Do You Suspect You Have a Mold Problem: How To Be Sure
Do You Suspect You Have a Mold Problem?
Is there a musty odor permeating through your ductwork or from your basement? Is there a fuzzy, colorful substance growing behind your water heater? While an indoor environmental specialist may be the best expert to validate your suspicion of mold, there are ways to tell if your fungal suspicions are on the right track.
Mold has a unique smell. It is musty and dank. Typically, when you encounter mold the air is humid and thick. While musty can mean several things to different people, the best way to describe the musty odor of mold is stuffy and stale, and that is because mold usually develops in areas that are not well ventilated.
Mold growth is unique in appearance. Most mold will rise above the surface of the material it is growing on, and it will look fuzzy, almost soft. Also, mold is quite colorful. It is found in gradients of green, gray and yellow. However, it may also take on the color of other chemicals and liquids that have spilled nearby. To definitively conclude that you have mold, however, you will likely need an indoor environmental specialist.
As stated above, humidity and a lack of ventilation contribute to the development of fungus. Therefore, if you have an area of your property that is unusually humid without proper ventilation, then you have an area that is prime real estate for mold spore settlements.
A mold remediation specialist in the Harrisonville, MO, area can take samples and perform a mold test to find out if you are in fact dealing with an infestation. The truth is, not all fungal deposits are mold, and there are times when something may look like mold but is actually a calcium deposit or something else entirely. Tests are the only surefire way to prove something is mold.
While you can base your assessment off smells, looks and environmental conditions, an indoor environmental specialist is likely your best shot at verifying your suspicions of mold growth. Don’t risk your property or health. Call an expert and ask for a test.
What To Do About Bathtub Backup
The sight of water and/or sewage coming up from the drain of your bathtub or shower in Belton, MO, can be quite alarming. Bathtub backup is a serious problem, and while you should try to refrain from panicking, you should nevertheless take quick action to diagnose and correct the problem.
Why Does Bathtub Backup Occur?
Backup into the bathtub usually indicates a problem with the main sewer line of your home. Common causes include the following:
- Clogs due to paper products, grease buildup, toys, etc.
- Blockages due to tree roots
- Flooding due to excess rain
Can You Clean Up the Backup on Your Own?
Sometimes, but only under certain circumstances. It helps to know whether it is sewer backup or backup from the sink. If the latter, you may be able to handle the cleanup on your own because there is less chance of exposure to harmful bacteria.
If the backup occurred recently, i.e., within 24 hours of discovery, you may be able to handle the cleanup yourself. This is because any bacteria that may be present hasn't had time to proliferate.
If there is a good thing about bathtub backup, it is that the walls of the tub serve to contain the wastewater. This containment makes it more feasible for you to handle cleanup on your own.
When Should You Call a Professional?
You should call restoration and cleanup professionals if the backup contains raw sewage. This may be the case if it occurs when you flush the toilet, if it is brown in color, or if it is accompanied by a foul smell. Regardless of the source of the backup, you should call a cleanup professional if it is 24 hours old or more. While a bathtub may serve to contain the wastewater, backup in a shower stall may spread all over the bathroom floor and into the rest of the house. The more widespread the flooding is, the more necessary it becomes to hire professional cleanup.
Don't take chances with a potential sewer backup. If you have any doubts as to whether you can handle the cleanup yourself, contact a professional right away.
Flood Proof Your House in 5 Easy Steps
Apply waterproof sealant in your home
Tips To Flood Proof Your Home
Flooding is a big enough problem on its own. The fact that it can often cause further consequential issues makes it even more serious. When it comes to flood safety, prevention is your biggest ally. Follow these easy safety tips to help flood proof your home in Harrisonville, MO.
1. Keep important documents and possessions on elevated surfaces: Floodwater starts low before rising, so the best way to keep your stuff dry is to store it as high as you can. Move important possessions to high shelves on the top floor of your house, just to be safe.
2. Move in-home electrical systems above flood level: The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety recommends that all electrical equipment, such as switches, circuit breakers and wiring, sit at least a foot above your home's flood level. Staying away from electrified water is a basic flood safety principle.
3. Upgrade your water valves: A sewage flood is a biohazard, and therefore significantly more dangerous than an average flood. To prevent sewage backflow from entering your home, you should install either an interior/exterior backflow valve or a gate valve.
4. Control the flow of water around your house: Ideally, your house should sit higher than the surrounding landscape so water can flow away from the property. This isn't always the case, so take care to monitor the direction the water flows in after a storm. If it's directed towards your house, you should contact your local environmental services department.
5. Apply waterproof sealant: A sealant can be applied to both the interior and exterior of your home. This can help keep rainwater out as well as flooding.
While these flood safety tips can certainly lower your home's risk of flooding, they can't prevent a disaster entirely. It's vital that you contact storm remediation experts if you do become the victim of a flood.
How Much Does Mold Remediation Cost?
Mold remediation in Belton, MO
Mold in your Belton, MO, home is a serious problem that must be addressed right away. You may be wondering how much this mold removal will cost. Read on for more details.
