Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
Picking up the Pieces: Steps To Take Right After the Storm
While these storm tips are broad and do not cover the extent of the restoration process, they are meant as a starting off point.
Storms are unpredictable, and they can leave you vulnerable in the one place that you’re meant to feel the safest, your home. Between heavy rains, high winds, and lightning, your home is susceptible to various levels of structural damage, and when the weather breaks the aftermath can be just as disheartening. Follow the three simple storm tips below to help ensure your safety and to get your restoration started on the right foot.
1. Ensure Your Safety
After a storm, it is most important to make sure that you and your family are safe. Storms can leave behind downed power lines, broken glass, and worse. The first thing you should do when a storm ends is to evaluate your surroundings and to get yourself to a safe location.
2. Call for Help
Depending on the damage to your home, you may want to seek assistance from restoration specialists in the Leawood, MO, area. Also, reaching out to your insurance company and asking about any storm tips or required steps they have for you is a good idea. Beyond the basics, if your area has been significantly damaged, you should find out if the government has declared it a disaster area. Designated disaster areas are eligible for disaster relief, meaning that you may be able to get assistance to restore your property.
3. Get Out Your Camera
Regardless of the level of storm damage, most insurance companies require proof of loss. While most insurers will send out a qualified adjuster to document your home, it may take weeks before an adjuster can get to you, especially after a significant storm. Taking pictures ensures that you have evidence of the immediate damage as well as allows you the opportunity to begin cleanup.
While these storm tips are broad and do not cover the extent of the restoration process, they are meant as a starting off point. These three tips, while simple, are easy to remember even after the disarray and shock of severe weather.
Why Rain Causes Mold
Black mold found after a storm in an Overland Park, KS home
Why Rain Causes Mold
When a heavy storm hits Overland Park, KS, you probably check your property afterward for damage. What you may not be expecting is to find a musty odor and a mysterious growth. It's not that uncommon for black mold to appear within days after a rainstorm, though. Anywhere there is water damage, fungus growth is a distinct possibility.
Thunderstorms often wreak havoc on homes. The roof is particularly vulnerable. There are many factors that can lead to roof damage during a storm:
- Hail impact
- High winds that detach shingles
- Broken tree branches
- Clogged gutters
Any point at which your roof is compromised can lead to a moisture problem in your attic. If you don't find and remedy the issue quickly enough, the water damage can easily turn into black mold growth. In fact, fungus can start to multiply in as little as 24-48 hours after the initial water issue begins, so quick remediation is the key to preventing it. Both the roof and the subsequent damage must be fixed to avoid secondary problems.
If you have cracks in your foundation or storm flooding overtaxes the sewer system, you may have to contend with a basement flood. While a sump pump can remove a lot of the standing water, the residual moisture can still cause mold to grow on any damp surfaces. You must call certified mold cleanup specialists as soon as you know you have a problem. They can not only take care of your mold issue but also mitigate the water damage so that the fungus doesn't return a few days after they leave.
If you find black mold in your home after a storm, it is probably due to unmitigated water damage nearby. Fast and thorough remediation is vital for taking care of both the mold growth and the underlying issue that led to it.
Be Prepared for Commercial Disasters
Electronic insurance claim.
No business owner wants to think about a disaster striking their property. You hope it will never happen to you, but it is crucial to be prepared. To ease the pain in filing a claim with your insurance agent, make sure you choose a restoration company that has well-designed claim services and cost-reduction policies.
What Services Are Helpful When You File a Claim?
SERVPRO franchises are available all around the United States, so there is one nearby when you need help. Each franchise provides services to make the claims process go smoothly.
Quick Response - Since a fast emergency response is vital to reduce the damages to your property, a quick response means your insurance adjuster can keep the costs down.
Pretesting Services - Insurance agents know that restoring property is less costly than replacing items. Professional restoration services understand this as well. The highly-trained experts you choose are able to ensure that all pretesting is performed on damaged items to determine which can be restored.
Electronic Filing of Claims - Claim services that allow for on-line filing and access to information make the process go quicker and smoother.
Claims Inventory - It is helpful when you have the ability to receive an itemized list of every item that needs to be replaced. The professionals offer an Excel spreadsheet of the damaged items, along with pictures of the key items lost.
What Information Is Helpful to Your Insurance Adjuster?
