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Characteristics of Category 2 Water Damage

6/24/2022 (Permalink)

Empty commercial building, standing clear water on the floor, insulation from ceiling on the floor Commercial water damage in Sarcoxie, MO.

Category 2 Water Damage

In Sarcoxie, MO, a water loss in your business is nobody’s idea of a good time. Besides the revenue lost from a water pipe repair, there could be permanent property damage and maybe even worse. See below to find out more about Category 2 water and how it affects the severity of the situation.

Second Floor, Broken Pipe
You find out your business needs a water pipe repair when you return from Christmas vacation. A broken line in the second-floor restroom caused Category 1 water to accumulate in the walls and ceiling undetected for the holiday week. By the time everybody returned to work, the Category 1 water had become Category 2 due to the length of time and warm temperatures from a heated building. Not to mention contamination from the bathroom and dust, debris, and insulation between floors.
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification says that Category 2 water can potentially cause illness in humans. This type of water, also known as grey water, might contain hazardous levels of microbes and microbe fuel, along with other things found in a restroom.
Here are some examples of Category 2 water:

  • Overflowing toilets containing urine only
  • Discharge from a washing machine or dishwasher
  • Leaky water beds and aquariums

First Floor, Flooded
The Category 2 water stewing between the first and second floors broke through the ceiling on the first floor, causing a mess in the lobby. Heat in the building kept the water at the right temperature to encourage further microbial growth. If given a little more time, the Category 2 water could have become Category 3 water with vast numbers of microorganisms. Not a very welcome sight for visitors.
If given enough time and the right temperature and contamination, Category 1 water can become Category 2 or 3.

Take These Steps When Your Toilet Floods

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

Toilet overflow A flooded toilet in Granby, MO.

When Your Toilet Floods, Follow These Steps

One of the main reasons for sewer damage in Granby, MO, commercial properties is the flooded toilet. Unfortunately, there are quite a few possible causes of an overflowing toilet:

  • Inappropriate items or too much of something is flushed and clogs the pipes.
  • The valve, float bobber, or other components in the tank are damaged or malfunctioning.
  • The seal around the fill valve has become loose.
  • There may be a clog (or clogs) along the sewer line.

The resulting damage can be pretty bad, no matter where the overflowing toilet is located, but when that toilet is on the second or third floor of a building, there may be damage on multiple levels.

Contact Professionals

The first step you should take is to contact a plumbing professional or the local sewage company because the damage will continue to occur until the main cause of the problem has been corrected. This is especially important if there's a clog deep within the sewer system or if your building has an older plumbing system that could suffer further damage during repairs.

Remove Water

Next, clean up as much water as you can. The longer that water is left to sit around the toilet, the further it will seep into building materials. After mopping up as much water as you can, open windows, add fans and take other steps to further dry the area. Remember that it doesn't take long for wet building materials to create an environment where mold spreads quickly.

Schedule Restoration Services

As soon as possible, get water damage cleanup and restoration professionals to assess the damage and determine the best method of restoring your property. Restoration technicians may locate areas between the floors of the building that need attention, so you can avoid more expensive repairs down the road. These technicians will also take care of immediate needs, such as disinfecting any areas that were exposed to bacteria and waste carried in by sewer water.

Your commercial property requires high-quality results following sewer damage. Contact professionals, such as plumbers, sewage company representatives, and restoration experts right away.

Where Do I Install My New Smoke Alarms?

6/4/2022 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light Choosing a good smoke alarm and knowing where to install it is necessary.

Types of Smoke Detectors

Whether you're building a new home or need to revamp your current home-safety system, choosing a good smoke alarm and knowing where to install it is necessary. There are two basic types of detectors: ionization and photoelectric. They not only detect smoke differently but also detect some types of fires more quickly than others. Understanding how they work and where they work best will help you protect your family, home and possessions from harm.

How They Work

An ionization smoke detector uses a small amount of radioactive material to cause ions to be released, creating a current between the metal plates on either side of the material. Flaming, aggressive fires send up thick smoke that quickly disrupts the current and trips the alarm. Though ionization models also detect finer smoke particles, a photoelectric detector senses smoke from smoldering flames earlier. It uses light to detect smoke; when smoke particles block the interior light, an alarm goes off. If you want to create the best fire safety plan possible, use both types of alarms in your home.

