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Hail, No!

10/22/2020 (Permalink)

summer rain with hail falls on the roof of slate Hail storm

Instances of extreme weather in Maize, KS, take its toll on your home's exterior—especially your roof, which is the most exposed part of any house. Hail, in particular, can cause serious though less visible damage than say, high winds or torrential rains. For homeowners, a hail damaged roof is among the hardest areas to assess. Before you call a roofing contractor for hail damage repair services, you can check for the three major signs of damage: cracking, denting and missing pieces of shingles or shingle granules. Here's some basic roofing guidance.

Factors in Hail Damage

The following factors can help assess roof damage:

  • Wind speed and direction affect the location and degree of hail damage.
  • Size and density of hail (pea size to softball size, smooth or ragged edges) determine the extent of damage.
  • Protective barriers around your house (trees, neighboring structures) reduce hail's destructive effects.
  • Building materials and your roof's age and condition affect its potential for damage.

Types of Roofing Materials
It's important to keep in mind that normal wear and tear can be mistaken for a hail damaged roof. Additionally, the composition of roof shingles affects how the damage appears.
Asphalt and Composition Shingles:

  • Damage is random and without pattern.
  • Hail strikes appear black.
  • Granule loss may expose the roof felt.
  • Asphalt or mat may look slick or shiny.
  • Hail strikes are soft to the touch.

Wood Shingles:

  • Random, patternless damage.
  • Split shingle with brown or orange tones at the split.
  • Split shingle with sharp edges.
  • Split shingle with minimal or no deterioration at the edges.
  • Impact dents visible along the splits.

If you can actually see major damage or suspect you have a hail damaged roof after a weather event, it's a good idea to contact storm damage professionals to tarp the roof and ensure there's no follow-on, secondary damage before it's commercially inspected and repairs begin.

5 Common Home Mold Species

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on wall with the words STRACHYBOTRYS ATRA Stachybotrys also known as black mold

Five of The Most Common Indoor Mold Species

Mold growth is an extremely common household issue that the majority of homeowners must face at some point. If you discovered mold growing in your home in South Hutchinson, KS, the first thing you must do is identify which type of mold you're dealing with. Here are five of the most common indoor mold species.

1. Stachybotrys
Also known as the infamous black mold, this species is probably the most common household funguses. Like the name implies, it's usually black or dark green in color and may have a slimy or fuzzy texture. It's most common in areas that experience high humidity, such as your bathroom.

2. Chaetomium
You can most often find this type of mold after your home has suffered some type of water damage. It starts off with a white or gray color before fading to a dark brown or almost black color. It's also characterized by its cotton-like texture. If your home smells musty, this species is likely the culprit.

3. Ulocladium
This type of mold is common after extreme cases of water damage or flooding. If you aren't used to dealing with mold growth, it's very easy to confuse this species with black mold. It's best to contact an environmental hygienist to help differentiate.

4. Alternaria
This is the most common type of allergenic mold to find in your house. It has a velvety texture and also sprouts brown or dark green hairs. This is a very common species of mold to discover growing in your bathroom, as the spores favor dampness.

5. Cladosporium
You're most likely to find this type of mold growing in textiles or fabrics, such as your carpeting or upholstery. It's also possible to discover it growing in the cupboards, drawers and underneath the floorboards. It's characterized by its olive green or brown coloration.
Mold growth is a common, yet serious issue that needs to be handled properly. In order to ensure your property's complete safety, you should contact mold remediation experts to deal with any mold issues you may discover.

Should I Clean Up Contaminated Water?

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle Types of water categories

Types of Contaminated Water

No one in Colwich, KS, ever wants to face a home water emergency. Occasionally, though, a sudden flooded toilet or sewer backup can leave you wondering, "Should I try to clean it up myself?" or "Should I call in water damage experts for sewer cleanup and restoration services?" The fact is, water emergencies involving sewage are especially problematic for homeowners because of the significant health risks they pose.
Contaminated water—say from a sewer backup—harbors bacteria, viruses and other potentially harmful, even lethal, microorganisms that require professional-grade, sewer cleanup solutions. Here's an overview of the types of contaminated water to help you gauge the best answer to your cleanup question.

