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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.

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.

Should I Buy Flood Insurance For My Business?

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. It’s a smart business decision to purchase flood insurance to protect your property

Typical commercial insurance policies don’t cover flooding. When deciding whether to purchase a separate flood insurance policy for your business in South Hutchinson, KS, there are two questions to consider. The first is, “Am I required to have insurance for flooding?” and the second is, “Would it be a wise decision to get it even if it’s not required?” Let’s take a look at each scenario.

Is a Separate Flood Policy Required?

There are two conditions that must be met before a flood policy is required:

  • A commercial property must be situated in a flood area considered “high risk”.
  • There is a current mortgage on the property through a lender that is federally regulated or insured.

To find out if your property is located in a high-risk flood area, you can search for flood maps on the internet.

If Not Required, Should I Purchase a Flood Policy?

Even if the risk of flooding to your property isn’t high, flooding from heavy rains can occur in any location. It’s a sound business decision to purchase a flood policy.

Where Can I Buy Insurance?

Insurance can be obtained through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but you will need to go through your local insurance agent to purchase it.

What is Covered?

A flood policy will cover damage repairs to your facility, including the contents if it is caused by a flood. This includes overflow from rivers and other bodies of water, storm surges, heavy rains, and clogged storm drains. The flood water must cover two acres or two separate commercial properties.
Any mold damage caused by the flooding will typically be covered, but the damage needs to be inspected and is determined on a case-by-case basis. If the mold was present before the flood, for example, insurance won’t cover the repairs.
Since flooding can occur anywhere without warning, it’s a smart business decision to purchase flood insurance to protect your property.

Hire the Right Person To Detect Mold

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on a wall Mold in a home

If you need a root canal, you wouldn't want to hire an English professor. If you need new wiring in your home, you wouldn't want the services of a biologist. By the same token, if you find yourself in need of mold cleaning for your home, you want to be sure you hire a crew trained and certified for the job at hand. The first part of the job is an inspection to see if you have a mold problem. An environmental hygienist is a person who is trained and certified to detect mold. The certification comes from the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.

The Advantage of Professionals

When it comes to mold remediation in Valley Center, KS, a professional mold mitigation team is likely to have the answers. The technicians can verify if a mold problem is present in your home, and they can recommend a course of action. The steps for mold cleaning follow this proven pattern:

  • Inspection and assessment of damage
  • A plan to correct the problem, no matter how big or how small
  • Mold containment and removal
  • Cleaning and sanitizing
  • Restoration of infested materials
  • Recovery

Each outbreak of mold is unique, but an orderly cleanup yields favorable results. To minimize mold damage to your home, it is vital to get to the problem quickly.

The Benefit of Knowledge

To defeat mold, it is essential to understand the ubiquitous fungus. Since it naturally occurs in the environment, mold and its microscopic spores show up just about everywhere. It needs a high level of moisture to thrive, so keeping humidity under control, typically less than 45 percent, is a good way to control its growth and to facilitate mold cleaning. Trained technicians know how to detect mold and how to go about containing it in a home. Understanding the science behind mold growth is the key to a successful recovery, and this limits the chances of mold returning in the near future.

5 Tips for Preparing Your Business for a Storm

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Drive connected to a computer It’s wise to consider backing up any important data

Protecting Your Business From a Storm

When you have a business in Fort Scott, KS, heavy storms could lead to flood water on the property. Flooding can lead to a number of problems so it’s important to get it cleaned up as quickly as possible, or better yet, prevent these problems before they happen in the first place. Here are five tips for protecting your business from a storm.

1. Know the Weather

One way to help prevent water damage is to keep an eye on the local weather. This will allow you to prepare for any storms before they arrive.

2. Have Proper Drainage

Another way to prevent a flooded building is to ensure the property has proper drainage. You will also want to keep gutters and drainage spouts free of debris to prevent water overflow.

3. Use the Landscaping

Using your landscaping to direct flood water away from the property is another mitigation step you can take. Consider sloping the yard away from the foundation, and using a rain garden to help absorb excess rain water.

4. Backup Your Data

It’s wise to consider backing up any important data. This could mean having a second copy of important files, or storing your computer data on an outside server. This way if there is a flood you know your files are safe.

5. Contact Professionals

Another step you can tack to help protect your business is to keep the number for a local storm damage restoration service on fire. This will allow you to contact professionals quickly if storm damage ever does occur.

Protecting your business in the even of a storm can help prevent flood water from damaging your company property. Consider keeping an eye on the weather, keeping your drainage systems clear of debris, using landscaping to direct water, backing up important data, and keeping the number of a restoration professional on file.

Why Emergency Board Up Services Are Necessary After a House Fire

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Blue Cape Cod Style Suburban Home with windows and doors board up Board up home in Haysville, KS

A fire can leave parts of your house exposed. That is why some cleanup and restoration companies offer tarp over and board up services, as well.
Following a fire, you have two options for covering up your house: tarping over and boarding up. Which one you choose depends on what parts of your Haysville, KS, home are affected. In general, broken or cracked doors and windows are boarded up. Roofing areas, meanwhile, can be tarped over.

Benefits of Boards and Tarps

You may think that boarding up or tarping over your home after a fire is an unnecessary expense. Yet that is not the case. Boards and tarps can actually reduce your risk of:

  • Additional damage or property loss
  • A personal injury lawsuit
  • Losing insurance coverage

If your roof, walls, windows or doors have holes following a fire, animals and wind can cause even more destruction. Without a proper board up or tarp over, thieves could also take advantage of these openings to steal your appliances and electronics. They could even access your personal information.
There are financial benefits of board ups and tarp overs, as well. Your insurance provider may not cover the costs of repairing your home unless you agree to implement these services. If you don’t properly protect your home, you could be held personally liable for any injuries suffered on the property, as well.

Hiring a Professional

You should not attempt to cover your home on your own. Even if the house appears safe, there may be hidden fire damage or water and electrical hazards. You should thus leave the emergency board up and tarp over to professionals.
Experts should also know how to do the job properly. If you try to use tarps or boards by yourself, you may end up using improper materials or methods. This, in turn, could put the rest of your house at risk.
Professional board up and tarp over services don’t just protect your home following a fire. They also can save you money by qualifying you for insurance coverage.