Effective Property Management Means Being Well-Prepared for Hurricanes and Major Storms
Store copies of everything possible on the cloud
Property management is a massive responsibility. There’s a reason they are usually carefully chosen, and competence in a range of specialties is required to excel. One area you can’t possibly overdo in Olathe, KS, is storm preparedness – especially before a hurricane. Here’s some ideas to consider that should make your life a lot easier once it passes.
Planning, Planning, Planning!
Being abundantly well-prepared is what defines a top property manager. Seriously – be ready! Begin by downloading the free app from the American Red Cross titled “Hurricane;” it’s an excellent resource. A major hurricane is like the end of the world where the eye hits. This must start far in advance of one predicted to hit you.
Start by building a playbook. Some items it should include are
Staff phone numbers and addresses as well as their roles and responsibilities.
Designation of essential personnel.
Emergency contact numbers.
All insurance information.
Key Steps to Storm Preparedness
After the playbook is ready, make sure you have all your insurance information recorded in numerous places. Read the fine print of your insurance policies to learn of limits and exclusions and that everything is up to date. When a storm is forecast, take pictures or video of everything you can and store them on the cloud for irrefutable evidence of storm-caused damage. This is an excellent time to store copies of everything possible on the cloud for 24-hour access anywhere, any time.
Designate top personnel to stay (temporarily) behind after a general evacuation as well as a liaison to work with emergency personnel. Once winds reach around 45 miles per hour, they should initiate quick, last-minute actions to mitigate further damage. They must act with deliberation and haste and then evacuate as soon as possible – under no circumstances should someone remain behind.
After the Storm
Do a full inspection, documenting all damage. Be ready to answer tenant questions – consider posting social media updates to keep everyone informed. Hire professionals to do a proper cleanup and restoration. Storm preparedness is one of the more tedious tasks for property managers, but it’s critical in Olathe, KS, and when one is coming, it’s too late.
What To Expect During Fire Damage Restoration
Fire in an Edgerton, KS commercial building
Fire Damage Restoration
After a fire in your Edgerton, KS, building, you will likely need to have some work done. The process can contain many steps, and you may not know quite what to expect. The following are some of the things that may be done during fire damage restoration.
After the building has been inspected, the first step is to mitigate the damage. This is done to prevent damage from worsening before repairs can begin. It will often include placing tarps and boards to cover missing walls or roofing as well as blocking off affected areas so that damage does not spread.
2. Water Removal
Depending on the severity of the commercial fire, it may need to be put out with a hose. If this happens, you will likely end up with water damage on top of everything else. Before restoration can begin, any excess water will need to be removed from the building.
3. Cleanup and Sanitation
The next step is to clean and sanitize the area. Much of this will be soot and smoke cleanup. Smoke travels through the air and can create a film on the surface of walls, floors and objects. It can damage electronics and other items, so it is important to have them cleaned quickly.
4. Rebuilding and Repairs
Once everything has been cleaned, then repairs can begin. In some cases, large areas may need to be rebuilt. Fire damage restoration will also include minor repairs like replacing carpets and repainting walls.
5. Odor Removal
Sometimes, even after repairs have been made, a fire can create a lingering odor. This is often due to smoke particles becoming trapped in porous materials, though it may also be that they are still in the air. During restoration, an air purifier may be used to remove these particles and the resulting smell.
If you have experienced a fire in your commercial building, a fire damage restoration company will be able to help. They can clean up the area, make repairs and have your property looking great again as soon as possible.
Playing Hide and Seek With Mold
Mold spores thrive on moisture
Mold growth can be a problem for your commercial property in Spring Hill, KS. Not only does it present an odor that is unpleasant to employees, clients, or customer, the very sight of mold can bring concerns and questions of cleanliness and safety. If you haven’t spotted a problem but have noticed a musty smell, it is time to go on the hunt for mold.
