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How To Clean Excess Mold in Your Home

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

An N-95 respirator An N-95 respirator provides the best protection if you find mold in your home

How To Clean Excess Mold in Your Home

Even a small amount of house mold can cause lots of damage to your Topeka, KS, property. The spores can spread quickly, so you need to address the issue as soon as possible.
If the affected section of your home is smaller than 10 square feet, you may be able to perform mold cleanup yourself. Any larger area should be addressed by your local mold remediation specialists.
Before you attempt to clean the mold, you need to make sure you are properly protected. That means wearing the following:

  • An N-95 respirator
  • Goggles without ventilation holes
  • Long gloves

Your next step should be fixing any water problems that are causing the mold growth. You can then start removing the excess house mold.

Mold Cleanup Tips

Use a combination of detergent and water to scrub mold off hard surfaces. Then let the affected areas dry completely.
Porous items such as carpets and tiles are more difficult to clean. These materials may have to be thrown away and replaced.
You may not want to use strong cleaners on delicate or sentimental items. However, you can easily find specialists to help you restore these valuables.
Mold spores thrive in damp areas. It is nearly impossible to completely remove mold from your bathroom. However, you can limit the spread of this mold by cleaning the room frequently and using a window or fan to increase ventilation.

Post-Flood Mold

Floods are another common cause of mold damage in a home. Make sure to remove any wet items or standing water from your property before you start cleaning up the mold.
Even if you regularly clean your bathroom and limit contamination after a flood, you could still find yourself dealing with house mold. If the problem persists despite your cleanup efforts, or if the spores spread to multiple rooms in your home, you should contact black mold cleanup specialists.

Saving Your Carpet From Water Damage

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Carpet with water Water damage on carpet

When your house in Hutchinson, KS, floods from a pipe break or leaking washer, you may look at your saturated floor and wonder if any of it can be salvaged. The answer can depend on several factors.

Contamination Level of Water

The first thing water restoration experts are going to need to know in order to determine if your flooring is salvageable is the flood water's contamination level:

  • Category 1 - Clean water that comes straight from a pipe or supply line
  • Category 2 - Dirty water that leaks out of an appliance or has been standing stagnant for a while
  • Category 3 - Contaminated water from the sewer line or storm flooding

If your carpet was flooded due to a pipe break, technicians will likely only need to make sure it's thoroughly dry. If, however, it is infested with sewage, it's better to just throw it out and buy new carpeting rather than try to get it clean enough to remain in your home.

Presence of Mold

When your flooring has been wet for a day or two, water damage is not the only problem you may have to address. Mold can start to grow on the carpet's surface. Pretty soon, it is so deeply embedded in the fibers that throwing it out and replacing it is the only suitable course of action.

Appearance of Stains

Water can cause anything that is brightly colored to fade onto another surface. If you have a bright red chair on your beige carpet, some of the dye from the chair is likely to seep into it during a flood. You may not be able to remove the stain, and it may not be the only stubborn spot you find on the floor after the water is removed.
After a pipe break in your home, you may be able to save your floor covering as long as the water remains clean, is removed quickly and doesn't cause stains. Once the carpet is too damaged, it's easier and less expensive to have it replaced.

The 4 Steps of Fire Extinguisher Use

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set Many fire safety and damage restoration professionals recommend using the acronym P.A.S.S.

The 4 Steps of Fire Extinguisher Use

A fire extinguisher can be one of the most important fire safety tools a Wichita, KS, home can have. As such, it’s important to know how to use this safety tool properly. Many fire safety and damage restoration professionals recommend using the acronym P.A.S.S. to remember the formula for extinguisher use. The four steps of this process are as follows.

Pull

When facing a kitchen fire, the first step is to break the tamper-proof seal on the extinguisher. This can be achieved by pulling the pin. This the first letter of the acronym, which stands for pull.

Aim

Once the pin has been pulled, the next step is to aim the fire extinguisher at the fire. It’s recommended to aim the end of the hose at the base of the fire to help ensure the most coverage. Remember not to touch the discharge horn or nozzle, as they can be extremely cold.

Squeeze

The first S stands for squeeze. This is because the trigger on the extinguisher will need to be released before any suppressant can be sprayed. Squeeze the trigger until the fire has been extinguished or the canister has been emptied. After the fire is out, you will want to remember to have your extinguisher refilled.

