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The Key to Mold Remediation: Small Steps

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO The Key to Mold Remediation: Small Steps Professionals wearing protective gear in a mold remediation

Black mold is a term that incites chaotic images in the mind. The way people talk about it, you may easily get caught up in the fear, believing that mold is the end of your business in Stilwell, KS. Questions swim around your mind. How can you recover? How can you be sure the treatment is effective? Will you always have a mold problem? The answer to all of these is that you can recover and your mold problem can be a thing of the past.

Break it Down

Just like any other problem you encounter in business, break this mold problem into smaller steps and you will find it is quite manageable. The core steps to mold remediation, no matter what kind of mold, are as follows:

  1. Inspection. Professionals will identify areas of growth and use special equipment to detect hidden moisture.
  2. Containment. A variety of tools may be used during mold cleanup, including physical barriers or negative air pressure.
  3. Protection. Protective gear is worn to protect professionals.
  4. Removal If porous materials are infected, they may be removed.
  5. Disinfecting. Black mold can be killed by disinfectant, just like any other mold.
  6. Drying. Removal of moisture is key to prevention of additional mold colonies.

While waiting for a professional, be sure to turn off your HVAC system so you don’t further spread the problem in your building. A mold recovery specialist will execute each of these steps thoroughly so you can be assured no hidden black mold remains. When cleanup is complete, you can actually replace or rebuild anything that is needed.

Focus On Business

The right organization can ease your burden by handling all aspects of the recovery, preventing you from the time-consuming task of finding individual contractors for each step. A mold remediation specialist can even help you with move out and move in services, as well as rebuilding. With one company taking care of all aspects of your mold problem, you can focus on managing a productive business during this time.

How To Deal With Roof Damage After a Fire

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How To Deal With Roof Damage After a Fire Roof damage after fire in Aubry,KS

When your Aubry, KS, commercial building is affected by a fire, you need to know how to properly clean up the damage. You can start your fire damage assessment by calling a commercial building restoration service. One important aspect of a fire cleanup may be to take care of your roof. Use this quick guide to help you figure out how to manage roof damage after a fire.

Identify the Source

Knowing the source of roof damage can help you make a proper fire cleanup plan. Your roofing system may be damaged by the following during a fire:

  • Smoke
  • Heat
  • Firefighters

Each of these sources can cause different types of damage. Smoke, for example, may contain contaminants that can stain and discolor your roof surface. Heat can cause your shingles or other roofing material to warp. Firefighters may create holes in your roof to help extinguish the flames.

Get an Assessment

Before you can start a roof repair, you need to have a complete understanding of the damage. If your roofing system was discolored by soot, you may be able to plan a minor color restoration instead of a complete roof replacement. A thorough inspection can also help you make a claim with your commercial insurance provider.

Hire a Contractor

Once you have a clear understanding of the damages, you will have a better idea of the type of professional you need to hire. Do you need tarp services as well as a roof repair? If there are holes in your system, you may want to have them temporarily covered up until the final fixes can be done. If you skip this step, your building may be further damaged by wind and rain because of the increased exposure.

Fire can do a lot of damage to your commercial building. Knowing how to form a roof fire cleanup plan can help you quickly return to normal after this type of disaster.

How To Tell If You Live in a Flood Zone

11/17/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How To Tell If You Live in a Flood Zone Flooded home in Redel,KS area

Do You Live In A Flood Zone?

Knowing the answer will leave you better prepared to handle any storm-related issues that may come your way and help you decide if you need flood insurance. Here are three steps you can take to figure out whether or not you're in an area prone to flooding.

1. Visit Your Community Planning and Zoning Office

The floodplain administrator at your local planning and zoning office should have your property’s Flood Insurance Rate Map, or FIRM, in its community map repository. This panel outlines specific areas of your property or community that are at risk for potentially damaging floods.

2. Use FEMA's Map Service Center

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also a useful resource. Its online Flood Map Service Center can provide you with the same FIRM panel that your local community map repository has. Simply type in your address, latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates or a prominent location in your community, such as a school, park, or store, to get your area-specific results. Most maps are extremely thorough and include everything from the annual chance of flood hazards to relevant structural details, including levees, culverts, and storm sewers.

