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What To Expect During a Mold Remediation At Your Home

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Wooden floor with mold growth Mold remediation in Newtown, KS

Steps Performed During Mold Remediation

If you think you may have black mold in your Newton, KS, home it's highly recommended that you contact a local mold remediation service. These professionals have the ability to thoroughly remove the mold and then sanitize afterwards. Here are a few steps you may see them perform during a remediation.

1. Damage Assessment

One of the first things you may see during a mold cleanup, is the damage assessments. The remediation professional working on your home will take a look at where the possible mold is, be able to test for the mold type, and determine if there are any secondary damages that need to be repaired as well. Once this is done they can begin containing the area so that cleanup can occur.

2. Containing the Affected Area

The next step, especially if black mold is present, is to contain the affected area. This usually involves using plastic sheeting to separate the space from the rest of the home, and setting up ventilation in order to regulate air flow. This will help prevent spore particles from becoming airborne during the cleaning process. Once this step is complete remediation can begin.

3. Safety Precautions

You will also see the mold remediation professionals working on your home take very specific safety precautions. The only does this include containing the area, but wearing safety gear as well. This may include masks, coveralls, gloves, shoe covers, and other personal protective equipment. These items can be removed immediately after leaving the contained area so that they can be washed. This also will help prevent the spread of mold by preventing spores from being carried through the space on clothing.

If you think you may have black mold And your home it's time to contact your local remediation service. These professionals can perform a damage assessment to determine where and how bad the mold problem is, contain the affected area to prevent spore spreading, and remove mold while following proper safety procedures. If you have any questions these professionals can help.

How Restoration Services Can Help Your Business Recuperate From Smoke Damage

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

Inside of a building damaged by fire, ceiling and walls. Empty building Commercial fire damage in Derby, KS

People often assume that the most damaging part of a fire is the flames itself, but smoke can lead to widespread harm that continues to cause destruction even after the extinguishing process is completed. Even if your business in Derby, KS, did not experience a fire in the building, there are several ways smoke damage can occur. No matter the cause, use the tips in this guide for help addressing the immediate situation and allowing your business to recover as best as possible.

Causes of Smoke Damage

It is important to understand the different ways smoke can enter your commercial building so you can implement certain preventive measures and better understand how the remediation process will work. Insurance coverage also may vary depending on the cause of the fire, but policies generally cover smoke and soot damage that affects your business even it originated somewhere outside of the building. Here are a few of the most common situations that often require smoke cleaning services:

  • A fire inside your building
  • A building fire nearby
  • Wildfire
  • Cigarette smoke

The Remediation Process
Even if smoke does not pose the same immediate threat as a full-blown fire, getting in contact with a fire restoration specialist is the most effective way to keep the level of harm low and to get your business back to normal as quickly as possible. If a fire occurred in your building, the first priority of the cleanup team is to make the building safe as possible and remove any standing water that may be present due to a firehose or burst water pipe. Surfaces and items that are too damaged will need to be disposed of, and special equipment is used to remove smoke and soot throughout the building and deodorize it. Some items can be salvaged and cleaned. The team can then perform repairs, such as replacing damaged surfaces or repainting walls.
Smoke damage often spreads throughout a contained space, making its way into the structure of your building. Get in contact with a specialist right away to start the smoke removal and remediation process.

How a Business Owner Can Speed Up the Claims Process

6/20/2020 (Permalink)

Applicant filling claim When you have an insurance claim you need to file, work with the company that won't slow you down

How a Business Owner Can Speed Up the Claims Process

As a business owner, you may dread the day a disaster strikes. Do you have a restoration company in Emporia, KS, on file? Do you understand your insurance policy and how to get the insurance claim process moving? When a disaster happens, speed is the key to recovery. Most businesses cannot handle a lengthy interruption. Therefore, you want to work with the right partners, like SERVPRO, who can facilitate communications between you and your insurer while providing tools for the process. There are several ways to speed up the settlement of your claim for a faster recovery.

1. Contact a Full-Service Restoration Company 2. Call Your Insurer 3. Document Everything 4. Take Advantage of the Claims Information Center

Contact a Full-Service Restoration Company
While you can call any restoration or mitigation service you want, SERVPRO is a one-stop-shop. You will not need to worry about finding and hiring several services for your recovery project. By eliminating multiple vendors, you automatically speed up the insurance claim process because the insurance agent need not wait for multiple estimates.

