Recent Posts

Pet Storm Preparedness

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Pet Storm Preparedness Don't let your pet be unprepared.

Pet Storm tips from SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas City -

Did you know that almost all dog and cat owners don't have disaster plans for their pets? SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas City urges you to make sure this isn’t you.

You made a disaster kit for yourself and family, so make one for your pet. This includes medical records and medication, food and water with can openers, leashes, and carriers.

Tips:

  • Keep pets inside during a storm. Animals can become confused and run away from home during a disaster.
  • Arrange a safe haven for you and your pets during evacuation. Do not leave pets behind.
  • Store an emergency kit—with items such as pet food, bottled water, medical records, a blanket, a flashlight and leashes—as close to an exit as possible.
  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags. 
  • Have your pet microchipped in case of a lost collar. 
  • Place a rescue alert sticker to your front home to let rescuers know that there are pets inside.
  • Choose a caregiver to take care of your pet in the event you are unable to.

SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas 816-737-8776

Methods for Removing Smoke Odor After a Fire

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Methods for Removing Smoke Odor After a Fire House Fire

When you have a house fire in Raytown/East Kansas City, MO it may seem like the smell of the smoke will never go away. Smoke particles can infiltrate every nook and cranny in your home. They can even imbed themselves into furniture, flooring and walls. Professional restoration experts, however, have methods for extracting smoke odor from your home as part of the restoration process. Here are some smoke cleaning processes that may prove effective in removing the stench from your home.

Air Filtration Devices

One of the first methods the experts are likely to try is an air filtration device. This air scrubber sucks in the air in your home and returns it clean and refreshed. The filters in this system are specially constructed to reduce smoke odor. Some common features of filtration devices that remove smoke odor include

• HEPA filters
• Activated carbon filters
• Treated filters that specifically target smoke

Ozone Machines

Another method of smoke cleaning involves the use of ozone machines. Rather than taking air in, these machines create and expel ozone, the same compound chemical created by a rainstorm that gives the outdoor air its fresh scent. The ozone flows throughout your home, oxidizing smoke residue and neutralizing its odor.

Thermal Foggers

Thermal foggers create deodorizing droplets that permeate the air as well as porous materials in your home to get rid of smoke odor. Using heat and pressurization, the fogger creates tiny particles that can go wherever the smoke damage has gone. Your home is deodorized and cleansed of the stench of the fire.

One of the many advantages of hiring smoke cleaning professionals to remove odors from your home after a fire is that they are equipped with industrial machines that can be used to eliminate the smells. A process that would take weeks or even months with any device you could buy retail can be completed in a matter of hours or days with the advanced methods used by professionals.

What Can You Do to Fix Moldy Clothes?

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What Can You Do to Fix Moldy Clothes? Your dryer is your friend.

The reason clothing is so susceptible to mold growth is not just because of the mold-inviting circumstances within the laundry room. Generally, when it is worn, clothing collects sweat and skin cells, as well as dirt and other forms of moisture and organic material that mold loves to feast on. Then, it is placed in the laundry hamper and usually sits for days before it it is finally washed. This scenario is typical and may not result in a noticeable mold infestation, but should the soiled laundry be allowed to fester long enough, a mildew smell may be present, as well as visible signs of green, blue, gray, black, or sometimes even white mold on clothes.

Another scenario is becoming more common due to busy lifestyles and poor habits. The quick development of mold on clothes after washing may be surprising to some, but it is quite an ordinary occurrence for those with overwhelmed schedules or those who are vulnerable to procrastination because they often forget to remove clothing from the washing machine once the cycle is finished. As time passes, this leads to the rapid proliferation of mildew and mold on clothes after washing, due to the remaining moisture. Neglecting to put the wet clothes in the dryer for a few hours is not what makes mold grow. Neglecting the clothes in the washer for 6 hours or longer–sometimes a day or even a few days–is the problem. Before too long, a mildew smell will be detected in the washer and clothing. Some assume this is the residue of soap, and while that may be true to some extent, the fact of the matter is that most soaps contains lard and other organic (even synthetic) materials that mold can thrive off of. The smell is not necessarily the residue of soap, but an indication that mold is producing a secondary metabolite–the mildew smell–from consuming that soap.

What is a natural detergent to kill mold?  Here is what you will need.

  • Two 5 oz. organic castile soap bars (naturally-scented with lavender or peppermint is great but non-scented works just the same)
  • 3 cups of washing soda (no, it’s not the same as baking soda)
  • 2 cups of borax
  • 30 drops of  certified-pure lavender essential oil (optional but highly advisable for a mold killing laundry detergent)

Once you have all the materials, this is what to do. 