When insurance adjusters have access to reports on-line, it can improve results and speed up claims filings. It also helps to have access to job cost performance data.
When claims are filed electronically, it also gives adjusters access to claims information from similar jobs to help them make sound decisions on current and future claims estimates.
If you are dealing with property damage at your facility in Leawood, KS, calling a professional with on-line claim services will help to ease the stress.
Understanding Commercial Mold Coverage
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.
5 Reasons You Might Have Mold
Mold grows in unvented bathrooms, around leaky pipes, and underneath sinks with damaged seals
Don't Let Black Mold Invade Your Home
Mold is a persistent organism that can grow just about anywhere in your Leawood, KS, home. Black mold is much more likely to appear in areas that come into frequent contact with water, or places that have just suffered some form of water damage. If you're unsure what exactly is causing your mold problem, you might want to look into the following possible causes.
1. Your Home's Humidity Is too High.
Higher humidity levels can lead to a buildup of condensation, that eventually causes mold growth. This additional moisture in the air can become trapped in your carpeting, walls, ceilings and other locations. You can prevent this issue by ventilating your home properly or investing in a dehumidifier.
2. You Left Damp Items Inside.
Chances are, you've forgotten to hang up a load of laundry after washing at least once or twice. While this is an easy mistake, it can have potentially disastrous consequences. Black mold only needs about 24 hours to begin growing, meaning that the pile of damp clothes you left out for a day or two could be the root of your issue.
3. Your Roof Is Leaking.
Smaller leaks are easily overlooked, but that doesn't mean that they can't wreck havoc on your home. The water that seeps in through the leak can become trapped in your ceiling or attic, eventually resulting in a moisture problem that causes unwanted mold growth.
4. You Recently Suffered a Home Flood.
Flooding, unfortunately, coincides with plenty of secondary damage. You might think that your problems are over after you clean up the water, but the mold issues have only just begun. It's a good idea to contact mold cleanup professionals, as well as flood remediation experts, whenever your home suffers extreme water damage.
5. You Have a Leaky Pipe.
Along with driving your water bill through the roof, a leaky pipe can cause disastrous amounts of mold damage. It doesn't take a ton of additional moisture to invite mold growth, so that persistent drip might be more dangerous than you think.
Don't let black mold invade your home. Contact mold remediation professionals immediately after you discover the problem.
Mold Cleanup Tips
Mold cleaning in a Leawood, KS home
House mold is a relatively common issue that the majority of homeowners do have to handle at some point. While enlisting professional remediation services is always the recommended course of action, you may be able to resolve smaller mold cases on your own. Read on to learn how to expel mold from your home in Leawood, KS.
Cleaning Surface Mold
Mold growth is a common issue, so there are several tried and true methods for expunging it. Here's how to perform one of the most common techniques:
- Create a mold cleaning solution using 1 quart of water and a 1/2 cup of bleach. For a non-toxic solution, replace the bleach with 1 quart of white vinegar or baking soda.
- Use a scrub brush or kitchen sponge soaked in the cleaning solution to attack the surface mold. Keep working until the house mold begins to disappear.
- Allow the cleaning solution to sit on the affected surface for a few minutes. This allows the solution to permeate the surface and perform a deeper clean.
- Use a clean, dry cloth or rag to gently wipe away the cleaning solution. Do not rinse the surface.
It's important to remember that the above technique is only effective in cleaning surface mold.
Preventing Subsequent Mold Growth
Mold is extremely tenacious and has a tendency to return just when you begin to think you're done with it. Implementing the proper preventative measures can help keep this tricky fungus at bay. Keep your house as clean and dry as possible by mopping up spills, monitoring indoor humidity levels and regularly checking for leaky water pipes. Repair any leaks you come across as soon as possible and properly clean and dry the area. Performing regular mold inspections can help you stay on top of the issue as well.
While you may be able to expunge smaller house mold cases on your own, it's still recommended that you enlist professional assistance. There's no real way to know exactly how large or small an indoor mold problem is, so it's better to be safe than sorry. Contact mold remediation experts next time you find black mold in your home.
Reducing the Spread of Mold Through Your Commercial Facility
Shut off the water supply
Four Ways To Combat The Spread Of Mold In Your Building
Before you panic about the significance of finding black mold in your facility, know that not all species of mold are toxic, even if the color looks it. While the mold is most likely not a poisonous variety, it stills presents a significant risk to your facility. There are at least four ways you can combat the spread of mold in your building.
