Safe Clean Up Of Water Leaking Into Light Fixtures
It is not uncommon to find water in light fixtures, or even ceiling damage following a winter with a heavy snow load, or a series of rainstorms. This damage may not always be a major problem, but could definitely develop into such if allowed to continue.
Leaks of this nature may come from a leaking flange around a chimney or vent on the roof that has developed a gap, infiltration by birds or squirrels, or an aging roof. It may also come from an overhead pipe that is leaking due to settling, loosening of joints, or freezing temperatures. Finding and repairing the point where water is getting in is important and should be given priority attention.
How To Handle Cleanup
In order to prevent worsening damage from the water leaking through the roof, immediate cleanup needs to take place.
The attic space should be inspected to see if the insulation has become saturated. Not only can that put an excess load on the ceiling, but it can also develop mold if left alone. It may need to be removed and replaced.
If the leak is from a pipe running above the ceiling, shut the water off as soon as possible to stop the leaking.
If you find water in light fixtures, shut off the electricity to all affected fixtures before attempting to inspect or replace it, and do not turn the electricity back on until certain all water has stopped leaking.
Get Professional Help
Call a water damage cleanup specialist to evaluate any ceiling damage and make a plan for repair. They can determine which materials need to be replaced, ensure that any mold is cleaned and removed, and restore your home to a safe condition.
If you do find water in light fixtures in your home, take it as a severe hint that some repair and cleanup are needed. This will help prevent a worse scenario and help you get your home restored to a safer and healthier condition.
How to Use Building Envelopes to Keep Your Property Dry
Rain damage can harm a commercial building in several ways. It creates an overflow of water, which may necessitate expensive flood cleanup. The water can destroy both the structure of a building and the contents inside it. Rain damage can also lead to a buildup of black mold.
Thankfully, there are ways to prevent major storm damage to your property. One common tactic is securing the building envelope. This envelope consists of the wall systems and the roof, and it has several functions. They include:
- Resisting the escape of cool or hot air
- Diverting water to the storm drains
- Protecting and supporting equipment
- Defending the building from snow or rain
Securing the Envelope
Water penetration is responsible for the majority of harm to buildings. Flood damage, in particular, can be costly. Worst of all, water does not need a lot of space to get inside a property. A hole as small as 0.005 inches is all it takes.
This hole can result from cracks in the plaster and brick that make up the walls. Poorly installed joints can cause gaps, as well. To limit the rain damage to your property, be sure to seal as many of these openings as possible.
Designing the Envelope
When building or remodeling the envelope for your property, you should take certain additional steps to keep the area secure. If possible, limit the number of protrusions you use. You should also avoid using too many different cladding materials. You may want to include rain screens and capillary breaks, as well.
There are backup systems you can install, too. You can utilize weep holes that drain excess water to the outside of the building. You can also use through-wall flashing to divert moisture to the exterior.
Proper maintenance of your commercial building envelope can prevent rain damage. However, if your property does sustain a leak, storm cleanup specialists can assist with the restoration process.
Three Reasons Why Your Toilet Is Leaking
A leaking toilet can be a major nuisance, especially when the underlying cause is unknown. If your home has a bathroom leak that goes untreated, the resulting damage can be costly. The following are three possible reasons why your toilet leaks with every flush.
1. Malfunctioning Wax Ring
A common cause of this type of leak is the failure of the wax seal underneath the toilet. When working properly, the wax ring functions as a barrier between the toilet and floor flange to keep water from seeping out. When this wax seal is malfunctioning, it could be that the wax has become dry over time and no longer functions as a barrier, or that the seal was improperly installed with the toilet.
2. Broken Tank Flange
Another potential cause of a leaking toilet is a broken tank flange. If the flange is not properly installed, it can shift out of place and crack under pressure. Because your toilet is a relatively high-traffic area of your home, even a small crack in a tank flange can quickly become a cause for concern and require replacement.
3. Loose Tank
Bathroom leaks that are not pooling on the floor near the base of the toilet can sometimes be traced back to the tank itself. If your toilet is leaking from the tank, but you see no obvious cracks or damage through which water might escape, your tank might just be loose. The connection between the tank and the rest of the toilet can become loose over time and will most likely cost less to repair than to replace entirely.
A leaking toilet can be a headache to deal with on your own. Hiring a professional specializing in water damage repair can help fix existing issues and minimize costly water damage in your bathroom to make it seem "Like it never even happened."
The Top Five Places Where Mold Might Be Hiding
Top Five Places Where Mold Might Be Lurking
While you can call a remediation company if you suspect a mold problem in your home, a team of professionals is not always immediately necessary. There are varying degrees of mold growth, from itemized occurrences to full-scale infestations. The best way to understand your current mold problem is to inspect your home and know the top five places where mold might be lurking.
