Recent Posts

How To Avoid Kitchen Fires

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

There are few things so warm and comforting as inviting people to your home in Olathe, KS, for a meal you have prepared. What is meant to be relaxing can turn into an emergency if a fire breaks out in your kitchen, though. Fortunately, kitchen fires are easily avoided if you take a few key safety precautions. Here are three tips on how to avoid kitchen fires.


1. Give It Your Attention.


Do not leave cooking food unattended. If a burner is on, you should be in the kitchen. It only takes a moment for something to boil over and catch fire or for small fingers to find their way to the burner in your absence. It may seem like a hassle to turn the stove off just to retrieve something from another room, but it's well worth the trouble if it keeps your home from suffering fire damage from a kitchen fire. Protect your home and your loved ones from danger by paying attention when you're cooking.


2. Keep Your Stove Clean.


A dirty stove is a recipe for a disaster. Not only does built-up grease have the tendency to draw insects, it can also cause a grease fire. Cleaning all cooking surfaces regularly can help you avoid fire caused by oil residue.


3. Keep Flammable Objects Away From Heat Sources.


If something can catch fire, it should not be near the burner on the stove. Pay attention to the tips on food packaging that warn you to keep it away from heat. Wear form-fitting clothing while cooking, especially on your arms so that sleeves don't dangle into danger. Potholders, recipe cards and kitchen towels have their place in the kitchen. That place is just not on the stove.

To be able to feed yourself and others can be a wonderful feeling, but having to call fire restoration specialists to fix your kitchen is not. By following these tips, you can avoid a kitchen fire and enjoy your meal.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/.

Tips for the Mold Remediation Process

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is everywhere. It is naturally a part of the environment, and this includes the indoor air space of your commercial property in Olathe, KS, as well as the outdoor area surrounding it. It doesn't become a problem until excess moisture in the building leads to mold growth on surfaces. If you see black mold or notice a musty smell, it may be time to call mold remediation experts to start the process of containing and eliminating the mold.


Containment.


The first thing the specialists are going to do is try to contain the problem. After donning the appropriate protective gear, they may start to block off the affected area. If you are anywhere near the area, you need to wear the appropriate gear too:

• Goggles
• Coveralls
• Face mask with respirator
• Gloves
• Protective footwear

To limit the spread of black mold, it is a good idea to block off HVAC intake from affected areas. This can minimize the amount of mold that is spread throughout your vents and thus throughout the building.


Removal.


During mold cleanup, it may be necessary to tear out walls where the mold has put down roots. It is often not enough to clean the surface of a wall or other porous structures, because mold does not just grow on the surface. It gets down in all the tiny cracks and pockets once it starts to grow, and it can do so rapidly. Remediation experts may have to remove and replace walls and insulation in order to resolve the issue.


Dehumidification.


To avoid a return of the mold growth, it is a good idea to dehumidify the whole building, particularly the area where the mold was growing to begin with. Mold must have a moist environment to thrive. If you deny it moisture, you can prevent future mold problems.

If you need mold remediation, trust the experts. Their knowledge and skill can help you rid your building of black mold growth and keep it from returning. You can help by calling as soon as you suspect there is a problem and by keeping the humidity level low in the building.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/.

How To Prepare Your Business for a Flood: 3 Helpful Hints

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

When flooding threatens your Olathe, KS, commercial building, you may worry about what kind of damage it might cause and what impact such an event would have on your investment. Floods can cause a variety of problems, from shorting out electrical systems to damaging inventory and office equipment. While this type of destruction can be costly, there are a few strategies you can use to prepare your business for a flood.


1. Have a Flood Disaster Plan in Place. 


Being prepared can keep your employees and customers safe from black water and other safety threats during a flood. Have an evacuation plan in place and post it throughout the building. Discuss flood evacuation with your employees so they can act quickly and get out of the building safely during an unexpected water disaster. You may want to have your building inspected to ensure there are enough exits for the number of people your building can hold.


2. Back Up Your Business’ Data. 


If you keep some of your records on paper and stored in your building, it is wise to have them transferred to a digital format and stored on the cloud. Not only does this give you easy access to information when you need it in the future, it can protect valuable data from suffering flood damage. If you own a medical business, transferring patient files and other information to a secure data storage system can be especially important when your building is at risk for flooding.