Where They Should Go

At a minimum, you should have one smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every floor including the basement. Since many house fires start in the kitchen, it is good to have a detector there, and if you have a fireplace anywhere in your home, install one in that room as well. Finally, if you use gas or oil to heat your home, make sure to have a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector near the furnace and on every level. You can purchase wired-in or battery-operated smoke detectors; both are effective, though battery-operated ones require regular battery changes to ensure they're working properly.
Sadly, almost every home in the United States has had some kind of fire or smoke-related damage at one time or another. If there is evidence of damage in your home, a fire remediation service in Seneca, MO can inspect every smoke alarm, repair damages, clean the area and remove any residual odors that are present.

3 Common Questions About Ice Dams

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Ice hanging from gutters An ice dam is a frozen barricade at the edge of your roof.

Ice Dams: Three Common Questions

An ice dam is a frozen barricade at the edge of your roof. It forms when the snow on top of your home starts to melt and slowly slide off the roof, only to refreeze at its edge, causing a big, icy pile-up.

1. How Do Ice Dams Form?
Over time, the warm air inside your house heats the underside of your roof, causing accumulated snow to melt and slide off. In most cases, it does this very slowly — so slowly that when that slush hits the edge of your roof under the right conditions, it refreezes.
This is because there's no cozy interior air rising up and keeping things warm beneath your gutter and your roof's overhang. Instead, the snowmelt gets zapped with frigid air and turns back to ice.

2. Can They Cause Damage?
Ice dams often prevent future snowmelt from running off the roof. Eventually, that accumulated water will try to find a way into your home via cracks, holes and shingles.

3. How Do You Prevent an Ice Dam From Forming?
Early detection is key. There are certain preventative measures you can take, such as heated gutters and downspouts, but being able to spot the signs of a nascent dam is the best way to avoid placing a call to your local storm damage restoration company. They include:

  • Ice on siding
  • Ice on top of gutters
  • Icicles on the edge of the roof or gutters
  • Ice or water around a window frame or door
  • Ice or water inside a window frame or door

If you live in an area with frequent snowfall or own a vacation home away from Sarcoxie, MO, that does, talk with your insurance agent about ice dam coverage. It's often included as part of a homeowners insurance policy's dwelling coverage.
An ice dam doesn't have to end in disaster. When a winter storm hits, step away from that roaring fire (or YouTube video of a roaring fire) and check in on your roof every once in a while.

Preventing Mold From Growing in Your Facility

5/14/2022 (Permalink)

Baseboard with black mold growth Mold can grow quickly after water damage.

Mold spores exist in almost every environment, even in conditions not suitable for mold growth. However, once they find a source of moisture, it doesn't take long for them to take root in your Seneca, MO, facility. Rather than dealing with it after the fact, it's best to learn about mold prevention.

How Does Mold Grow?

Mold growth happens with just a few conditions:

  • Food (surfaces containing cellulose, like wood or ceiling tile)
  • A temperature between about 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Oxygen
  • Moisture

If the first three conditions are present in your facility, it's easy to see that spores can find a suitable environment once moisture is introduced.

Common Sources of Moisture in Buildings

Mold prevention means finding the most common sources of moisture in your facility.
You may find water in your HVAC system drain pans. Drains can become corroded or plugged with dirt, causing them to overflow into ducts and surrounding areas.

Ceiling tiles are porous and can absorb moisture from a roof leak. Tiles are usually made of cellulose-containing materials that feed mold. Moisture can collect in tiles around vents and pipes, areas susceptible to dirt and water leaks.

Like ceiling tiles, carpet and drywall are porous surfaces that absorb moisture. If you have water damage, a commercial building restoration service can help you dry and replace materials as needed.
Paper left in humid or damp places can provide a food source for mold. Take care to store paper reams or files in places with low humidity. Avoid storing boxes of paper on a basement or concrete floors. Moisture can travel through masonry and leave behind mold on its surface.

Watch for mold on electrical equipment, cable and fixtures. Warm, moist air can travel through gaps around outlets on exterior walls and ceiling-mounted light fixtures. If an electrical conduit has been flooded, moisture can remain inside.
Keeping an eye on areas in your building that are susceptible to moisture is the key to mold prevention. A little maintenance can prevent damage in the long run.

