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What To Do Right After a Storm Damages Your Home

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What To Do Right After a Storm Damages Your Home Cover leaking roofs with a tarp to prevent more rainfall from entering the home

What To Do Right After a Storm Damages Your Home

You hear the wind blowing and the rain pounding on your window panes, and you hope your home in Kansas City, MO, will remain untouched by the storm. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A tree falls on your roof, and water pours into your home, soaking your carpets and covering your hardwood floors. Here's how to stem the tide of storm damage in the event's immediate aftermath.

1. Document Damage Before Attempting Immediate Repairs

If you are planning to submit a claim to your insurance company for the damages, you will want to record them prior to attempting any immediate repairs. Make a list of damaged items, and take photos or video of each.

2. Make Immediate Repairs Only To Prevent Further Damage to Your Home

Take the following steps when attempting immediate repairs or cleanup:

  • Cover leaking roofs with a tarp to prevent more rainfall from entering the home.
  • Pull up wet carpet to prevent mold and move it to a dry location.
  • Throw away all perishable food that has spoiled.

Make sure all articles being removed from the home were documented on the inventory list of damaged items.

3. Exercise Caution If You're Staying in a Damaged Home

To restore lost electricity in your home, use generators outside, away from windows and doors. Make sure your sewer system is working before flushing toilets, using water stored previously for this function if necessary. Open windows and run fans inside your home to circulate air and aid the drying process.

You may also choose to contact a company that can perform emergency restoration services in your home. If so, keep receipts for services provided, as well as for any purchases made for immediate repairs, such as a tarp for the leaking roof.

Hopefully, your home will never be subjected to storm damage. If it is, however, these storm tips can get you started on the road to recovery and get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.

5 Ways to Put Out a Grease Fire

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 5 Ways to Put Out a Grease Fire If you have a large supply of baking soda on hand, dump as much as you can on the grease fire

Five Methods to Quickly Extinguish a Fire

Oil can catch fire when cooking if frying food is left unattended, allowed to splatter, or heated to too high of a temperature. One of the most disastrous mistakes you can make when dealing with a grease fire in Unity Village, MO, is to try and use water to put out the flames as this will only make the fire spread. Instead, try any of the following five methods to quickly extinguish the fire before needing to call in the aid of the fire department and a fire cleanup company.

1. Turn Off the Heat

The first thing you should always do if grease catches fire while you are cooking is to turn off the heat. While you might be tempted to move the pot, leave it where it is.

2. Cover the Flames

If the fire is confined to a single pot or is only in a small area, covering it with an inflammable object like a metal lid can help put out the flames. Make sure not to use a glass lid that can shatter.

3. Baking Soda

If you have a large supply of baking soda on hand, dump as much as you can on the grease fire. The carbon dioxide released by baking soda helps to smother the fire.

4. Salt

Another effective way to put out a kitchen fire is to reach for the salt since it helps prevent the flames from accessing more oxygen. Typically, you require less salt to put out the fire than you need if using baking soda.

5.Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher can be used as a last resort if you have one located nearby in your kitchen. Make sure to only use a Class B or K extinguisher to put out a fire caused by grease.
Experiencing a grease fire can be extremely frightening as the flames often spread quickly. Remember to put down the bucket of water and instead try one of these methods to safely extinguish the fire.

How Can a Fire End up Causing Water Problems?

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How Can a Fire End up Causing Water Problems? Fire and water damage in Kansas City, MO

When you think of a fire, you probably consider water as the fastest, most effective way to put it out. Indeed, the right amount of water can make quick work of a blaze and reduce the amount of fire damage that could occur in your Kansas City, MO, office. But did you realize that while water is essential in fire suppression, it also can work against you? Because so much water is used to eliminate the flames, it's not uncommon for flooding and other related problems to ensue.

What Does It Hurt?

A fire in your place of business isn't something you want to think about ever happening. This disaster could cause harm and terrible damage in the workplace. While a fast-moving fire can quickly destroy parts of your building, water damage is often more gradual and even unnoticeable at first. Be aware of the following victims of flooding:

  • Electronic equipment, including computers, printers and servers
  • Furniture
  • Documents, photographs, x-rays, blueprints
  • Carpet
  • Drywall

Built-in Sprinklers

A fire sprinkler system can be a wise investment for any business. This can be the first response to a blaze in the workplace and may help to get the incident under control before the fire crew even arrives. If you want to reduce the risk of fire damage, make sure you have a system and that it is in top-notch condition. However, these devices unleash a significant amount of water as soon as they sense a certain amount of heat. The volume of water coming from these sprinklers can ruin your floors and various materials.

