Recent Posts

How To Find the Source of a Toilet Leak

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Find the Source of a Toilet Leak Toilet seal wax failure in Harrisonville, MO

Discovering a Toilet Leak

A toilet is a simple machine that homeowners in Harrisonville, MO, often take for granted. When you have a leaking toilet, however, you may become acutely aware of how disruptive this dysfunction may be to your daily life. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to discover where the leak originates and thus the next steps to fixing it.

Possible Causes

A bathroom leak is not something you want to ignore. It only takes a small amount of water to cause damage such as rot or mold under your floor tiles. If you notice water at the base of the toilet when you flush, it could have several causes:

  • Wax seal failure
  • Improper installation of seal
  • Faulty supply line
  • Cracked tank
  • Condensation on bowl

To determine which of these issues is causing the leak, dry off the area with a towel. Flush the leaking toilet again, and pay attention to where the water comes from. If it leaks out the bottom, you know the problem is with the way the toilet is fastened or sealed. If it leaks from the hose running from the wall or from the tank, you know the problem stems from that particular area.

Possible Solutions

When water is leaking from somewhere other than the base of the toilet, call a plumber to repair the source of the leak and water restoration specialists to assess and repair the damage it may have caused. You may be able to stop water from leaking at the base by simple tightening the bolts that secure it to the floor. If that doesn't fix it, you may need to remove the toilet and replace the wax seal to stop the leak.

A leaking toilet can throw off your day. Once you locate the problem, however, the solution may be fairly simple. Troubleshoot what you can, and call in the experts if the problem is too big or you need water damage remediation.

Recovering From a Mold Infestation: The Cleanout

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Recovering From a Mold Infestation: The Cleanout Mold infestation in a Belton, MO home

Mold Cleaning

Mold cleaning is an intensive job that requires patience and caution. However, beyond caution, the cleanout process can be devastating for homeowners because many sentimental items may be lost to the infestation. While it is true that some things are not salvageable for health reason, not all is lost. The extent of loss is mainly dependent on the material type and the scope of the damage.

1. Removing and Discarding Porous Items

Most likely, porous items will succumb to mold damage. While it is true that specialized cleaners exist, many fabrics are never completely clean, and many other items cannot sustain the rigorous cleaning required to salvage the items, making it more cost effective to discard the materials.

2. Salvaging Non-Porous and Sentimental Items

Mold cleaning is possible with non-porous items, though it requires special chemicals – some of which may depend on the mold species. In addition to cleaning non-porous items, sentimental items may be saved by contracting services and cleaners who are experts in mold remediation. That being said, experts in item repair and salvage may be costly.

3. Sterilizing Your Home

Once all the materials and items in the affected area have been sorted through, you will need to sterilize your home with powerful cleaners. While it is possible to clean your house on your own, depending on the mold species, it may be better to hire a professional service.

4. Rebuilding After the Cleanout

A mold remediation specialist in the Belton, MO, area will likely need to remove drywall and insulation to ensure that your home is free of mold, which means that you may require restoration work to make your home livable again. Thankfully, many remediation experts are part of larger restoration companies.

Mold cleaning is highly involved, and you will likely have to discard items that are sentimental. The cleanup process may have your home looking worse before it gets better. However, while it can be devastating, once restored, you will have peace of mind.

Insurance Companies Do Business With Vendors They Know and Trust

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Insurance Companies Do Business With Vendors They Know and Trust If your home in Harrisonville, MO has been damaged, make the call!

Insurance Companies Do Business With Vendors They Know and Trust

Homeowners seldom find themselves dealing with home damage and insurance claims. They have no idea what to do. When things seem their darkest, the insurance agent comes to the rescue. While the insured is still trying to understand what is happening, the agent is hard at work:

  • Helping to file the claim
  • Evaluating the damage
  • Preparing the estimate
  • Reviewing the estimate with the insured

Preferred Vendors Make Life Easier for the Insurer
Unlike the insured, preferred vendors know exactly what is happening. At some time in the past, they executed an agreement with the insurance company. This agreement states what the insurance company expects of the vendor. It also says what the vendor should expect in return. It signifies the vendor’s acceptance into the preferred vendor program.
The insurance agent always recommends preferred vendors. Preferred status gives them a distinct advantage over other vendors. This advantage motivates the vendor to live up to the agreement. It also makes sure that they keep their clients happy. This status is difficult to attain and easy to lose.