Before you hire someone to clean up the mold, you should first bring in a mold inspector to survey the extent of the damage. You typically have to pay $200 to $600 for an inspector's visit. He may also charge you an additional $30 to $150 for each air sample he takes of your home. Ideally, the inspector should:
- Have an undergraduate degree in engineering or science
- Have completed industry-approved mold investigation courses
- Be a Council-Certified Indoor Environmental
- Consultant or a Certified Industrial Hygienist
If tests do confirm that there is mold in your home, your next step should be hiring mold removal and remediation professionals. They will disinfect the affected sections of your home, including the carpets and walls. Severe infestations may require the removal of studs and drywall, as well.
Mold growth in your crawl space may only cost $500 to address, though it can set you back up to $4,000 if the damage is extensive. Eliminating mold from ducts, attics and walls, meanwhile, could cost between $2,000 and $6,000. Widespread black mold removal could require you to spend $30,000 or more.
Keep in mind that insurance does not always cover mold remediation expenses. Unless the mold growth resulted from a sudden emergency, you will likely have to pay for the cleanup yourself.
The cost of mold removal depends on the extent of the problem. Small infestations may only set you back a few hundred dollars. Depending on the cause of the mold, your insurance may cover some of this expense. However, larger areas of mold can lead to thousands of dollars in damage. To avoid spending your hard-earned money on costly repairs, be sure to quickly address any wet areas in your home that can encourage the growth of mold.
Treating Workplace Burns
Minor Burn First Aid
Burns can happen almost anywhere, and those that happen in the workplace can be as destructive to productivity as fire damage. Understanding basic first aid can ease pain and help you return to work quickly.
Burns That Require Emergency Assistance
Some burns are too serious to be safely handled at home or at work. Always seek emergency medical assistance if you or another person have any of the following:
- Leathery, dry skin
- A wound that is deeper than the upper layer of skin
- A burn that covers the surface of extremities, or is wider than 3 inches
- Black, brown, or white charring
If you or someone else require medical assistance, always make sure that the person is safe and responsive until medical help arrives. Elevate affected areas, and use a moist, clean dressing at room temperature or below to cover wounds.
Minor Burn First Aid
Minor burns are burns that are minor enough to be treated without the attention of a medical professional. These burns are generally less painful than serious ones, but can be diagnosed when the following signs emerge:
- Limited surface area, normally less than 3 inches wide
- Reddish appearance
- Bubbling or blistering
Many causes of burns, such as hot plates, boiling water, or open fire damage skin even after the heat source is removed. You can cool a burn by applying a moderately cool compress, or holding the burn under moderately cool water. It is always important to avoid damaging burned areas, as breaks in the skin can introduce bacteria that cause infections. As with any surface injury, applying a medical quality bandage will protect skin from further wear.
If you or a co-worker have sustained a burn during a workplace fire in Harrisonville, MO, you should first contact appropriate authorities to ensure that all personnel is properly cared for. The next step will often include a consultation with a restoration specialist to assess the extent of fire damage. By taking safety seriously, you make sure that you and your team can get back to business.
4 Tips for Better Use of Fire Alarms
You should replace batteries as needed and replace the entire alarm about every 8 to 10 years
Tips To Help You Protect Your Home
You might think you are doing everything right when it comes to having a fire alarm in your home in Harrisonville, MO. However, many people make assumptions about fire protection that turn out to be erroneous and that could even put their house and their family at risk. After all, a home fire is a scary event that can cause thousands of dollars of damage. Here are a few tips to help you protect your home.
1. Have Enough Fire Alarms. Having only one fire alarm is not nearly enough. The National Fire Protection Association recommends an alarm in each bedroom, one outside each sleeping area and one on every level of the home.
2. Replace Batteries and Alarms. To ward off fire damage, you should replace batteries as needed and replace the entire alarm about every 8 to 10 years. To be sure, check the packaging instructions and make a reminder on the inside of the alarm with a permanent marker.
3. Know-How Much Time You Have. When a fire strikes, it is important to get everyone out of the house quickly. Studies have shown that for increased safety you and your family members and pets should evacuate the home in little more than three minutes.
4. Understand How Fire Alarms Work. You can buy either an ionization alarm or a photostatic one and they detect a fire in different ways. For the best protection, buy some of each or an alarm that uses both methods.
A fire alarm is a critical tool to help you avoid or minimize the worst effects of a fire. A fire remediation franchise can help you recover from fire and smoke damage in your home. Experienced technicians will use the latest technology to remove soot and odors, and they will restore or replace damaged belongings. They have a proven process that restores your home to its original condition.
How SERVPRO Can Help With the Insurance Claim Process
Filing and working through an insurance claim is not as easy as it sounds
How SERVPRO Can Help With the Insurance Claim Process
Filing and working through an insurance claim is not as easy as it sounds. While an insurance agent can work through the claims process on their own, some disaster restoration companies in Belton, MO, like SERVPRO, want to make the process easier and a team effort through an electronic claims system.
The Claims Information Center is beneficial for several reasons.
2. Data Storage
The primary goal of an electronic insurance claim service is for it to be easy for all parties involved to make additions to or view the project files. When logging into the Claims Information Center, you will see any open projects. When you click on those files, you will find links to claim information, work comparisons, and relevant research.