Firefighting

The fire crew is essential to putting out the blaze, but each fire hose will put out as much as 500 gallons of water each minute. This can inflict tremendous damage to your office. While you're relieved the firefighters can eliminate the fire, their actions may require that you get in touch with a professional water removal company to help restore your office space.
Fire damage can be bad enough, but coupled with flooding, you face a big challenge. Make sure you call the pros to help you recover from these incidents.

4th of July Summer Safety Tips

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 4th of July Summer Safety Tips Celebrating the summer safely!

The 4th of July is one of the best times of the year in Missouri. Many people get together to celebrate freedom, friends, and food. Unfortunately, the holiday can also be dangerous due to different risks that are present. When trying to stay safe during the holiday, there are a few important safety tips to follow to protect yourself from harm.

Safety Tips 

Handle Fireworks with Caution

To prevent injuries and fires that are caused by fireworks in the community, certain precautions  should be taken. Never allow small children to get near fireworks or handle them. Adults should be the only ones lighting off the fireworks and should do so on the ground at a safe distance from trees or other objects. Keep a fire extinguisher close by and avoid lighting more than one firework at the same time. 

Grill Safely

Grilling can also cause fires when you’re spending time flipping hamburgers and hot dogs outdoors. Look for leaks, holes, and cracks in the grill before you start using it on the 4th of July. Avoid grilling indoors or in an inclosed area. This can cause a fire to start and will lead to you to hire professionals such as SERVPRO of Raytown / East Kansas City to repair the damage. The grill should also be placed at least two feet away from the deck, branches, or the siding of the house. 

Use a Pool Gate

Many people spend time in the pool cooling off from the warm temperatures in Missouri during the summer season. Keep it a safe activity by using a pool gate that will prevent children from getting into the water when they’re not supervised. Wireless outdoor sensors can also be installed to inform you if a child is near the pool. A first aid kit should also be on hand to tend to any injuries that can occur in the water. Kids should also use life jackets and floatation devices while swimming. 

Practice Food Safety

Wash hands and clean the surfaces where you plan to prep food on the holiday. All meat should be cooked with a thermometer used to ensure that it reaches the right temperature to avoid food-borne illness. All leftovers should be refrigerated after two hours and not left outside. Toss out anything that sits outside for too long. 

When trying to have a safe and memorable 4th of July, there are several safety practices to follow. With the right caution used, you can protect your family from harm and enjoy the day.

Responding to Primary and Secondary Water Damages

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Responding to Primary and Secondary Water Damages Commercial flood in Kansas City, MO

Responding to Primary and Secondary Water Damages

When a Kansas City, MO, property has been affected by high humidity, water leaks, or flooding, it's important to take steps to avoid secondary damage. In any of these situations and many others, the quick rush of water often leads to a quick rate of evaporation. This, in turn, saturates the air with humidity, and this high level of moisture in the air becomes responsible for the growth of black mold and other damages.

Primary Damages

This type of damage includes anything that happens at the type of the leak or flooding. It may include

  • Broken pipes
  • Waterlogged building materials
  • Damaged furnishings

Secondary Damages

These include the harm done after the initial flood of water is over. Some examples of this are

  • The growth of black mold
  • Warped flooring
  • Fabric degradation

As you prepared to address primary damages, it's important to recognize the potential for secondary harm and to take steps to prevent it.

Remove Water

Damage restoration efforts should begin as soon as possible when properties are affected by dripping faucets, burst pipes, or storm flooding. These efforts should include the use of commercial grade drying equipment, such as heaters and fans. Water restoration and cleanup professionals often have powerful extraction pumps to remove water quickly, reducing the risk of high humidity in the building. A quick, effective response is key to preventing moisture from spreading under walls and throughout porous materials in the building.

Reduce Moisture

Professionals may also use powerful dehumidifiers to take as much moisture out of the air as possible. This equipment quickly prevents condensation from moisture-rich air, further protecting rooms and belongings that hadn't yet been affected by the flooding. Finally, high-speed, high-volume fans should be installed throughout the affected area to constantly replace the humid air with dry air.
The growth of black mold is just one example of secondary damages that may affect your Kansas City, MO, property after any type of flooding. It's important to focus as much on preventing these follow-up damages as you do on responding to primary damages.

