Recent Posts

How To Create a Fire Escape Plan for Office Space in a High-Rise Building

5/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial How To Create a Fire Escape Plan for Office Space in a High-Rise Building A fire in a high-rise building can be a terrifying experience.

Fires are dangerous. Finding yourself trapped in a tall building on fire? Even more so. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, it is important for offices in a high-rise building to have a well-tested fire escape plan. Below are five steps to simplify the process.

1. Survey the Area

Request a blueprint of the floors the business occupies and walk them. Identify ways in and out of offices, offices suites, floors and the building itself. Pay special attention to areas that require key cards to get in or out. In the case of an emergency, these should open automatically. Ensure exit routes, doors and stairs are always clear.

2. Clearly Mark Emergency Exits

The path to an emergency exit should be easily identified even for first-time guests. Use large and legible signs that will remain visible even if the lights go out. Most tall buildings may have more than one emergency stairwell, so map out which side of the office should go to which stairwell. This prevents the likelihood of employees running to the one farther away.

4. Select Fire Wardens

Fire wardens are regular employees who have the additional responsibility of taking the lead during an emergency. In the case of a fire, they lead their assigned group to safety and should perform a headcount or roll call once gathered outside.

5. Test & Revise

For a fire escape plan to be considered well-tested, practice is often necessary. Perform drills at least twice per year. Do not allow a company culture of ignoring the fire alarm when it goes off. Sprinklers should also be tested to reduce the need for restoration due to fire damage. After an evacuation, fire wardens and other employees should provide feedback to better improve the emergency escape plan.

A fire in a high-rise building can be a terrifying experience. However, a good fire escape plan can be an excellent way to protect both people and property in Wichita, KS. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mold

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mold Mold prevention starts with moisture control.

Mold is everywhere in Wichita, KS, but there’s a surprising amount we don’t know about it. Let’s take a look at the top five frequently asked questions about mold growth.

1. What’s the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

Mold is a thick, fuzzy growth, while mildew is flat and powdery. Mold growths tend to spread across both inorganic and organic matter, even though it requires organic matter to truly feed; mildew will generally only appear on organic matter. Both can come in multiple colors, though the most recognizable colors are black for both or, for mold, fuzzy green and white.

2. If I Wait Long Enough, Will Mold Just Die?

No, especially if you live in a high-humidity area. Mold is a living organism just like any other, and just like any living organism, it exists to live and reproduce. That means unless you put a stop to it, mold will continue to grow as long as it has a surface to grow on and moisture to feed it.

3. Can I Remove Mold Myself?

For early-stage mold growth, you may be able to remove it by wiping it away carefully and disinfecting the area, but you can never be completely sure you’ve eliminated the mold until you bring in a mold remediation specialist. Even after removing mold growth, you will always have mold spores in the air as part of your natural environment.

4. What Makes Mold Grow So Fast?

Mold grows the fastest where there’s water damage. Water damage tends to saturate the drywall and wood of your home to make these organic substances perfect breeding grounds for mold.

5. How Can I Prevent Mold?

Mold prevention starts with moisture control. If you get rid of the moisture in your home, you’re more likely to prevent mold from growing. Check your pipes, windows, roofs, and appliances. Invest in a dehumidifier if needed. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

6 Tips To Reduce Fire Hazards in the Kitchen

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 6 Tips To Reduce Fire Hazards in the Kitchen Kitchen fire safety is important for your family, so use these tips.

The fire department often responds to kitchen fires in Wichita, KS, so it’s wise to take simple precautions to reduce fire hazards in your home. Here are tips to keep your home safe from kitchen fires.

1. Organize Your Kitchen With Safety in Mind

Anything that might catch fire should be kept away from your stovetop. Keep a baking sheet or pan lid nearby to cover a pan if there is fire. Turn pot handles so they point to the rear of the stove as this will minimize the chance that someone might knock them over.

2. Stay in the Kitchen While Cooking

Unattended cooking is by far the leading cause of kitchen fires. Stay in the kitchen whenever you are grilling, frying or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off and move your pots and pans off the heat because a grease fire is a danger.

