What Causes Sewers To Back Up After a Storm?
Municipal sewer systems can become overwhelmed and back up due to heavy rain. There are three common reasons why excessive rain water can lead to a sewer backup.
1. Increased Development
A storm sewer system that serves a municipality that has experienced a lot of rapid development may not be able to keep up with increased runoff levels. This can cause storm water to back up into the drains of commercial properties and homes in the region. Commercial property owners may want to consider an insurance endorsement or preventative plumbing solutions for frequent backups.
2. Poor Sewer Maintenance
The city also may not be doing a sufficient amount of sewer maintenance. Unfortunately, even if the municipality is to blame for a sewer backup, it is probably not liable for the cost of removing black water and restoring commercial property damage. Sewer backups are also commonly excluded from commercial property insurance policies. You may want to add a sewage damage endorsement to a policy to cover mitigation and restoration costs.
3. Lack of Dedicated Storm Sewers
If a municipality does not have enough storm sewers, flooding and backups may happen every time it rains heavily. If this is the case, a commercial property owner may want to consider having a basement drain raised and an ejector pump installed or having a sewer backwater device such as a check valve or gate valve installed. Keep in mind that waste and storm drainage cannot flow through while this valve is closed, which may make it less desirable for installation in large commercial buildings.
If you own commercial property in a region that frequently experiences sewer backups due to rain water, the best option may be an endorsement on a business property insurance policy. This coverage can help to offset the cost of professional cleaning and restoration after a sewer backup in Gladstone, MO.
3 Facts To Know About Water Damage and Flood Recovery
Storm damage in a Kansas City,MO home
When flooding affects your Kansas City, MO, home, it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to cleanup efforts. Whether the flood was caused by a pipe burst in your cellar or bathroom or from an overflow of a nearby creek during a rainstorm, it can ruin your home’s building materials and your belongings. Before you attempt to recover from water damage, there are a few facts you can keep in mind that may make the process less stressful.
1. Not All Flood Damage Is the Same
The amount of damage your home suffers from a flood can depend on many factors. For example, basement flooding caused by a leaking or ruptured water line may be less invasive than water that enters your home forcefully during storm flooding. The condition of the water can also play a part, as water from outdoor flooding is typically a category three, or black water situation, where water that comes from a kitchen pipe burst or water line is usually much more sanitary and therefore simpler to clean up.
2. Building Material Damage Is Not Always Apparent
After a flood there will likely be problems that are instantly visible, such as standing water that can occur during heavy flooding. However, there might also be water damage that you cannot see, especially if water levels reached more than a few inches. Drywall and interior insulation can be badly affected and may even grow mold if left untreated. Calling in a flood damage and restoration company to inspect these areas can help prevent costly issues later on.
3. Restoration Is Possible for Many Items
It is important not to discard items until they are inspected by your flood damage professionals. For example, if a pipe in your basement has burst and you had items stored there, such as furniture, photographs and important documents, they may be restored if salvaged properly.
Flooding can happen at any time, whether a pipe burst or seasonal storms are to blame. However, knowing what to expect and how to handle restoration can help you return your Kansas City, MO, home back to normal.
How To Keep Mold and Mildew Out of Your Bathroom
Know where to look for Mold and Mildew and how to spot it!
Your bathroom’s sinks, toilet, tub and shower are frequently exposed to water. Because mold and mildew thrive in moist environments, this room can be a potential breeding ground for both organisms.
To reduce your risk of bathroom mildew and mold, follow these tips.
Increase Air Circulation
Taking a hot shower can create a high humidity problem inside the room. Using bathroom fans during and after your shower can reduce the humidity level as well as condensation buildup on mirrors and other surfaces.
Dry Your Shower
You should wipe and dry your shower’s surface after use to eliminate pooled water and excessive moisture.
Routinely Clean the Shower
You can also reduce bathroom mildew by routinely cleaning your shower and tub. This includes wiping down walls and bathmats with a cleaning solution. If possible, install a washable shower curtain that you can routinely clean with your washing machine.