SERVPRO has been compiling data for years on claims and projects. Their database is searchable by state, county, and city. You can find information on response times, claim types, causes of loss, and even job costs, making your work as an insurance agent easier.
As an agent, you are likely aware of the normal holdups of projects related to bureaucratic approval processes and estimation gatherings. However, with access to the Claims Information Center, you can eliminate a lot of redundancy and back-and-forth chatter. The system allows for expediency and action. While you may have wasted several hours before traveling back-and-forth to job sites and client shops, you can now organize all information in one convenient location.
The insurance claim process is hard enough without having the digital tools to help organize and expedite decisions. However, if you work with the right partners, then the claims process can be extremely beneficial for all parties involved. Instead of going through the data collection process alone, consider working with SERVPRO, an experienced disaster restoration company that understands both sides of the claims struggle.
How To Fix a Leaking Toilet
Always fix a leaking toilet as soon as possible in your Belton, MO home
Take a Look at The Most Common Leaks
One of the most common plumbing problems is a leaking toilet. Some of the causes are easy to fix, while some can be quite serious. Let’s take a look at the most common leaks.
Cracked Toilet Tank
Check around the entire toilet tank for cracks. A small hairline crack may be fixable with some silicone sealant or plumber’s putty. To fix a hairline crack, follow these steps:
- Shut off the water supply.
- Completely drain the tank.
- Dry both the inside and outside of the tank using an absorbent towel.
- Apply the sealant or putty and allow it to dry.
- Turn the water supply back on and fill the tank.
If you still have a leaking toilet, or if you spotted a large crack, the tank will need to be replaced before it causes a huge bathroom leak. If flooding occurs, contact a water remediation specialist right away.
After shutting off the water supply and removing all of the water from the tank, disconnect the water-supply tube from the shutoff valve. Remove the nuts from the closet bolts. Carefully grab the toilet around the bowl and lift it up. Set it on a dry towel. Scrape off the old wax gasket with a putty knife. If the gasket is cracked or damaged, you will need to replace it. Just make sure it is centered properly when you install the new gasket.
The flapper lifts up when the toilet is flushed. If the flapper isn’t sitting right, the toilet won’t flush smoothly.
Squeeze a couple of drops of food coloring into the tank. After a couple minutes, check the bowl. If any color has leaked into the bowl, your flapper isn’t sitting right. Turn off the water supply and remove all the water from the tank. If the rubber on the flapper is no longer soft, you will want to replace it.
Always fix a leaking toilet as soon as possible in your Belton, MO home before it can cause a serious problem.
Fires Could Happen in Your Home in an Instant
Leaving your oven on accidentally can do more damage than you think.
Leaving your oven on accidentally can do more damage than you think. Leaving the house with your oven on seems like something that most of us have done and will continue to do.
A family recently had the worst-case scenario happen to them when they left the oven and left the house for no more than 15 minutes and it erupted into flames. Luckily, they came quickly and were able to stop it with a fire extinguisher. But if they had just simply left the house to go to the grocery store and were gone for just 15 minutes more, their entire home could have been affected.
Just remember to double check before leaving your home. Fire damage to your home could be detrimental but the restoration process begins when you call us, SERVPRO of Harrisonville/ Belton/ Raymore. Our representatives will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with all the appropriate equipment and resources.
How can SERVPRO help me
We clean, sanitize, and disinfect the restorable items and structure that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
How To Fix a Toilet That Won’t Stop Flushing
Toilet issues should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid a toilet overflow
Many commercial properties have a bathroom open to employees and customers. A malfunctioning toilet can be a significant source of distress for business owners who want to keep their establishment running smoothly. Many commercial toilets have either a manual or automatic flushometer that is prone to kinks, especially excessive flushing that can lead to a toilet overflow. Fortunately, it’s possible to stop a toilet from repeating this frustrating cycle with a little elbow work.
Essential Steps for Toilet Maintenance
A person needs basic tools before attempting a repair project. The following can be found in major hardware stores:
- Cleaning supplies
Most commercial toilets have a manual flushometer. Innovative business owners can simply take a screwdriver and put it in the appropriate slot to shut off the water. Then, they can unscrew the top lid of the flushometer and remove the flange cover. They may come in contact with a little residual water, but they should keep in mind that it’s a temporary discomfort compared to cleaning up a messy toilet overflow.
Next, they must remove the gasket and put it under running water to wash off the sediment. They can spray it with a cleaning solution and wipe it down with a rag. Lastly, they can reassemble everything and give the toilet a good flush.
An automatic flushometer requires different steps. Business owners can prevent a toilet flood by disassembling and cleaning the chrome button and solenoid. They can reference the manual that came with the toilet for details.
Advice for Toilet Maintenance
Of course, commercial property owners can experience additional problems with their toilets. Clogged pipes, unpleasant odors, or strange noises may require consulting with a commercial water specialist in Harrisonville, MO.
Toilet issues should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid a toilet overflow. A functioning toilet is key for a successful business, whether it’s a restaurant, hotel, or retail store.