- Shut off the water supply
- Turn off HVAC systems
- Close off the space
- Contact a Mold Remediation Company
Shut Off the Water Supply
Most mold infestations stem from a moisture problem, often created by a plumbing issue. Therefore, to prevent further contamination of the affected space, shut off the water supply lines that may be running through the area. If you are unsure of which supply lines cut through the room, consider shutting off the water main until the problem is resolved.
Turn Off HVAC Systems
Mold spores are microscopic organisms, and they exist everywhere, traveling on air currents. If your building has existing mold growth, you should control the spread from the infestation to other areas in your building. You can best accomplish the reduction in the spread of black mold spores by turning off the HVAC systems until the mold is removed.
Close Off the Space
To further limit the spread of the infestation, consider closing off the affected area. Shut all doors and close all windows. Do not permit entry into the area until after it is cleaned and sanitized.
Contact a Mold Remediation Company
Contact a mold remediation company in Overland Park, KS, to resolve the problem. The company will send out a crew to test the facility and assess the damage before beginning the mold cleanup.
While not every black mold species is toxic, a level of trepidation is responsible. Mold removal is not a DIY job. If you find mold in your building, contact a remediation company for immediate assistance.
Is Mold Certification Essential To Become a “Preferred Vendor?”
Mold damage behind baseboard in Leawood, KS
If you suspect you have mold in your home, it’s important to choose a company with certified mold experts that insurance companies recognize as reliable. The easiest way to do that is to select a “Preferred Vendor.”
What Causes Mold?
After a flood or a water leak in Leawood, KS, certified mold inspectors report finding hidden mold in many homes. It can grow on many porous surfaces:
How Does Mold Get In?
It is found everywhere. Mold spores are in all the air we breathe, which sounds a little terrifying. However, almost all of it is harmless.
Black mold is a special type of fungus that mostly grows indoors and can be harmful. It can get out of control, eating away gypsum walls and even degrading the wood studs that help support the building's structure.
What Can You Do?
A certified mold expert will use special equipment, including a hygrometer, to search out hidden growth. If you’ve had water damage or can smell a musty odor in an area, you probably need to have an inspection.
Who Should Do an Inspection?
You need a company that’s qualified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Technicians have to complete IICRC mold certification and have the right experience to determine if a mold problem exists in your home.
What Happens if Mold Is Found?
Another reason to choose a preferred vendor is that they must provide certified mold remediation as well as inspections. Insurance companies have strict requirements for restoration, including IICRC compliance, that earns the "Preferred Vendor" label.
Only the top water damage remediation companies in Leawood, KS, can earn the right to be listed as preferred. They have a detailed workbook to perform certified mold remediation. Specialized air movers and drying equipment will suck out the moisture and prevent further growth.
Once the cause of the water damage is addressed, a team of restoration professionals will repair what can be saved and replace what can’t. The best vendors will have hospital-grade disinfectant agents that kill mold and germs. Once the mold has been removed, it won’t grow again without access to moisture.
How To Replace a Toilet
Remove the old toilet
How To Replace a Faulty Toilet
If you find you have a leaking toilet, it is best to fix it as soon as possible to avoid further damage. You may wonder how to get your business in Prairie Village, KS, back to normal with minimal impact on your bottom line. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to easily replace a faulty toilet.
1. Turn Off the Water
Be sure to turn off the water before beginning any work. The shutoff valve is usually located on the floor or wall behind the toilet. Turning this knob in a clockwise direction will stop the flow of water coming into the tank.
2. Soak Up the Water
Before removing the leaking toilet, get rid of the water by flushing and holding down the handle until no more water is passing through the bowl. Use a cup to dip out any water that is pooled in the old toilet and then soak up any remaining water with a sponge.
3. Remove the Old Toilet
Loosen the compression nut attached to the shutoff valve and then disconnect the water supply tube. Remove the caps and nuts from the closet bolts. Once the toilet has been set free, gently rock it back and forth to release any seals and then pull up on the bowl.
4. Install the New Toilet
Insert a new wax gasket over the closet flange. Carefully set the new toilet over the new gaskets while holding onto the seat hinges. Use the closet bolts to help guide the toilet into the right place. Push down on the toilet while tightening the bolts. Your toilet repair will be done once you replace the bolt caps, reattach the supply hose, and turn the water back on.