Preferred Vendors Make Life Easier for the Insured
A list of preferred vendors from the agent makes contractor selection simple. Along with the list comes an explanation of why these vendors are better than others. The incentives for using them are considerable. The hidden benefit of choosing one relates to customer satisfaction. The vendor desperately wishes to retain the preferred status. That’s not possible with a record of unhappy customers.

Your damaged home may be in Harrisonville, MO. It may be far away. Your choice of an insurance agent or company doesn't matter. Regardless of your situation, you will see SERVPRO on the preferred vendors list. SERVPRO understands the value of being an approved vendor. Their work ethic, standards and satisfied customers make them the vendor of choice. Bring them into any damage remediation project, and it will be “Like it never even happened.”

Taxes and Storm Damage: What Is Not Deductible Under Casualty Loss

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Taxes and Storm Damage: What Is Not Deductible Under Casualty Loss Call your insurer in the Belton, MO area to find out more information and specifics

Taxes and Storm Damage

Tis the season, and most businesses are adding up deductions and getting ready to file. Unfortunately, while casualty losses may cover some elements of storm damage, not everything is tax deductible. In fact, there are at least four elements of damage that are typically not deductible.

1. Insured Items

Most businesses are required to have some type of commercial property insurance, and while basic policies will not cover extreme natural disasters, they likely cover wind and rainstorms. Any items or damage that are covered under your insurance policy cannot be claimed as a deduction because such issues are considered reimbursable.

2. Wear and Tear

Additionally, while you can deduct storm damage that is not reimbursable, you cannot claim items that have been damaged due to normal wear and tear. Therefore, if you have an HVAC unit that is past its prime and hasn’t been cared for properly, you cannot claim that it was damaged in a storm to receive a deduction.

3. Future Profits

While natural disasters, like hurricanes, can create significant business interruptions, you likely can’t claim profit losses. The reason is that these losses are considered future profits, and while some insurance policies will account for historical earnings, the IRS will not allow for these projections to be claimed as actual losses.

4. Project Restoration

Also, most insurance policies will cover some aspect of restoration after a storm, especially if you have additional riders, which means that restoration costs are reimbursable and not deductible. You can call your insurer, local IRS branch or a disaster restoration specialist in the Belton, MO, area to find out more information and specifics.

Storm Damage can wreak havoc on a business both physically and fiscally. Unfortunately, not all of this damage is deductible. However, through insurance policies, most losses are reimbursable, meaning that your financial difficulties are lessened in the long term if you have adequate coverage.

How Often Do the Batteries in Your Fire Alarm Need To Be Changed?

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How Often Do the Batteries in Your Fire Alarm Need To Be Changed? Don’t wait until you start to hear chirping from your smoke alarm to change your batteries!

While you might take your smoke alarm for granted, it can be the difference between life and death if a fire does occur in your home. In fact, 60 percent of fire deaths occur in buildings without working smoke alarms. The truth of the matter is that a fire in your home in Harrisonville, MO, is possible and needs to be taken as a serious risk. Be proactive in ensuring your family’s safety by making sure you change your fire alarm’s batteries on time!

Types of Fire Alarms

The type of smoke detector in your home will determine how and when batteries need to be replaced. There are three main types of alarms to be aware of:

  • Alkaline battery alarm
  • Lithium battery alarm
  • Wired smoke alarm

Alkaline Battery Alarms

Many fire alarms are powered by 9-volt alkaline batteries, or even AA batteries. Rather than waiting for the battery to run out, replace alkaline batteries yearly. You will need to replace the entire detector every 10 years. This will ensure your alarm will be loud enough to warn you if a fire does occur in your home.

Lithium Battery Alarms

Lithium batteries last longer than alkaline batteries; however, you cannot simply replace the battery when the time comes. Rather, you will need to replace the entire detector after ten years. Make sure to keep up on this battery type since they give a shorter warning time before dying than other alarm types.

