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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Are you prepared to grill safely in Lenexa?

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Before firing up your grill in Lenexa, KS..

DO:

  • 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.

DON'T:

  • 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

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

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.

What Businesses Should Know About Cleaning After a Flood

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded office space in Edgerton, KS

Seeing your flooded company can be stressful, especially if many items in your business in Edgerton, KS, have been damaged. Cleaning is often one of the first steps in the restoration process, and learning about cleaning after a flood can accelerate the cleanup process.

What Type of Damage Commonly Occurs?

Water from a broken pipe versus water from an outside source can cause different types of damage to your business, and the amount of water in your building can also affect the extent of the damage. However, regardless of the source and the amount of water in your building, the following issues commonly occur in businesses after a flood:

  • Structural damage to your building's walls, ceilings and foundation
  • Warped vinyl flooring
  • Mold growth on a variety of surfaces
  • Damage to electrical systems


What Can You Clean Easily?

When it comes to your flooded company, you likely will want to know what items you can effectively and safely clean on your own. Items that aren't particularly delicate and that have not been sitting in water for a long period of time are generally easy to clean. Additionally, wood floors and furniture with real wood can normally be saved and will not sustain major damage if the water is quickly removed from the wood surface and the surrounding area remains dry.

How Do You Know if Professional Cleaning is Necessary?

Although it's often possible to clean certain items on your own, particular treatments, tools and pieces of equipment are necessary to clean some items. Instead of purchasing costly pieces of equipment, it can be helpful to employ emergency water damage restoration services. Professionals can use a variety of methods, including dry cleaning and immersion cleaning, to appropriately sanitize and restore different items.

Although a flooded company can lead to a major headache, knowing how to begin the cleanup process can help to alleviate some of your stress. Knowing what damage can occur after a flood, what you can likely clean easily and when to seek out help from professionals can make cleaning up after a flood easier.

3 Ways to Avoid Water Damage

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Have someone check your HVAC system once a year

Following These Guidelines May Help Reduce Your Risk of Flooding

Sometimes water damage is inevitable, but there are some precautions you can take to possibly avoid getting water in home in Lenexa, KS. While there is no guaranteed way to stop it from happening, following these guidelines may help reduce your risk of flooding.

1. Maintain Your Bathroom

Attending to your bathroom regularly may help you notice any excessive water that was not there before. You should also check for a broken pipe and look to see if any of them have corrosion as this may be a sign of a problem. If your water bill is unusually high, you might want to have a professional come take a look to see if you need a pipe cleanup.

2. Get Your HVAC System Checked Regularly

HVAC systems can cause moisture problems in your home. This is why it is a good idea to have someone come look at it at at least once a year. Having someone come out and do regular maintenance on your system may help prevent you from having to deal water damage or mold remediation later on.

3. Watch Your Appliances

Appliances that require water typically have a supply line. This hose can crack or break and cause a buildup of liquid around it. You should inspect all of these on a regular basis and have someone do regular maintenance on them. Usually, your insurance company is more likely to help cover the cost of cleanup if you have water in home if you take care of the flooding right away.

If you do end up with water in home, it is a good idea to have a water damage expert in Lenexa, KS, come assess the situation. Always take special care when it comes to any electrical appliances near the flooded area. Never let the problem go untreated as it may lead to mold growth and other issues. The sooner you get it taken care of the better off you will be.

Understanding the Key Differences Between Mold and Mildew

5/26/2019 (Permalink)

Not every fungus is mold, and not every fungal problem requires professional remediation

Mold damage may be a significant concern for many homeowners, but that concern can lead to paranoia and assumptions. Not every fungus is mold, and not every fungal problem requires professional remediation. Mildew is a common occurrence in homes, and it does share a similar appearance and development cycle to mold. However, it is not as difficult to eliminate, and it doesn’t require the efforts of mold remediation professionals. Therefore, to reduce the risk of calling in an expert for something that can be handled by a DIYer and a readily available chemical cleaner, it is beneficial to know the differences between mold and mildew.

1. Penetration and Spread

Mildew growth may be described as a surface issue because the fungus does not tend to penetrate deep into the surface. Additionally, this fungus is often isolated, meaning that it does not spread easily. Mold, however, penetrates deep into surfaces and by the time it is visible, it has likely colonized in other hidden areas. Also, mold spores spread easily and quickly, meaning that a home may have a colony in two separate areas.

2. Color and Texture

Mold damage is often fluffy and thick in an array of colors, such as black, green or yellow. Mildew is likely flat with a powdery or chalky appearance, and it usually shows up in either grays or whites.

3. Testing and Remediation

While mildew can be handled on your own, if you suspect you have a mold growth problem, then contact a mold remediation specialist in the Olathe, KS area as soon as possible. These professionals will come out and test your property to assess the damage and plan for removal.

Mildew and Mold damage may appear to be similar, but while they are both a fungal issue, they are significantly different in aggression, color and texture. A remediation specialist is likely your best option when it comes to mold assessment and removal.

Steps To Take When You Smell Natural Gas

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

It is important to know how to recognize the signs of a gas leak

If you use gas to power your home in Spring Hill, KS, it is important to know how to recognize the signs of a gas leak. A gas fire can erupt quickly if there is gas present. There are several things you should do immediately if you suspect a leak.

Recognizing a Leak

You can identify a natural gas leak in your home by smell, sight or sound. Some signs include:

  • A rotten egg smell
  • A hissing sound
  • Dead grass near pipeline
  • Bubbling in standing water near pipeline
  • Exposed or damaged pipeline

Checking the Stove

Your home can suffer a lot of fire damage from a gas fire on your stove. Make sure all burners are off when they're not in use. If you see a knob that is in the on position but don't see a flame, that is probably where the smell is coming from.

Ventilating Your Home

To prevent the need for fire damage cleanup, you can air out your house by opening the windows. This can help disburse noxious fumes.

Avoiding a Spark

Many items in your home could trigger a gas explosion when there is a leak present. Don't turn on lights. Avoid using your cell phone until you are away from your home. Anything with a flame can put your safety at risk and lead to damage that can only be remedied by fire cleanup experts.

Evacuating the Area

The most important thing you can do is leave your home. Don't try to fix the leak yourself; call the utility company once you are a safe distance from your home. Wait to enter your home again until a professional technician says it is safe to do so.

While avoiding a gas fire is a worthwhile goal, keeping yourself and your family safe is more important. If you know you have a leak, evacuate even if you don't know exactly where the smell is coming from. Let the professionals handle the problem.

3 Ways Property Managers Can Prepare for Storms

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

Cracks in asphalt stringle roof

Focusing on Storm Preparedness

When you know that a storm is likely to impact your business in Gardner, KS, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, focusing on storm preparedness before a disaster occurs can help to keep yourself, your staff and your property safe.

1. Document the Building’s State Before the Storm

When a building is damaged, it’s often important for property management to provide the business’ insurance company with documentation of the destruction. However, it may also be beneficial to have photographs of your property prior to the incident. By showing an insurance adjuster what the business looked like before it sustained damage, you can help to ensure your claim is accurate.

2. Establish a Line of Communication

Storms can come on suddenly, and in the event that the property needs to be evacuated, it’s useful to know how to contact all employees in a timely manner. As part of your storm preparedness plan, you may consider asking all staff members to provide you with a way to reach them quickly before a disaster. Since you may not be present in the building when an emergency occurs, it can also be wise to create a list of tasks that the last person to exit should perform. An example might include making sure all doors and windows are closed.

3. Inspect the Property

Inspecting the structure before a storm can help you prevent damage, because leaks or malfunctioning equipment may worsen any problems that do occur. An inspection will also allow you to observe any openings in the building, which can happen when roof shingles are cracked or missing. This may let rain get inside more easily. If you see signs of a problem, you should contact emergency restoration services to prevent additional issues.

As a property manager, storm preparedness can be an important element of your job. Documenting the building before a disaster, establishing a line of communication and inspecting the structure can help you to prepare your business for any situation.

The 4 Stages of Storm Damage Restoration

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Homeowners must act quickly if adverse weather damages residences in Lenexa, KS.

Homeowners must act quickly if adverse weather damages residences in Lenexa, KS. The restoration process may take several days, depending on the extent of damage and whether it is necessary to tear out and replace building materials or contents. Trained professionals can swiftly proceed through the four stages of storm damage restoration.