Call Your Insurer
Insurance adjusters are busy people, and they may not be able to make it to your property the same day you call. By phoning in and letting the insurance company know what happened, they schedule an adjuster to visit the site.

Document Everything
One of the primary concerns for your insurance company is receiving proof of loss. By taking pictures, you can show the agent how your property was damaged. However, if you are claiming the loss of equipment, be sure to find receipts or anything else pertinent to the assessment of the damage.

Take Advantage of the Claims Information Center
The Claims Information Center is a tool for clients and insurance adjusters. The system allows for project management, including the upload of pictures and files. Insurance companies can also be made aware of any project updates through the system.
When you have an insurance claim you need to file, work with the company that won't slow you down. Talk with your insurance company about SERVPRO.

Should You Repair or Replace a Leaky Toilet?

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe Fix that leaking toilet right away

Should You Repair or Replace a Leaky Toilet?

If you have a leaking toilet in your home in Salina, KS, pinpointing the source of the leak will determine if you can repair the toilet. Most common leaks will show up around the base of the toilet, but they could be caused by a variety of issues. Start with the easiest toilet repair first, and move on to the next fix, if necessary.

Tighten the Closet Bolts
With a putty knife, pry off the bolt caps. Carefully tighten each bolt a small amount at a time with a wrench, alternating between the bolts. Wipe up any water on the floor and wait to see if the leak has stopped. If water starts pooling again, you should replace the wax gasket.

Replace The Gasket
Shut off the water by locating the shutoff valve located behind the toilet.

Take the lid off the tank and flush the toilet, holding the handle down to remove most of the water. Soak up the remaining water with an absorbent towel.
Loosen the nut on the shutoff valve to disconnect the tube for the water supply. Then remove the nuts from the closet bolts.
With your arms around the bowl, gently rock it until the wax seal breaks. Then lift the bowl and place on a towel.
Carefully scrape the old wax gasket off. Replace it with a new gasket, making sure it’s centered.
Set the toilet back down on the gasket, pushing firmly to secure. Make sure the tank is parallel to the wall. Replace the nuts and tighten carefully.
Reconnect the water-supply tube and open the valve. Flush the toilet a few times to make sure you no longer have a leaking toilet.

Replace the Toilet
If you have an old toilet, it’s probably time to replace it. Follow the steps above for removing and replacing the toilet.
You can save yourself a lot of money on potential water damage repairs by fixing that leaking toilet right away.

The 3 Fundamentals of Home Fire Readiness

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm with the word REPLACE IT Replacing your alarms every 10 years or if a malfunction occurs

The Three Most Important Aspects of Home Fire Preparedness

Most homeowners have never had to operate a fire extinguisher or evacuate their home due to a fire. It’s hard to imagine a fire could start in your home, yet fire services respond to over 300 thousand residential fires each year. It doesn’t take much time or effort to reduce your fire risk. This discussion outlines the three most important aspects of home fire preparedness.

Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are required by residential building regulations because they are so effective at detecting smoke and warning the household of a potential fire. Without an alarm, the fire may grow too large for a fire extinguisher to be effective. It’s important to attend to the maintenance required to keep your alarms operational. Consider implementing the following practices:

  • Pressing the test button to confirm proper operation every six months
  • Replacing the batteries every six months
  • Using a vacuum attachment to clear dust and lint from the exterior of the alarm
  • Replacing your alarms every 10 years or if a malfunction occurs

Smoke alarms are only as effective as you are diligent about maintaining them. It may help to add alarm upkeep to your home maintenance schedule.

Fire Extinguishers
Having access to a well-placed fire extinguisher can mean the difference between a little smoke damage and total devastation. An extinguisher can easily knock down a small kitchen fire if operated properly. It’s important to have your household members study the proper operation of your extinguishers. There isn’t time in an emergency to read instructions.