  1. Cut the castile soap bars into small pieces or chunks. (This is crucial to avoid damaging the food processor.)
  2. Place the cut castile soap pieces or chunks in the food processor bowl. Pulse the soap on high until what remains are large crumbs.
  3. Add the washing soda to the food processor and pulse for 1 minute. (After pulsing, all the ingredients should be in powder form and well-combined. If not, try running the food processor again and then mixing with a spoon.)
  4. Empty the washing soda and castile soap into the storage container. Add the borax and blend well with a spoon.
  5. Add the essential oils of choice (optional but beneficial) and be sure to mix well.

Do not place this mixture into the drawer or dispenser, place it directly in with the laundry.

Why You Should Regularly Clean Your Building's Air Ducts/HVAC System

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

It's easy for the cleaning of air ducts and HVAC systems on your property to go forgotten, but it is important to keep up with regular HVAC maintenance. Like anything else in a home or business, air ducts accumulate dust and dirt over time. Other the factors that may increase the need for regular HVAC system cleaning are pets, occupants with allergies or asthma, cigarette or cigar smoke, water contamination or damage to the home HVAC system, or home renovation and remodeling projects. A general rule of thumb is that if your air ducts look dirty, then they probably are. 

The National Air Duct Cleaning Associatoin (NADCA) recommends that dirty HVAC systems be inspected by a reputable, certified HVAC professional. Clean HVAC systems can result in an improved air quality of your home or business. Regular cleaning may also increase your energy savings and give your HVAC system a longer lifespan.

If air duct and HVAC system cleaning goes beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, or if you want cleaning done for your home's system, SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas City can help!

Common Mold Issues

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Any home or commercial business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects.  

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO Professionals can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, they have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

SERVPRO of The Attleboros:

Understanding Mold

Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or on a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return. 
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Common Mold Misconceptions

With sensational news stories and misleading advertising, you can easily understand why so many people are misinformed about indoor mold. Learn the facts about mold and the mold remediation process.

Emergency Board Up

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Emergency Board Up Need Emergency Board Up Services? Contact SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas City today to schedule an appointment: 816-737-8776

Emergency Board Up Services

If your home or business incurs storm or fire damage resulting in an opening in your building you may be in need of emergency board up services. Any openings in the structure needs to be properly boarded up to protect the building from weather and illegal entry. Your insurance policy also requires you to be proactive on protecting your home or business after any type of damage has occurred, otherwise the insurance company could account any further/secondary damage to the structure as negligence.

Not every situation requires the most extensive board up that the U.S Fire Administration have in their board up procedure manual, such as after a fire where the entire home is destroyed  and is considered a complete loss. While each emergency board up is different, let’s take a look at how to properly board up a structure after damage has caused an opening in the building.

Determining How Much Protection Is Needed

  1. Openings in the basement, first floor doors, windows and any point of entry accessible from a porch, fire escape or other potential climbing point require additional security measures. These openings should be barricaded with plywood, 2x4s, bolts and nails.
  2. Openings that are at least 10′ from ground level which are not accessible from a porch, fire escape, roof, or other climbing point can be secured with nails in each brace, and every 12″ around the perimeter. For these openings the plywood should be fitted so that it rests snugly against the exterior frame, butting up to the siding on wood frame buildings and up to the brickwork on brick buildings. It may be necessary to remove the staff bead so this fit can be flush and tight.

Boarding Up

  1. Cut plywood to fit over the window and door openings, flush with outside of the molding. Note: For buildings with metal door and window frames the alternative is to cut the plywood and 2x4s to fit the inside of the door frame buffed up against the band molding.
  2. Cut the 2x4s to fit the horizontal dimension of the plywood. You will need two 2×4 exterior and two interior braces for each window and three sets for each door. Note: For buildings with metal doors and window frames the 2x4s for the outside will be cut to the dimensions of the plywood, fitting inside the door frame, against the band molding. For the inside the 2x4s will be cut to the outside dimension of the door or window frame.
  3. Pre drill 3/8th inch holes in the plywood and the braces.
  4. The holes will be placed approximately 1/3 of the length of the brace from each outside edge of the door and window jam.
  5. The two window braces will be placed 1/3 of the distance from the top and the bottom of the window.
  6. The three door braces will be placed; one in the center of the doorway, and one half the distance from the center to the top and to the bottom of the doorway.
  7. Place the plywood over the exterior opening and nail to the frame. Note: For metal frames place the plywood and braces inside the frame against the band molding.
  8. Place the 2×4 braces over the interior and exterior of the door or window.
  9. Place the large washer over the carriage bolt and place the bolt through the holes.
  10. Place washer and nut inside and tighten securely. Torque the nut so that it slightly compresses the interior 2×4.