3. Consult the NFHL Website

The National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) is another flood zone finder featured on the FEMA website. The NFHL database allows you to view, download and print flood maps for your geographical area and is designed to help people determine their need for flood insurance.

It can be difficult to learn that you live in an area prone to flooding. However, being prepared for a disaster before it strikes Redel, KS, and creates a need for residential storm damage restoration could greatly benefit you in the long run. Utilizing tools from FEMA and other helpful organizations allows you to take control of your property’s security, purchase flood insurance if necessary, and help your family create the kind of smart safety plan that is required when living in a flood zone.

How To Minimize the Risk of a Dryer Fire

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

A dryer is a useful machine that many homeowners in Stilwell, KS, own. Although it’s typically an extremely efficient device, this appliance can be a potential fire hazard. To protect your home and minimize the risk of a dryer or lint fire, you should routinely clean your machine.

Diagnosing a Clogged Dryer Vent

A lint trap helps capture and store flammable lint until you can properly dispose of it. Despite this safeguard, the dryer vent may become clogged, increasing the risk of a dryer fire. Symptoms of this problem include the following:

  • Lint accumulation outside the vent opening
  • The presence of a burning smell while the dryer is in use
  • Clothes consistently not drying fully after the initial cycle
  • A dryer that feels hot to the touch

Cleaning the Vent

If you suspect a clog, you should promptly clean the dryer vent to reduce the risk of a lint fire. To begin the process, disconnect your dryer from the power source. Then, detach the hose and remove accumulated lint with a brush or vacuum.

Removing Internal Dryer Lint

Lint can also gather inside your dryer around the drum. This is dangerous because a spark from the motor, electrical heating elements or gas burners can easily ignite internal dryer lint.

To remedy this situation, unplug your dryer. Then, open the top or front of the dryer case, depending on your specific model. Once it’s accessible, you should carefully vacuum under and around the drum, being cautious not to disconnect any wires.

Avoiding Disaster

Fires are often traumatic, unpredictable events that can sometimes erupt suddenly and unexpectedly. Although no home is fully immune from potential fire damage, a lint fire is typically an avoidable disaster. Routinely inspecting your dryer and clearing away accumulated lint is an important, proactive fire prevention measure that can help spare every homeowner the agony of a dryer fire and a potentially lengthy cleanup and restoration project.

5 Sandbag Alternatives

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 5 Sandbag Alternatives Sand bag alternatives can help to keep flood waters out of a building in Leawood,KS

Sandbagging can be effective, but is also time-consuming and physically taxing. Make flood damage prevention easier and faster with these five sand bag alternatives that are currently available for sale.

1. AquaDam

AquaDams are water-filled cofferdams capable of blocking flood waters from nine inches to 120 inches deep. The design is up to 10 times faster than filling sandbags. The smallest AquaDam is two-feet wide and one-foot tall and sizes range all the way up to 31 feet wide and 14 feet tall. Flood waters higher than these protective flood dams may move an AquaDam. 

2. AquaFence

The collapsible AquaFence is made out of marine-grade Baltic laminate, stainless steel, aluminum, and reinforced PVC canvas. Choose from panels from four to eight feet high with 45 or 90 degree corners and side closures. Reuse an AquaFence up to 60 times. 

3. HydraBarrier

Like the AquaDam, the HydraBarrier is a reusable water-filled tube capable of replacing several sandbags. Sizes range from six feet up to 50 feet long and provide between four and 20 inches of protection. Fill barriers with a hose and empty and store when the threat recedes.

4. Instee or Quick Levee Builder

These machines pour sand into a tube to create an 18" tall sand bag. You will need to acquire suitable materials and hire a crew with machinery.

5. QuickDam or Stormtec Stormbag

Choose a fabric QuickDam or burlap Stormbag with hydrated polymer fill. Both absorb water and expand. The standard QuickDam is 5 feet long, measures 3.5 inches high, and can be stacked. Stormbags expand from 16 ounces to 30 pounds after several minutes in fresh water. 

Sand bag alternatives can help to keep flood waters out of a building in Leawood,KS. Consider these five options and select the best solution for your building. Contact storm and water damage restoration experts if flood damage occurs.

3 Ways To Handle a Flooded Basement

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Ways To Handle a Flooded Basement Water damage in garage in Leawood,KS

Flooding of your home in Leawood, KS, particularly the part of your home that is below ground, is bound to happen sooner or later. When it does, in addition to calling your insurance carrier and a reliable flood remediation specialist, there are some things you can do to protect your home from a basement flood.

