Recent Storm Damage Posts
Landscaping Tips to Prevent Flooding
Tips to Prevent Flooding
Heavy rains can mean big troubles for homeowners in Prairie Village, KS. While there are many ways to reinforce basements, foundations, and other structural components, which often can be expensive, landscaping is another way to keep outside flooding from coming in. Along with minimizing damage from a rain storm, add some natural elements can also enhance a home’s curb appeal.
Changing the Landscape
Rain drainage is the main culprit behind water entering the home. Along with ensuring gutters are regularly clean and free from blockage, nature itself can be used to assist stormwater runoff.
Swales: These are depressions in the ground that contour around a slope to direct water to another place. They can be natural or manmade and rely on gravity to move water. Since they are not designed to absorb water, rocks and plants can be used to smooth the flow as the water heads to an ideal location.
Rain Gardens: Often the end source of a swale, these provide a place for water to pool and slowly enter the soil. They can range in size, depending on a home’s needs, and can be maximized by using native plants that require minimal maintenance.
Greenery: The addition of perennials and shrubs not only add curb appeal, but they also work to absorb stormwater runoff. Work with a local garden center to find ideal moisture-tolerant plants.
When outside flooding is an issue, materials are available to enhance landscaping and keep the water going where it should. It can be as simple as added heavy mulch around the foundation in areas where the soil is visible or investing in pervious paving solutions that can help create a patio oasis and reduce standing water.
In extreme cases of outside flooding, keeping the water out may be impossible and require the assistance of a flood and stormwater specialist. Making a few landscaping changes may be a solution to minimize the damage.
Create a Continuity Plan for Your Business
Creating a business continuity plan will help mitigate the costs in case of an emergency
When business operations are interrupted by weather events or other emergencies, your company in Prairie Village, KS can incur unforeseen expenses and reduced revenues. It’s important to be as prepared as possible so that your company and employees are protected. Creating a business continuity plan will help mitigate the costs in case of an emergency.
Create a Business Impact Study
The first step in developing a business continuity plan is to conduct a risk assessment. Include managers or other members from each department to complete the assessment. Risks to be considered include:
- Storm damage events, such as flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes
- Utility outages or cyber attack
- Hazardous material spills
- Supply chain interruptions
The risk assessment should also include the operational impact and financial consequence of each risk. Using a numerical formula to rate the impacts will identify those areas of highest concern.
Develop Strategies for Recovery
The next step is to identify the resources that will be needed to mitigate the recovery. Resources include:
- Employees who will help with the recovery, including what their role will be
- Technology, such as computers and software
- Office furniture and other equipment
- Inventory and production facilities
- Supply chain services
The recovery strategy must also include a gap analysis. This analysis will identify the gaps between the requirements needed for recovery and the adequacy of the current system.
Design a Plan
Once you have identified the risks and corresponding impacts, along with the resources needed for recovery, it’s time to develop the plan. Steps include:
- Assigning recovery teams
- Designing the framework for the plan, including relocation arrangements
- Writing procedures for continuity and disaster recovery
- Completing and approving the written plan
Test the Plan
In order for the plan to be successful in an actual emergency, it must be tested. Develop procedures for testing the system and conduct training with all employees.
Every business owner needs to be prepared in case of an emergency and a continuity plan will help to ease concerns.
Residential Storm_67_Mold Growth After a Flood
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.
5 Steps for Developing a Business Continuity Plan
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.
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.
This vital step involves sharing the plan with everyone involved. Every employee, tenant and even vendors should know what to do in an emergency.
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 Easy Ways to Save Money on Home Maintenance Costs
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.
Minimizing the Risks of Flooding at Work
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
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.
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.
How To Make a Flood Damage Claim
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.
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.
Tips for Flood Prevention in Your Community
Dams are used to hold excess water
So far, it's impossible to prevent rain from falling and high waves to overflow their banks. The control of natural events is still out of the hands of humans. However, there are some flood prevention tactics that can keep properties safe from damage. You may recognize some of these methods in action in Overland Park, KS. Town planners are often responsible for actions, such as
• Keeping waterways clear
• Installing and maintaining drainage systems
• Clearing litter and debris out of water ways and drainage systems
Coastal Defense Walls
Communities situated near large bodies of water may have sea walls, tide gates, and sand bag barriers in place. These structures are intended to prevent tide and its waves from bringing too much was on shore.
In many communities, retaining walls such as levees, lakes, dams, retention ponds, and reservoirs are used to hold excess water. These are especially helpful under flooding conditions. Today, many of these solutions are structured to function as attractive landscaping, as well as providing flood prevention.