- Behind walls
- Under flooring
- HVAC systems
- Beneath Sinks
- Mechanical Closet
Mold exists in dark, damp spaces. Wall cavities provide an excellent environment for spores to thrive. While you might not expect a significant issue when you come across a small area of moldy drywall, know that when mold presents on the surface of a wall, it is likely well-developed behind as well.
Similar to moldy walls, mold on wood floors typically suggests a more substantial issue beneath the floorboards. However, that doesn't only go for wood floors. Some flooring types exacerbate the problem because there are limited if any, visual clues. For example, linoleum flooring is nonporous, which means that mold cannot penetrate through to the surface.
Unfortunately, when mold growth occurs anywhere in the house, your HVAC system may have been infiltrated as well. Look for signs of discoloration of vent covers and a musty odor coming through as well.
Another common space for mold to develop is underneath sinks. While these areas are not as hidden as some, homeowners typically store cleaners and supplies under sinks, making it difficult to discern whether there are minor leaks that could create an environment for spores to settle and multiply.
Last, similar to cabinets under sinks, a home's mechanical closet - the area where the water heater is found - is also a prime location for mold development. These spaces are often humid and dark, and because they are not checked on regularly, leaks do occur, leading to the growth and reproduction of spores.
No homeowner wants mold growth developing in their home. Therefore, it is necessary to inspect your house vigilantly and to call for professional help when needed.
Be Safer With a Home Fire Extinguisher
Small incidental fires can begin at home for several reasons; a cigarette, a grease fire on the stovetop, or a lit candle or space heater left unattended. A small home fire can often be put out with a fire extinguisher, rather than calling the fire department in Raytown, MO. That, of course, depends on the size of the fire and the type of extinguisher you have.
Get the Right Extinguisher
Part of fire preparedness is knowing which kind of fire extinguisher is best for certain fires. Understanding the difference is of great importance, as some can do more harm than good. The following list explains the difference.
Type A – Suitable for everyday combustibles such as paper, fabric, and wood
Type B – Works best for fuels like gasoline, butane, and cooking oils
Type C – A most appropriate choice for electrical fires
Not only do extinguishers have different types, but they have other variations besides. Type A and B have a number before the letter to designate their effectiveness. A 4-A works better on a paper fire than a 2-A. If the unit has a C but no number ahead of it, it means it will not conduct electricity.
Which Extinguisher is Best?
The kind you decide to keep in your home depends on where you intend to keep it. You may decide you need more than one at hand for the greatest safety. For instance, you would do well to keep a type B in the kitchen where you are most likely to experience a grease fire. You might want to keep a type C near the breaker box and a type A near a home den, library, or craft room.
In the event, a larger blaze breaks out and you require more than a fire extinguisher, call 911 immediately. Then get help to assess the fire damage and manage fire cleanup, call the fire and water restoration service in Raytown, MO for help. They can handle the fire damage cleanup and help get things back to normal. Preparation can help you avoid a disaster, however, so keep a couple of extinguishers at hand.
3 Tips for Recovering From Storm Damage
When a serious storm is in the forecast, the potential for property damage is always present. Do you know what to do in the wake of an extreme weather event? Here are some storm tips to minimize the destruction and get back to normal after a storm hits your property.
Types of Storm Damage
Storms can bring countless types of damage, from hail devastation to broken windows. Some of the most common and destructive forms of storm damage include:
- Wind destruction
- Flood problems
- Electrical issues from lightning strikes
Any of these types of damage can result in extensive property destruction and considerable expense, especially if you don’t know how to handle the aftermath.
Contact Your Insurer
It may seem obvious, but many homeowners wait too long to contact their insurance providers after a storm. Getting in touch with your insurer to describe the wreckage as soon as possible can help you get a claim filed quickly. It can also prevent taking any steps that could void a claim so make the call as soon as you can.
When you fail to document affected items with images, you run the risk of underestimating just how much damage was done. So whether it’s on a camera or with your phone, taking pictures is one of the most important storm tips you can follow.
Secure Your Property
The only thing worse than sustaining damage in a storm is getting new damage on top of that. Invest in tarps to cover roof holes, board up broken windows with plywood or take any other steps necessary to prevent new wind or water damage from getting inside your home.
What you do after a storm can be just as important as what you do before it. Use these storm tips in the initial wake of a storm and contact the right insurance agent and water cleanup companies to get your property back in tip-top condition.
ERP's and Why They Are Important
Being a business owner can have many responsibilities, and you may have to take on multiple roles.
In most cases, disaster is the last thing you are thinking about, but every business owner, regardless of how new or old your business is, should have a plan and guide for what to do in the event of a disaster.
SERVPRO of Lee's Summit offers a free community service called the "Emergency Ready Plan", or an ERP.
ERPs are handy little guides that we make at SERVPRO that contain basic information regarding your property, who owns the property, and where your emergency shut-off locations are.
