Recent Storm Damage Posts
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.
Ready the Barricade and Secure the Adirondack: How to Prepare Your Home for a Flood
Despite popular belief, flooding does not always occur rapidly.
Despite popular belief, flooding does not always occur rapidly. Sure, flash floods happen, and you aren’t given months of advanced warning, but those who live in flood zones understand the potential risks and when they are most vulnerable, especially during the rainy season. The question most asked by those new to flood zone areas is how do you prepare and stay safe? While there are many answers to that question, one of the best is the three-pronged approach provided by FEMA.
1. Prepare To Evacuate
The first step in preparation is to make sure that you protect yourself. Pay attention to the public warnings and alert systems, and don’t think that you know better, just listen. Evacuate when you’re told to evacuate. If you don’t leave, you risk being trapped in flood waters without the luxury of emergency services.
2. Protect Your Belongings
Before you evacuate, and before any significant flooding begins, you would be wise to secure and protect any of your valuable belongings. Protecting items is simple and can be done by elevating any critical mechanics and technology, waterproofing any personal items like photographs by putting them in sealed plastic bags, and clearing away or tying down any exterior furniture that may cause damage to your home during the flood.
3. Protect Your Interests
Beyond the short-term objectives of evacuating yourself and securing your belongings, if you live in a flood zone, you should have flood insurance to protect your home from flood damage over the long term. While not a typical element in most insurance plans, flood insurance can be beneficial and is often a requirement in high-risk flood zones.
While there are undoubtedly restoration specialists in the Kansas City, KS, area, it is ideal to limit any potential storm damage from flooding by taking the above precautions. Being attentive to official warnings, protecting your belongings, and safeguarding your interests ensures that you are in the best possible position when the storm comes, literally and figuratively. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROkansascitymidtownks.com/.
Inspecting a Water Damage To Determine Scope
Inspecting the flood helps the technicians from SERVPRO of Kansas City / Midtown to determine the size of the project, the fundamental process also helps experts to identify the source of water damage, determine the type of water in your flooded home, and to move furniture and other valuables within your flooded home. Furthermore, this step helps the company to formulate a suitable cleanup process to eliminate the water in home.
Following inspection, our restoration company’s water cleanup experts will start extracting water from the flooded home using powerful pumps and vacuum units. A reputable restoration company will also use moisture detectors and infrared cameras to spot and eliminate water from crevices. Water removal reduces the drying time of your property's floor and wall, it prevents subsequent damage, and it prevents mold growth.
If these surfaces are left wet, they may start to break down, grow mold, swell, or even warp. To avoid this loss, SERVPRO of Kansas City / Midtown will use specialized equipment like dehumidifiers and industrial air movers to accelerate the process of drying. After that, they will use moisture meters to ensure that all surfaces achieve the desired drying goals.
Call us at 816.895.8890 if you have questions about the problem in your home.
What should I do if my KC home is flooded?
Don't take a flooded home as a lighthearted matter. You should be very serious in your attempts to enter your home after it has been flooded. Keep these in mind after a flood damage in the KC area.
- Disconnect all the Electronics - these can start fires if left on
- Move anything not Bolted to the Ground - furniture and tables should be moved out
- Have a Restoration Company Remove the Water - extraction of water helps with the drying process
- Get Rid of Moisture in the Affected Area - dehumidification will keep the mold from growing.
- Disinfect the House - part of the cleaning process is to disinfect the house before rebuilding.
- Dispose of Waste Responsibly - tearing out items from the home is naturally the case. Remember to take into consideration items with asbestos or you could be fined for disposing them incorrectly
Common Causes of Summer Flooding That May Affect Your Business
As a business owner in KC, you may think of heavy rains and torrential summer storms when it comes to flood risk. However, flooding does not only occur during the spring and summer months. Cold weather can cause indoor flooding from a burst pipe and other problems, and being aware of these risks may help you take steps to prevent them before the next cold snap.
1. Broken Pipes
When the temperature plummets, your building’s pipes can be vulnerable to freezing. When this occurs, any water inside the pipes tends to expand, which can cause them to burst. A burst pipe can cause severe flooding, especially if it happen overnight and you do not discover it until the next morning. Indoor pipes in uninsulated areas of your building, such as the basement or under restroom cabinets, can be especially prone to freezing. You can prevent frozen pipes by ensuring your entire building’s plumbing is well insulated.
2. Broken Water Supply Lines
If you own a hotel or restaurant that may have additional water supply lines, they could cause winter flooding unless you take steps to maintain them. For example, if your hotel includes a small pool, have the lines drained thoroughly during winterization to prevent them from bursting. Water lines that remain in use over the winter, such as those that supply hot tubs or other water features, should be inspected daily, especially when temperatures drop into the single digits.
