Preventing Frozen Pipes
Cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and burst
January is normally the coldest month across the nation. The national average temperature is 31 degrees Fahrenheit. This puts exterior pipes like hose bibs and irrigation systems at risk.
For houses without adequate protection the temperature alert threshold is 20 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature un-insulated pipes in unconditioned areas are at risk.
However, pipes can freeze in well insulated houses when the temperatures dip into the teens or below. Extended period of time with temperatures in this range can be dangerous, as heat within enclosed areas of a structure naturally dissipates.
Of course we all have heard the tip to open cabinet doors. It is a simple fix that can save you an immense amount of difficulty. Somehow though we are inclined to think, because it has not happened it will not happen. That is all good and well until it happens.
When pipes freeze hundreds of gallons of water can flow through the walls, behind cabinets and into ceilings. Water damage can cause cabinets to swell, ceilings to collapse, along with damage to furniture and belongings. Water damage also causes soaked carpet and pad. Hardwood and laminate floors can buckle and swell.
As cold spells move across the country make it a habit to open doors to enclosed spaces that contain plumbing. On a side note when you open those doors make sure to remove any hazardous materials to keep them away from children and pets.
If your pipes do freeze make sure to shut the water off at the source, call a plumber to fix the pipe and call SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte. Here at SERVPRO we have the training and equipment to make water damage in your home “Like it never even happened.”
What would you use to clean mold?
Mold growing on porous drywall
If I asked you, “What would you use to clean mold?” What would your answer be? If you are like most people, bleach would be your first choice. That is understandable; at one time this was the recommendation of the EPA in their publication A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home. However, the last printing of this guide states: “The use of a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation” Despite that change, the belief that bleach is still the “go to” for many attempting to remove mold has not changed.
Part of the problem is, bleach containers list that they are effective against mold when used as directed. However the directions state:
For use on hard, nonporous, pre-cleaned surfaces
Remediation of mold requires cleaners that can reach deep down into wood and other porous building materials to get to the roots of the mold. The properties of bleach prevent its active ingredient from soaking into these materials, so the roots remain. In addition household bleach is 99% water, so you may be giving mold the moisture it needs to survive. The spores that remain may root stronger and deeper and many times will return worse than before.
As water and mold damage specialists SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte County has the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly.
For more information visit:
View the publication A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home here:
If you have any questions about mold give us a call today! 913-772-1818
Tips for cooking this holiday season
Always use caution when cooking!
Cooking brings family and friends together, provides an outlet for creativity and can be relaxing. But did you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries? By following a few safety tips you can prevent these fires.
“Cook with Caution”
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from your stovetop.
If you have a small (grease) cooking fire and decide to fight the fire...
- On the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
If you have any doubt about fighting a
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home.
Reproduced from NFPA’s website, www.nfpa.org/publiceducation. © NFPA
If you do happen to have a kitchen or cooking fire be sure to call the experts in fire damage restoration! SERVPRO of Leavenworth is always here to help!
Consumer Reports - Testing for Mold
Mold on walls & basetrim
Consumer Reports recommends against using mold test kits. "All those we’ve tested have had major problems and are not reliable. What’s more, testing, to be accurate, should be done by and Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) or an Industrial Hygienist (IH). These professional have the ability to test in a manner that gives an accurate representation of the environment of the structure. Clearance testing after mitigation should also be a part of the protocol to confirm the effectiveness of the mitigation.
Testing not performed by the mitigation company handling the work adds a level of accountability to the project, and insures the building owner of properly mitigated mold damage.
Follow this link to the Consumer Reports Article: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2007/04/be-on-the-lookout-for-mold/index.htm
Give us a call today! 913-772-1818
Honoring those who have served
Did you know?.......Fun Facts & Trivia
- There is a National Moment of Remembrance established by Congress which asks all Americans to pause each Memorial Day for one minute at 3pm (the time when most of us are stuffing our faces with hamburgers and hot dogs!)
- Decoration Day was established in the 19th century to decorate the graves of soldiers who died during the Civil War. Eventually, it became a remembrance of all brave military men and women, and by 1967 the day was legally changed to Memorial Day.
- The first Decoration Day became extra memorable when James Garfield stepped up to the podium at Arlington National Cemetery in 1868. In the blistering heat, the future President's speech lasted 1 1/2 hours during "a spring day too warm for comfort," observed the New York Times.
- Bringing attention to Vietnam War POW's and MIA's, the "Rolling Thunder" of motorcycles first arrived in Washington DC during Memorial Day Weekend in 1988. Today, more than a million riders and spectators converge on the capital in what has become the world’s largest single-day motorcycle event.
Spring weather can be unpredictable in Kansas. Reduce injury risk and plan ahead
Often by the time we are aware of an approaching storm, we have little if any time to prepare for it.
Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy and frigid. Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather. Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur even within the same day. Mark Twain once said, "In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours."
Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. They can bring lightning, tornadoes, and flooding. Whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can occur. For much of the world, this happens in spring and summer.
Because spring weather is so unpredictable, you may be unprepared when severe weather hits—particularly if you live in a region that does not often experience thunderstorms, tornadoes, or flooding. And when severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. So planning ahead makes sense; prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will.
Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and floods requires specific safety precautions. You can follow many of the same steps that you would for all extreme weather events. Keep an emergency kit on hand. Some items to include are:
- A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries for both
- An emergency evacuation or shelter plan, including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room
- A list of important personal information, including:
- telephone numbers of neighbors, family, and friends
- insurance and property information
- telephone numbers of utility companies
- medical information
- According to the American Red Cross a first aid kit may include:
- non-latex gloves
- assortment of adhesive bandages
- antibiotic ointment
- sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
- absorbent compress dressings
- adhesive cloth tape
- aspirin packets (81 mg each)
- first aid instruction booklet
(NOTE: Customize your first aid kit to meet your individual and family needs.)
- A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
- Personal hygiene items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- An emergency kit in your car
Prepare your family members for the possibility of severe weather. Tell them where to seek appropriate shelter as soon as they are aware of an approaching storm. Practice your emergency plan for every type of severe weather. Show family members where the emergency supplies are stored, and make sure they know how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity in your home.
Often by the time we are aware of an approaching storm, we have little if any time to prepare for it. But we do know that when spring arrives, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods are real possibilities. So why not take the surprise factor out of severe weather and prepare yourself, your family, and your home? If thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods do occur, you'll be ready for them.
After the storms if you find you have damage to your home, don't forget SERVPRO is always here to help. 24/7 we are ready for whatever the weather leaves behind.
Call us today 913-772-1818
Don't Get Swept Away In This Kansas Weather
We all know how crazy the weather in Kansas can be in the spring time. There is never a better time to be prepared than before the storm hits! Be sure you know the difference between a watch and a warning.
Make sure your prepared with these tips from ready.gov
Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.
Steps to Take
- Turn on your TV/radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
- Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
Prepare Your Home
- Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
- Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
- If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.
Flood Warning = "Take Action!" Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.
Steps to Take
- Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
After the water recedes and your home has sustained damage don’t forget SERVPRO of Leavenworth is always here to help!
Call us at 913-772-1818
About SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co.
SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co. specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Does Your Leavenworth Home Have A Mold Problem?
In Leavenworth, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 913-772-1818
Restoring Your Leavenworth Commercial Property after a Water Damage Event
Flooding and water damage events at Leavenworth commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co.
SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co. specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Call us 24/7 for all your commercial property needs! 913-772-1818
Leavenworth Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Fire Damage caused from an unattended stove
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, 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 Leavenworth 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.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – 913-772-1818