1. Mitigation

It is imperative to limit storm damage. Mitigation may involve tarping over a damaged roof, boarding up broken windows or other measures to prevent further damage.

2. Water Extraction

Water that is left standing for days will become increasingly contaminated and heighten the risk of mold. If a storm introduces Category Two gray water into a structure, this water can degrade into grossly contaminated Category Three black water within a matter of hours.

Homeowners may rent a pump to remove water or start the process by using a mop or wet vac. Damage mitigation professionals will be able to extract every trace of water and debris more quickly, which can limit water damage and help to prevent secondary damage.

3. Cleanup

It is important to remove debris as well as any damaged materials. It may be necessary to tear out porous building materials or contents saturated with contaminated water, as these materials may be difficult or impossible to clean completely. Every surface and item should be cleaned and disinfected to discourage mold growth.

4. Restoration

The affected area must be dry before restoration begins. The final stage of the process will involve rebuilding damaged portions of a structure and replacing discarded items.

It may take up to a week or longer to restore storm damage. An organized effort to extract water, tear out damage, clean and allow the affected area to dry may continue for several days. A homeowner in can limit the severity of storm damage by immediately contacting storm restoration specialists in Lenexa, KS.

3 Facts About Category One Water Damage

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Restoration professionals categorize water damage based on the liquid’s contamination levels.

Restoration professionals categorize water damage based on the liquid’s contamination levels. Category One damage involves clean water from a broken supply line. Category Two water may contain chemicals or microbes and Category Three water is highly contaminated and may contain solid waste. Here are three facts for property owners or managers dealing with water damage at a building in Olathe, KS.

1. Category One Water Is Clean

Water in supply lines is typically clean and treated. This water should not contain any dangerous chemicals, microbes or solid waste. Standing water can be pumped out or extracted with a mop or wet vac.

2. Category One Water Requires Drying

As long as a building owner or manager acts quickly, damage caused by clean water can simply be dried. There is no need for disinfection as long as standing water is extracted and the removal process begins within 24 to 48 hours. Rather than risking worsening conditions or secondary damage, an owner or manager should hire mitigation and restoration professionals to extract water and promote drying.

3. Category One Water Can Degrade

After 48 hours, standing Category One water may degrade into Category Two gray water due to exposure to building materials, contents and systems. If water is left standing for days, bacteria will multiply, and mold may begin to grow. Category One water can eventually degrade into Category Three black water. Areas exposed to Category Two or Category Three water should be disinfected prior to drying.

A property owner or manager should quickly remove clean water introduced into a structure by a broken pipe. There is no need for disinfection as long as a leak is stopped, standing water is extracted and the area starts to dry within 24 to 48 hours. Even though Category One water is clean, it can still cause major damage to a building in Olathe, KS.

Property Owners Can Be Sued Because of Mold Damage

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

One issue that is too often ignored is the problem of mold and the damage it can cause.

Property Owners Can Be Sued Because Of Mold Damage

In this modern world, there are many issues facing property owners each and every day. Between building insurance, renovation permits, work safety concerns, and angry tenant parking problems, the landowner may feel pulled in multiple directions at once. One issue that is too often ignored in Olathe, KS is the problem of mold and the damage it can cause. Not surprisingly, there have been lawsuits against businesses and contractors because of mold infestations, which is why you shouldn’t wait until you have to make mold insurance claims to address your tenant’s fungus concerns.

Liability

The courts have held that tenants, employees, and customers can hold businesses liable for damage or injury from mold. Past mold claim suits have included the liability of contractors, engineers, architects, property managers, and landlords. While it is well known that buildings can develop mold problems in the dark recesses of storage areas, machine rooms, or basements, when the building owner first becomes aware that mold is an issue, he or she can then become liable. Problems can include:

  • Inattention to a potential problem
  • Improper installation of materials
  • Wrong materials installed

Even though your tenants make mold insurance claims, there are still other difficulties the landlord or property owner can face due to mold and its damage.

Habitability

The law states that your tenants have a right to expect their work or living spaces to be habitable. Although the term “habitable” can be considered a gray area, when tenants are able to see areas of rampant fungus growth, the courts say the building may not be habitable, and the landlord may be responsible for mold remediation and property reconstruction.

While placing mold insurance claims may help you recoup losses for building renovations, insurance monies are not available for lawsuits based on habitability or liability issues due to mold. Why not be proactive and have your building supervisors check for mold, leaky pipes, and mildew problems every month?

3 Ways Pretesting Can Help Your Client’s Business

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

If you have any questions your restoration professional may be able to help.

3 Ways Pretesting Can Help Your Client’s Business

If a business in Olathe, KS has suffered water damage then the first step that many water damage restoration professionals may take is pretesting. This process can help your company in a number of ways.

1. This Process Helps Determine Restorability

Your insurance agent may recommend a restoration company that can perform this step, as in many cases it may save both your business, and your claim some money. The restoration of existing materials often costs less than replacing them, and a pretest can allow the restoration company to know which parts of the damaged area can best be restored before beginning work.

2. It Can Help Determine the Damage Type and Severity

The process of pretesting can also help the restoration company determine the damage type and how severe it may be. In the case of water damage, it may also allow professionals to look for any signs of mold that may be growing as a result. Knowing these things can allow for a proper plan of action for any repairs and restoration needs to be made.

3. It Allows the Development of a Restoration Plan

The ability to know the restoration plan, and where the company is in performing this restoration, may help your agent process insurance claim. Doing a pretest help the restoration company formulate a plan of action. This may include if any steps need to be performed before the restoration starts, what cleaning needs to be done, and which areas of damaged need to be addressed first

A water damage restoration service recommended by your insurance agents may start with pretesting for a number of reasons. This process can help them determine the damage type and severity, if and which materials can be restored rather than replaced, and what the best plan of action will be to get your company building back in order. If you have any questions your restoration professional may be able to help.

Flooding, Secondary Damage, and Your Home

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

Remove water and dry your home as quickly as possible.

Flooding, Secondary Damage, And Your Home

Whether fire, flooding, or other disasters have affected your home, there's a potential for black mold growth and types of secondary damage. It's imperative that you take the right steps to protect your Olathe, KS home, minimize damage, and reduce the risk of further trouble. These secondary issues could take many forms.

  • Structural damage
  • Mold growth
  • Wood rot
  • Corrosion
  • Electrical damage

Get the Home Dry

The best way to avoid ongoing damage, including the growth of black mold, is to respond immediately. In your flooded home, evaporation quickly leads to high humidity levels. The air becomes saturated and furnishings or possessions that had been above the level of the water become affected. When this happens, your home and furnishings will continue to be impacted long after the water level has been brought down.

Reduce Humidity Levels

As flood waters evaporate, the heavy, water-logged air touches surfaces throughout the home. When moist air makes contact with walls, ceilings, and tables, condensation takes place. The newly formed water droplets soak into wood, drywall, fabrics, and other materials. Even when you respond immediately to flooding, removing water as quickly as possible, any porous materials in your home could have absorbed water.

Rent Equipment

The appropriate equipment is required to reduce the risk of these damages. In addition to opening doors and windows for ventilation, contact flood damage restoration professionals to rent dehumidifiers and large fans. The faster you can get your home and possessions dry, the less opportunity there is for further damage to occur. The goal of proper ventilation and high-speed fans is to replace humid air with dry air as often as possible.

Hire Professionals

Flood damage restoration companies generally have access to cleansers and equipment that can improve the chances of avoiding secondary damage. The need to thoroughly dry your home out as quickly as possible is often enough to convince homeowners that hiring professionals is the best move.

If you're concerned about long-lasting damages, such as black mold, don't hesitate to act. Remove water and dry your Olathe, KS home as quickly as possible.

How To Estimate the Cost of Professional Mold Remediation

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

When left untreated, a small mold problem can quickly become a large one.

How To Estimate The Cost Of Professional Mold Remediation

Finding mold growth in your home is never a fun discovery to make, especially when you include the costs associated with hiring a mold remediation specialist. Although the price of these services can get costly, mold removal is best left in the hands of professionals. When dealing with a mold problem in your home in Lenexa, KS there are several factors that go into the overall cost of remediation services. As you try to estimate what you’ll need to pay, consider how the following circumstances apply to your situation.