This solution involves a small reservoir that is connected to a waterway. The reservoir serves as temporary water storage until the water is able to flow back into the waterway. It also holds water and gives the community a longer amount of time to evacuate when necessary.
Vegetation to Prevent Erosion
Bare soil is much more likely to wash away than land help in place by trees, shrubs, and grasses. You may see vegetation throughout your neighborhood that will break up the flow of moving water, reducing erosion, and limiting the flow of flood waters.
If you're not sure what you can do to reduce the necessary flood cleanup and damages around your commercial property, contact water and flood remediation professionals in your area for more advice. These professionals can offer advice about the impact of litter and the ways that high water is most likely to affect your property.
What steps can you take to improve flood prevention? Make your voice heard as a business owner. Engage in civic planning and take time to learn more about flooding.
3 Steps To Minimize Mold Damage After a Flood
Flood Damage in a local Overland Park, KS, facility.
Severe weather happens, and as a result, homes often flood. The inevitable moisture and water from flooding can lead to mold growth. Mold usually will flourish if moisture is allowed to linger in the floors, walls, wood, carpet or basement of your home. It can be imperative to know what to do in the critical hours and days directly following a flood.
3 Steps To Minimize Mold Damage After a Flood
1. Move Quickly
Generally, mold begins to grow within one to two days after a flood in Overland Park, KS. The cleanup and damage mitigation process should start immediately to prevent further damage to your property. Although mold can occur naturally just about everywhere, spore may thrive on moisture and grow large colonies rapidly after a flood. At this time, it may be a good idea to place a call to your insurance company to begin the claims process.
2. Remove the Water Source
After any flood, the first step in inhibiting mold growth is often to address the source of the water. This means taking emergency measures to protect your home from any more water intrusion if possible. With some natural disasters, you should wait for waters to recede, but if the source of water is immediately fixable, such as a roof leak, repairs should be made to stop the intrusion.
3. Begin Drying
All standing water should be removed. This water can be particularly dangerous as it feeds mold and can contain high counts of dangerous bacteria that continue to multiply as the water stagnates. A flood damage expert can begin by extracting the water from your home. If there are large amounts, the water may have to be pumped out slowly in order to maintain structural integrity.
Remove flood-damaged personal property such as furniture and clothing. Some items, such as soaked mattresses, are usually not salvageable and should be disposed of. All items to be saved should be thoroughly dried and sanitized prior to returning to the home.
Remember that mold removal is a myth because it’s everywhere in different forms. The goal is to return mold growth to normal acceptable levels. This can be accomplished through the cleanup, remediation and restoration process.
Preparing Your Business for an Impending Flood
Preparation is so important for a business because it can avoid extended business interruption after the storm passes.
When the flooding starts, it is usually too late to protect from flood damage. The best time to prepare for a flood is before it occurs, giving you time to purchase supplies and secure your facility from disaster. The reason preparation is so important for businesses is that poor planning can lead to extended business interruption after the storm passes. Therefore, to give your business the best chance at a speedy recovery, there are a few things you should do in preparation of floodwaters.
How to prepare your Business for Flood Damage
1. Protecting Doors and Windows
Storm damage can do significant harm to your building due to high winds alone, but a flood increases the risk of damage exponentially, especially for doors and windows. The best way to protect these vulnerable points of entry is to barricade them with sandbags. The bags should be stacked a little higher than storm predictions to ensure protection.
2. Securing Furniture
Flooding can turn furniture, interior and exterior, into projectiles. You may want to weigh or chain down any outdoor furniture, and interior office furniture may be best moved to a higher level than ground level.
3. Moving Fragile Equipment
Computers and other fragile electronics and equipment should also be moved to a higher floor to ensure functionality after the flood. While water levels may not reach desk height, it is possible for them to reach outlets, sending a surge through your equipment and potentially ruining it.
While you can try every preventative measure out there, it is still possible that a flood will damage some part of your business, which is why you should consider your options for mitigating loss after a flood. A disaster restoration specialist in the Overland Park, KS, area can help you prepare an emergency action plan that goes into effect when a disaster occurs, speeding up the restoration process.
Flooding can cause significant damage to a business, and it may even result in extensive business interruption. To help counteract the potential damage and risk, a business can take the above steps, ensuring some level of protection during a disaster.
Temporarily Fix Your Wind-Damaged Roof
Covering Wind-Damaged Roof in a local home.
