Recent Posts

3 Times Fires Aren't Covered by Insurance

11/19/2022 (Permalink)

Insurance Doesn't Always Cover Fires

If you have experienced a home fire in your Overland Park, KS, home or want to be prepared if one should ever occur, you may be wondering if there are fires that are never covered by insurance. As a matter of fact, there are three types of fires that are not going to be covered by an insurance company to compensate for damage. Read on to learn what these types are.


1. Insurance Fraud

If you attempt to make a claim on a fire that was set deliberately to get insurance money for the incident, your insurance company will not cover it. An adjuster will thoroughly inspect your property for any suspicious evidence.

2. Arson

Insurance fraud as mentioned above is one kind of arson. A home fire that is purposely set either for a specific reason or due to a homeowner’s fascination with flames would fit this description. An insurance company will immediately deny coverage if anything the adjuster finds indicates foul play. Always take the high road and do not set a fire for unethical reasons.

3. Vacant Home

A vacant home fire will not be covered by your homeowner's insurance. Generally speaking, if an insurance provider can prove that your home was vacant at the time of the fire and for 30 days prior to the occurrence, your claim will be denied.

A home fire cannot always be avoided; accidents happen. If your fire was completely unintentional and your home was occupied when it occurred, your claim should meet your policy’s coverage terms. It is still a good idea to check your policy documents and call your home insurance agent to make sure that you understand what types of coverage you have and what types you do not. He or she will also be able to explain the claims process and set you up for better success when seeking financial help for your loss.

Chemical Versus Non-chemical Drain Cleaners

11/19/2022 (Permalink)

When showering results in an unintended bath or your sink looks like a pond in Prairie Village, KS, it is fairly safe to assume that you have a clogged drain. Should you choose a chemical drain cleaner? What are the other options?

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Advertisements for drain and sewage cleaning lead consumers to believe that using chemicals to dissolve a clogged drain is best. However, this may not always be the case.

• Cleaners use acid, oxidizing, or caustic chemicals to create heat, which in turn breaks down the built-up materials. Once the clog has weakened, the materials such as hair, fats, oils, and grease are flushed down the pipe.
• There are negatives to using these types of cleaners. First, the clog may get stuck further down risking a burst pipe and the need for a professional water restoration company. Second, chemicals are harmful to both the environment and people if touched or inhaled. Third, these cleaners can damage pipes especially if the pipes are old, plastic, or completely blocked.

Non-Chemical Drain Cleaners

When confronted with a slow-moving or blocked drain, there are safer yet efficient alternatives to consider.

• Mechanical options include a plunger or auger, commonly referred to as a snake, to unclog the problematic area. Using a snake is a fast-acting choice that results in the clog being pulled out of the drain completely or effectively pushed through.
• A biological option is an environmentally friendly enzymatic cleaner. This works best for shower clogs mainly consisting of hair, soap, and grease. The bacteria and enzymes typically dissolve the organic clog over the course of about 24 hours.

There is more than one method to deal with a clogged drain at your home in Prairie Village, KS. While a chemical cleaner may clear the clog, there are downfalls to using such a product. Homeowners may wish to consider more environmentally friendly mechanical or biological techniques instead. If none of these work, contact a professional.

Weather and Your Business: Understanding that Flooding May be the Least of Your Concerns

11/11/2022 (Permalink)

Weather and Your Business

Many building owners worry about flood damage, but a flood is not the only problem caused by storms. Storms produce a variety of elements that can be equally unfavorable to a property, and as a property owner or manager, you may want to be aware of each.

1. Water Damage

Floodwaters are only one type of water damage, and it is not the most common. Most damage stems from persistent leaks or holes in your roofline. These issues cause significant loss to occur over time. Leaks can cause the sagging of ceilings, rotting out of joists, and even the spread of molds and mildews. Additionally, while not necessarily storm-related, persistent leaks from pipes can cause the pipe to corrode and fail, resulting in a flood.