Is Your Shower Leaking?

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Is Your Shower Leaking? Shower leaking

Is your shower showing signs of age, or are you moving into a home with a dated bathroom in Raytown, MO? It’s okay to be suspicious of bigger problems such as a bathtub leak. You should make it a priority to inspect for any leaks before water damage or mold moves into your bathroom.

Eliminate All Other Possibilities

First you need to figure out whether the leak is coming from your shower or another water source. If you have observed water on the floor, try to clean up as much of the water as you can so that you can follow the water as it builds again. Try flushing the toilet to see if anything happens underneath it. Run the water and check below the sink. Some possibilities in your bathroom other than a shower or bathtub leak may include:

  • Loose bolts beneath your toilet
  • Damaged wax gasket in your toilet
  • Damaged supply line
  • Leaky faucet

Look For Water Damage

Without taking apart your shower, the easiest way to determine a bathroom leak is to look for water damage below your shower. If you go to the floor below your bathroom, do you notice any spots on the ceiling? You can also look for water damage on your baseboards in your bathroom or adjacent rooms. If you see mold, this may indicate you have had a shower or bathtub leak for a while.

Fix the Problem

If you have discovered water damage near your shower, the most likely culprit is a shower pan leak. You will want to call a professional water damage service to inspect it, as the pan is difficult to access. Specialists follow a specific test procedure and can replace your pan for you if needed. Shower pans older than 30 years tend to wear out or may have been cracked during installation.

A shower pan leak can be sneaky, but if you know what you look for, you can sort out the problem before more costly damage takes hold. If you notice water damage in or around your bathroom, get it checked out.

How To Keep Mold Out of Your Swamp Cooler

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How To Keep Mold Out of Your Swamp Cooler Leaking swamp cooler

If you live in Unity Village, MO, or in any arid region like the Southwestern United States, you probably know what a leaking swamp cooler is. These home-cooling units are incredibly cost-efficient and effective but can cultivate mold if not maintained properly. Luckily, it’s easy to prevent.

Why Swamp Coolers?

Mold reproduces via microscopic airborne spores that are invisible to the naked eye until they start breeding a colony. They only need the following to multiply:

  • Air
  • Water
  • Any moisture source

A swamp cooler is the perfect combination of the above. It uses the process of evaporation to cool moistened cellulose pads, runs warm air over them to cool it down and then distributes the cooled air throughout your home, essentially creating humidity. Even better for mold is a leaking swamp cooler. This not only provides a great place to breed mold but also an efficient system for spreading mold throughout the rest of your house.

Preventative Measures

Make sure to open your windows every once-in-a-while to circulate dry air throughout your home. Check your unit often for visible mold, a musty smell or leaks. Be sure to follow all recommended maintenance schedules.

Mold Removal

If you’ve already found mold in your swamp cooler, don’t panic. There are solutions short of replacing the entire unit. If your cellulose pad is infested, you can replace it, and the rest of the components can be cleaned. If you have a leaking swamp cooler, it will need to be repaired. If the mold has spread from the swamp cooler to your air ducts, you should enlist the help of professional mold remediation services because any personal attempts to contain mold damage already in your home could end up spreading it further.

Swamp coolers are a great way to cool your home in a hot, dry place. However, the moisture they introduce can encourage mold growth. Keep an eye on your unit to prevent any mold damage to your home.

3 Things Homeowners Should Know About Natural Gas Fires

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Things Homeowners Should Know About Natural Gas Fires Being able to identify a gas leak can help you to prevent a fire from occurring in your home

Learning About Natural Gas Fires

A home in Kansas City, MO, that experiences a gas fire can sustain catastrophic damage. Learning about natural gas fires can be helpful to homeowners who want to protect their homes.

1. The Signs of a Gas Leak

Being able to identify a gas leak can help you to prevent a fire from occurring in your home. One of the most common signs of a gas leak is the unpleasant odor that is often described as smelling like eggs. Hearing an unexplained hissing noise is also another common sign that your home may have a gas leak.

