How To Reduce Flood Damage to Your Company
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There is never a good time to deal with flood damage in Leawood, KS. Different types of flooding include burst pipes, flash floods, and sewage backup. They can be hard to prepare for and even harder to predict. Here are a few tips to ensure that you are doing the most you can to protect your property from disaster.
Sometimes you won't have time to prepare your business before a storm hits. If your property experiences flooding, remember not to panic. You can avoid most of the damage with these steps:
- Stop the flow of water and turn off circuit breakers to reduce risk of injury.
- Call your storm damage restoration company immediately.
- Remove small furniture items, books, papers, and breakables to a higher floor or a dry room.
- Put cinder wood blocks under the legs of furniture to raise them above water level.
- Lift all cushions, rugs, drapes and other fabric items away from water, and set them outside to dry if needed.
- Place sandbags around doors and windows to divert running water and soak up standing water.
Prepare for the Worst
While the forecast can be erratic, one of the best ways to avoid heavy damage is to be prepared before a storm descends. Perform routine maintenance on the building to prevent water from pooling in areas. Make sure to clean out storm drains and patch holes in parking lots. Regularly inspect doors, windows and drains, and bring them up to code.
Keep an Updated Flood Action Plan
Having a flood action plan can help you get your business running right after a disaster. Keep yourself and your employees updated on weather forecasts and storm warnings. Have the numbers of insurance providers and emergency services in one place. Make an evacuation plan and perform drills regularly. Know how to locate all utility taps and circuit breakers and how to safely shut them off in case of a flood.
When you have a well-constructed plan, you will feel much better about handling a disaster such as flooding. Just because the weather can be unpredictable doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared.
Three Ways a Restoration Company Can Assist Adjusters
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An insurance adjuster often serves as a go-between for homeowners and insurance companies, providing both parties with information about the damage that has occurred. A restoration company can often help adjusters and homeowners throughout the process of restoring damaged homes in Prairie Village, KS.
1. Share Important Information
When a disaster occurs, communication between homeowners, adjusters and the restoration professionals is often essential A restoration company can provide adjusters and homeowners alike with relevant information about the approximate costs of restoring the affected areas and can also suggest a variety of solutions. Armed with helpful information about the state of the home and potential fixes, adjusters and homeowners can make informed decisions as they move forward in the claims process.
2. Quicken the Process of Making a Claim
The quality of a restoration company can greatly impact the time it takes to make an insurance claim. If a company takes a long time to begin assessing a home, this can increase the amount of time it will take for a claim to be made. Alternatively, a restoration company that is able to respond to a disaster in a timely manner can present findings to the insurance adjuster and homeowners, therefore allowing a claim to be made quickly and ensuring restoration can begin quickly as well.
3. Lessen the Costs of Claims
Whether a home has been impacted by a fire, mold growth or flooding, leaving a damaged home untouched can be a costly decision. Within hours of a disaster occurring, items within a home can become badly damaged, and the structure of a damaged home can become impacted soon after a disaster as well, ultimately increasing the cost of the claim. An experienced restoration company can often lower the cost of the claim by mitigating damage to personal belongings and to the structure of a home.
An insurance adjuster and homeowners can benefit from choosing a reliable restoration company after a home is affected by a disaster. SERVPRO can share important information with adjusters and homeowners and can make the claims process quicker and less costly.
Three Reasons to Hire Water Damage Experts
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Certified companies that specialize in water cleanup are likely to hold an Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a Commercial Structure Drying credential, or a Mold Remediation certification.
The standards for these credentials are set by experts in human health and structural restoration. Here are three reasons why you should hire a certified water damage expert if you experience a broken pipe, leaky roof, or sewer flooding.
Insurance companies are more likely to cover the costs of certified commercial restoration. Insurance companies typically trust certified professionals to perform water cleanup and damage repair work more quickly and with greater success than services without up-to-date cleaning and restoration certifications.
Certified companies are also more likely to guarantee their work.
Certified experts can work efficiently after water damage. Every second counts when you are dealing with water damage. Regardless of the source of the leak, it is important to remove standing water and to clean, dry, and dehumidify the parts of a commercial property affected by a leak as quickly as possible. Significant damage can occur and mold may begin to develop in 24 to 48 hours if experts do not complete drying and cleaning procedures.
Less secondary damage occurs when certified experts follow best restoration practices. Just as mold is less likely to develop if the affected area is quickly dried and cleaned, the extent of water damage to building materials or content may be less severe if experts arrive on the scene in a timely manner.
If your commercial property in Overland Park, KS, has experienced water damage, you should call a certified water damage restoration service to schedule water cleanup as soon as possible. Check the website of the service you are thinking about hiring or contact the company by phone to find out which cleaning and restoration certifications it holds.
