3 Steps To Take When Making a Water Damage Claim
Flooding damage in an Overland Park,KS home
It can be hard to plan for flooding and how it might affect your Overland Park, KS, home. However, there are a few ways you can prepare in case an incident should occur. Knowing how to make a flood insurance claim is one way you can be ready to handle the damage, and there are a few steps you can take when the time comes to file.
1. Contact Your Agent
Once you and your family are safely out of your damaged home, it is a good idea to call your insurance agent right away. Let them know the details of the flooding, such as where it came from, how deep the standing water is and what you need to do in order to get your claim started. Your agent can advise you about whether you can file from your insurance app or if they need to send a claims adjuster out to evaluate the damage.
2. Take Photos
Documenting flood damage for your insurance claim can help you retain proof of what you file. However, it is important that you only take photos if you can do so safely. Remember to leave items as they are for the photos so your insurance company can help you estimate the cost of the damage before cleanup efforts begin.
3. Call in a Professional Restoration Company
Getting an opinion about what it will take to restore your home can help you create a viable recovery budget. Calling in a water damage and restoration company may be helpful, as they can advise you about any possible problems with structural issues or mold growth after a pipe burst or water line break causes deep standing water in your home.
Making an insurance claim after flooding affects your Overland Park, KS, home can be stressful. However, when you know which steps to take, the process may go more smoothly.
Protective Gear for Mold Remediation
It is important to protect yourself when dealing with mold. It is best to call the professionals when remediation is needed
Mold is in the air all the time, but it is especially concentrated when you are in the process of remediating mold damage. While it is advisable to call in professional mold technicians when the area affected is larger than 30 square feet, you may decide to tackle smaller problems on your own. If you are cleaning mold in your home in Overland Park, Kansas, you can protect yourself from the extra spores in the air with face masks and other protective gear.
There are four main areas that need coverage the most.
Before you begin to clean up the mold in your home, don clothing that covers most of your skin. It needs to be clothing that is washable. As soon as you are through cleaning, undress and wash what you were wearing immediately so that the spores that attach to your clothing don't multiply.
Nose and Mouth
Face masks cover your breathing passages, improving the quality of the air you actually take into your body. A mask with a respirator is an important piece of protective equipment that filters out the spores, trapping them before they get to you.
Goggles are necessary to protect your eyes. Eyes can be sensitive to any irritant, including dirt, hair and mold. Keep spores away from your eyes by putting goggles on before you start cleaning.
Although your hands are going to be doing most of the work, you may not think of needing to protect them. After all, you can just wash your hands thoroughly after the cleaning is done, right? On the contrary, it is important to avoid contact with mold if you can. Gloves help protect your hands and forearms from mold while you scrub.
Face masks, goggles, gloves and other protective gear are necessary when you are cleaning up after mold in your home. Follow the example of remediation professionals and dress appropriately.
6 Things to Never Do After a Flood
Floods are dangerous. Once waters recede and it is safe to return home, call the professionals for help cleaning up
If you're dealing with a flooded home, it's understandable that you want to act fast to minimize damage, and while that's the right mindset, your can-do attitude may cause more trouble than it prevents. Flood water cleanup must be done with great care, otherwise you risk causing more harm to both your home and yourself. Your local flood remediation team shares a few tips for what NOT to do post flood:
- Do NOT stay in your home.
- Do NOT wade into standing water.
- Do NOT touch the water.
- Do NOT forgo protective gear.
- Do NOT forget to call your insurer.
- Do NOT forget to call your Overland Park, Kansas, water damage restoration team.
It is important that you don't do any of the above, as failure to listen to the professionals could put you, your home or your loved ones in harm's way.
Get Out of the House and Away From the Water ASAP
Depending on where the flood water came from, it could be contaminated with human feces, chemicals or other harmful materials. For this reason, you should not go anywhere near the water, let alone touch it. Ideally, if you can, get out of your home as fast as possible and call for help.
If You Must Stay in the Home, Wear Protective Gear
While you should not attempt cleanup efforts on your own, if you plan to stay in the home, make sure you're equipped with all the right protective gear. This includes flood boots, which may protect you against electrical shocks, full-body suit, gloves and face mask.
Contact All the Necessary Parties
If you hope to be reimbursed for the water damage caused by the flood, you need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. The company will likely need an estimate of the restoration costs, so schedule your Overland Park, Kansas, flood water restoration team at the same time. Your swift action in these regards could minimize damage and therefore the costs of restoration.
How to Handle a Burst Pipe in a Commercial Building
Pipes burst for many different reasons, be sure you know who to call when it happens to your business.
After a pipe burst in your building, whether sewer or water line, there are individual steps you may want to take to prevent any further damage.
Below are six of the most common cleaning and damage tips to use prior to full building restoration.
Ensure Personal Safety
Before any cleaning tips, it is crucial that you and anyone working in the flooded area take certain safety precautions. As the type of water you will be dealing with is likely unknown, you may want to use water repellent gloves, coveralls, and rubber boots. It is also a good idea to wear eye protection.
Shut off Main Power
After a flood from a burst line, it is a good idea to shut off the main power. While your building may not have power, it does not mean that electricity has stopped moving through outlets and other appliances.
Create a Photographic Record
In the plethora of damage tips out there, the tip to make a photographic record of the damage sustained is a good one. Pictures allow you to prove loss to insurance companies, thereby making the claims process a little easier.