Immediate Steps to Take if You Suffer From Water Damage

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Immediate Steps to Take if You Suffer From Water Damage Follow these tips so you can be prepared.

Let’s face it, water damage is threatening to your property’s value and can cause some serious, well damage. Whether you’re facing a storm; a flood; leaks from a weakened roof, HVAC or busted pipes; or experience overflowing appliances, water damage can wreak havoc in an array of emergency situations. To prevent further damage and to increase chances of salvation, it is critical to act quickly within the first 24 hours. Considering you have safely evacuated the premises and safety officials have declared it safe, follow these steps to immediately rectify your business from water damage.

Avoid Additional Risks

Upon returning to your property, survey the premises and document any visible structural damage that may further endanger you and your property. Look for signs of warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, and holes. If safety officials haven’t done so already, contact utility companies to cease all water and electrical sources. Even if the power is still out upon your return, physically turn off the main power line and individual fuses to avoid risk of electrocution should the power be reactivated.

Document Everything

While surveying your property, take photos and document all damages. Digital photos will allow you to properly store, back-up and transfer files quickly and conveniently. Be sure to document all damages prior to removing any water or starting on any repairs; otherwise, you risk decreasing the extent of your insurance coverage.

Contact your Insurance Provider

Contacting your insurance provider is critical immediately following water damage and your return to the property. Your insurance provider will be able to assess the situation, file a claim, determine whether or not the damage is severe enough to send an adjuster, and provide invaluable next steps. They will also ask for the documentation you’ve collected so it’s important to have that readily available. Pro Tip: if government authorities have declared your region a ‘disaster area’, property owners may have access to increased resources, services and financial assistance.

Secure the Property

Place board over broken windows, fasten tarps, and carryout other measures to avoid further leaks and water damage.  Be sure to document all of your efforts to secure your property from further damage.  If these precautionary steps are not taken and something else happens, additional damages may not be covered by your insurance provider.

Mitigate Mold Damage

It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to develop following a flood or water damage. If items have been wet for less than 48 hours, they may be salvageable. Remove wet contents such as carpeting and furniture as soon as possible. If an item has been exposed longer than 48 hours, it may be harder and more expensive to salvage. If possible, you can start the drying out process within 24 hours and eliminate mold and mildew growth by: 

  • Removing wet furniture or lifting it off of carpet
  • Place aluminum foil or other carpet separators on furniture to prevent carpet stains
  • Remove and hang area rugs to dry
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out wet areas
  • Turn air conditioning on to help remove humidity and speed the drying process

Contact A Professional Restoration Service

If any amounts of water need more than a mop and you’ve followed the immediate steps to secure your business, water removal may require professional attention. SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas City has the expertise, training and equipment to quickly remedy water damages and help your business get back to working order faster. Give SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas City a call at 816-737-8776.

Remediating Flood Damage

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Remediating Flood Damage When your home is flooded, SERVPRO is the company to quickly call for drying out services. We will dry out your carpet and assess the pad underneath.

SERVPRO Technicians Systematically Dry Out Your Carpet to Try and Save the Pad Underneath

Storms around the Raytown/East Kansas City area are usually calm enough for the drains and area creeks and rivers to handle. When they are severe enough to generate floods, every home in their path is affected to one point or another.
 
Unless the water generated is massive, most Raytown/East Kansas City flood damage restoration efforts center around drying the carpets. SERVPRO technicians attempt to use in-place drying for carpets if possible and remove most of this water by extraction.
 
Our teams start the process with specialized equipment that pushes into the carpet and squeezes the water out through an extraction wand. They first remove water from the center of the room and then move the furniture either to the center or remove it completely from the affected area before starting. Once they finish the center, the teams begin extracting water from around the perimeter of the room in sections of 10 square feet or smaller.
 
After our teams complete one pass over the affected room, an inspector or team leader carefully lifts up one corner of the carpet and examines the pad. If he can squeeze water out of it, the restoration team repeats the extraction process until no more water squeezes out of the pad. They do this as quickly as possible since carpet pads rapidly deteriorate if underwater too long.
 
If the inspector sees that deterioration has started, he recommends removing and replacing the pad immediately. In-place extraction takes longer to remove water, but it can cost less in labor since time is not wasted by detaching the carpet and removing it from the affected rooms.
 