3. Have a Flood Mitigation Company on Call. 


Trying to find a flood damage and mitigation company during a flood may take days, during which you may lose business. Being prepared beforehand by finding a service that suits your needs can help you save time and get help right away if a flood should affect your building.

Flooding can be a worrisome issue for you as a Olathe, KS, business owner. However, being prepared can help you act confidently during a disaster and when it comes to keeping your employees, customers and building safe.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/.

3 Types of Secondary Damage

7/12/2018 (Permalink)


After a commercial property in Olathe, KS sustains water damage, the risk of secondary damage escalates until the initial damage has been addressed. Secondary issues such as black mold can result from high humidity and other factors that persist after a plumber has addressed the source of the water damage. It is a good idea to contact a commercial restoration service that specializes in water damage quickly after a leak, as additional damage can develop quickly over the following hours and days.

1. Mold and mildew: Mold and mildew may start to develop in a commercial property affected by water damage in as little as 48 hours. A commercial damage restoration company can remove all standing water and dry out the area affected by a leak using a dehumidifier. Lowering high humidity levels can make the area less conducive to fungal growth and reduce the likelihood that any type of mold, including black mold, will develop.

2. Insect infestation: Excess moisture from a leak can give rise to infestations of insects such as roaches, silverfish, or termites. The presence of insects can make a commercial property less comfortable and sanitary and may actually undermine the integrity of the structure.

3. Structural failures: The weight of a lot of standing water can damage the structure of a commercial property over time. It is important to eliminate all standing water to prevent even more damage from taking place. If you are not aware of a leak for some time after it has occurred, you should contact a restoration service as soon as possible to limit the extent of the resulting damage.

These are only three general types of secondary damage that can occur after a water leak in a commercial property. If you are concerned about the risk of black mold, contact a certified commercial water damage restoration service near Olathe, KS.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/.

How Sewer Damage is Cleaned Up

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

A sewer backup can wreak havoc in your home. A flooded toilet can unleash dangerous bacteria and viruses and cause irreparable damage to your home’s contents. While you may be tempted to begin cleaning right away or try to salvage personal items that have been contaminated, it’s important that you let a professional water damage mitigation specialist in Olathe, KS, handle a sewer cleanup.

If the contaminated water is in danger of coming into contact with electrical appliances, turn off your electricity to prevent hazardous conditions. After that, avoid all contact with the sewage and contact a professional. A backed up sewer flooding your home is considered an emergency situation, so they should respond quickly. When they arrive they’ll assess the situation and make a plan for cleanup. Once they begin, here are the steps you can expect.


1. Identifying the Source.


Before sewer cleanup can begin, it’s important to identify the source of the backup. A professional should be able to cap a ruptured sewer line or seal a cracked septic tank to prevent further backup into your home.


2. Water Extraction.


A water damage mitigation specialist will have specialized equipment to remove the water from your home, such as submersible pumps and wet vacs. They’ll also make sure contaminants are not spread to other parts of your property by sealing off the affected areas.


3. Removal of Contaminated Materials.


Any porous materials that come in contact with sewage will have to be thrown out. This includes carpeting, drywall and upholstery cloth. If the contaminated object is very valuable, it may be worth the expense to have it specially cleaned by an expert.


4. Disinfecting Your Home.


Any remaining hard materials, such as glass, metal and hardwoods will need to be disinfected. This requires specialized cleansers used to wipe down every remaining surface.

A sewer cleanup requires safety gear and expert know-how to avoid spreading contaminants and putting you and your family at risk. If you’re dealing with a backed up sewer, avoid all contact with the sewage and call a water mitigation specialist in Olathe, KS, right away.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/.

Water Damaged Documents

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

We all have a lot of necessary documents. Home owners know that throughout our lives we amass many vital pieces of paper, from birth certificates to insurance policies. Many of us do not keep our personal effects as neatly as we would like too. Sometimes life is just too busy to worry about filing. However, in the event of flood damage, it is all too easy to lose valuable documents or, even worse, find the flood waters have ruined them.

SERVPRO recommends all home owners take steps right now to protect their papers from flood damage, because once a natural disaster hits, it is too late to take action. Plan now so you do not lose valuable information in the event of flooding.