Learn What Your Insurance Covers

Depending on the cause of your mold problem and which insurance company you have your homeowners insurance through, you may receive little to no coverage for mold damage. In most cases, mold remediation is only covered if the source of the problem is covered by your policy, including:

  • Burst pipe
  • Home fire
  • Water heater rupture
  • Washing machine or dishwasher malfunction

However, if the damage occurs due to a flood or moisture issue in your home, your policy likely doesn’t cover it. Find out what your particular homeowners insurance plan covers since some companies have dropped coverage for mold damage altogether.

Determine the Extent of the Problem

While a small mold issue may cost less than $1000, extensive mold damage that compromises the structure of your home can cost tens of thousands of dollars. If you suspect you might have a widespread mold problem at hand or that you are in need of black mold removal services, you will need to hire a mold inspector to identify exactly how your home is being affected by mold.

When left untreated, a small mold problem can quickly become a large one. While it might be tempting to delay hiring a mold removal crew or to try and handle the problem on your own, the best way to reduce costs is to call in the professionals right away.

SERVPRO Is the Superhero of Franchise Business Models

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Visit the SERVPRO franchise opportunities website

Would You Like to Become a Successful Franchise Owner?

There are thousands of choices, but how do you pick the right one for you? Start by examining the top tier of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list. If you like to work with your hands, the SERVPRO franchise may be your top choice.

Entrepreneur Magazine does not casually rank franchises. Each one earns its position. The ranking of each franchise takes many attributes into account. These include its growth potential, standing in the marketplace and investment cost. There are several reasons why SERVPRO is a great franchise to own.

  1. SERVPRO corporation has a vested interest in your success. Many of the top franchises sell food. Few cities or towns are going to suffer if a fast-food restaurant shuts down. As a SERVPRO franchisee in the  Edgerton, KS, area, your business is locally owned and operated. However, when disaster strikes, SERVPRO responds with teams from all over the country. At times, your personnel and equipment will be part of those teams. Your local franchise is an essential piece in the disaster recovery plan.
  2.  Your SERVPRO team receives training and earns certification. As a franchisee, you will work in businesses and residences. You will clean and restore fire, water, flood, smoke and storm damage. You will remediate mold. As a SERVPRO employee, you will learn the proper techniques. Once you have shown proficiency, you will become IICRC certified. The IICRC is a nationally recognized certification. It documents the holder’s competence in a cleaning category.
  3. The SERVPRO opportunity is moderately priced. If you wanted a burger franchise, the cost could be in the millions. With SERVPRO, the financial investment is a small fraction.

However, the investment is more than about money. To be successful, you need to have passion and drive. You must believe in what you do and the people you serve.
Would you like to learn more? Visit the SERVPRO franchise opportunities website and see the available territories.

Flood Insurance May Not Be an Option for Your Business

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Flood insurance may not be an option.

Flood Insurance May Not Be an Option for Your Business

You read that correctly. Flood insurance may not be an option. In some situations, it is a requirement. Financial institutions, investors and others expect you to protect their investments and property. They will not leave the insurance decision in your hands. Sometimes, it’s one of the costs of doing business.
Insurance companies distinguish between water damage and floods. Rising water causes flood damage.

Typical examples are:

  • Overflowing rivers and streams
  • Storm surge on large bodies of water
  • Local flooding due to heavy rain or blocked storm drains
  • Runoff from melting ice and snow

Weather, plumbing and fire sprinklers are common sources of water damage. A standard commercial insurance policy covers the cost of these repairs. It offers no coverage for floods. The following are situations that may require a business to have insurance.


1. The Federal Government funded, backed, or insured a business mortgage.

If your business is in a flood zone, the government requires you to have flood insurance. It’s the law. If a flood destroys the business, they want to get paid.


2. Other mortgage lenders may require the insurance.

Lenders want to protect their investment as well. They may even want the insurance for businesses near flood zones.


3. Investors may demand insurance.

If there is a flood, the investor’s investment is at risk. It is reasonable for them to expect the protection of their investment.


4. Certain customers and vendors may require insurance.

A distribution business ships inventory belonging to their customer. Other businesses may hold inventory consigned by a vendor. Both parties may want insurance protection for their inventory.


The Flood Happened and the Damage Is Extensive


That flood insurance sure was a great idea. The water is gone. Now, it’s a race against mold. There are flood and water damage remediation specialists in the Olathe, KS area. They can get you back on your feet quickly. Give them a call.

Keep Your Home Safe With Flameless Candles

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Extinguish all candles when leaving a room.

Flameless Candles

Everyone loves the charm and ambiance of a flickering candle and the comfort of the scents that come from lighting one. But your home in Gardner, KS, is a place of safety and a respite from the hardships of the world, so keeping it safe from candle fire is an important safeguard. Candle alternatives can bring just as much satisfaction and enjoyment.

A real, burning candle is perfectly appropriate for setting the mood at dinner, but should be extinguished immediately upon leaving the table. Wax burns quickly and is a perfect fuel for a fire, so care must be taken. If using candles anywhere else, always make sure the candle is on a firm surface and surrounded by a non-flammable enclosure such as glass, and never leave it unattended while burning or allow children to play near them. Open flame is a fire hazard so try flameless options in your home.

Safe Candle Alternatives

Here are some ideas for options that can help your home and family safer while providing a glowing touch to your home’s atmosphere.

1. Candle warming lamps
2. Flame-free luminaries
3. Wax melting pots
4. Battery operated candles or tea lights

What Each Option Offers

Battery operated candles can flicker and glow just like a real candle and can even be set on timers and used with remotes, but will not give you the scent. Wax melting pots can disperse a scent as they melt smaller cubes or discs of wax in the melting chamber but do not provide any light. Flameless luminaries use a small bulb and appear more like the light of a tea light, also releasing aromas into the air. Candle warming lamps provide a soft glow and release your favorite scent. They utilize real jar candles and can be used multiple times – usually more than burning the same candle with a flame.

A candle fire can still happen and if it does a professional restoration service in Gardner, KS, can help clean up the waxy residue and smell that permeates the house as well as salvage your belongings. Using candle alternatives can help ensure you don’t have to deal with such a disaster in your home.

Can Your Belongings Recover From Mold Growth? 3 Actions To Take During the Salvage Process

1/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold at a Olathe, KS home.

How To Recover From Mold Growth?

Moisture and high humidity can attract mold spores into your Olathe, KS, home, where they can grow across a variety of surfaces. While mold commonly grows on building surfaces like drywall and carpeting, it can also affect your belongings, such as clothing and furniture. Mold cleaning can be difficult; however, before you throw items away, you may want to learn about which could be saved by different types of professional cleansing processes and which cannot.

1. Throw Away Porous Items

Most porous surfaces can absorb water and encourage further mold growth. As such, some items like mattresses, thick rugs and stuffed toys that already show signs of mold damage are usually not salvageable. If your child has a favorite stuffed toy that you want to attempt to save, ask your remediation technicians if they have any mold cleaning processes that may help. You may want to remember, however, that porous items affected by black mold are usually considered unsalvageable because this type of fungus is particularly hard to eradicate.


2. Freeze Documents and Books

If you have important documents and books that developed mold, place them in sealable plastic bags and store them in your freezer. Freezing these items can inhibit further mold growth and protect them until they can be inspected by an expert mold remediation and restoration company. This can salvage items like original birth certificates, wedding albums and baby books.

3. Set Aside Moldy Clothing

If you have favorite items of clothing that have been affected by mold, ask your remediation technicians about what type of options you have for salvaging them. Wet, dry and immersion cleaning may all be possible, especially for leather jackets and shoes. Some companies have access to an Esporta Machine, which cleans soft contents by removing tough odors, dirt and mold in a way that even commercial-grade units cannot.

Mold can have a devastating effect on your Olathe, KS, home’s contents. However, professional mold cleaning processes may be able to salvage your treasured possessions, even if you believe they are beyond repair.

4 Ways To Know You Have a Bathroom Leak

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Air mover after a water leak in a bathroom in Edgerton, KS

4 Ways To Know You Have a Bathroom Leak

Water can cause a tremendous amount of damage to any unsuspecting home because it can be hidden under tubs and showers in any bathroom in your home in Edgerton, KS. How can you know if you have a bathtub leak? Here are four signs that water has probably damaged your home due to a bathroom drip.

1. Ceiling Sogginess

Brown water stains or bulging spots in the ceiling of a two-story home often indicate a water leak in the floor above. Frequently, it is from a crack in a shower or tub surround. Water can penetrate the crack and pool on the lower ceiling. Once absorbed, it can become noticeable.