2. Hail Damage

While flood damage can be a threat, hail damage may pose a more imminent concern. Hail occurs when temperatures allow for rain to develop into large chunks of ice, sometimes resulting in baseball size masses. These pieces of ice can cause significant property damage, from broken windows to holes in your roofline. Inspecting your property after a hail storm should be a top priority.

3. Wind Damage

The most common cause of storm damage is the wind. Wind damage can peel back siding and roofing shingles, and it can launch random debris, like sticks and lawn ornament, making them volatile projectiles. Property managers should keep employees and clients clear of windows in high-wind situations.

4. Renovating the Damage

It may be wise for property owners to plan ahead. Some restoration companies in Leawood, KS, provide an emergency planning service for businesses. This service may include an initial analysis of your property and a customized plan for restoration and recovery in the event of a disaster.

Flood damage may be a concern for a property owner or manager, but storms can produce hail and high winds that can equally damage property. Water damage is the most common cause of property damage, but even that is not only caused by flooding.

How To Rid Your Home of Smoke Smells

10/28/2022 (Permalink)

How to Get Rid of Smoke Odors in Your Home

After a fire, your home will need some serious smoke cleaning to repair the damage. With a smell that intense, simply opening up the windows isn’t going to suffice. Professional odor remediation specialists in Overland Park, KS, can eliminate smoke odor in your home through the use of special techniques and equipment. Here are three examples of these techniques.

1. Air Filtration Devices

The most basic machine the professionals use is an industrial-strength version of the air purifiers you can buy at the store. An air filtration device with an activated carbon filter works by trapping odor molecules in the filter as the air flows through it. When these gases cannot escape, they deteriorate rapidly. The odor in the room is eventually neutralized.

2. Thermal Foggers

Thermal foggers use heat and deodorizing chemicals for the smoke cleaning process. They simulate the conditions that were present in the fire (i.e., heat and air pressure). Porous surfaces react to these conditions and absorb the deodorizers, just like they absorbed the smoke odor during the fire.

3. Ozone Machines

A third method for eliminating the smell of smoke in your home in Overland Park, KS, after a fire is through the use of ozone machines. Think of how the air smells outside right after it rains. The ozone machine mimics what nature does to purify the outside air. It produces molecules of ozone, also known as activated oxygen. The extra atom of oxygen in the ozone attaches to smoke particulates and breaks them down. After a while, the air smells fresh and clean because everything that was making it stink has been neutralized.

Smoke cleaning after a house fire involves more than just removing soot or smoke damage from the home or creating extra airflow. When you hire experts for odor remediation, they use equipment that actually eliminates the source of the smell so that it does not return.

The Most Effective Sandbag Alternatives

10/26/2022 (Permalink)

Sandbags can be heavy and messy to fill. Commercial property owners seeking more convenient ways to limit flood damage should consider one or more of the following sandbag alternatives.

Absorbent Materials

Some materials are designed to absorb fresh or flood water and act as barriers. Several styles for absorbent flood control are currently available:

  • Crystallized polymer
  • Powder-filled barriers
  • Self-inflating sand-less bags

These porous flood dams are intended for one-time use and should be disposed of after each flood event. All of these options are easier to deploy than sandbags.

Water-Filled Barriers

Filling a water barrier can be easier than filling a sandbag. There are several different styles of water-filled barriers to choose from:

  • Baffle systems
  • Cofferdams
  • Modular blocks
  • Tube designs

These designs are available in a wide range of sizes. Unlike some flood control materials with fillers that become contaminated, these barriers can be reused multiple times.

Self-Stabilizing Barriers

Self-stabilizing barriers are easy to use to keep flood waters away from a structure. Some of these options are better suited for blocking entrances or windows, while others can be set up in longer runs to keep flood water out of a larger area. Most of these designs can be reused many times.

Levee Machines

Machines are also available to quickly fill bags with sand. The same materials used to make sandbags are needed, with the exception of a shovel. It will also be necessary to either hire or train a crew to safely use this machinery prior to a flood.

All of these sandbag alternatives are relatively easy to use. A property owner may want to invest in a reusable flood prevention solution to limit the amount of water that enters a commercial structure in Leawood, KS. If water breaches the barriers and causes damage, contact a flood damage mitigation and restoration company.