The first step is keeping all your relevant documents together. Gather together all your records, certificates, policies and more, and put them all in one watertight lockable box. In the event of a natural disaster, you can grab the box in seconds.

It is also a good idea to make backups of everything. You might keep a set of photocopies in another box in a different location. Alternatively, you might scan all your necessary documents and keep the files on CD or a USB drive. Always keep your electronic copies separate from the originals. Some people use a bank safe deposit box for their originals or keep their electronic copies in the home of a trusted friend or relative (do be sure to use a password if you take this option.)

What should you keep in your document box? SERVPRO recommends keeping all your most vital information, including your birth certificate, marriage certificate, social security documents, medical documents, driver’s license, passport, home paperwork, insurance, tax records, stocks and bonds, and your will and retirement plan. It is also a good idea to keep treasured items that cannot be replaced, such as your favorite recipes, or children's' artwork or photographs.

Our IICRC-certified technicians are available to help with post-flood cleanup. We can freeze dry water-damaged papers for later restoration. We also extract water, dry your home, and deodorize after.

For help with flood cleanup in Olathe and surrounding areas call SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa (913)782.4693

SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa Restoring Office Spaces

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa Restoring Office Spaces Flooded office space in Olathe

Water line breaks, damaged roofing shingles, ill-timed sprinklers, or water used during firefighting measures can all lead to a water-logged mess. Water affects different things according to the porosity of the material from which it was made. Office complexes in our area can rely on commercial water removal services to regain control over their office’s environment once again after a disaster involving copious amounts of water has occurred. Our technicians have been trained and then given experience in mitigating water problems, in both large and small environments. At SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa, our training results in certification from the IICRC, ensuring that our technicians can provide the services required regardless of the disaster type, size, or level of complexity. Having a mess in only one secluded section of your office, if large, never is a guarantee that equipment stored elsewhere is protected from damage. Water takes three forms, and humidity travels quite easily inside an enclosed area like your office. In smaller offices, this type of damage can happen much more quickly than in a larger one. When the water came from a contaminated source, our services also include effective decontamination methods that render your shop clean and free of any pathogens or other substances that can cause harm or illness. You, your employees, and your customers deserve a non-germ environment in which to conduct business, and we can help create this for you, even if the situation seems hopeless. Water removal is the primary step in bringing a saturated location back to its original dry condition. SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa uses pump trucks for standing water, hand-held units that extract water from water-logged porous materials such as carpets and furniture, specialized pads to increase the evaporation rate of water held inside floors, and a combination of dehumidifiers, air movers, and heaters for removing the last traces of humidity from the air.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa wants to help whenever your office needs us. No disaster is off-limits for us, so don't hesitate to call. Our number (913)782.4693 anytime we answer and respond 24/7.

Mold vs Mildew: What is the Difference?

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold vs Mildew: What is the Difference? Mold vs Mildew

When it comes to mold and mildew, many often wonder, “What is the difference?” HGTV.com compares mold and mildew to siblings, stating that they have a few matching characteristics, but they also have some striking differences.

As for similarities, they both strive in warm, moist areas and they both are able to grow on a multitude of surfaces. They are also both two types of fungi that no one is ever happy to find in their home!

Differences between mold and mildew can be seen in their appearance. Mold is usually fuzzy in appearance and can be various different colors, but it is most often black or green. Mildew, on the other hand, usually grows in a flat pattern and may appear powdery. It is usually white or gray in color. One interesting difference between mildew and mold is that there is no use for mildew. On the contrary, some molds are actually used in food production. For example, Penicillium is used in the production of cheese.

While mold and mildew definitely have differences, the methods to prevent mold and mildew in the home are very much the same. All areas of the home need to be kept dry and moisture-free. Humidity levels inside the home should be checked and controlled. Any leaks need to be repaired quickly and HVAC systems should be inspected regularly.

SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa specializes in mold testing and remediation in all of the local Kansas cities. If you suspect mold is an issue in your home, give us a call today! 913.782.4693.

Steps to Reduce the Risk of Tornado Damage in Olathe

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Tornado damage mitigation tips from Disastersafety.org.

About 1,000 tornadoes occur each year in the United States, causing an average of $1.1 billion in property damage and 80 deaths. These storms vary in intensity and the accompanying damage can result in everything from minor repairs to complete destruction with little warning. Most tornadoes are relatively weak, and therefore, primarily damage roofs, windows and trees. While only two percent of tornadoes achieve the most violent and damaging classification, one quarter of tornadoes are powerful enough to cause 90 percent of the damage and two-thirds of the deaths.