Sweep

The last step in the acronym stands for sweep. As you squeeze the trigger, sweep the end of the hose from side to side across the base of the flames to help ensure complete coverage by the suppressant. Once the fire is out, you can then contact a professional to make any repairs to areas suffering fire damage.
When using a fire extinguisher, it’s important to remember to pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep, or P.A.S.S. Follow these four steps to help ensure that the extinguisher is used correctly. You may also want to teach your family members to do the same.

4 Reasons Your Business Should Have Flood Insurance

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Street of a neighborhood flooded Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage

A Few Reasons Why You Might Want To Purchase Flood Insurance

If you own a building in Salina, KS, then you probably have some form of insurance for it. You might think that having a basic policy is enough to protect your business, but this isn’t always the case. If you don’t already have flood insurance, here are a few reasons why you might want to purchase this additional policy.

1. Storms Can Be Unpredictable

Even if it doesn’t flood much in your area, that doesn’t mean that it won’t ever happen. Because you can’t predict everything that will occur during severe weather, it’s a good idea to be prepared for a variety of situations. Flood insurance can help you do that.

2. Repairs Can Be Costly

Not only can flood water affect the structure of the building, but it can damage a lot of the items inside as well, such as electronics, furniture and artwork. Because flood water is contaminated, everything will need to be cleaned and sanitized. Without insurance, you could end up paying a lot for these repairs.

3. It’s Not Included in Your Basic Policy

You might think that you don’t need insurance specifically for floods if you already have a commercial insurance policy. However, most companies don’t include floods in their basic policies. Because flood repairs can cost the insurance company a lot of money, you will need to purchase an additional policy to cover this kind of damage.

4. It Might Be Required

Depending on your situation, you might not have a choice about whether or not to purchase an additional policy. If you live in an area where floods occur often, it might be a requirement. This will likely be the case if you have a mortgage from an insured or federally regulated lender.
If your building is damaged during a flood, the needed repairs can end up costing your business a lot of money, but purchasing a flood insurance policy can help. With this additional policy, the costs of having a cleanup and restoration service perform remediation on your building will be covered.

Are You in the Path of Wildfires and Flooding?

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Wildfire Wildfire in Maize, KS

Are You in the Path of Wildfires and Flooding?

When it comes to natural disasters in the United States, flooding is the most common. After all, the possibility of flooding increases during heavy rainstorms, spring thaws, winter storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, new construction, and clogged drainage systems. The results of unusually high water can be problematic for Maize, KS, residents:

  • Loss of power and clean water
  • Exposure to waterborne diseases
  • Erosion of landscaping
  • Destruction of property

Homeowners in wooded and rural areas may want to pay special attention to the increased risk of flooding following wildfire damage. It is also wise to look into FEMA NFIP, the National Flood Insurance Program established by the federal government.

Affordable Insurance Coverage

This insurance program was created to increase access to affordable insurance for property owners and renters. The program encourages communities to put floodplain management plans into action. It's important for homeowners to realize that they can take steps to reduce their own financial costs before flooding damage occurs, such as purchasing flood insurance through a local agent or the FEMA NFIP website.

Wildfires and Flooding

When first considering the destruction caused by wildfires, flooding damage may not be the type of destruction that comes to mind. However, after the intense heat and flames of a wildfire the remains of vegetation and charred soil create a layer that prevents water from being absorbed into the ground. Instead, when it rains, the water bounces off the soil and runs downstream where properties face an increased risk of flooding.

Awareness of Risk

Homes situated at the base of steep hills are especially vulnerable to heavy runoff, flash floods, and mudflows, even during normal circumstances. After a wildfire, these properties are at the highest risk for flooding damage. Water damage remediation professionals may recommend preventative actions.

Flooding can happen anywhere, and Maize, KS, homeowners should prepare for the possibility of damages by purchasing insurance through the FEMA NFIP or a local insurance agent. With community floodplain management, awareness of flood risks, and an appropriate insurance policy, it's possible to reduce costs and feel more confident.

What Every Homeowner Should Know About Creating a Fire Escape Plan

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

A notebook that says emergency escape plan Creating a fire escape plan is one of the most valuable things a homeowner can do

How to Create A Fire Escape Plan

No one thinks that their home in Colwich, KS, will be affected by a fire, but as a homeowner, it's often important to be prepared for any kind of disaster. Learning about making a fire escape plan can be useful for homeowners, as an escape plan can be life-saving during a home fire.