2. Floor Discoloration

Wooden trims and painted baseboards in a bathroom that suddenly warp or become discolored send out a red flag that they are absorbing water from somewhere nearby. Since the water source is probably hidden, check for cracks causing a bathtub leak or missing caulking around shower walls.


3. Crawlspace Stalactites

Most people seldom enter the crawlspace under their home. If you do and you notice a stalactite hanging from black wood, you can be assured there has been a water leak for a long time. This type of leak is often hidden under a shower pan or between tiles, causing a shower pan leak.

4. Pan Crack

If your shower pan sags, is old or has a crack, it is probably leaking into the flooring beneath it. Upon close inspection, the pan may appear to have held its integrity, but a leak as small as one-eighth of an inch long can allow water to freely drip into the lower flooring, which can eventually rot the boards.

Most bathroom cracks are small enough that they can be easily missed. If caught early, you can save a great deal of money on home repairs. That is why it is important to check for a bathtub leak and call a water repair specialty team at the first sign of trouble. You can keep unwanted water from damaging your home.

Fire Extinguishers: Understanding the P.A.S.S. Technique

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Extinguishers provide a direct line of defense and allow for immediate response to manageable fires

Fire Extinguishers: Understanding the P.A.S.S. Technique

A fire extinguisher is one of the most essential pieces of life-saving equipment in your commercial property. While your fire suppression system is excellent for your overall facility and alarms will ensure the safe evacuation of your employees or tenants, extinguishers provide a direct line of defense and allow for immediate response to manageable fires. However, there is a four-step process known as the P.A.S.S. technique.

1. Pull

The first step is to pull the pin from the extinguisher handle. The removal of this pin will allow the handle to be fully compressed, releasing the compressed air and chemical mixture to extinguish the flames.

2. Aim

A fire extinguisher will typically have a short, flexible, rubber hose attached to the nozzle and extending away from the handle. This will allow you to aim the compressed mixture at the fire. However, be sure to avoid contact with the discharge opening as the CO2 can damage your skin.

3. Squeeze

Squeezing the handle will release the extinguishing agent. Its mixture will come out quickly and somewhat powerfully, so be prepared and keep firm aim on the blaze.

4. Sweep

You will want to use a sweeping motion, focusing the extinguishing mixture on the base of the fire. Continue this process until the fire is out. After the fire is out, watch the are and ensure that there are no remaining embers. It is possible for a fire to reignite, causing more fire damage.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the proper extinguisher technique, you can contact your local fire department or a fire remediation specialist in the Spring Hill, KS, area. These professionals should be able to instruct you on the basics of fire safety and may even offer a demonstration.

A fire extinguisher is a life-saving tool, and there may come a time when it is your only means of defense. However, most often it will be used to squelch small fires, like a kitchen fire, before they turn into more significant disasters. Either way, knowing proper technique is key.

3 Top Reasons for a Leaky Toilet

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that your toilet can be a primary source for bathroom leaks?

3 Top Reasons for a Leaky Toilet

Every time you flush, you feel irritated by the leaking toilet at your home in Olathe, KS. A bathroom leak like this, however, can amount to more than a simple annoyance. Water easily finds its way through walls and floors wreaking havoc along the way. In order to prevent secondary water damage, don’t ignore the problem. Here are three top reasons why your lavatory is soaked and what to do next:

1. Loose Connection

Best case scenario, one of the connections to the toilet is loose. Before taking more extreme action carefully tighten the water supply hose and all bolts. Flush the toilet to check if the leak is gone.

2. Wax Ring

If water pools at the base of the leaking toilet or a foul smell emerges when you flush, a failing wax ring is likely at fault. The main purpose of the wax gasket is to form an airtight seal between the base of the toilet and the flange beneath. This prevents water, waste and sewer gasses from seeping through. The solution is to thoroughly scrape off the old wax and replace the seal.

3. Tank Flange

The flange is screwed tightly to the floor underneath the wax ring and connects the drainpipe to the toilet. Over time, it may crack or chip causing the wax seal to break. Depending on the type of flange you have, the age of the equipment and how tightly it is attached to the floor, you may need professional help to replace it. 

Hopefully, you solve the mystery of the leaking toilet at your home in Olathe, KS, before further water damage occurs. Signs of secondary damage include soft spots on the walls or floor, evidence of mold growth or water dripping through to the ceiling below. In this case, a water restoration specialist helps mitigate the damage that your annoying bathroom leak has caused.

Untreated Water Damage Leads to Mold Growth

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Say no to do it yourself mold projects

When water damage is left untreated, mold growth quickly occurs. Contact SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa at the first sign of water damage.

If you’ve ever been curious about where a certain odor was coming from and almost went crazy looking for the source, there’s a chance it might have been caused by water damage. But how does water damage cause such foul smells, and what can you do about them? SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa provides large-scale restoration services and has experience dealing with this issue. Here, we explain a few ways odors can occur and how you can handle them.

Although it often starts out as merely a nuisance, water damage worsens over time. Seeping water can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which is when foul odors start to emerge. Water triggers mold to release spores, creating a sickening stench. Odors can also be a result of other contaminants. For instance, when a sewer backs up, the resulting smell comes from the sewage that’s inside your home.

So, what can you do about it? Well, this is one mess you definitely shouldn’t try to clean up yourself: Water damage, especially at the level where it’s producing odors, always calls for a professional touch. Additionally, if there’s any form of sewage present, you’ll need professional sewage cleanup services to remove all the hazardous and toxic materials. The same is true for mold cleanup. And remember: It’s important to call an expert right away. Whether you just noticed a leak or your home recently sustained a flood, now’s the time to contact a specialist. If you wait, the damage could become more expensive to repair and may harm your health. 

If you have water damage and need a crew that can handle large cleanups with ease, get in touch with SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa. Our friendly staff can help with all types of large-scale damage. To find out more about services offered, call 913.782.4693

How To Avoid Kitchen Fires in Your Home

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Don't leave items unattended while cooking in your Lenexa, KS home

Tips: How To Prevent a Kitchen Fire

Fires often start in a home’s kitchen and can quickly cause devastating amounts of damage. Fortunately, there are several tips that can help you prevent a kitchen fire in your home in Lenexa, KS.

1. Know How To Use Your Appliances

Whether the appliances in your kitchen are new, or you’ve had them for years, you can decrease the risk of a kitchen fire if you’re experienced in using them. If you have recently purchased new equipment, it can be helpful to read over the guide that came with it to ensure you understand how it operates. Even with appliances you’ve owned for a long time, it’s often wise to refresh your memory and make sure you can turn them off quickly if necessary.

2. Understand Common Causes of Fires

Knowing what issues can cause a kitchen fire can help you prevent one from occurring. Grease and oil are common culprits of kitchen blazes. A grease fire can become difficult to manage, especially if you’re not sure how to extinguish it quickly. Several tips for preventing this type of disaster include cooking oil at the appropriate temperature, not leaving items unattended while cooking and keeping baking soda (not baking powder) nearby to put out small fires.

3. Keep Appropriate Equipment Close

In addition to preventative measures, it’s often wise to keep equipment nearby or in your kitchen to quickly put out flames. Having a fire extinguisher that can be used on different types of blazes (often referred to as an A-B-C extinguisher) can help to douse larger fires. Being prepared with the right equipment can help you quickly manage a fire and provide you with peace of mind.

Understanding how to appropriately use your appliances, knowing common causes of fires and keeping useful equipment nearby are tips that can help you prevent a kitchen tragedy in your home. If you’ve had a fire occur in your residence, consider contacting fire damage restoration professionals.

6 Steps for Cleaning Up Sewer Damage

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Sewage restoration and cleanup in Gardner, KS

Sewage Remediation

A persistent clog or the smell of sewer gas tells you that you have a problem with the plumbing in your commercial building. If you don’t fix it, it could turn into a bigger problem that requires sewer cleanup. Sewage remediation experts are trained to complete the cleaning process from start to finish. Here are the six steps they typically follow.

1. Area Containment

Before they deal with the mess, the experts will likely take measure to ensure that it doesn’t spread to unaffected areas. This may involve sealing off the area where the sewer backup occurred and not allowing anyone to enter it who isn’t wearing the appropriate protective gear.

2. Sewage Extraction

Cleaning can’t happen until the contaminated water and detritus has been removed and disposed of safely. Technicians pump the standing water out, removing any debris or particles that came out of the flooded toilet with it.