In an effort to gain a better understanding of who is most at risk from these destructive forces, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) conducted a regional analysis of tornadoes of F2 or greater strength that were reported during the 50-year period beginning in 1957 through 2006. This analysis, coupled with the construction guidance included below, is intended to better define which areas are most likely to be affected by tornadoes and to suggest methods for mitigating property risks.

The analysis used tornado records from a period of time when the older Fujita Scale classification F0 through F5 was being used. Since 2006, tornadoes have been classified by the Enhanced Fujita Scale using EF0 through EF5. Both scale classifications are based on damage observed after a tornado strikes. The EF scale, which provides a larger number of damage indicators for different types of buildings, attempts to recognize the difference between poorly constructed and well constructed buildings and results in lower estimates of wind speeds for the most intense storms, which are classified using the highest number on the F or EF scales. Efforts to re-classify the older F-Scale tornadoes using the EF-Scale are very labor intensive and subject to judgment because it requires a review of old damage reports, many of which will not have pictures of the damage. The simple approach, which is reasonable and probably slightly conservative, is to simply use the new wind speed estimates with the older classifications.

In creating the map below, IBHS used a grid of 100 square mile cells in the analysis. This is a smaller cell size than used by most other analyses. The advantage is a finer resolution of tornado risks at the expense of greater variability between adjacent cells. The effects of this potential limitation were reduced by employing a process to smooth out differences in tornado frequencies between nearby cells.

Tornadoes have a unique destructive power among wind-related natural disasters because they concentrate a massive amount of energy in a relatively small area. The strongest category of tornadoes can generate maximum wind speeds of greater than 250 mph, which is enough to destroy most buildings and structures in their path. These maximum wind speeds generate forces that are about twice as large as those generated by the strongest hurricanes.

Only a few specialty buildings are designed to withstand the direct impact of a severe tornado. However, well engineered, large and tall commercial structures are not likely to suffer structural collapse. For smaller commercial structures, good construction choices can give added protection and increase the likelihood that at least part of the structure will remain standing to provide shelter. Buildings that have been strengthened in critical areas and particularly at connection points, such as between the roof and walls and walls and foundation, would have a good chance of surviving intact or with minor cosmetic damage if subjected to the outer edges of a tornado.

Despite the annual tornado exposure, many walls and roofs of businesses in inland areas of the United States are typically built to resist gravity loads and have little resistance to uplift and lateral loads. Construction where all parts of the building are well connected is more common in hurricane-prone areas, but should also be considered by anyone who wants to increase their property’s protection from other severe windstorms, according to the building science experts at IBHS.

A CHECKLIST FOR MITIGATING TORNADO RISKS

While there is no way to eliminate all the damage of a direct hit from a violent tornado, businesses in tornado-prone areas can implement a variety of affordable measures which, for the majority of tornadoes, will effectively minimize damages to facilities, injuries to employees and the losses associated with business disruptions.

While the measures below focus specifically on tornado risks, many also will help protect businesses from other types of high wind and thunderstorm-related weather risks outside of tornado-prone regions.

ASSESS THE LIKELIHOOD OF A TORNADO STRIKING YOUR BUSINESS

Is the area where you live and work prone to tornadoes? Look at the map in this report to identify areas with the highest risk of tornadoes. Knowing what tornado risks are present is essential for choosing the appropriate mix of measures to protect your business. Businesses located in areas with a heightened tornado risk should take the following steps to minimize their risk of tornado damage:

PROTECT YOUR EMPLOYEES

  • Prepare and disseminate an emergency plan describing what supervisors and employees should to do as a tornado threatens. Practice these procedures through tornado drills.
  • Purchase a weather radio with local discrimination capability. Monitor weather conditions so employees can be moved to secure locations when necessary:
    • Have an adequate source of weather information, such as a tone alert weather radio, to keep abreast of weather conditions.
    • Have someone monitor local radar and warning information during a tornado watch and especially if a tornado warning has been issued for the area.

