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Ways to Prevent Flooded Toilets in Commercial Buildings

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Ways to Prevent Flooded Toilets in Commercial Buildings

A clogged toilet at a commercial property in Emporia, KS, is not only a nuisance, but it can also turn into a serious problem. Bathrooms can fill with contaminated water, which is unsanitary and potentially harmful. Taking these preventative measures can help you avoid water damage in the building's restrooms.

Buy Thinner Toilet Paper

One of the main reasons that you have a toilet overflow is because it gets clogged up with too much toilet paper. Single-ply paper is thinner than what most people use at home, and it is not as likely to clog up. It is also used in commercial buildings because it is less expensive than the thicker paper.

Put in Waste Baskets

If people do not have somewhere to throw away their trash in the bathroom stall, they may just try flushing it down the commode. The system is not made to dispose of items such as sanitary napkins, so they end up causing a clogged toilet. Installing waste baskets in each stall gives people a discrete way to get rid of unwanted trash and can reduce bathroom flooding problems.

Put up Signs

Many people may not be aware of what can and cannot be flushed down a toilet. They flush damaging debris without even realizing the problems it can cause. Putting up signs that politely ask customers to dispose of feminine hygiene products in the waste baskets may save you from having to deal with another backed up commode. It may also be beneficial to give information on who to contact if someone does clog the toilet or sees that there is a flood in the restroom so that the problem can be taken care of right away.

Although these can help to prevent a clogged toilet from happening, there is no guarantee. If sewage problems do occur, it is best to call a professional restoration service right away. Getting the damage fixed immediately can help avoid further flooding and contamination of the area.

Does Your Toilet Overflow When the Shower Is Running?

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Does Your Toilet Overflow When the Shower Is Running? Use an auger

It feels so great to step into a hot steamy shower and rinse away your troubles, but if you step out to find your toilet overflowing, your troubles may just be beginning. Water and sewage cleaning are no joke and could cause mold or bacteria to breed. If a toilet overflow happens whenever someone is in the shower, there are a few steps you can take to remedy the situation.

Freeing a Clogged Toilet Drain

A clogged pipe between the sewer and your toilet is the most likely culprit of an overflowing toilet when you shower. Here are a few ways to try to clear the clog.

1. Use an auger. Start by running a plumber’s auger or snake into the toilet drain. Use a 25-foot hand-cranked or motorized unit. If you don’t own one, you can rent one in Hutchinson, KS. Ideally, the snake will push its way through the blockage allowing some water to get through. It may take a few attempts.

2. Remove the toilet. The clog may be bad enough to have to remove the toilet and go directly into the drainpipe. Once you feel you have broken through the clog, turn the shower on low and watch for water to back up. If, after running the water for several minutes, and it is still draining, you have likely cleared the clog.

3. Clean the cleanout. The next step would be to find your drain cleanout, remove the cap with a pipe wrench and run the snake through it. To avoid sewage cleaning, prepare the area in case pressure causes sewage to run out.

4. Call for help. If all attempts fail, call a plumber to help find the problem. They will have the equipment and training to locate and clear the clogged pipe. They may need to check further down the sewer line.

If a toilet overflow leaves a serious mess, call the local sewage remediation service in Hutchinson, KS for help. They can perform a thorough sewage cleaning process, and you can again enjoy a relaxing shower.

How To Get Rid Of Black Mold

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How To Get Rid Of Black Mold Mold damage in walls

Mold is one of those pesky problems that homeowners have to deal with. When it comes to black mold, it is important to know what to look for and how to handle it. If you think you may have mold growth in your home in Salina, KS, try following these guidelines.

Know What It Looks Like

Although it is called black mold, it is not always black. It often appears as greenish and slimy. If the water source has been removed, the mold will dry up and may look powdery. Do not attempt to test the mold yourself. If you see signs of mold, call a professional environmental hygienist to handle the mold cleanup. Mold can grow just about anywhere, but here are some common places to watch out for:

  • Chimneys
  • Washing machines
  • Dishes
  • Air conditioners
  • Window seals
  • Walls
  • Bathrooms

Call a Professional 

Mold is not something you should handle yourself. Certified mold remediation companies have gone through extensive training and know how to deal with household mold problems. They have the proper equipment to handle dangerous types of mold. Never procrastinate when it comes to mold as it will continue to grow until removed.