3. Material Removal

Anything the contaminated water touches must be taken out of the building. This includes all furniture, office equipment and documents as well as walls, floors and ceiling tiles that were affected.

4. Surface Extraction

All surfaces must be thoroughly dried during sewer cleanup. The sooner this can happen, the less likely it is that your building will develop a mold problem.

5. Surface Disinfection

Using industrial-strength cleaners, technicians thoroughly disinfect every surface that came into contact with the contamination. After cleaning, the area is tested to make sure all traces of the germs from the sewer water are gone.

6. Area Restoration

The items that can be salvaged are cleaned and returned to the building. The items that cannot be saved must be replaced.

Experts in Gardner, KS, should be called at the first sign that you need sewer cleanup. Don’t ignore the signs that your building may be contaminated. A speedy cleanup process helps you get back to business.

How Can I Find Mold in My Building?

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold containment in a Gardner,KS office

Some Ways You Can Find Mold in Your Building

You may be concerned about mold growth in your building in Gardner, KS. Maybe your concern is due to the nature of your business and the need for a clean environment, or maybe it is for the benefit of your employees. Either way, you want to be sure your building doesn’t have a mold problem and need help finding any source of mold. Since mold is abundant in the environment, indoors and out, but it may be hard to find colonies since they thrive in places where you are not frequenting. Here are some ways you can find mold:

  • Consider an indoor environmental specialist. A specialist may also use special equipment to detect hidden moisture, where your mold source might be hard to see.
  • Check out all plumbing areas. Look for slow leaks as well as obvious ones. If you suspect a pipe is leaking but can’t see it in action, wrap a paper towel or cloth towel around it and check it later to see if it is saturated.
  • Look for old water damage. If you had water damage from a natural flood or an indoor pipe failure, then recheck the area affected. Improper repairs may hide moisture that is still present.
  • Follow your nose. Notice any musty smelling areas? Try to pinpoint the source of the moisture.

The indoor envirinomental specialist may do a mold test. This is especially important to check an area that was thought to be cleaned or that may have been damaged by water long ago.

Mold Remediation

Once the source of mold has been identified, the indoor environmental specialists will work with a professional mold remediator to focus on containment, removal and disinfecting of the contaminated area. Sometimes the mold gets into hard to reach spots and porous building materials that may need removed and replaced, but the right specialist can handle all aspects of your recovery from inspection to rebuild.

4 Steps for Recovering From a Business Fire

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Electronics had smoke and soot damage after a small fire in a Lenexa,KS office

Smoke Damage

It doesn't take much time for fire to derail your successful business, and when the smoke clears, you still have a long process of cleanup to tackle. After all, smoke damage settles into furnishings, inventory, and even the walls and floors of buildings. Take the following steps to success`fully deal with the damage.

1. Discuss Costs and Coverage With Your Insurance Provider

There are many cleaning and restoration professionals available who provide soot damage and smoke cleaning services. Some insurance plans cover this type of service. As you discuss the details of coverage with your insurance agent, consider asking about the following services:

  • Protecting property from more damage
  • Completing repairs for existing damages
  • Storing inventory
  • Remodeling buildings and structures on the property
  • Replacing property, belongings, and inventory that are beyond repair

The better you understand your coverage, the better prepared you'll be to oversee the recovery process.

2. Restore and Replace Valuable Documents

Just about every business has important documents on-site. These may include proof of licensing, business credit cards, employee records, billing documents, contracts with providers, and even cash. Moving paperwork to a clean, dry location, away from further smoke damage, should help protect documents and help you get your business back on track as quickly as possible.

3. Save Receipts for Everything

Keep receipts and make a record of any money you spend that is related to the fire. The insurance company will need those records, and you may use them later to prove losses while completing taxes. Consider talking to an accountant for more information about special tax benefits.

4. Maintain Communication With Local Officials

Protect the safety of your employees, buildings, and other officials by alerting the fire and police departments to your comings and goings. Don't enter buildings or use utilities until you've had official permission. Discuss problems with your landlord or insurance company.

These four steps can help you and your Lenexa,KS, business recover from fire and smoke damage. What have you already done to protect your business and property from fire dangers?

4 Steps to Storm Preparedness

11/17/2018 (Permalink)

Having batteries on your Edgerton,KS home in hand is very important

Storm Preparedness

If you are a homeowner in Edgerton, KS, you have probably thought about what might happen if a storm causes your house to flood. Planning is always important where storm safety is concerned, especially if you live in a flood zone. Here are four steps that you can take to prepare your home and family for a potential storm involving flood water.

1. Sign Up for Local Alerts

If your community offers an emergency warning system, sign up for it as soon as you can. Alerts are also provided by the Emergency Alert System and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio.

2. Determine Your Flood Risk

Do you live in a flood zone? If you don't know, it may be time to visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Flood Map Service Center online to find out. If it turns out that floods are a significant concern in your area, you will likely want to purchase flood insurance for your property.

3. Protect Valuables

Valuables can easily become damaged from flood water. Protect yours by keeping gutters and drains cleared, purchasing a battery-operated sump pump and moving said items to higher levels in your house. Important paperwork should be digitized and stored in a waterproof box to protect it from water damage in a flooded building.

4. Plan Your Escape

Having a smart escape route in place is important when a flood is threatening your home. Put a plan for emergency shelter in place, and practice various escape paths with your family on a regular basis. Having supplies such as batteries and medicine on hand is also very important.

Your first priority with flood water is to get yourself and your loved ones to safety. Your property also matters, but storm damage restoration specialists can typically help you resolve any damage that does occur. Planning ahead of time by following the steps above puts you in a better position to keep your family and your investments safer in a flood-related storm.

How To Prepare Your Child for a Potential Fire Escape

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Develop a fire evacuation plan at your Gardner, KS home

Fires can be both destructive and deadly. If you’re a parent, kid’s safety is a top priority. To help ensure everyone knows how to react in the event of a home fire, it’s important to develop an evacuation plan and educate your child about fire safety. A thorough plan and discussion should include the following elements.

1. Establish Multiple Escape Routes

Under the right conditions, a fire may spread throughout your home. For this reason, it’s essential that you help your child identify every available exit point, including windows.

2. Check Doors

Before opening any doors, instruct your child to feel them for heat. If a door feels hot, she should avoid opening it and proceed to a secondary escape route.

3. Stay Low

Smoke rises and can be a potential detriment to every kid’s safety. To reduce the amount inhaled, your child should stay as low to the ground as possible. You should demonstrate both a forearm and belly crawl to help her understand the safest ways to proceed to the nearest accessible exit.

4. Designate a Meet-up Spot

As you develop your fire escape plan, make sure to designate an outside location away from your home where your family can meet. Instruct your child that once she evacuates, she should not re-enter the home for any reason.

5. Stop, Drop and Roll

If your child’s clothes catch on fire, inform her to stop, drop and roll on the ground until the flames are extinguished.

6. Open Nearby Window If Trapped

If flames block all viable escape routes, instruct your child to close the nearest door and proceed to a window. She should open the window, yell for help and wave an object to alert firefighters of her location.

Because it helps promote kid’s safety, all households in Gardner, KS, should develop a fire evacuation plan and educate their children accordingly. Although there may be little a homeowner can do to minimize fire damage and restoration needs, ensuring everyone knows how to efficiently escape the home may provide some peace of mind.

Why Is Flood Water Called Black Water?

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Flood damage on a local brewery in Edgerton,KS

Category 3 black water refers to flood water or water that contains solid waste. This term is also used to describe stagnant water that supports the growth of bacteria. Find out what distinguishes Category 3 water from other types and why this type of water requires thorough cleaning, disinfection, and drying to reduce the risks of contagion or mold.

What Are the 3 Categories of Water?

Three categories of water can be involved in water damage.

  • Category One water is clean, treated, and typically originates from a broken supply pipe.
  • Category Two water or gray water may contain chemicals or microbes. This water can come from showers or appliances such as dishwashers or washing machines.
  • Category Three water may contain solid waste or other dangerous contaminants. This water can cause illness when consumed, inhaled, or through skin exposure.

Is All Flood Water Considered Black?

It is safe to assume that water from flooding is Category 3. This water has a high chance of containing the following contaminants:

  • Chemicals
  • Heavy metals
  • Pathogens
  • Pesticides
  • Solid waste

Any parts of a building exposed to flooding due to storm damage should be cleaned and disinfected prior to being reopened to occupants and visitors.

