Steps for Cleaning Your Crawlspace
Once the area is dry, it still has to be disinfected, as water from storm damage often contains bacteria that you wouldn't want in your home.
A home flood in Wichita, KS, can affect every inch of your home. Most of the storm damage is easy to see. Some areas, however, such as your crawlspace, may be flooded without your knowledge. After a thorough inspection, if you discover flood damage in your crawlspace, here are some tips for dealing with it.
1. Remove Items
While the name indicates a certain need for openness, in most homes, a crawlspace is not just an open space. Sometimes insulation is added, particularly in colder climates. They may also house parts of your HVAC unit, plumbing, or wiring. Some homeowners may even use it as storage for keepsakes or seasonal items. When it is flooded, however, the restoration company you hire to remediate the water damage will need to remove all the items to determine if they can be salvaged.
2. Remove Water
After the space is cleared of items and debris, the next step of home flood remediation is removing the standing water in the space. An industrial sump pump or trash pump is typically used to complete this process. It siphons the water out of the crawlspace into a tank in the technicians' truck. From there they can safely dispose of it in another location.
3. Dry Surfaces
Once the crawlspace is emptied, the remaining surfaces may still be wet. They cannot be left this way or the space may develop a mold problem. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours, so the faster the area can be dried, the better. Technicians may use dehumidifiers to leach the moisture out of the air. High-powered fans can be used to increase airflow across the surfaces and evaporate moisture as the air moves outside.
Once the area is dry, it still has to be disinfected, as water from storm damage often contains bacteria that you wouldn't want in your home. Drying your crawlspace is an important factor in avoiding further water damage during a home flood.
How To Choose a Commercial Drying Specialist
A broken pipe at your business in Wichita, KS, is a stressful experience.
Unexpectedly, you discover a broken pipe at your commercial property in Wichita, KS. You immediately shut off the water main to the site, call your insurance agent and go online to find a commercial drying specialist. However, there are many to choose from. How can you ascertain which company will quickly and properly complete the water clean up and restoration for your business structure and contents?
Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)
The IICRC provides certification based on industry standards for restoration companies. Look for the IICRC logo on company websites or professional vehicles. When you hire a certified restoration company, you can feel confident that the technicians will have the following skillsets:
• Possess current knowledge of the field through experience, training, and examination.
• Uphold the IICRC high code of business ethics.
• Maintain current licenses and insurance.
Commercial Drying Specialist Certification
When a broken pipe occurs, you need a specialist trained specifically in water clean up, commercial drying, and restoration procedures. During the accreditation process, the IICRC ensures that technicians acquire and display the following knowledge and skills:
• Demonstrate proper techniques in inspection and evaluation of commercial water damage.
• Understand project management and coordination of commercial structures.
• Recognize commercial hazards and safety considerations related to water damage.
• Establish expertise in current methods of drying structures and materials.
• Comprehend moisture mechanics, air management, and the microbiology of flooding.
A broken pipe at your business in Wichita, KS, is a stressful experience. Not only do you worry about damage to the building structure and contents, but you also become apprehensive about the interruption to your company. Finding a reputable commercial drying specialist for the water clean-up and restoration process is critical to getting up and running again in an efficient manner. When the specialist is IICRC certified, you can trust that the technician possesses the skillset to get the job done right.
Home Insurance Coverage Regarding Mold Damage
You don’t have to let the fungus growth claim your home because of the claims process.
If your home becomes infested with fungus growth, you are likely to wonder what your insurance will cover. The answer varies depending on a number of circumstances. By understanding how insurance policies handle mold coverage, you can have an idea of the next action to take for your Wichita, KS, residence.
Mold Coverage From Other Issues
While policies differ, most will not cover mold unless explicitly stated. Insurance policies will, however, often pay for mold treatment if it is the result of any related covered perils:
• Fire unrelated to arson
• Lightning damage
• Unpreventable water damage
• Snow or ice damage
• Frozen pipes
If the insurance adjuster determines that any of the covered perils were due to negligence on the part of the homeowner, mold coverage will often be denied. This can be due to leaving fungus growth or water damage untreated for an unreasonable length of time. There is a base expectation of home maintenance, and the insurance company will deny on that basis if they can prove non-compliance.