Mold spores love several things:
- Dark hiding spots
The spores can enter your location from a number of areas and can get distributed through the HVAC ductwork. For the spores to thrive, they need high humidity. This keeps target growth locations close to where water is present. Some conditions for mold growth are unavoidable, such are near the water heater or air conditioning system. Because these areas carry an inherent risk, investing in a dehumidifier for the area can help reduce the amount of moisture in the air. In areas like bathrooms and kitchens, sanitize the areas regularly and wipe or mop up water spots as needed.
If your roof has ever had a leak, the carpet of flooring may have water damage. When it comes to mold and mildew, no surface is safe. Carpet odors might reveal the presence of mold even without a noticeable stain. It is important to clean up all water spills and areas with leaks thoroughly to avoid the growth of mold under the flooring, behind baseboards, or within the walls.
If you have found mold growth in your facility, you need to address it right away. Mold remediation specialists can help with comprehensive treatment and cleaning, but these services won’t prevent future issues. You will need to reduce the amount of moisture in your air, as well as repair or replace items and equipment that are leaking.
How to Handle a Natural Gas Leak
A gas leak detector can be helpful in your Gardner, KS home
Natural gas is one of the safest ways of providing energy to homes and businesses. Incidents are relatively rare, but they do occur from time to time. If you are prepared, you can quickly identify a gas leak and deal with it before it has time to become a gas fire. Here’s how to recognize a problem in Gardner, KS, and what to do once you smell natural gas.
Incidents Are Rare but Can Be Extremely Destructive
Statistics on overall total gas explosions and fires are difficult to come by, probably because they are so isolated. However, the year 2009 is likely about average, with
- 158 total natural gas distribution incidents.
- 10 deaths.
- About 50 injuries.
- Around $32 million in property damage.
This may seem troubling, but compared to coal or oil in deaths per unit of energy, natural gas is substantially safer than either. Still, in one recent incident, a contractor in Massachusetts caused a natural gas overpressure, causing up to 70 fires, numerous explosions and 39 homes damaged or destroyed. At least 25 people were injured and one was killed, so knowing what to do in case of a leak is very important.
What to Do if You Smell Natural Gas
First, do not turn on or off any lights or other electrical items – one spark can cause a gas fire! Grab a flashlight or use your cellphone for light if you need it.
Natural gas has a distinctive, “rotten egg” odorant added to it so that you immediately will recognize a leak. A hissing noise will also be possible when you are very near the leak itself. If it’s safe, check your stove; sometimes the gas can be turned on accidentally. Open all doors and windows and get outside fast! If you know where your meter is, turn off the gas and notify the authorities as soon as possible.
If you do have a gas fire, you’ll need to contact your insurance company to help you pay for fire damage cleanup. Hopefully, if you’ve followed the steps above, you’ll avoid any serious repercussions and simply deal with fixing the leak.
3 Types of Home Damage Caused By Winter Weather
Frozen pipes can cause damage to your Lenexa, KS home
3 Types of Home Damage Caused By Winter Weather
During the colder months in Lenexa, KS, the weather may cause some problems for your house. This is especially true during a winter storm. The following are a few types of damage that you might need to prepare for as temperatures begin to drop.
1. Leaky Roofs
While you can develop a leak in your roof during any time of the year, roof damage is common as the weather gets colder. Snow can build up on your roof and may result in an ice dam. This happens when the sun or heat from inside the house causes the snow to melt a little and then freeze into ice as it gets colder again. Over time, it can begin to leak into the building, causing damage to the roof as well as the ceiling and walls inside. Remove snow from your roof as soon as possible to keep damage to a minimum.
2. Frozen Pipes
If the temperatures get low enough during a winter storm, you may end up with frozen pipes. If this occurs, there is a chance that the pipes could burst and flood your home. To prevent this from happening, keep the temperature in your home above freezing and leave cabinet doors open to allow the warm air to reach the pipes. Insulation can help as well.