What Are the Risks of Black Water?

In addition to posing an infection risk for humans and animals, Category Three water also raises the risk of mold growth. Mold may begin to develop in flooded areas within only 24 to 72 hours. It is necessary to eliminate the presence of standing water and solid waste, pre-treat the area, remove porous building materials that can absorb water, and then disinfect, dry, and restore the affected area.

If flood water breaches a commercial property, contact a storm and water damage restoration service in Edgerton,KS. Trained professionals can ensure that the property is clean and safe and mitigate secondary damage such as mold.

3 Tips for Dealing With Damage from Water

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Air movers on a water damage in a Olathe,KS home

When an issue arises in your home, your first reaction is probably to spring into task mode. You want to fix the problem as soon as possible. If your home in Olathe, KS, has water damage, however, most of the repairs need to be handled by professional remediation technicians. There are three main things you can do to prepare for their arrival.

1. Focus on Safety

Your primary concern when your home has flooded from broken pipes or an intense storm should be the safety of you and your family. Do not use any electrical appliances that came into contact with floodwater. Turn off the water and the electricity to the area. Do not wade through standing water, particularly if you can't see the floor. If you have any doubt whether staying in the house is safe, go ahead and vacate the premises.

2. Document the Damage

Your insurance package may cover part of the expense of water cleanup. To increase your chances of getting the money you need to take care of your costs, you need to document the water damage your home and belongings have suffered. Make a list of damaged items, and take pictures and video of the issues if possible.

3. Remove Items

You may be able to start the first step of the cleanup process. If it is safe to do so, remove waterlogged items from the flooded area. The more you can move out, the less the experts must deal with when they arrive. If you want to save your carpet, it is advisable to remove any brightly colored rugs, books or other items from the carpet so that the colors don't bleed onto it.

How you handle water damage in your home plays a big role in limiting secondary damage. By knowing what is helpful and what is not, you can speed up the remediation process.

3 Tips on Cleaning Your Business After Water Damage

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

As you clean your business, make sure you work with professionals who can help you safely make fixes.

Water damage in Olathe, KS, is a common cause of destruction to many businesses every year, and a flooded company can be difficult to clean. It costs time, money and energy to restore a business, but there are several steps you can take to make cleaning your business after water damage a less stressful, easier process.

Air Out the Space

When cleaning your business, it’s important to try to dry out as much as possible as quickly as possible. If it will not cause any further damage, opening windows can help increase the airflow in your business and will help items inside dry out more quickly. If the ceilings have not been affected by water, you can also use fans to help everything inside your building dry quickly. Clothing, however, should be removed and taken to dry cleaning.

Don’t Wait To Cleanup

As overwhelming as you may be with your flooded company, it’s important to start cleaning your business as soon as it is safe. Waiting to clean your business when it’s safe to enter can result in more damage occurring. Keep an eye out for hazards such as broken pipes and other items that may have become damaged as you start the cleanup process. The sooner cleanup begins, the sooner you can reopen your business.

Avoid Using Electrical Items

Though you may be tempted to try and see if various appliances still work, using electrical items that may have been damaged by water can be incredibly dangerous. Avoid the temptation to test out any appliances you may have and instead focus on safely moving other items. Make sure you also don’t use any sort of electrical items to try and clean up the area, as outlets in your business may be damaged.

As you clean your business, make sure you work with professionals who can help you safely make fixes. Although cleaning a flooded company may seem impossible, if you are mindful of working quickly and safely, you can quickly open your business’s doors again. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/.

This Is No Time for a Swim: Staying Safe During and After a Flood

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and the resulting flood water are dangerous.

Do you know how dangerous flood water can be? A depth of 6 inches can sweep you away, and a depth of 12 inches can sweep your car away. Floods are fast-moving and aggressive, and if you didn’t heed the warnings to evacuate, then you need to know how to stay safe not just during the flood but after.

1. Staying Safe During

During a flood, you should stay in a safe location, and it is best to discuss this location with others so that when/if you need to be rescued your family can give first responders the most accurate information. Your safe place should be an elevated location. If you choose your house, do not go into the enclosed attic. The level you want should have numerous exit points so that the rising waters do not trap you. Additionally, when the flood begins, stay at your designated location. Do not attempt to leave, unless absolutely necessary because you could be at risk of drowning. Essentially, staying safe during a flood comes down to remaining calm and trying to stay above the rising water.

2. Staying Safe After

Standing flood water can be potentially hazardous. Not only do possible downed power lines present the risk of electrocution, but the water itself may also be contaminated from sewage and other debris. While a building was your sanctuary during the flood, a flooded building now presents serious health risks. If it is not possible to stay in a dry area, it may be wise to wear heavy gloves and boots to prevent contact with any potentially hazardous materials, but it is best to avoid contact if possible. When the time comes, you can seek out restoration specialists in the Olathe, KS, area to restore your home from any lasting water damage and to help with any hazardous cleanup.

Flooding and the resulting flood water are dangerous. It is never wise to ignore a call to evacuate, but it is not always possible to leave. When you must stay behind, it is essential to find high ground and avoid contact with contaminated materials. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/.

The Fundamentals of Black Mold

9/9/2018 (Permalink)

Black mold spreads really quickly in ideal conditions.

Black mold, a potential threat to your home’s structure, can be visible or out of sight. Stachybotrys chartarum, as it is also known, can be remedied if you know what to look for and where to look. By understanding the fundamentals of this mold, you can protect your Olathe, KS, home from damage.

Where Mold Grows

Mold needs a location that provides it with ample food and moisture. Wood, paper, cardboard and drywall are materials where it thrives, but it can make its home anywhere with its desired conditions. There are several typical household locations for mold:

• Bathrooms
• Sinks
• Kitchens
• Basements
• Crawl spaces

As you can tell, it is most likely to be found in damp and warm places. During times of high humidity or after flooding, it’s worthwhile to look for any growth in these high-risk locations.

Identifying the Mold

Despite its name, black mold may be a dark green color early in its life. Immature mold also is so small that it looks like some dirt on a wall or floor. If left to mature, it turns into the distinguishing black color.

While the fungus may be noticeable around the home, it could also be hidden away inside of walls. Stachybotrys chartarum often gives off a musty smell that can be used as an alert that it is somewhere in the room. This unseen mold threatens your home’s framework while it deteriorates drywall, so it should not be ignored because it’s out of sight.

Stopping the Mold

If you locate or suspect a fungus, mold cleanup services can fully treat the problem. Mold can be indicative of a water problem that needs the professional tools of a water and mold damage specialist. Mold remediation stops further growth by denying its sources of life.

Black mold spreads really quickly in ideal conditions. By treating it early enough, your home is protected from a localized problem becoming a household nuisance. Understanding the fundamentals of this mold and others, you know when you need to act. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/.

How to Avoid Additional Damage After a Commercial Fire

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

If your Olathe, KS business recently endured a fire, you likely have a lengthy fire cleanup project ahead of you. In addition to internal destruction, your building’s external infrastructure may have also sustained damage. Because the cleanup and restoration process can take time, you may need to take steps to protect your business’s internal components from additional damage in the interim.
Roof Damage
As firefighters battled the blaze inside your building, they may have cut a large hole in the roof to aid their efforts. Cutting holes helps clear heat and smoke from burning buildings, creating a safer environment for the fire-fighting team. So even if the fire didn’t directly damage your roof, you will likely need to add a roof repair to your building’s restoration requirements.
Temporary Roof Protection
While your roof is exposed, your office space is vulnerable to additional damage from rain, snow, other weather elements and intrusion from animals. To protect your internal assets, you will need to shield your roof with a temporary cover. A variety of temporary roofing materials are available:
• Self-adhesive tarps
• Non-adhesive tarps or thick plastic that you can secure with lumber and felt roofing nails
• Commercial-grade shrink wrap
If you choose to use the shrink wrap method, you may wish to consult a professional for assistance to ensure proper application. A fire cleanup and restoration company can also provide a professional tarp service, which may be particularly beneficial if the roof sustained significant damage.
Boarding Broken Windows
In addition to the roof, your building’s windows may have also been damaged during the fire. To prevent both unauthorized entry into your building and injuries due to broken glass, you will need to board all broken and exposed windows until they can be properly repaired or replaced.
A Work in Progress
The duration of the fire cleanup process depends on several factors, including the severity of the fire and the resulting destruction. Applying a temporary roof cover and boarding broken windows can offer peace of mind that your internal assets will be safe from additional damage while the restoration process unfolds. Visit http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/ for more information on fire damage. 