A leaking toilet can be more than a nuisance. Over time, it can cause water damage that can ruin floors or seep into subfloors, baseboards, or walls. If you have experienced water damage, you can hire a professional water remediation company to disinfect and restore your building to its previous condition.
What Happens During Mold Remediation?
Mold remediation is a process that starts with inspection and assessment
Mold remediation is a process that starts with inspection and assessment and continues through containment, cleaning, and restoration. While some services refer to remediation as mold removal, this terminology is not accurate. Mold spores are everywhere. Stopping active growth and preventing old growth from causing a problem if moisture levels rise are the goals of cleanup.
An assessment will identify whether mold is present in a building. Several methods may be used to locate and determine the extent of an infestation:
- Visual inspection
- Inspection tools
- Sample analysis
Visual inspection locates mold that can be found without specialized equipment. A boroscope or infrared imaging technology can reveal mold behind walls. An assessment will also determine the square footage affected by an infestation.
Containing the contaminated portion of a structure stops spores from spreading. After shutting down the HVAC system, remediation specialists may create negative pressurization and use plastic sheeting to isolate the affected area. Toxigenic infestations, such as some varieties of black mold, require a decontamination chamber.
After a mold problem has been contained, trained professionals can start cleaning. Drywall, cellulose insulation, and other porous building materials may need to be torn out and replaced. The use of EPA-approved fungicides may be necessary for mold removal.
Mold also contaminates contents. Durable, non-porous items are easy to disinfect. Porous materials may require more gentle methods. It may be more cost-effective to replace some contaminated items.
Replacing building materials that have been torn out is the final stage of mold cleanup. Property owners should consider mold-resistant alternatives to reduce the risk of future infestations.
If water damage has led to mold growth at a commercial property in Leawood, KS, the building owner should arrange for an inspection. Keep in mind that remediation, rather than mold removal, is the only process for managing a mold problem.
Why Is There Mold in My Home After a Rainstorm?
Mold infestation in a home
Why Is There Mold in My Home After a Rainstorm?
Have you ever noticed black mold in your Leawood, KS, house after a rainstorm? This is probably evidence of a moisture problem in your home. The rain is somehow entering your property, leading to mold damage.
Mold growth is evidence of a moisture problem. If you do see or smell mold in your home after it rains, you should check the below areas for possible leaks:
Once you have located the source of the mold, it is not enough to just wipe the fungus away. A more thorough mold cleanup is needed.
If you only have a small amount of mold in your house, you may be able to handle it yourself. Try combining a half-cup of Borax with the same amount of white vinegar. Add two cups of warm water and pour it over the mold. Let the liquid sit on top of the mold for 10 minutes before trying to scrub it away. This both kills the present mold spores and prevents them from coming back.
Black mold and severe mold infestations should not be handled by an amateur. Instead, you should rely on mold remediation professionals. They can both remove the mold and fix the source of the water leak.
While you should not do black mold cleanup on your own, you can take steps to limit the growth of this mold. Obviously, you should check for roof leaks regularly and address them before the next rainstorm arrives. You may also want to invest in a dehumidifier to remove any excess moisture in the air. Ventilation and ceiling fans can help, as well.
Black mold after a rainstorm usually signifies a water leak in your home. The mold must be removed from the house, and the leak must be addressed to prevent the spores from returning. Cleaning professionals can perform these tasks safely and effectively.
Is Secondary Damage Is a Major Concern?
Mold grows around leaky pipes
Three Important Points to Remember
When a faucet leaks or toilet overflows, your property experiences a primary event: an incident that creates damage to the establishment. Often, this seems minor and could be overlooked; however, if not cared for immediately, that moisture festers, activating fungus spores. Now, your business has an even more serious secondary problem: Black mold is growing. To prevent this headache, understand the likely sources and how to avoid contamination. Here are three important points to remember.
1. Stay Aware
As you prioritize your day or even week, don't neglect small situations. A little drip may seem harmless, yet it can be the sign of a very serious situation. That liquid accumulates, saturating material and potentially establishing high humidity in the vicinity. It's important, then, to keep eyes alert, regularly looking and inspecting the following fixtures:
In addition, notice chances in drywall, electrical equipment, and pipes. Signs of rust, corrosion or rot mean a hidden complication is arising. Call out a repair crew to locate the initial trouble.
