Recent Posts

Residential Broken Water Heaters Can Leave Lasting Damage

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Two water heaters: Old-New, Before-After A broken water heater often starts with a small leak

It can be easy to forget that those hot showers are made possible by an appliance. It quickly comes to mind if your home in Kansas City, MO, has a leaking water heater. All that water can quickly lead to damage that may require a water and mold remediation and restoration expert if left unchecked.

Signs of Trouble

While in some cases you may stumble across an unwanted pool of water, a broken water heater often starts with a small leak that can quickly go unnoticed unless inspecting the appliance. There are some subtle clues to look out for that may indicate you have a failed water heater.

  • The temperature of the hot water has become cooler.
  • Rust residue is found coming out of faucets.
  • Cracking or popping noises are heard when the heater is running.
  • Hot water begins to have a slightly metallic taste.
  • The water heater has visible rust at its base.

Cleanup After a Leak
After discovering a leaking water heater, quick action is required to avoid water damage from spreading. Take the following steps to mitigate water damage.

Turn off the water supply to the heater and remove water remaining in the water heater. Be sure to turn off the gas line heating the water.
Begin removing water from the floor. Since this is considered relatively clean water, it can be cleaned up without worrying about harmful contaminants. Direct the water toward the floor drain if the area is unfinished or use a wet vacuum to suck up the water.
Dry out the area. This may include opening windows, as well as using a fan and dehumidifier. Take humidity levels into consideration before opening windows.
Call the experts. After the area is clean and dry, there could be hidden damage or water. Getting a professional inspection can help you avoid secondary water damage.

While a leaking water heater may not happen frequently, it is an appliance that can cause damage if not operating properly. Quick action and regular inspections can keep those showers hot and carefree.

Smart Candle Alternatives

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Aromatic reed freshener on table in room Pour scented oil into the special bottle that is filled with reeds or sticks

If you love the ambiance of candles but want to avoid a potential candle fire, there are some great candle alternatives available. Flameless candles can add a warm atmosphere to any room in your home.

Choices for Ambient Lighting

If you are looking for ambient lighting, battery-powered candles are a great choice. Many of the options look so authentic, you'd never know they weren't the real deal. Some come with a flickering "flame" and a remote control which turns them on and off. You can find models that are shaped to look like the wax has melted, and some are even made with non-toxic wax.
If you are looking to create warmth in a room, battery-operated candles aren’t the only option.

Grab some clean wine bottles and fill them with strings of battery-operated LED lights. Different colored bottles can add to the atmosphere. You can also choose lights in a variety of colors, depending on your mood or the season.
Fairy lights are fun and festive but don't use them just around the holidays. String them around your potted plants, or place them in painted jelly jars.

Scented Options
When you can’t do without the fragrance that scented candles provide, you can find a wide variety of candle alternatives. In addition to scented flameless candles, there are other safe ways to add a pleasant aroma to your home in Gladstone, MO.

Oil warmer - This device is designed to heat fragrant oils and circulate the pleasing scent into the air.
Wax warmer - Fragrant wax is placed onto an electric or battery-powered dish that warms the wax and disperses the aroma.
Stick diffuser - Pour scented oil into the special bottle that is filled with reeds or sticks. The fragrant oil seeps up the stick and out into the air.

To avoid the need for a fire damage assessment, try some of these candle alternatives when you want to add that special ambiance to your home.

Clay County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

5/25/2020 (Permalink)

Black smoke Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home or business, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Clay County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.

Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

SERVPRO of Clay County has been helping families and businesses throughout the Northland with their cleanup and restoration needs for over 25 years.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – (816) 436-7420

Understanding Secondary Damage

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall as secondary damage Mold growth as the result of secondary damage in Gladstone, MO

Any time your business in Gladstone, MO, experiences a disaster, it's crucial to have experts on board during the cleanup phase to assess the best possible solutions to avoid future risk. If a water disaster isn't cleaned and dried properly, you risk secondary damage such as black mold.