What To Do After a Fire: 3 Steps

10/13/2022 (Permalink)

What to Do After a Fire: Three Steps

Lining up a plan after your building has experienced fire can seem like an enormous burden. Setting aside time to deal with such a mess probably wasn't on your schedule, and it can be difficult to juggle the cleanup process alongside your own work. No matter how serious the situation is looking, fire restoration doesn't have to take over your life; instead, follow these steps to ensure everything gets back to normal.

1. Make the Calls

After emergency procedures have been set into motion, tasks that follow usually include a call to your insurance agency. Your fire insurance coverage will depend on your policy and the extent of the damage. You may also want to get in touch with a fire damage specialist who can give a thorough inspection of the building.

2. Steer Clear

A fire can affect the materials of your building in a number of ways, so it's important that you refrain from touching any of the damage prior to the smoke cleaning process. Boarding up the property is one way you can protect the interior from looters or extreme weather. Plywood is the most commonly used material to board up windows and doors after a fire.

3. Begin the Restoration

You may have already brought in the help of professionals to board up your building in Leawood, KS, but it's key that you get a proper cleanup as well. The pros will have the appropriate equipment to clean the fire effectively – so you won't have to deal with lingering smoke damage in the future. The same goes for any water damage that might have occurred.

When starting the fire restoration process, you're likely adding one more responsibility to your long line of daily work duties. Check off that box on the to-do list and hand the hard work over to the specialists.

How Accurate are Mold Testing Kits?

10/6/2022 (Permalink)

Mold Testing Kits: How Reliable Are They?

If you are curious whether mold is growing in your home, you may be considering a DIY mold test. It is possible to predict the outcome of one of these consumer mold tests without acquiring the kit or knowing anything about conditions in your residence. Mold spores are present in every home. This is why you should hire a certified environmental hygienist to perform mold testing and identify which type of mold is present in your home, as well as any risks.

• Home testing kits pick up various traces of mold present in your home. These kits are not as accurate as trained mold testers and may not reveal the extent of mold contamination.

• The presence of airborne mold particles is not as serious as actively growing mold colonies. Mold testing kits can return positive results for types of mold that are not at problematic levels or points in the growth cycle.

• The results of a DIY test are not as trustworthy as a professional mold test. Breathe easier knowing that the results of a professional test are more accurate than a home mold kit. Insurance companies also prefer to work with certified professionals.

• An environmental hygienist can give you definitive answers regarding mold in your home. A DIY test may heighten concerns without providing the information you need to resolve the issue. A hygienist can recommend containment and cleanup strategies.

Rather than wasting time and money on DIY testing, contact a certified mold remediation service in Prairie Village, KS. Experts can administer precise mold testing, provide detailed analysis, and identify the causes and effective cleanup methods. A consumer mold kit may seem more affordable in the short run, but you are likely to receive results that don't provide you with a clear plan of action and may end up costing more than an accurate professional diagnosis in the long run.

The Best Tips for Water Mitigation

10/6/2022 (Permalink)

When you have a leaking water heater, it doesn’t take long for your Overland Park, KS, home to go from high and dry to a soggy mess. A failed water heater can come from many sources, but one thing is inevitable; once it goes south, it’s dragging your home down with it into the depths of a flooded house. So how do you handle the issues from a broken water heater?

Focus on Safety First

Unless you’re an expert plumber, installation technician, and electrician, you likely won’t have the skills to repair your hot water heater. Instead, you’ll need help from an outside specialist, but while you wait for help there are a number of things you can do to prevent further damage and ensure safety when dealing with a leaking water heater.

• Shut off the water. Prevent further leakage by shutting off water to the damaged hot water heater.

• Shut off the gas and/or electricity. Whether your hot water heater is gas or electric, damage can lead to a dangerous situation with the power source. Make sure to shut it off.