Avoid Piles of Wet Clothing
Cloth is porous and offers many hiding places for mold spores. To avoid mold and mildew growth, you should hang towels up to air dry after use and avoid piling wet clothing, towels and washcloths in one location.
Use Mold-Resistant Caulking
It’s not uncommon for water to pool in the area surrounding sinks, tubs and showers. You can waterproof these spots using a mold-resistant caulking. You should also routinely inspect caulking for signs of deterioration, such as cracking, and replace as necessary.
Address Drafty Windows
Your bathroom’s window sills are also potentially susceptible to mold and mildew growth because cold drafts around the window can produce condensation. To eliminate drafts, apply plastic film or weather stripping around the window.
A Manageable Issue
Proactively managing moisture is key to preventing bathroom mildew and mold in any Kansas City, Kansas home. In the event of a burst pipe or overflowing toilet, a quick and efficient cleanup is imperative. If your bathroom sustains significant water damage, a professional cleanup and restoration crew can provide timely assistance and help ensure mold does not find hiding spots inside your saturated bathroom.
What To Do If Your Flight is Canceled Due to Weather
Always be prepared for anything!
Travel delays can range from a minor inconvenience to a major issue depending on your circumstances and level of preparation. If adverse weather results in a canceled flight,
Use these storm tips to reschedule your trip.
Find Your Flight Information
You will need to be able to inform your airline about the details of your itinerary to reschedule flights and determine your options for compensation. Find your flight numbers and keep them on hand when contacting your airline. An airline agent is likely to ask you for your
- Full name
- Flight numbers
- Airports for connecting flights
Having this information ready can save time when rescheduling your trip.
Skip the Line and Call the Airline
If you are stranded at an airport, other passengers on your canceled flight may form a line at the gate counter. It is almost always easier and faster to call the airline from your cell phone or another phone in the airport. Be sure to have your tickets or boarding passes ready to provide any information the agent may need. Depending on whether the storm is in your current location, the airport may also experience power or data outages or other difficulties.
Check the Cancelation Policy
Many airlines compensate passengers for cancelations due to adverse weather. The company may reimburse you, offer rescheduling services at no additional charge, or provide a meal or hotel room, depending on how long your travel plans are delayed due to weather.
If you are dealing with a canceled flight in Kansas City, Kansas or any other location, these storm tips can help you resolve the situation. Travelers should also make sure they have the contact information for ticketing services on the airline they are flying. If a storm is expected to affect your home, you may also want to look up the number for a residential storm damage restoration service.
Preventing Water Damage: The Practices and Tools Necessary to Protect Your Business
Be ready with a plan to protect not only your business' operations but also the employees.
A broken pipe can cause massive flooding in a business, and the cost of water repair can be significant; however, depending on who is deemed responsible, your insurance company may not cover the damage. Therefore, you may want to take every preventative measure possible to protect your business and its operation.
Key preventative measure to protect your business
Most plumbing issues can be prevented with routine maintenance. With regular sewer cleaning and annual inspections of drains and other collection systems, most minor problems can be found and fixed for little costs.
Installation of Pumps and Valves
Beyond routine maintenance, you can install sump pumps and back flow valves to prevent and control potential sewer backup and flooding events. However, these items also should be inspected regularly to ensure proper functionality, and sump pumps should have battery backups in case of power outages.
Location of Generator Fuel Tanks
In the event of a broken pipe or a flood, generator fuel tanks may cause water contamination. For this reason, you may want to install generators in elevated areas to not only prevent possible water contamination but also to ensure a working generator. If generators are located in a building’s flood zones, the increasing water level may interfere with the generator’s mechanics.
Parking Lot and Sidewalk Grading
As exterior water lines can also burst, you may want to ensure that any concrete surface is graded away from your building’s interior. Incorrect grading can lead to increased flooding risk, which can result in further interior damage.
While Kansas City, Kansas, has many restoration companies in the event of a broken pipe, it is better for a business to avoid interruption due to disaster; therefore, it may be in your best interest, as the owner, to install every possible preventative measure. However, it is also essential to maintain these elements to ensure prolonged protection for your business.
