage at Your Business

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Slope and earth retention wall management with rocks and wire mesh cage system in tropical hilly terrain Sea walls can prevent flood damage

Ways That You And Your Municipality Can Protect Your Business From Floodwater

When you own a business in Overland Park, KS, you need to take various proactive flood prevention measures. Fortunately, you can share this responsibility with the city in which you operate. Here are some crucial ways that you and your municipality can protect your business from floodwater and minimize damage and disruption.

Install Structural Barriers
Most city or town municipalities situated near water have infrastructures in place to prevent flood damage, such as:

  • Dams
  • Levees
  • Sea Walls
  • Water Barriers

Of course, when storm conditions are severe, these measures may not be enough to prevent large quantities of water from flooding your business. You can supplement these measures with moveable water barriers, absorbant sandbags, moveable dams, water shields and water gates.

Plant Vegetation
Trees and other forms of vegetation are an excellent natural flood prevention method with proven results. As roots grow into the ground, they create open spaces within the soil that become a natural water drainage system. Trees also capture rainwater on their leaves and branches where it evaporates before it enters the ground. Many municipalities plant trees to support their flood control efforts. You can also increase the number of plantings on your building's surrounding landscape to reduce the risk of flooding.

Address Sanitation
Flood water carries unsafe bacteria, microorganisms, industrial waste and other contaminants. When water enters your building, it can quickly overtake everything in its path. Further damage may be due to mold formation from stagnant water. A flood restoration company can perform flood cleaning to extract contaminated water and restore your business's sanitary conditions. If mold has formed, powerful air filtration methods can remove spores from the air to restore a safe environment. Municipalities that provide separate rainwater and sewer pipes can reduce the incidence of sewage-filled floodwater in your building.
A flood can significantly impact your business in Overland Park, KS, but taking proactive flood prevention steps can support your local municipality's efforts to decrease the flood risk.

4 Steps for Using a Fire Extinguisher

10/31/2020 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set. Instruction extinguisher and protection of fire with extinguisher illustration Use the P.A.S.S technique

Follow These Steps To Extinguish A Small Fire

In the event of a fire in Leawood, KS, it is important that all staff and workers have been briefed on how to operate a fire extinguisher. There are several different types of extinguishers, but the basics are quite consistent across brands and models. Most can be readied in four simple steps.

1. Pull
For safety, all fire extinguishers have a pin built in to prevent accidental activation. There is a ring on the end of the pin that can be grabbed and pulled. Additionally, in commercial buildings, there may be a zip tie attached to the pin. This is in place to let the fire department know that the device has been used and needs to be replaced. In the event of a fire, it should be no issue; it is made to be easily broken. After this, the extinguisher will fire, so be careful not to accidentally use it prematurely.

2. Aim
Arguably the most important step is to aim in the direction of the fire. Hold the lower lever with your right hand, and hold the hose close to the end with your other hand. When holding the end, don't put your hand on the cone-shaped nozzle. It will get extremely cold due to the release of pressure. Be sure to aim at the fuel source of the fire, not the flames themselves. The fire extinguisher will be largely ineffective if aimed only at the flames.

3. Squeeze
Next, using the hand that is holding the lever, firmly grasp the upper lever with the palm of your hand while keeping your fingers on the lower lever. Squeeze and close your hand while continuing to aim at the fuel source of the fire.

4. Sweep
Move the hose back and forth across the source of the fire while continuing to squeeze. With caution, move closer as the flames die down. Be sure to extinguish any glowing embers that can be leftover from the flames because they may reignite. Greases or oils, especially those involved in a kitchen fire, are prone to reignition.
Following these steps should allow you to safely extinguish a small fire. However, if the flames do not go out, or, if they flare, be sure to exit the building immediately. After emergency crews extinguish these flames, it is best to contact a professional cleanup service to deal with any fire damage.