• Determine any electrical or other safety hazards. Water and home appliances often don’t mix, and it’s likely you have power outlets and/or appliances near your hot water heater. Make sure, before you enter the room, that there are no issues with standing water and exposed electrical outlets or cords. Use rubber gloves and make sure you’re grounded before touching any plugs or cords. Avoid stepping in standing water that may be in contact with electrical sources.

• Dry the area as thoroughly as possible. This should be done as quickly as possible to prevent water damage that can lead to waterlogged structures and black mold.

• Remove any waterlogged items. You may have to dispose of anything that’s been waterlogged enough to go sour or start to grow mildew or mold. One leaking water heater can lead to a host of other secondary damage issues.

 

3 Tips To Reduce the Risk of a Kitchen Fire

8/29/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire in Leawood, KS

Three Tips That Will Help You Avoid A Fire While Cooking

Kitchen fires are the most common cause of house fires. Here are three helpful tips to help homeowners and residents avoid starting a fire while cooking and minimize the risks associated with kitchen appliances such as the cooktop or range in a home kitchen located in Leawood, KS.


1. Always Monitor Cooking Food
It is easy to lose track of time when you step away from the stove or oven. For this reason, it is advisable to make an effort to stay in the kitchen or delegate this responsibility the entire time you are cooking over an open flame. If you must leave the room, always set a timer that you can hear anywhere, and be sure to check back frequently.


2. Be Careful With Hot Oil
One of the most damaging types of kitchen fires is a grease fire. Many types of hot cooking oil can catch fire independently between 750 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit with a flashpoint around 600 degrees. One of the most important tips for putting out grease fires is to try dousing these extra-hot blazes with baking soda or salt or depriving the flames of oxygen with a metal pan or lid rather than using an extinguisher, which may cause the fire to spread.


3. Check Cooktops and Ranges
Homeowners should make sure that no combustibles such as cookbooks, loose-leaf printed recipes, or towels are stored too close to the stove. If flames shoot up or start to spread, the severity of fire damage will rapidly escalate if flammable items are nearby.
These tips address the leading causes of kitchen fires. Always practice fire safety by avoiding overloading circuits and identifying exposed wiring that could start an electrical fire at a home in Leawood, KS. Taking fire safety precautions has the potential to reduce personal safety risks and minimize the severity of fire damage.

Do You Need Business Interruption Insurance?

8/20/2022 (Permalink)

Business interruption insurance protects a temporarily closed business.

As a business owner, you know that insurance can save you in extreme circumstances. Business interruption insurance is no different. It encompasses the costs associated with keeping your business afloat when trying to rebuild after an unexpected event. Find out if you need this type of insurance in Prairie Village, KS.

What Is Business Interruption Insurance?

Business interruption insurance protects a temporarily closed business. Most commercial property owners know that property insurance is a necessity, but have you considered the potential costs of a temporary shutdown? Also known as business income insurance, this type of coverage doesn't deal with the physical rebuild of your business. For this, you need a trustworthy damage remediation team.
However, it does help with inevitable financial issues to keep you afloat. Being forced to close due to a disaster event can impact the costs associated with running a company. Some of the aspects that business income insurance can help with include:

  • Employee pay
  • Property taxes
  • Loans
  • Property rental fees
  • Temporary relocation fees
  • Training on new equipment
  • Lost income

If your business comes to a halt, you won't be able to bring in as much income, if any. Based on your net income in previous months, this coverage can reimburse you, among other things.

What Should You Consider When Purchasing?
As with all insurance, there are aspects to consider before purchase. Before signing up, you should assess:

  • Budget constraints
  • Natural disaster probability
  • Age and reliability of structures
  • Ability to operate without a physical location

Of course, with digital innovations, some businesses can survive a bit better by moving things online. You need to consider how well your business can handle a disaster, and adjust accordingly.

How Much Does It Cost?
The price of business income insurance will vary depending on a variety of factors. Some of these are:

  • Size of business
  • Industry-related risks
  • Coverage limit selected

You can determine how much coverage you would need in the event of needing to close for a while. Have this at the ready when selecting business interruption insurance. However, this insurance can be a saving grace when times get tough.