3. Dress Safely While Cooking

Loose clothing can catch fire from a gas flame or electric burner. When cooking, wear short sleeves or rolled sleeves. If you have long hair, tie it back.

4. Remember To Turn Everything Off

Turn ovens or burners off after cooking. Other kitchen fire safety tips are to clean up food spills, grease or anything that could catch fire. Be careful when lighting the burner on a gas stove or a pilot light. Don’t put too much oil or grease in pots or pans as hot oil or grease might splatter and cause a grease fire.

5. Install a Smoke Alarm Near the Kitchen

Be sure you have a smoke alarm installed near the kitchen, but not in it. You don’t want cooking smoke or steam to trigger the alarm. Change the batteries every six months.

6. Install a Home Sprinkler System

A sprinkler system will provide protection for your home. If you are renovating or building, consider installing a sprinkler in the kitchen, the area of your home with the greatest fire risk.

Kitchen fire safety is important for your family, so use these tips. Contact a restoration specialist for help if you have kitchen fire damage. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/. 

Preventing Mold: The Tricks of the Trade

4/26/2018 (Permalink)

You've probably heard it time and again: Where water goes, mold will follow. Although these words of maintenance wisdom are usually true, why wait until the water damage has already settled in long-term? Read on to grasp some of the mold prevention methods that the pros use.

1. Dry the Space

That corner of the company bathroom may not get much attention, but it is for this reason that mold has likely taken over. Hard-to-reach spots behind sink tiles and around caulking are especially prone to mold growth. By carrying out a regular bathroom cleaning schedule, you could save the headaches down the road.

2. Stay in the Know

Flooding and other types of water damage are no small issues to address. In fact, you may be so swept up in addressing the damage itself that you've forgotten all about the little fungal world already popping up in its wake. Don't let a past or current moisture damage be what threatens the state of your commercial building.

3. Clean, Clean, Clean

Your Wichita, KS, building's bathroom likely isn't the only location affected by water damage; chances are, you've got some growth going on in other rooms, as well. Upholstery and carpets can easily mask moisture, so be sure to vacuum and clean all the tricky corners. Dry as much of those company couches as you can. While many of these materials may need to be thrown away, there are some items in the building that may simply need a good cleaning.

It may be pretty versatile with its ability to thrive almost anywhere with adequate temperatures and moisture, but you probably aren't too impressed with mold's tricks. Lean on the preventative side and keep a watchful eye on any damaged materials, corners where moisture could become trapped, and any other place that could harbor mold growth. With the right preventative methods in mind, you can get back to your everyday tasks with ease. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/. 

Protecting Your Business From a Winter Water Disaster

4/22/2018 (Permalink)

Winters in Wichita, GA, present multiple concerns for many businesses. A significant worry is frozen pipes, which can burst and easily disrupt the productivity of an entire office. Preparing your building and protecting your business often requires a twofold plan: preventative measures and an informed outline for a prompt response.

Preventative Measures

Your ability to prevent pipes from freezing depends largely on the types of areas included in your building. Therefore, different measures should be taken for different areas and structures.

• Keep thermostats at or above 55° Fahrenheit, especially overnight.
• Open cabinets in heated areas to allow warm air to reach the walls.
• Leave faucets inside and outside the building running at a slight drip.
• Drain any hoses or tubes, particularly outside or in non-heated areas such as a garage or warehouse.
• Keep all entryways securely closed and insulated.
• Have your building, inside and outside, inspected for any holes or cracks that may let cold air in and have them repaired.
• For a garage or warehouse, consider adding a portable heating unit to keep the area above 55° Fahrenheit.
• Consider adding insulation to any non-heated areas for further protection from freezing.

Some preventative efforts do have a various range of fees, but they will almost always cost less than paying for professional repairs in the case of water damage.

Informed and Prompt Response

Most people understand that water expands when it freezes. However, you need to know what kind of damage you will have with frozen pipes in your building. In the most likely scenario, a broken pipe will result in clean water damage. This means you may require water removal and drying services specific to the size and layout of your building space. While you should research pricing and reviews of local companies for water line repair and water damage restoration, the most crucial knowledge you can have is the standards and guidelines for professional restoration of areas with water damage. Knowing these standards will allow you to ensure your business receives the best service so you can get back to work.