Even With Coverage, There’s Likely a Mold Cap
Even if your policy covers mold, many companies adopt a hard limit called a mold cap. This is a stated amount in the policy of the maximum amount of costs covered when dealing with mold insurance. This varying number is available by consulting your policy.
Treating Mold Damage Regardless
The costs of removal continue to add up if there’s more to treat. Mold may continue to devalue your property if it becomes more widespread. It is wise to act quickly so costs do not end up having to come out of your pocket. An insurance adjuster or expert mold treatment company can offer an estimate of the costs. Regardless of insurance coverage, you can work out a treatment to stop the mold from causing lasting damage to your home.
You don’t have to let the fungus growth claim your home because of the claims process. You can act to stop the mold and save yourself money by paying upfront to stop its spread.
Homeowners May Qualify for FEMA Assistance
FEMA assistance may be one of the choices available to you.
Homeowners May Be Eligible For FEMA Assistance
When a community is hit by a tornado, hurricane, tsunami or other storm and suffers from devastating flooding, the U.S. president may officially declare Derby, KS, a disaster area. This declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to offer federal assistance to those affected by the disaster.
Federal assistance is available to you when certain eligibility requirements are met: the home is in an area the president has officially declared a disaster; someone in your home is a US citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien; the damage is to your primary residence; you cannot access or live in your home in its present condition; and expenses incurred related to the disaster are not covered by insurance or other sources.
Qualified Households May Be Eligible To Receive Federal Assistance
When you meet the federal requirements, FEMA may be able to provide assistance in the following ways:
• The cost of a hotel/motel room may be covered when flood waters make it impossible for you to access your house or live in it for a short time, or rental assistance may be available for an extended period of time while repairs are made or other housing is established.
• If your home and belongings have water damage and need repair by a professional restoration service provider, financial support may be available.
• Other expenses as a result of the flood may be covered as well: medical/dental, funeral, childcare, vehicle repair/replacement, and moving expenses.
Casualty Survivors May Apply for Assistance
You may apply for federal assistance before you file an insurance claim, but don’t forget to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. After you apply for federal assistance, a home inspection may be needed to assess your property damage; an inspector should schedule an appointment with you. Inspectors, wearing official photo identification, make an assessment of the property but do not decide if you will receive assistance.
Homeowners Should Know Disaster Assistance Options
When you survive a major storm, the resulting damage may cause devastating consequences, but being well informed of your options for assistance can lessen the turmoil. FEMA assistance may be one of the options that you can depend upon.
Answers to Common Questions About Mold
Mold growth in Emporia, KS.
What Does Mold Look Like?
Mold can appear in many colors and could appear as a dark spot on the wall or as black specks around the window. Mold in the crawlspace may look like chalky white growth or could be dark spots behind the sink. Many people in Emporia, KS, recognize black mold, but it could appear in several colors, beginning with the most common.
Any sign of mold should prompt you to contact a mold remediation expert, even if the growth spot only looks like hard water stains running below the knobs in the sink.
How can you tell if it's bad mold?
Not all types of mold are dangerous, but black mold and other forms of mold in large amounts could lead to expensive repairs and mold cleanup efforts. The best way to prevent extensive damage and repairs is to treat any appearance of mold as if it were bad mold. The only effective and reliable way to tell what type of mold is in a building is to contact an indoor environmental professional.
Who can safely remove mold?
An IEP uses specialized equipment and testing methods to determine which types of mold are on the property, how widespread growth is, how high levels of contamination are, and where mold growth began. DIY tests tend to be inaccurate and could lead to ineffective mold remediation efforts.
When should you take action?
If you see signs of mold growth, smell a musty odor, find evidence of water leaks, or know of any past flooding, you should take immediate action to prevent further growth and begin mold cleanup. Mold remediation experts in Emporia, KS, can get you started. Any time you suspect the presence of mold in your building, you need to act quickly for the protection of your property and those people who live or work in the building.