Wired Smoke Alarms

Many people opt for wired smoke alarms since they are reliable and reduce fire damage caused by accidental shocks. You definitely don’t want to have to call in a fire restoration specialist because a fire started while changing out an old smoke detector! For these types of alarms, replace the backup battery yearly and the entire alarm every 10 years.

Don’t wait until you start to hear chirping from your smoke alarm to change your batteries! Keep your home and family safe by following the recommendations in this guide.

How Do Hygienists Check for Mold?

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How Do Hygienists Check for Mold? Mold damage due to broken water line in a Belton, MO home

Hiring an environmental hygienist to perform a mold test is the most accurate method for determining whether mold is growing in a residence. Learn about the sampling techniques professionals use and how test results can increase the effectiveness of mold cleaning.

Obtaining Samples

An environmental hygienist will take samples to send to a lab for analysis. Depending on the situation, a hygienist may obtain different types of samples:

  • Air
  • Bulk (contents or materials)
  • Spores

Any of these methods can yield conclusive results about the type of mold present in a house. Air testing may include analysis of microbial volatile organic compounds and spores. Bulk testing may focus primarily on the presence of spores. All of these methods allow for targeted mold remediation measures.

Analyzing Samples

There are several methods of lab analysis that a hygienist or mold specialist may recommend. The amount of detail and speed of these methods vary:

  • Microscopy
  • Culturing
  • A combination of these methods

Microscopy involves visual analysis and can provide results in as little as two days. Culturing is a slower process that involves growing mold spores in a petri dish. This process can provide more detailed results, such as the subspecies of mold, but is slower and more expensive.

Reporting Findings

A hygienist can provide test results and recommendations for mold cleaning. A homeowner may want to work with a full-service restoration company to ensure that mold remediation proceeds as efficiently as possible. Depending on the species of mold and the extent of an infestation, different cleaning or quarantining methods may be recommended.

These are the three major stages of checking for mold. An environmental hygienist can recommend the best mold cleaning methods for a particular species of fungi or type of infestation. If a homeowner is concerned about mold damage at a residence in Belton, MO, he or she should hire a certified hygienist.

What To Do When You Discover Water Damage

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What To Do When You Discover Water Damage Leaky supply line on the second floor bathroom caused the floor to be wet

3 Steps to Take When you Discover Water damage

Broken pipes, leaking pipes, a burst supply line, a poorly connected supply line, an aging appliance…there are countless factors in your home that may result in water damage, many of which you may not discover until after water has begun to pool in your home. Unfortunately, once you discover sitting water in your home, chances are that the issue has existed long enough to have caused extensive damage. While you cannot undo the damage that has already been done, you can act immediately to prevent further harm. Three steps you can take right away include the following:

  • Shut off the water source.
  • Look for safety areas and turn off circuit breakers if possible.
  • Attempt to save contents.

If the damage is extensive enough, you may want to contact a Harrisonville, MO, water cleanup team.

Turn Off the Source

It will not help you to clean up the water damage if you do not find the source and put a stop to the leak or influx of water. The source may be a leaking pipe, a poorly connected supply line or even an open window. Once you locate the source, shut off the valve or close it off somehow.

Turn Off Breakers

If you can do so safely, turn off power in all affected areas. An electrical current that comes into contact with water can create an even greater hazard and may put you and your home in danger. However, if turning off power means wading through a pool of water, leave it be and contact a professional.

Save Your Contents

If you can do so, remove items from the affected area and try to dry them out. Even if an item is not in direct contact with water, it is at risk of becoming moldy or rotted because of the excess moisture in the air. If electronics or electrical appliances sustained water damage, toss them out. Even if they look okay, using water damaged appliances is extremely dangerous and can cause a house fire.

Dealing with water damage is no fun, but it must be done. For help with more extensive problems, contact your Harrisonville, MO, water cleanup team.

Fire Damage Preparation Tips

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage Preparation Tips Fire damage in Harrisonville, MO

As hard as it can be to think about, a fire could occur at your place of business. While a fire and its related damage are very real risks that you need to consider, there are things you can do to prepare for a possible future fire - and sleep a little easier at night.