We document and photograph, where your electrical, water, and gas shut-offs, are, as well as your sprinkler system and security system. We also have the contacts for those utility companies in the event that you must make contact.
Key contacts are also listed in the ERP, such as the owner, the insurance agent for the property, the SERVPRO representative, and the managers of the building.
The emergency contacts and services page has the fire department and police department's emergency and non-emergency numbers as well, that way, if contact is needed, you know where to find all those phone numbers and contact points.
It's very beneficial to have an ERP because although the business owner might know where everything is and who to contact, your employees might not know. Having a guide like this can help so much if the business owner is not present.
ERPs are very convenient as well, we are able to provide a paper copy, and we can provide a digital version on the Ready Plan app! This makes ERPs very easy to access in times of need.
When you run a business, it's good to prepare for not just the next day's shift, but for the things that happen unexpectedly.
SERVPRO of Lee's Summit is always here to help!
If you’re in the process of buying a house or you’re looking for a new homeowners insurance policy, you might be familiar with what a flood zone is. If you don’t know what they are, you might want to start reading about them.
Zoning for Floods?
A flood zone is an area in a specific geographical space that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has determined has at least some risk of flooding. There are four primary types of zones, which correlate to the severity or category of excessive water events that can occur in that area.
- Moderate to Low-Risk Areas
- High-Risk Areas
- High Risk – Coastal Areas
- Undetermined Risk Areas
How to Find Your Zone
Each area’s zones are depicted on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map, also known as FIRM, which can be found online at https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance-rate-map-firm. You can also contact your local municipality or look on their website, most cities will have zoning information available online. You can try searching for the term “flood elevation certificate” for faster results.
Some people may think that these zones can only be found next to a large body of water or along a river or stream, but that’s not the case. Houses that are nowhere near a body of water can experience a flood if there’s a large rainstorm.
Knowing what kind of flood zone you live in can also be helpful for storage options and emergency preparedness. If you live in a high-risk zone, for example, you probably don’t want to put boxes directly on the floor, and you might want to increase the number of your emergency supplies.
If you weren’t aware that your home is potentially at risk for a flood, and a storm causes water-related damage, you should contact a storm damage specialist in your area to determine your best course of action and get the damage repaired as quickly as possible.
Is Your Business Prepared?
Up to 50% of businesses never reopen following a disaster. This usually happens because the amount of damage was too large and too expensive to recover. Your business should be prepared to minimize the damage to your business so that doors can open back for business.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your establishment is ready.
A business that does reopen after a disaster must have a preparedness plan. You must identify the components of your business that are essential for it to continue running. Prepare a plan with the appropriate staff as well. Your staff must know who and what should happen in the case of an emergency.
Prepare your Emergency Plan
Have a plan in place. Letting SERVPRO prepare an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) will help minimize the damage by having a quick response to an emergency. Knowing what and when to do will ensure that the right steps are taken. Something as simple as just knowing where the shutoff valves are can save you from extensive water damage.
Review Your Insurance
Make sure you are familiar with your insurance. You need to know who to call when you need answers regarding your business. Understanding your policies will help you be able to know what is not covered and reassess if your needs require more coverage.
The physical damages to your property but also internal damage to important files and data. Be sure to have all your data backed up.
How to Reduce the Chance of a Kitchen Fire
Though fires can start in any area of the home, many fires often begin in kitchens, and kitchen fires can cause widespread damage to homes. Fortunately, there are various tips you can follow to help to reduce the chance of a kitchen fire occurring in your home.
1. Don't Leave Cooking Food Unattended
When cooking, it can be easy to become distracted. Though you may be tempted to leave your kitchen while cooking, however, this can result in a fire. Items left on a stovetop can burn and catch fire in a short period of time if high heat is used, and if you are out of the room when the fire begins, you may not be able to stop the fire from getting out of control. For these reasons, it's generally best to stay in the kitchen when cooking.
2. Clean Your Kitchen Often
When it comes to fire prevention tips, cleaning your kitchen can be beneficial. If grease has spilled on your stovetop or in your oven, or if you use a dirty, greasy pan, a fire can start quickly. A grease fire can be particularly dangerous because it can spread at an accelerated rate and cause major damage to your home. Cleaning your kitchen often, however, can reduce the likelihood of grease causing a fire.
3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Though a flame in a kitchen doesn't necessarily spell disaster if it is quickly extinguished, fires that aren't quickly controlled can cause devastation to homes. If a home has been affected by major fire damage, many homeowners find it helpful to contact emergency restoration services. However, the sooner you are able to extinguish a fire, the less likely it is that your home will sustain major damage. Having an ABC fire extinguisher (an extinguisher that can put out fires caused by trash, grease, or electricity) in your kitchen can be wise.
Since kitchen fires are incredibly common, knowing tips to prevent this type of fire can be useful to homeowners. Preventative methods can include remaining in your kitchen when cooking, frequently cleaning your kitchen, and keeping a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.