Fire Sprinklers
Fire sprinklers are generally required in multi-unit dwellings but are available for single-family homes as well. They are especially useful if you are not home when a fire erupts; the sprinklers can manage the fire until first responders arrive. Your local fire remediation specialist will generally be happy to recommend a system for your unique living situation.
With a little bit of preparation, you can significantly reduce your risk of fire damage to your Hutchinson, KS, home. If your smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and fire sprinklers are in working order, you can rest assured your home fire risk is greatly reduced.

3 Ways to Get Rid of Smoke Smells After a Fire

5/25/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone machines are designed specifically with odor control in mind

Some people might consider themselves lucky if the biggest issue they have to deal with after a fire is smoke damage. However, this issue can be more serious than you might think. The scent of smoke means there’s still residual soot in the air, which contains carcinogens that can be harmful to breathe. Plus, the smell is just awful. Fortunately, there are several steps regarding smoke cleaning you can take in order to reduce the smoke odor in your home after a fire in Wichita, KS and even make a space odor-free.

Steps for Smoke Cleaning to reduce the smoke odor:

1. Air Filtration Devices

You’ve probably seen air filtration devices advertised as great ways to deal with allergens. These same devices are excellent for filtering out the agents that cause smoke odor as well. Placing a few (or several) of these devices in the place that’s experienced the smoke damage can help reduce the scent over time. Just remember to keep the filters changed.

2. Ozone Machines

Ozone machines are designed specifically with odor control in mind. These machines are built to deodorize large areas such as hotel rooms and business offices, so imagine what one could do for your home when you need smoke cleaning. This is a tool commonly used by smoke and fire damage professionals, so you know it’ll get the job done right.

3. Thermal Foggers

Thermal foggers are built to essentially recreate the conditions of a fire by adding heat and pressure to a specified area. However, these machines give off a mist of deodorizing fog rather than smoke. These fog particles are absorbed by porous materials in the same way, however, meaning they seep into to smoke-damaged belongings to replace the unpleasant odor.

These are three methods of smoke cleaning that are commonly used by the pros, and for good reason. They’re effective, simple, and get the job done quickly so you can go back to living a smoke-free life.

SERVPRO of Northwest Wichita has the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home and remove any Smoke Odor left after a Fire.  

Can Water-Damaged Documents Be Saved?

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents Call a professional right away to help you recover all of your wet documents and other important papers

Water damage from flooding at your commercial property in Wichita, KS can impact the building’s fixtures, equipment, and furniture. Important documents, such as customer contracts and blueprints, can also be damaged. There are ways, however, to restore wet documents. You should consult a water restoration service as soon as possible to save your important business documents.

What Documents Can Be Saved?

Restoration services can save many types of documents, including:

  • Paper documents
  • Blueprints and drawings
  • Parchment
  • Photographs
  • Books and magazines
  • Audio and video tapes

How Does Restoration Work?
It is critical to have a professional inspect the wet documents as quickly as possible to get the best results. Proper document drying procedures must be used to successfully restore your documents. Specialists can apply vacuum freeze-dried techniques to dry out the documents. Make sure you choose a company that uses the vacuum drying method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
Water damage from floods or sewer backup will likely contain bacteria, pesticides, and other contaminants, which must be removed professionally. Documents can also be infected with mold and mildew. Technology using gamma irradiation can be applied to clean and sterilize your valuables. Individual pages or complete libraries of books can be deodorized as well.

How Are My Confidential Files Kept Safe?
Make sure you choose a restoration company that employs individuals who are certified to handle sensitive and personal documents in a secure and confidential manner with 24-hour surveillance. This will ensure that sensitive documents are not stolen or compromised.
Protect your documents even further by having them digitized. A professional restoration service can convert all of your paper files, photographs, and other documents into a digital format that can’t be lost or destroyed in a flood.
In the aftermath of flooding in your building, call a professional right away to help you recover all of your wet documents and other important papers.

How To Test for Mold in Your Building

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

Mold testing Call a specialist to perform mold testing in your building

If your commercial property in Topeka, KS has been subjected to water damage recently, you are probably worried about the possibility of mold growing inside your building. Since mold can spread behind walls and above ceiling tiles, it isn't always easy to spot. There are some common places to look for mold growth, but if you are suspicious, it's best to contact an indoor environmental specialist as soon as possible.

