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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.

Storm

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.

Flood

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.

Enzymes

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.

Replacement

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.

Pumps

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. 

Top 3 Air Purifiers for Removing Mold Spores From Your Home

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 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.

 Top 3 Air Purifiers

  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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

SERVPRO of Northwest Wichita can answer any questions regarding Mold Spores that need to be removed and Mold Remediation. We have the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation.

Elements of the SERVPRO Claims Inventory System

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO provides a claims inventory system that puts relevant information within easy reach. While filing an insurance claim, agents can get a quick estimate, update information, and upload facts to the corporate database. The Claims Information Center offers access to the statistics, facts, and data an insurance agent may need to create an estimate.

  • Facts listed nationally, regionally, and by state and county
  • Search for types of claims
  • Research cause of loss information
  • Compare job file costs by geographic location
  • Complete an individual file review
  • Document response times for general areas
  • Compare SERVPRO performance to national averages
  • Look at regional company results next to national company results

The Claims Information Center

As a Emporia, KS, agent prepares to file an insurance claim, the professional must verify that all facts are correct, ensure that figures are accurate, and that all the details of the report are reliable. With the SERVPRO CIC, an agent has quick access to an encyclopedic database with past insurance claims and answers to specific questions.

ReportER

The related database, ReportER, is run through corporate headquarters and provides an access point to the inventory center. An agent searching for information would access the CIC through ReportER and then narrow the terms of a search to find accurate and recent information to help with outstanding claims.

Management Dashboard

An attractive and innovative dashboard design provides quick and convenient access to the database and the SERVPRO Claims Information Center. With so many resources right in front of them, agents can more quickly and easily complete their work.

Get It Done Accurately and Conveniently

The process of working through an insurance claim isn't easy for Emporia, KS, property owners or for the agent, but access to current, accurate information can simplify the process. The CIC system provides the agent with the ability to thoroughly research facts and figures for a current claim or verify information to ensure reliability. These claims inventory resources help to simplify and streamline the claims completion and tracking process.

Steps in the Sewage Damage Cleanup Process

3/17/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Steps in the Sewage Damage Cleanup Process Restored bathroom in Hutchinson, KS

Sewer Cleanup Process

Sewage damage can have a devastating impact on your home in Hutchinson, KS. It’s common to feel stressed after this type of damage has occurred, but you may feel reassured knowing what steps occur in the sewer cleanup process.

1. Finding the Root of the Problem

Sewage damage can be caused by a myriad of reasons, and in order to properly clean the home, it’s important to first understand the cause of the issue. Often, a flooded toilet or a sewer backup are causes of sewage damage. While some issues are relatively easy to fix, others may take more time. However, once the problem has been identified, the flow of water can be stopped, which will prevent further damage.

2. Assessing the Damage and Type of Contamination

Regardless of the cause of the damage, it’s important to know what damage has occurred and to what degree the water is contaminated during the sewer cleanup process. Knowing where the damage has occurred will make it easier to know what to prioritize. Water that comes from a clean source and that isn’t left standing can be removed with relative ease, whereas water that is contaminated with hazardous materials must be removed with caution. Often, it’s helpful to have water damage cleanup professionals make these assessments.

3. Cleanup and Restoration

Once the cause has been identified and the damage and type of contamination has been identified, the process of cleaning really begins. Water is safely removed from the home and individual items are sanitized. In order to remove any odors in the home, air scrubbers may be used. If structural damage has occurred, the work of restoring your home to its original state will begin.

Finding the cause of the issue, assessing the affected area and the water and cleaning and restoration are all important steps in the sewer cleanup process. Knowing what is involved in the cleanup can make you feel more at ease as your home is restored.

Personal Equipment and Mold Remediation

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Personal Equipment and Mold Remediation Personal equipment and mold remediation in Salina, KS

Personal Equipment and Mold Remediation

If you are preparing for mold cleanup in your Salina, KS, home, you may have questions about the process that your mold remediation service technicians will be following - questions that quite possibly go beyond the basics. One common question is what personal protective equipment - such as face masks - these professionals wear while doing their jobs. What is worn can vary based on the situation, but you may see any of the following types of gear on a remediation worker:

1. Goggles. Many technicians will wear goggles to keep dust and other particles out of the eyes. These goggles will never have ventilation holes, as these can be a safety concern.

2. Disposable clothing. This will be seen quite commonly when extensive mold damage is present. Such clothing helps minimize physical contact with dangerous substances and makes for an overall safer cleanup job.

3. Respirators. Respirators are special face masks that prevent cleanup crews from inhaling irritating particles during remediation. Workers should always be wearing respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and they should always wear the type of respirator that is appropriately protective for the job at hand.

4. Gloves. As you may imagine, gloves help protect workers’ hands from cleanup chemicals and other harsh substances while performing cleanup duties. Most workers will wear long gloves that reach to the mid-forearm, and the material will vary depending on what the technicians are handling.

As you can see, protective cleanup gear is more complex for workers than just strapping on face masks, especially when they are dealing with a tricky mold remediation situation. If you ever have any questions about cleanup before, during or after the process, do not hesitate to ask the trained professionals who are working to restore your property. Chances are that they have gone through similar situations many times before and have answers to all of your questions.