Prevention can be key to keeping your business open during winter. By following these guidelines and understanding standards, you can help prevent water damage from frozen pipes. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

The 5 Steps of Storm Damage Restoration

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

When your home has been damaged by flooding from a severe storm, an experienced remediation specialist in Wichita, KS, can help you repair the water damage. Storm restoration is a fairly involved process that could include having to tear out building materials that can’t be restored, which is why you shouldn’t attempt to do it yourself. Professionals will also have access to specialized equipment that allows them to do the job faster and more efficiently so that your home can be returned to normal as soon as possible.

After a remediation team has visited your house to assess the damage and formulate a plan, here are the five steps you can expect as they restore your home.

1. Water Extraction

Powerful pumps and industrial-grade vacuums are used to extract the remaining flood water from your home. It’s critical that this extraction happens quickly to minimize the damage caused by the water.

2. Removal of Wet Building Materials

Sometimes building materials like drywall or wood or laminate floors are too damaged by water to be restored. In this case, the remediation team will tear out the materials, remove them from your property and dispose of them.

3. Drying

Once the excess water and unsalvageable building materials are removed, your home will need to be completely dried out. If this doesn’t happen quickly, mold can begin to grow in as little as 48 hours. Specialized fans and dehumidifiers will be employed to get the job done as fast as possible.

4. Cleaning

Flood waters can carry contaminants that are harmful to humans and animals, so your home will need to be properly cleaned and disinfected. This includes furniture, carpets and any personal items exposed to flood water.

5. Restoration

If the remediation team in Wichita, KS, had to tear out flooring or drywall, they will replace it. Once the restoration stage is complete, your home should be completely returned to its original state.For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com.

Top 3 Air Purifiers for Removing Mold Spores From Your Home

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Top 3 Air Purifiers for Removing Mold Spores From Your Home If you have mold in your home, contact SERVPRO of Northwest Wichita immediately.

Mold can invade your Topeka, KS home for a variety of reasons but is especially common after flooding. Once mold spores in the air find moisture and a food source, they latch on and can spread quickly. However, using an air filtration system once a flood cleanup and storm remediation company treats your home can trap these spores before they take hold, and knowing which are the most effective can help you make an informed decision about which is best suited to your home's needs.

1. The Oransi Max

This air purifier uses a certified HEPA filter to capture mold spores as well as pollen, dust and pet dander. This unit may be a good choice for your home if you live in an area with humid summers, as mold tends to thrive in high humidity. The Oransi Max also includes an air quality sensor so you can adjust the air flow as needed.

2. IQAir New Edition HealthPro

The IQAir New Edition HeathPro air filtration system is a top-rated unit that captures mold particles and other impurities in your home's air. It is especially useful for filtering out fine particles that other systems may not catch. Other features include multiple fan speeds, a programmable timer and a filter monitor. This may be a good choice if you want a unit that saves energy and does not require a lot of manual adjusting.

3. The QuietPure Home+ Smoke Air Purifier

If you want a purifier that removes unpleasant smells from the air and captures mold, this unit may be a good choice. It is also known for its quiet run cycles and its ability to remove bacteria and airborne viruses from the air. One convenient feature you may enjoy is a smart sensor, which adjusts the fan speed depending on the room's air quality.

A quality air filtration unit can help keep mold in your Topeka, KS home at bay. Comparing the capabilities of each can assist you in making the best choice possible for your air purification needs and your budget. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on mold. 

Prevent Flooding Caused by Frozen Pipes

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Frigid winter months can bring significant problems to commercial buildings in Wichita, KS from ice dams that cause roof leaks to burst pipes. As water freezes, it expands, putting pressure on its container. This container, whether plastic or metal, may not be able to hold it. When the container is a pipe, it may burst, causing standing water and damage to the surrounding area. However, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of a burst pipe.

Why Pipes Burst

Although the most basic explanation for pipes freezing is cold weather, it’s not quite that simple. There are other contributing factors, which can include:

• They have inadequate or no insulation.
• They are in cold or exposed areas in or around the building.
• There is water sitting in the pipes instead of circulating through them.