Prevent Future Growth

Just because the mold has been removed does not mean that the problem is fixed. It is vital to take care of the source of the problem. This could simply means using a dehumidifier to help with the humidity in your home, or you may have a leaking pipe that needs to be taken care of. Always keep your bathroom as dry as you can. Wash your bathroom items frequently, and make sure to remove any excess moisture after you shower.

Black mold is not something that should be taken lightly. If you notice any signs of mold in your home in Salina, KS, call a mold remediation company right away to come handle the problem for you. Never try to remove mold yourself.

3 Ways Lightning Can Affect Your Home

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Ways Lightning Can Affect Your Home Roof fire at strike point

3 Ways Lightning Can Affect Your Home

Many homes in Topeka, KS, are not protected from lightning strikes. While lightning systems are effective, they are expensive to install and protect against a problem that is fairly unlikely to occur. If your home is struck, however, a lightning fire can ignite. Here are some possible outcomes of a direct strike on your home.


Fire damage is the biggest danger you risk from a lightning strike. A jolt can cause a house fire in several ways:

  • Roof or attic fire at strike point
  • Flammable materials along path of current
  • Burned wires or circuits

You are likely to need fire damage cleanup if your home is struck during a thunderstorm. Lightning looks for the quickest path to the ground. Unfortunately, your home may be the path it chooses.


Thunder is evidence of shock waves produced by lightning. In addition to a lightning fire, a storm can cause waves that fracture your foundation, bricks or chimney and shatter your windows. The debris that flies around as a result of this shock can cause secondary damage.


If your electrical system is affected by the lightning strike, any connected equipment or appliances may be damaged by the subsequent power surge. Sensitive electronics cannot withstand the surge and will likely be fried, perhaps even beyond the help of fire cleanup professionals.


Lightning can compromise your safety even if you are inside your home. If it strikes your house while you are touching a connected electrical advice or water out of the plumbing system, you could be injured. Therefore, when there are thunderstorms in your area, you should avoid using corded phones and computers or showering, washing dishes or doing laundry.

If your home is struck during a thunderstorm, your home may be affected. Lightning fire, shock, power surges and injury are all problems that could occur if lightning strikes your house.

Understanding the Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Understanding the Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage Storm damage in Wichita,KS

Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage

A severe thunderstorm in Wichita, KS, can wreak havoc on your commercial property. It may cause damage to your roof, siding, windows and basement. The repair process depends on the type of damage you have. There are some key differences between storm and flood damage.


One storm may cause problems in a variety of ways. There are four basic types of storm damage:

  • Hail Damage – Even small hail can cause scratches and indentions in your siding. It can damage the roof as it chips away at roofing granules or cracks your shingles.
  • Water Damage – If your roof is damaged, it is likely that water will seep in and compromise the structural integrity of the materials it touches. If you don't call storm cleanup experts in time to remediate it before secondary damage can set in, you may even have to contend with a mold problem.
  • Wind Damage – When winds are strong enough, they can rip shingles off your roof and fling branches and other debris at your siding and windows.
  • Impact Damage – If there are trees around your building, the storm may knock them over, causing them to crash into it.

Unlike flood damage, storm coverage is typically part of your property insurance.


Flooding is usually caused by events such as overflowing rivers or streams, broken dams or levees, blocked drainage lines and heavy rainfall. Because the damage to your building is likely severe in these circumstances, you may need to purchase a separate flood policy, especially if you live in or near a flood plain. Flood cleanup involves water extraction, drying, disinfecting and restoration.

By understanding the differences between storm and flood damage, you are better equipped to contact the right professionals for the job when you need remediation. This knowledge can help you get the problem resolved more efficiently so you can get your business up and running sooner.

How To Inspect Your Sump Pump

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How To Inspect Your Sump Pump Every time you inspect your pump, it’s a good idea to simulate a flood scenario to see if it works.

Your basement may be a fun place to entertain or give you a lot of extra storage. Whatever its purpose, it can’t serve it well if it gets flooded. Regular sump pump inspections are necessary to ensure that, if extra water does flood your basement, it won’t stay there long. A reliable pump can significantly lower the cost of water remediation services if your basement floods. Here are some things to check off your list during the inspection.