1. Prevention

The best way to deal with a flood is to keep it from happening in the first place. Having a sump pump and a backup generator just in case you lose power is a good start. You may also consider updating your exterior drainage system. You can significantly lower your chances of coming home to a flooded basement by making sure that gutters and drainage spouts are clear of debris and that your system directs water away from your foundation rather than toward it.

2. Replacement

If you can't avoid a basement flood, you may have a lot of decisions to make about what to salvage and what to throw away. In general, it's a good idea to discard electrical equipment. While some restoration experts could fix the machines, it's often safer to replace them and maybe even less expensive. You will likely have to replace flooring and drywall as well. Having good flood insurance coverage comes in handy when you make a list of what needs to be replaced.

3. Safety

The main safety rule of flooded areas is simple: Do not walk blindly into floodwaters. When your basement floods, you often cannot see what is lurking beneath the surface. Avoid wading into the water. Siphon out all the water first so that you can see where you are stepping. Floodwater, particularly from storms, is often contaminated, so keeping it out of contact with your skin as much as possible is advisable.

While avoiding a basement flood in the first place is ideal, sometimes water seeps in anyway. When it does flood, remember to play it safe and take measures to protect yourself from further damage in the future.

3 Reasons To Purchase Business Insurance

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Reasons To Purchase Business Insurance Water damage can be devastating to your business.

Managing a business in Leawood, KS, can be a rewarding endeavor, allowing you to connect with your community and to share your passions with others. Unfortunately, water damage can be a huge setback to businesses of all types. Business insurance can help protect your company in the event that your commercial property is damaged by water.

Financial Security

With all the time, money and energy it takes to maintain a successful business, liquid damage can create a mess that is costly to repair. Since the damage can happen so quickly, it’s often not possible to protect important documents, products or other valuable items. Recovering and replacing expensive tools and products without insurance can be incredibly expensive. Business insurance often covers the costs of damage caused by floods, burst pipes and other events that result in water damage.

Quick Cleanup

Water can quickly puddle and can result in a tremendous amount of damage to a business. Without insurance, you may spend unnecessary time trying to clean your space to prepare for repairs, and damage from water can even create hazardous environments. However, business insurance ensures that water cleanup is quick, easy and efficient. With your business clean and safe, you’ll be able to reopen your location as soon as possible.

Peace of Mind

Maintaining a business means spending hours every day making sure you give your consumers the best products or experiences, and additional stress can take time away from perfecting your company. Although taking preventative measures to keep your location protected is always a good idea, water destruction cannot always be prevented. Not knowing how to respond if your business is damaged by water can create more stress, but business insurance can give you confidence that your organization can recover if water damages it.

Water damage can be devastating to your business, and without insurance, making repairs can be expensive and time-consuming. Business insurance can ensure that your business is protected in case your property is damaged by water. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObluevalley.com/.

Don’t Get Washed Away: Understanding Flood Zones and the Requirements If You’re in One

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Don’t Get Washed Away: Understanding Flood Zones and the Requirements If You’re in One If you have more questions about zoning, you can always check the Leawood, KS, area for flood and storm damage specialists.

While flooding may not have been a concern in your previous home, you should at least keep it in mind while searching for a new home because there may be specific insurance requirements for particular flood zone designations.

1. Flood Insurance and the FIRM Map

If you are used to living in areas that didn’t require flood insurance, then the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is likely a new concept. This map is released and produced by FEMA, in conjunction with local municipalities, to designate the likelihood of flooding in certain areas. These designations or zones help insurance companies determine requirements for homeowners, ensuring that they are covered for likely scenarios.

2. Zones Where Flood Insurance Is Optional

In a moderate to low-risk flood zone, flood insurance is optional. These areas are typically marked on the FIRM map as zones B and X (shaded) and C and X (unshaded). These areas receive these designations after land surveys and studies have shown these areas to have adequate drainage or minimal severe weather patterns.

3. Zones Where Flood Insurance Is Required

Flood insurance is required in areas that are deemed high-risk, meaning that there is at least a 26% chance of floods over the life of a mortgage. These high-risk areas come with two designations: (1) high risk, or zones A, AE, A1–30, AH, AO, AR, A99, and (2) high-risk coastal areas, or zones V, VE, V1–30.