High winds can cause considerable harm to your business’s building. What should you do after discovering a roof leak as a result of wind damaged roof? It can take days to weeks to get a roofer out to complete repairs. A compromised structure may lead to additional water damage repairs needed.
3 Steps to take to temporarily keep ongoing inclement weather from causing any more unnecessary destruction.
1. Inspect the Damage
The first action is to inspect the damage. You will need to get onto the roof safely by using a sturdy ladder. Locate the source of the roof leak. The cause may be obvious, like a visible hole, or you may have to examine things more closely. Look for areas where water may be flowing over sections of missing or damaged shingles.
2. Patch Holes
Plywood can be easily cut to cover any holes. Cut pieces large enough that your patch will extend several inches beyond the hole on every side. Then you can use roofing nails or deck screws to attach the plywood to the existing structure.
3. Cover the Surface
Large, durable tarps can be used over the patched holes and areas where missing shingles are discovered. Use the thickest tarps available. For this type of temporary fix to be effective, be certain that the tarping material goes over the roof’s peak.
Tarps should be pulled tightly and secured around the entire perimeter to ensure they don’t blow away or allow rainwater to be seep underneath. Rope or cord can be used to hold the material down, or you may choose to nail the tarps to the building’s fascia board.
Temporary roof repairs can last from days to weeks, buying you the necessary time before a permanent, professional repair can be completed on your roof leak. Safely following the steps outlined can help mitigate any additional storm damage to your business in Overland Park, KS.
Extra Steps: How To Clean Up After a Storm
Flood damage in the Prairie Village, KS area
How To Clean Up After a Storm
If a pipe bursts in your home in Prairie Village, KS, you will likely have some flooding to handle. A flood from a storm, however, takes remediation to another level. Not only do you need to dry out your home, but you also will need to disinfect your home, both in areas that are directly affected and those that may be vulnerable to secondary damage.
The first step to remediating any water damage is to remove the excess water from the area. With a flood with Category 1 water, the process is pretty straightforward:
- Remove standing water
- Dry remaining surfaces
- Repair or replace damaged materials
Floodwater from a storm, however, is considered Category 3 water. It is contaminated and may contain all sorts of bacteria, viruses and other microbes. If you have flooding from a storm, flood mitigation experts must clean your home thoroughly after getting rid of the water.
Anything that comes into contact with the floodwater must be disinfected before your home is considered habitable again. Technicians use specific detergents and industrial strength cleaners to make sure all surfaces are sterilized. Then they test to ensure that the cleaners did the job well.
Even if part of your home doesn’t have flood damage, it may still be impacted and need attention. For example, it is a good idea to have technicians clean your HVAC unit. That much floodwater can significantly increase the humidity in your home, making all of it susceptible to mold growth. Cleaning and drying the ducts can discourage fungus from growing in hidden areas.
While there’s no such thing as a good kind of flooding, damage from clean water can be easier to clean up than issues resulting from storm water. Getting rid of the water is not enough; you must also make sure that your home is properly disinfected before technicians are finished with the job.
The Most Effective Sandbag Alternatives
Sandbags can be heavy and messy to fill. Commercial property owners seeking more convenient ways to limit flood damage should consider one or more of the following sandbag alternatives.
Some materials are designed to absorb fresh or flood water and act as barriers. Several styles for absorbent flood control are currently available:
- Crystallized polymer
- Powder-filled barriers
- Self-inflating sand-less bags
These porous flood dams are intended for one-time use and should be disposed of after each flood event. All of these options are easier to deploy than sandbags.
Filling a water barrier can be easier than filling a sandbag. There are several different styles of water-filled barriers to choose from:
- Baffle systems
- Modular blocks
- Tube designs
These designs are available in a wide range of sizes. Unlike some flood control materials with fillers that become contaminated, these barriers can be reused multiple times.
Self-stabilizing barriers are easy to use to keep flood waters away from a structure. Some of these options are better suited for blocking entrances or windows, while others can be set up in longer runs to keep flood water out of a larger area. Most of these designs can be reused many times.
Machines are also available to quickly fill bags with sand. The same materials used to make sandbags are needed, with the exception of a shovel. It will also be necessary to either hire or train a crew to safely use this machinery prior to a flood.
All of these sandbag alternatives are relatively easy to use. A property owner may want to invest in a reusable flood prevention solution to limit the amount of water that enters a commercial structure in Leawood, KS. If water breaches the barriers and causes damage, contact a flood damage mitigation and restoration company.
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.
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/.