Watches and Warnings:

  • A tornado watch is a caution indicating a high probability of tornadoes within an area approximately 250 miles long and 120 miles wide.
  • A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted on the ground in your county or moving toward your county, or that weather radar indicates a high probability of a tornado existing.
  • Keep exterior doors and windows closed to minimize rain and flying debris. Closing interior doors will also help to compartmentalize the building and provide more barriers between your employees and the storm.
  • Select the best protective area for employees to seek shelter if there is a tornado:
    • Basements are usually considered a good area, as are corridors and small interior rooms on the first floor of a structure.
    • Never shelter employees in rooms where there is an outside wall, particularly those with glass windows, or where the ceiling or roof has a span between supports of more than 40 feet.
    • If your building does not provide adequate protection and you are located in a tornado prone area, work with a contractor to harden a section of your facility or build a safe room.
    • Safe Rooms: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and International Code Council (ICC) offer shelter guidelines.
      • If you have 10 or fewer employees, a small size room designed according to the requirements and guidance published in FEMA 320 or ICC 500 for residential shelters may be sufficient.
      • For larger safe rooms, use FEMA 361 or ICC 500 guidance for community shelters.

Make provisions to shelter employees working in portable out buildings and those operating trucks and other vehicles.

PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY

Wind-resistant construction can be cost effective and minimize the risk of structural damage for the majority of tornadoes, particularly damage from weak to moderate tornadoes, hail and wind associated with thunderstorms, and even to buildings on the edge of strong or violent tornadoes:

For new construction in a tornado prone area:

  • Work with an architect or contractor to incorporate wind mitigation techniques and high wind-rated products when constructing your building, including safe areas for personnel.
  • These techniques provide state-of-the art solutions to minimize structural risks by withstanding pressures created by specified high winds, strengthening roof and wall connections, roof systems, walls and wall covering, windows, doors, and skylights.
  • It is less costly and more effective to harden buildings during design and construction rather than later.

For an existing structure, not built to wind mitigation standards:

  • Consider retrofitting, especially when remodeling or replacing building components.
  • Retrofitting may include:
    • Bracing and strapping the roof.
    • Adding recommended fasteners, ties, reinforcements, roof covering and anchors as building components are modified and maintained.
    • Making entry doors and overhead doors more wind-resistant.
    • Building a safe room to protect against tornadoes.
  • For additional information on protection for existing buildings, see “Protecting Commercial Property” in the Tornado section of our website www.DisasterSafety.org.

MINIMIZE THE THREATS FROM WIND-BORNE DEBRIS

  • Identify and remove trees and branches that could fall on the building walls or roof, or on power lines.
  • Inspect and repair loose or damaged building components such as siding, soffit and fascia, shingles and roofing, brickwork, and brick chimneys.
  • Avoid using built -up roofs with aggregate or pavers on the surface.

Visit www.DisasterSafety.org/tornado to find additional details and how-to instruction for many of these projects.

Deodorizing After A Fire Damage To Your Lenexa Home

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Deodorizing After A Fire Damage To Your Lenexa Home Ozone machine cleaning up fire and smoke damage.

Things You Should Know

One of the biggest problem after an incidence of fire is the lingering, foul, burnt odor. If the odor is not remedied professionally, it can stay on your property for a long time making it almost impossible to stay there.

Thankfully, professionals can help you get rid of this odor after fire damage to your Lenexa home. The odor after an incidence of fire is a mix of chemical and natural odors due to the burning of wood, plastic, and other building material. Here at SERVPRO, we employ a multi-step process to eliminate odor and get your home smelling like home again- removing, and cleaning. Let's take a closer look at every step.

Removing 
One of the first things that SERVPRO technicians do while tackling an odor problem after a fire is removing the source of the odor. The source of odor after a fire damage can be burnt wood or other building materials. Our IICRC certified technicians dispose of the source in a safely and efficiently.

Cleaning  
The second step during the deodorizing process is cleaning. Smoke and soot residues can deposit on and even penetrate the various surfaces such as walls and ceilings. SERVPRO technicians clean different surfaces depending on the type of the surface and residue deposited on it.

Sealing 
Sealing is not required in most cases, but if the damage is extensive and the removal of the source is too expensive or impractical, it is the best option. Painting walls to seal in the odors is one such case.

We are here to help you in your hour of need. Call SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa at (913)782.4693 today to schedule an appointment and discuss your restoration needs.