2. Spores Spread
Black mold isn't slow. Once moisture and organize matter interact with the spores, the reproduction quickly begins. In fact, the microbes can grow rapidly within only a few days, migrating throughout your premises through air ducts and foot traffic. If you suspect a foul odor or observe growth, contact a water and mold remediation company in Overland Park, KS, to evaluate the rooms and begin restoration.
3. Trash It
Your primary occurrence has now led to costly and time-consuming secondary damage. This needs more than a wrench and a new part. Now, it's an overhaul. Polluted items must be removed from the location. Ask the experts about sanitizing procedures, and have them replace ruined materials.
Black mold is a hazard to your establishment, forcing businesses to shut down during repairs; therefore, be prudent and fix issues as soon as they occur. Minimize water exposure, and seek help as soon as you notice anything.
3 Reasons to Get Security Fencing After a Fire
A security fence may seem like just one more thing, but it can truly save the day
One can be forgiven for thinking of security last after a devastating fire. But the fact is, you still have property to protect. Installing a security fence is one way to do it. Adding fencing to your Leawood, KS, property during the post-fire recovery period can protect both your property and your wallet. Check out three reasons to invest in security fencing after a fire.
What is Security Fencing?
Security fencing is much like any other fencing but it’s meant to be temporary. There’s typically no driving stakes into the ground and all of the other things common with more permanent fencing. As a result, this fencing can be put up and removed faster. A few other facts about this type of fencing include the following:
- It protects your property from vandals
- It limits property liability
- It prevents further expense from accidents
Keep reading to learn more about these benefits.
Keeping Out Vandals
One might think that thieves would have little interest in an obviously fire-damaged property, but they’d be wrong. In fact, many purposely target these often unoccupied properties. A security fence can block them from taking advantage of the situation.
Your property insurance is likely to cover any damage from the fire, but up to a point. Any damage after the blaze is extinguished is unlikely to be covered. That includes damages caused by unprofessional cleanup efforts.
People often are curious following a fire and may wander onto a burnt out property. If they manage to injure themselves, you may be deemed liable. That makes being able to limit access to the property paramount.
There are lots of things to think about and boxes to check after a fire. A security fence may seem like just one more thing, but it can truly save the day. Contact your local fire cleanup company to learn how you can get one.
Mold Remediation Steps and Process
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.
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.
5 Tips for Preventing Mold
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.
3 Things to Remember About Mold Testing and Cleanup
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.
An Overview of Mold in Homes
Black mold in a Prairie Village, KS home
How to Handle Mold Growth in Your Home
Unfortunately, black mold is a common issue in many homes in Prairie Village, KS. However, learning about residential mold growth can help you feel equipped to handle mold growth in your own home.
1. Why Does Mold Grow in Homes?
There are a variety of reasons mold can appear in a home. Commonly, mold begins to grow in areas that have been affected by water damage. Though many people consider floods or pipe breaks to be water damage that can result in the appearance of mold, small leaks can also cause mold growth. Additionally, if you have a moisture problem in your home, such as a humid attic or bathroom, this can increase the likelihood of mold growth.
2. How Do You Know Mold Is a Major Issue in Your Home?
There are often telltale signs of black mold, such as the dark discoloration and an unpleasant odor. However, some types of mold can be less noticeable until they have spread throughout your home. Mold that is visible in one place may indicate that it is present in less noticeable places in your house, which is why it can be wise to request an inspection by mold remediation specialists if you see mold anywhere in your home.
3. What Happens if Mold Is Ignored?
In the right environment, mold spores can quickly spread, and damage can begin within hours after water damage has occurred. Over time, mold can cause building materials to wear down, which can ultimately weaken the structure of your home. Though mold cleanup and restoration can be quick if mold is caught early, if the damage is not quickly treated, it is often necessary to replace building materials.
As a homeowner, you often want to feel prepared to handle any problem that arises. Understanding why mold grows in homes, signs of growth and knowing why it’s important not to ignore mold can make it easier to know how to react if black mold does appear in your home.
Kansas City Area Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!
Basement Flooded in Kansas City after a Storm.
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level.
There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
Last year there were many flooded basement due to heavy rains and overflowing creeks and rivers.