4 Steps of Commercial Roof Damage Restoration

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water dripping from the ceiling of your Olathe, KS business property is not a welcome sight. You likely have a damaged roof that’s letting water infiltrate the premise. To treat the problem of a roof leak, these four steps are commonly followed.

1. Trace the Source of Water

The first step is to find out if the water is due to a roof problem such as missing shingles. It could also potentially come from a pipe leak or the building’s HVAC system, so they require inspection. Once the possibilities other than a damaged roof are eliminated, roof repairs can commence.

2. Repair the Leak and Disinfect the Area

After the leak is located, it should be patched up to prevent any further water damage to the property. With the cause of water is under control, the area is disinfected to prevent potential water deterioration leading to a more difficult cleanup.

3. Repair Building Materials Damaged by Water

Drywall is a spongey material that soaks up water. Depending on the severity of roof leak and level of damage, lesser drywall damage may be able to be scraped off instead of replaced.

If the water damage is significant, drying using fans and dehumidifiers is the next step. This will attempt to remove the water from the materials to see if they can be saved from declining. Untreated wet drywall deforms into a different shape and will likely crumble with pressure.

4. Replace Any Unrepairable Foundation

In the most severe cases, water-damaged materials will unfortunately need to be torn out and replaced. If any drywall is affected, this requires additional time since it needs a new primer and coat of paint after being replaced. Once the replacements are done, the ceiling is finally restored to how it looked and operated in its undamaged state.

A roof leak and its associated water damage can be mitigated when using proper procedure, regardless if it’s done by you, your company or a professional commercial water cleanup service. Verifying that these steps are followed ensures that the process is thorough and proper. Visit http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/ for more information on commercial services. 

Can Valuable Items Be Saved After Water Damage?

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Your home is full of memories, heirlooms and belongings. When you discover water in home in Olathe, KS you're not only worried about the home itself. Your mind may also start to wonder if the residential cleanup crew can help you save your valuable belongings.

Unfortunately, the professionals may not be able to give you an easy yes or no answer. Often, whether an item can be saved depends on the amount of water damage, the material type and many other factors. Some belongings can be saved by following certain steps.

1. Cleaning: Most water that fills a home has some level of dirt and debris in it. Even floods from a broken pipe can introduce dirt and silt to the environment of your house. The items need to be cleaned with fresh water to ensure the debris is not embedded into the object.
2. Drying: Once the initial cleaning has been done, the valuable has to be dried out. Depending on the material, you can hang dry items or use a dryer. Because the machine can cause rapid heating, it may be best to line dry most items. If the belonging is particularly fragile, you may need to use dry cleaning to remove dirt.
3. Repairing: Some items may be damaged when there is water in home. The damage can be done during the flooding or the cleaning process. Your valuables may need to be repaired before they can officially be saved. Each piece of the item should be dried and cleaned prior to the repair job.

If you want any of your valuables to be salvaged after you found water in home, you need to turn to the help of a professional as soon as possible. Wet items can have increased fragility, which can cause more damage when you try to handle the item. An expert will have the tools and equipment needed to carefully clean, dry and repair damaged valuables. Visit http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/ for more information on water damage. 

Flood Gates Opened

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

After demo in a church classroom so that we could begin drying

After a pipe in the sanctuary busted in the ceiling, this Lenexa church was covered in water that sat for about 24 hours before anyone knew.

Upon arriving, our crews got to work immediately. The steps in controlling large amounts of water are:

1. Stop the source

2. Extract all standing water

3. Remove all of the wet material (drywall, flooring, contents)

4. Set drying equipment

5. Monitor to ensure proper drying (typically 3-5 days)

With large losses, sometimes they require more specialized equipment but you need not worry, we have access to all of the equipment that we could ever need. There is no loss that is too large for our team of professionals. Call SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa today for all of your water cleanup needs at (913) 782-4693. We are available 24/7/365. 

How do I Prevent Frozen Pipes?

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

Winter storms are often a problem for homes in Olathe, KS. Here are some tips on how to prevent having frozen pipes this winter.

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

How to Protect Pipes From Freezing

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.

  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Electrical & Lighting Fires

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.

SERVPRO Of Olathe / Lenexa has a series of safety tips that can help keep your home safe from fires.

Safety tips:

  • Don't overload outlets or electrical cords.
  • Make sure you have the right cord for the job; inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
  • Don't leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
  • Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home's wiring.

If your home suffers a fire your can count on us to make it "Like it never even happened."

Dryers & Washing Machine Fires

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

One of the most common fire restoration situations SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa services is a dryer or washing machine fire. Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage.

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don't run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren't any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.

Remember these safety tips to keep from having to give us a call in the case of fire.

Seal Your Home Before the Rains Start

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

When the rain starts your home is supposed to keep yourself and your belongings dry. However, some moisture can get in if your home has not been maintained or checked for broken seals.

What to do if you are experiencing moisture in your home:

  • Re-caulk windows seals
  • Re-caulk door seals
  • Consider adding overhangs to doors and windows
  • Check for missing shingles on the roof
  • Metal roofs are expensive but last longer than 30year shingles

Doing or considering adding fixtures to your home will keep the moisture out, and it may even add beauty and equity to your home.

At SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa, we take pride in our fast and effective response team, dedicated to getting you back up and running as soon as possible. Contact us at 913.782.4693 for rapid response and service!

How do you keep mold from growing?

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is in every home without fail because they are microscopic and found everywhere. Each year billions of mold spores are produced in the fall from the decaying leaves and extra moisture. The mold spores will enter your home through the air currents and even your pets. There is no way of assuring that mold does not get in your home. However, we can prevent the spores from growing.

Controlling the Water Controls the Mold

You cannot see mold spores unless you have a microscope but there are times when they are visible. These times are the most worrisome for a homeowner. Seeing mold after a broken pipe or toilet overflow is normal because mold needs water to begin growth. Mold will start to grow on anything organic once moisture is introduced and usually only takes between 24 to 48 house. Visible mold growth will look like little discolored spots at first and then grow to be large fuzzy colonies.

Why should a remediation company need a certification?

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

Having mold does not mean you have to burn your house down. SERVPRO of Olathe has a lot experience with mold damage cleanup. We are a certified mold cleanup company with certification from the IICRC.

Why should a remediation company need a certification?

There is no federal guidelines for mold remediation in private homes. The concern is only for the technicians who remediate mold. In order to keep homeowners and technicians safe an organization, called the IICRC, created a course and certification process for mold remediation companies to learn how to remove mold correctly. Their certifications became the industry standard after major insurance companies required IICRC training.

SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa is a certified mold remediation company. Our technicians receive IICRC certifications and yearly ongoing training to stay certified. Count on us to clean your home right the first time if it has mold damage.

Your Guide To Quickly and Effectively Cleaning Up Post-Flood

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

A flood can wreak havoc on your home's structure, belongings, and even your home's environment, as the water can carry contaminants and mud. For this reason, it is imperative that you begin content cleaning efforts as soon as the waters recede, or as soon as the influx of water has stopped. The more time you take to begin cleanup efforts, the greater the chance that your home and belongings will experience irreversible damage.

Floods can damage everything from carpeting to furniture and from your home's ductwork to its HVAC system. If you want to minimize damage and restore your home to normal, there are particular areas to which you must pay attention:

• Ceilings and walls
• Electrical systems
• Heating and cooling systems
• Appliances
• Carpeting, vinyl and wood floors
• Sewage systems


Content Cleaning Tips.


Though the majority of flood cleanup should be left to the professionals (especially if gray or black water is involved), there are a few steps you can take before your local Olathe, KS, water restoration team shows up. First, contact your insurance company. If your homeowners' insurance policy covers the damage, an adjuster will be in contact with you.

Once you've made the necessary phone calls, begin to shovel mud out of your home. If a garden hose reaches the flooded area, you can use the hose to spray mud away. Once the mud is gone, start sanitizing. Scrub surfaces with hot water and a heavy-duty cleaner. Soak belongings that can be soaked in a mixture of hot water and chlorine bleach. If the items in question are metal, such as silverware or pots and pans, simply let them sit in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Take any rugs and furniture outside to air dry and use a dehumidifier and fans to remove moisture from the air. You can also begin to toss smaller, contaminated items, such as toys, stuffed animals, and food.