4 Steps to Make A Water Damage Claim
Filing An Insurance Claim
A water damage claim is more likely to be approved if a policyholder takes measures to document damage and gather important information. These four steps will guide a homeowner through the process of filing an insurance claim.
1. Review the Policy
It is important to know what a homeowner's insurance policy does and does not cover. Keep in mind that standard home insurance policies only cover water damage due to a pipe burst or leak. An endorsement is usually necessary for sewer backup coverage, and an additional flood policy is needed for damage caused by heavy rains or rising bodies of water.
2. Call Your Agent
Call your insurance agent and let them know about the extent of the damage. It is a good idea to determine whether it is likely that you will file a claim before calling. If the damage is minor and you want to avoid a rate increase, you may want to obtain an estimate from a mitigation service first and pay out of pocket. Some insurance companies require agents and adjusters to report potential claims.
3. Document the Damage
If you plan to file an insurance claim, you will need proof of damage. Capture the extent of the damage in photos or on video. This documentation may be even more useful if you also have dated footage of the residence before the damage took place. It is also useful to gather receipts, dates of purchase, and the prices of damaged contents.
4. Get an Estimate
Contact a water damage cleanup company to obtain an estimate of the total cost of mitigation and restoration. Providing this information to an adjuster can expedite the filing process.
These steps will guide you from determining what your policy will cover to filing an insurance claim. Obtain an estimate from a water damage mitigation and restoration company in Leawood, KS.
Why Water Is Disastrous for Electronics
Why Water Is Disastrous for Electronics
Thriving businesses in Overland Park, KS, revolve around the use of electronics. You can imagine the panic that ensues when such valuable equipment is confronted with water. Most know that flooded electronics are difficult to revive, though you may wonder why.
What’s Inside Matters
There are many intricate pieces that make up the technology in a workplace; flooded electronics are not usually destroyed as a whole unit, but segment by segment. A variety of components can suffer irreparable damage when they become wet:
- Outlet and junction boxes or fittings
- Cables specified for dry locations
- Power equipment such as meters or override relays
- Devices in place to protect against surges
- Parts used for electrical distribution, such as switches, fuses, breakers, or mylar wrapping
- Equipment used for motor control, such as transistors and semiconductors
- Any parts meant to work without interruption
These interior components are designed to make things go. When water permeates through protective barriers, it causes instant degradation to the working parts of a device, particularly pieces made of metallic conductor materials. Such elements need more than a chance to dry off; they need to be returned to their original condition, which is often impossible after electronic damage occurs.
Water Opens the Door to More Trouble
As if water doesn’t cause enough trouble on its own, it often ushers in debris, mold and rust to wreak additional havoc. While some electronics stand a chance after exposure to clean water, nearly all devices are vulnerable to contaminated water carrying dirt, oil, or mixed particles. Once microscopic intruders break through the protective shells of office equipment, they settle and become impossible to remove, rendering devices unusable. In addition, the slightest amount of moisture can lead to the spread of fungus or oxidation leading to rust.
Rescuing flooded electronics from water is a sensitive endeavor, and far more complicated than drying dishes in the kitchen sink. Many devices—from cell phones, computers, and printers to standard heating and cooling appliances—are essential to getting work done in a commercial environment. For that reason, it's always wise to contact a water damage repair company for assistance.
3 Things to Consider When Buying An Extinguisher
Three Things to Think About When Purchasing an Extinguisher
Having a fire extinguisher in your Prairie Village, KS, home can help you stop a house fire from becoming a disaster. To best protect your home, you need to buy the right extinguisher for the space. You can turn to a residential fire damage professional and this guide to help you choose the best product for your needs.
1. Where Will It Be Used?
Are you going to put the extinguisher in your garage, kitchen, or laundry room? Believe it or not, the location of your extinguisher should actually dictate what product you buy. In the garage, for example, you may want a larger model because the home fire may grow before you notice it in this space. On the other hand, you may be able to use a smaller model in the kitchen where you'll typically spot fires before they grow out of hand.
2. What Kind of Flames Will It Fight?
Did you know that a fire extinguisher may be designed to fight a certain kind of flame? This safety equipment often comes labeled as A, B, or C. The A category works well against common combustibles, including cloth, wood, and paper. B extinguishers are often designed to tackle fires caused by cooking oils, gasoline, or other liquids. The C products may help with electric fires. As you purchase your tool, you need to think about the kind of fires that may take place in the room you want to keep it in.
3. How Easy Is It To Use?
Will anyone be able to use the extinguisher? A big part of fire preparedness is making sure everyone in your home can tackle an emergency situation. Purchasing an extinguisher that has an easy-to-use hose may make it easier for anyone in your family to dampen flames. It may be a good idea for you to include a how-to demonstration during your next family fire drill.
Having at least one fire extinguisher in your home is a great safety practice. Getting the best product for your space can increase the safety tool's usefulness.
3 Times Fires Aren't Covered by Insurance
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.
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
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
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
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.