The Risk of Secondary Damage

Secondary damage is damage that results from the initial damage. If the initial damage, such as a flooded restroom, is attended to correctly, and damaged materials are replaced, all flooring and cracks in flooring are properly dried, and all contaminants are disinfected or removed, you won't have secondary damage.
It's important to understand that an untrained professional will not have the skills or knowledge to successfully prevent secondary damage. Always hire a certified cleanup and restoration specialist to handle disasters of any size.
Black mold is one of the most common examples of secondary damage. Because black mold can grow behind walls, in ceilings, and under flooring where it can't be seen, it can cause damage for a lengthy period of time before it is found. Black mold grows as a result of materials that remained wet due to high humidity or improper drying techniques.

Preventing Secondary Damage
Prevention measures for secondary damage include using special chemicals, drying techniques, and testing equipment that specialists have been trained to use. When you hire a cleanup specialist, look for the IICRC certification on their web page or advertising. If you don't see it, ask. If the person you hire isn't properly trained, you increase your risk of experiencing secondary damage.
The best way to avoid secondary damage is to call your clean up and restoration professional immediately after the damage has occurred. Secondary damage such as black mold can be as dangerous as the primary damage. The sooner your disaster is cleaned, the fewer material losses you will have.

Avoiding Mold Growth Lawsuits Against Property Managers

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Black spots of mold on a wall When you own property in Liberty, MO, you want to protect yourself from mold insurance claims

Avoiding Mold Growth Lawsuits Against Property Managers

When you own property in Liberty, MO, you want to protect yourself from mold insurance claims. As a property owner, you are required to keep your building fit for its intended use. For residential buildings, they must be kept in a habitable condition. While avoiding insurance claims is ideal for any business owner, mold problems can happen. You can decrease your chances of having a claim filed against you by knowing how these problems usually occur.

1. Building Materials
If you are having work done on your building, be sure to use a reputable company. You could end up spending a lot more money in the long run if your builder uses inappropriate building materials. Protection against leaks requires the proper type of waterproofing during the building process.

2. Proper Installation
Even the tiniest cracks or crevices can lead to mold insurance claims. Once moisture enters a space, mold can begin forming in as little as 24-48 hours unless it is properly dried out.

3. Damage During Construction
Accidents that happen during construction can provide a path for water to invade unseen places. If a nail accidentally goes through a pipe or vent, it can lead to problems.

4. Old or Damaged Pipes
Pipes and fittings can wear out over time. If a pipe begins to drip or a leak happens under a sink, it can lead to a mold claim.

5. Dirty Ventilation Systems
If there is mold anywhere within a building, the spores can get into the ventilation system. Once inside, the air may push the spores through the system and into other rooms on the property.
To help avoid mold insurance claims, building owners can perform yearly inspections to make sure everything is working as expected. If you end up with mold despite your best intentions, you can hire a professional mold remediation company to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

How Do Storm Shutters Protect a Home?

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Roll down shutter A window covered by a shutter is less likely to break due to impact during high winds

Benefits of Shutter Installation At a Home

Residents of areas that have frequent severe weather should consider installing storm shutters. Shutters are intended to shield windows or other openings from high winds and flying debris. Many designs and materials are available to homeowners, such as fabric, polycarbonate, metal, and wood. Learn more about the benefits of shutter installation at a home in Kansas City, MO.

Block Flying Debris
Any outdoor object that is not secured to the ground may get ripped up and become flying debris during a hurricane or tropical storm. Here are some of the best options for shuttering windows:

  • Accordion designs
  • Panel designs
  • Rolling designs

Most polycarbonate plastic or metal storm shutter materials are strong enough to withstand being battered by tree limbs, building materials, and other items traveling at high speeds.

Prevent Broken Windows
A window covered by a shutter is less likely to break due to impact during high winds. In addition to avoiding broken glass and preventing water and debris from blowing into a structure, shutters also help to preserve the integrity of the building envelope. Any breach can permit pressure to build up that could ultimately blow off the roof deck or expose other critical structural components to excessive force.