Clean Water
This type of floodwater comes from a "clean" source.

Flows from a leaking faucet or ruptured water supply line.
Doesn't contain contaminants from sewage.
If left standing, water quality can deteriorate depending on length of time, temperature, and exposure to other contaminants.

Gray Water
This category of water is contaminated and can cause illness.

Pours out of a washing machine, dishwasher or toilet (and contains urine, but no feces).
May hold harmful bacteria or other dangerous microbes.
Water quality can rapidly degrade if not treated quickly.

Black Water
Water of this type is severely contaminated and can bring on serious health issues or cause death if ingested.

Includes floodwaters from rivers or streams; water from outside toilet traps; feces-filled water from toilet bowls; stagnant water with microbial growth.
May carry untreated sewage, hazardous chemicals or toxic microbes.
Avoid contact with this type of noxious water, including attempts at self cleanup.

Household water emergencies are distressing. If your home is threatened by sewage-contaminated water, it's in your best interest to rely on professional skill and expertise. Trained technicians have the experience and equipment to deliver highly specialized sewer cleanup services that ensure both your safety and your home's.

Understanding Category 2 Water Damage

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Dishwasher spilling water A spill from the dishwasher could be considered Category 2

If you need water pipe repair, you might hear the cleanup crew talking about the category classification of your damage. That categorization is important, because it lets you know the level of risk involved in exposure to the water. When you are dealing with Category 2 water damage from a broken pipe, it’s important to understand what that means, so you can be safe around the flooded area.

Category 2 Water Criteria

Water that has come into a building is classified in this category if it meets the following criteria:

  • The water is from a clean source like a supply line or broken pipe needing water pipe repair.
  • Biological or chemical contamination makes the water likely to irritate human tissue.
  • Health complications are unlikely to be serious beyond irritation and minor discomfort.

Typically, Category 2 water starts as Category 1 water and then becomes contaminated due to exposure to building materials, sources of biological contamination, and so forth. Over time, it is possible for Category 2 water to degrade further.

Understanding Category 2 Water Cleanup

Since there are health risks involved in cleaning up Category 2 water, it’s important to understand what to do after a broken pipe has caused water to mix with potentially harmful materials.

  1. Turn off the water main. This is a vital first step.
  2. Contact a damage restoration company in Wichita, KS with Category 2 cleanup certification.
  3. Secure the area to prevent exposure.
  4. Make sure water pipe repair is handled as quickly as possible.

Avoiding the flooded area is going to be important, especially if there are small children or people with health vulnerabilities to skin irritants and other problems that could be exacerbated by irritants. After certified cleanup professionals in Wichita, KS finish with the area, it will be safe to re-enter, but until that time, it’s important to keep the area clear.

3 Tips for Furnace Fire Prevention

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Home furnace air filter replacement Many professionals recommend having furnace maintenance done at least one a year

How To Take Care Of The Furnace In Your Home

A furnace fire in your Valley Center, KS, a home could leave you in need of a local fire damage restoration team to help with smoke cleaning. However, there are a few tips you can use to help you prevent the need for a fire cleaning in the first place. Here are three things you should know in order to take care of the furnace in your home.

1. Know What To Expect

There are a variety of furnace types available for the home. This is why it’s important to know the specifications of the one in your home, how it works, and what to expect. For example, it may be normal for the furnace to make certain sounds, but others could be indicative of a problem. Knowing what to expect from your unit may help you catch any issues before large scale damage occurs.

2. Perform Regular Maintenance

Many professionals recommend having furnace maintenance done at least one a year. This can help prevent any build-up which could later make a fire cleaning necessary. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for safety and cleaning.

3. Contact a Professional

Any time you think there may be a problem with your furnace it’s important to contact a professional. They can help identify if there is a problem, how serious it is, and what the solution should be. If a fire should occur then a restoration service can help with clean up and any repairs the home may need. In some cases, they also may be able to offer further mitigation tips.

While a restoration professional can help with cleanup and repairs after a disaster occurs, following these tips may help you prevent the need for a fire cleaning in the first place. Remember to know what to expect with your furnace, perform maintenance at least once a year, and always contact a professional if you need help.

