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Be Safer With a Home Fire Extinguisher

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Red tank of fire extinguisher Preparation can help you avoid a disaster however, so keep a couple extinguishers at hand

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 for cooking oils
Type C – Most appropriate choice for electrical fires

Additional Information

Not only do extinguisher have different types, but they have other variations besides. Type A and B have a number before the letter to designate its 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 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 extinguishers at hand.

The Top 5 Places Where Mold Might Be Hiding

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Collage of four pictures of mold present in a kitchen behind walls Kitchen mold damage in Kansas City, MO

Top Five Places Where Mold Might Be Lurking

While you can call a remediation company in Kansas City, MO, 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.

  1. Behind walls
  2. Under flooring
  3. HVAC systems
  4. Beneath Sinks
  5. Mechanical Closet

Behind Walls

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.

Under Flooring

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.

HVAC Systems

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.

Beneath Sinks

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.

Mechanical Closet

Last, similar to cabinets under sinks, a homes 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 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.

3 Tips for Recovering From Storm Damage

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Broken window Broken window due to a storm in Unity Village, MO

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 Unity Village, MO, 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.

Take Pictures

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 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.

Emergency Board Up Services

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

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

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.

3 Elements Property Managers Need to Prioritize for Storm Preparedness

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

A green computer key that says Disaster plan You should create a plan for storm and other natural disasters

Property managers and owners in places such as Kansas City, MO, might need to get ready for any natural disaster heading towards their investment, such as storms. They are not only responsible for the property, but also the safety of the people who live or work in such buildings. When it comes to storm preparedness, these leaders might need to prioritize specific elements to react appropriately to the incident, protect the individuals and mitigate as much of the storm damage as possible.

Communication With the Tenants

The wellbeing of a rental property's residents is always the top priority. As such, property management generally works with these people to create a plan for storms and other natural disasters. Management usually maintains communication through phone, email or text that informs residents about important information.

  • Emergency resources
  • Shelters
  • Special needs resources
  • Rental unit preparations

Managers and owners are responsible for clear, open communication of these plans before any storms take place.

Employee Safety

Staff evacuation and safety can be difficult to achieve, as they must assist tenants and maintain equipment and property before they leave. A manager should have a storm preparedness plan to share with employees, detailing their responsibilities and tasks right before a storm. These often involve preventing damage to electronic, mechanical and fragile equipment, as well as helping residents. They might need management's contact information and instructions once the storm has passed.

Storm Damage Records

Managers should keep record of as much property damage as possible to assist with the insurance claims. It is crucial to inspect property and equipment and record their status before the storm. Afterwards, before they call emergency restoration services, they might need to inspect the damage and compare it to the previous records. Images, video and documentation from before and after can be useful during the claims process.
Responsible property managers know how to prioritize and get ready before disaster strikes. An effective storm preparedness plan accounts for residents, staff and property to ensure a successful future for the rental business.

A Leaking Water Heater Can Be Hazardous

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Closeup of a rusty and leaking water heater A leaking water heater in a Raytown, MO home

A Faulty Water Heater Can Pose Some of The Following Risks

Most people don’t give their water heater a second thought until they don’t have hot water anymore. If you don’t have any hot water, there’s a good chance that your water heater is leaking. Water heaters are usually located in inconspicuous areas such as a basement, closet or garage, so a leaking water heater may go unnoticed for days, or even weeks, as water builds. A faulty water heater can pose some of the following risks:

1. Electrocution

When you discover that your water heater has been leaking, shut off the power supply via the breaker box. It may seem necessary to get the leak stopped as soon as you notice it. But an electric current could very possibly be traveling through the water if there are other appliances or exposed wiring or power outlets in the area. Stepping in the water could be deadly. Be careful to not get into such a rush to stop the leak that you risk electrocution.

