Leading Causes of Fires - How to Avoid
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires & injuries in the U.S. Cooking fires often result from unattended cooking and human error, rather than mechanical failure of stoves or ovens. Although it is important to make sure your appliances are functioning properly and kept up to date, it is equally important to cook with caution and never get too comfortable in the kitchen.
Heating is the second leading cause of residential fires. However, heating fires are a larger problem in single family homes than in apartments. Unlike apartments, the heating systems in single family homes are often not professionally maintained. Make sure your heating systems are being professionally regulated during the colder seasons.
Although accidents happen, it is important to be prepared and alert in order to minimize these chances before they occur. Here are a few simple safety precautions to take to decrease the possibility of a fire.
- Keep flammables away from ignition sources.
- Utilize flammable storage cabinets.
- Know your chemical properties.
- Do not block fire extinguishers with equipment.
- Utilize those with electrical expertise/installations/assistance.
- Do not overload outlets - use a track plug.
- Practice good housekeeping techniques in the lab/office/work area.
- Inspect wires for possible damage and replace as needed.
How To Clean Your Building After a Toilet Flood
There may not be much that is nastier to deal with than a sewer backup, and your business plan may not include the budget for a sewer cleanup, so, it might be worth looking into flood insurance. Nonetheless, problems can occur and the unexpected can happen, throwing a wrench into the works. Differing from a category 1 or clean water flood, a flooded toilet carries serious contaminants that must be properly dealt with.
How Do You Clean Up Sewer Water
If the water is running clear, stops upon shutoff and is confined to a non-porous bathroom floor, you may be able to mop it up and clean it with detergent and chlorine bleach. If the water has any color to it, is coming from deeper in the drain or is spilling out onto carpeted areas, down a heat duct or is deep enough to be standing you will likely need assistance from a professional sewage cleanup service.
Remove everyone from the area to avoid exposure
Find the water shutoff valve and turn the flow off, if possible
If the water is not running mostly clear, it may be coming from the sewer rather than the supply line
Water must be extracted and cleaned up
Sanitizing and disinfecting must be thoroughly done as sewage can be considered a biohazard
Cleaning and Disinfecting
The sewer line may need to be cleared professionally to unblock the drain. A sewer cleanup service may be necessary to help with that as well as the cleanup. Sewage water is likely to contain bacteria and viruses and it is critical to contain the spill and begin professional a sanitizing process as soon as possible, using industrial disinfectants. Every nook and cranny needs attention. Any rugs, carpets or soft surfaces will likely need to be disposed of.
Employ preventative measures such as regular drain and supply line inspections and enzyme treatments to reduce the risk of flooding. When prevention fails and the need for sewer cleanup occurs, take it seriously to ensure proper restoration.
Cleaning Under Your Home After A Flood
Under Home Cleaning - After Flooding
Many homeowners are eager to begin cleaning their homes after a flood although, few people realize that the area underneath houses often need to be cleaned after a flood. Here are a few helpful things to know about cleaning crawlspaces after a flood.
Though damage in a crawlspace may not be immediately apparent, identifying damage in a timely manner is often important. The following are common indicators that a crawlspace has been affected by a storm:
- An unpleasant, musty odor in areas above and around the crawlspace due to mold growth
- Damaged subfloors or warped vinyl floors
- High levels of humidity in rooms above the crawlspace
A home flood can cause major damage to both the interior and exterior of a home, and though crawlspaces are often overlooked, they are still prone to damage. When water quickly accumulates under a house it is not removed or drained, the structure of the house can be affected. Crawlspace damage can also occur if there are high levels of humidity in the area. This can cause building materials to absorb the moisture and weaken.
Thankfully there are steps that storm damage restoration company professionals take to clean your home’s crawlspace. First, water is removed from the crawlspace. If mold and high levels of humidity remain present after all the water is extracted, professionals may create negative air pressure in the area to dry it up. Once the area is dry, professionals may restore or replace any materials that have been damaged.
Though floods can wreak havoc on your home, it is important to understand the cleaning steps to take after, to prevent any future issues. Knowing the signs of a damaged crawlspace, common causes of damage and how the underside of your house is cleaned can make the clean up process much simpler.
Possible Reasons Your Toilet May Be Leaking
Do You Notice Water Every Time You Flush?
You may have a leaking toilet. A buildup of standing water in your bathroom could lead to water damage, mold or mildew, so it’s best to find the source of the problem as soon as possible- especially in Kansas City, MO. As a complex system, there are multiple reasons this could be happening. Toilets are an everyday necessity, so be sure to take the proper measures to get it back in working order.
Diagnose the Problem
First you need to figure out where the water is leaking from. Clean up as much of the water as you can on both the floor and the toilet itself, so that you can follow the water as it builds again. Try flushing the leaking toilet to jumpstart the process. Usually the water seeps out below the toilet, which will be addressed below, but during this process more unusual causes may present themselves, such as a:
- Damaged toilet tank
- Valve that does not completely close
- Sweaty bowl
- Supply tube that is wobbly or movable
Water pooling beneath your leaking toilet may be the result of floor bolts that hold the toilet in place becoming loose. Simply remove the protective covers and tighten each one with a wrench. Be sure not to make them too tight, or you could damage the toilet. You should visibly notice the leak stop. If not, there may be a deeper issue.
If tightening bolts did not stop your water flow, that probably means that the wax seal on your gasket is dry or cracked. Luckily, it is replaceable. Be sure to shut off the water and drain the toilet before beginning the process. Next, disconnect the water-supply tube and lift the toilet from the floor. You will need to scrape off the old wax before installing the new wax gasket.
Leaking bathrooms are no fun, but that does not mean they should be ignored. Diagnosing the problem is half the job. Feel free to reach out to a professional.
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 have different levels of mitigation and clean out. 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 grey water, 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.
Black water, 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 damages. Category 3 damage is by far the worst. Experts have a way to categorize the different levels of water damage that can occur from flood water. 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 back-up sewers
- Carries feces, pesticides or heavy metals
Water from this category is often called black water because of materials found in it. This situation may not be because of a flaw in your building or home. Black water 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.
Tips to Keep Mold Out of Your Bathroom
Call SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas if you find mold growing in 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 who 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 its water proof. 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 growth 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?
If you aim to keep your business protected from weather damage, the first place you should look is your building envelope
As a business owner in Unity Village, MO, 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
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.
Stove top - 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.