What To Look for in a Commercial Generator

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator Most commercial generators run on natural gas or diesel.

What to Look for When Purchasing a Commercial Generator

If you're a business owner in Oronogo, MO, in the market for a new commercial generator, you may wonder what to look for and how to know if you've chosen the best one for your particular situation. There are several factors you need to consider to make your decision, but it also helps to have a basic understanding of the machine itself.

Most commercial generators run on natural gas or diesel.
The generator is made up of an engine, radiator, and alternator.
The engine creates mechanical power that is then forced through a circuit, cooled and converted to an alternating current.
Depending on the frequency of use, a commercial generator can last up to 20 years.

What's the Right Size for You?

Commercial generators come in single-phase or three-phase models, and you'll need to know which type to buy according to what you want to power in the event of an outage. Most small businesses can get away with only a single-phase generator if they only need to power basic electronics, lights, and HVAC. If your business uses machinery or large equipment, you will most likely need a three-phase.

How Will You Power It? 

Natural gas and diesel are the most common fuel sources, but propane and bi-fuel are also options. Natural gas is the obvious choice if your business is already connected to a gas line, but if you're in a remote location, diesel is the recommended option.

How Much Can You Afford?

While a small commercial generator can cost as little as $10,000, larger ones can be quite a bit more expensive. Assess how much you can do without in the event of a storm or natural disaster. What financial risks and implications will an interruption of service have on your business? It's also important to consider any maintenance or repair costs you may incur over the years, especially if you run into any generator problems.

Arming yourself with knowledge and asking the right questions will help you make the best possible decision on the right generator for your business. For advice on how to prepare for power outages and protect your business from damage and loss from storms, contact your local storm damage specialist.

3 Steps To Get Your Business Ready for Winter

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Be prepared. Don't let a winter storm sneak up on you.

Prepare Your Business for the Winter

Getting through winter in Seneca, MO, can be tough if you aren't prepared. Snow, ice and wind can accompany any winter storm and often this makes doing business a little more difficult. Here are three steps to get your business prepared for winter.

1. Plan Ahead for Bad Weather

Make sure that you have a plan in place for how you will handle different types of bad weather that may arise. Storm damage can sometimes be unavoidable, but with some proper winterizing you can often avoid the worst of it. Inspect your building before the snow begins to fly to ensure that you don't need to make repairs to your roof, windows or insulation. Make a contact list for emergencies so you don't have to search for important numbers under stress. Include your HVAC provider's number as well as a professional emergency restoration service. If you do experience an unexpected issue such as a pipe break you can call for help sooner.

2. Invest in Reliable Snow Removal Services

A winter storm often comes along with dangerous snow and ice that could injure customers and employees as well as cause significant damage to your building. Employ a reliable and responsive service to plow parking lots and shovel and salt sidewalks. If you live in an area that typically gets large amounts of snow, consider also hiring someone to clear heavy snow from your roof.

3. Communicate With Employees

If disaster strikes, you want your employees to know exactly what to do. Once you've developed your winter preparation plan, pass it along to your staff. Make sure they know where to find a list of emergency numbers when you aren't available to make those calls. Be sure to also communicate what your expectations are for them in the event they can't get to work.
Don't let a winter storm sneak up on you. Follow these steps to make sure that you're prepared in advance.

Don't Risk Losing Data When the Power Goes Out

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

External drive connected to a computer Make sure you back up your data.

Don't Take the Chance of Losing Data If the Power Goes Out

Out of all the variables that can pose risks to the health of your business, experiencing a power outage needn't be one of them. Loss of power can happen to anyone and at any time due to reasons such as:

  • Storms
  • Accidents
  • Planned brownouts
  • Unexpected grid failures

Even if outages are unavoidable, you can take control of their impact on your business by having a plan in place when they occur.

Make Sure You Back Up Your Data

All businesses need to utilize reliable software to back up their databases. Since access to data is imperative for maintaining a stable, secure operation, this is not an area you should neglect. Make sure your company's IT department is up on all the latest tools for network security and data backups and will help you implement a disaster recovery plan if the worst should happen.