When Pipes Freeze

Depending on the building and usage, frozen pipes may be a minor inconvenience or a catastrophic event. The consequences a burst pipe can include:

• No access to water or use of drainage pipes
• Irrevocable pipe damage, which requires that the pipes are repaired before they can be used
Water damage that may be limited to drips or result in flooding areas of the building

How To Prevent Pipe Bursts

Taking some time during the warmer months can help prevent a frozen pipe during the winter season.

• Insulate exterior pipes and those located in unheated areas, such as basements or crawl spaces.
• Let water drip, allowing it to run and prevent pressure from building, which can cause a burst pipe.
• Check shutoff valves and levers, ensuring they are in good working condition.
• Keep heat and water on in areas of the building that are not in use.

If a water event does occur, water restoration professionals in Wichita, KS restore your premises to its former condition, “Like it never even happened.” allowing you get on with business as usual. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on commercial storm damage. 

How Much Damage Can Sewage Cause?

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

A sewage leak can quickly cause serious secondary damage. A leak in an environment with high humidity creates conditions ideal for the growth of black mold. Determine the type of water involved and the extent of the leak, and then take steps to address the issue as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours.

There are several categories of water involved in leaks:

1. Category one water is clean and poses the least risk as long as a leak is quickly dried.
2. Category two water or gray water includes toilet overflow that only contains urine or water from appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. This water may contain bacteria and viruses.
3. Category three water or black water is contaminated with fecal matter that contains microbes and other dangerous substances. A large black water leak will probably require expert damage restoration services.

Once you determine the type of water involved in a leak and the extent of the damage, you can determine whether you want to dry, clean, and disinfect the area yourself or call in damage restoration experts. Sewage leaks may cause several major types of damage:

• Water damage: Sewage involves the leaking of contaminated water, which compounds the effects of ordinary water damage.
• Mold risk: The longer sewage sits around after a leak, the more damage will be sustained and the higher the risk of black mold growth.
• Staining: Sewage tends to be dark colored and can stain flooring, furniture, and other items. Reduce or eliminate staining with steam cleaners and professional wet-dry vacuums.
• Lingering odor: If sewage is allowed to sit for a prolonged period, the smell may stay even after cleanup efforts are over. Air circulation and industrial air scrubbers can help to restore the affected area to a safe and comfortable condition.

To prevent potentially serious secondary damage such as black mold in the wake of a sewage leak, you should immediately clean and dry the affected area and prevent high humidity. If you are dealing with a serious sewage leak, you may need to contact damage restoration experts in Topeka, KS. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on water damage. 

How To Clean Your Chimney and Avoid Chimney Fires

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a chimney in your Wichita, AL home, it’s imperative to keep it clean and in good working order if you want to reduce the risk of chimney fire and keep your family safe. Here are a few steps you can follow to clean your chimney and avoid thick black smoke and chimney fires.

1. Determine If You Can Clean It Yourself

Before you can effectively clean your chimney, you need to make sure you have the ability to do the job yourself. One easy way to tell if it’s an appropriate DIY project or if you should hire professionals is by checking to see if you can reach all parts of the chimney either from inside your home or from your roof. Creosote buildup causes fire damage, so you need to be able to remove it from every part of your chimney.

If you can reach the smoke chamber from inside your home and have the tools necessary to clean the flue efficiently, you may be able to clean your chimney yourself. If you have any trouble reaching all areas of the chimney, it’s wise to hire a professional. If the flue isn’t cleaned properly, the risk of a chimney fire goes up.

2. Minimize Mess

Cleaning a fireplace is messy business. To keep your carpets and furniture protected, put a canvas tarp or plastic paint sheet on the floor around your fireplace.

3. Brush the Flue

Use a large chimney brush to thoroughly clean the flue. Simply ram the brush into the flu and pump it up and down several times, working in small sections.

Take Care of Your Chimney

If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning your own chimney, there’s no shame in hiring professionals to do it for you. That way you’ll have greater confidence that your risk of chimney fire is severely reduced. If you’ve already had smoke damage due to burning fires in an unclean chimney, call professional smoke and fire restoration services. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage.