Severe Thunderstorm Watch vs. Warning
It is always important to keep up with what’s happening with the weather in your area. One of the biggest questions asked is, what is the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and a severe thunderstorm warning? A severe thunderstorm watch is issued by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) and means that there is potential for the development of thunderstorms that can produce large hail or damaging winds. When a severe thunderstorm is in progress or has developed and is shown on your local news radar it is called a severe thunderstorm warning.
SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas City is Missouri State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us at (816)-737-8776, we are always here to help.
Floods are classified into three different categories. These categories can be easily spotted based on the various colors of the water. Floodwaters may be white/clear, gray, and black. Each category requires specific safety precautions and has different levels of mitigation and cleanout. It is crucial to understand the difference in categories to receive the proper assistance and avoid any further damage.
White/clear water is the least expensive to remedy. The source is sanitary, meaning that there is no harmful bacteria or sewage present. While this category can be a relief, it is still necessary to act quickly to remove the water and repair the damage. If the water sits for too long, it can be contaminated by other items in the area, causing an elevation in category or classification.
If the water is found to be category two, or greywater, through pretesting, then it is best that you do not go near it. This result indicates that there are organic and inorganic substances in the water and that you may become ill if it is consumed or touched.
Blackwater is the most dangerous water. The level of contamination includes sewage, chemicals, bacteria, and possible toxins. It is likely that your insurance agent and company will recommend a disaster restoration specialist who will probably seal the space as they work to remove the water safely.
Characteristics of a Category 3 Water Damage
Category 3 Water Damage
There are three different levels of damage when it comes to water damage. Category 3 damage is by far the worst. Experts have a way to categorize the different levels of water damage that can occur from floodwater. Category 3 isn’t something you want to ignore or even be around. Here are some traits of this type of water:
- Is contaminated with toxic or pathogenic agents
- Occurs due to backup sewers
- Carries feces, pesticides, or heavy metals
Water from this category is often called black water because of the materials found in it. This situation may not be because of a flaw in your building or home. Blackwater can come in due to sewage problems from the main city line. There are also cases where a toilet overflow could cause category 3 concerns.
If you notice black water at any time in your office or home, make sure you evacuate immediately. Identify where the water is located and how much area is affected. You should contact emergency services and your insurance company as well. Don’t go near the water, and don’t try to clean it up yourself. Instead, get in touch with a reputable commercial water damage restoration specialist. A professional crew will extract all the water with high-powered wet vacuums. Once all the water is gone, the team will dry the floor, walls, ceiling, and any other items. A technician will then, sanitize the space to ensure mold doesn’t grow and that there is no presence of harmful materials.
Category 3 flood water is nothing to take lightly. Follow these guidelines and let a seasoned professional take control.
Municipal Flood Prevention
It is nearly impossible to control natural factors that lead to high water conditions, but many communities try to take steps to reduce the risk of flooding. Various methods of flood control are regularly practiced, such as
- Levee, dam, and reservoir construction
- Floodwater diversion, including the use of floodways
Many of the modern methods used in urban and rural areas today have their roots in ancient flood prevention practices.
This method is commonly used in China and involves creating an urban environment where water can hold, clean, and then drain water naturally. This ecological approach involves using rainwater for daily living, such as irrigation gardens, flushing toilets, and recharging aquifers.
Flood Plains and Overflow Areas
Vast areas of open land around rivers play vital roles in water management and natural flood protection. Additionally, many city planners include "parks" at lower levels than the surrounding neighborhood. These overflow areas become ponds during storms or heavy rainfall and may save surrounding homes from water-filled basements.
Separate Systems for Storm and Wastewater
Many cities have taken an important step by running separate underground pipe systems for draining rainwater out of the sewer systems. This reduces the burden on wastewater treatment plans and improves the efficiency of functionality. Additionally, city workers take steps to keep sediment, debris, and other items out of the sewer system.
This refers to replacing non-permeable materials with permeable solutions. For example, a concrete walkway up to the front door won't absorb any water, concrete is non-permeable. However, a decorative stone walkway or a gravel path can absorb water. The more water is absorbed by the ground, the less risk of high water, and can help stop flooding.
Flood prevention is a continued study that involves improved efforts. If you want tips on how you can help in prevention efforts before high water situations, talk to a flood remediation professional in your area.
Love What's Local
When a disaster occurs, working with a company that is local to the area can be useful for a variety of reasons. However, a small local company may only specialize in certain types of disaster responses, and also may not be able to tackle large restoration projects. Regardless of how much or what type of damage has occurred, a local restoration franchise that has been certified can appropriately respond to a disaster of any kind.
Though a corporation may have the experience necessary to respond to major damage, a company that isn’t locally owned may not understand the unique challenges that come with local landscapes. Additionally, a company that isn’t local is likely to have a slower response time, which can ultimately result in a building sustaining additional damage. However, a SERVPRO franchise that is local to a business owner’s area can mitigate the damage by responding quickly.
Often, a local franchise has a myriad of tools that other restoration companies may not have. We have partners that can quickly send the needed tools to the franchise. Additionally, your local SERVPRO is more likely to have spent time studying procedures and practices, meaning that professionals from a local franchise will have up-to-date information on how to best handle any situation.
After a disaster or contamination of any kind, it is often helpful to employ a local restoration franchise. A SERVPRO franchise can manage problems of any size, respond quickly after disasters, and can provide the necessary tools and equipment needed for restoration. Call your local SERVPRO today!
4 Tasks Property Managers Should Do to Prepare for a Storm
Commercial property can't be completely ignored when inclement weather comes through, and business owners can't control all elements of storm preparedness, especially if they lease space. With that in mind, managers must take action, doing what they can to protect the assets. Here are four things they can do to help.
1. Establish Communication
Regular updates are important. People need to know if the area is safe or whether evacuation and boarding should occur. Furthermore, everyone should be on the same page about how to prepare for the storm and who has what responsibility. Therefore, property management should compile a list of everyone's phone numbers and email addresses. Send messages often, ensuring that everyone is aware of your progress.
2. Have a Plan
Well before a system appears, sit down and discuss the protocol for storm preparedness. Gather together and upload online important legal and financial documents: This includes contracts, mortgage papers, bank account numbers, and insurance policies. In addition, think ahead of whom to call in an emergency.
3. Prepare the Grounds
Once a watch is issued, property management should begin looking at the facility. Are the shingles loose on the roofs? If so, have them secured or covered. Does the pool area require attention? Have employees clear the deck of any furniture. Also, walk around. Trim tree branches, and pick up any loose debris. Eliminate objects that could be become projectiles from the high winds.
4. Record the Property
Before the gales hit, grab your phone and videotape the building. Make sure this has a timestamp, verifying for insurance that you did attend to the location. Should leaks or structural problems occur, this evidence may help expedite the approval for a storm restoration company's services.
Be proactive. Management companies should consider storm preparedness early, mapping out their tasks and establishing a strong line of contact. Protect the space. It's valuable to many.
Tips to Keep Mold Out of Your Bathroom
Let’s face it, when it comes to parts of our homes we wish we didn’t have to think much about, the bathroom would probably top that list. For most of us, the bathroom is the one part of the house that we want to get away from, just as quickly as we entered. And as a cleaning and restoration company that often finds ourselves entering into some pretty serious bathroom maintenance concerns, we’ve found that mold damage is one of the worst issues to face. That’s why we wanted to share some worthwhile information with you so that the next time you’re cleaning your home or doing various housekeeping chores, you can have some helpful pointers in mind for keeping mold growth at bay in your bathroom.
"Bathrooms are common places to find mold because heat and moisture accumulate on a regular basis, and this happens to be the perfect environment that mold needs to grow." Some common reasons why mold growth is found especially in the bathroom are due to:
- Lack of air circulation and ventilation that traps moisture after bathing
- Leaky toilets, sinks, or pipes
- Improper installation of bathtub pan or shower building materials
- Other damp organic materials such as rugs, paper products, wood, wallpaper, drywall, etc…
There are several different methods you can follow to prevent mold growth.
- Make sure you have a bathroom fan that works and is the right size in relation to the size of your bathroom
- If you don’t have a bathroom fan or window, take some time to dry the wet surfaces (walls, mirror, and ceiling) with a towel after your shower. Squeegee your shower walls to get rid of extra moisture.
- Seal the grout in your tile annually to ensure it's waterproof. Repair or replace damaged grout and caulk.
- Leave bathroom windows and doors open after your shower to let all the steam out. We recommend doing this for at least a half-hour after bathing.
- Clean the bathroom with eco-friendly mold-preventing cleaners like Concrobium or Sporicidin. Also, general household cleaning solutions with bleach can be a great way to lessen the likelihood for mold to grow on dust, dirt, and buildup on surfaces.
- If you’re going out of town, don’t just turn your thermostat off. Keep it at 74 or below to prevent a mold fest.
- Check your sinks for leaks.
- Spread the shower curtain back out after your shower to prevent mold from growing in the folds.
- Clean the bathroom regularly, at least once a week. Don’t forget easy-to-miss places like the shower walls. Wash your cloth shower curtain and rug too!
- Call SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas City for additional tips and tricks for what to do (and NOT DO) if you have found mold growing in your bathroom.
How Do Building Envelopes Work?
As a business owner in Missouri, you know how crucial it is to keep your building safe from all kinds of harm. One of the most dangerous risks that you may face is persistent rain damage. This threat can lead to various problems throughout your business, such as flooding and black mold. Fortunately, you can ensure that your company stays protected by establishing a secure envelope around your building. Here’s everything you need to know about how building envelopes work.
What Are Building Envelopes?
A building envelope refers to the construction and design of a building’s exterior that helps to repel the elements. There are numerous aspects of an envelope that allow it to do its job of keeping a building safe. Some of its most essential features include the following:
- Structural integrity
- Air pressure boundaries
- Temperature control
- Moisture control
Each of these elements plays a critical role in the effectiveness of a building’s envelope. It’s crucial to ensure that your envelope is shielded with these features so that it stays safe from rain damage.
The Importance of Building Envelopes
If you aim to keep your business protected from weather damage, the first place you should look is your building envelope. This structure acts as a major defense against rain, snow, hail, and various other types of water and air intrusion. Once a building’s envelope captures excess water, it sends the water to a drainage system, helping to prevent black mold from forming in your business. A strong envelope around your building also helps to regulate the transfer of heat in and out of your business, which ensures that your employees and customers stay comfortable all year long.
Rain damage can have a severe impact on your business, and strengthening your building’s envelope may help to deter some of the harm. If your company suffers any damage despite having a powerful building envelope, be sure to call commercial building restoration services so your building can make a full recovery.
Buying The Right Fire Extinguisher
Buying a fire extinguisher for your home in Kansas City, MO can be confusing. There are so many options available that it’s hard to know which will work best for your family. The two main items to consider include the classification and the size of the unit.
Classification of Extinguishers
Household extinguishers are available in three classifications, or some combination of these, as identified on the label. The classification indicates which type of fire can be extinguished.
A - This class identifies ordinary combustibles like cloth, wood, or paper.
B - Flammable liquids like cooking oil, gasoline, and grease are identified in this classification.
C - Live electricity is handled most effectively with this class of extinguisher.
Many household fire extinguishers are classified with all three designations (A:B: C), which means that they can combat all three types of fires. Most units also include an identifying number directly preceding the letters. The higher the number, the more effective it will be to combat each type of home fire.
Sizes of Extinguishers
There are several sizes of extinguishers. The larger the unit, the more powerful it is. If it’s too heavy to handle, however, it won’t be of much use.
10 pound - This size is most suitable for a home workshop or garage. A rechargeable unit with a hose will make it more user-friendly.
5 pound - This unit can be stored easily under the kitchen sink or in the laundry room. The rechargeable model is the smartest option.
2 pound - This small extinguisher will fit nicely inside your car. The disposable unit comes equipped with a mount so that it will stay firmly in place inside your trunk.
Stovetop - This option can be mounted on your stove range’s hood. Just remember not to place it over a deep fryer.
No matter which unit you choose, it is important to include fire extinguisher training as part of your family’s fire preparedness.
5 Tips to Take After a Toilet Overflow
If you’ve had issues with a toilet overflow you may have issues with sewer damage in your Raytown, MO, home. This can be a tricky mess to clean up as sewer waterfalls into the black water category and can require special equipment to ensure it is properly decontaminated. If you’re experiencing this problem here’s what you should do.
1. Call a Professional
One of the first things that should be done if you have a sewage problem in your home is to contact a local water damage restoration service to assess the damage and begin cleanup and repairs. These professionals can locate the source of the problem which may help determine if the sewage company needs to be contacted as well
2. Wear Proper Safety Gear
It's important to wear proper safety gear any time you are dealing with sewage material to avoid the spread of contaminated material. This includes gloves, coveralls, boots, and masks.
3. Remove the Water
Once the professionals have arrived and safety gear is in place the professionals can begin the sewer damage restoration. One of the first steps you may see performed is the removal of any floodwater and sewage materials.
4. Dry the Area
Once the water is removed it’s important to thoroughly dry the area. A dehumidifier may be used during this step.
5. Decontaminate the Area
After cleaning up a flooded toilet, it’s important to decontaminate the area to ensure that no bacteria remain. This is done to help ensure that the area is safe for use. The professionals overseeing your sewer cleanup may use special cleaners for this job.
When dealing with sewer damage it’s important to contact a professional as quickly as possible. They will have the correct equipment to perform the job safely and can remove the water without causing further contamination to your home. These professionals will also be able to dry and decontaminate the space.