Have the Proper Equipment in Place

At a minimum, all your computers and other necessary equipment should be outfitted with a battery backup that will kick in when the power goes out. Even better, make sure you have a portable generator on hand that will keep the most essential equipment running throughout the power outage.
One step better is to install a standby generator that will kick on as soon as it detects a loss of power, so there is no interruption of service. Finally, if your business is large or complex, the best option is to get an industrial generator to eliminate risk and keep you running without a hitch.

Know Who To Call

In an emergency, every business should have a Continuity of Business Plan, which includes a chain of command and a list of who to call. Besides the power company and your IT service, make sure you have the number of a commercial storm specialist in Oronogo, MO, who can take care of cleanup, damage repair and remediation if needed.
Though accidents and natural disasters often happen without warning, you can take measures to mitigate the impact a power outage has on the viability and success of your business. Having a robust plan and the proper tools will save you time, money — and possibly your business.

How To Prevent and Mitigate Fire Damage in Your Home

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Man Installing Smoke Or Carbon Monoxide Detector Installing smoke alarms in your home should be the first step of your fire preparation plan.

Ways To Prevent and Mitigate Fire Damage

A home fire can quickly grow from a few flames to a massive blaze. It is thus important to practice fire safety in your Carl Junction, MO, house. You should also follow fire preparation strategies that can limit any harm caused by the heat and smoke. Here are some ways to prevent and mitigate fire damage.

Reduce Fire Risks

Wires are a common cause of home fires. Do not put wiring in high-traffic areas. You should avoid placing too many wires into one outlet or extension cord, as well. In addition, any of the below issues should be fixed immediately:

  • Exposed wires
  • Loose plugs
  • Frayed extension cords

Heating sources could be dangerous, as well. Have your furnace checked regularly and replace any rusted or cracked parts.
If you have any combustible items in your home, store them in an open place away from heat sources. Any rags that you use to apply these flammable chemicals should be stored in metal containers with tight lids.

Be Prepared

Installing smoke alarms in your home should be the first step of your fire preparation plan. Test them every month and replace the batteries at least once a year. You should also ensure everyone in your home knows the phone numbers of local first responders and fire cleanup experts.

Cook Safely

The combination of gas appliances and grease makes kitchens a common location for home fires. Keep any cooking surfaces clear of flammable items such as towels and potholders. Make sure your pets stay away from the oven and stove, as well.
If you are grilling, broiling or frying food, stay in the kitchen so you can look for and extinguish any fires immediately. While you do not have to remain in the room when food is roasting or baking, you should not leave your home, either.

Using your wires and kitchen appliances safely can greatly reduce the chances of a fire destroying your home. Enacting fire preparation strategies, meanwhile, should lower the impact of any blazes that do occur.

4 Ways To Dry Soaked Documents

3/31/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents Wet documents can be recovered.

Methods for Drying Wet Documents

If your business in Carthage, MO, experiences flooding, it is possible that your building suffers enough damage to require the services of expert water restoration professionals. Additionally, archives may become soaked. Fortunately, wet documents can be recovered. Here are four methods for salvaging your company’s records.

1. Freezing

Wrap reports in wax paper, parchment or sealable plastic bags and then place them in a freezer. If you have time, apply separators between each piece of paperwork. Once your materials have thawed, follow up with one of the below procedures.

2. Air Drying

This option is best for smaller bundles of compromised files. Begin by spreading your items on flat tables. Place fans near your papers, but be sure that the airflow is indirect; otherwise, they may go flying. Blot dampened pages with a soft cloth or towel and then hang them on a clothesline with plastic clothespins. Note that it may take up to two weeks for some wet documents to completely dry.

3. Vacuum Freezing

Vacuum freezing is a better choice when a lot of document drying becomes necessary. Freeze your papers as outlined above and then place them in a vacuum chamber. This piece of equipment can be obtained from a salvage vendor. By using a process known as sublimation, ice crystals vaporize without melting. This assures a minimum of additional stress on the affected reports.

4. Vacuum Thermal Drying

Records that have suffered watery ravages ranging from minor pipe leaks to intense flooding can benefit from vacuum drying. Items are placed within one of these enclosed devices and dehydrated via moisture evaporation. Only use this method with records that do not need to be kept for long periods, as this strategy accelerates aging.
Wet documents are a severe problem for any business, but all is not lost. There is a good chance that a majority of your data may be able to be saved with one of these approaches.