1. Don't Avoid Creating a Plan

The idea of your home catching fire may make you feel upset or uncomfortable, and you may be tempted to put off making an escape plan in order to avoid thinking about the subject. Parents may also avoid making and discussing an escape plan so as to avoid upsetting their children. However, making a plan will not increase the risk of your home catching fire, and you can discuss your plan with your children in an age-appropriate, calm manner.

2. Practice Your Plan

The more frequently you practice your fire escape plan, the more prepared you will be if a fire does occur. As you practice your plan, it's often helpful to make the goal of the practice to get out of the house in a safe, quick manner. It's frequently best to avoid gathering your belongings. Fire restoration services can assist in restoring your home and your belongings in the event of a fire, and it's generally wise to focus on your own safety.

3. Invest in the Proper Equipment and Tools

There are certain pieces of equipment and tools that could be useful to have if a fire occurs. Depending on the configuration of your home, it might be useful to purchase a ladder if there are rooms above ground level. A ladder can make it easier and safer for someone to escape from a room that is above the first floor of your home. A fire blanket may also be useful to stifle small fires.

When it comes to fire preparation, creating a fire escape plan is one of the most valuable things a homeowner can do. It's often wise to create a plan, practice your plan often and to invest in tools or equipment that could be useful in the event of a fire.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Try to Remove Mold On Your Own

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

The hand of someone with a yellow glove spraying at a wall that is covered with black mold DIY mold removal can result in accidental spreading of mold

Here Are Some Reasons Why You Shouldn't Remove on Your Own

If you have a mold problem in your home in South hutchinson, KS, then you might be tempted to try to remove it on your own. How difficult can it be, right? However, this is not a good idea. Attempting to perform mold testing or cleanup on your own can actually make it worse. The following are a few reasons why you should leave this work to the professionals.

1. You May Not Be Able to Find the Mold

The first reason that you should resist the temptation to do your own mold testing and cleanup is that it’s not as simple as it seems. Mold is a sneaky fungus and it doesn’t always grow in places that are easy to see. In some cases, it might be hiding inside of your walls or flooring. Even if you think you’ve gotten it all, chances are you haven’t.

2. Mold Tests Are Not Accurate

Since you might not be able to see all of the mold that is growing in your house, you might think that you can use a mold kit to find it. The problem is that these kits won’t be very helpful. Because you likely have some harmless spores in your home, a kit can give you a positive result even in areas without excessive mold. There are many varieties of home tests that you can purchase, but none will be as accurate as a professional test.

3. You Could Accidentally Spread the Mold

Even if you are able to find the location of the mold growth, DIY mold removal can result in accidental spreading of mold. If you don’t block off the area properly, then mold can travel through the air into other areas of the home. The same can happen when mold spores get on your clothing.
While it might seem more convenient to take care of a mold problem by yourself, you will most likely not get the best results. Instead, you should hire a mold remediation company to perform mold testing and cleanup for you. They have the necessary training and professional equipment to do the job right.

How To Deal With an Upper Story Toilet Overflow

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Water stain on a ceiling Water stain on ceiling

Sometimes a flooded toilet is not a disaster, but when it happens upstairs, the problem is usually substantially more serious. If you can react immediately in Colwich, KS, and the water doesn’t get past the flooring, you probably don’t have to worry, but once it gets into the subflooring or below, you need to begin serious remedies. When that happens to your business, regardless of whether you lease or own the building, you should hire a professional water damage remediation company.

A Second-Story Flood Is a Compound Problem

Once the water gets past the flooring and baseboards, the problems mount quickly. Items that can’t tolerate significant water include

  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Electrical
  • Framing

Plus, sewer damage isn’t just water, it’s blackwater that’s filled with contaminates, and when it gets into the ceiling and behind walls, those areas need to be cleaned and disinfected.
If the water wasn’t filled with significant sewage, and if the drywall dehydrates in about a day or so, you may get lucky, and no further efforts beyond using a disinfectant on all surfaces the water touched will be necessary. However, sometimes employees may not disclose when it happens, or may not do a quick-enough cleanup job. If the wet drywall has not completely evaporated within two days, you will have to remove flooring, ceiling and wallboard to allow the inner components to fully dry.