3. Exterior Damage
During a severe storm, such as a blizzard, damage to the exterior of your home may occur. This can sometimes result in minor problems such as chipping paint or missing roof shingles, but more serious damage can happen as well. If there are high winds or hail, debris may crack or shatter a window. Be sure to keep trees near your house trimmed and store anything that could be moved by strong wind.
Keeping this information in mind should help you better prepare your home for a winter storm. However, if your house is damaged, an emergency restoration company can help with cleanup and repairs.
How Often Do You Check Your Crawlspace?
Avoiding structural damage and mold is essential to being a responsible homeowner.
Recent record rainfall has created problems for home owners in the Olathe / Lenexa area. We experienced flooding this past year. Water has found its way into the crawlspaces of many area homes. Our technicians have responded to a large number of requests for services to dry out flooded crawlspaces.
Check your crawlspace for water damage
Even if you have not experienced flooding in your crawlspace in the past, it is always a good idea to do periodic inspections, especially after heavy rains, to insure the safety of your home.
Water intrusions in your crawlspace, left untreated, can cause structural damage and allow mold to grow in your home.
SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa technicians have the equipment and experience to take care of any water damage to your home, making it, “Like it never even happened.”
When Storms or Floods hit Olathe / Lenexa, SERVPRO is ready!
Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Olathe / Lenexa.
SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Olathe / Lenexa, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 913-782-4693
Causes of House Fires
An electrical outlet on fire.
Three Common Causes of House Fires
Here are top 3 most common causes of house fires in Lenexa, KS as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.
From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.
- Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
- Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
- Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
- Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.
- If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
- Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
- Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
- Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.
- Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
- Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
- Unplug major electronics: TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
- Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.
Have Questions? Call SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa Today at 913.782.4693
Are you prepared to grill safely in Lenexa?
Before firing up your grill in Lenexa, KS..
- Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from any structure.
- Clean your grill regularly
- check for gas leaks
- keep decorations away from your grill
- keep a spray bottle of water handy
- keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill and know how to use it.
- Never turn on the gas while the grill lid is closed it causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can exploded in your face.
- Never leave the grill unattended. Fires double in size in minutes. Plan a head so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
- Don't load your grill with food. This applies especially to fatty foods. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire
- Never use a grill indoors. People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors.
Protect Your Business From Fire Damage
Extinguishers should have a stamped inspection date less than a year old
How Protected is Your Business from Fire Damage?
Your company may exist for years without facing the damages caused by a business fire. Unfortunately, the risk of fire in commercial buildings is higher now than in the past ten years. Check out some eye-opening statistics from the National Fire Protection Association:
Between 2007 and 2011, United States fire departments responded to more than 3000 office fires per year.
Cooking equipment was most responsible for these blazes, and electrical failures account for the next highest percentage of fires.
Human error and general negligence also figure significantly in the amount of damage done during the emergency situation.
How protected is your Olathe, KS, business? Have you completed drills for the safety of your employees and customers? Are inspections and maintenance completed regularly?
Fire Extinguishers and Sprinkler Systems
Business fire prevention technicians should perform regular inspections and updates. For example, extinguishers should have a stamped inspection date less than a year old. Additional extinguishers should be installed when your business grows. Any sprinkler heads installed as part of your fire preparation efforts should be kept free of dust and debris. All of these safety components should be free of obstruction and positioned where they are immediately effective.
Fire Safety Plans and Employee Training
Business owners should refer to standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, and current Material Safety Data Sheets when creating a safety plan and regarding employee training. It's important to note that your employees, customers, and inventory are all much more likely to escape without fire damage when a safety plan has been put into effect.
If a business fire affects your property, remediation and reconstruction experts can get your building back into presentable condition. However, it may be a long time before your staff, customers, and business partners forget the trauma of facing flames. Make sure you have the right equipment in place, that it's in perfect condition, and that employees are trained in comprehensive safety plans.