Get Rid of Debris

A big part of pump maintenance is just cleaning it out. There are several places dirt, rocks and other debris like to hide in your pump:

  • Discharge pipe
  • Vent hole
  • Intake screen
  • Pit

Any obstruction in these areas can cause your pump to malfunction when you need it the most.

Check Cord and Power Supply

Over time, cords can wear out, especially if they are in an area like the basement where they may be trapped under boxes or twisted around other obstacles. Check the cord to make sure it is not broken. You also want to ensure that the sump pump is hooked up to a working power supply. It is a good idea to connect it to a generator so that if it is needed during a power outage in a storm, it will still function.

Test the Pump

Every time you inspect your pump, it’s a good idea to simulate a flood scenario to see if it works. Flood the basin with a bucket of water. If your pump is working, it will activate and drain the water. If it does not do this, you need to contact a repair technician in Salina, KS, to fix it.

It is a good idea to inspect your sump pump on a quarterly basis. This ensures that all debris is removed, it is connected to a reliable power source and it actually does what it’s supposed to do. Then when storms come, you know your basement is protected.

How To Prevent Damage From Old Pipes

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Prevent Damage From Old Pipes Hair caused a pipe to clog in Hutchinson,KS

Prevent Damage from Old Pipes

If you own or rent older commercial buildings in Hutchinson, KS, you may experience special challenges when it comes to your plumbing. Older pipes, especially those made from polybutylene, make become corroded and start to turn brittle. If they have a lot of twists and turns, you may have more frequent clogs. There are a few things you can do to prevent damage resulting from old plumbing systems.


If the pipes in your building are frequently clogged, you need something that works within the pipes to help loosen the blockage up in order to avoid water damage from overflowing toilets or sinks. Many things could contribute to a clogged pipe, including:

  • Hair
  • Debris
  • Soap buildup
  • Lint

A monthly enzyme treatment can dissolve whatever is clogging your pipes so that water moves more freely through them. You simply pour the liquid enzyme into your drain and let the bacteria go to work. After a period of time, flush the drain with hot or boiling water, and everything should wash right through.


If you own a building that was built between the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, you may have polybutylene pipes. These pipes were popular during this time because they were inexpensive to manufacture and easy to install. Unfortunately, they also react to chemicals in water, making them vulnerable to breakage. The best thing to do is to replace these pipes before they break and cause extensive damage to your building that only water restoration specialists can fix.


If your building is a rental, of course, you cannot replace the pipes altogether. You can protect your property in the building, however, by installing a sump pump in the basement and having various pumps placed on each floor that you use. By making pumps available, you can extract water more quickly, minimizing the damage that a busted pipe may cause.

Whether your main risk is polybutylene or frequent clogging, old pipes can cause flooding fast. By taking proactive steps you can protect your property from extensive damage.

Understanding Mold and Its Possible Effects on Your Commercial Building

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Understanding Mold and Its Possible Effects on Your Commercial Building Mold spores need moisture

The upkeep and maintenance of a commercial building in Salina, KS, can be daunting. There is much to consider and monitor, especially when it comes to knowing what might harm your investment. Fungi growth can be especially troublesome, as black mold and other strains can cause serious and long-term damage top building materials and inventory. Taking steps to understand mold and its effects can help you protect your property and prevent business loss.

What Is Mold?

While there are many different types of mold, all are species of fungi. Mold can grow almost anywhere once airborne spores find moisture and is most commonly found in damp rooms and areas, such as:

  • Basements
  • Bathrooms
  • Under cabinets that conceal plumbing fixtures

Many strains of fungi, such as black mold, do not require sunlight to grow, which can allow them to spread unchecked in dark spaces and behind drywall.

What Types of Damage Can Mold Cause?

Because mold can grow anywhere, especially in areas where there is a moisture problem, it can affect a variety of costly building materials. Drywall, carpeting, HVAC components, insulation and even concrete can be damaged. Keeping materials dry and your building’s humidity low can reduce the risk of mold growth. Have water lines and plumbing pipes checked for leaks often, especially if they are located in basements or behind cabinets.

