Property Management Tips for Hurricane Season
Gather survival supplies in your building
Hurricane season can hit hard in Newton, KS. It is in your best interest to be as prepared as you can be in order to avoid unnecessary hurricane damage. There are several things you can do in advance to endure the high winds with ease.
Gather Survival Supplies
A big part of hurricane preparedness is stocking your building with what you may need to survive if you get stuck there. These items should be kept in a cool, dark and dry place so that they remain functional and don't go bad. Some common supplies to include are:
- flashlights and batteries
- plenty of water
- first aid kit
- hand crank radio
- non-perishable food
Form an Emergency Plan
What should everyone in the building be doing in the event of a hurricane? Where will people be the most safe? Create a plan based on the layout of your building and the surrounding landscape. Be sure to account for communication, you should consider using radios or backup WiFi. You can include an evacuation route, in case it becomes necessary. Try to train or practice with your employees or residents. Don't forget about the aftermath, especially in the case of hurricane damage, and research qualified storm remediation services.
Batten Down the Hatches
You should include what you may need to secure your building during a storm in your protocol for property management. Store plywood on the premises to cover as many windows as you can. Keep your yard and landscape trimmed to avoid flying limbs and extra debris. Bring in everything that could possibly get blown about outside: outdoor furniture, garbage cans and decorations. Be sure to clear your gutters and downspouts so they are ready for the downpour.
In order to minimize the hurricane damage that could occur to your property during a storm, take certain precautions beforehand. Keeping people safe should be the priority, but if you plan properly you'll have time to protect your assets, as well. Feel free to share this information with your neighbors to promote a safer community!
The Benefits of Combining Remediation and Restoration Into the Same Process
Your insurance adjuster assesses the damage to your building to see how much the insurance company pays
Benefits of Using the Same Company for Remediation and Restoration
When your commercial building in Derby, KS, sustains fire damage, certified remediation experts are your best option for fixing it. Do you need to call another company to rebuild the parts that are destroyed, though? Here are some benefits of using the same company for both remediation and restoration.
After a fire emergency, you have a lot of responsibilities:
- Ensure everyone is accounted for
- Call insurance company
- Arrange for repairs
- Implement your business continuity plan
Why add one more phone call to the list? By combining remediation and restoration into one process tackled by one team, you save yourself the time of vetting two different companies to do work that can be handled by one.
Your insurance adjuster assesses the damage to your building to see how much the insurance company pays. Mitigation and restoration experts can provide a list of costs, but those services sometimes overlap, making it seem like the insurance company is being charged twice for some of the same tasks. Having one company that can itemize a list of both repairs and restoration expenses streamlines the information-gathering process by eliminating this overlap, making your fire damage claim process smoother.
When fire mitigation and building restoration are completed by the same team, communication tends to be stronger. The restoration experts know exactly what happened during the remediation process. Either they were either there when it happened, or they can easily obtain access to the records of the process details. The team putting up new walls and ceilings in your building doesn't have to guess which materials were repaired and which they need to replace when they are the ones who did the job.
Complete fire damage repair starts with assessment and doesn't end until your building looks as good as it did before the fire. To make this process go as smoothly as possible, it is a good idea to use the same company from start to finish.
Storm Damage Restoration
When your home has been damaged by flooding from a severe storm, an experienced remediation specialist in Wichita, KS, can help you repair the water damage. Storm restoration is a fairly involved process that could include having to tear out building materials that can’t be restored, which is why you shouldn’t attempt to do it yourself. Professionals will also have access to specialized equipment that allows them to do the job faster and more efficiently so that your home can be returned to normal as soon as possible.
The 5 Steps of Storm Damage Restoration
After a remediation team has visited your house to assess the damage and formulate a plan, here are the five steps you can expect as they restore your home.
- Water Extraction
Powerful pumps and industrial-grade vacuums are used to extract the remaining flood water from your home. It’s critical that this extraction happens quickly to minimize the damage caused by the water.
- Removal of Wet Building Materials
Sometimes building materials like drywall or wood or laminate floors are too damaged by water to be restored. In this case, the remediation team will tear out the materials, remove them from your property and dispose of them.
Once the excess water and unsalvageable building materials are removed, your home will need to be completely dried out. If this doesn’t happen quickly, mold can begin to grow in as little as 48 hours. Specialized fans and dehumidifiers will be employed to get the job done as fast as possible.
Flood waters can carry contaminants that are harmful to humans and animals, so your home will need to be properly cleaned and disinfected. This includes furniture, carpets and any personal items exposed to flood water.
If the remediation team in Wichita, KS, had to tear out flooring or drywall, they will replace it. Once the restoration stage is complete, your home should be completely returned to its original state.
