Who Handles Disaster Remediation in Your Community?
When storm damage choose a company with workforce to respond
Some emergency restoration companies are better prepared to handle catastrophic loss situations than others. Whether the emergency involves major flooding following a storm system or high winds bring daily schedules to a standstill, the resulting damages could be more than some crews could handle. For large loss situations, a disaster recover company with plenty of history and a well-established network of resources.
Examples of Large Loss Situations
Emergencies happen in every state at some time or another. Some examples of catastrophic loss include hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes.
- Freezing temperatures
- Severe storms
- Tropical cyclones
Each of these catastrophes have the potential to close businesses, disrupt transportation services, and confine people to their homes. Unfortunately, they also have the potential to force people out of their homes. When this happens, what can you do?
When you need immediate storm damage remediation, choose a company with the resources and workforce to respond. Large loss recovery teams require plenty of equipment, highly-trained, staff, and the resources to move more of each into the community. SERVPRO franchises are connected throughout the country, so when Kansas City, KS, is affected by a large-scale disaster, the necessary people and supplies can be moved quickly into town.
This doesn't mean that damage restoration will be handled by complete strangers. SERVPRO franchises are locally owned, so technicians from your own communities could spearhead the work. The local team may serve as the command center for the work or may be the point at which supplies and additional technicians gather.
Why Does SERVPRO Prepare for Large-Scale Disasters?
In 2017, the United States was home to 15 disasters that claimed lives, brought communities to a standstill, and cost more than a billion dollars. The country experienced many disasters again in 2018. Without the right resources in place, communities would struggle to recover.
However, catastrophic loss can be handled with the right planning. SERVPRO has the training, the workforce, the resources, and the preparation to respond to storm damage, of any size, in Kansas City, KS.
Beyond Flooding: 3 Types of Weather-Related Damage That Could Impact Your Commercial Building
Bad weather and flood damage are likely sources of worry for you as a Kansas City, KS business owner.
3 Types Of Weather-Related Damage
As a Kansas City, KS business owner, you might think of rainstorms and other types of flood damage when it comes to the kind of harm bad weather might cause to your commercial building. However, trouble can come from other sources as well, even from those you did not expect. Before the storm season hits your area, it may be helpful to understand what kind of weather-related harm could befall your building, especially those that are not flood related.
1. Impact Damage
Storm damage can be common during high winds, when large tree branches, neighborhood objects like trash cans and other debris might strike your building. This can be especially damaging if a falling branch or projectile breaks a window. If you are expecting high winds to hit your area, consider covering your windows with thick sections of wood or treated rubber, especially at ground level.
2. Electrical Damage
While flooding is a common cause of damage to commercial buildings during bad weather, other types of events could impact their electrical systems to the point where they might need replacing. For example, ice and hail storms can affect fuse boxes and heating, ventilation and air conditioning units, rendering them inoperable. If your HVAC and electrical controls are on the exterior of your building, consider protective covers that can withstand all different types of weather.
3. Roofing Damage
Flood damage would likely affect the lower floors of your business; however, heavy rains and wind that often accompany flooding could impact its roof as well. Wind may pry tiles off your roof or tear away sections of protective material, exposing the underside to moisture. Contacting a flood damage and restoration company may be useful when it comes to finding out how to protect your roof from the kind of harm powerful storms can cause.
Bad weather and flood damage are likely sources of worry for you as a Kansas City, KS business owner. However, when you know how to protect your property, you may feel greater peace of mind when wind, rain and floods threaten your area.
A Home Fire Extinguisher Buying Guide
A portable fire extinguisher is all that is needed to put out the fire.
Every home should have a fire extinguisher to suppress minor fires. This buying guide identifies the main classes of fire extinguishers and explains why a multi-class or rechargeable extinguisher may be ideal for home use.