Here Are Five Steps You Can Take To Help You With Fire Preparation

  1. Understand your insurance plan. Make sure that you understand your commercial insurance coverage, claim requirements and any special conditions that apply to fire damage. If you don’t like one of the provisions of your policy, talk to your agent about adding or removing coverage.

  2. Estimate replacement and repair costs. This is an important step to take to understand how much focus needs to be put on fire preparedness within your company. Making estimates will also help you identify your most vulnerable equipment.

  3. Protect your workers. Make sure that your entire team is trained on fire preparation. Create an emergency escape plan that everyone can learn and remember so that they can exit the building as quickly and safely as possible during a fire.

  4. Safeguard your business. Your business needs an emergency plan of sorts, too. Create a plan of recovery so you know what to do to reopen after a fire. This should include planning on the Harrisonville, MO, commercial fire damage service you will use if damage occurs.

  5. Back up important files. Business records, repair service provider lists, financial spreadsheets and inventories are some examples of documents that should be preserved to the best of your ability as part of your disaster preparation plan. You can store these at an offsite location, but you should also consider utilizing electronic cloud services to keep online copies of your most important files.

Fire preparation is important not only for your company and finances, but also for the well-being of you and your entire staff. Put these steps into action for a better defense against building fires.

How To Avoid Space Heater Fires

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Avoid Space Heater Fires Keep your space heater clear out of dust

A space heater can provide extra warmth. It can also save on heating bills by allowing you to set the thermostat in your home in Harrisonville, MO, on low while still heating the specific rooms you are using to a comfortable temperature. A burned space heater doesn't help you, though. To avoid space heater fires, you need to follow a few simple tips.

Give It Space

The heating elements on a space heater give off an impressive amount of heat, but they can turn into a fire hazard quickly if they are crowded. There are several guidelines to make sure you have enough space around your heater:

  • Maintain radius of three feet from flammable objects
  • Don't use near combustible substances, such as gasoline
  • Keep children and pets away from heater
  • Set it on a level surface so it doesn't topple over

Turn It Off

To avoid having a burned space heater when you leave the room, remember to turn it off. Space heaters should never be left unattended while they are on, especially if you leave the house altogether. In fact, it's a good idea to unplug the heater when you are not at home. Keep an eye out for a frayed or otherwise damaged cord.

Keep It Clean

Keep your space heater clean to minimize fire risk. Dust and other debris can turn a functioning space heater into an electric fireplace in a hurry. Replace filters regularly according to the manufacturer's recommendation so that dirt does not infiltrate the heating mechanism. Follow maintenance instructions so that it not only lasts a long time but also does not become a safety issue.

A burned space heater can turn convenience into a nightmare. By following these simple guidelines, you can increase your creature comforts while still keeping you and your family safe. To avoid having to call for fire cleanup with a restoration company, choose a space heater that is safe and use it safely.

Categories and Classes of Water Damage

3/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Categories and Classes of Water Damage Sewer backup can happen to anyone.

Despite what many people think, not all home water damage is created equal.  There are actually a number of different classes and categories of water damage.  According to the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), there are three categories of water/liquid and four classes of damage.

Category 1- This is basically any liquid from a clean and/or sanitary source like a faucet, a toilet, or fountain.

Category 2- This refers to liquid/water that used to be called grey water, which can potentially cause illness if ingested.  This includes things like dishwasher or washing machine overflow, toilet overflow or sink drains.

Category 3- This category used to be called black water; it is extremely unsanitary.  This includes sewer backup, flooding from rivers, and stagnant liquid that has fostered bacterial growth.

Now the classes;

Class 1- This is very easy to deal with and only affects a part of a single room, with little to no wet carpet, with water only on surfaces like wood or concrete.

Class 2- This class affects an entire room, and wetness has sent up the walls about 12" or more, with moisture still in the structure.

Class 3- This class basically means that ceiling, walls, carpet and insulation are all saturated with liquid or water.  This is often due to water coming from overhead

Class 4- This class means that there has been enough water or time to saturate materials with very low levels of permeation, like hardwood or stone.

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation.  These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the filed; manufactures, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated.  The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

Out staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm.  We believe in continuous training; from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with knowledge to restore your property.

Call SERVPRO of Harrisonville/Belton/Raymore at (846) 884-2240 for all your restoration needs!