Get Rid of That Mildew Odor Post Flooding: Here's How
Flooding in the KC
Your home is decontaminated, your contents clean and your life getting back to normal post flooding. You are finally able to take a deep breath, but when you do, you notice that something smells off. You take a whiff just to make sure, and yes, there's that smell again—the smell of mold and mildew. Despite your cleanup efforts, your home still has that telltale sign that a flood recently invaded your home. If you're tired of dealing with the after effects of a flood, there are a few things you should and should not do for odor removal from flooding. Here are a few things you should NOT do:
• Ignore the smell
• Think that bleach alone will kill the odor
• Cover the odor up with other scents
• Close the doors and windows.
Doing either of these things can put your home and your family at risk. Instead, do the following:
Contact a Professional
A professional flood remediation expert in KC, is the only person who can really help you kill post-flooding odors. This is because such an expert combats the source of the odor and not just the odor itself.
Act in the Meantime
In the meantime, there are steps you can take for odor removal from flooding on your own. First and foremost, open the windows. Doing so will help air out your home and provide for better circulation.
Next, remove any furniture that smells of mold and mildew. Whether or not the furniture is salvageable can be determined at a later date. For now, your goal is to remove the odor, and any affected furniture is allowing that odor to remain in your house.
Finally, wash items that can be laundered. These include clothing, bedding and draperies.
Once your KC, KS, flood restoration team arrives to begin odor removal from flooding, it can begin to tackle the heart of the issue. This may include drying out and deep cleaning your carpets, performing flood cuts on affected drywall and deep cleaning furniture.
KC is a great place. Here are some things you can do in the area.
Steps to Reduce the Risk of Tornado Damage in Kansas City
Tornado damage mitigation tips from Disastersafety.org.
About 1,000 tornadoes occur each year in the United States, causing an average of $1.1 billion in property damage and 80 deaths. These storms vary in intensity and the accompanying damage can result in everything from minor repairs to complete destruction with little warning. Most tornadoes are relatively weak, and therefore, primarily damage roofs, windows and trees. While only two percent of tornadoes achieve the most violent and damaging classification, one quarter of tornadoes are powerful enough to cause 90 percent of the damage and two-thirds of the deaths.
In an effort to gain a better understanding of who is most at risk from these destructive forces, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) conducted a regional analysis of tornadoes of F2 or greater strength that were reported during the 50-year period beginning in 1957 through 2006. This analysis, coupled with the construction guidance included below, is intended to better define which areas are most likely to be affected by tornadoes and to suggest methods for mitigating property risks.
The analysis used tornado records from a period of time when the older Fujita Scale classification F0 through F5 was being used. Since 2006, tornadoes have been classified by the Enhanced Fujita Scale using EF0 through EF5. Both scale classifications are based on damage observed after a tornado strikes. The EF scale, which provides a larger number of damage indicators for different types of buildings, attempts to recognize the difference between poorly constructed and well constructed buildings and results in lower estimates of wind speeds for the most intense storms, which are classified using the highest number on the F or EF scales. Efforts to re-classify the older F-Scale tornadoes using the EF-Scale are very labor intensive and subject to judgment because it requires a review of old damage reports, many of which will not have pictures of the damage. The simple approach, which is reasonable and probably slightly conservative, is to simply use the new wind speed estimates with the older classifications.
In creating the map below, IBHS used a grid of 100 square mile cells in the analysis. This is a smaller cell size than used by most other analyses. The advantage is a finer resolution of tornado risks at the expense of greater variability between adjacent cells. The effects of this potential limitation were reduced by employing a process to smooth out differences in tornado frequencies between nearby cells.
Tornadoes have a unique destructive power among wind-related natural disasters because they concentrate a massive amount of energy in a relatively small area. The strongest category of tornadoes can generate maximum wind speeds of greater than 250 mph, which is enough to destroy most buildings and structures in their path. These maximum wind speeds generate forces that are about twice as large as those generated by the strongest hurricanes.
Only a few specialty buildings are designed to withstand the direct impact of a severe tornado. However, well engineered, large and tall commercial structures are not likely to suffer structural collapse. For smaller commercial structures, good construction choices can give added protection and increase the likelihood that at least part of the structure will remain standing to provide shelter. Buildings that have been strengthened in critical areas and particularly at connection points, such as between the roof and walls and walls and foundation, would have a good chance of surviving intact or with minor cosmetic damage if subjected to the outer edges of a tornado.
Despite the annual tornado exposure, many walls and roofs of businesses in inland areas of the United States are typically built to resist gravity loads and have little resistance to uplift and lateral loads. Construction where all parts of the building are well connected is more common in hurricane-prone areas, but should also be considered by anyone who wants to increase their property’s protection from other severe windstorms, according to the building science experts at IBHS.