2. Fire

Electrical wiring that’s exposed to water for long periods of time can corrode. This corrosion could cause your electrical system can short-circuit, sparking a fire. This is another reason to shut off the power to the area of the leaking water heater as soon as possible.

3. Burns

Watch out for scalding hot water spewing from the water heater. Water heaters are pressurized and a broken water heater can burst under some circumstances. Turn off the water supply as soon as you can safely access the water supply valve. However, never cap the pressure relief valve; if you do it will eventually explode.

4. Water Damage

Water damage can start almost immediately. Carpet can become soaked and hardwood or laminate flooring can buckle. Water will seep up and through drywall.

5. Mold Growth

Mold growth can start in as little as 24 hours after the introduction of water. Mold spores will not only spread in the area of the failed water heater but could potentially affect your entire home.
If your home in Raytown, MO sustains water damage from a leaking water heater, call on water damage remediation professionals.

Should You Include Insurance Coverage for Water Damage in Your Business' Policy?

10/12/2019 (Permalink)

The hands of someone holding an Insurance form with a pen on top Choosing appropriate coverage for your business or commercial property in Unity Village, MO, can be hard

Choosing appropriate coverage for your business or commercial property in Unity Village, MO, can be hard. There are so many things that could happen, what is most relevant to your situation? There are a few business claim constants, and one of them is water.

A Common Problem

Water damage can happen to anyone, anywhere. There are many different sources: flooding, storms, plumbing issues or sewer backups. What does this mean for an owner of commercial property?

The average water and freezing damage claim cost is $17,000.
It is the second most common insurance claim for a commercial property to make, right under burglary and theft.
It can be exacerbated by geography- certain areas are more prone to severe weather patterns than others, including harsh freezes and hurricanes.

Not Always Covered

A typical business insurance policy might not have specified coverage for water damage, although you may be able to make a business claim under an "all perils" plan. So, this means that your coverage will depend on your situation. If your water damage is a result of an issue that is easily avoided with routine maintenance, it will probably not be covered. If it is sudden and could not have been prevented, it probably will be covered. However, there are add-ons for specific situations, also known as riders, that you can ask for in your policy.

Preventable

Proper care can go a long way for reducing the likelihood of water damage coming from your plumbing. Freezing is a big cause of pipe break, so be sure to insulate any exposed pipes and maintain a temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. Have your drains regularly inspected and check for leaks often. Just in case, find a reliable water damage remediation company to respond should the need arise.
When looking at the history of commercial insurance and the typical business claim of commercial properties, it becomes clear where your priorities should lie. Water is present both inside and outside almost every building, so be prepared for what it can do.

3 Steps To Take If You Suspect a Gas Leak

10/12/2019 (Permalink)

A picture of a gas leak detector on a wall Take three steps to avoid a gas fire in your home

Act Quickly To Avoid a Gas Fire

If you notice a smell similar to rotten eggs or hear a hissing noise in your home in Raytown, MO, then you likely have a gas leak on your hands. To prevent a gas fire from breaking out, quickly take the following three steps.

1. Turn Off the Gas Source

If the smell of gas is very faint, you should try to turn off the source of the leak to prevent a gas explosion. Many times, the leak is coming from a home appliance such as a gas stove, fireplace, water heater, or boiler. If you are certain the gas if coming from one of these, you can often stop the leak directly at the appliance. If you are unable to determine the source, you will need to find your home’s gas meter and turn off the main natural gas shut-off.

2. Ventilate The House

After you’ve successfully turned off the source, you need to ventilate any remaining gas by opening all the windows and doors in the house to allow fresh air in. Do not try to turn on fans, lights, or any other electronics during this process since this can start a gas fire. If necessary, grab a flashlight to help you.

3. Evacuate and Call for Help

If at any point the rotten egg smell seems very strong or you feel unsafe, exit your home immediately in case of a gas explosion. As soon as you are a good distance away from your house, call for help. You can call 911 or dial your utility company’s emergency number. If there is any sign of a fire, you also need to get in contact with a professional fire restoration company to deodorize your home and address any damage.
If you think you smell natural gas leaking in your home, always act quickly to avoid a gas fire. Whether you have time to shut off the gas or need to leave immediately, make sure to prioritize your safety.