Once the team completes extraction, SERVPRO uses a combination of dehumidifiers and air movers to remove moisture in the surrounding air and to dry both the underside and the surface of the carpet. These devices working together can return a room to its pre-flood condition in just a day or two.
 
Drying carpets are one of the processes SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas City uses to return homes to a dry, safe condition. If you are dealing with any recent or older flooding, contact us today at (816) 737-8776 to schedule an inspection. We are here to help.

How to Handle a Toilet Overflow

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to Handle a Toilet Overflow For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROraytowneastkansascity.com

You should act quickly after a toilet overflows to limit the secondary damage caused by a sewage leak. Depending on what category of water is involved, the risk of sewer damage goes up. If the leak is large and involves black water, you may need to call a sewage company that provides restoration services in Raytown/East Kansas City, MO, as well as a plumber. Find out about the three different categories of water and simple steps you can take to fix a flooded toilet and clean up the mess.

There are three categories of water in a leak scenario:

1. Clean water: Clean water should simply be removed and the area of the leak should be thoroughly dried.
2. Gray water: Gray water includes the water from appliances such as washing machines and toilet water that only contains urine. Cleaning and disinfection are important steps.
3. Black water: Black water contains contaminants with microbes and may pose a threat of infection to individuals with compromised immune systems. Leaks involving black water should be dried and disinfected as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours.

As soon as you realize that a toilet is overflowing, you should try to see if you can handle the clog on your own with a plunger. If you cannot, minimize the extent of a leak by using towels to prevent water from spreading and contact a plumber. Once a plumber solves the underlying issue, it is up to you to limit the extent of secondary sewer damage or call on experts to completely restore the affected area.

Depending on the extent of the leak caused by a flooded toilet, you may want to contact a sewage company that specializes in restoration. Look for a cleaning and restoration service that specializes in sewer damage in Raytown/East Kansas City, MO, if you are concerned about lingering unwanted smells or the risk of mold.

Raytown/East Kansas City Flood Damage Technicians Explain How Moisture Can Effect Wood Floors

8/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Raytown/East Kansas City Flood Damage Technicians Explain How Moisture Can Effect Wood Floors Stormwater Removal and Drying in Raytown/East Kansas City Floors Needed? Try SERVPRO, "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Removes Water to Mitigate Damages After Storms in the Raytown/East Kansas City Area

Excessive moisture can affect various materials inside your Raytown/East Kansas City condo differently. When drying various substances, it helps to know how water acts when it comes into contact with the particular item. Wood floors get affected by moisture in primarily the same fashion every time. Grasping how the flooring reacts when it gets wet aids our SERVPRO technicians in the water removal process.

 
How wood floors behave when they get saturated depends on several factors including the amount of moisture and how long the materials have been wet. When mitigating flood damage problems in Raytown/East Kansas City that take place after a severe thunderstorm, permeance and exposure time are the two significant variables determining the amount of damage to the floorboards. Permeance refers to how easily water vapor passes through a material. Exposure time refers to how long material was in contact with moisture, allowing for continued wicking into the wood grains.

When materials stay in contact with water for an extended period, the typical problems associated with moisture damage can get much worse. All wood naturally contains a small amount of moisture. As more water soaks into the wood, it expands. When wood expands warping is likely. Buckling can also occur at the joints where the floor pieces come together. The longer the wood floor stays in contact with water, the worse the buckling issues can become.
 
If water stays inside the wood, buckling can become permanent and remain after the floors are dried out. In some cases, buckling can be fixed by sanding down and refinishing the floors. In other situations, the floor's buckling is so severe that the wood floor must be pulled up and replaced.

How the water comes into contact with the wooden flooring can also affect how the wood reacts to being wet. When moisture gets absorbed from the bottom and sides of the wood floor, the edges of the floor pieces slightly raise or "cup." Cupping can often be fixed by sanding down the floors. When the top of the wood holds more moisture than the sides and the bottom crowning can take place. Crowning makes the wood arch creating a bowed shape in the middle. Crowning usually happens when the bottom of the wood gets dried too much and too quickly. In most cases, crowning cannot be repaired by sanding and refinishing, and the flooring materials must get removed and replaced.
 
Rapidly drying, but controlled and monitored, wood flooring materials after a storm hits town is the best way to prevent buckling, cupping, and crowning. Our SERVPRO technicians always closely monitor moisture levels within the wood during the drying process so that over-drying does not occur. Anytime you need help removing water from wood floors after a severe thunderstorm or flooding, call SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas City at (816) 737-8776.