Ideally, you should leave the deep content cleaning to the professionals, as professional flood restoration teams know what is salvageable and what is not. Moreover, experts have the necessary safety equipment to restore your home to a pre-flood condition.

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

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)

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 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)

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.

SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa Contents Restoration

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa's storage facility where we clean and store contents.

Did you know that SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa is one of the nation's largest contents restoration companies? When we started our company 21 years ago, restoring contents after a fire or water damage became a cornerstone of our business.  Today, we have grown to be not only one of the largest in the nation, but we are the premier contents restoration company in our local Kansas City area. Our team of empathetic, trustworthy professionals have the necessary training our customers expect when it comes to handling their personal property after a catastrophic loss.  A "Here to Help" mentality combined with our state of the art facility right here in town, SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa is ready to assist you during what is likely a very chaotic time.

A recent customer of ours had this to say:  "I know that nothing can prepare anyone for a fire or disaster to your home. But if we had to choose this experience to survive, Matt and Brenden would have to be in our lifeboat...they were amazing.  It is this kindness and true human compassion that makes your team different.  We are forever changed by this experience but more so by the new friends we have made."

April Showers Bring May Flowers and More...

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

April showers bring May flowers and more...

April showers help to bring us the most vibrant May flowers and we are so happy with this change of season. However, when April showers are more like torrential, relentless downpours we could face a flooded basement and other water damage causing costly repairs. Flooding generally occurs in the springtime as the result of heavy rains that cannot be adequately absorbed by the still thawing earth. Particularly formidable are the flash floods resulting from thunderstorms, swiftly melting snow and ice jams in creeks. Consider if more than one of these circumstances happens at the same time, you have the potential for a catastrophe with flooding waters and raging mudslides.

Homeowners you can take some simple precautions to secure your property and keep your possessions safe.

Elevate: Keep your furnace, water heater, electrical panels above predicted water levels to protect yourself from costly home replacements.

Install check valves: These valves close to prevent the backward flow of liquid and prevent water from backing up into the drains in your home.

Build barriers: Use sandbags to create flood walls to prevent or reduce flow of water into your home.

Waterproof the basement: Use a waterproofing compound to seal the walls of your basement.

Clean: Clean gutters, drains and downspouts for proper water flow.

Purchase flood insurance: Most standard homeowners' and business insurance policies unfortunately do no cover flood damage. In the event of a flood, you would be responsible for covering the full cost of repairs and replacing items damaged.

There is help close by should you experience an unfortunate event with your home or business. Contact SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa at 913.782.4693. We are trained storm specialists who will come in and quickly get your home or business back to a safe and healthy environment. We have the specific training and certifications to handle your restoration needs provided by an Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist, a Water Damage Restoration Technician, and an Applied Structural Drying Technician. We provide emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.

Preventing Spring Shower Disasters in Olathe, KS

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

Rain hitting the roof can cause worn out shingles.

While we know April showers bring May flowers, it’s also apparent that April showers bring water damage to homes — which nobody wants. In an effort to make sure that this water doesn’t damage your home, it’s important to do what you can to prevent it. Below are a few ways you can prevent a spring shower disaster at home and avoid water damage.

Check Your Roofing!

One of the first things to do when you notice a ton of rain is to check the first place it hits --your roof! If you’ve got old or worn out shingles from the winter, they might be giving way to rain which can lead to water damage. Make sure to have this checked (and especially near your chimney) before anything to ensure no damage occurs.

Your Foundation Matters

An older house can sustain cracks in the foundation or sinking ground, which can also lead to pooling and damaging water. To prevent sustaining water damage from any of these, make sure you’re checking your home for signs such as puddles, leaks, moisture on the walls, windows and more.

Sealing Your Home

As rain pours onto your home, moisture can get into your home which can cause water damage and even mold growth. If you’re experiencing this in your own home, it might be a good idea to re-caulk windows and door seals before it becomes a costly issue. Unfortunately, water is usually unforgiving and shows no mercy once it’s entered your home.

There are sometimes emergency situations that cannot be avoided, even with proper care. If your home or business has experienced water damage this Spring, there’s only one company who can quickly and effectively restore the area. With SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa, we take pride in our fast and effective response team, dedicated to getting you back up and running as soon as possible. Contact us at 913.782.4693 for rapid response and service!

SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa Sponsors the Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

Come out and cheer on the runners at the 16th Annual Garmin Marathon this Saturday April 21st. Members from our SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa team will be volunteering in various areas of the event, and we will have a sponsorship tent on-site. Stop by to visit with our crew and learn about how SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa has grown to be the premier fire and water damage cleanup company in our area! While you're there, pick-up a noise maker to cheer on your runner!  The marathon is managed and organized by the Olathe Sports Commission, which is a division of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce. A portion of the proceeds from the marathon will go toward the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund, which makes a positive difference in the lives of Olathe children, and families, giving them hope for a brighter tomorrow. 

Learn more about the marathon at www.ozrun.org ... we hope to see you out there!

About SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa

SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

What Should You Do When Your Building Is Contaminated With Black Water?

1/11/2018 (Permalink)

Not all water damage is created equal, and the remediation steps you take all depend of the original source of the water that flooded your Olathe / Lenexa building. Clean water is precisely what it sounds like: water that does not pose any immediate health threats and that comes from broken water lines, toilet holding tanks, rainfall and snow melt. If not treated in time, clean water can become gray water, which is water that does contain some contaminants. Gray water can include discharge from showers, sinks, aquariums, water beds and dishwashers. Then there is black water, or floodwater. 

What Is Black water?

The water that enters a building during a sewer back up usually contains dozens of harmful contaminants, which is why it is so important to work with a professional water remediation team after an incident. Black water usually contains soil, feces, pesticides and other contaminants, natural or not. It can also contain sewage runoff, which may be contaminated by bacteria, molds, fungi, protozoans and viruses. 

Contamination can occur anytime, both during the flooding incident and afterwards. For this reason, it is imperative to your health and the health of all your employees and customers that you work with a professional water remediation team after a flood. 

Why Work With a SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa Water Remediation Team?

Water damage is one of many major concerns after your building floods. We will do everything possible to restore your building to its pre-flood condition, our main goal will be to free your building of any remaining contaminants. Don’t attempt to clean up post-flood on your own; instead, call us at 913.782.4693.

Why we use HEPA filters for Mold Remediation

1/11/2018 (Permalink)

HEPA filter tanks

When doing different types of restoration work SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa will put in place what we call air scrubbers. These air scrubbers are HEPA(High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter units that collect air borne particles that their size is 300 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. To a HEPA filter, catching a one-micron particle is like stopping a cotton ball with a door screen.  When doing mold remediation we use these air scrubbers but we also will use HEPA vacuums to clean surfaces and trap the particles. 

HEPA filters were invented during World War II to remove and capture radio active dust particles that would present a health hazard to researchers. It was invented to protect the human respiratory system. HEPA filters are the top form of air filtration.

Olathe/Lenexa Commercial Water Loss

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Any water loss to a commercial building can be critical to a business's productivity. SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa’s main goal when dealing with a commercial water loss is to get the situation taken care of as quickly as possible so that your business can resume all normal activities.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa a call at 913.782.4693 and we will be there fast with the help you need.

TIS THE SEASON FOR BROKEN WATER PIPES

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen broken water pipe

This time of year, is the time of year to make sure you prepare your home and business for the cold weather ahead of all of us.  We see frozen water pipes break every year in both residential structures and commercial buildings. 

One of the most memorable losses occurred in a hotel that did not repair the heater in a stairwell and the sprinkler pipe broke on the 3rd floor inside of the room adjacent to the stairwell.  The pipe ran for only a short period of time, but the damages were quite large.  The water affected 12 rooms and 3 hallways plus the stairwell. This loss could have been prevented if preventative maintenance would have been completed.  We see this every year in both residential and commercial buildings.  Below are some suggestions for protecting pipes, preventing breaks, and thawing pipes if they do freeze.

If your pipes do freeze and cause damage to your home or business, STAY CALM AND CALL SERVPRO SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa, we can make it “Like it never even happened.®”  

For immediate service in Olathe / Lenexa call SERVPRO of Olathe/ Lenexa

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa 913-782-4693 Here to Help

SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Johnson County. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 913-782-4693

Residential Services

Whether your Olathe / Lenexa home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Olathe / Lenexa commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business.

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

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