Musty Odor May Mean Hidden Mold

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth behind drywall Mold damage behind drywall

As you open the doors to your Winfield, KS, business and are greeted with a mold smell it is the first of trouble. While mold or mildew smell itself isn’t harmful, it does mean that there is some kind of infestation that could cause various issues down the road. The smell itself means that the fungus has elevated to a growth stage and is reproducing. The microbial volatile organic compounds, or chemicals, it produces smells. Unfortunately, smelling the problem and seeing it don’t always coincide.

Moisture Problems

Mold requires food, organic materials found anywhere; moisture; and the right temperature to thrive. If there is a strong fungus smell in the building, it has found optimal conditions to start its continuous life cycle. When it comes to structures, some sort of moisture issue is the main cause. Even if mold damage isn’t visible, there are hidden areas to check.

Behind wallpaper, paneling, and drywall
Nonvisible side of ceiling tiles
Under carpets and rugs
Wall surfaces covered by furniture or artwork
Anywhere plumbing pipes can be found
Inside air ducts
Under attic insulation
Check the roof for potential damage
Drawers or cabinets near water sources

Count on the Experts
If the mold smell persists but you can’t find the source, you don’t have to deal with it on your own. Mold damage and restoration professionals have the expertise and latest tools to find the source of your stinky problem. Often armed with moisture meters, borescopes and the proper PPE to resolve the issue and restore your property back to normal. They use various techniques to minimize spreading and help prevent future breakouts.
The moment there is a mold smell, quick action should be taken to find the source of it. If there are no visible signs, call the experts that are Faster to Any Size Disaster for peace of mind and a fresh-smelling environment.

3 Common Water Damage Problems at Your Commercial Business

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Water pipe break Water line breaks in your building may cause flooding

Causes of Flooding In A Commercial Business

Your Haysville, KS, business might be vulnerable to a variety of flood causes, from a broken pipe in the bathroom to a sprinkler malfunction that damages your carpets and other building materials. Water can also impact your property’s electrical systems and cause shorts that might ruin computers and your security system. Understanding the many causes of flooding may help you safeguard your property against water damage and react quickly if it should happen.

1. Water Line Breaks
When you think of floods, you might imagine outdoor torrents of water causing canals and ditches to overflow. However, indoor floods due to water line breaks can be just as damaging. Your breakroom’s refrigerator may be one culprit, and if the line malfunctions over a holiday or weekend, you might return to find a considerable flood. Maintaining and replacing this line when necessary could prevent this.

2. Pipe Breaks
A broken pipe in the basement or in a bathroom could cause a major flood, especially if it occurs on a second or third floor. Pipe breaks are often common in the winter when cold temperatures cause water to freeze inside pipes until they expand and burst. Wrapping your pipes with cloth or using foam insulation can reduce the risk of damage, and have your plumbing inspected annually to ensure worn or old pipes are replaced.

3. Sewer Issues
When flooding causes a sewer backup, this could cause your building’s toilets to overflow. This problem can be hard to prevent and may result in a Category 3 water issue, which means the floodwaters contain toxins, feces and sewer chemicals. You may want to call in a water repair and restoration service for assistance and to ensure a safe and professional cleanup.
Safeguarding your Haysville, KS, business against water damage from a broken pipe, water line break other water issues can prevent costly repairs and downtime. While you cannot avoid every circumstance, remaining aware of some common problems may be helpful.

Protect Your Building's Roof From Hail Damage

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Construction engineer wearing safety uniform inspection metal roofing work for roof industrial Set up a routine inspection to ensure that your roof remains in good condition

Smart Preventative Measure To Take To Protect Your Property

Hail can strike at any time of year in Fort Scott, KS, so it's smart to stay prepared all year long. Your building can suffer greatly from roof damage caused by hail and strong winds. Listed below are some smart preventive measures you can take to protect your property.