Ways to Prevent Flooded Toilets in Commercial Buildings
Buy thinner toilet paper
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.
Does Your Toilet Overflow When the Shower Is Running?
Use an auger
It feels so great to step into a hot steamy shower and rinse away your troubles, but if you step out to find your toilet overflowing, your troubles may just be beginning. Water and sewage cleaning are no joke and could cause mold or bacteria to breed. If a toilet overflow happens whenever someone is in the shower, there are a few steps you can take to remedy the situation.
Freeing a Clogged Toilet Drain
A clogged pipe between the sewer and your toilet is the most likely culprit of an overflowing toilet when you shower. Here are a few ways to try to clear the clog.
1. Use an auger. Start by running a plumber’s auger or snake into the toilet drain. Use a 25-foot hand-cranked or motorized unit. If you don’t own one, you can rent one in Hutchinson, KS. Ideally, the snake will push its way through the blockage allowing some water to get through. It may take a few attempts.
2. Remove the toilet. The clog may be bad enough to have to remove the toilet and go directly into the drainpipe. Once you feel you have broken through the clog, turn the shower on low and watch for water to back up. If, after running the water for several minutes, and it is still draining, you have likely cleared the clog.
3. Clean the cleanout. The next step would be to find your drain cleanout, remove the cap with a pipe wrench and run the snake through it. To avoid sewage cleaning, prepare the area in case pressure causes sewage to run out.
4. Call for help. If all attempts fail, call a plumber to help find the problem. They will have the equipment and training to locate and clear the clogged pipe. They may need to check further down the sewer line.
If a toilet overflow leaves a serious mess, call the local sewage remediation service in Hutchinson, KS for help. They can perform a thorough sewage cleaning process, and you can again enjoy a relaxing shower.
How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
Mold damage in walls
Mold is one of those pesky problems that homeowners have to deal with. When it comes to black mold, it is important to know what to look for and how to handle it. If you think you may have mold growth in your home in Salina, KS, try following these guidelines.
Know What It Looks Like
Although it is called black mold, it is not always black. It often appears as greenish and slimy. If the water source has been removed, the mold will dry up and may look powdery. Do not attempt to test the mold yourself. If you see signs of mold, call a professional environmental hygienist to handle the mold cleanup. Mold can grow just about anywhere, but here are some common places to watch out for:
- Washing machines
- Air conditioners
- Window seals
Call a Professional
Mold is not something you should handle yourself. Certified mold remediation companies have gone through extensive training and know how to deal with household mold problems. They have the proper equipment to handle dangerous types of mold. Never procrastinate when it comes to mold as it will continue to grow until removed.
Prevent Future Growth
Just because the mold has been removed does not mean that the problem is fixed. It is vital to take care of the source of the problem. This could simply means using a dehumidifier to help with the humidity in your home, or you may have a leaking pipe that needs to be taken care of. Always keep your bathroom as dry as you can. Wash your bathroom items frequently, and make sure to remove any excess moisture after you shower.
Black mold is not something that should be taken lightly. If you notice any signs of mold in your home in Salina, KS, call a mold remediation company right away to come handle the problem for you. Never try to remove mold yourself.
3 Ways Lightning Can Affect Your Home
Roof fire at strike point
3 Ways Lightning Can Affect Your Home
Many homes in Topeka, KS, are not protected from lightning strikes. While lightning systems are effective, they are expensive to install and protect against a problem that is fairly unlikely to occur. If your home is struck, however, a lightning fire can ignite. Here are some possible outcomes of a direct strike on your home.
Fire damage is the biggest danger you risk from a lightning strike. A jolt can cause a house fire in several ways:
- Roof or attic fire at strike point
- Flammable materials along path of current
- Burned wires or circuits
You are likely to need fire damage cleanup if your home is struck during a thunderstorm. Lightning looks for the quickest path to the ground. Unfortunately, your home may be the path it chooses.
Thunder is evidence of shock waves produced by lightning. In addition to a lightning fire, a storm can cause waves that fracture your foundation, bricks or chimney and shatter your windows. The debris that flies around as a result of this shock can cause secondary damage.
If your electrical system is affected by the lightning strike, any connected equipment or appliances may be damaged by the subsequent power surge. Sensitive electronics cannot withstand the surge and will likely be fried, perhaps even beyond the help of fire cleanup professionals.
Lightning can compromise your safety even if you are inside your home. If it strikes your house while you are touching a connected electrical advice or water out of the plumbing system, you could be injured. Therefore, when there are thunderstorms in your area, you should avoid using corded phones and computers or showering, washing dishes or doing laundry.
If your home is struck during a thunderstorm, your home may be affected. Lightning fire, shock, power surges and injury are all problems that could occur if lightning strikes your house.