Insurance May – or May Not – Cover Damages

Policies will differ in wording, and what seems like minor variations can make a world of difference. Some policies may cover both backup and overflow from sewer damage, while others differentiate between them. Discharged water is also sometimes covered. Consider asking your sewage company for specific information if penetration has occurred.
Talk with an organization that has plenty of experience in working with sewer damage in commercial enterprises. It can give information about insurance claims, identify your best and most cost-efficient remedies, and take immediate steps to prevent further damage in Colwich, KS. Anything that can be done to air out wet areas should happen as soon as possible, including using large-capacity air movers and negative pressure devices.

5 Tips for Sump Pump Maintenance

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

A sump pump A sump pump is one of the most important parts of your Valley Center home

5 Tips For Prolonging The Life of Your Pump

Your sump pump is crucial to your home's well-being. It executes two important jobs:

Preventing groundwater from entering your home
Expelling water during a storm or other weather event in Valley Center, KS.

Performing regular pump maintenance — at least once a year, if not more often — can mean the difference between a dry home and a soggy one. Here are five tips for prolonging the life of your pump.

  1. Check the electrical connection. In order to run, all sump pumps rely on a GFCI electrical connection. Ensure that it's on and providing power to the pump.
  2. Clean the pump and the pit. Removing dirt and debris from both parts of the unit will boost the pump's productivity.
  3. Make sure the pump is vertical. When the sump pump runs, it vibrates. That shaking can cause the pump to tilt to one side. While you're making sure the pump isn't leaning like a certain tower in Pisa, check that the float gauge has freedom of movement, too.
  4. Confirm that the pump is cycling water. Pour water into the pit — enough to engage the pump. The pump should promptly empty the pit and turn off.
    While you're sticking around to confirm that the water empties and the unit shuts off, you should also listen for the sound of running water. If you hear any, that may indicate that the pump's check valve is malfunctioning, since the check valve's job is to prevent water from flowing back into the unit.
  5. Consider a tank level alarm. If your pump stops working, the alarm will sound, letting you know that there's a problem. Some tank level alarms can also send you an alert via text message or email using Wi-Fi.

It may not be glamorous, but your sump pump is one of the most important parts of your home. By performing regular maintenance and inspections, you can give yourself peace of mind and avoid having to keep your local water mitigation professionals on speed dial.

Cleaning Electronics After a Fire

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

A camera with someone cleaning it after it has suffered smoke damage Cleaning electronics after a fire

Undergoing an electrical fire at your business in Winfield, KS, can cause untold damages and revenue losses. If you have electronics that were damaged directly by a fire, they may not be salvageable. Electronics can also be damaged by smoke, but with the proper restoration techniques, they may be salvageable.

Smoke Damaged Electronics

It might sound unlikely, but smoke can cause serious problems for electronics to function correctly.

  • Smoke Film: Smoke can easily get into the cracks and ventilation holes of electronics and leave behind a black film which insulates the components. This can cause these items to overheat more frequently and decrease their life span.
  • Soot Acidity: Soot left behind by smoke is acidic, and this will slowly eat away at your electrical items, also causing a shorter life span.
  • Magnetic Smoke: Smoke carries a magnetic charge, which has the potential to short out circuits in TVs, computers, and appliances.

Safely Clean Your Damaged Electronics

When it comes to restoring your business’ property after an electrical fire, the information stored on damaged electronics can be very valuable, especially any information that was not backed-up. To handle computer cleanup, it is often recommended to hire a professional fire restoration company. The components in computers are sensitive to begin with, so adding smoke damage can put them into a very fragile state. When priceless business information is at stake, the professionals can use their expertise to safely restore your computers.
If you want to collect the information you can before any restoration is done, you can remove the memory or storage devices, such as USB drives or the hard drive inside the computer, and move the information onto another device while a professional cleans the rest of the machine.
As for other devices, it is best to turn them off and unplug them until they can be fully cleaned out. This will help avoid any permanent or further damage.
If you have current warranties on any of your equipment, check to see if they cover fire damage.

Professional Cleanup

Let a professional restoration company handle the cleanup after an electrical fire to recover important assets such as computers and other electronics. This can give you peace of mind and a higher likelihood that many of the items will be restored nearly to their pre-fire condition.