Provide Post-Storm Security
A shuttered home is less tempting to trespassers after a storm. Whether a homeowner decides to evacuate or shelter in place, these coverings preserve privacy while minimizing losses and the extent of secondary storm damage resulting from intrusion. Shutter materials such as plastic, metal, and wood provide these benefits.
Shutter design and the number of windows requiring protection will determine the cost of installation. Bahama-style installations are often the most expensive style, while roll down, accordion and panel designs can be more affordable. Storm shutters help to limit the extent of damage caused by high winds, hail, and other severe weather conditions at a residence in Kansas City, MO.

Ballyhoo Seek and Find!

4/27/2020 (Permalink)

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3 Reasons You Should Hire Professionals To Clean Puffback

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Man with the door open behind his van, loaded with equipment Hire specialist around Liberty, MO area

Reasons To Leave This Type Of Damage To The Experts

A malfunctioning furnace does more than just drive up your energy costs. It can also cause puffback damage to the walls and ceiling around it. You may be tempted to clean the soot damage in your commercial building in Liberty, MO, to save money, particularly if the furnace itself needs extensive repairs or replacement. There are several reasons you should leave this type of damage mitigation to the experts, though.

1. Difficult To Clean
When you first see the soot on the wall above the furnace, it may seem that a bucket of soapy water and some elbow grease should do the trick. Soot from an oil furnace, however, is not easy to remove. It is sticky with a tar-like texture. Even if you are able to get a lot of it off the wall, chances are that you are going to need to hire fire mitigation experts to finish the job. Why not start with them in the first place?

2. Hard To Find
Soot from a smoking furnace gets everywhere. Even if you see a lot of puffback damage, you are probably not seeing the full extent of the problem. Soot particles make their way into air vents where they can travel in the ducts throughout your building. A thorough cleaning usually involves tackling your whole HVAC system.

3. Full of Odor
Furnace puffback can leave soot in every crack and crevice surrounding the equipment. If you only clean the surface, you are leaving a lot of damage untouched, and the lingering odor proves it. Professional technicians have special processes and equipment to reach even the smallest places where soot can go. They clean and deodorize your building, leaving it just like it was before the problem occurred.
Puffback damage around your furnace tells you that you need to have it repaired. Hiring specialists who can completely mitigate the damage to your building is just as important.

Thank you to our Frontliners!

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

green background with white figures saying "Thank you Frontliners" Thank you!

SERVPRO of Clay County would like to extend a special thanks to the team of people on the frontlines of this pandemic! We appreciate you!

The Benefits of Flood Insurance

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. You also need flood insurance for your business

3 Benefits Of Having A Separate Flood Policy

A heavy storm can cause significant damage to your commercial property in Gladstone, MO. You don't want to wait until a storm is on the horizon to think about how you are going to pay for the damage repair. Basic commercial insurance policies for your business aren't enough; you also need flood insurance. Here are three benefits of having a separate flood policy.

Larger Scope of Coverage

When your building floods after a storm, the extent of the repairs it needs can be vast. A flood policy is specifically designed to cover the cost of storm damage mitigation:

  • Water extraction
  • Debris removal
  • Wall, ceiling and carpet replacement
  • Foundation repair
  • Equipment repair or replacement
  • Electrical, HVAC and plumbing cleanup

As soon as you know your building has damage, schedule a consultation with local flood mitigation experts. They can tell you the scope of the repair and work with your insurance company to get the support you need to complete the repairs in a timely manner.

Set Cost of Premiums

Owning property comes with certain expected expenses. A common concern of many business owners is how much an additional commercial insurance policy is going to cost. In communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, flood coverage is backed by the federal government. The NFIP sets the premiums for FEMA flood policies, not the individual insurance companies that provide the coverage. If you are in a low-risk area, you may qualify for a policy with a lower premium. Even if your building is in a flood plain, however, you can rest assured that your premiums will be kept in check.
Don't wait until a storm is on its way to get the commercial insurance coverage you need for your building. By making room in the budget for a flood policy, you can save your company a lot of money in the event of a catastrophe.