Understanding the Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage
Storm damage in Wichita,KS
Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage
A severe thunderstorm in Wichita, KS, can wreak havoc on your commercial property. It may cause damage to your roof, siding, windows and basement. The repair process depends on the type of damage you have. There are some key differences between storm and flood damage.
One storm may cause problems in a variety of ways. There are four basic types of storm damage:
- Hail Damage – Even small hail can cause scratches and indentions in your siding. It can damage the roof as it chips away at roofing granules or cracks your shingles.
- Water Damage – If your roof is damaged, it is likely that water will seep in and compromise the structural integrity of the materials it touches. If you don't call storm cleanup experts in time to remediate it before secondary damage can set in, you may even have to contend with a mold problem.
- Wind Damage – When winds are strong enough, they can rip shingles off your roof and fling branches and other debris at your siding and windows.
- Impact Damage – If there are trees around your building, the storm may knock them over, causing them to crash into it.
Unlike flood damage, storm coverage is typically part of your property insurance.
Flooding is usually caused by events such as overflowing rivers or streams, broken dams or levees, blocked drainage lines and heavy rainfall. Because the damage to your building is likely severe in these circumstances, you may need to purchase a separate flood policy, especially if you live in or near a flood plain. Flood cleanup involves water extraction, drying, disinfecting and restoration.
By understanding the differences between storm and flood damage, you are better equipped to contact the right professionals for the job when you need remediation. This knowledge can help you get the problem resolved more efficiently so you can get your business up and running sooner.
How To Inspect Your Sump Pump
Every time you inspect your pump, it’s a good idea to simulate a flood scenario to see if it works.
Your basement may be a fun place to entertain or give you a lot of extra storage. Whatever its purpose, it can’t serve it well if it gets flooded. Regular sump pump inspections are necessary to ensure that, if extra water does flood your basement, it won’t stay there long. A reliable pump can significantly lower the cost of water remediation services if your basement floods. Here are some things to check off your list during the inspection.
Get Rid of Debris
A big part of pump maintenance is just cleaning it out. There are several places dirt, rocks and other debris like to hide in your pump:
• Discharge pipe
• Vent hole
• Intake screen
Any obstruction in these areas can cause your pump to malfunction when you need it the most.
Check Cord and Power Supply
Over time, cords can wear out, especially if they are in an area like the basement where they may be trapped under boxes or twisted around other obstacles. Check the cord to make sure it is not broken. You also want to ensure that the sump pump is hooked up to a working power supply. It is a good idea to connect it to a generator so that if it is needed during a power outage in a storm, it will still function.
Test the Pump
Every time you inspect your pump, it’s a good idea to simulate a flood scenario to see if it works. Flood the basin with a bucket of water. If your pump is working, it will activate and drain the water. If it does not do this, you need to contact a repair technician in Salina, KS, to fix it.
It is a good idea to inspect your sump pump on a quarterly basis. This ensures that all debris is removed, it is connected to a reliable power source and it actually does what it’s supposed to do. Then when storms come, you know your basement is protected.
How To Prevent Damage From Old Pipes
Hair caused a pipe to clog in Hutchinson,KS
Prevent Damage from Old Pipes
If you own or rent older commercial buildings in Hutchinson, KS, you may experience special challenges when it comes to your plumbing. Older pipes, especially those made from polybutylene, make become corroded and start to turn brittle. If they have a lot of twists and turns, you may have more frequent clogs. There are a few things you can do to prevent damage resulting from old plumbing systems.
If the pipes in your building are frequently clogged, you need something that works within the pipes to help loosen the blockage up in order to avoid water damage from overflowing toilets or sinks. Many things could contribute to a clogged pipe, including:
- Soap buildup
A monthly enzyme treatment can dissolve whatever is clogging your pipes so that water moves more freely through them. You simply pour the liquid enzyme into your drain and let the bacteria go to work. After a period of time, flush the drain with hot or boiling water, and everything should wash right through.
If you own a building that was built between the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, you may have polybutylene pipes. These pipes were popular during this time because they were inexpensive to manufacture and easy to install. Unfortunately, they also react to chemicals in water, making them vulnerable to breakage. The best thing to do is to replace these pipes before they break and cause extensive damage to your building that only water restoration specialists can fix.
If your building is a rental, of course, you cannot replace the pipes altogether. You can protect your property in the building, however, by installing a sump pump in the basement and having various pumps placed on each floor that you use. By making pumps available, you can extract water more quickly, minimizing the damage that a busted pipe may cause.
Whether your main risk is polybutylene or frequent clogging, old pipes can cause flooding fast. By taking proactive steps you can protect your property from extensive damage.