Planning a Response to a Fire Alarm
These are just a few things that should be addressed in your plan.
When it comes to a fire or other emergency in Kansas City, MO, a well-organized evacuation doesn’t just happen. It follows a contingency plan that has been prepared and tested in advance. All companies need to have such a plan in place. Here are a few of the components of such plans.
1. The building needs to have exit routes posted in prominent places. It is important for employees to understand what routes and exits they will use to safely exit the building. Thanks to OSHA, those placards should already be in place.
2. There needs to be a person in charge of the evacuation. The contingency plan is just a plan. When you execute a fire drill, everyone exits the building through their assigned exit. In a real emergency, it may turn out that one or more of the exits are not usable. The person in charge needs to be notified and will redirect the flow of employees exiting the building.
3. Some employees will have special jobs in the event of a fire. Many companies have chemical, manufacturing, or other processes that are not meant to run unattended. If it is safe to do so, certain key employees will be assigned the job of shutting down those processes before they personally evacuate.
4. Complete evacuation is everyone’s responsibility. If you don’t have a special job, follow the evacuation plan and exit. But what about visitors, special needs employees and employees who are somewhere that the alarm may not be heard? Safe evacuation of the building is everyone’s responsibility.
These are just a few things that should be addressed in your plan. OSHA has an excellent planning tool available to help you set up your own.
With the fire extinguished, it’s time to get your company back on track. The best way to do that quickly is to bring in the best fire restoration team you can find. You will be glad you did. While the cleanup is underway, review your contingency plan to see if anything could have been done better. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROclaycounty.com/.
4 Things You Need to Know About the National Flood Insurance Program
Not all commercial insurance policies are the same.
As a commercial property owner in Kansas City, MO, you may protect your investment with a commercial insurance policy. The National Flood Insurance Program through the federal Emergency Management Agency may provide you with some coverage. Your commercial storm damage remediation professional may be able to help you learn more about the NFIP.
1. It covers building property damage. This type of flood policy is designed to help you pay for the structural damages done to your building. This means the general policy does not cover the personal belongings within the building. Instead, it helps cover damages done to the foundation, plumbing, awnings, HVAC systems and other permanent fixtures of the property.
2. It won't help pay for damages that could have been avoided. Like other commercial insurance policies dedicated to flooding, this one won't pay for any water issues that you neglected to fix. For example, if a leaking pipe caused major flooding on your property, the damages may not be covered if you knew about the leak beforehand but chose not to fix it.
3. The value of damages is based on actual cash value. When an assessor comes out to your property, he or she will consider how much it will cost to replace the items that were destroyed in the flooding. That cost minus the physical depreciation of the item will equal how much you could get.
4. It can save you from the sole financial burden. While this policy through FEMA may not cover all issues caused by a storm, it can help you with the financial aspect of the repairs. Having any type of flood policy can make you feel more secure when a bad storm rolls through the area.
Not all commercial insurance policies are the same. If you want to understand the coverage you have for your commercial property, you need to contact your insurance provider. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROclaycounty.com/.
3 Sources of Basement Flooding
Flooding in your basement can occur from several sources.
When you bought or built your home with a basement in Kansas City, MO, you may not have considered the different ways it could flood. A basement flood can happen from any side, including the floor, walls or ceiling. Here are four potential causes of flooding in your basement and tips on how to fix them.
1. Clogged Sewer Lines
Most clogged sewer lines are out of your control. Heavy rain or debris in municipal lines can cause the sewer lines in your house to back up, and the lower levels tend to be affected first. If sewage backs up into your basement, you must hire water restoration specialists to remedy the problem, as you do not need to handle contaminated water. They can dry and clean your basement effectively.
2. Storm Water
During regular rainstorms, your home's drainage system is probably sufficient to keep floodwaters away from your basement. Heavy flooding around your home, however, can trickle in from the place where the foundation meets your exterior walls or through cracks in the foundation itself. A drain system connected to a sump pump can help you with this problem, but it's still a good idea to have professionals make sure the area is clean and dry.