Which Air Purifiers Can Help Reduce Mold Spores?

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

A woman sitting on a couch with a laptop Air filtration is a quick and easy way to keep your home and family healthy

Which Air Purifiers Can Help Reduce Mold Spores?

If you are a homeowner in Kansas City, MO, and you're into preventative care, air filtration is perfect for you. Keeping your home dry and mold spores at minimal levels can go a long way in avoiding mold growth spurts and remediation services. There are a lot of products out there, which ones can you trust?

Orsani Max

The Orsani Max is currently the top rated residential air purifier on the market at a cost of $479. It is lightweight and can be moved easily by one person. The company claims that it is one of the quietest air purifiers out there, and the reviews can back it up. It has even been rated well in tough areas like the basement. The coverage of filtration is about 600 sq ft, or a 20x30 space. This product can clear the air of:

  • mold spores
  • dust
  • pollen
  • pet dander

BlueAir 450E

This Swedish air filtration system, BlueAir 450E, is rated number 2 on the market. The coverage is slightly less, about 365 sq ft, and the price is slightly higher, at $629. However, it can filter for the same things as the Orsani Max at the same rate of 99.97%. It also boasts of a spot in the Stockholm National Museum for its design. One unique feature is its auto speed control- it will automatically test the air quality in the room and adjust the speed of the air flow accordingly.

OV200 Air Purifier

The number 3 spot is taken by another Orsani brand air purifier- the OV200. The coverage on this one is 400 sq ft and is recommended for bedrooms specifically. The price comes in at $329. Orsani makes similar claims of quietness and air particle filtration for this model, in addition to odor control. It also comes with a remote control and child lock feature.
Air filtration is a quick and easy way to keep your home and family healthy. Mold spores are naturally everywhere, both inside and outside; strategic areas like your basement, attic and bathroom could always use a little more air flow.

Save Money by Safely Mitigating Storm Damage

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Someone wearing fluorescent green pants and black boots Wear protective gear to avoid cuts and puncture wounds from broken glass, nails and other debris

Storm damage can cost you money and create unsafe conditions. Two effective storm tips for saving money and avoiding injury after a storm are to take safety precautions and mitigate your damage.

Take Safety Precautions

These safety precautions can help you avoid injury while assessing or repairing damage to your property:

  1. Wear protective gear to avoid cuts and puncture wounds from broken glass, nails and other debris.
  2. Never touch or attempt to move a downed power line. Call your Raytown, MO, power company for assistance.
  3. An open flame or electrical spark in the presence of a gas leak can cause an explosion. Call your gas company if you suspect a leak.
  4. Don’t touch standing water without ensuring that your electricity has been turned off and there are no nearby downed power lines.
  5. Avoid walking in, on or around property that may be structurally damaged. Damaged roofs, ceilings and floors can collapse suddenly, causing serious injury.

Mitigate Your Damage

There are two types of storm damage. The first is the initial damage that happens when a storm causes a hole in your roof or a broken window. The second is the damage that occurs after the storm is over.

The rain that comes in through your newly leaking roof or broken window can cause mold or rot. Flying debris can cause damage to your home’s exterior. You can mitigate the damage that occurs after the storm by utilizing these storm tips:

  1. Cover small holes in the roof or broken windows with a tarp or plywood while you’re waiting for permanent repairs.
  2. Clean up small floods with mops and buckets or rent a wet-dry vacuum.
  3. Remove fallen limbs, broken glass and other small debris.
  4. For bigger jobs, consider employing a disaster recovery team.

Whether you take care of everything yourself, or call in the experts, incorporating these storm tips in your disaster recovery plan will help keep you safe while also saving you money.