Where To Look for Mold in Your Building

Mold loves warm, wet conditions, so bathrooms are always susceptible. Frequently check the floor surrounding the toilets for overflow and leaks, and call a professional quickly for any repairs that are needed. In addition, make sure none of the faucets are leaking. Mold often has an unpleasant smell, so investigate any foul odors immediately.
There are other common places to check for mold growth.

Inspect the ceiling tiles frequently for any water damage. The tiles around your HVAC units are especially vulnerable to mold.
Check the air intake registers for signs of mold.
Inspect the carpet for any untreated wet spots.

When To Call a Professional
If you suspect that mold is growing inside your building, you may be tempted to purchase a home mold test kit. Mold spores grow in every building, and the home test will only indicate if mold spores are present, so the test won't be of much help. You should call an indoor environmental specialist instead. Mold remediation specialists have the proper equipment to accurately detect the extent of the damage. They can also:

  • Determine the water source, even if it isn't visible.
  • Properly dry any water damaged areas.
  • Apply cleaning and deodorizing solutions.

Mold isn't something to mess around with. If it isn't handled quickly and completely, it will continue to grow. Call an indoor environmental specialist before the mold causes significant damage to your property.

Taking Care of Your Crawl Space After a Flood

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing After a home flood it’s important to check your crawlspace for damage

Here are Three Things You Might Want To Consider

A storm in Maize, KS, can lead to a possible home flood. After such an event it’s important to remember to check your crawlspace for any damage that could have occurred as if there is flooding in that area it could lead to potentially long term problems. Here are three things you may want to consider.

1. Contact a Professional For Help

If you have flooding in your crawlspace after a storm it’s highly recommended to contact a local storm damage restoration company. These professionals can help with all of the steps that needed to be followed to make sure the area is cleaned and repaired correctly.

2. Remove as much of the Water as Possible

After a home flood, it’s important to remove as much of the water as you can as quickly as possible. This will help prevent the water from settling in and causing long term damages. Removing the water quickly can also help prevent mold growth. The restoration team working on your home will often use a pump to get rid of the bulk of the water and then may use rags for small spaces or tight corners. After this is done they can begin drying the area.

3. Thoroughly Dry the Affected Area

After the water is removed it’s important that the space is thoroughly dried in order to prevent further storm damage. Drying the area can help prevent mold growth and also allow the restoration crew to further evaluate what repairs will need to be made. During this step you may see them use a dehumidifier to help the process.

After a home flood it’s important to check your crawlspace for damage. Contact a professional restoration service for help in removing any water, and thoroughly drying the area. Doing so can help prevent structural damage and potential mold issues. If you have any additional questions about this process a restoration professional can help.

What Coverage Handles an Apartment Fire Claim?

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

High rise condominium or apartment fire with flames coming out the windows. An apartment fire in Colwich, KS

It can be confusing to understand what items and types of damage property insurance will and won't cover. If your business rents space in an apartment in Colwich, KS, or whether you own the building, you need to understand how this coverage works. You never want a situation to arise where you need to make a claim, but you are relieved when you have an insurance plan to turn to.

When Commercial Insurance Will Cover a Fire

If a fire starts in an apartment building, the owner's property insurance will take effect for damage the structure itself suffers. The policy should cover the building materials such as the roof, drywall, and framing. If you own the building, you can also claim the following in the event of fire damage or losses:

  • Carpet or other flooring materials
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing system
  • HVAC system, including the applicable appliances

When the Insurance Company Will Deny Your Claim
An apartment fire can start in a number of ways. Many incidents begin due to faulty electrical components. Other fires can start from discarded cigarette butts. Your policy should cover building losses in these cases. However, if you start the fire intentionally, the insurance company will deny your claim, and you will likely be prosecuted.

What About Tenants?
If you are renting office space in an apartment, be aware that the owner's property insurance plan won't pay for repairs or replacements of your personal belongings. The policy won't cover your office equipment or furniture either. To pay for a professional fire cleaning company to restore these items, or to replace them, you'll need to purchase renters' insurance. This coverage is only valid for contents within the building, while the property insurance protects the building itself.
An apartment fire can be devastating for the building owner and tenants alike. Make sure you have the appropriate coverage for your needs.