Extinguishers are classified in accordance with standard 10 set by the National Fire Protection Agency. Suppressants are selected for effectiveness and safety:
- Class A extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate and work on ordinary combustibles
- Class B extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate and work on flammable liquids or gases, but not cooking oils or grease
- Class C extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate and work on appliances or powered electrical equipment
- Class D extinguishers contain sodium chloride or copper powder and work on combustible metals
- Class K extinguishers contain potassium compounds and work on cooking oils and grease
The most common home fire extinguishers are classes A, B, and C. Underwriters Laboratories assigns the number that precedes these letters and indicates the effectiveness of a fire extinguisher. A 4-A extinguisher is more effective than a 2-A extinguisher.
Multi Class Extinguishers
Some extinguishers are rated for multiple classes. Homeowners may prefer a multi-class extinguisher to promote comprehensive fire preparedness. Determine the most likely fire risks and purchase an extinguisher rated for all of these classes.
Disposable or Rechargeable
Disposable extinguishers have plastic valves and must be replaced after a single use. Rechargeable extinguishers have durable metal valves and cost more up front. Suppressant refills are more affordable than purchasing a new disposable extinguisher.
All of these factors are important to consider when purchasing home fire safety equipment for a residence in Mission Hills, KS . Homeowners may want to install a different class of fire extinguisher in the kitchen, garage, laundry room, and other areas based on the most likely fire risks. If a fire results in property damage, contact a mitigation and restoration company.
3 Important Facts About Black Mold
Mold at a Kansas City, KS bathroom.
Facts About Black Mold
While some types of mold that exist in your Kansas City, KS, home can be simple to clean up, others are more stubborn and can even be dangerous. Of all mold types, Stachybotrys, or black mold, can be the most difficult to eradicate. If you find this fungus growing in your home, it can be important to learn about the possible reasons for its presence and what you can do to remove it.
1. It Is Not a Surface Fungus
Unlike other types of fungi, such as mildew, black mold cannot be wiped away easily with a rag and a household cleanser. This is due to the way it grows, as it sinks roots deep into building surfaces like wood and drywall. This makes mold cleanup difficult, especially if the fungus has been present for some time.
2. It Can Appear Less Than 24 Hours After a Flood
Stachybotrys can grow rapidly after the introduction of moisture and humidity. For example, if a weather event caused your home to flood, the dirty water can encourage mold growth almost right away. As a result, walls, floors and carpeting may start to show signs of this type of mold as early as that same day. You can identify it by its slimy dark surface, which differs from the type of dry, fuzzy mold you might find on old food.
3. Professional Removal Might Be Required
If you are experiencing a widespread infestation of Stachybotrys mold, then it is a good idea to call a mold remediation and removal service for help. Not only can professional technicians properly identify the fungus, they can also give you options for removal and the restoration of building surfaces that have been affected. This may give you greater peace of mind that your home can be returned to normal.
When black mold invades, it can be stressful for you as a Kansas City, KS, homeowner. Knowing as much as possible about this fungus can help you better understand your options when it comes to the cleanup process.
Why Is My Toilet Leaking, and How Do I Fix It?
Water cleanup in a Prairie Village, KS residential
Why Is My Toilet Leaking, and How Do I Fix It?
If you have a leaking toilet in your Prairie Village, KS, home, you need stop it as soon as possible. A constant bathroom leak could weaken the house's structure and cause further damage from mold. If this is the case, you may want to call a professional water remediation company. But if caught quickly, you can easily prevent more damage from occurring with the following steps.
1. Turn off the Water Supply
First, turn off the shutoff valve. Check to see if the problem is coming from a leaking supply line. If so, try replacing the hose. If not, undo the supply line. If the leakage is coming from the bottom of the toilet, drain it and proceed to the next step.
2. Take the Toilet Out
First, check the bolts around the bottom of the leaking toilet to see that they are tight. By simply tightening them, you may get the leak to stop. If this doesn't work, you should remove the toilet. Loosen and remove the bolts, then gently rock the toilet until it comes loose. Holding onto the bowl, lift the toilet and put it aside onto some cardboard or old newspaper.
3. Change the Wax Ring
Scrape away the wax ring, taking care to inspect the flange for breakage or cracks. If necessary, replace the flange. Then set down the new ring, making sure to center it properly.
3. Put the Toilet Back in Place
Place the toilet above the bolts and lower it into position, making sure that a complete seal is formed with the new wax ring. Securely but gently tighten the bolts, and then put the caps back on.