We use advanced inspection and monitoring equipment such as infrared cameras and moisture meters to determine if your home’s structure is actually dry. Touch is not a reliable method, as moisture can trap inside.
If Water Damage is not handled quickly and properly, it can cause severe damage to your home’s structure, not to mention the potential harmful health effects of mold. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are available 24 hours/7 days per week for emergencies.
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many national insurance companies
- We bill your insurance directly – one less thing for you to worry about
- Our Technicians are highly-trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced inspection and extraction equipment
Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Here To Help - (913) 381-6550
The Value of Pretesting During Property Restoration
When property restoration technicians first arrive on the scene, they look for an ongoing source of damage
Some property damage restoration professionals begin their services with pretesting. That is, they complete a detailed inspection of affected properties, assessing the types and scope of damages. With this information, the technician can plan an appropriate course of action. One of the key reasons for completing this inspection before beginning any other work is to keep the cost of an insurance claim down. The process generally includes the following steps:
- Address immediate and ongoing destruction or safety concerns
- Identify and categorize damages, including further safety concerns
- Survey the extent and measure the scope of the damage
- Take steps to prevent further harm
When property restoration technicians first arrive on the scene, they look for an ongoing source of damage. For example, if the property was affected by water, technicians identify the source and prevent more water from getting into the area. If they arrive at a fire-affected property, the technicians may cover holes in the roof.
Identification of Damage
Once immediate threats of harm are resolved, property damage restoration professionals move on to determine the types of damage. After a fire, for instance, technicians may find smoke in the air, soot stains on furniture, water-logged furnishings from sprinkler systems and hoses, and so on. Technicians list and categorize these issues to guide their restoration efforts.
Measure the Extent of Destruction
In addition to determining the types of damages during the pretesting phase, technicians must determine the scope of destruction. This step helps professionals prioritize areas of restoration. For example, a wet spot on the floor is much less serious than water-logged construction that could lead to a hole in the floor.
Prevent Further Issues
Finally, before leaving, technicians will address any issues that may cause further harm to the property. This includes putting up plywood on entrances, shutting off electricity, or moving furniture to prevent stains.
An insurance agent in Prairie Village, KS, may seek pretesting to keep costs under control. Property owners appreciate the information that gives them an idea of how much time and money to prepare.
SERVPRO: An Insurance Adjuster’s Best Friend
SERVPRO of Leawood/Overland Park is an industry leader in disaster mitigation and restoration
An Insurance Adjuster’s Best Friend
As an insurance adjuster in the Prairie Village, KS, area, you depend on the efficiency of others so that you can help move a client past a possibly traumatic event. SERVPRO is an industry leader in disaster mitigation and restoration and has the reputation to prove it. However, beyond reputation, this company has the coveted IICRC certification proving their knowledge and ability, but beyond that, there are several ways that this firm can serve you and your clients.
1. Immediate Response
SERVPRO is built on the premise of 24/7 availability. As an adjuster, you understand that quick response times for mitigation can mean the difference between a smooth insurance claim process and a difficult one. Properties must be boarded up, tarped and possibly even fenced off to ensure that sustained damage is not made worse.
Additionally, pretesting ensures accurate estimates and assessments. An insurance adjuster understands that accuracy is everything, especially if it means the difference between condemning a property or repairing it.
3. Electronic and Inventory Services
Also, you will be provided with an itemized loss inventory by SERVPRO’s technicians upon completion of mitigation and clean out. This will be a digital excel formatted report with pictures to assist in the creation of a proof or loss statement.
4. Vendor Compliance
Any outside vendors working on your client’s home have also had to prove compliance with the company’s qualification standards. This compliance means that your clients will experience continuity of care and professionalism throughout their restoration experience.
As an insurance adjuster, you have enough on your plate with trying to assist clients through one of the most challenging times in their lives, the loss or damage of their home. You don’t need to be inundated with concerns of inaccuracies or unprofessionalism. Your clients don’t need to worry about the consistency of care or contractors that are not dependable. Seek out a restoration company that is IICRC certified and that holds their vendors to a hirer standard so that you and your client can rest assured that their home is in good hands.
4 Potential Issues With a Partial Loss
Aftermath of a fire in Prairie Village,KS
Restoration Process After Fire Loss in Your Building
Your building in Prairie Village, KS, doesn't have to burn completely to suffer a fire loss. That doesn't mean that restoration isn't needed, though. Even if areas of your commercial property are not burned, they can still show signs of smoke or soot damage or secondary damage such as mold. Any time you have a fire in your building, you need to stay aware of four potential problems with the restoration process.