2. How To React

In addition to knowing the signs of a gas leak, it’s also helpful to know how to react if you suspect there is a gas leak in your home. If you think there may be a gas leak in your home, it’s generally wise not to turn on any lights or other appliances that use electricity, as they could spark a fire. In order to keep yourself safe if a gas fire does occur, it’s often important to evacuate your home and to call emergency services.

3. How To Avoid a Fire or Explosion

When a gas explosion or fire occurs, it’s often helpful to receive help from fire damage restoration experts. However, it’s generally best to prevent an explosion or fire rather than having to deal with the effects of a fire. In order to decrease the chance of a fire or explosion, it can be useful to turn off all appliances after using them. Additionally, it can be helpful to know where you gas meter is located in case the gas needs to be turned off in an emergency.

Knowing important information about natural gas fires can help homeowners feel more confident in their ability to keep their homes safe. It can be useful to know the signs of a gas leak, how to react if a leak does occur and how to prevent a gas fire or an explosion.

5 Questions and Answers About Commercial Flood Insurance

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 5 Questions and Answers About Commercial Flood Insurance Flood insurance protection is something your business needs

Flood Insurance Protection is Something Your Business Needs

As a business owner, you understand the need to identify as many potential risks as possible and prepare solutions for them. While you may hope flooding won't happen, it's best to plan for the possibility. With this understanding, you may want to consider whether flood insurance protection is something your business needs.

1. Doesn't my insurance already cover flood damage?

No, damage that results from flooding isn't included in typical commercial insurance policies. You need to add separate coverage to get this protection. Talk to your insurance representative or contact the federal government about this type of business protection.

2. How can I tell if I need insurance?

Your location in Raytown, MO, is the most important factor in establishing your risk and determining whether to purchase flood insurance. There are several tools online with flood map search tools. You can also get valuable advice from storm damage remediation professionals in your area.

3. What does the insurance cover?

This type of insurance policy generally covers flood-related damage to your building and its contents. You may receive this protection if your property is affected by overflowing waterways, heavy rainfall, broken dams, blocked drainage systems, and similar causes of high water.

4. How long does it take to establish coverage?

Many insurance providers require a 30-day waiting period after you've made a purchase before the policy goes into effect. As a result, it's important to prepare for flooding before it happens. If your business is at risk, talk to an insurance provider as soon as possible to determine the best coverage.

5. Is there anything the insurance doesn't cover?

There are several things that may not be covered, including property outside of the building, such as landscaping, septic systems, and business vehicles. Talk to your insurance representative to learn how you can keep these items protected.

Flood insurance isn't a necessity for every business, but the time to determine your level of risk is before heavy rainfall. Do your research in advance, so you can be sure you have the proper coverage when the time comes.

How To Restore a Basement or Crawlspace After Flooding

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How To Restore a Basement or Crawlspace After Flooding A wet dry vac can be used to get rid of standing water

In the aftermath of flooding in Raytown, MO, the basements or crawlspaces of homes may be filled with standing water. Allowing this water to stand will increase the risk of mold growth and may result in structural damage. Homeowners can rent home flood relief equipment or rely on the expertise and equipment of a restoration company.

Extract Water

It is important to eliminate any water remaining under a home after a flood or other storm damage. Several types of equipment work well for this purpose:

  • Pumps
  • Wet vacs
  • Push brooms

It may be difficult to reach some portions of a crawlspace. A push broom with an extended handle can be used to move water to places where it can be vacuumed. A portable, submersible sump pump is useful for removing standing water from crawlspaces.

Dry the Area

A home flood can cause extensive primary damage, but excessive moisture in any portion of a residence may lead to mold growth. It is important to completely dry out a basement or crawlspace. Specialized equipment is also useful during this stage of restoration:

  • Air movers
  • Fans
  • Dehumidifiers

It may take several days for an area exposed to flood water to dry completely. It is important not to rush restoration, as replacing building materials or performing repairs in a damp environment may elevate the risk of structural damage or mold

Prevent Future Floods

If flooding is common in an area, a homeowner should have a working sump pump in the basement or crawlspace of his or her home. Other plumbing equipment such as a backflow valve, floor drain plug, standpipe or overhead sewer may also be helpful for avoiding a sewage backup.

These measures may reduce the risk of damage resulting from a home flood. If flooding occurs frequently in Raytown, MO, homeowners should take preventative measures to keep water from accumulating under houses.