A CHECKLIST FOR MITIGATING TORNADO RISKS
While there is no way to eliminate all the damage of a direct hit from a violent tornado, businesses in tornado-prone areas can implement a variety of affordable measures which, for the majority of tornadoes, will effectively minimize damages to facilities, injuries to employees and the losses associated with business disruptions.
While the measures below focus specifically on tornado risks, many also will help protect businesses from other types of high wind and thunderstorm-related weather risks outside of tornado-prone regions.
ASSESS THE LIKELIHOOD OF A TORNADO STRIKING YOUR BUSINESS
Is the area where you live and work prone to tornadoes? Look at the map in this report to identify areas with the highest risk of tornadoes. Knowing what tornado risks are present is essential for choosing the appropriate mix of measures to protect your business. Businesses located in areas with a heightened tornado risk should take the following steps to minimize their risk of tornado damage:
PROTECT YOUR EMPLOYEES
- Prepare and disseminate an emergency plan describing what supervisors and employees should to do as a tornado threatens. Practice these procedures through tornado drills.
- Purchase a weather radio with local discrimination capability. Monitor weather conditions so employees can be moved to secure locations when necessary:
- Have an adequate source of weather information, such as a tone alert weather radio, to keep abreast of weather conditions.
- Have someone monitor local radar and warning information during a tornado watch and especially if a tornado warning has been issued for the area.
Watches and Warnings:
- A tornado watch is a caution indicating a high probability of tornadoes within an area approximately 250 miles long and 120 miles wide.
- A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted on the ground in your county or moving toward your county, or that weather radar indicates a high probability of a tornado existing.
- Keep exterior doors and windows closed to minimize rain and flying debris. Closing interior doors will also help to compartmentalize the building and provide more barriers between your employees and the storm.
- Select the best protective area for employees to seek shelter if there is a tornado:
- Basements are usually considered a good area, as are corridors and small interior rooms on the first floor of a structure.
- Never shelter employees in rooms where there is an outside wall, particularly those with glass windows, or where the ceiling or roof has a span between supports of more than 40 feet.
- If your building does not provide adequate protection and you are located in a tornado prone area, work with a contractor to harden a section of your facility or build a safe room.
- Safe Rooms: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and International Code Council (ICC) offer shelter guidelines.
- If you have 10 or fewer employees, a small size room designed according to the requirements and guidance published in FEMA 320 or ICC 500 for residential shelters may be sufficient.
- For larger safe rooms, use FEMA 361 or ICC 500 guidance for community shelters.
Make provisions to shelter employees working in portable out buildings and those operating trucks and other vehicles.
PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY
Wind-resistant construction can be cost effective and minimize the risk of structural damage for the majority of tornadoes, particularly damage from weak to moderate tornadoes, hail and wind associated with thunderstorms, and even to buildings on the edge of strong or violent tornadoes:
For new construction in a tornado prone area:
- Work with an architect or contractor to incorporate wind mitigation techniques and high wind-rated products when constructing your building, including safe areas for personnel.
- These techniques provide state-of-the art solutions to minimize structural risks by withstanding pressures created by specified high winds, strengthening roof and wall connections, roof systems, walls and wall covering, windows, doors, and skylights.
- It is less costly and more effective to harden buildings during design and construction rather than later.
For an existing structure, not built to wind mitigation standards:
- Consider retrofitting, especially when remodeling or replacing building components.
- Retrofitting may include:
- Bracing and strapping the roof.
- Adding recommended fasteners, ties, reinforcements, roof covering and anchors as building components are modified and maintained.
- Making entry doors and overhead doors more wind-resistant.
- Building a safe room to protect against tornadoes.
- For additional information on protection for existing buildings, see “Protecting Commercial Property” in the Tornado section of our website www.DisasterSafety.org.
MINIMIZE THE THREATS FROM WIND-BORNE DEBRIS
- Identify and remove trees and branches that could fall on the building walls or roof, or on power lines.
- Inspect and repair loose or damaged building components such as siding, soffit and fascia, shingles and roofing, brickwork, and brick chimneys.
- Avoid using built -up roofs with aggregate or pavers on the surface.
Visit www.DisasterSafety.org/tornado to find additional details and how-to instruction for many of these projects.
Spring Storms Affect Kansas City
Whether it's your home or your business (or recently a local Kansas City area airport), strong storms can wreak havoc on your property.
Living in the Kansas City area we have grown accustom to living with the lively weather patterns that the spring season brings.
Sometimes, there's not much you can do to protect your property when 100+ MPH winds hit. Generally, we focus on what's most important... our loved ones. After the storm clouds clear a small percentage of our population will find damage to their homes and businesses.
So whether it's a flooded basement in your home, or the entire roof ripped from your building, there's only one call to make. The cleanup professionals at SERVPRO of Kansas City Midtown quietly taking to the streets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the best training and equipment. Call us at 816.895.8890
We are prepared to do the hard work necessary to make it Like it never even happened.