1. Insufficient Cleanup
The first call you should make after a fire is to fire restoration experts. Don't just choose the first company listed, though. Do your homework and choose certified professionals with good reviews and a good service record. Shoddy repair is not much better than no repair at all.
2. Delayed Assessment
Even if you call experts for an assessment right after the damage occurs, it may take a while for your insurance adjuster to visit the site, especially if the company has other clients with more pressing issues. If this happens, you should still hire technicians to halt any ongoing damage to your building. Make sure to document the original damage with photos or video footage and an itemized list of everything that needed repair or replacement.
3. Additional Damage
A partial fire loss often leaves sneaky problems in the building. Make sure that you have air ducts and cabinets inspected for hidden smoke damage. It is also a good idea to have the area tested for mold growth, particularly if it sustained a lot of water saturation.
4. Unmatched Finish
Another benefit of hiring quality professionals is that they restore you property to a uniform look. This often involves replacing flooring, ceiling tiles, walls or wallpaper that wasn't damaged by the fire so that the whole room looks the same. A room with matching issues should not be considered a proper restoration.
Even if a small portion of your building is affected by the fire, you still must take repairs seriously. By treating a partial loss as a complete problem, you can bypass some of the common issues that occur when only part of your building is damaged.
3 Tips for Recognizing Mold
Mold on wall in an Overland Park, KS building
When it comes to your Overland Park,KS, business you want to make sure everything stays in top shape. This includes taking care of your company building as well, and may even mean calling an indoor environmental specialist to help make sure the property is free of mold. Here are some things they may look for when going over the building.
1. The Scent
Mold’s scent is probably one of its most distinctive features. Many would call it unpleasant or musty. An odor like this in a damp location may mean mold growth is a possibility. A mold remediation professional may be able to locate the source of the odor in order to find possible mold, even when none is visible.
2. Visual Signs
An indoor environmental specialist may also look for visual signs of mold. While most people think of green spotty patches, mold may also appear as white, grey, brown and even orange. Its texture also varies and early mold may look like mildew. The location and the length of growth time may affect the mold's appearance. A visual sign also includes the location as mold grows best where moisture is readily available.
3. A Mold Test
When in doubt a mold test can be performed to determine what type of mold, if any, is growing in an area. The type of test used can vary depending on what is being tested. There is a test for substances that are possibly surface mold, and a separate one to test for spores in the air. If looking at a ventilation system, a third method may be utilized.
With the help of an indoor environmental specialist you can rid the company property of mold, and also take the necessary steps to prevent future growth. Mold can usually be identified by scent and appearance, but when in doubt a test can be performed.
How To Handle a Flood Insurance Claim
Call your agent to find out the type of damage covered
Flood Insurance Claim
When a storm causes flooding to your Leawood, KS, home, you may want to turn to flood insurance to help pay for some of the repairs. Not all insurance policies will cover flood damage. Before you start a flood claim, you should try to call your provider to find out if this type of damage is covered. Once you know that you can make a claim, follow these steps to make the most of the claims process.
1. Start the Cleanup
Flood damage can be severe. Starting the cleanup as soon as possible can help reduce the damage done to your home. The first thing you should do after a storm passes through is call a storm damage cleanup service. Because your insurance provider will want to know the extent of the damage, you should take pictures and keep records before any repairs are made.
2. Schedule the Adjuster
To start your insurance claim, you need to call your provider. Most companies will send out an adjuster to figure out how much damage the storm caused. Depending on the severity of the storm, you may have to wait a while before the adjuster can make it to your house.
3. Keep Damaged Materials
Did the flooding destroy carpeting or furniture in your home? Keep as much of the damaged items as possible, so your adjuster can see the damage firsthand. If you cannot keep something, at least take a picture.
4. Fill Out Paperwork
A flood claim usually requires a proof of loss statement. Your adjuster will assess all of the damages and create a list. You will then need to sign the proof of loss statement to indicate that you agree with the findings.
If you have a flood insurance policy, making a flood claim after a storm damages your home can help you afford the repairs. Knowing how to make a claim can make the entire cleanup process easier. Your cleanup professional may be able to help you with the claims process too.