1. Inspect Your Roof
It’s a good idea to set up a routine inspection program to ensure that your roof remains in good condition. Check periodically for worn or missing shingles and other roofing textiles. Replace any damaged materials as soon as possible.
Inspect the drainage system on the roof as well. Clogs from dirt and leaves can cause water to build up. If water pools on the roof, it can create roof damage and leaking. Anytime you see discoloration on the ceiling, this is a sign that a leak is forming in the roofing materials. It’s critical to contact a water damage expert right away if you suspect a roof leak.
Check the skylights, air conditioning units and other equipment on the roof to make sure there are no cracks or leaks and to ensure the equipment is properly secured.
In addition to routine maintenance inspections, always check for hail damage immediately after a storm.

2. Select Equipment That Can Withstand Hail
HVAC equipment can be purchased to withstand high winds and hail. If you can’t make that investment right away, look for hail guard covers and shields to protect equipment on the roof. Skylights and solar panels can also be purchased that have been tested to withstand severe hailstorms.

3. Trim Trees Near the Building
During strong winds, loose branches can break and cause damage to your building. Keep trees pruned all year long to reduce this risk.
While it is impossible to completely remove the threat of roof damage during heavy winds and hail, these tips can significantly reduce the risks to your property.

Ways to Prevent Flooded Toilets in Commercial Buildings

8/29/2020 (Permalink)

Ways to Prevent Flooded Toilets in Commercial Buildings

A clogged toilet at a commercial property in Emporia, KS, is not only a nuisance, but it can also turn into a serious problem. Bathrooms can fill with contaminated water, which is unsanitary and potentially harmful. Taking these preventative measures can help you avoid water damage in the building's restrooms.

Buy Thinner Toilet Paper

One of the main reasons that you have a toilet overflow is because it gets clogged up with too much toilet paper. Single-ply paper is thinner than what most people use at home, and it is not as likely to clog up. It is also used in commercial buildings because it is less expensive than the thicker paper.

Put in Waste Baskets

If people do not have somewhere to throw away their trash in the bathroom stall, they may just try flushing it down the commode. The system is not made to dispose of items such as sanitary napkins, so they end up causing a clogged toilet. Installing waste baskets in each stall gives people a discrete way to get rid of unwanted trash and can reduce bathroom flooding problems.

Put up Signs

Many people may not be aware of what can and cannot be flushed down a toilet. They flush damaging debris without even realizing the problems it can cause. Putting up signs that politely ask customers to dispose of feminine hygiene products in the waste baskets may save you from having to deal with another backed up commode. It may also be beneficial to give information on who to contact if someone does clog the toilet or sees that there is a flood in the restroom so that the problem can be taken care of right away.

Although these can help to prevent a clogged toilet from happening, there is no guarantee. If sewage problems do occur, it is best to call a professional restoration service right away. Getting the damage fixed immediately can help avoid further flooding and contamination of the area.

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Drive on a Flooded Street

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Car rides in heavy rain on a flooded road Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don’t drown

Four Reasons Why You Should Keep Away From A Flooded Street

Heavy rainfall can cause streets in Mcpherson, KS, to quickly fill with water and make it dangerous for you to drive your vehicle. While you may want to get home as soon as possible and risk driving through water, here are four reasons why you should keep away from a flooded street.

1. You Don’t Know the Depth of the Water
According to the US National Weather Service, most cars can be carried away by just one foot of rushing water, and SUVs and trucks can be swept away by two feet of water. You don’t want to take a chance and drive into water that’s deeper than you think.

2. Your Vehicle Could Float Away
Most drivers know about the dangers of hydroplaning on just an inch or two of water, but once the water level reaches about halfway up your tires, your car may start to float. When your tires leave the ground, you can no longer control where your car goes on flooded roads. You may be swept into a tree or even out to a larger body of water.

3. You Don’t Know What’s Underneath the Water
A flooded street can hide many issues. Lots of water on a road can lead to sinkholes or other dangers. If there are strong winds, you may come across downed power lines or obstacles such as fallen limbs.

4. You Could Damage Your Vehicle
Rising water can get into cars and trucks through any area that’s not sealed. Engines can pull in water just as easily as air. Water can also get into upholstery and other soft surfaces that you’ll have to repair or replace. Most modern vehicles have lots of electronics – from airbags to sound systems – that can be damaged with just a little bit of water.
Sites such as Weather.com have travel tips for driving in wet weather. If your home experiences water damage from a flooded street or weather event, get in touch with a licensed storm damage specialist for cleanup and restoration services.