4. Turn the Water Back On
Reconnect the supply line and turn on the water valve. Flush the toilet, checking to make sure there are no leaks coming from around the bottom of the toilet or the supply line.
A leaking toilet, if not repaired quickly, can cause all sorts of problems beyond the immediate mess. By following the steps outlined above, you can stop the leak and avoid more costly repairs to your home.
How To Make an Office Fire Escape Plan
Post the emergency escape plan at strategic locations.
Every workplace needs a fire escape plan. This plan should be posted throughout a building and shared with all occupants. Be sure to train new employees and perform regular drills to ensure that the emergency escape plan will prove useful in the event of a fire.
Plan Evacuation Routes
Use an accurate floorplan to determine evacuation routes from every room in a structure. It is a good idea to do the following:
- Identify primary and secondary routes
- Ensure that routes are reasonable for occupants
- Obtain equipment such as an escape ladder
Secondary routes may be less than ideal, but they should still be practical. Keep the age and physical condition of occupants in mind. Post the emergency escape plan at strategic locations.
Test Fire Detection and Suppression Equipment
Many commercial properties are equipped with advanced detection and suppression systems. A fire escape plan should include regular tests to ensure the functionality of detectors and sprinklers. Hardwired alarm systems should have battery backups, and it is important to replace batteries that function as a main or backup power source. Make sure that fire extinguishers are of the appropriate class and filled with suppressant.
Keep Track of Occupants
Every business should maintain a current contact list. This list should include these details:
- Contact information
Keep this list in a location where it can be accessed remotely or physically removed in the event of a fire. Every business should have a safe location where employees can gather outside. This place should be far enough away from the structure without being downwind.
An office fire escape plan may also identify which employees are responsible for attempting to evacuate critical contents. It is smart to plan ahead and back up important records off-site. If a fire damages a building in Kansas City, KS, rely on a mitigation and restoration company to resume business as soon as possible.
Is your commercial building a flood risk?
Dealing with water damage in Kansas City isn’t something that your neighbors will envy you for. It can be absolutely devastating for your commercial property, not to mention the possibility of being temporarily displaced, and business put on hold. In preparation for the possibility of a flood in your area, here are a few precautionary steps to ensure you are prepared.
1. Know your flood risk.
It’s important to keep track of your region’s flood risk. There are a number of factors that can determine your flood risk, but keep in mind that nowhere in the United States is free of flood risk. If you live in a coastal city during hurricane season, your flood risk will dramatically increase. Other areas with typically high flood risk include low-lying areas near bodies of water or downstream from a dam or levee.
2. Know your insurance options.
When it comes to natural disaster-type flash floods, typical commercial insurance policies often will not cover the damage. Flood insurance is a separate policy purchased through FEMA, so it’s important to keep that in mind if you do live in an area with high flood risk. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with local disaster restoration companies and choose one you prefer beforehand, since the time to act must be immediately after the flood.
3. Know the signs of water damage.
Some floods are more severe than others, and in those cases, it will be obvious when your business has been affected. In other cases, however, water damage can be more insidious and it’s important to recognize the signs, as well as knowing the difference types of water that can damage your home. Black water, for example, is highly contaminated and will cause severe odor and mold damage to your property if not treated immediately. Flood water is, in every case, considered black water. Grey water can also cause damage, but is derived from appliances and pipes in your building.
How To Flush a Water Heater
Water heater in a Kansas City, KS home
5 Steps To Flush a Water Heater
Flushing a water heater can maintain its functionality. The tank in this appliance can fill up with minerals and sediment, depending on the water quality at a residence in Kansas City, KS. These five steps walk a homeowner through the water heater flush procedure.
1. Turn Off the Heater
Switch off the power to an electric heater at a circuit breaker. For a gas unit, turn off the valve and extinguish the pilot light.
2. Connect a Hose
Attach a garden hose of sufficient length to the drain valve on the heater and run the other end to a floor drain or outside. Make sure that the destination will not suffer as a result of exposure to mineral deposits.