4. The Fluidity of Special Flood Hazard Areas

Another designation, the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), is fluid, meaning that, while your house may currently be in an area where flood insurance is optional, due to changing weather patterns or tides you may be required to purchase flood insurance later.

If you have more questions about zoning, you can always check the Leawood, KS, area for flood and storm damage specialists, reach out to any local insurance agent or check with FEMA to help clarify flooding requirements and your flood zone concerns. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObluevalley.com/.

4 Ways To Remove Mold From Your Shower

9/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 4 Ways To Remove Mold From Your Shower Stopping shower mold prevents it from turning from a localized problem into a household one.

When you go to shower, you could potentially be surprised by the sight of black mold growing in your Leawood, KS, home. A bathroom is a warm and moist environment that mold desires, but the mold doesn’t have to permanently reside there. With these four different methods, you can remove shower mold and stop it from becoming more of a hassle.

1. Soap and Baking Soda

Before getting more potent chemicals involved, the mold should be tackled with a solution of dish soap, baking soda and hot water. This solution should be scrubbed and washed off in moldy areas to remove the surface infestation without risk of discoloration or damage to what’s underneath.

2. Bleach

As its popularity and usage implies, bleach is a good first line of offense against shower mold. Bleach should be diluted in a 1:2 solution with water and applied in multiple cycles of scrubbing and rinsing. Bleach is very effective at removing mold from glass, bathroom counters and tiles.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

Unlike bleach, hydrogen peroxide can remove mold from porous surfaces such as wood. As an affordable household item, hydrogen peroxide is often easily obtainable in its recommended 3% solution form.

Hydrogen peroxide should first be sprayed on a small spot to ensure it won’t damage the surface. Once you have confirmed that damage will not occur, the entire moldy area should be coated and left to stand for at least half an hour before wiping it off. It may be worth multiple treatments following the same procedure to remove residual mold.

4. Professional Assistance

These home remedies treat the surface, but mold spreads and hides in places you may not know. A professional residential mold specialty crew can locate hidden mold with special tools and remove extraneous moisture that keep it alive.

Stopping shower mold prevents it from turning from a localized problem into a household one. With the right method of treatment, you can keep your home clean and mold free. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObluevalley.com/.

How to Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Worrying about a potential fire can keep business owners in Leawood, KS awake at night. However, ensuring you have the correct type of fire extinguisher on hand, as well as knowledgeable staff trained in its proper usage, can alleviate some of your concerns.
Understanding the Classifications
Not all extinguishers are designed to fight every kind of fire. Understanding the distinctions is crucial to being able to stop fires and minimize damage. The following list explains which extinguisher is best suited to combat fires involving various flammable materials:
• Class A: Ordinary combustibles like wood, paper and cloth
• Class B: Flammable liquids such as grease and gasoline
• Class C: Electrical devices such as wiring, fuse boxes and computers
• Class D: Combustible metals including magnesium and titanium
• Class K: Cooking fluids fueling a kitchen fire
You may also purchase a multiple-purpose extinguisher, which covers Classes A, B and C.
The P-A-S-S Technique
To successfully use a fire extinguisher, you should follow the P-A-S-S protocol.
1. Pull the pin
2. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
3. Squeeze the handle
4. Sweep the nozzle from side to side
General Safety Considerations
Before engaging with a fire, you should take the following safety precautions:
• Identify the nearest escape route
• Ensure that the fire does not come between you and your escape path
• Know the effective range of your extinguisher and stay within that distance
As you work toward extinguishing the fire, remember the following:
• Back away from the fire once it is smothered, in case it suddenly flares up again.
• Evacuate immediately if you empty the extinguisher before successfully eliminating the fire.
• Evacuate if the fire expands or crosses your path.
An Effective Tool
A fire extinguisher is an effective fire-fighting tool that every business should have on hand. However, battling a fire can be extremely dangerous. Because maintaining your entire staff’s safety should be a top priority, sometimes leaving the extinguishing duties to trained firefighters is the best course of action. Once the fire is conquered, you can also seek assistance from local cleanup and restoration professionals to manage your fire damage repair needs. Visit http://www.SERVPRObluevalley.com for more information on fire.