Understanding Home Fires and Insurance
When you have a home fire in Maize, KS insurance coverage for fire and water damage is key to an affordable recovery.
Home Fires And Insurance: What You Need to Know
A home fire at your dwelling in Maize, KS is devastating. There is soot damage, smoke damage and water damage from the firefighters putting out the flames. Many of your personal belongings are lost or in need of proper cleaning. Most residential fires are covered by insurance, but some are not. The cause is crucial to determining coverage. Read below to know what is typically covered and what is not. Each individual policy is different, so be sure to confirm with your agent.
What Causes Are Usually Covered?
For most homeowner’s insurance, almost all fire types are covered under the policy, including, but not limited to the following:
- Kitchen fires are one of the main causes of residential fires. This type of fire spreads quickly and leads to significant damage.
- Failing electrical systems or appliances, especially those that are old or poorly maintained, pose a fire risk.
- The HVAC system, space heater or wood stove may ignite a house fire.
- Even though smoking rates have decreased over the past few decades, it remains a common reason for residential fires.
- External causes, such as lightning strikes and wildfires, are rare but can be a fire hazard.
When Is a Home Fire Not Covered?
There are two main causes of house fires not covered by homeowner’s insurance:
- Arson is never covered if the fire is set by the homeowner or someone acting on the homeowner’s behalf. If investigators find evidence of a fire set by the owner to collect insurance money, no damage is covered and criminal charges may be filed.
- A vacant home fire is not typically covered if it is unoccupied at the time of the fire. However, this is covered if the homeowner has an added endorsement to the policy.
When you have a home fire in Maize, KS insurance coverage for fire and water damage is key to an affordable recovery. Work with your insurance adjustor and a fire restoration specialist to rebuild, replace and restore your home to pre-fire condition.
The Mold Remediation Process
Mold containment in Emporia, KS.
The Mold Remediation Process
A persistent musty odor in your home in Emporia, KS, may be a sign of a black mold problem. Once your suspicions are confirmed, mold remediation specialists must work quickly to eradicate the growth and keep it from spreading into other areas of the house.
The first thing the technicians do when they arrive is don personal protective equipment:
- Ventilator mask
This preventative measure allows them to move freely in the space without concern that they will breathe in the mold spores or spread them to other areas via their clothing.
The next step in mold cleanup is blocking off the affected area. The last thing you want is mold growth to spread into the rest of your home. Sealing it off isolates the problem.
Even if you wipe down the surface, the mold may have grown into porous materials. If the black mold growth is large enough to need professional remediation, it has likely damaged walls, flooring or ceiling beyond repair. Material that cannot be salvaged must be torn out and discarded.
Next comes the cleaning process. Mold spores tend to root themselves into surfaces and cracks, so specialists have to use special equipment and cleaning techniques to ensure that the whole problem is gone. Otherwise, it is likely to return, and you'll have to start the whole process over again.
The last step of mold remediation is drying out the remaining surfaces. Technicians also must test the humidity level to make sure there's not too much moisture in the air. This step eliminates the conditions that probably led to mold growth in the first place.
To get rid of a black mold problem in your home, you probably need professional remediation. Certified specialists understand the precautions they need to take to protect themselves and your home, and they conduct thorough mitigation to keep mold from coming back.
How To Clean Your Chimney and Avoid Chimney Fires
Chimney damaged by fire.
Avoid Thick Black Smoke and Chimney Fire
If you have a chimney in your Salina, KS home, it’s imperative to keep it clean and in good working order if you want to reduce the risk of chimney fire and keep your family safe. Here are a few steps you can follow to clean your chimney and avoid thick black smoke and chimney fires.
1. Determine If You Can Clean It Yourself
Before you can effectively clean your chimney, you need to make sure you have the ability to do the job yourself. One easy way to tell if it’s an appropriate DIY project or if you should hire professionals is by checking to see if you can reach all parts of the chimney either from inside your home or from your roof. Creosote buildup causes fire damage, so you need to be able to remove it from every part of your chimney.