3. Drain the Tank
Open the water heater drain valve and allow water to flow for several minutes. Turn on a sink hot water spigot to drain remaining water. Turn the water supply valve on and off to flush the tank.
4. Close the Valves
Close the drain valve and turn the cold water supply back on. Then, turn on the hot water spigot at a sink or tub. The water will be cold, but this will push air out of the system. Turn the spigot off once the flow becomes consistent.
5. Turn the Heater Back On
Restore the power to an electric heater from a circuit panel or turn on the flow of gas and relight the pilot. It may take up to 20 minutes to produce hot water.
Perform a water heater flush at least once a year. Follow these steps every eight months in a household of three to five residents, or every six months in a household with more than six residents. If a water heater leak results in damage to a home in Kansas City, KS, contact an appliance repair professional and a water damage restoration company.
How To Teach Kids To Escape a Fire
Practice with your kids your evacuation plan
Every family needs a fire escape plan, and parents should teach kids safety measures. Be sure to schedule regular drills to make sure kids know how to escape from a home fire.
Make an Escape Plan
The most important fire safety measure is an escape plan. This plan should cover:
- Primary and secondary routes
- Kid-safe strategies
- A meeting point outside
Parents and kids should practice using all escape routes. Kids should know where to go and what to do in the event of a fire.
If a child is awoken by a fire alarm, they should know to roll over rather than sit upright. Have kids practice:
- Rolling over in bed
- Keeping their heads low and facing down toward the floor
- Putting a hand down
- Sliding out of bed onto the floor
You may want to sound a fire alarm during drills. Rolling out of bed can limit exposure to heat and smoke.
Heat and smoke rise during a fire. Crawling will keep kids in the coolest area with access to the clearest air. There are several types of kids safety fire crawls:
- Crawling on all fours
- Crawling on all fours with flat forearms
- Crawling with legs flat on the floor
These methods can help kids escape a home fire. Practice crawls during drills.
How to Check Doors
Opening a door during a fire without checking can result in burns or sudden ignition. Checking a door involves:
- Pressing a door with the back of a hand
- Leaving hot doors closed
- Cracking open cool or slightly warm doors
- Proceeding if clear and re-closing doors
These fire escape methods are useful for children and adults. Keep in mind that regular drills are necessary for all family members.
After ensuring kids safety, homeowners may be faced with severe damage to a home in Prairie Village, KS. A damage mitigation and restoration service can make it possible for a family to return home as soon as possible.
How to Prepare Your Company for a Storm
Winter storm season can produce significant threats to your
Mission Hills, KS business
How to Prepare Your Company for a Storm
This time of year, a winter storm is imminent. While not every storm will cripple a business, it is still necessary to be prepared. Along with frigid temperatures and snow, winter can create problems with plumbing and operations. Therefore, it is essential to make a plan for the worst-case scenario.
1. Prepare Your Building
In an effort to prepare for potential storm damage, it is wise for a business to focus on plumbing and electricity. Outside plumbing should be shut off and cleared to prevent freezing and possible burst pipes. Additionally, it may be a good idea to secure a generator if your business does not already have one. If your company does have a generator, it is a good investment to have it serviced before the winter weather sets in.
2. Plan for Ice and Snow
Any winter storm is going to bring issues of snow and ice. Being prepared for this situation means having a plow service on contract and ensuring that all walkways and driveways are cleared and salted. It is vital to do everything in your power to ensure that customers do not get hurt on the way into your business.
3. Focus on Inventory
Also, as storms have the potential to cause significant business interruption as well as property damage, it is vital to take an accurate inventory of all your assets. This inventory will be used for insurance claims if property damage results in an inventory loss. You should move stock to a secure and climate-controlled area, photographing and documenting everything. This will help streamline the process if a claim is made.
4. Make a List of Contacts
While taking inventory is necessary, it is also crucial to make a list of emergency contacts. This list should include all personnel who are essential to your operations. Additionally, you should include a disaster restoration specialist in the Mission Hills, KS, area in case of an emergency.
Winter storm season can produce significant threats to business operations. Massive snowfalls and ice storms can wreak havoc on a business, so it is essential to have a plan like the one above.