Mitigate Further Damage
Another important tip after a burst pipe is to mitigate further damage. In an effort to protect your building from further devastation, you may want to shut off the water supply to your building to stop any further flooding.
Remove Water and Damaged Material
Once you take the above precautions and steps, you can begin removing any excess water using wet vacs and pumps. In addition to the removal of water, you can discard any damaged materials, like carpeting and drywall.
Dry out Facility
After the facility is free of water and damaged goods, you can begin the dry out phase. If you want to streamline this process, you can use dehumidifiers, industrial fans, and other air movers.
While the damage tips above may seem daunting, they are necessary to restoring operation; however, if the process of water damage cleanup seems too much, you can check with the Leawood, Kansas emergency management office for further tips and assistance.
Post-Fire Water Damage: What You Can Do
Water damage is bound to make you emotional when your company and belongings are at stake.
If you recently experienced a fire at your business, you are probably already dealing with smoke cleanup and fire cleanup. You may be frustrated and surprised to find that you are also dealing with water cleanup. What causes water damage after a fire and what can you do about it? Read on for information and helpful advice so you can better understand what your options are.
Causes of Water Damage
There are a number of sources of pre- and post-fire water that can cause damage to your Leawood, KS, commercial building. They may include:
• Firefighters’ hoses
• Fire sprinklers going off
• Utilities that were damaged by the fire
• Other water used to put out the flames
While many of these sources are necessary to put out fires, they can also cause damage to your property and even lead to mold and other complications of sustained indoor moisture. Fortunately, you can take action to mitigate the situation.
Water Cleanup Solutions
A fire and water restoration service in the Leawood, KS, area will be your best bet when facing water damage and other fire destruction. Technicians with experience handling water damaged structures and items will know how to help you get your business back in top shape and may even be able to help you restore otherwise unsalvageable items, such as photographs. They will also know how to handle mold contamination and similar water-related matters.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Water damage is bound to make you emotional when your company and belongings are at stake, but it is best to try to step back and look at the situation as calmly as possible. Knowing that you have a solid water cleanup plan in place will help you stay positive and realize that you will most likely be able to restore most of your property and even many of your and your employees’ personal items and get back to business as usual. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.
Bad Weather: Preparation Tips for Employers
A snow storm may slow business down, but if you prepare adequately, there are ways to work around it.
No one likes to think about the havoc winter storms could wreak on their commercial properties in Leawood, KS, but giving it some forethought may be just the thing that minimizes damage during a snow storm. As an employer, you are responsible for the well-being of your building as well as your employees. Here are some tips on keeping them as safe as possible.
1. Have an emergency supply kit. If the storm hits while employees are present, it’s possible that they will be stranded in the building for an extended period of time. A stash of flashlights, shelf-stable food, blankets and bottled water can go a long way toward keeping them comfortable while they wait for the danger outside to pass.
2. Have a first aid kit. A collection of bandages, first aid ointment, sanitizer and other essential supplies is a good idea anytime. It can be especially helpful during the months when conditions are more hazardous outside, as people are more likely to be injured during a snow storm.
3. Increase insulation in walls, particularly along outer perimeter. If your plumbing freezes, your building could experience a pipe burst, which can cause significant water damage that can only be remedied by water restoration specialists. Wrapping pipes or adding and extra layer of protection from the cold can help them stay intact.
4. If possible, let employees stay home. If the local weather station warns that the roads could be treacherous, consider allowing employees to work from home. While your business is important to you, the people who take care of it should be more important. Keep them safe by offering them telecommuting options.
A snow storm may slow business down, but if you prepare adequately, there are ways to work around it. Planning ahead protects the structural integrity of your building, keeps your employees safe and communicates that you care about the well-being of both. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.
How To Keep Water Out of Your Crawl Space
You may not always know you have a wet crawl space unless it turns into a mold problem, but you can take measures to prevent it.
A wet crawl space is not something you want to ignore. While it may not seem to affect your home, unattended leaks can cause mold growth that only restoration experts can combat. There are several ways that water can get into the crawl space, but fortunately, there are also ways to prevent it.
Proper Gutter Care
Common culprits in crawl space flooding are your gutters. There are several ways your gutters could cause moisture problems:
• Gutters clogged with dirt or debris
• Downspouts pointed toward house
• Missing or damaged downspout
• Cracked gutters
The solution to this problem is simple. Take good care of your gutters, and they will do the job they are designed to do, which is directing water away from your home instead of toward it.
Another thing you can do to direct water away from your house and avoid a wet crawl space is to make sure you have a slope away from the foundation. It should slope 6-8 inches, and you need to check it periodically to make sure that it hasn't been washed out by rainfall or lawn care. You can also protect your crawl space by not overwatering the flower beds that are close to your house. Don't leave water running unattended. Give the plants just what they need to thrive and turn the water off.
Water leaks in your home can trickle to your crawl space. It's best to catch the leak before it gets there, not just so you can fix the source of the problem but also so that you can do so while the problem is still confined to an area that is easy to access. If you notice signs of a flood in your home in Leawood, KS, call repair technicians as soon as possible to avoid leaks into lower areas of your home.
You may not always know you have a wet crawl space unless it turns into a mold problem, but you can take measures to prevent it. Protecting the area at the foundation of your home is essential to keeping your home free from water damage. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.
Avoid Mold Growth Due to Winter Flooding
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
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?
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.
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/.