If you can reach the smoke chamber from inside your home and have the tools necessary to clean the flue efficiently, you may be able to clean your chimney yourself. If you have any trouble reaching all areas of the chimney, it’s wise to hire a professional. If the flue isn’t cleaned properly, the risk of a chimney fire goes up.
2. Minimize Mess
Cleaning a fireplace is messy business. To keep your carpets and furniture protected, put a canvas tarp or plastic paint sheet on the floor around your fireplace.
3. Brush the Flue
Use a large chimney brush to thoroughly clean the flue. Simply ram the brush into the flu and pump it up and down several times, working in small sections.
Take Care of Your Chimney
If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning your own chimney, there’s no shame in hiring professionals to do it for you. That way you’ll have greater confidence that your risk of chimney fire is severely reduced. If you’ve already had smoke damage due to burning fires in an unclean chimney, call professional smoke and fire restoration services.
Prevent Flooding Caused by Frozen Pipes
Insulate exterior pipes.
Frigid winter months can bring significant problems to commercial buildings in Hutchinson, KS from ice dams that cause roof leaks to burst pipes. As water freezes, it expands, putting pressure on its container. This container, whether plastic or metal, may not be able to hold it. When the container is a pipe, it may burst, causing standing water and damage to the surrounding area. However, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of a burst pipe.
Why Pipes Burst
Although the most basic explanation for pipes freezing in cold weather, it’s not quite that simple. There are other contributing factors, which can include:
- They have inadequate or no insulation.
- They are in cold or exposed areas in or around the building.
- There is water sitting in the pipes instead of circulating through them.
When Pipes Freeze
Depending on the building and usage, frozen pipes may be a minor inconvenience or a catastrophic event. The consequences of a burst pipe can include:
- No access to water or use of drainage pipes
- Irrevocable pipe damage, which requires that the pipes are repaired before they can be used
- Water damage that may be limited to drips or result in flooding areas of the building
How To Prevent Pipe Bursts
Taking some time during the warmer months can help prevent a frozen pipe during the winter season.
- Insulate exterior pipes and those located in unheated areas, such as basements or crawl spaces.
- Let water drip, allowing it to run and prevent pressure from building, which can cause a burst pipe.
- Check shutoff valves and levers, ensuring they are in good working condition.
- Keep heat and water on in areas of the building that are not in use.
If a water event does occur, water restoration professionals in Hutchinson, KS restore your premises to their former condition, “Like it never even happened.” allowing you to get on with business as usual.
Cleaning Items Damaged by Water
Water damage in a Topeka, KS home.
Taking Care Of Items Damaged By Water
If there’s water in your home, your personal belongings will more than likely be affected. Whether it comes from a broken pipe, storm, or flood damage, water tends to go wherever it wants. Knowing how to clean, preserve and protect your property can help make an overwhelming task much more manageable.
1. Put Safety First
Before handling anything that’s been water-damaged, make sure you wear appropriate gloves and masks. You might even consider waterproof clothing. This kind of water can be contaminated by a host of chemicals, bacteria, and foreign substances, and no matter how valuable they might be, no personal possession is worth the potential cost to your health.
2. Clean Off the Mud
Once the water in your home is gone, clean any mud or silt off your items. You can rinse them with cool, clean water. Only use clean water in order to prevent additional contamination. If your items have already begun to dry, or if you have soiled clothes that require dry cleaning, don’t scrub them. Use a brush or cloth to wipe away as much debris as you can.
3. Get Them Dry
Remove wet items to a dry part of the house and allow them to air-dry. Use fans and open windows to increase air circulation, which can aid the drying process. Some items, like area rugs and wool blankets, can safely dry in direct sunlight, while others need to be indoors. Place waterlogged books, papers and photographs in the freezer to dry them out slowly. A restoration specialist can advise you if you have valuable or collectible papers, books, or photographs.
While water in your home in Topeka, KS, can cause serious damage, many of your personal possessions can be saved and their functionality restored. If you have any questions about the best methods for preserving and restoring a particular item, contact a professional in your area.