What Is Involved in Mold Removal?

If you do find fungi in your building, it is best that you leave its removal to a qualified mold remediation and restoration service. Experienced technicians can inspect and identify the mold and then use a variety of special processes to remove it safely. They can also check the rest of the building to ensure the problem has not spread and that no further mold cleanup is needed.

Black mold and other types of fungi can seriously harm your Salina, KS, commercial building. Understanding how mold grows and where it might be found may help you identify issues quickly and contact a professional for remediation services before fungi can take over.

3 Ways to Get Rid of Smoke Smells After a Fire

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Ways to Get Rid of Smoke Smells After a Fire Fire Damage at a local Wichita, KS home.

Some people might consider themselves lucky if the biggest issue they have to deal with after a fire is smoke damage. However, this issue can be more serious than you might think. The scent of smoke means there’s still residual soot in the air, which contains carcinogens that can be harmful to breathe. Plus, the smell is just awful. Fortunately, there are several steps regarding smoke cleaning you can take in order to reduce the smoke odor in your home after a fire in Wichita, KS and even make a space odor-free.

Steps for Smoke Cleaning to reduce the smoke odor:

1. Air Filtration Devices

You’ve probably seen air filtration devices advertised as great ways to deal with allergens. These same devices are excellent for filtering out the agents that cause smoke odor as well. Placing a few (or several) of these devices in the place that’s experienced the smoke damage can help reduce the scent over time. Just remember to keep the filters changed.

2. Ozone Machines

Ozone machines are designed specifically with odor control in mind. These machines are built to deodorize large areas such as hotel rooms and business offices, so imagine what one could do for your home when you need smoke cleaning. This is a tool commonly used by smoke and fire damage professionals, so you know it’ll get the job done right.

3. Thermal Foggers

Thermal foggers are built to essentially recreate the conditions of a fire by adding heat and pressure to a specified area. However, these machines give off a mist of deodorizing fog rather than smoke. These fog particles are absorbed by porous materials in the same way, however, meaning they seep into to smoke-damaged belongings to replace the unpleasant odor.

These are three methods of smoke cleaning that are commonly used by the pros, and for good reason. They’re effective, simple, and get the job done quickly so you can go back to living a smoke-free life.

SERVPRO of Northwest Wichita has the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home and remove any Smoke Odor left after a Fire.  

5 Tips for Preventing Kitchen Fires

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 5 Tips for Preventing Kitchen Fires Fire Damage can result from Grease Fire.

It may not come as a surprise to learn that the kitchen is the most likely starting point of a home fire. While a grease fire is something many people worry about in Wichita, Kansas there are numerous potential causes of disaster. Fire damage can result from lack of attention, poor preparation or honest, everyday mistakes.

Five tips to keep your food-preparation area safer.

1. Where There’s Smoke…

There’s a reason firefighters and fire recovery professionals constantly discuss the importance of smoke detectors, and that’s because they save lives. Make sure you have an alarm installed near the kitchen; check and replace batteries as recommended by the manufacturer.

2. Wear It Right

It’s easy to forget how dangerous cooking can be, but exposed flames and hot surfaces can cause major problems. For this reason, it’s important keep clothes and other such items in mind:

  • Don’t wear loose, long sleeves or other clothing that could come into contact with heat sources.
  • Ensure curtains won’t interfere with cooking surfaces, even with windows open.
  • Store potholders, aprons and other cloth items safely away from heat-generating appliances.

3. Wash Regularly

Keeping your cooking surfaces clean is more important than you might think. Greasy buildup is a potential fire risk, so make sure to clean thoroughly and on a routine basis.

4. Watch the Clock 

The simplest tips are the most important ones to remember: use timers, monitor heated appliances properly and always double-check to ensure that everything’s turned off before going to sleep at night.

5. Work-Area Control 

You never want too many cooks in the kitchen, nor do you want rambunctious youngsters running around near sources of heat. Establish a three-foot space around any cooking area, and make sure kids stay clear.

Preventing fire damage in Wichita, KS is largely about planning, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Mitigate your risk of a grease fire or other such disaster by following these handy tips when it’s time to prepare your food-prep area.