3. Pipe Problems
If a pipe bursts anywhere above your basement, it is possible for the resulting flood to end up in the basement through the ceiling or the walls. Turn off the water source to the pipe as soon as you discover the problem, and call professionals who specialize in pipe repair. They can fix the pipe and replace the damage the leak caused. A quick response is the best way to keep this problem from getting worse.
Flooding in your basement can occur from several sources. It is a good idea to take precautions to prevent it, but it's also important to know whom to call and how to fix it when a basement flood does occur. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROclaycounty.com/.
Avoid and Recover From Sewer Backups
When the sewer backs up, you may experience much more than damage from flood water. You'll also be at risk of the destruction of your property, expensive damages to your home, electrical malfunctions, long-lasting illnesses, and lasting odors. The best way to avoid these unpleasant circumstances is to act immediately. A quick response is the best way to prevent mold growth, further damages, and an increased amount of inconvenience.
Identification of Problem Areas.
The first step in avoiding these consequences is to understand the most common causes of sewer backups. These include:
• Old sewer systems
• Single pipeline for sewage and storm water
• Tree roots
• Blockages in the city sanitary main
Did you know that homeowners in Kansas City, MO, are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the pipeline between their house and the city sewer main? Part of your responsibility includes any part of that sewage line that extends into public streets or right of ways. If that line becomes cracked or filled with tree roots, you'll be responsible for any repairs and other remedial actions. You can protect yourself from some of the financial burden with the appropriate insurance coverage, but routine professional inspections are the best way to protect against any financial or legal sewage loss.
You can also prevent backups in the lateral sewer line and protect against mold growth with several easy actions.
• Properly dispose of cooking oil and other forms of grease.
• Don't flush paper towels, diapers, wipes, and feminine hygiene products.
• Keep tree roots maintained.
• Replace old plumbing pipes.
• Hire a plumber to correct illegal connections.
• Install a backwater prevention fixture.
When flooding does occur, a thorough cleaning and remediation may be necessary to prevent mold growth, ongoing damage, and unpleasant odors. Work closely with a remediation company and immediately take steps to disinfect plumbing systems and home surfaces. Professionals should provide you with further instructions for appropriate cleanup, including disinfection and deodorization.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROclaycounty.com/.
Tips To Prepare Kids for a House Fire
Your kids’ safety is of utmost importance. You teach your children to look both ways before crossing the street and to stay away from strangers. But, as a parent and homeowner in Kansas City, MO, do you educate your children on what to do in a home fire? When a fire emergency occurs, every second counts. Have a fire escape plan and practice it with your children. Review the tips below to educate your family.
Practice a Fire Escape Plan.
Teach and practice the following techniques with your children during a non-emergency, so your family knows what to do in the case of a home fire:
• If the smoke alarm sounds at night, roll to the edge of the bed face down, place the closest hand to the floor and slide off the bed.
• Crawl to avoid smoke in the air on knees and forearms with head down, or crawl like a snake.
• Check doors before opening by feeling for heat. If hot, find another way out of the room. If warm or cool, open slowly and check for fire. Close doors as you go.
• Create and practice an escape route and agree on an outdoor meeting place. If trapped, go to the window, open it, climb out if possible or yell for help. Once out of the house, do not return inside for any reason.
Preventative Measures for Kids.
Aside from teaching and practicing the above techniques, follow these kids’ safety tips:
• Maintain at least one functioning smoke detector at each level of your home. Teach your children that the alarm sound means there is fire and smoke in the house.
• Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of young children. Instruct older children not to play with these or other flammable objects, such as candles.
By teaching and practicing the above tips with your children in Kansas City, MO, your family is prepared for a home fire. Once your kids’ safety is secured and the fire is out, contact a fire restoration specialist and your homeowner’s insurance agent to begin the process of returning your home to preloss condition.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROclaycounty.com/.